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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  January 10, 2020 7:00pm-8:00pm PST

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news continues i want to turn it over to don lemon and "cnn tonight." this is "cnn tonight" i'm don lemon. thank you so much for joining us. we'll catch you up on all of it. up to speed. including on what it looks like the end of the impeachment stand off tweens nancy pelosi and mitch mcconnell. she's preparing to send the articles of impeachment to the senate next week. which means the trial could possibly begin then. though the house and the senate both need to take some procedural steps first. that as republican sources say they want the president acquitted. not just tried.
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acquitted. by the time he delivers the state of the union address on february 4. so, let's get this straight. not only have they decided on the out come of the trial, they want him acquitted. which hasn't even begun. they decided when they want it to end. whatever happened to a fair trial? and we're learning more tonight about what happened the night the u.s. military killed top iran general qassim soleimani. the u.s. missed a second tarlgt that night. another senior iran military officer not in iraq. but in yemen. sources wouldn't give details about the mission. "washington post" saying it was a finance and the cuds force. was of the second strike about a
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imminent threat too? i don't know. there's still chaos and confusion over why the president ordered the strike that killed soleimani. and the middle of that chaos and confusion, in president wants you to believe him. take him at his word. even though his word keeps changing. this is what he told fox news this morning. >> don't the american people have a right to know what specifically was targeted without revealing methods and sources? >> i don't think so. we will tell you that probably it was going to be the embassy in baghdad. >> large scale attacks planned for other embassies and if those were planned, why can't we reveal that to the american people? wouldn't that help the case? >> i can reveal i believe it would have been four embassy. >> probably was going ton and i would believe it would have been. four embassies. four embassies. he offers absolutely no evidence
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to back that up. "washington post" reporting that a senior administration official and a defense official said they had only heard vague intelligence about a plot against the embassy in baghdad. neither said there were threats against multiple embassies. just last night in ohio he was vague too. about exactly how many embassies he was talks about. >> he was looking very seriously at our embassies and not just the embassy in baghdad. but we stopped him and stopped him quickly. and we stopped him cold. >> yesterday morning was of the first time the president even mentioned a threat to the u.s. embassy. one embassy. >> we caught a total monster. we took him out. and that should have happened a long time ago.
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we did it because they were looking to blow up our embassy. >> so, in less than 24 hours, president goes from saying one embassy was targeted to saying it was four. information that apparently never came up in the iran briefings to congress in the skiff this week. you think they would have mentioned a threat to the u.s. embassy or four embassies if it was the rational for the deadly strike. >> no one at the briefing said what president trump said publicly the other day. they were going to bomb the embassy in baghdad. and i want to be very clear, it's not only the case they didn't present evidence to show there was an imminent threat, the reality is that the facts they presented indicated that there was not an imminent
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threat. >> the president whose blown his credibility with 15,000 false or misleading claims by the "washington post" count wants you to believe him now. even his own administration can't get the story straight. listen to mike pompeo. dance around the question with jake tapper. on sunday. >> when you say the attacks were immeant. days or weeks? >> if you're an american in the region, days and weeks. this is not something that's relevant. >> it really is. the secretary isn't clear on the meaning of the word imminent or he's just dancing around it. listen to what he told fox last night. >> there is no doubt that there were serious of imminent attacks that were being plotted by qassim soleimani. we don't know precisely when and where. it was real. >> we don't know when and where.
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that's not what imminent means. the dictionary definition is likely to occur at any moment. any moment now. that's what it is. not we don't know pr sisly when or where. that's not what it means. produce the opposition of we don't know when. listen to what pompeo says when cnn asks him about that. >> what is your definition of imminent? >> this was going to happen. >> that was good. i'll ask her about that. she's coming up. it was going to happen.
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not what it means either. none of this is quibbling over words. it's not. this is not the time to do that. a time like this it is crucial to get it right. they shouldn't be quibbling over this. this is life and death. war and peace. it's more important than ever to be able to trust what this administration and this president say. should be able to. it's credibility. that brings us to the long headed fact free tweet from the white house deputy press secretary. understandable if you forgot the administration has a deputy press secretary. and a press secretary. since it's been more than 300 days since any press secretary came to the podium in the briefing room to take questions from reporters. more than 300 days. i digress. this is what he tweeted.
