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tv   Inside Politics  CNN  February 25, 2020 9:00am-10:00am PST

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they recently called reports of the mass detention of muslims fake news. ivan watson, cnn. >> ivan, thank you for staying on top of this. thank you so much for joining me today. "inside politics" with john king starts right now. thank you, kate, and welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king. thank you for sharing your day with us. president trump brushes off both the public health and the economic threat posed by the coronavirus, and he gets angry at democrats who say the president is asleep at the wheel and has no plan for ending the pandemic. plus debate night for the 2020 democrats and the stakes are enormous. it is the final showdown before south carolina votes saturday and then 14 states next tuesday. frontrunner bernie sanders will be the target, but others also have a ton riding on their performance. and the other billionaire's big moment.
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michael bloomberg is not on the ballot until next week, but tom steyer has spent heavily in south carolina and on the polls there. at least one voter questions the wisdom of some of that spending. >> you claim to be pro-environment and raising significant alarms about climate change. yet we have been receiving so many mailings from your campaign, literally three to five times per week for months now. how do you justify this unnecessary overkill of mailings and printed material in a digital world that would certainly be much more environmentally friendly? >> voters ask the darndest things. we begin there with the democrats' big debate night and big is an understatement. bernie sanders in the middle to raise the curtain on an incredibly consequential week in the 2020 campaign. south carolina votes on saturday, and then one state at a time in february gives way to the politics version of march
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madness. 13 states plus american samoa one week from today, super tuesday. after south carolina on saturday, 155 democratic delegates would have been advocated, just 4%. but more than a third of the democrats' delegate pool settled in just one primary night. february is about momentum. march is about math. and tonight's debate is the last national stage before the biggest day of the primary season. senator sanders will be in the middle and he will be the primary target as his rivals try to stop him from pulling away. one is the price tag of all his plans and debate prep clearly everett at a town hall last night. >> i thought that question might come up. this is a list which will be on our website tonight of how we pay for every program that we have developed. i also believe we should cancel all student debt in america.
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now, you're smiling and you're saying, well, that's a great idea. how does he pay for it, right? did he read your mind on that one? okay. and the answer is -- i'll tell you exactly how we pay for it. we pay for it through a rather modest tax on wall street speculation. that is how we pay for that, all right? >> cnn's abby phillip and jeff zeleny are in charleston for the debate tonight. abby, let me start with you. what are you looking for? >> reporter: well, we have for the first time now all the candidates on the stage, and last week bloomberg was in the line of fire. we know that sanders is going to be in the line of fire, too. the question is, what is going to be the balance of attacks between these two men? bloomberg is still a threat to all these candidates going into super tuesday, and last week's debate saw pete buttigieg doing these double-barrelled attacks. will he do that again and will others join him? the second thing i'm looking for is how much scrutiny does bernie sanders' foreign policy
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philosophy come under? this is something we have not talked a whole lot about, and it's gotten more attention as his comments about fidel castro have come up in the last couple of days, but there is more to this. and how deep will we go and how will bernie sanders explain that to the public? then finally, elizabeth warren. this is a big debate for her. last week she had a standout moment attacking michael bloomberg, but now the question that i have for her campaign is how does she expand that? how does she show strength and dexterity on that debate stage outside of attacking michael bloomberg? i think that will be important to her as she makes her case that it's not just attacking bloomberg as the reason she should continue to be in this race, there's got to be something more there that will push her into the first or second tier as we go into super tuesday states so she can get delegates, which is what this is all about. >> abby, there's no question. bernie sanders has been the frontrunner before, but never like this at this moment. i think the scrutiny on bernie sanders is going to be something his team is preparing for.
