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tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  January 21, 2016 2:00pm-4:01pm PST

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are saying this is not true, we're innocent. >> i guess we expected that. nic robertson, thanks so much. that's it for "the lead." i'm jake tapper turning you over to one mr. wolf blitzer in a place next door to me called "the situation room." thanks for watching. happening now, breaking news. two-man race, stunning results as our new poll shows donald trump opening up a big lead over ted cruz in iowa. the other republicans are way behind. can cruz find a way to keep trump from cruising to a victory? slamming sanders, bernie sanders jumps ahead on the democratic side in our brand new poll as hillary clinton steps up her attacks on the iowa -- does she have time to turn things around? my interview with hillary clinton ahead. breathtaking storm, monster in size and power. washington and other major cities could be slammed with two feet of snow and winds up to 60 miles an hour. hundreds of flights have already
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been canceled. we have new information on how bad this storm will be and where it's headed. and putin's poison plan. investigators conclude that russia's president likely gave the go ahead to the radiation murder of a russian defector poisoned in the middle of london. the shock waves are now spreading. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." this is cnn breaking news. >> the breaking news, our new poll shows donald trump and bernie sanders with big leads just a week and a half before the first contest of the 2016 race in iowa. among republicans trump leads ted cruz by 11 points in iowa, sanders leads hillary clinton by eight points on the democratic side. with all the candidates in attack mode, could those leads hold up? moments away my interview with hillary clinton who says she's feeling good about iowa.
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it may be a storm for the record books and history books. 75 million people are in the path of a monster winter storm. the nation's capital can expect a blizzard with up to two feet of snow and gale force winds. hundreds of flights have been canceled across the united states. the washington mayor already apologizing after less than an inch of snow led to a six-hour rush hour. she's going to tell us about preparations for the real thing. and i'll speak with democratic candidate hillary clinton and our correspondents, analysts and guests, they will have full coverage of all the day's top stories. let's get right to the breaking news right now. our stunning new poll showing iowa turning into a two-man race between donald trump and ted cruz. trump has 37% among likely republican caucus goers, cruz has 26%. marco rubio's a distant third and the rest of the candidates are in single digits. let's bring in our chief political correspondent dana bash and our cnn political
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director david challian, because we're watching all of this very, very closely. dana, what is the latest numbers as far as iowa is concerned? >> well, you just mentioned really the numbers that matter the most, and that is donald trump at 37%, ted cruz at 26%. and 11-point lead. and that is among likely caucus goers. so people who say that they expect to get out there and what we know will be a very cold night and go to a caucus, sit there maybe for a couple of hours even those who might not have done that in the last four years or four years before that. so that's why this is really critical. the other thing i will mention is you see donald trump and ted cruz and then there's everybody else. it is a very large field, but right now it is just between two people in iowa. >> what else can we learn from these brand new numbers, david? >> it is all about the universe of people that show up on caucus
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night. the next 11 days for these campaigns is completely focused on finding the pockets of voters and getting them to the caucus sites on that cold monday night on february 1st. if you look, wolf, we asked were you a 2012 republican caucus goer? if you say you were a caucus goer in 2012, the race looks different. that's a two-point race between cruz and trump. cruz at 30%, trump at 28%, rubio at 16% and ben carson at 9%. now, when we identify people as the likely caucus goers, committed to going, that's when you get this larger universe and much bigger trump lead. so you have to look when we see on caucus night that these caucus sites are swelling and we're seeing more people turning out than a traditional caucus, like the 2012 republican caucus, that's going to be a good sign for donald trump. >> weather could be a factor on that caucus night as well. dana, look at the democratic side as well. brand new poll shows bernie sanders on top in iowa with 51%, hillary clinton 43%.
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how much trouble is hillary clinton in right now? >> i think she's in a lot of trouble. based on these numbers. but it's not just that. i think what is most stunning about these numbers is how different they are from just last month. check this out. as you said now sanders is at 51%. in december, just a month ago, 36%. it was kind of the inverse of what it is now. now hillary clinton's at 43. just last month she was at 54%. that is the definition of a surge when it comes to bernie sanders. >> but on the democratic side like the republican side turnout means a lot. >> yes. just -- we asked the same thing. the last time there was a competitive caucus on the democratic side was 2008. and we said did you go to that caucus? the people that said they caucused in 2008, hillary clinton has a 17-point lead above bernie sanders among those people. the sanders surge is being fueled by people that haven't caucused before but are telling us they are definitely going to
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this time, they are extremely enthusiastic about the race and that's what gives them that lead. it is that momentum that hillary clinton has been trying to stop on the stump. >> david and dana, standby. on the campaign trail today hillary clinton is escalating attacks on bernie sanders. our senior washington correspondent jeff zeleny is covering the democrats for us in iowa. what's the latest there? >> reporter: for the last weeks and months hillary clinton has talked a lot about her rival candidate, goes after donald trump, ted cruz, marco rubio and others. but today she had a different rival on her mind, his name was bernie sanders. in iowa today hillary clinton was focused above all on one person. >> senator sanders. senator sanders. senator sanders. >> reporter: after months of looking beyond bernie sanders, clinton urged voters to give his policies a close look and real scrutiny. >> but in theory isn't enough. a president has to deliver in reality. >> reporter: a reversal of
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fortunes for clinton now running behind sanders in iowa and new hampshire. it explains why she suddenly squarely taking him on, telling democrats his ideas are simply too good to be true. >> i'll tell you, i'm not interested in ideas that sound good on paper but will never make it in the real world. >> reporter: but the real politics 11 days before the voting begins increasingly favors sanders. and he is turning optimistic launching a new television ad featuring the old simon and g garfunkel image. in new hampshire today, sanders all but ignored clinton. >> iowa, i think it's going to be a close election there and their caucus night. i think we have an excellent chance to win that. >> reporter: the democratic establishment and the clintons are pulling out all the stops to keep that from happening. she reminded voters they aren't just electing a president. >> we're also choosing a
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commander in chief. >> reporter: she questioned whether sanders had a firm grasp of global affairs. >> senator sanders doesn't talk very much about foreign policy, but when he does it raises concerns because sometimes it can sound like he hasn't really thought it through. >> reporter: she pointed to iran. >> for example, he suggested we invite iranian troops in to syria. that is like asking the arsonist to be the firefighter. >> reporter: and took aim at sanders' health care plan saying it would erode obamacare. >> we can get this done without another divisive debate about our entire health care system and without giving republicans an opening to come in and tear down everything we've achieved. >> reporter: her words were carefully scripted, delivered by teleprompter. >> i can tell you, i've gotten
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back up time and time again because as long as there is work to do help the people i'm helping, i'm not going to quit. >> reporter: and she's also fighting one other assertion, that she is part of the establishment here. that is a big complaint from the sanders supporters that she is the engrained establishment. but, wolf, she pointed out that he has actually been in elected office far longer than her that he is part of the establishment. so interesting counterargument there, wolf. >> jeff zeleny in iowa. jeff, thanks very much. joining us now, democratic presidential candidate, former secretary of state hillary clinton. madame secretary, thanks very much for joining us. >> oh, it's a pleasure, wolf. >> bernie sanders says his campaign is taking on the political establishment saying your endorsements for example from the human rights campaign, from planned parenthood are because you're part of the establishment. are you?