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soleimani was planning imminent attacks while democrats in the media quibble over the definition. when obama killed without congressional approval there were tho imminent attacks and democrats didn't ask or care. well -- trump said it was imminent attack. people are holding him to his word. he said there was imminent. so all people are asking is what was why was it imminent? what were show us the evidence. did president obama say it was imminent? never said it was. you did this. now you're blaming the media. where to begin with this thing. facts first here. how about the fact that o bam
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did not kill ga dafy. he died at the hands of libya. congress authorized war against al qaeda in 2001 and bin laden were leaders of al qaeda. and plenty of democrats that objected to the killing. but, boy, this is the press arm operation in the white house. catch this moment from the president's rally last night. doing something he hardly ever does. >> the radical democrats have never been more extreme than they are now. they are stone cold crazy. it's interesting as i'm saying this stuff, they want crime and
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chaos. then i say now i sort of understand why they hate me. it's true. >> "washington post" points out that's a rare moment of self-awareness for the president. president who like i said squandered credibility. just when he needs it most. and i want you it think about this, think about how much this president this administration, this president in particular loves to take credit for everything and tout everything they do. the economy is great. we're helping here and doing this for this industry. if they had prevented an imminent attack or attacks, wouldn't they be showing it off to everybody? for everyone to see. the good work. what they prevented.
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just a question. i'm just asking. just me sitting here just wondering. this administration can't seem to get the story straight on the strike that kild the top iranian general. how can you believe them when their story keeps changing? we'll discuss with one of the people who asked the question in the press briefing. caitlyn collins. susan and max are here as well. that's next.
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>> large scale attacks planned for other embassies and if those were planned, why can't we reveal that to the american people? wouldn't that help your case. >> i can reveal that i believe it would have been four embassies. >> i believe it would have been. i don't think so. he doesn't think the american people have the right to know. without revealing sources -- did anything catch that. let's discuss now. you caught that, right? the american people don't have the right. even if you are not revealing sources sp methods. that should be disturbing to all americans. president trump went after -- good evening. he went after soleimani because he was going to attack four embassies. no evidence of that, not even a mention in the lawmakers intel briefing. why should anybody believe this president? >> there's no reason to believe him at all.
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you can say he is a straight shooter. by which he means he shoots himself straight in the foot. this is repeating what happened with the al-baghdadi take down. that was a great victory. and he marred it by lying about what he said in the last minutes claiming he was crying and whimpering. there was zero evidence. the story shifts from a victory taking town the leader of isis. to the fact the president was lying about what happened when a take down occurred. same thing here. this is a big victory that donald trump can justifiably crow about. yet he's lying. it's a week after soleimani was taken down and we're talking about the fact that he e limb natd the leader of the cuds force. it's obvious that they're lying by claiming there was an imminent threat. for which they have no actual evidence. >> what if he said he was involved in a terrible incident that killed one of our own recently there were attacks on
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the horizon. he was a bad guy. it was he just happened to be in the place we could get him. and it was an opportunity. >> right. they should have just levelled and justification killing him anyway. the fact he's responsible for the death of 600 americans and the fact he was part of a terrorist organization. the fact we had the 2002 authorization for the use of military force. there were legal reasons for killing him. yet, they came up with this nonsensical imminent attack with no evidence. >> he said imminent attack. now the whole he has the whole apparatus trying to make -- >> it was totally unnecessary. no reason tooed that. >> or wag the dog. we came up with it because the president was being impeached and wanted to make him look strong.
