tv CNN Right Now With Brianna Keilar CNN September 18, 2019 10:00am-11:00am PDT
one who can win back those states. we saw a different candidate try that approach kristin gillibrand before she dropped out. >> brianna keilar starts right now. have a good afternoon. ♪ live from cnn's washington headquarters, underway right now the drum beat grows louder after the saudis present evidence they say links iran to the oil attacks and president trump responds. and the liar's club. the president's former campaign manager just admitted what everyone already knows. also, the man in charge of america's intelligence refusing to turn over a secret whistle blower complaint involving the executive branch. so what are they hiding? plus, why jimmy carter says there should be an age limit on the presidency. and the mega democratic donor arrested after a third overdose inside his hollywood home.
we start with the case against iran. saudi arabia today presenting its evidence to the world that it says undeniably points to iran as the sponsor of the attack on saudi oil infrastructure. but even before that announcement, president trump struck back, tweeting that he's ordered substantial new sanctions against iran. our nic robertson is in riyadh saudi arabia. take us through these conclusions reached by saudi arabia. do they know if this was carried out by the iranian revolutionary guard or where exactly this came from? >> reporter: a lot of talk by the spokesman for the military here about the iranian revolutionary guard, but not specifically saying that they're responsible for the launching of these attack vehicles or specifically saying that they were launched from iran. they went through the number of drones, 18 drones were fired,
seven different cruise missiles. three of the cruise missiles failed to hit their target. they had those on a stage. they had seven of the smashed-up drones on the stage. in the audience there were not just journalists but you had ambassadors. because the saudis have a really full court press onto bring international support. i asked questions, saying how can you prove that these cruise missiles and drones didn't come from yemen? he was very categorical about that. he said the range just wasn't there. i said, what is it about these devices that limits that range to this point? and he said, look, we've seen these before, iranians manufacture something very similar to this. it just doesn't have the range. they also showed some cctv footage from one of the sites that was attacked. he says specifically you can see these cruise missiles flying from the north to the south to hit their target. he said if they fly from the
north, yemen is the opposite direction. can't be yemen. i asked, how are you trying to find out where the point of origin, where these were fired from? he wouldn't get into detail but he did say these devices carry gps devices for tracking. essentially they can follow the data bread crumbs back inside those devices to figure out where they came from. but he also said that the iranians even while the saudis have got these devices in their hands are trying to scrub the data remotely from these gpss. he didn't get into detail on that. what will you do if these were launched just from iran? he said that's not for him to decide. that's for the politicians. but this was the big show and tell. this was the moment this afternoon. >> it's pretty stunning what they laid out there just in terms of the equipment there. thank you. robin wright is joining us. she is a distinguished fellow at the u.s. institute of peace and
a contributing writer for the new yorker. the saudis said this wasn't just an attack on saudi arabia. it's an attack on the international community and the world economy. is saudi arabia correct in that distinction? >> absolutely. anything that provides so much of the world's global oil consumption is clearly reflecting the kind of scope of this attack. it's unprecedented in the 40 years of the iranian revolution. it has always worked through proxies. it's engaged in assaults on perceived enemies, whether it's israel, u.s. forces in iraq, even u.s. forces in afghanistan through allies. its fingerprints are on it but not visible. >> saudi arabia has this history of wanting the u.s. to act in its favor. and it has an interest in that, of course, right? so that is part of the reason why it's so important the
evidence that saudi arabia lays out. how should the u.s. be responding to that and how should they be taking this information considering that saudi arabia has this prevailing interest in this having come from iran, not from yemen? >> there are four different things the united states can do. one is to impose new sanctions. there's not much that's going to have an effect but any little bit does further cripple the iranian economy and its ability to trade its own isoil to the outside world. it can engage in cyber attacks which is apparently what happened in the aftermath of the shooting down of the u.s. drone in june. it can go to the international community at the united nations, which convenes next week, to ask for action. remember, the five other signers to the nuclear deal in 2015, russia, china and the europeans, continue to do business with iran. they still honor the deal. so this puts the squeeze on them. and the fourth thing is, it can