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>> well, i have to say i didn't understand that at all. planned parenthood does so much on the front lines to provide women and men health care, often low income people, people who don't have any alternative. and of course we know that planned parenthood has been under attack constantly from the republicans both in congress and in many states. and the human rights campaign has been in the forefront of making sure that lgbt americans are not discriminated against. they help to lead the battle for marriage equality. i really don't understand what he means by that. these are two of the really great human rights progressive organizations in our country. i've worked with both of them a long time. i've worked to get results for the people that they represent and serve. and i'm proud to have endorsements from both of them. >> but are you the
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establishment? >> i just don't understand what that means. he's been in congress. he's been elected to office a lot longer than i have. i was in the senate for eight wonderful years representing new york. he's been in the congress for 25. and so i'll let your viewers make their own judgment. >> some have compared bernie sanders' coalition he's putting together in iowa right now to then-senator barack obama's coalition in 2008. you lost to then-senator barack obama. he was the so-called candidate of change. is sanders the candidate of change in 2016? >> no. i think i'm the candidate of real change in people's real lives that will make a difference whether it's on health care or college affordability or the economy where i've laid out specific proposals and how i would pay for them. i feel really good about our campaign in iowa. we built a grassroots organization. we have tens of thousands of
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committed people who are not only committed to caucusing for me but are out knocking on doors in subzero weather and making phone calls and doing everything that an enthusiastic, energized campaign needs to do. so we're going to do all we can between now and february 1st to earn as much support as possible. >> in the past 36 hours or so you said bernie sanders' ideas wouldn't make it in the, quote, real world, and that sanders sounds like he hasn't really thought it through. at the same time he's releasing ads filled with very hopeful images, simon and garfunkel sound track for example, do you think in iowa to win you have to go more negative? >> that's just not what is happening, wolf. we're in the final phase of this campaign. certainly senator sandsers has drawn contrast with me as he
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should and i have with him. i have the greatest respect for him and about the kind of country we can be. we just have a disagreement, for example on health care. i think we should not plunge our nation into another contentious debate over health care. we democrats have been trying to get universal health coverage since harry truman. i'm going to get us the rest of the way. and i'm also going to decrease the costs so that people can afford prescription drugs and out of pocket expenses. he wants to start all over again. i think that's a very clear contrast. and i'm appealing to people who know that it's not always easy to make the kind of progress we've made under the affordable care act. i want to build on what president obama has accomplished and take it all the way, which is what i will do. >> as you know, the u.s. and the iranians reached implementation day on the iran nuclear deal which you have supported. bernie sanders says he wants to normalize relations with iran. is that the right approach right
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now? >> well, wolf, look, i have a lot of commitment to ensuring that the iran nuclear agreement is implemented and the iranians are held accountable if they do not. after all i engaged in long patient diplomacy to put together the sanctions on iran that finally brought them to the negotiating table and actually began the preliminary negotiations that the president and secretary kerry continued to completion. but i think it would be a mistake to offer normalized relations. i think that we have to very carefully continue our diplomacy. we have to hold iran accountable. we have to work to make sure that the other area of concern coming from iran, their destabilizing nations, their strong support for assad as he continues murdering his people,
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the support of proxies, terrorism, all of which are unfortunately conducted by the iranian government. we can't rush into normalizing relations. the president doesn't believe that. i don't believe that. and i think that senator sanders is wrong about that. >> so given what you've said, do you think he's qualified to be commander in chief? >> well, i'm going to leave it up to voters. i think obviously i would be the better choice. i think i'm prepared to be both president and commander in chief. and i think we are living in a very complicated world where you have to have both the experience and the judgment. i've spent a lot of hours in the situation room, not yours but the one in the white house, troubling ourselves over difficult choices like whether or not to go after bin laden, how to bring iran to the negotiating table and so many more. so i feel very well prepared to
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walk into the white house on january 20th, 2017, and be ready to deal with whatever waits because we know some of what we have to do, especially here at home, to raise incomes and deal with the challenges our families are facing. but you can't predict everything that your president will face as commander in chief. >> i know your time is short. let me ask you about the intelligence community's inspector general, states that the e-mails on your private server contained what he describes as classified intelligence. one of your campaign spokesman says the inspector general is not, quote, acting in good faith. do you think they are not acting in good faith, the i.g. of the intelligence community? >> well, all i can say is this, wolf. i think it's a continuation of an interagency dispute that has been going on. and that's not uncommon in our government when it comes to releasing information, as i requested that mine be released.
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and it doesn't change the fact that i never sent or received any material marked classified. i do believe that these leaks which are coming out and being in some way misrepresenting and mischaracterizing what is going on, are troubling. but the basic fact no material marked as classified was sent or received by me, has not been changed. >> are they falsifying information? >> i hope not. you know, i really hope not. i don't have any information to that effect. i want this to be resolved and as the state department has said repeatedly i will repeat, i did not send or receive classified material. and this latest example the best i can determine may turn on whether or not someone forwarded a "new york times" article in the public domain. so there are a lot of unanswered
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questions that i would like to see resolved. >> one final question, do you believe the american people are ready to elect a socialist as president of the united states? >> well, let me say this. again, it's up to the voters. i know a number of democrats, people who i highly respect are concerned and are expressing that concern to me, to journalists and others. i'm going to just repeat what i believe, which is i am the best choice to be the next president and commander in chief. that's why i'm working as hard as i can to make my case on behalf of my experience, my judgment, my plans, my vision to the people in iowa, new hampshire and the states beyond. because i think this is a very consequential election which has enormous implications for our country and certainly whatever differences there are between senator sanders and myself they pale in comparison to the
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differences between us and the republicans running for president. >> madame secretary, thanks so much for joining us. >> my pleasure. good to talk to you, wolf. thank you. up next, donald trump tries out a new argument. he's calling himself a unifying even though he's keeping up his attacks on senator ted cruz. and we also have breaking news on the very dangerous winter storm affecting one-third of the country. stay with us. we have new information on the storm's path and its severity. you can't predict the market. but through good times and bad... ...at t. rowe price... ...we've helped our investors stay confident for over 75 years. call us or your advisor. t. rowe price. invest with confidence.