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but the scrutiny at the town hall here is just the beginning of how he will pay for his plans. look for amy klobuchar and others to really puncture that and do a reality check. so far that's not worked. this is not a new argument for bernie sanders. he's been making the argument for a long time. see how he strands up to the scrutiny. the second thing, take 2 for bloomberg and warren. no doubt elizabeth warren wants to use michael bloomberg approximate asas a foil to get her to the next step. she's looking to not necessarily make an argument to south carolina voters, she's looking for donors. she wants the debate here tonight to launch her into super tuesday for the next week to put more money on television in all those states. but finally, perhaps the most important thing of all, joe biden. he is trying to resonate to african-american voters through some 60% of the electorate here in south carolina. the question is can he hold those who he has and convince
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some younger black voters to support him? because that is what i'm hearing as i'm traveling across south carolina and other things. there's definitely an age breakdown here. some people don't remember the obama legacy in the administration and they didn't vote for him. so joe biden needs to make a commanding case here. if there is going to be a stop bernie movement, which is a lot of skepticism for that, joe biden has to lead it. that depends how he does tonight. john? >> jeff zeleny, abby phillip, i appreciate it from the debate site of charleston. lisa lerer with the "new york times," the "washington post" and toluse olirunnipa. it's almost a pivotal contest, anyway, then 72 hours later we get what i call the blur.
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14 states, american samoa. the candidates, if they blow the debate tonight, don't have much time to recover. >> in a lot of super tuesday states, given they're already voting and have been for a while, given this race has been so mottled and fluid already, is there really a possibility for anyone to break out and move to the front of the pack given that the trend we've seen so far has been everybody but bernie sort of treading water and not even able to break 20% in most cases, and it's bernie sanders who continues to consolidate more and more and more support to the point that, you know, in the last contest in nevada, he got nearly half the support, which really makes it more difficult for his rivals to make the argument that he's somehow divisive or doesn't have a majority of the party, that he's somehow a factional candidate. this guy is getting more than half the vote.
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hard to make that argument. >> if he gets half the vote, game over. sanders is better organized than them across the breadth of these 14 states. only bloomberg can spend more money than steyer or bernie sanders can. it's an enormous test for him. when he has resisted the answer, he'll say, we'll pay for it, we'll pay for it, or he says, i don't know to some answers. he comes in last night with a piece of paper. a lot of people say it doesn't add up, but the fact that he adapted and said, okay, this is going to come up in the debate, here. it shows you he understands he's in the lead and he's trying to protect it. >> i think he definitely understands he's in the lead and he also definitely knows the knives will be out for him. we've seen debate after debate where each candidate who has ticked up in the polls has had to barrel, and that time has come for bernie sanders. if the candidates are going to stop bernie sanders and prevent him from becoming the nominee, this is the week when that needs to happen.
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after that it just becomes a question of whether he can get a majority of pledge delegates, or it remains more divided and you go to a convention, there's a second ballot and everything gets really crazy. if someone else is going to have the opportunity to overtake him and to get 50% of those pledged delegates whenever that moment may come, that groundwork, we need to see that movement happening now. and super tuesday will be the big tell on whether anyone else is able to do that. >> the others have struggled with how to get it in the sense that sanders is familiar, his supporters are very loyal, he's shown that he's expanding his coalition and actually growing. maybe his ceiling is a little higher than people thought it was. you have joe biden saying, the democrats will get crushed. the democratic socialist at the top of the ticket will ruin the party. sanders, he sticks by his views which is one of his appeals. is it also potentially a liability? in a 60-minute interview with anderson cooper, he said, you know what? castro is bad. it's been bad in cuba. communism is bad.
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but he said he has a great literacy program, one he started. and pete buttigieg says, do you really want that guy atop the ticket? >> in our one shot to defeat donald trump, we should think carefully about the consequences of nominating senator sanders. i don't want -- as a democrat, i don't want to be explaining why our nominee is encouraging people to look on the bright side of the castro regime when we're going into the election of our lives. >> have they found the magic issue here, or is that sort of distraction into silly season? >> this is so reminiscent of 2016, donald trump speaking positively about vladimir putin, talking negatively about some top republican issues, talking about planned parenthood in a positive way. these were seen as third rail issues that would have sunk his campaign. all the other republican candidates, there were a lot of them as well saying, we don't want this guy to be the leader of our party and he's going to get crushed in november.