support saudi arabia if it decides to attack, to retaliate against iran itself. >> senator lindsey graham who has called this attack an act of war says the president's lack of response to a downing of a u.s. drone in july was seen as a sign of weakness. trump disagreed and said it was a sign of strength. do you think iran's view of the u.s. response to that drone informed their calculus of this attack on oil infrastructure in saudi arabia? >> maybe somewhat. but i think at the end of the day the iranians are gaming the bigger picture. that is that they feel they're paying a price. they signed the nuclear deal. they haven't received the rewards. they're under sanctions, their oil experts have gone from 3.2 million barrels a day to somewhere around 300,000. it's trying to signal to the united states and to the world if you really cut off our and she, -- economy, there will be
price. i think we've seen that whether it's the attacks on the tankers, the shooting down of the u.s. drones. there's been a pattern here that changes its visibility and how bold it's going to be in showing it will strike not just through its proxies. washington is still reeling from the circus that played out on capitol hill yesterday. former trump campaign manager corey lewandowski's appearance before the house judiciary committee, the first hearing of its impeachment inquiry, was meant to be a moment for democrats to bolster their argument that president trump obstructed justice. instead it really devolved into quite a mess. lewandowski refused to answer some questions. he mocked democrats. he promoted a possible senate run in new hampshire. but he did make one significant admission. he confirmed that president trump asked him to pressure then attorney general jeff sessions to take control of the russia investigation.
lewandowski did not follow that order. >> either you were willing to break the law for politics and mr. trump, or you're some kind of a forest gump relating to corruption. did the president pick you his enforce enforcer, he thought you would play whatever role he wanted? >> that would be a question for the president. >> this has been more obstruction of congress by this administration and you followed their instructions and you're doing just exactly what they thought you'd do. you are a loyal soldier, except you didn't follow trump's str instructions. you chickened out at the last minute, you got cold feet. >> congressman steven cohen was questioning mr. lewandowski. he's with us now. thank you so much for talking with us in the aftermath of this hearing yesterday. i was watching this yesterday with legal experts, long time political watchers and they all wanted to know how the committee didn't see this approach coming,
how the committee wasn't better prepared for this approach by lewandowski who was appearing under subpoena and is quite frankly known for being petul t petulant. >> we knew he was petulant and he'd try to protect the president and run for the senate in new hampshire. that's what he did. i was prepared. i think a lot of our members hit him with really good questions. lu he was asked about not reporting to the fbi the interactions with carter page when they knew about them and how he didn't do that. the congressman from washington, she was fantastic. eric swalwell was good. we have lots of good questions and i think we did a good job at hitting him. he was shown to be a liar. he obstructed congress live and in person and he shows us how trump tried to obstruct justice
through his enforcer and his previous history of working around a corrupt congressman and fraudulent activities toward voting. >> you mentioned barry burke. he was the committee attorney and he was very effective. why did the committee wait so long, the last half hour of a hearing that lasted several hours to bring him out and actually get somewhere in the questioning of lewandowski? >> i'm not sure, but i think that's traditionally the way the question goes, is that the counsel is the cleanup hitter. >> do you wish that he had come out sooner? are you going to rethink that for future hearings? he's the one that got lewandowski to admit that he doesn't feel obligated to tell the truth to the media and he also zeroed in on why he didn't deliver trump's message to sessions, which is something congress was not able to get at. >> he had that on tape and that could have been shared with a member of congress to ask that
question earlier, which maybe it should have been. it wasn't necessary that he go first. what's more necessary is that the news media cover the whole he hearing. we knew that was going to be a sequential hearing. that was so important. that caused bill barr to show up at our hearing and not be given the appropriate title of chicken bar. >> the news media covered this hearing. >> the news media covered the beginning. >> the news media covered quite a bit of this hearing, as you know. this was very long, six hours long. knowing as you do about what you would want to emphasize, and this is the case in anything, don't you put the good stuff up front? so why wouldn't you consider a different approach for a witness who's going to be very definite?