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find clear skin and a clearer path forward. for a different kind of medicine, ask your dermatologist about cosentyx. we're following the breaking news just released cnn/orc poll
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showing senator bernie sanders and donald trump opening up big leads in iowa where the caucuses are only just 11 days away. trump is campaigning in another early contest state, nevada. let's go to our cnn political reporter sara murray in las vegas for us right now. what's the latest there, sara? >> reporter: that's right, wolf. donald trump just wrapped up a big rally here where he unloaded on ted cruz. all part of an intensifying battle between the top two republicans in this race. a flurry of punches flying between the two top republicans in what's become a two-man race in iowa. >> donald seems to be getting very angry. i mean, he's rattled and he's tossing out a lot of insults. >> he's a nasty guy that everybody dislikes. >> ted cruz and donald trump both looking to land a damaging blow. >> if we can do well in iowa, we're going to run the table. >> reporter: now trump and cruz are lobbing every attack they can think of. trump knocking cruz for failing to properly disclose loans to
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fund his senate bid. >> he didn't list that he borrowed a lot of money from goldman sachs and from citibank, that's a big thing. he's always talking about the banks. well, the people didn't know he was borrowing money from goldman sachs and from citibank. >> reporter: a misstep cruz dismissed as a paperwork error. on the campaign trail in las vegas today, trump took another swipe. >> jeb is down the toilet, and ted is starting to go down. he's getting nervous. >> reporter: and, cruz, he's going after one of trump's core strengths with republicans, immigration. saying trump was nowhere to be found when the issue was up for debate in congress. >> i stood shoulder to shoulder with jeff sessions and steve king and millions of americans defending our sovereignty, standing against amnesty, fighting to secure the borders. and missing from the entire battle was donald trump. if he cared about this issue so much, where was he when the fight was on the verge of being
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lost? >> reporter: as republican leaders line up to bash cruz, the texas senator is painting trump as an establishment darling. >> there's a bunch of big money in this race, the washington establishment right now they're abandoning marco rubio. and they're rushing to donald trump. >> reporter: meanwhile, cruz is preparing to hit the trail with glenn beck, a high profile guest that trump says is no match for his endorsement from sarah palin. today, trump tweeting, whacko glenn beck is a sad answer to the sarah palin endorsement that cruz so desperately wanted. glenn is a failing, crying lost soul. and, wolf, we got some surprising comments from donald trump here today. he's saying it's okay to be a little bit establishment, that's how you get things done in washington, wolf. >> sara murray in las vegas for us, thank you. joining us now in "the situation room" our cnn political commentator dan pfeiffer, former senior adviser to president
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obama and our chief political correspondent dana bash still with us as well. dana, these new cnn/orc poll iowa numbers, trump gone from 33% in december, now up to 37%. cruz gone from 20% to 26%, everybody else is much lower. rubio 11% to 14%. is this for all practical purposes in iowa a two-man race? >> absolutely. and it has been for a while these numbers just sort of confirm that for us. the fact as you said that they both have been going up while there's kind of them and everybody else. the fact that donald trump is now embracing this establishment moniker, the one that ted cruz hit him on as an attack line, that is going to be very interesting to see how it plays especially in iowa because i've talked to the cruz campaign today. they insist that even the trump -- even trump who obviously gets the electorate right now or he wouldn't be where he is, he underestimates how much anger there is in washington and the fact that cruz's support is largely built on the fact he doesn't want to
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make deals. that he goes to washington and tries to put the brakes on things. >> so, dan, could that support from so-called establishment republicans wind up hurting trump in a state like iowa among conservative republicans? >> well, it's certainly counterbrand for trump, wolf. i think in some ways little arms length support from the establishment is good for trump. what he wants for the party to decide is it's basically inevitable for trump that he's going to win and sort of go quietly into the good night. what he needs to do is continue with his message, continue hitting the establishment. if he starts appearing on stage with the likes of paul ryan or mitch mcconnell or establishment figures, i think that would hurt him with his base. he wants what i think is arms length establishment support. >> i don't see that happening any time soon. >> it was hypothetical. >> dana, let's take a look at these democratic numbers in our new poll, our cnn/orc poll iowa poll, among democrats bernie sanders in december he was at 36%. he's now up at 51%. hillary clinton gone from 54% in december down to 43% now.
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can that explain why she's now getting tougher in her criticism of the senator? >> 100%. i mean, that's exactly what it is. whether that's going to work, we don't know. but the fact that they have completely flipped in terms of where they are in the polls, in just one month, it should be and clearly is very scary for the clinton campaign. they always said, well, new hampshire, it's practically home turf for bernie sanders who's from neighboring vermont, but iowa is a place because hillary clinton lost and lost big in 2008, she came in third, remember second was john edwards, not her. they've been putting so much effort into iowa to building an organization, to building momentum, the fact that she is going down, not up is, i don't know, panic but it's very upsetting to her, her team. >> dan, you were on that team that successfully beat hillary clinton in iowa in 2008, branding then-senator barack obama as the candidate of change. is bernie sanders now that
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candidate? >> well, i think these are two very different contests within different context. it's important to remember 2008 we had a -- two terms of republican president. it was changed from the bush era but also change from the democratic era that had lost two consecutive presidential elections and a democratic leadership that had gone along with the iraq war and barack obama represented that change. this is not a change election per se. what bernie sanders has done is he's very successfully and consolidated the left wing of the democratic party. and this is a two-person race. and so i don't think this will come down to candidate of change for status quo because the status quo is something democratic voters are happy with right now. president obama is incredibly popular among them. so what this really will come down to is whether bernie sanders can convince democratic voters that he is an electable alternative to either donald trump or ted cruz. skeptical that can happen. >> dan and dana, guys, don't go too far away. we also want to let our viewers
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know about a big event coming up monday night in iowa. it will be seen only on cnn. exactly one week before the iowa caucuses. bernie sanders, hillary clinton and martin o'malley will go face-to-face in a cnn democratic presidential town hall live from des moines. chris cuomo will moderate that town hall. that's monday night 9:00 p.m. eastern live only here on cnn. we have more breaking news coming into "the situation room." standby for new information on the path and severity of an extremely dangerous winter storm. millions of people could lose power. toto the nation's capitalut to support an important cause that can change the way you live for years to come. how can you help? by giving a little more, to yourself.
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it may go down in history, a monster winter storm bringing ice, snow and fierce winds that could cause havoc across a third of the country, 75 million people are in its path. 30 million of them may face an epic blizzard with up to two feet of snow and winds of 50 miles an hour. the nation's capital could get the worst of it, and air travel could be snarled for days to come. let's go live here to our meteorologist tom sater at the cnn extreme weather center. what's the latest forecast, tom? >> the latest forecast, wolf, is much like it has been every day with every computer model run. it is staggering what we have seen as far as the agreement of these computer models. if i may for this weather segment, i want to just focus on the washington, d.c. area. and we'll talk about the others in the next hour. average snowfall d.c., 15.5, all of last year was 18.3. you're going to pick that up in just the first 24 hours. models still want to drop 20 to 30 inches. look at the knickerbocker storm dropping 28 inches was in 1922.