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they were never able to coalesce around a single message. it faded into the background, and then-candidate president trump continued to make leads in the field and soak up all the oxygen. bernie sanders is continuing to do that. he's not apologizing, he's not backing down from his controversial opinions, but the fact that the field is so large and the moderates are splitting up the vote means he can continue to coalesce a large portion of the voting population and continue to be at the top of the field, and unless some of these other moderates drop out, they can continue to attack him on various issues, but they won't be able to break through unless they can get other people out of the same lane of the field. >> and there's also michael bloomberg who had a pretty horrible first debate. i think that's fair to say. as he goes on the stage again and tries to show more energy, lo and behold, a little tape of michael bloomberg talking in 2016 about elizabeth warren and banks. let's listen.
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>> part my first campaign platf would be to defend the banks. you know how well that's going to sell in this country. but seriously, somebody's gotta stand up and do what we need. a healthy banking system that's going to take risks because that's what creates the jobs for everybody. and nobody's willing to say that. the trouble is, these campaigns in this day and age, really are about slogans and not about issues anymore. he says, my first campaign platform would be to defend the banks. he goes on in that conversation to call elizabeth warren scary. i guess that's coming at him tonight. >> yeah, this is something we saw warren capitalizing on last night, and we fully expect her to do that again, double down in the debate. most of these other candidates will be attacking sanders, and i think warren has made it pretty clear she's putting her money on bloomberg. she was asked about sanders and whether he's a concern as a nominee over the weekend, and she wouldn't answer that
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question. she went and pivoted to bloomberg. she had a standout moment last week on bloomberg, so i think this will help her break away from the pack. but i think bloomberg will be better prepared about questions about the nda, taxes and things like that. >> will bloomberg have better answers? will he have better energy and will he be able to speak as a democrat to the issues? the early voting didn't transform as much to early voting in the caucuses because so many people had already voted. the question is, if you keep coming in third or worse, can you say you're making progress. she has clearly decided she believes this will help. she was on tv in super tuesday states with this. >> mike bloomberg, mike bloomberg. >> you've probably seen more ads on mike bloomberg than the rest of us running for president put together. big money is powerful, but it doesn't always win. i know that firsthand.
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>> it's an interesting sort of pool shot, if you will. can it work, will it work? it has to work fast, right? >> listen to what she's saying, because she's making an electability argument. this is the same thing she did in the debate. she's not just saying his positions are wrong and out of sync with what democrats believer. she's saying he would be a risky nominee because of these positions. she said big money doesn't always win and in the debate we would take a risk with someone with these views. she, like literally everyone else in this field, know that's what democrats are fixated on. >> we get into saturday and 14 on tuesday, one week from today. 14. a reality check. is the coronavirus well under control as the president says? ♪
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president trump very much downplaying the threat of the coronavirus today, just as administration officials were up on capitol hill to brief lawmakers on their assessment and their response plans.
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at a press conference in new delhi, the president said the virus, quote, is going to go away, and he predicted minimal impact here in the united states. >> the coronavirus, which is, you know, very well under control in our country. we have very few people with it. the people are getting better, they're all getting better. and i think that whole situation will start working out. a lot of talent, a lot of brain power is being put behind it. $2.5 billion we're putting in. there's a very good chance you're not going to die. now they have studied it, they know very much. in fact, we're very close to a vaccine. >> the latest numbers in the united states, 53 americans have confirmed cases of the coronavirus. that's a small portion of the more than 80,000 confirmed cases, 2700 deaths so far around the world. our chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta joins us now. sanjay, you just heard the president downplay this, almost
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submissive. do others share this, or are they more worried? >> i think most are more worried than that. at the end of the president's commentary, he says we're very close to a vaccine. we're more than a year out to a vaccine. i want to make sure we're clear on that. he may have been talking about a different vaccine, i don't know. but the numbers you show, john, are correct. we're about two months into this, and the vast majority of people who have been diagnosed with the coronavirus in this country were repatriated, many of them from that cruise ship, for example. there have been 12 travel related and only two person-to-person submissions. that's good news. but when you talk to public officials, you talk to folks at the cdc, and i want to put up language that we just got from the cdc from a news conference they just gave regarding this, they're basically saying, look, the data over the last week and the spread in other countries has raised our level of concern
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and raised our expectation that we are going to have community spread here. two points, john. one is that this is a very contagious virus. it seems to be able to spread even when someone does not have symptoms. that obviously is of concern. but the countermanding point to that, and this is an important one, it seems that a vast majority of people, eight out of ten people, they either have no symptoms or minimal symptoms. so it's concerning in terms of spread, just how problematic in terms of sickness and death. we still don't know yet, john. i think the number will be smaller in the united states versus other countries around the world, but we have to make sure we're ready in this country. i think that's what we're hearing public health officials say over and over again. >> i want you to stay with me on that very point again, ready. people look at leaders they trust and influences in the community to try to get clues. what should the average american do? you heard the president there.