>> i think it's going to be considered. several members have mentioned that. it may or may not happen in the future. barry burke was strong, but i do think the media should have covered it. of course as it turned out, it shows the fact that he thought lying to the media was not consequential and he did it all the time because he said the media lies. >> i am going to take issue with that because the media did cover this and that sound bite which barry burke was able to bring out from lewandowski has been all over television today. let me ask you -- i would actually beg to differ and say it's more effective when it's repeated. >> i don't want to get into it because you're my friend and i like cnn. if that's the case, barry burke doesn't have to be first. being last and getting reported on the news for the last 18
hourswohour hours worked just as effectively. >> democrats looked flat footed from the jump. i do want to ask you, though, this strategy of letting the mueller report be animated by testimony of people involved in all of this like lewandowski, do you think it's backfiring? >> i don't think it backfired at all. i think congressman edid outstanding jobs. there were some beginnings where it stumbled. doug collins and running for trump's recommendation to be senator from georgia got a lot of time and he battled with nadler and that was unfortunate and they got some time there. i think we should have held him on contempt on the spot. as far as the proceedings, i think we were successful. we're showing how they obstructed justice, obstructed
congress in live time and how they lie and lie constantly and lie with the thought if they don't raise their hand to god, which is what lewandowski says he doesn't lie, he's out there fabricating just like his boss donald trump. >> thank you so much. >> you're welcome. a whistle blower in the intel community files a complaint. the independent inspector general deems it credible and urgent but the nation's intel chief refuses to show it to congress. what is he hiding? plus jimmy carter says 80 years is too old to handle the presidency. and with benjamin netanyahu on the brink of losing power in israel, what happens to the relationship with the u.s. if he's gone?
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another day, another refusal from the trump administration to hand over materials to congress. this time it's the acting director of national intelligence, usually an apolitical figure who is refusing to turn over a whistle blower complaint to congress even though that complaint was deemed, quote, credible and urgent by the independent inspector general. this move is raising questions over what the trump administration could be trying to hide. cnn's senior national
correspondent is here to break all of this down for us. what's the reason here that this acting director is giving for not turning over this whistle blower complaint? >> this was a letter that we obtained from the office of the director of national intelligence. it's a politely worded letter from the general counsel to adam schiff. but the message is clear, we're not going to comply with this subpoena because we didn't have enough time, just two business days, but more importantly because we disagree this is of urgent concern. those are the words we're looking at here. according to schiff, the intelligence community inspector general found that this whistle blower complaint was credible and of urgent concern, but the acting dni mcguire says that's not true, it's not of urgent concern because it doesn't involve intelligence activity. instead, the dni says it involves confidential and potentially privileged matters relating to the interests of other stakeholders within the
executive branch. executive branch. two very important words. that means the trump white house and/or his cabinet. who are these stakeholders that the whistle blower is talking about? we don't know. that's the big mystery. as a result, mcguire is saying they need more time for appropriate consultations. this letter fell flat with adam schiff who immediately responded saying, he can provide the complaint or he will be required to come before the committee to tell the public why he is not following the clear letter of the law. schiff had demanded that mcguire's testimony happen on thursday, that's tomorrow. it doesn't look like that's going to happen. mcguire's lawyer is saying at such short notice he won't be available and therefore it wouldn't be a productive exercise. so here we have what's really shaping up to be a dramatic showdown between the nation's top intelligence official and the committee that is assigned to oversee it on a potentially
explosive claim about the trump white house. to israel now where prime minister benjamin netanyahu just announced he has cancelled his upcoming trip to the united nations general assembly in new york and his hold on power is hanging in the balance right now. aaron david miller is here, he is a senior fellow at the carnegie endowment. the votes are still being counted right now in this election yesterday, but netanyahu's likud party is slightly behind the seicentrist party. how surprising is this to you? >> it's very surprising because i think he's looking for trump either with presentation of a peace plan or some action on iran to redeem him and boost the
notion that only he can deal with the president. that's now denied him and he's forced to stay at home and deal with the realities of a very unfortunate and difficult political situation. >> let's look at the possible outcomes. if gantz wins, what does that mean for the peace process, what does that mean for israel's relationship with the u.s.? >> the dilemma is neither gantz nor netanyahu have enough votes to cross the magic 61 threshold. the president of israel is going to pay a very important role. if in fact no one can form a government, there are only two options. we go to a third election in january. israel has no formal constitution, but this would constitute a constitutional crisis. or alternatively, he urges, implores, begs the parties to come together in a national unity government. i think that's the most likely. israel's had six of them in their history. the longest lasted four years, the shortest a year plus. that's probably at this juncture the most likely outcome.