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>> they insist the attack is imminent. but pomp pantaleo said we don't when and where. what did he say? >> it only fuelled more questions about how imminent this attack could be if they didn't know when it was going to occur. today we asked what is his definition of the word imminent? he was the first person to use the word in the administration to describe the attack. and you have seen some pentagon officials step back from it. not wanting to perepeat it. he says he believes this was going to happen. but that doesn't mean it will happen soon. that's the big question for lawmakers and the reason they want to know that is not just because they're curious about the intelligence. it plays into the legality of the carrying out a strike. why the president didn't go to congress first and didn't brief anyone. and in his words he said he was
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it was so imminent he didn't have time to call people like the house speaker. i don't think the answer to us in the briefing room really did a lot to tamp down the criticism. >> let's listen to some of what happened today. >> what is your definition of imminent? >> this was going to happen. >> sorry. i know it's not funny. but you caught him off guard. >> yeah. that pause lasted almost a lifetime it seemed like. i think it's telling about what exactly the thought is behind imminent. was it a strategic use. people at the pentagon do not think so. they don't agree. the secretary said that's really the big question. he says american lives were at risk and they made the right decision. i don't think people are disagreeing about the idea this
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person is iranian commander had ability. just when were the threats actually going to happen. >> that could be true. just don't lie to the american people. don't lie to the press. about a imminent threat. he was a bad guy. american lives maybe saved. don't make up some excuse about imminent. the president said imminent and you're trying to make the president what he said right. just say maybe the president misspoke. i don't know. standby. i have another question. congressman gaetz actually voted with democrats on the war powers resolution. staunch trump defender we see it all the time. i'm sure the president is not happy about that. what's he saying? >> two other republicans crossed party lines to vote for that. we had sources telling us that the president was fuming over this vote. just the idea the democrats brought this resolution to the floor had really incensed him and to see the republicans cross party lines because democrats
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can tout this and say it's not just a pr message. now they can say it was a bipartisan agreement. we had the three republicans on our side. the president has been angry about it. the question over how angry he stays about it is a question of how long it stays in the news cycle. a lot hof times that depends on the president's feelings and the coverage it's getting. >> let's talk about impeachment. house speaker is ready to send the articles to the senate. mcconnell hasn't committed to calling witnesses. did he win the stand off? >> we can't say who won or lost. nancy pelosi did make strategic gains by holding back the articles. not only the revelation of additional e-mails. that sort of point to the president's direct involvement and suggests there are lots of potentially significant records that might exist.
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most significantly porm former national security adviser said he is willing to testify if subpoenaed by the senate. that is really significant. it was a little bit of a risk for nancy pelosi to hold back the articles. this obviously did produce the additional information. this additional possibility of boeltden potentially testifying. the risk on the other hand it might alien ate the moderate republicans. on the senate side. who she's going to need to join with democrats in order to vote to ensure procedural fairness. the calling of witnesses. and we have seen some senators like collins saying i'm very troubled by what the president did. but look at the democrats they're playing games. this really is a delicate political dance. the under lying questions are incredibly important for the country. really the ability of the united states congress and for the american people to understand
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what exactly happened. >> to the point of susan collins, so let's -- let's say for the sake of argument that the democrats are playing games. okay, if she's concerned and the president did something wrong, why is she saying -- even bringing that up? why does it matter if the democrats are playing games. if the president did something wrong. high crimes and misdemeanors and impeachable. shouldn't that be her concern? it is politics people always play politics. >> this is clearly a moment which we have to wonder whether or not members of congress are willing to place principle over party. whether or not they're willing to fall in line with mitch mcconnell essentially. having a fixed trial. and a trial that doesn't actually produce additional information for the american people about what the president
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of the united states did. that was something obviously a pivotal moment of the history of the country. look back to nixon. mebs of his own party coming forward to say this is not right and we have an institutional stand. that really was the pivotal moment. everybody has to sort of look to those few republicans who might be in a position to at least guarantee witnesses be called. that said they haven't given much reason over the past three years to believe they are going to do the right thing this time. >> you said it. they want it to be acquitted by the state of the union. they predetermined already the out come and the timing. so duck collins. we talked about him. he apologized for the unfounded claim that democrats are in love with terrorist. he didn't say it.