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most people in the area were not around then. and so this will be the most significant snowstorm maybe in their entire lives. there are multifaceted reasons here why there's not only a risk but a significant risk for loss of life and property. if you look at the amount of snow, it's going to come down at such a rate that i don't think road crews are going to be able to keep up with it really. they're going to look at interstate closures as well as all the area airports. now, if you look at the map, and this is a different model keeps the heavier snow out westward, but we want to pull it in more toward the d.c. area. let's take a look at the region. this is not just frostburg, not just front royal and winchester, cull pepper or fredericksburg, it's mechanicsville, aberdeen, salisbury, germantown, the entire area is going to see -- just get cut off, let's say that. beltway's going to get shut down most likely. i-95 portions will be shut down. i-66 as well. with the amount of wind we're going to see for this for those
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that commute or live in areas from annapolis to lower neck towards salisbury or the shore, full moon tomorrow, wolf, which means astronomical high tide at 7:30 in the morning. we could see a storm surge with gusts 65 to 70 on the coast that could rival that of superstorm sandy. with those kind of wind there's going to be damage, but the risk here is more about the heavyweight of the snow. there's going to be downed trees, power lines, millions will lose power. there's going to be snow drifts that could be 6, 7 and 8 feet that could barricade people in their home for a number of days until power is out. there's going to be emergency crews that are going to be out. there will be emergencies and unfortunately we're just going to have to sit this one out. so we'll continue to update the forecast for you as the hours roll on. >> tom sater, very, very wor worrisome especially for those of us on the east coast and most particularly for those of us right now here in washington, d.c. we're going to speak to the mayor of washington, d.c. we'll get more on what's going on. stay with us. we'll take a quick break.
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as much of the country gets ready for a monster winter storm, washington, d.c. could get the brunt of it. this whole area very nervous right now. let's discuss what's going on with the d.c. mayor murie muriel bowser. >> my pleasure, wolf. >> it was horrendous last night an inch of snow, the traffic was horrible. some people took six hours to drive home, should have taken half an hour.
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why wasn't the city ready for that? >> well, wolf, i think we got a clipper that came in right at rush hour that frankly overperformed. and i went out to talk to my residents this morning and to let them know that we should have done better, gotten out a little bit earlier and had more resources. so we saw the whole region, not just washington, d.c., pretty disabled by an evening commute clipper come through the region. >> yeah. i've lived in this region for a long time. you're right, it's not just d.c. it's maryland, virginia, all the suburbs it was horrendous out there. i guess the question is, if we weren't ready for an inch of snow and ice, what about two feet that's projected in the next 24 to 48 hours? >> well, actually, we've been preparing all week for the two feet of snow. it's the clipper that came in in a way that just quite frankly overperformed all of the forecasts. so today we set out and started our snow operations. we've actually moved our snow operation to make it a homeland
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security and emergency management event. so that's how we'll direct it. i've declared a state of emergency in washington, d.c., which allows us to tap federal resources and also allows us to clear our routes. we want people to stay off the roads tomorrow so we can thoroughly pre-treat the roads. so i've closed our schools. and i'm going to release my employees, district government employees at about noon as well. so that will give our crews a time to thoroughly pretreat and get ready for the snow that's coming. >> because usually we don't get a whole lot of snow here in washington as you well know. i grew up in buffalo, new york. we did get a lot of snow. in buffalo we were always ready for it. do you have the manpower? do you have the trucks? do you have all the equipment you need, or do you need help from the outside? >> well, we are gathering help from the outside. we have quite a lot of equipment as well, plows, backhoes, dump trucks, you name it. we have a lot of equipment.
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we think we're going to need extra equipment and we have contracted and continue to contract through the night so we can have more personnel. our staff is ready. we've put them on 12-hour shifts. but it is true that this is not just a snowstorm, it's a blizzard. and in fact what is forecast is an amount of snow that we haven't had in washington in 90 years. >> and it's not just the snow, it's going to be the wind. a lot of people are going to lose power. let me get to the question of the federal government. d.c. government workers, they're going to have a limited schedule tomorrow. >> yes. >> but what about the hundreds of thousands of federal workers who are out there? >> well, we think the federal government has a number of options that we've seen them take in inclement weather. we know they put folks on telework or liberal leave and it's a friday. >> have they done that already? >> we expect an announcement some time tomorrow. they may also decide to have early dismissal. >> what time do you really expect the snow to start? >> the forecast is for 4:00 p.m. now, what we know is that
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forecasts change. they're not an exact science, so that's one reason why we're releasing about noon in case the storm comes in a little earlier we'll be ready. we're also bringing the full deployment of our resources in at 6:00 a.m. so that we can be prepared if there's any shift in the snow and it will come in early. >> national guard troops being activated. >> we've tapped our national guard troops mostly for the vehicles. any time you have snowy conditions, and we expect this storm to sit on d.c. for about 36 hours, of driving snow and sustained winds over 25 miles an hour. so we expect that our national guard could provide vehicles in case we have trouble getting to people in need. >> in the d.c. area, not just d.c. but northern virginia, maryland, not ready for this kind of blizzard that is about to hit. let's see hopefully they'll do a better job, but i remember back in the '70s you remember that big one we had at that time. it lasted for a long time. i have more questions, mayor,
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can you stick around? >> you bet. >> much more coming up on this historic blizzard that's about to hit the d.c. area. we'll be right back.
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the president of the united states in his motorcade was driving in from joint base andrews back to the white house. we have video. we'll show our viewers. they got stuck on dc area streets. it was pretty embarrassing. look at this. this is the president's motorcade. look what they have to do that comes after your team tweeted ready just in case earlier in the day. i know you apologized. what do you say to the people that are so disappointed in the way the city was unprepareunpre? >> i spoke to them directly to let them know i was disappointed in our response, and they should expect faster service and mo more effective services and offered apologies. most important, i outlined how we have been preparing all week and have been prepared for a once in a lifetime blizzard. >> yesterday morning when i was driving to work, they said we'll get some snow tonight so the forecast was there, right?
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>> the forecast was really for a light snow that came and went. many people described it as a dusting. so we went out. we changed our deployment a little bit to upgrade it to a light deployment and to go out before the snow started. many areas around us made similar decisions and it wasn't enough for what was coming at rush hour when our trucks were competing with people who are already trying to get home. >> i know mayors from other cities offered to help. have you accepted all their help? >> we were always open for all the help we can get and actually, many mayors are in town now with -- for the u.s. conference so i had the opportunity to tap into a reservoir of knowledge. >> this notion that this is going to be a storm, a blizzard of historic proportions, do you accept that? >> i do accept it. we have explained to our
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residents what it means. we don't control the weather, but we can control preparations. we asked residents to be prepared to be inside for 36 hours and be prepared if we should lose power. we're working with our utility company to make sure they have also gone out across the country to get additional resources so as soon as it's safe, if we have downed trees or power lines they will get people up and we set up warming centers in case people in their homes without power become cold. >> millions of people will be without power. that's a really worry some development with the temperatures down to 20 or 25 degrees. >> you got it. >> mayor, we're counting on you. thanks. >> thank you. >> good luck to everyone. this is clearly going to be a huge, huge problem. >> it's a big storm. coming up, much more on the monster storm bearing down on 75 million americans. washington d.c. and other cities could be slammed.
