tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN January 29, 2016 2:00pm-4:01pm PST
cte cannot be detected in the living, but omalu is confident simpson suffers from the disease and its effects could have played a role in that football player's actions that fateful night. tune in this sunday at 9:00 a.m. for "state of the union." i'm be talking to ted cruz, bernie sanders, marco rubio and maybe some others. that's it for "the lead." i'll turn it over to wolf blitzer in "the situation room." happening now, trumping fox. donald trump declares victory saying he's glad he did his benefit for veterans and skipped the republican presidential debate. so who was the biggest winner and loser on the debate stage? can any of them stop trump? i'll talk with a key official from his campaign. top secret. the state department drops a new bombshell about hillary clinton's e-mail. her campaign immediately starts doing damage control, calling it overclassification run amuck. how will the news, though,
impact her momentum just three days before the iowa caucuses. inside job. tonight we're seeing new information on how a bomb may have gotten on a russian passenger jet that was blown out of the sky. could a mechanic for another airline have had something to do with it and why is egypt issuing denials. and nuclear moves. we have new details about north korea's apparent preparations for a rocket test. u.s. officials say it could be imminent. is this just a screen to mask kim jong-un's quest to have nuclear warheads. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." tonight we're using the full resources of cnn to follow the presidential candidates as they head into a weekend of nonstop campaigning just before the iowa caucuses. donald trump says he's glad he skipped last night's debate on fox news. he's pointed to the ratings as proof he was right. is trump's big gamble going to
pay off, though, with iowa voters or will it back fire and help ted cruz or marco rubio? the trump campaign's national spokeswoman is standing by to take our questions. also, new information emerging about the suspected bombing of a russian airliner that killed 224 passengers and crew members. reuters now reports suspicion is falling on several people, including an airline mechanic whose cousin joined isis. we're looking into that report which egyptian officials already are denying. our corporates, analysts and guests will have full coverage of the day's stories. sunlen serfaty is in des moines for us with the latest. >> wolf, tonight ted cruz finding himself on the defense having to respond to repeated questions today about missed opportunities in the debate. ted cruz facing this exactly the same time that he needs to make his final pitch to voters.
a dueling split screen with a cool result. this is the image iowa voters woke up to today. >> i did the right thing. >> donald trump rejoicing in ted cruz's tough night. >> cruz is in second place. he got really pummeled last night. actually i'm glad i wasn't there. he got pummeled. >> and intensifying his attacks on cruz other his eligibility to be president. >> ted cruz may not be a u.s. citizen, right? but he's an anchor baby. no, he's an anchor baby. ted cruz is an anchor baby in canada. >> the cruz campaign hitting back, saying, quote, the only anger here is the one being drug behind the ss new york values. on the trail in iowa -- >> next week he may have a different position, but that's the position today. >> trump's big gamble boycotting the debate seems to have caused him no problem so far. trump's counter programming
event stealing attention and energy. >> you have to fight for yourself and you have to fight for your country. a lot of people are saying i really respect trump because he took on the establishment, which in this case is fox. >> and by skipping the debate, trump avoided taking any hits, coming out unscathed. in trump's absence cruz took center stage and tried to make light of it. >> i'm a maniac, and everyone on this stage is stupid, facility and ugly. and ben, you're a terrible surgeon. now that we've gotten the donald trump portion out of the way -- >> as a de facto front-runner, he became the top target of the moderators and his rivals on stage. >> gosh, if you guys ask one more mean question, i may have to leave the stage. >> facing attacks from all directions. >> ted, you worked for george w. bush's campaigns. you helped design george w. bush's -- you helped design george w. bush's immigration policy. >> getting hammered by marco
rubio and rand paul on his immigration views. >> he is the king of saying, oh, you're for amnesty. everybody is for amnesty except for ted cruz. but it's a falseness. and that's an authenticity problem. >> an argument trying to cut into the very core of cruz's candidacy. >> this is the lie that ted's campaign is built on and rand touched upon it. that he's the most conservative guy and everyone else is a rino. >> and cruz today on the trail really recalibrated his message a bit and started to sharpen his attacks, much more so on rubio's record. this reflects the feeling right now inside the cruz campaign that they are growing increasingly nervous, wolf, about rubio's challenge. >> all right, thanks very much. donald trump's decision to skip last night's presidential debate turned senator ted cruz into the republican candidates' main target, that was enclosure. let's get some more on the fallout from our political reporter, sara murray. so what's cruz telling iowa voters today on all of this,
sara? >> i think what sunlen was getting as it right. ted cruz has been shruging off the negative media coverage and today that meant casting donald trump as a guy that would say anything to get elected. >> i'll stand a little bit over here so i'm not photographed with the trump sign. >> come to iowa and propose as donald trump did, let's expand the ethanol mandate. next week he may have a different position, but that's the position today. >> now, ethanol has been kind of a tricky issue for ted cruz. of course as you know you can see him trying to turn it around on donald trump saying we don't really know what this guy stands for and i think we'll hear a lot more of that from ted cruz and his staffers as we hit these last couple of days before the caucuses, wolf. >> so basically from the ted cruz campaign, sara, are they acknowledging that it was a tough night for them last night?