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maybe he said it publicly. i haven't seen it. he tweeted it. we never see that these days. >> great question. i'm not sure why. he was defending that remark on fox news a couple hours before that tweet. whatever the reason, i'm happy to see that. this is such a vile accusation. that's now routine among republicans. i hope had sets the pace. republican of florida said that democrats are -- nikki haley saying they are mourning the death of qassim soleimani. trump himself said a number of times that democrats are rooting for the iranians. there's a so much vile slander going on. by republicans trying to paint democrats at traitors and advocates of terrorism. this is so horrible. i'm glad he recanted and i open others recant as well. this is garbage we don't need.
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especially about momentous issues of war and peace. >> great conversation. thank you. i appreciate it. the president who has spent three years trying to discredit his intelligence community now says congress should just trust intel they haven't seen. former director of national intelligence weighs in next. apps are used everywhere... except work. why is that? is it because people love filling out forms? maybe they like checking with their supervisor to see how much vacation time they have. or sending corporate their expense reports. i'll let you in on a little secret. they don't. by empowering employees to manage their own tasks, paycom frees you to focus on the business of business.
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president trump and top officials in his administration giving conflicts explanations for what they felt justified killing iranian top commander in a drone strike. changing with each passing day. let's discuss now the former director of national intelligence is here. always a pleasure to have him on. let's talk about the president now claiming soleimani was targeting four u.s. embassies before he was killed. that's more than he said just yesterday. and from everything that we know, they certainly didn't brief senators with evidence of that. what do you think of this? >> this is consistent pattern with this administration and
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it's often internally contradictory. public utter ranss about any number of matters. it seems to me if the if there were four embassies under threat, that this would have come out immediately and would have been a major topic of the briefings that were provided to boat of the house and all house and senate briefings. apparently the best i can tell they weren't. i have been trying to conjure up which four embassies might that be? and we don't have an embassy in demas kus. with anybody in it in yemen. obviously the embassy in baghdad. it is under threat. it was. and probably still is. to me, they just as max indicated previously, this
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administration very accurate shot shooting themselves in foot. once again they have cone done this. the imminence business is the story. rather than a successful take down of the real bad guy. a couple bad guys. >> let me read this tweet. from senator chris murphy. placed a request for the briefing on new intelligence surrounding the imminent attacks on u.s. embassies that the president referred to today but didn't come up in the full senate briefing wednesday. you were dni. what's the intelligence community thinking when the president is making these very serious claims? >> well, i hadn't seen that until you just showed it. reenforced how glad i am i'm not dni. i would not want to be on the receiving end of that letter and have to respond to to. based on something the president asserted which i think is very
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questionable credibility. and speaking of that i have to comment on the irony of the intelligence community's word is just supposed to be accepted. based on administration policy makers assurances. after three years of the intelligence community being discredited. and so when it's intelligence i like, then the american public is to believe it. if it's intelligence i don't like, like north korea is not going to de-escalatinuclearizat russian meddling. the intelligence community is to be ignored. i have said all along at some point this president is going to need the intelligence community and need the law enforcement community notably the fbi. and that is seems to be the case now. >> yeah. the secretary -- it's interesting. he has been discrediting the
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agencies is now all of a sudden they're credible again because he wants them to be. secretary pompeo answered questions from rarely used white house briefing room. we'll talk about it. >> we had specific information on imminent threat. and threats including attacks on u.s. embassies. period, full stop. >> you were mistaken when you didn't know precisely when and where? >> completely true. consistent thoughts. >> consistent thoughts? >> well, not to me. all due respect to the secretary, that just violates what's commonly understand english. it means urgency. it's going to happen right now. and also implies degree of specificity. which didn't exist. soleimani by the way he was a
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planner and architect. he was not somebody that went out and planned roadside ied or launched rockets against people. he's a planner. and so i'm not sure i see the connection between the rational. i'm not questioning taking him out. the explanation for it and shaky. >> when the president says four %-pd information? >> not necessarily. just with that statement. and you know, there's a way to to be more forthcoming about that and protect sources and methods. if in fact that is true. i suspect what's happened here is as usual, intelligence is always going to be a little ambiguous. you'll never have perfect