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happening now, breaking news, state of emergency. the eastern united states bracing for a potentially record-setting winter storm. millions of people under blizzard watches and warnings right now. who will bear the brunt? east coast shut down, schools, businesses, governments preparing to close along with subways and airports. hundreds of flights already cancelled with thousands more likely to follow. which major cities will be
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paralyzed by the storm. unrelenting assault. donald trump hammering away at his rival ted cruz as our new poll shows them in a two-man race in iowa but with trump, trump now holding a double digit lead. can cruz turn it around with less than two weeks to go with the caucuses and putin bombshell, stunning new evidence vladimir putin personally signed off on the murder of poisoning by radiation in london. what pointed british investigators to the president. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're "the situation room." >> this is cnn breaking news. >> we're following breaking news. 75 million americans now in the path of the very dangerous winter storm. states of emergency have been declared along much of the east coast with weather warnings
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posted in 19 states. the nation's capital bracing for blizzard conditions and as much as 2.5 feet of snow. the city now preparing for a virtual shut down. breaking political news. a new poll just out and showing donald trump and bernie sanders leading their respective races in iowa that will hold the closely watched caucuses in just 11 days. we're covering all of that and much more this hour with our guests including the director of the national weather service and expert analysts are standing by. let's begin with the blizzard expected to hit the east coast tomorrow. brian todd is working the story. you're beside the capital beltway here in the nation's capital, one of the spots always hit hard by these snowstorms. what are you seeing? >> reporter: wolf, you can feel it out here. the temperature is dropping significantly. we're at one of the really problem areas of the capital beltway, as far as traffic is
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concerned along the american legion bridge connecting maryland on this side to virginia on that side and look at the volume we're looking at. there is not even a snow flake on the ground yet and look at the volume at rush hour here in the d.c. area. last night there was less than one inch of snow on the ground, just a dusting and a thin layer of ice developed and you saw cars sliding off the side of this road, traffic monitors were telling us they saw people sleeping in their cars overnight. that is why tonight officials are really hoping they do not see nearly this kind of volume 24 hours from now. even before it arrives, it's being called epic, historic, comparable to the so-called snowmageddon that crippled the mid atlantic in 2010. >> this is predicted to be the worst storm our state has seen since snowmageddon. >> reporter: possibly more than two feet of snow will fall in some places starting late friday. about 75 million people from the
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carolinas to new york are in the path of the storm. >> blizzard conditions in washington d.c. bringing up to 20 inches of snow over the weekend. >> reporter: the washington region showed how easily it can be paralyzed overnight when about one inch of snow fell, what was predicted to be only a dusting hit in the early evening and streets and highways quickly froze. there were multiple accidents. vehicles abandoned everywhere. >> it was pretty rough driving home and took him an hour to get four miles. >> reporter: in virginia alone, 767 accidents were reported, more than three times the daily average. even president obama had trouble getting from andrew air force base to the white house. a van in the president's motorcade slid into a immediate y -- median. >> i would have hoped they treated the roads. >> reporter: in maryland a man walking in the road was killed by a snow flow. >> as soon as the snow fell and
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there was no treatment, it immediately froze. once it froze, everything seized up. if this was a test, we failed and we really needed to be prepared for this and we weren't. >> reporter: so a day and a half before the big storm was about to hit, the mayor was already apologizing. >> we don't believe we prepared adequately. >> reporter: in preparation for the big storm, public schools will be closed friday and states of emergency in d.c., virginia, maryland and pennsylvania, new jersey, delaware and new york also getting snowplows and sanders ready . in maryland this warning. >> make sure you have food and supplies at home, not just enough the for weekend but enough to last an entire week. >> reporter: officials are, of course, telling people stay off the roads, especially during the height of the storm overnight friday into saturday. in virginia and maryland
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combined, they have more than 15,000 pieces of equipment for snow removal. that means snowplows, spreaders, salt trucks, thousands of crew members will be operating that equipment but they are going to be struggling 24 hours a day to keep up with the volume of this storm. one virginia official told me, wolf, they could spend about a million dollars an hour on snow removal. >> brian todd, be careful over there. thanks very much. let's bring in tom sader. tom, your computer models show this being a major snow vent. how big will it be? >> some of the computer models for dc continue to drop 20 or 30 inches. the all-time record is 28. that was in 1922. the last hour we talked more about d.c. and let's broaden out 30 million americans under a blizzard warning or a watch extended across new jersey and new york city and philadelphia. in red is a warning. a blizzard warning.
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goes in effect at 1:00 p.m. tomorrow. the first few flakes in d.c. 4:00 to 6: 00 p.m. 19 states with winter warnings. just to give you an idea how intense the storm is, wolf, tornados down in the south are watching for tornados. that means this storm is ramping up. have you seen anything like this? this is crazy as the storm starts to progress, we'll see the snow accumulate and anything in this light pink is over a foot and then you get to two feet. still working to find the center of the storm, once we get the center, we can track it. now, new york city is still very iffy right now because if the storm slides off the coast, they are not going to see much. if it becomes a classic nor'easter and moves up the coast, problems. still looking at one-third to a half inch of ice. thousands of trees will be down. significant icing from greenville to charlotte to raleigh and again, an nfl game on sunday there but hopefully by then the roads will be clear.
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once the storm moves up the coast, the accumulation of snow will be so great, most road crews will not be able to handle it. not just thousands of cancelled flights but shut down of thorough ways and highways. still waiting to see about new york city. the latest models, a couple from new york city, philadelphia and d.c. the first model is the american model and the european. new york city 6. some of the forecast want to give six to 12. it could be between two and 22. that's how much we're watching this and how closely, wolf, philadelphia ten to 20 and d.c. for the first time the american model drops below 30 inches to 26. that's still going to be the second greatest and records go back 13 two years. >> thanks very much. the travel nightmare has begun. that number certain to climb into the thousands.
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cnn's rene marsh is over at regan's international airport in washington. travel will be difficult, if not impossible. what are you hearing over there? >> reporter: well, i can tell you these numbers are changing by the minute. we now know that over 2,000 flights cancelled friday and saturday. that's according to flighti tracking websites. all the major airlines are precancelling ahead of the storm because they simply do not want planes to get stuck and wolf, i can tell you at this airport, regan international as well as other airports in the bull's eye, it's not a matter of if but when airport operations will come to a complete halt. tonight preparations underway at airports in major cities up and down the east coast. one of the airports regan national just outside washington d.c. >> i think that it could be disastrous for a lot of people trying to get out of town. if you look at the lines, i'm
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not the on one trying to get out a little early. >> reporter: long lines are forming at ticket counters and security check points. >> what is happening behind the scenes at an airport like this one? >> right now we're preparing for the winter storm and checking our chemical levels, our equipment and also, calling in our snow removal teams so that we're prepared to clear the runways and roadways. >> reporter: airlines are already cancelling some friday and saturday flights along the east coast and allowing passengers to change their flights for free. as the storm threatens to ground all flights in some major cities. in 2010, a holiday blizzard forced airlines to cancel nearly 10,000 flights. the approaching storm could ground thousands of flights, as well. passengers are warned to make alternate plans now. so if you're playing the question that you want answered is what does this mean for me? if you're flying out tonight, you will be okay.