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he said it's going to go away. it's getting warmer soon, and when the spring comes, it's going to magically go away. i want you to hear rush limbaugh's tape on the coronavirus. >> it looks like the coronavirus is being weaponized as yet another element to bring down donald trump. now, i want to tell you the truth about the coronavirus. the coronavirus is the common cold, folks. >> dr. gupta, is the coronavirus the common cold? >> this is a brand new virus. it's a novel virus. we don't know exactly how this virus is going to behave, and i think that would unfortunately be minimizing it. i think what rush limbaugh is sort of referring to is the idea that it is from a family of coronaviruses, that is the family name of these viruses, and some of them in the past have caused symptoms that were more consistent with the common cold. but it's also been the same family of viruses that caused sars, that caused mers, the
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middle east respiratory syndrome. the middle east is not doing us any favors, because you've seen what it takes to isolate and deal with the 50-some patients in this country right now that has the coronavirus. see the amount of resources that goes into that. are we capable, as a public health system, to deal with thousands of patients if the numbers get that high? >> something to look for, and responsible conversations would help the most. dr. gupta, i appreciate your comments and helping us today. > the markets were down a thousand points yesterday because of the fear of the economic impact as well as the public health challenge. you see it down 384 points today. one of the reasons the president doesn't want to be an alarmist about this is because he's in an election year. the economy is his greatest strength and he doesn't want turmoil in the markets. however, it's also his responsibility to talk clearly and plainly and factually about something that has people
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nervous. >> that is the political issue here, right, beyond the medical issue, which is obviously the most important. politically the president just has so little credibility. i don't think anybody here is talking about what goes on with this and says, oh, he must have read a briefing book and gotten a really detailed download from his officials about what's going on. no, he's talking from the top of his head as he always does. is it true or not? everybody hopes that russia is right and this isn't more serious than the common cold, and even if lots of people get it, it isn't as deadly. but i think there is the potential for a situation where there is mass confusion because nobody knows what to believe because this president has such a track record of not necessarily being truthful that you could have a panic, you could have all kinds of consequences of that. >> that's exactly right. the key in these kinds of situations is clear information. the public needs to know what they're supposed to do. are they supposed to stay
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inside, wear masks, what? not only are they not getting that from the president, they're not getting that from the federal government, right? there is a real question about the government's response. not only are they requesting money to deal with this from congress, but who is going to give the information, where is it coming from, what's that look like? you just don't see that kind of leadership coming out of the white house. >> there were briefings on capitol hill today, they were classified, and everybody came out and said they didn't need to be and they shouldn't have been. but it is important to give lawmakers some information. i think the public deserves for information as well. the information is asking for $2.5 billion. many don't think that will be enough. but what came out of the briefings, you had relative bipartisan agreement. >> i think the president is to be given appreciation because that was the right thing to do. >> i think that is a wise allocation of funds and it may not be enough. >> don't think this is 2.5 million, period, end of story. we can easily put more dollars
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in. >> the approach right now seems to be take two aspirin and call us in the morning. >> a year and a half would be the quickest a vaccine has ever been developed for something like this. >> it's 2.5 billion. if it's not enough, we'll appropriate more. >> it does seem, again, senator blumenthal a harsh critic. he's the outlyer in that conversation. everybody was like, okay, it was good to get some information. we have a plan, we may need to add to it, but i took from that a rare washington moment where there seemed to be some actual conversation. >> yes, but that's kind of where the bipartisanship is. we saw nancy pelosi secukewer t administration's request last night. she said it's not nearly enough. she said you would need 3 billion alone to deal with it. pelosi said the house is going to prepare its own package. also they do not want the administration to be able to move money around from other pods because of the border wall