>> no. i think the surrogates that they are putting out right now publicly are saying it was a great night for ted cruz. they're touting how much money they have raised. they're talking to iowans who are moving over from trump's campaign to cruz's. but the interesting thing is when we've sent our cnn embeds who are all over iowa today talking to iowa voters, most of them say, yeah, maybe donald trump should have been on that debate stage but we don't really think it will hurt him so you're seeing two different campaigns here. ted cruz is running a very traditional iowa campaign trying to convince evangelical voters that he is authentic and donald trump is doing these big rallies and these untraditional, unorthodox supporters. in just a couple of days we'll see which one wins out. >> won't be long from now. thanks very much. joining us now in the situation room, the donald trump campaign national spokeswoman, katrina pe pierson.
donald trump says he's glad he wasn't there on the debate stage. he said cruz got pummeled. was not showing up on the debate stage a strategic move by donald trump to avoid what from the fox moderators were going to be very tough questions? >> good to see you, wolf. obviously we've all figured out fox news targeted mr. trump in a press release that was very upsetting not just to mr. trump, his campaign but also to the supporters, which is 40% of the republican primary voters today. as mr. trump said his own words, sometimes you have to stand up for yourself. >> no regrets today. he's convinced he did the right thing, right? >> he absolutely did the right thing. there was an amazing event last night with veterans and iowans that came out in the cold and it was a great event, very emotional night. mr. trump is very proud today. >> what did he mean, donald trump today, when he called senator ted cruz an anchor baby in canada?
>> well, he's always been talking about senator cruz being born in canada, and then forgetting the fact that he was a canadian citizen when he ran for senate. so it's just a reminder because senator cruz is out there slamming donald trump and donald trump is responding in kind. >> and just on that whole issue, he's increasingly talking about the canadian birth, obviously. as you know, katrina, the state department just a couple hours or so ago said they won't be releasing 22 documents from hillary clinton's e-mails because they are upgrading them now to top secret. the hillary campaign calls this overclassification run amuck. has mr. trump responded to this as of the last few hours? >> well, mr. trump has been saying the same thing with regards to hillary clinton and the corruption and how she should be in jail. he always compares this to how general petraeus was treated and how others have been, you know, imprisoned for far less. so we're going to have to see what the fbi ends up doing with mrs. clinton but this is also
one of the reasons that bernie sanders is resonating and it shows mrs. clinton hasn't been telling the truth about the information on her personal server. >> general petraeus never went to jail. he was convicted. >> others. >> he pleaded guilty. but you're saying hillary clinton belongs in jail. is that what you're saying? >> well, what i'm saying is if it is true and she did have top secret information on her server and then lied about it then, yes, she should probably be in jail. >> what is donald trump going to do with the $6 million he says he raised for veterans last night? which veterans groups specifically are going to get that money? >> i'm so glad you asked the question. there's actually a list now on the website, donaldjtrump.com/military charities. there's 22 organizations that will be receiving the $6 million. >> as you know one or two of the veterans groups say they don't want his money, they feel that these veterans groups are being used for political purposes by donald trump. what do you say to those