and still mr. netanyahu is still prime minister, since he will not be formally indicted until after his pretrial hearing which might last until december. >> he's facing corruption scandals. >> he is. breach of trust, fraud and bribery, serious business. never count this guy out. he may actually be able to join a national new government even though mr. gantz has said he will not sit with him. >> why is that? >> well, because -- >> never say never. >> well, he heads one of the two largest blocs, 31 seats. mr. gantz has 32. if they're going to do a national government, probably join with mr. lieberman and we'll be off to the races. i think it's clear this is mr. netanyahu's worst nightmare. he failed to gain a knesset majority and his party did not pull the most seats. is this the beginning of the end
for mr. netanyahu? that's a very good question. >> you can't rule it out. >> i hate to say it's over. he's quite talented and very willful and willing to do and say just about anything to maintain power. >> thank you so much for your insight. two fast moving stories. the first word of a document circling the hill outlining new gun control proposals. puberty means personal space. so sports clothes sit around doing a little growing of their own. ohhh. ahhgh. so imagine how we cheered when we found tide pods sport. finally something more powerful than the funk. bye. i love you too! he didn't say that. tide sport removes even week-old sweat odor. if it's got to be clean, it's got to be tide.
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a former american airlines mechanic charged with sabotaging a jet liner at miami international airport may have ties to a terror group possibly. that is the latest coming out of a new court appearance. we have cnn aviation renee marsh here with more. >> we're just gathering all the information coming out of federal court, but what we know so far is that prosecutors allege that this american airlines mechanic isn't as we reported earlier this month, is
accused of sabotaging a commercial airliner. he had some isis propaganda on his cell phone. again, that is the allegation from the prosecutors in court. we're're talking about he was i federal court today. the u.s. attorney says he had downloaded this isis video on his cell phone and sent it to other individuals. also coming out of court, according to the u.s. attorney of the defendant, again this former american airlines mechanic had traveled to iraq this year and he sent some $700 to someone in iraq around july of this year. so new details we didn't know anything about these allegations that we're hearing from the u.s. attorney. but important to point out he has not been charged with any terror related charges. >> explain to our viewers his
reasoning for why he -- i mean, he actually inserted something into part of the plane that would have restricted air speed readings as well as other key information that went to the airplane. and the airplane almost took off before it realized this. what was his explanation for why he did that? >> when we first reported this, he had tampered with this navigation system. he said he didn't want to hurt anyone, but he was upset about contract dispute happening between the workers' union and american airlines and he was hoping that by tampering with that navigational system on the commercial airliner, he would get some overtime, having to essentially fix that issue that he created on his own, he being the mechanic. he'd be able to rack up some extra cash by having to fix it. on its face, he initially told authorities that he meant no
harm, but now in court we're hearing more details about his background and certain allegations about his connection to isis. so a hlot more to learn here. also just in, attorney general william barr is on capitol hill today talking to lawmakers about possible measures on guns, including possible changes on background check laws. our lauren fox is on capitol hill. there's a document circulating with some of the proposals. what can you tell us? >> reporter: this is a document that's been circulated to some offices on capitol hill that looks at exactly what the justice department has suggested when it comes to expanding background checks on commercial sales. one thing that's very clear from this document is, you know, republicans are looking at the idea of expanding background checks. that's significant. that's something that lindsey graham told me yesterday he was open to. that's also significant given the fact that any gun legislation would have to go through his committee. but it's very important to warn
the president has not signed off on this legislation. that is according to one of my colleagues who covers the white house for us. in fact, the president has not signed off on this proposal that's circulating. it's just a draft. it's just an idea. the document says at the very top "idea." so republicans are entertaining the idea of expanding background checks, but still unclear where the president stands. we know that's very important to republicans on capitol hill. >> he is key. we know that the senate won't send him anything unless he's going to sign it. is 80 too old to be president? yes, says one of the men who was president. plus i'll be speaking with a key progressive group that just endorsed elizabeth warren instead of bernie sanders. the candidate they endorsed in 2016.