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and how they've done that. so will the senate agree to what the house proposes and will they be able to get the money to the administration to address what's coming next? >> you're telling me my little brief will be minimal. i'm take what i can get. senators worry about trump when asked a simple question about american elections. brake! hit the brake! uh, which one's the brake? (crash, bottles smashing) stop! stop! sto-o-op! (brakes squealing) what's happening? what? there's a half of cheesesteak back there. with geico, the savings keep on going. just like this sequel. 15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance. raccoon: i got the cheesesteak!
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president trump today skipping yet another opportunity to warn strongly against foreign election interference. before leaving india today, reporters pushed the president on whether or not he believes recent intelligence reports about russia meddling in 2020. he was also asked to give a stern message to the russian president. president trump did not give a clear answer to either of those questions. instead he decided to return to recent reports about the democratic frontrunner, bernie sanders. >> i would like to see bernie is probably winning, and it looks like he's winning, and he got ahead of steam, and they maybe don't want him for obvious reasons. they don't want him so they put out a thing that russia is backing him. this is what they do. i've gone through it for a long time. terrible thing to say, and they didn't say it about me. i don't want help from any country, and i've not been given help from any country. >> cnn's phil mattingly is live for us on capitol hill. phil, the president giving a
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nondirect answer there. this has been a big issue in recent days, and we know the understanding of the intelligence has evolved in recent days from the big briefing on capitol hill that caused a big stir. where do we stand right now? >> reporter: it's kind of the natural fallout of trying to report on a classified briefing to some degree. each day that goes on, we get a better sense of what actually happened inside the room. it kind of led to where we are today. these intelligence briefings, classified briefing from the house intelligence committee, was designed for health officials and 2020 russian threats, not just from russia but from several other adversaries and maligned actors, as was described to me and some of my colleagues. as this briefing went forward, one of the issues that was raised by laumpwmakers in the briefing is how has russia evolved since 2016? shelby pearson, a top intelligence official, laid out that russia simply has a preference to trump and bernie
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sanders to some degree, because what they saw in 2016 led the russians to believe, in her view, that they wanted him to be elected in 2020 as well. there was a lot of intelligence behind that assessment, where that assessment was actually coming from, and whether or not it was actually true given the stand that trump has taken on russia and support from ukraine as well. the bottom line is this. the intelligence community is essentially saying they've got a little out in front of their skis on the assessment piece of this. there is one thing everybody agrees on. russia is definitely attempting to interfere again. who they prefer and whether they're actually meddling in someone's election appears to be an open question right now, john. >> phil mattingly on the hill, i appreciate that. i want to go back to what the president said. he said, i don't want help from any country and i've not been given any help from any country. the last part is not true if you look at his own intelligence
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community's assessment about 2016. there may be a debate about 2020. the president was asked, do you have a message for vladimir putin? he showed he would like to talk about bernie sanders instead. if you're looking to the future, maybe you should check with the secretary of state. >> meddling in our elections is unacceptable. the trump administration will always work to protect the integrity of our elections, period, full stop. should russia or any foreign actor take steps to undermine our democratic processes, we will take action in response. >> we're three years in, and now in the reelection campaign, and we have never heard a statement like that from the president of the united states. why would that be so hard? >> it all goes back to this idea of the president feeling like there is a witch hunt against him, that he spent three years going through the mueller investigation, the ukraine investigation and impeachment. he doesn't want to give any legitimacy to the idea that russia interfered in the 2016 election, even though everyone in his administration is saying that everyone who has been briefed on this on capitol hill