veterans groups? >> well, i think those veteran groups are entitled to their opinion. any time donald trump does anything good or bad, there's always detractors. some of these groups are funded by george sorros as well so we're not surprised to hear that. there are veterans groups who are very happy to receive a lot of these funds. a lot of them are a lot smaller organizations that can get that out to help veterans. >> at the veterans event that he hosted last night, donald trump, mike huckabee, rick santorum, the respective winners of the iowa caucuses four and eight years ago were there in attendance. does mr. trump see that as an unofficial endorsement? >> no, not at all. again, this simply was to do a benefit for veterans. i am very happy that senator santorum and governor huckabee joined. they have met many of these veterans before, having campaigned across this state, so i think it was very important to show solidarity among the republican party. mr. trump was able to bring some folks together and have a really
good night for veterans. >> katrina, i want you to stand by. we have more information coming in. we'll get your reaction to the latest, including hillary clinton. she's increasingly getting more vocal in her condemnation of some of the things donald trump has been saying. much more with katrina pierson when we come back. ♪ while you're watching this, i'm hacking your company. grabbing your data. stealing your customers' secrets. there's an army of us. relentlessly unpicking your patchwork of security.
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trump right now. she's complaining about what she calls the kinds of insulting remarks he makes about groups of people in the united states right now. what's your response to hillary clinton? >> well, i think that mrs. clinton's attacks on mr. trump really shows that she believes that that's who she's going to be facing in november, pending she becomes the democratic nominee. even her super pac will turn their fire on mr. trump as well. i think you'll find across the nation a lot of people are really upset with the way things have gone, not just in the economy but with regard to border security and illegal immigration. we have a war going on with radical islamic extremists and hillary clinton doesn't want to talk about that, but americans care about that, so we're looking forward to taking that fight in the general. >> do you think he wants to revise his comments about not allowing muslims to come into the united states, at least on a temporary basis? >> well, it was muslim immigration, not all muslims are american muslims for that
matter. but this is at a time when we have the fbi even telling us that we cannot properly vet individuals coming into the country from those nations, so we have to put american citizens and their families first and it may not be the politically correct thing to say, but it's the right thing to say. >> why was he in new hampshire today instead of campaigning in iowa, only three days away from the caucuses? >> well, he has one event in new hampshire today and then he's coming back to iowa. he's got three events tomorrow, events sunday and monday. mr. trump has been all over this country because he's taking this race very seriously. >> one final question before i let you go. he said today, i don't have to campaign anymore, i'm wasting my time. what does that mean? >> he was probably joking, wolf. we know mr. trump is always out there talking to his friends that he considers as his supporters and he says things like that all the time. mr. trump is having fun. his supporters are having fun for a change. the republican party dynamics have changed since mr. trump has been in this race.
the base is finally being brought in and we finally have a candidate that's not beholden to special interests which means we can finally get things done in d.c. >> katrina pierson, the national spokeswoman for the donald trump campaign. thanks for joining us. >> great to be here. thanks, wolf. only three days to go until the iowa caucuses. let's bring in our politics executive editor, mark preston, gloria borger, s.e. cupp and nia-malika henderson. first of all, the fox war with trump. he said he's made peace to them although he refused to go to the debate. who won that war? >> in the end i think trump may have dodged a really big fat bullet at this debate last night. when you saw those video clips that were run against ted cruz and marco rubio showing how they had evolved, so to speak, on certain issues.