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you should be okay. if you have a flight early tomorrow morning, first flight out, you should be okay but you should call your carrier, but the later you get in the day on friday, the slimmer your chances are that you will get to your destination. saturday forget about it. we know here at regan national airport, american airlines, this is a hub for them, they say they have cancelled all flights out of regan. we expect to possibly be the only ones here at regan international airport on saturday. wolf? >> looks like that is going to happen. thanks very much. let's get more on all of this, joining us is the director of the national weather service. they have been out trying to gather data. how much snow will we get? >> the areas across the appalachians through washington d.c. up towards new jersey we're confident as your forecast said we're in that two-foot range or
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beyo beyond. some places could get 30 inches. which way that shifted de determined how much snow and adding to the uncertainty. >> whether will we know if new york city for example, that new york city area is going to get two inches or going to get 20 inches? >> we're looking at the sequence of models between now and into tomorrow morning and i think we'll have a better handle tomorrow. >> by tomorrow morning they will know what to prepare for. we know here in the washington d.c. area, we're preparing for at least, what, 20 inches? >> yeah, in that range that 20-inch is a good average across this city. >> give us some perspective because you've been studying weather for a long time. how historic will this storm be? >> if this storm materializes the way all the models have been predicting since sunday, it will
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be a storm of historic proportions. of course, we're 24 hours away. the storm is forming now. it's forming with the intensity we expected, severe weather is part of that. it's looking like all the ingredients for a major snowstorm along the east coast is coming together as predicted. >> what worries me is not just the snow but the winds, the blizzard condition, people will be losing power along the east coast presumably by the millions. >> this blizzard condition is focused on the area from d.c. up towards new jersey. we got the watches out there. we got the warnings here. right where it could have the most impact. the i-95 corridor which is why you're seeing many transportation agencies, city officials taking actions now preemptive actions to try to mitigate the impact of the storm. >> do you think the federal government here in washington should shut down tomorrow? >> that's not my decision.
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>> a lot of people will go to work but by 4:00, 5:00 in the afternoon the snow will start and there could be havoc. >> that's one factor they take into account. the national weather service office in virginia will be part of that call. they factor in a bunch of factors in terms of making the final decision. >> any find words of advise for viewers? >> people, whether the ice storm, the snowstorm, the high winds, we got coastal flooding possible. people ought to be aware of what is happening, have a personal plan and listen to their local officials because they really are trying to make decisions to protect their lives. >> this is a life and death issue. loui uccellini. thank you. our new just released poll showing a two-man republican race in iowa and hillary clinton unleashing sharp criticism of bernie sanders.
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ask your doctor about it by name. we're following breaking political news. our new cnn poll showing donald trump with a double digit lead in iowa just 11 days ahead of the caucuses that begin the season. a victory over the closest rival ted cruz could depend entirely on turnout. sunlen is joining us. the race between trump and cruz could be close. >> reporter: that's right. both significant numbers, donald trump and ted cruz and both candidates tonight really claiming the other is getting nervous, is getting rattled, setting up in iowa for the first race to the finish.
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>> i want to win iowa, folks. because look, i love the people. >> reporter: donald trump's dream looking more and more like it could become reality. the gop front runner opening up an 11-point lead over ted cruz in a new cnn orc poll of likely iowa caucus goers but a significant reshuffling when only those who caucused in 2012 are polled, trump's lead disappears and the race is in a dead heat showing how critical it is for campaigns to turn out sup poport supporters. >> guys like ted cruz will never make a deal because no you cannot have that. >> reporter: trump in nevada hammering cruz. >> here is a united states senator republican doesn't have support of one other republican senator. there is something wrong there. >> reporter: cruz today combat ready receiving a light saber in
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new hampshire lumping trump in with establishment republicans. >> we are saying the washington establishment abandoning marco rubio, i think they made the determination that marco can't win and they are rushing to support donald trump. >> reporter: trump responding right back today. >> he's trying to paint me as part of the establishment. there is a point at which let's get to be a little establishment. we got to get things done. >> reporter: cruz now also arguing that trump is all talk and no action on issue after issue on health care to immigration reform labeling trump absent from past fights. >> and missing from the entire battle was donald trump. if he cared about this issue so much, where was he when the fight was on the verge of being lost and if millions of us hadn't risen up, barack obama would have granted amnesty to 12 million people here illegally. >> reporter: cruz' offense comes as he's under attack from establishment republicans in the last 48 hours alone, take downs from iowa's republican governor and senator and former republican presidential nominee
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bob dole warning of whole sale losses. a piling on celebrated by cruz as proof of his own outsider status. >> who bob dole effectively saying the one guy that scares the heck out of us is cruz. >> reporter: that has been such a core part of ted cruz' strategy from the start that he is this anti establishment candidate. so although he has taken a significant amount of hits this week, wolf, he's been able to refrain it and make that message to voters going forward. >> thank you. let's dig deeper with dana bash and jeffrey toobin and republican strategists, and commentator anna navarro. a supporter of jeb bush. these numbers for trump right now, dana, very impressive. 37 for trump, 26 for cruz. rubio down at 14.
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your reaction? >> that this is donald trump's to lose now. the good news for donald trump is that he's on top with likely caucus goers. the bad news is the expectation at this point now is that he's going to win, and it really does, i mean, as we've been talking about the cliche in this particular case is truer than ever that turnout does matter because these are numbers based on people who say they are going to caucus and say you're going to caucus and actually getting there in the freezing cold potentially the snow standing there for hours in a room, which is very different than pulling the lever is quite different. it's going to depend on the turnout in the trump campaign is they are very secretive about the operation. >> getting those people out there, the ground game is critical. >> also, you know, we talk it for granted that this is what the iowa caucus is. isn't it an outrageous way to pick a president? you can't just go vote. you have to stand for hours in the cold? that's the system in the iowa.
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>> it's tradition. >> it's -- you know what? we shouldn't -- [ laughter ] >> we shouldn't run for anything in iowa. >> you know what? we don't have to worry about that. >> these polling numbers show the birther argument that trump made in the last couple weeks really had an impact because that's the only real difference from when the race was tied. this natural born citizen thing does seem to have had an impact and it's helped trump a good deal. >> he's not going away from that issue at all, anna. he's hitting and hitting and hitting. >> listen, you know, this guy is a pit bull with a bone. he knows when he's hit upon something that is working, he's proven to be very good on the attack and at this point his attacks are laser focused on ted cruz who he sees as the closest competitor. i agree with jeff. i do think it has to do with citizenship issue and created a question and the question hung over ted cruz' head for three weeks and having a definite effect in iowa.