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has made it very clear that that's what happened. he's still under this sort of illusion that russia didn't prefer him in 2016, and he does not want to give any credence to that fact, even if it means not taking the opportunity to say very clearly that we as a country do not want other countries meddling in our election. he used that as an opportunity to go after bernie sanders, saying he had never actually been briefed on this intelligence that was briefed to the house, which is another question. why isn't the president being briefed on threats to our elections? he made it clear he wanted to talk about politics and not national security. >> they say they don't like to bring up the subject with him because he gets prickly and angry about it. this is one of the reasons joe mcguire is no longer the acting director of intelligence. the president got mad about it, disputed that he was getting helped again, said he didn't believe that was true. instead mr. mcguire is out and jim acosta today tried to get
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the president to confirm he's out because the president got mad. >> as far as mcguire is concerned, he's a terrific guy, but on march 11, his time ended, anyway. his time came up, so we would have had to -- by statute, we would have had to change him, anyway. >> was he forced out because he wasn't sufficiently loyal to you? >> not at all. not at all. he was pushed out because frankly -- he wasn't pushed out. he would have had to get out. on march 11, he would have had to leave. but we'll make a decision on a dni very shortly. >> again, a lot of people on capitol hill like mr. mcguire. they found him to be very credible, they found him to be not very political, but he's now gone. the ambassador to germany is in temporarily to that job. a lot of people are questioning, puck put up his experience, he doesn't have any day-to-day intelligence experience from the military or from his public service. he is seen as a trump loyalist. he's a former fox news contributor. i don't want to prejudge mr. grenell.
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some people are. let him try to do the job. the question is, he doesn't have the experience, so on capitol hill they're pushing the president to act quickly on this, to put someone they know and trust in there. today he said he was considering john ratcliffe, someone the president considered before, but he withdrew his name because of some controversies, and now he's back on the list. they don't want another acting. they want this done quickly. >> absolutely. there are so many acting officials in this administration already. it's obvious a lot of republicans are very uncomfortable with mr. grenell. richard burr has not said anything about him, mitt romney who worked for him in 2012 has not said anything, susan collins has come out against him. but in the past we've seen most sitting republicans won't openly disagree with the president. we'll see who he does nominate. they also don't like mr. ratcliffe. they don't think he's experienced enough for the job,
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and this whole election interference has become so capitalized on capitol hill that they're arguing about the dining room chairs while the house is on fire. they're not getting anything done to address it, and it most likely will be a huge issue in this election again, and they're bickering about who is to blame here. >> i think that's the crucial point. what i find so concerning about this whole thing is that the american voter actually has no idea what this russia disinformation -- the russia disinformation effort is clouded in disinformation. i understand it's coming from the administration, it's coming from capitol hill, it's coming from democrats running for president. yes, the briefings are classified, but can't they put in a law that says they have to alert the public when there are issues around the election so people can know what's going on? so you have this situation where the house is, indeed, on fire. the since is that russia never stopped doing what they started doing in 2016, and you have a government in two parties that seem more focused on leveraging it, on weaponizing, you know,
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the existence of disinformation, you know, against each other. >> wouldn't it be nice if somebody in the government, who is a trusted source, every few weeks would put out a post. show us the meddling, show us the hacking. wouldn't that be nice? next, the president unloads on two -- two -- supreme court justices. no matter where you are, xfinity mobile gives you
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plus, get $300 off when you buy a new samsung galaxy s20 ultra. xfinity mobile. click, call or visit a store today. topping our political radar today, a pair of hearings beginning next hour on whether there should be a new trial for trump ally roger stone. stone is accusing one of the jurors who found him guilty of
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being biased, a claim that has been echoed by the president. yesterday stone lost an attempt to remove judge dr. amy berman jackson from his case. she accused her of bias after she praised the integrity of the jurors last week. two senate bills are coming to the floor today. one would ban abortion after pregnancy. the other bans abortions, period. probably neither will make it to the floor. >> today every senator will be able to make a clear moral stand. if there is a solid and principle case where america should remain on the fringe with the subject, let us hear it. let us have the debate. few americans agree with that radical position, but let's have