♪ yes ♪ hey sean hey dan ♪ woman 1: i had no symptoms of hepatitis c. man 1: mine... we've had a tremendous track record with respect to hostages. robert can tell you about it, but we've brought a lot of people back home and we haven't spent any money. that's good. you can't do the money thing. if you do the money thing, it will double and triple and quadruple. robert's been fantastic. we know each other well. maybe robert, say a few words,
please. >> thank you. it's a privilege to serve with the president. we look forward to another year and a half of peace through strength. we've had tremendous foreign policy successes under president trump's leadership. i expect those to continue. we've got a number of challenges but there's a great team in place with secretary pompeo and secretary esper and mnuchin and others. i look forward to working with the president to keep the country safe and get our military into a posture that will keep the american people safe from the many challenges around the world today. >> what advice do you have for the president about the situation in saudi arabia and any possible military strike on iran? >> yeah. so we're looking at those issues now and getting briefed up. i think secretary pompeo is in saudi arabia now or is just coming home. any advice i give the president will be something i give him confidentially but we're monitoring that situation closely. >> any update on your thinking?
>> yeah. nothing to report yet. we'll probably be speaking to you tomorrow, maybe the next day. nothing to report, but it hasn't changed very much. i think my thinking pretty much remains the same. we haven't learned much that we didn't know. but there is a certain guarantee factor. we're really at a possibiliint where we know very much what happened. yes? [ inaudible question ] >> we'll see what happens. we'll see. you'll watch. >> mr. president, is president rouhani coming to new york next week? >> i really don't know. that's up to him. it's not up to me. it's up to him. we'll see what happens. [ inaudible question ] >> we're going to see what happens. i would let them come. if it was up to me, i would let them come. i've always felt the united nations is very important. i think it's got tremendous
potential. i don't think it's ever lived up to the potential it has, but i would certainly not want to keep people out if they want to come. so that's up to them. [ inaudible question ] >> i actually think it's a sign of strength. we have the strongest military in the world now. i think it's a great sign of strength. it's very easy to attack, but if you ask lindsey, ask him how did going into the middle east work out and how did going into iraq work out. so we have a disagreement on that. there's plenty of time to do some dastardly things. it's very easy to start. we'll see what happens. we'll see what happens. i think we have a lot of good capital. if we have to do something, we'll do it without hesitation. [ inaudible question ]
>> he just came out with a statement. he spoke to me a little while ago and we'll have an announcement. >> what did mr. o'brien bring to the table you were looking for that maybe you didn't get through mr. bolton? >> it's very interesting. mr. o'brien is highly respected many people that i didn't know really knew him. he did a tremendous job on hostage negotiation, really tremendous, like unparalleled. we've had tremendous success in that regard, brought home many people. through hostage negotiation, i got to know him very well myself. but also a lot of people that i respect rated him as the absolute number one choice. so i think we have a very good chemistry together and i think we're going to have a great relationship. he is a very talented man. >> did you raise more sanctions
on iran today? >> i did. we'll be adding some very significant sanctions onto iran. >> what will they include, sir? >> we'll be announcing it over the next 48 hours. >> will there be a further announcement on iran? are you looking at a military strike? >> we'll see what happens. >> what are the options that you're considering? you just said there were some very bad things. >> there are many options. there are many options. there's the ultimate option and there are options a lot less than that. we'll see. we're in a very powerful position. right now we're in a very, very powerful position. >> when you say ultimate option -- >> i'm saying the ultimate option go in, war. no, i'm not talking about that ultimate option, no. [ inaudible question ] >> i think it's a very important role. it's really a role that if the president respects the person that's the advisor, i think it really plays a very, very important role.