can you imagine the video clip that they would have used against donald trump? and i presume they had one ready to go on health care, where he had supported obamacare, abortion and even whether hillary clinton was a good secretary of state, because then they would have put him on the spot just like they put cruz on the spot and rubio on the spot. i think it would have been a tough position. >> some people say he is a brilliant politician. he suspected they were going to gang up on him, if you will, so he found an excuse not to show up. >> that's right. and by moving out of the way, guess who he left open to all the incoming, ted cruz. i mean ted cruz on the cover of the "des moines register," it was ted cruz had a rough night and a small picture of donald trump. sort of a story about his event with veterans. i thought this was a brilliant master stroke from him. these voters in iowa are going to get all sorts of data points going forward about donald trump. there will be commercials and all that stuff, but i think it
was brilliant. >> listen to this, this is marco rubio and rand paul. they called out ted cruz's character. listen to this. >> he can't have it both ways. but what is particularly insulting, though, is that he is the king of saying, oh, you're for amnesty. everybody is for amnesty except for ted cruz. but it's a falseness. and that's an authenticity problem, that everybody he knows is not as perfect as him because we're all for amnesty. >> yeah. >> go ahead. >> expect a lot of that. you know, especially if ted cruz continues to surge, if he does well in iowa and new hampshire, expect a lot of those very personal barbs coming his way from people who have had to work with him. look, you could say that he came in in 2012 and did exactly what he promised his constituents he would do. kept his word, he wanted to shut down the government, he wanted to shut down obamacare and he did it. but i think if you were a senator working across from ted
cruz, you found him to be very difficult. so when you have that kind of reputation, i expect a lot more of that if he becomes, you know, the front-runner. >> rubio called him a liar last night. he said you'll say or do anything to get elected. it doesn't get worse than that. >> on immigration, no one on that stage's hands are clean. >> from the republican -- >> from the republican side, it's a tough issue. a lot of them have changed positions. and if they haven't, they have held completely untenable positions that are out of line with either the republican base or the rest of the country. so every single one of them had a problem with immigration. >> and jeb bush was the only one to say, you know, listen, this view might not be popular to conservatives, but he's embracing his fans. >> at one point he was for citizenship, now just legalization. you know, marco rubio had a key phrase he used last night. listen to this.
>> when i'm president, we are going to reorganize our intelligence capabilities. when i'm president unlike obama we'll keep this country safe. when i'm president, we are rebuilding the u.s. military. when i am the president of the united states of america, we don't know who you are and we don't know why you're trying to come to the united states, you are not going to get in. when i am president, we are keeping isis out of america. when i am president of the united states, there will never be any cap in trade in the united states. my faith will not just influence the way i'll govern as president, it will influence the way i live my life. >> he's obviously trying to drive home a point here. explain his motivation. >> what was the point he was trying to make there, wolf? no, look, donald trump has had an incredible amount of influence over this campaign. probably the most important, though, is donald trump has never backed down from anything he has said and all he has shown is confidence. what we saw from marco rubio who has been criticized for not being as forceful, as not being
as outright as he should be on the campaign trail. last night what we saw in that debate is that is what marco rubio was trying to do. when i am president, when i am president, when i am president. we haven't heard him say that before. quite frankly, we haven't heard that from the other candidates. we have heard that from donald trump. donald trump has shown confidence that in many ways has been the fuel that has driven his candidacy to this point. marco rubio trying to take a little bit of that away from him. >> what did you think of marco rubio's performance? >> i think he's a one-term senator who's 44 and looks very boyish. he looks much younger than ted cruz, even though they're five months apart. i think this is him trying to conjure in voters' minds the idea of him in the oval office. conjure in voters' minds the image of him as president. he knows that when you talk to voters, sometimes they say, listen, we like marco rubio but they feel like maybe he's not ready. i think it's him really trying to pass the gravitas of commander in chief. >> you never hear hillary
clinton say that. she's very careful. she says if i have the honor -- >> she's a woman. >> no, because she cannot semen titled. she seem like it's a coronation. so she's very careful to say if i have the pleasure of getting the honor, getting your vote and becoming president. which is why marco rubio, this is why he's such a good contrast to her. he can summon all of that energy, that not arrogance but that confidence. >> and the rap -- >> that she can't. >> the rap on rubio is that he hasn't waited his turn, right? jeb bush thought, okay, sit this one out, this is my turn. and marco rubio says -- >> that's why he's not doing so well now. >> no, no, no. what he's saying is when i am president and i decided to not wait so look at me now. >> eight years ago there was another freshman senator in his mid-40s who was not waiting for his turn either and became president of the united states, twice elected president of the united states. all right, guys, stand by.