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information. you'll get intelligence that can be read a couple ways. and then it gets to be a question of analytic judgment about the real meaning and import. and i don't know, i suspect there's some of that that is going on. the administration would have been a lot better served i think just to be forthright. and not get hung up on the imminence. and consulted with the congress at least the gang of eight. had they done so and been straight would have muted a lot of criticism. and now of course as i said before the story is the argument about the imminence and how forthcoming and credible the administration is rather than the story itself. and more importantly the bigger picture the implications. what's going to happen now? we don't seem to be dwelling on that too much. >> thank you so much. appreciate it. >> my pleasure. >> president trump loves to criticize former president
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obama. as we always say there's a tweet for everything. the archive of hypocrisy. next. motor? nope. not motor? it's pronounced "motaur." for those who were born to ride, there's progressive. for those who were born to ride, with td ameritrade tools, and help from pros. it's almost like you're training me to become an even smarter, stronger investor. exactly. ♪(rocky theme music) fifty-six straight, come on! that's it, left trade right trade. come on another trade, i want to see it! more! ♪
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attempt to hide his hypocrisy. especially when it comes to his disdain for the predecessor. former president obama. and all we have to do is look at his twitter feed. i want to talk about this with cnn political commentator. we have a lot of examples. we have to go fast. we can't get all of them we'd be here all night. exactly eight years ago. president trump tweeted three chief of staffs in less than three years of being president. part of the reason why he can't manage to pass his agenda. meanwhile trump is on his third chief of staff. as he deals with this iran
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crisis. no director of national intelligence. and no homeland security secretary. >> everything he says it seems to be a projection of his values about himself. that he puts on something else. somebody else. thst a litany of hypocrisy. examples with this guy. i don't want to spoil your examples. i wrote them down. just the top ones. >> we'll go through some of them. you can bring up more. he tweeted in the past now about how president obama would start a war with iran in order to get elect ld and save face. who took action during an election year? >> exactly. the point. here it is again. he says something. obama will do this and yet he does exactly the same thing. it's as if his entire president spi animated by this opposition to obama. he spent eight years lying about
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obama and everything from the birth certificate to foreign policy and gets in office and does the same thing he complained about. obama spent time playing golf. he goes out and plays golf all the time. >> he's been obsessed since -- do you think -- i don't know what it is. does he have a crush or something? he is obsessed. obama is living his best life. a hot boy summer. his best life for like years now. this man is obsessed with him. he lives rent free in his head. >> he does. and hillary clinton. he spent a lot of time attacking her. for some of the things he does. private e-mails. people in his family in the white house using private e-mail. and lock her up. guess what, we find out they have no evidence to lock her up. >> his justice department. the government spent $96 million
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on travel for obama. president trump travel costs for one month in early 2017 was estimated at 13.6 million. one month. if spending continued at this pace he would have exceed exceeded the total expense in one year. >> mnuchin doesn't want to release the information. he doesn't want people to know how much he's spent. taxpayers dollars. the billionaire. allegedly. he can afford to travel all he wants. he's spending our dollars. >> put up the mnuchin thing. treasury secretary put this up. won't disclose how much it cost for the secret service until after the 2020 election. why is he waiting so long? they were transparent. the most transparent president. >> you really think he's the most transparent in history? he was going to release tax returns and hasn't. he was going to divest the business or something to
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separate himself. he hasn't done that. he continues to lie about everything. you mention earlier 15,000 lies. that the "washington post" documented since he's taken office. clapper imagined hypocrisy about you can't trust the intelligence community for three years and suddenly there's a crisis wants us to trust the intelligence community he changes his tune. he has no consistency. it's horrible enough to deal with it. imagine the effect on our allies. trying to figure out what will happen one day to the next. we have miscalculations that lead to war. >> during the 2016 campaign he promised to quote rarely leave the white house. he has spent 257 days at a trump golf club. 333 days, 31% of the presidency at his properties. so what happened to rarely leaving the promise? >> i don't know why he bothered to say that. nobody would care.