okay? thank you. peter, thank you. we're going to the border later. are you all with me? we're going to show you a lot of wall. we're building a lot of wall. we won the big case and a couple of other cases, as you know. we're building a lot of wall. so we'll be talking to you later on. >> have you spoken to netanyahu? >> i have not. those results are coming in and it's very close. do you have any updates? any updates? you people usually should know before the president, right? [ inaudible question ] >> no, i'm not. no, i'm not. everybody knew it was going to be very close. we'll see what happens. look, our relationship is with israel. we'll see what happens. thank you. thank you, everybody. >> so the president there on the tarmac in los angeles being in california for a fund-raising breakfast and now heading to san diego and the border. let's bring in gloria borger to
talk about president trump. all of this is happening in the aftermath of this strike on saudi oil structure. the president had been very h k hawkish at first. he dialled back any possible military response. he seemed to stick with that. he's saying the ultimate option, which he spelled out, go, in war, as he called it. not there yet. >> he did say we're in a powerful position. he effectively announced significant sanctions will be announced against iran. you saw his secretary of state earlier today calling what occurred an act of war and pinpointing the cause to iran. so i think the president laid it out there and said that this is what they're going to announce. he seemed to say, you know, this is step one. the president's favorite phrase is "we'll see what happens." we'll have to see what happens. >> military strike, we'll see what happens. >> right. he disagrees with his good
friend lindsey graham on that as he was talking about. he said, look, it's very easy to get into one of these situations. it's a little harder to get out. this is a president time and me to the final step and then pulls back because he doesn't want to get entangled. so he reiterated that the u.s. could effectively do whatever it wanted if it wanted to, but significant sanctions to iran seems to be the first step. >> he's standing there next to robert o'brien, who is his new and fourth national security advisor. and sort of how he fits into all of this is still to be determined, right? the president got rid of john bolton, who was quite aggressive. >> hawkish. >> presumably robert o'brien will not be, but we can't really tell at this point how he figures in. >> it has always been a mystery and i think you and i have
talked about this about why the president hired bolton in the first place because bolton was such a hawk and the president is not an interventionist in any way, shape or form. so he could have googled his name and figured that one out, but that didn't occur and that wasn't long for this world. it seems to me that the most important person aside from the president right now in foreign policy, because he does call the shots, is mike pompeo. pompeo is kind of an enigma in how to deal with donald trump. the question is whether or not he agrees with donald trump all the time. we can't quite figure that one out. but i think that pompeo is clearly the one who's going to be running foreign policy for the president and that the national security advisor would be number two in that role within that group. >> gloria, thank you so much. >> sure. we have some more on our breaking news. a disturbing development involving the american airlines mechanic accused of sabotaging a
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elizabeth warren picked up a powerful endorsement. support of the working families party. the progressive labor organization making the call to back the massachusetts senator over the other major progressives in the party, senator bernie sanders. that decision setting them apart from the majority of progressive groups and unions who have show reluctance choosing at this point. the national director of the wfp is joining me now. maurice, thank you for coming on to discuss this and tell us why elizabeth warren? >> thanks for having me, and number one, we couldn't be more excited by the fact that there are a number of, and really, two leading candidates that are advancing a bold, progressive structural change agenda and have a lot of respect for bernie and his supporters and couldn't be more excited to be supporting elizabeth warren, and elizabeth warren has a unique way of being
able to articulate both the harm and the crisis that everyday people are experiencing all over this country as well as big, bold changes that will actually make a difference and i think it was evidenced monday where there were over 20,000 people in new york feeling and connecting to that, both the policy prescription, rigorous and in-depth and also her ability as almost a teacher in chief to be able to articulate in ways common folks understand it. >> she's polling well. we have biden at 31 in the latest nbc news/"wall street journal" poll. elizabeth warren at 25, sanders, 14. how much does that factor in whether you think she can perform well and beat president trump? >> look, you know, the field is very dynamic. there is a number of polls indicating all types of things. what will ultimately matter is how we organize. which is one of the reasons why we endorsed at the time we did,