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we're following some breaking news in the controversy over hillary clinton's e-mail account from her time as secretary of state. the state department today announcing that 22 of those e-mails will not be released because they contain top-secret information. our chief national security correspondent jim sciutto has the details on this breaking story. what are you learning, jim? >> wolf, this is what we know right now. seven e-mail chains, up to 37
e-mails were upgraded to top-secret. keep in mind top secret the highest classification level. so far to this point this hasn't happened before. other e-mails that have been talked about having classified information were at lower classification levels. this is the first time at the top-secret level. the state department says they were not marked as classified information, that's a key distinction, but it's still an open question as to whether the information contained in those e-mails was indeed classified at the time that it was sent. here's how the state department john kirby answered the question as to how the decision was made to upgrade these to the top secret level. >> you guys were prepared to release it until the intel community came in and said, hey, wait a second? >> no, i wouldn't say that, matt. as i said, we had an ongoing discussion about this traffic with them. at their request we have decided to make this upgraded. it's a state department decision, we're doing it, but we're doing it at the request of
the intelligence community. >> so the intelligence community made the request, the state department cooperating with the request. but this is a very key issue here, wolf, because to this point you heard from hillary clinton, from her surrogates saying a lot of this was retroactively done. they had no idea it was classified or would be classified at the time it was sent. but the state department says that's still an open question with some of this information as to whether it was classified information at the time it was sent. it has its own separate investigation under way to determine the answer to that question and that investigation has already started. >> jim, what is the clinton campaign saying about all of this? >> well, their reaction was extremely quick, wolf. i mean it felt like it was within seconds of the state department announcement. but a very strong response from the state department saying, one, we still believe that these e-mails should be released. hillary clinton still believes they should be. and then this in even stronger terms. the hillary clinton campaign saying this appears to be overclassification run amok. we will pursue all appropriate avenues to see that her e-mails
are released in a manner consistent with her call last year. this has also been a criticism you've seen from the clinton camp. listen, a lot of this stuff isn't really state secrets. they brought up the example of some of these e-mails relating to a "new york times" article, something in the public domain. to be clear here, there are still open questions, wolf, one of which as to whether information contained in these e-mails was indeed classified, whether it was marked or not at the time it was sent. that's still an open question and something the state department is looking into. >> the last thing hillary clinton needs only days before the iowa caucuses. gloria, i'm going to speak soon with brian fallon, the spokesman for the hillary clinton campaign. we'll go in depth and get his analysis, his reaction to all of this. it's awkward, to put it mildly, coming only three days before the iowa caucuses. >> it's very awkward but let me make this clear. the democrats don't care. the people who vote in democratic primaries trust hillary clinton by 2-1. this is not a huge problem for
her among democrats. do they trust bernie sanders a little bit more? maybe. i just spoke with a senior sanders advisor. i asked him, are you going to raise those damn e-mails? is that going to become an issue for you? he said no. so sanders is not going to take her on. in a general should she become the nominee, absolutely. does it give republicans who are running now an opportunity to talk about how she's going to get indicted and all the rest? of course. is this an awkward moment? you bet. but democratic primary goers don't really care. >> mark preston, you're out there in iowa right now. it's very close and the polls show it will be close in iowa between hillary clinton and bernie sanders. this potentially could affect some of those undecided democrats. >> well, i think as gloria said, the democratic party has basically moved on from the e-mail issue. they see this as a witch hunt against hillary clinton. as gloria says, if bernie sanders doesn't raise it, if we