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>> when cruz says that donald trump is now -- people supporting marco rubio are moving to donald trump, he's now the establishment republican candidate. have you seen evidence of that? >> no. of course not. he's not the establishment candidate by any stretch of the imagination. i think what you're seeing is the establishment moving from shock to kind of understanding and acceptance that wow, donald trump could be the nominee and more importantly, it's what you said at the beginning of the segment. it is a two-man race. picking between the two, donald trump and ted cruz, that's when they prefer donald trump over ted cruz. >> dana is absolutely right. as the resident republican establishment here, i can tell you that i think for most of us is getting asked whether we want to cut off our right arm or our left arm. it is not about liking donald trump. it's about frankly how much folks dislike ted cruz who has made his entire reason for being
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being disliked in washington while he's been very successful at it. >> you have to give cruz a certain amount of credit to turning unpopularity with the people who know you best, your colleagues, the fact that they all hate him apparently is a reason to vote for him, and he's doing that effectively. >> lindsey graham that endorsed jeb bush said today it's like whether he prefers cruz or trump like being shot or poisoned. what does it really matter? he's obviously very blunt about that. >> and, you know, look, he's a long-term senator, someone who looks on paper like a pretty good presidential candidate. he did no business. and no one with traditional qualifications is doing well. >> right, but the one thing that i will add here will be interesting to see how it turns in the next 11 days is the fact that donald trump is suddenly embracing the fact that it's okay to be a little establishment and ted cruz is seizing on that big time because
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the whole birther thing, the reason why it may have hurt ted cruz is because he was seen as such a purest like sort of one of us within the conservative bases specially in iowa and trump's argument pierced that. if cruz can turn this establishment thing on trump, it might put him back in this -- that's -- >> because nobody likes him, unlike the same issue brought up with john mccain and his colleagues in the senate passed the resolution giving him support on the citizen shship saying ted cruz was standing out there all alone because yes, he is the skunk in the republican party. >> stand by. we'll take a turn when we come back and talk about what is going on in the democratic side. the race for the white house and amazing race over there, as well. much more right after this. ♪ while you're watching this, i'm hacking your company. grabbing your data. stealing your customers' secrets.
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there's breaking news in the race between hillary clinton and bernie sanders. the poll shows the vermont senator soaring past hillary clinton holding an eight-point lead in iowa. brianna keilar has the latest. brianna, these are troubling numbers for the clinton camp. >> reporter: yeah, they certainly are, wolf. although the clinton campaign will clearly be banking on the fact some of those folks who say they will come out for bernie sanders are first-time caucus
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goers and may not be reliable in terms of showing up and delivering on february 1st, but as bernie sanders getting good news about iowa while being here in new hampshire, which is more likely to be his key success in these early contest states. he is here, actually, about to start his fourth event. he just left this one, his third event of the day a short time ago and he is heading -- he is leading over hillary clinton in the polls according to our latest cnn wmur poll by almost 2-1. hillary clinton doing something she wouldn't for the first several months of her campaign, calling out bernie sanders by name. >> senator sanders and i share many of the same goals but we have different records and different ideas about how to drive progress. >> reporter: in iowa painting the democratic socialist from vermont is extreme and
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unrealistic. >> in theory isn't enough. a president has to deliver in reality. >> reporter: but the once presumed democratic nominee was fighting off a push by sanders who is delighting in the change here in fortunes. >> today, the inevitable candidate is not quite so inevitable as she did eight and a half months ago. >> taking a page out of donald trump's playbook, sanders emphasizes. >> hillary clinton defeats by 23 points. >> reporter: in iowa where the first in the nation nominating contest is just days away a cnn orc polls shows by eight points among iowans that are likely to caucus but many are first-time caucus goers. democrats that turned out in 2008 clinton holds a 17-point lead. sanders is out with a new ad set
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to air in iowa friday where he's opened up a lead in the latest cnn orc poll and profile in ""people magazine"" describing how he proposed after a year-long break up as sanders focuses and continues government inspectors revealed her e-mails contained information about highly classified programs. defending herself today. >> i want this to be resolved and as the state department repeatedly and received classified material. >> reporter: she's hitting sanders on national security an area where voters give her remarks. >> senator sanders doesn't talk. it raises concern because sometimes it can sound like he hasn't really thought it through. >> clinton taking aim at sanders
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and working with bernie sanders or hillary clinton when it comes to her iraq vote back in 200 cost her the democratic nomination. >> brianna, thanks very much. i want to go back to our panel now. dana, these numbers, these cnn poll numbers, sanders 51%, hillary clinton 43% martin o'malley 4%. this is bad for hillary clinton because she lost iowa eight years ago, as well. >> right. she came in third behind not just barack obama but jon edwards. some people forget that. it's also bad because of how quickly her fortunes have changed in iowa. it was just last month the rolls were reversed and doing much better than bernie sanders but there is another number inside the poll that if i were the clinton campaign, i would be most worried about, which is
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asked democrats in iowa whether they think washington representing their views. 63% said not too well or not at all. that to me seems to be the core of what is driving bernie sanders. obviously, he has been in congress for 25 years but his message is i know it, i'm here, it doesn't work and these are democrats looking at barack obama's washington for the past seven years, the win hillary clinton says she's going to take the baton from saying we don't think it works. >> it's just such a remarkable transformation. in november in the same week you had a very successful appearance by hillary clinton in front of congress. you had joe biden announcing he wasn't going to run for president. it looked like all the stars were aligning in her favor and there is no way for her campaign to spin these latest poll numbers. the totally disastrous one in new hampshire and now this is in iowa. it's just bad. >> in new hampshire poll had
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bernie sanders at 60% and bernie sanders at 33% in new hampshire. if he wins there, this will go on and on and on. >> he comes out with enormous momentum if he wins one state. this was not supposed to be happening again to hillary clinton and tells you that you can repackage, you can reinvent and rebrand, but if it's the same old product inside that can, people will react to it the same old way. we can't blame her campaign. she's got some of the top professionals from the barack obama campaign that won in iowa in 2008. at some point you've got to just accept that it's the candidate that she's got a problem with, you know, with the products she's trying to sell to the american people. >> something hillary clinton supporters have said to me, i'm anxious, jeffrey to get your reaction. the reason these hypothetical matchups does better than
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hillary clinton is because the republicans haven't started going after him and his socialist perspective. once they do that, paint pictures of hammers and circles and that stuff, communists, those numbers will change. >> yeah, i think the democrat republican horse race numbers at this point are almost meaningless. if you go back, you know, to you are years, eight years, these numbers are insignificant and change a great deal, however, the head-to-head numbers among the democrats, especially just a hand full of days before the primaries, those are not meaningless and very significant and if in fact, she loses both of these primaries as the polls suggest, she's got a big problem. >> now the clinton campaign, democrats who are aligned with her are looking ahead to south carolina, that is supposed to be they hope her fire wall because there is much more of an african american democratic base and hope that will help her because the clinton name is more familiar there, less so to bernie sanders who comes from lily white vermont.