which absolutely as you said distinguishes us from many of our partners, because we understand that time is an element that is a resource when you lose it you never get it back. a week on the sidelines is a week folks on the far right, white nationalists that have chosen their candidate could organize or the folks in the corporate wing could organize in choosing their candidate. >> you want to influence them. you did back bernie sanders over clinton in the last election. one sanders backer i spoke with recently who wants bernie sanders to win yet still thinks elizabeth warren has an edge on him. i mean, clearly that's what you think, and that's where you are trying to indicate your support is. why? why do you think that she resonates more? >> i could tell you positively, right? we have a lot of supporters and engaged in a process where folks
in our base and our committed activists who are bernie supporters and warren supporters, you know, really struggle together to get on this position. positively, talk about our candidate elizabeth warren not in relation to another candidate. we think both the combination of her structural change agenda with the way she's choosing to run this campaign. you know, standing at, you know, for four hours in order to make sure every person that wants a selfie, that kind of, you know, retail organizing, which she's literally talking to thousands of people because she's not, you know, engaging in some of the, you know, million dollar fund-raisers many candidates fly around the country to do. we think that type of grass roots campaigning with her style and connection and her story and her ability to both translate big, bold vision into actual results, like the cfpb, for example, still in place even
under the trump administration. that combination is unique. we think she's uniquely positioned to become the nominee and ultimate defeat trump. >> maurice mitchell, thank you. appreciate you coming on. >> pleasure. new twist in the extraordinary fight between president trump and california involving homelessness and the environment. plus, is the u.s. economy heading to ing for recession? in moments a major announcement expected from the federal reserve. ♪
veterans as well as current service members are targeted by overseas trolls on social media. the revelation coming from a study by an advocate group vietnam veterans of america. chris goldsmith joins us from that group. chris, you're chief investigators among other titles with this group. what is happening here? >> hi, brianna. thanks for having me. vietnam veterans noticed two years ago there was an impostor facebook account made to look like ours. at first we thought a member in europe trying to do a good thing. after months of studying it we recognized an entity somewhere in bulgaria spreading falsified news. so what they do is copy and paste a real story about something like veterans' benefits possibly getting cut, change the date and make it look fresh and get people upset. >> why are they doing this?
>> so they're targeting all veterans because veterans are more likely to participate in democracy, vote, run for office, more likely to get others to vote and influence the votes of our friends and family. now if they can take the veterans community and divide us along left are and right and racial and ethnic lines, then america as a whole is weaker, because we have major influencers in every community around the country who end up getting in fights. >> is the government -- are social media companies responding? >> so social media companies have actually been really good about closing accounts we've flagged for them, but part of the problem and the reason i haven't been doing it over a year now is they're not sharing any information back with us. so if we report a suspicious account they won't tell us where that account or the person behind it fits in to the puzzle. now, what we really want, our
primary message, the firing squad that these outside trolls are causing americans to engage in to face out. we need to remember, yes, facebook needs to clean up their act and get it together, but if there were a defense contractor like raytheon and foreign trolls or foreign entities were using raytheons technologies against americans we'd be mad at the people who attacked us, yes, and hold someone like raytheon an organization company like raytheon accountable as we're doing with facebook, but our primary certain is the foreign entities who are attacking america. >> can i ask you quickly. very little time. what should veterans be on the lookout for to know if they're being targeted? >> so veterans should visit vva.org/trollreport. read my entire 200-page report and see exactly what this stuff looks like. >> or the executive summary?
right? at the beginning? at least receipt the beginning for a sense what you're looking for. so important, kris goldsmith, thank you. that's it for me. "newsroom" starts right now. >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. hello. i'm erica hill in for brooke baldwin. at any moment the federal reserve is expected to announce a move president trump supports despite the fact it might warn as a huge's negative. signs of a coming recession. fed expected to cut the benchmark interest rate by a quarter percentage point. if that happens, just the second time the fed reduced the rate since 2008. that last cut coming less than two months ago, just 49 days. this latest reduction would come as well after months of the fed chair jerome powell cut down himself by the president. the president ripped powell as you know multiple times on twitter for not lowering rates