don't see a television ad, if there isn't doubt casted by her chief opponent, i don't know if it's really going to have any effect, if at all, on hillary clinton. but to the point of the general election, we are going to see the marco rubios of the world and ted cruzzes of the world and donald trumps of the world make hay out of this. what we should be looking at is what is congress going to do. what are the investigative committees that are run by the republicans in the senate and the house, are they going to reup their investigations and try to go after hillary clinton a little bit more. that is what could be problematic before hillary clinton. if she gets pulled before another committee hearing. who knows what's going to happen in the future, certainly if she's the nominee. >> very quickly, s.e., your thought? >> you don't have to think anything nefarious was going on or that she intentionally hid this, but you can, i think, make the case, and i'm sure republicans will in a general, that this was very bad judgment for all of these reasons. politically bad judgment, because this was sensitive
information, classification aside, bad judgment. and i think republicans would be wise to hammer that point and not overreach for the more -- stronger language. >> that's right. and in iowa, marco rubio is essentially run angining an ad hillary clinton that says that. judgment, it's basically cut from something that he said in a debate so this will be out there going into iowa. >> once again, we'll speak for the spokesman of the clinton campaign. we'll get his reaction as well. also coming up, we have more on the deadlocked race for the democratic presidential nomination. we're going back live to iowa for an update. plus, a new report makes a stunning claim about a passenger jet that exploded over the egyptian desert. was an airport mechanic able to plant a bomb onboard? ♪ lost shipments, international regulations,
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the race for the democratic presidential nomination is just three days away from its first big test, the iowa caucuses. hillary clinton and bernie sanders are storming the state today making their final pitches to potential supporters. our senior political correspondent, brianna keilar, is following the campaign for us and joins us live from des moines. what's the latest? >> reporter: wolf, some reaction from the clinton campaign about this news that some of her e-mails from the time that she was at the state department are so highly classified they will not be released at all. a campaign spokesperson saying this is a case of overclassification, plain and simple, but certainly this isn't ideal for the clinton campaign as they make the final push,
along with bernie sanders, into the iowa caucuses. >> and i know how to get that done. >> reporter: a mad dash around the hawkeye state just three days before iowans pick their candidates. >> it's going to be a very, very close election. it will depend on voter turnout. if we win, it will indicate that this country is ready for real significant change. >> reporter: emotions are starting to show on the campaign trail. >> my husband had a heart attack. ten years later, he had cancer. >> i hear so many stories like this. you think about raising five kids and then illness hits and you do the best you can. it's just not right. it's just not right. i'm so sorry. i'm so sorry. >> reporter: as bernie sanders tries to push ahead of hillary clinton in iowa, where polls show them running neck in neck, he is highlighting his rival's ties to wall street. >> how does wall street get away with it? millions in campaign contributions and speaking fees.
>> i'm telling you, i will say it tonight -- >> reporter: sanders agreed to clinton's demands for another debate next week, on the condition they will hold additional debates later in the spring. >> we are willing to say if she's willing to do a number of debates later on. >> reporter: clinton noncommittal about debating beyond next week in new hampshire where sanders is leading in the polls and she stands to gain politically from an extra chance to make her case. >> i've said we should start looking for dates and working to the those scheduled. i'm perfectly fine with that. but first things first. we have to agree that we're going to debate in new hampshire. >> reporter: after president obama this week praised clinton in an interview -- >> she can govern and she can start here day one. >> reporter: he gave both candidates a boost last night while rallying congressional democrats. >> everyone is scouring my every word to find some deeper meaning, see if i'm trying to put my finger on the scales. so let me simplify things. democrats will win in november
and we will have a democratic president succeeding me. >> reporter: both bernie sanders and hillary clinton with full days of campaigning going into the evening hours tonight, wolf. hillary clinton will be in davenport, iowa. she will be alongside her husband as well as her daughter, chelsea. >> all right, thanks very much. coming up, a new report claims an egyptian airport mechanic may have planted a bomb aboard a doomed passenger jet. the egyptian government issuing strong denials. we're going to bring you the latest. we danced in a german dance group. i wore lederhosen.man. when i first got on ancestry i was really surprised that i wasn't finding all of these germans in my tree. i decided to have my dna tested through ancestry dna.