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nobody cares if the president if you leave the white house. i don't care he plays golf. >> speaking of golf. let's play this. he always bashed obama for golf. >> obama was reported today played 250 rounds of golf. >> everything is executive order. he doesn't have enough time he's playing so much golf. >> obama get off the golf course and get down there. >> i'll be working for you. i won't have time to play golf. >> he played more than tiger woods. >> he played more than people on the pga tour. >> i love golf. but i don't have time. >> if i was in the white house. i wouldn't be playing much golf. >> i figured it out. when he looks in the mirror he sees obama. >> he's the rodney danger field of politics. he lies every time. and i don't care if he plays
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golf and goes to mar-a-lago. i care about the inconsistency and hypocrisy. why spend your whole time for eight years complaining about obama doing something and you do exactly the same thing he shouldn't be doing and supporters sit there and pretend it's not happening. >> you don't care about $13.6 million for a month? for traveling? that's for -- >> that's not everyone talk about his adult kids traveling the world building new buildings. and not telling us what's going on. behind closed doors. >> it's friday night. thank you. democratic field narrowing. but with fewer candidates in the race it seems to be more competitive than ever. who is tied for the lead in hey and a brand new poll. that's next. on a flexible wealth plan.
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iowa caucuses are just weeks away and we've got a tight four-way race. in fact we've go on no clear leader, according to a new cnn/"des moines register" poll. top candidates are bernie sanders, elizabeth warren, pete buttigieg, and former vice president joe biden. let's discuss now. cnn's senior political -- you're a senior now? >> whatever, man. if you listen to me without seeing my face, you'll think i'm an old jewish man. >> political analyst and writer, harry enten, good to see you, sir. >> shalom.
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you're joking around, you're going to crack me up. >> it's a four-way race at the top. >> i mean, what a mess. i study this stuff for a living, i go back over time, and the idea that you have four candidates all at 15% or higher, between 15% and 20%, you don't ever see anything like that. we've seen that consistently throughout this race, at least over the past few months that have -- that is at least in iowa. even with this amount of time to go, we have no idea who is actually going to emerge as the winner. >> it's not surprising, people continue to drop, marianne williamson dropped out, that's sign it's more competitive. >> i think what it's a sign of is if you're not in the top four, you have a real problem. you have a real problem growing support, you have a real problem getting money. people are starting to coalesce around those top four and that's probably where the nominee is going to be. amy klobuchar supposedly had
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momentum in iowa but she's only at 6% in that poll. >> what about bloomberg, a lot of folks say my money is on bloomberg. >> what i would say is mike bloomberg is making a play on super tuesday. it's not making a play in iowa, nevada, south carolina. >> sanders is up 5 points his november, but buttigieg dropping 9 points over the same period. what's driving these shifts? sanders up, buttigieg down. >> we were talking about this before we got on air, and i said, when all of a sudden you start rising, they start going after you. buttigieg came out of nowhere, rose to 25%, was the clear leader in our last poll, then they start going after him and knocking him and what happened, you saw the surge and now you see the decline. with sanders, the exact opposite. after his heart attack, people stopped paying attention to him. he got his message out there
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pretty much unprohibited and he was able to rise. let's see what happens now that he's at 20% and let's see if other candidates go after him and let's see if he can hold on to his support. >> what matters most to iowa caucusgoers, electability is down eight points while a candidate sharing the same views as the voter is up. that same amount of electability dropping among voters. >> i think that means if you're a self-described democratic social ivi socialist, that's good for you. bernie sanders' supporters say they want someone who agrees with them on the issues. that's a good sign for him. >> that's in iowa but not around the country. >> that is not necessarily around the country. in our national poll we also saw the lowest number for electability than any of the polls we've done around the campaign. >> harry enten. thank you, sir. >> shalom.
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afterwards we'll go light some candles. >> afterwards. thank you, sir. it's the last debate before the first vote, only on cnn. the top democrats head to iowa for a live cnn presidential debate in partnership with "the des moines register," tuesday night 9:00 eastern only on cnn. we'll be right back. or more on car insurance. everybody knows that. well, did you know pinocchio was a bad motivational speaker? i look around this room and i see nothing but untapped potential. you have potential. you have-oh boy. geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance.
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