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he's in there now and has a big ground operation or a growing one so i'm hearing concern from the clinton sort of team and people who want her to win about south carolina and even beyond march 1st. >> remember, eight years ago, they went until june and hillary a lot of us remember that. >> 18 million -- >> thanks very much. we want to let our viewers know about a big vent in iowa that will be seen on cnn one week before iowa chooses bernie sanders, hillary clinton or martin o'malley will face iowa voters in a presidential town hall live from des moines. chris cuomo will moderate. an opportunity to ask questions. monday night 9: 00 p.m. eastern live. >> coming up, more news, did the russian president vladimir putin cursely give the go ahead for the murder of a russian defector in the heart of london. a british investigation is sending out shock waves.
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did russian president vladimir putin order the killing in london? that's the stunning conclusion of british investigators and details are more extraordinary. our chief national security correspondent jim sciutto has
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been digging into this. >> i covered this murder in london. early on there was evidence tieing it to russia including tracing the radio active material used to kill alexander litvinenko. did the murder have authorization from the very top? and british authorities believe they may have their answer. it was the shocking murder of a prominent russian seen here dying in his hospital bed and an act of nuclear terrorism say british officials in the heart of london yards from the u.s. embassy. now a british investigation found the two russian secret agents accused of murder quote probably acted with the approval of russian president vladimir putin. >> the fsb operation to kill mr. litvinenko was probably approved by head of the fsb and also by
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president putin. >> reporter: alexander litvinenko was an outspoken critic of the kremlin accusing president putin of the bombings in 1999. another potential motive, the report sites an article litvinenko that accuses putin of sexual involvement with underaged boys and there was video evidence. litvinenko authorized this statement from his death bed. >> you may succeed in silencing one man, but the howl of protests from around the world will reverberate mr. putin in your ears for the rest of your life. >> reporter: today litvinenko's widow welcomed the findings. >> i'm of course very pleased
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that the words have been spoke on his death bed when he accused mr. putin of his murder have been proved. >> reporter: surveillance video shows the russian agents at the london hotel where they allegedly injected a powerful dose of the highly radio active element into his tea during a meeting there. litvinenko died a slow painful death and it contaminated dozens of other people that had direct or indirect contact with him. >> this was a breach of the most fundamental ten dents of international law. >> reporter: today one of the accused killers andrei lugovoi denied. >> an outrageous lie and i can't find any other word to describe it. >> reporter: russian officials dismissed it as poll liticizedp >> this cannot help hurting our
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relations. >> reporter: this was a crime with more than one victim. in fact, british authorities were able to trace this element contamination not just to litvinenko who died but dozens of other people. his wife, son had it and people that may have passed them in a subway and the first radiological attack on a city, which we talk a lot about in terrorism plans. >> thanks very much. jim sciutto reporting. just ahead a very different story, life-changer, my personal story of a mentor and friend that helped shape my career. the former cnn anchor bernard shaw. how his influence and guidance changed my life. ♪ those who define sophistication stand out. those who dare to redefine it stand apart.
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us here at cnn will be sharing personal stories about individuals who had an outside influence on us. it's called "the person who changed my life." mine is someone all of you will recognize. after years of reporting live for cnn, i like to think i've finally gotten the hang of it. but for me, it wasn't always easy. 25 years ago, i was the new kid on the block, a reporter who was new to television. >> one, two, three, four, five. is that better or worse? >> and a little over my head. >> support the plan. >> as far as israel is concerned -- >> my career on air happened by happenstance. i was a reporter and author in washington working right next door to cnn.
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>> middle eastern stories were a staple and you would come out of your office through a side door. >> reporter: if that wasn't nerve-racking enough, it was bernard shaw who, in those days, was already a legend. >> shots were fired at the president. >> reporter: bernie grew up in chicago. after attending college there, he attended the marine corps where he became interested in activism. bernie went back to his hometown and began his career. after chicago, he landed the white house beat, reporting for kbs and abc news. he was the most prominent reporters and anchors in the country. little did i know when i would watch him back then, he would become both a mentor and a friend. i knew that he brought a
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tremendous amount of depth to covering news from the television that i didn't have so i certainly relied on him. >> what is the latest over there in israel? >> reporter: i watched him closely to see how he was doing and what he was doing. >> in fact, the entire national economy will be stimulated. >> i really didn't understand the difference between writing for a newspaper or a magazine as opposed to writing for a television. >> you were an excellent writer. still are, by the way. my charge was to assist you to be a better reporter in a visual medium. >> reporter: i started on may 8th, 1990. on suggest 1st, 1990, only a few weeks later, saddam hussein attacked iraq. i watched bernie, along with my colleagues, reporting from baghdad in the lead-up to the
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war. after interviewing saddam hussein in the past, bernie returned there for another interview. when that fell through, he chose to stay. and then the bombs began falling. >> the skies over baghdad have been illuminated. >> first thing that went through my mind is, i hope they are going to be okay because i knew that this air campaign, the bombs were coming in big time. you really were scared for your life? >> yes, very much so. in war, one moment you're alive, the next moment you're dead. >> watching bernie during those days of crisis taught me a lot about how to do my job better, about how what we do is a team sport. what we didn't know at the time was how big a toll this took on bernie. >> i only found out recently that he came out from baghdad with some post-traumatic stress and that he was suffering. >> and there were times when i could be walking down a street and hear a sound and i would
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jump. there would be talking about everything that could have happened in a negative sense. >> reporter: bernie never told us because, for him, the news always came first. he taught me about the balance between showing emotion on air and being in control. to better help viewers understand what is happening. >> this is cnn breaking news. >> a powerful car bomb shears off nine floors on a building in oklahoma. >> that story was almost too emotional for me. it required a lot of self-control. >> i have tried not to look grim, sound grim or think grimly, for that matter. but you know it's hard under these circumstances. >> during the commercial breaks, i said to him, i remember vividly saying, bernie, this is not easy, is it? and i remember watching you and learning from you, i said, wow, he really knows how to convey the moment to the american
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people. >> always remember that less is more. and less is better. >> it's not going to be the same without you here. >> when bernie retired in 2001, i never thought i'd take his seat in the anchor chair. >> good evening. one thing i always remembered was how generous you were to reporters and me. >> for the latest, we turn to our senior white house correspondent wolf blitzer. >> far be it for me to, because of eeg stitift cal reasons, tel the reporters what you have to report. >> you would always compliment me at the end of that report. nice work. good job. strong report. and my parents, who were watching, would always say something like, that bernie shaw is such a nice man. he complimented you so nicely. because of our schedules, bernie and i don't get to see each other as we once did. but when we do, time melts away.
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i always walk away having learned something. that's just what happens with a mentor. and there isn't a day that goes by that i don't think about the doors he opened for me and for so many others. tomorrow morning on "new day." chris cuomo will reveal the person who changed his life and you'll see similar stories on our special sunday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern. erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. next, breaking news, a massive blizzard closing in. 75 million in its path. thousands of flights canceled. we have the latest for you tonight. plus, piling on, more republican leaders say they would go with donald trump over ted cruz. and 2 corinthians versus second corinthians. the man trump blames for his number. let's go "outfront."

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