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the debate. >> president trump lashing out on twitter last night at two liberal supreme court justices, the president tweeting that sonia sotomayor and ruth ginsburg are biased against him. he said they should recuse themselves from any cases involving his administration. the attack comes after sotomayor accused some in bias and in favor of the president. the president doubling down. >> i always thought frankly justice ginsburg should do it because she went wild during the campaign when i was running. i don't know who she was for, perhaps she was for hillary clinton. and then justice sotomayor said what she said yesterday. you know very well what she said yesterday, it was a big story. and i just don't know how they can not recuse themselves for anything having to do with trump or trump related. >> when we come back, billionaire michael bloomberg gets the most attention in the democratic race, but tom steyer is actually having an impact in
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there will be two billionaires at tonight's debate in south carolina. tom steyer has a spot on the stage after missing the cut last week in nevada. he could be an impact player in south carolina of t. take a look. he's spent more than $22 million there with a focus on black
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supporters. joe biden spent $874,000, bernie sanders, $851,000. a poll just out goes after both of them. >> joe biden is a good man, but he's admitted nothing will change when he's elected. and bernie's socialist plans won't beat trump. that's why south carolinans are choosing tom steyer. >> it's interesting that since bloomberg has gotten in, and tom steyer was a forgotten billionaire. in this state he has to make an impact if his vote is anywhere near his poll numbers, in the mid-teens, that's going to matter. >> the question is will his vote be seen in the polls, because in a lot of contests, steyer has
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und undercut his polling when it comes to the caucus. so that's one question, are those poll numbers real when people actually leave their houses to vote? and does this further scramble the race? all the candidates are making that pitch saying, i'm the goldilocks candidate, let's get over this squabbling, but you can't hear the voters deciding. i think tom steyer was asleep until south carolina, and it's nice to see him with all that support, and he's trying to articulate before bloomberg comes along as well. >> and you made a point that on election day, he cannot underperform. he gets 24% of the african-american vote in the cbs
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poll. steyer and sanders competing for it there. and then traditionally sanders runs away with voters 28 to 29. is he getting some of the younger african-american voters going bernie's way? that's what we'll see on saturday. >> there is kind of a double barrel where he's attacking sanders and biden and trying to take some of the vote from each of those candidates. he's been able to put forward a platform that appeals to african-american voters in south carolina. he's talking about reparations, talking about racial injustice and really trying to focus on trying to boost his support in the african-american community because that's going to be 60% of the vote, and biden, bernie and now steyer are also competing on trying to make sure they have a large, sizeable chunk of that vote, and i think these ads will make an impact in terms of the final outcome for steyer on saturday. >> i don't think there's anybody out there who thinks tom steyer
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as a shot at being the democratic nominee. sorry, just don't see the evidence for that right now. but the issue is this state is his chance after bloomberg is all over the place starting next week, and he's spending well more than steyer. >> that's exactly right, and he has to stay on the debate stage. getting some delegates will help him do that. i think it's also notable that he was really the only candidate going after bernie sanders in paid advertising. so, clearly, his campaign sees an opportunity to pull over some of those voters from senator sanders, to be a third option for voters who maybe are worried about biden, worried about sanders, but we'll see if it happens. >> all part of a very, very big week ahead today to super tuesday. we'll see you back here this time tomorrow. brianna keilar starts right after a quick break. have a good afternoon. favori-i-♪
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i'm brianna keilar live from washington's cnn headquarters. a debate tonight ahead of a critical week and candidates are turning up the heat on bernie sanders. just because her conservative colleagues say they're putting their thumb on the scale to benefit the trump


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