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♪ light piano today i saw a giant. it had no arms, but it welcomed me. (crow cawing) it had no heart, but it was alive. (train wheels on tracks) it had no mouth, but it spoke to me. it said, "rocky mountaineer: all aboard amazing". we're learning new information about a russian passenger jet that exploded over
the egyptian desert. the new report from reuters claims a mechanic of the airport may have helped place a bomb onboard. let's turn to brian todd who has more details for us. what are you learning, brian? >> reporter: wolf, we're learning there is growing friction between egyptian officials and their accounts of this investigation and many others, including cnn's own sources inside the u.s. and russian governments. the new report from reuters of a possible inside job has egyptian officials on the defensive tonight. >> reporter: a grisly scene strewn across ten miles of the sinai desert. all 224 people on the plane killed. tonight, new information on how a bomb may have been placeod board. reuters citing sources familiar with the matter reports a mechanic for egyptair, not metrojet, the company which operated the plane but a mechanic for egyptair is suspected of planting a bomb on the aircraft. the mechanic had a cousin who had joined isis.
>> many of those local workers are people with connection and possibly with connection to people that are involved with the local isis operation. >> isis had already claimed responsibility for the downing of the plane in october. >> isis is making a drive to recruit people in sensitive positions who can do a lot of damage, do a lot of damage. recruiting an insider at the airport is the holy grail for terrorist groups. >> reporter: the egypt air mechanic had been detained, along with two airport policemen and a baggage handler suspected of helping to place the bomb. what kind of access could a mechanic have had to that plane? >> they have access to the entire aircraft. whether, you know, depending on where they want to put it and who is with them. usually more than one mechanic doing it. usually a team. >> reporter: russian and u.s. officials are confident this was terrorism. and isis even published this photo of what it claimed was the
bomb itself. a soft drink can and two components appearing to be a detsinator and a switch. egyptian authorities have consistently said they found no evidence of terrorism in the crash. and tonight, there's strong pushback. egypt air and egyptian police have denied the reuters report. an official who manages sharm el sheikh says no airport employees have been arrested in connection with the incident. a cnn source and egyptian ministry also denies any arrest of egypt air or airport workers. would those workers have had their relatives screened for isis connections? they say their security procedures are better than those at many european airports but it's not clear if relatives there are screened. chad wolf says in the u.s., he can't say that all relatives of airline or airport workers are screened, but there is a watch list flagging people who the workers are associated with and
any known connections they might have. >> interesting. not necessarily air tight. there was one case of a possible isis connection at a u.s. airport, right? >> our analyst points out in the u.s. there was a case of at least one person who joined isis who had previously worked at a u.s. airport. the man worked at minneapolis-st. paul airport as a cleaner and had access to planes. recent activity at a top secret north korean facility now has american intelligence authorities concerned kim jong-un's regime is moving closer to launching a rocket and may be just days away. our pentagon correspondent barbara starr has been talking to u.s. officials about this developing story. what are they saying? >> reporter: the north may be moving closer. that is leading the u.s. to keep its eyes on the peninsula around the clock. the latest highly classified u.s. intelligence shows north korea may be ready to launch a three-stage rocket as soon as next week.
according to two u.s. officials. it would give the regime valuable knowledge of intercontinental ballistic missiles, missiles capable of reaching the united states. concerns were elevated after u.s. spy satellites detected the movement of people, rocket related equipment and fuel into a secret facility in the north of the country. still, u.s. officials will not detail what about the newest intelligence indicates a launch may be imminent. it comes just as u.s. intelligence agencies are revising the initial thinking about north korea's underground nuclear test this month. sources now telling cnn, it's possible the regime did try to test components related to a hydrogen bomb. >> north korea's pursuit of a larger nuclear weapon stockpile and potentially more dangerous nuclear weapons stockpile only serves to destabilize the
broader region. >> if there is a missile launch, the north koreans are expected to say it's just a satellite. in other words, peaceful. but giant rocket boosters like these are the same technology used in a three-stage intercontinental ballistic missile. if north korea fulfilled its goal of putting a nuclear warhead on this type of missile, it would up end security calculations across the world. >> the preparations are actually very disturbing. coming on the heels of a nuclear test less than a month oago, ths shows this regime sunchastened and is willing to engage in whatever provocations with little concern for what the outside world thinks or may do. >> reporter: it's exceptionally difficult for the u.s. to spy here. the launch facility was built with concealment in mind. missile parts are delivered to this building via an underground rail system. the part are unloaded out of view of spy satellites.
then the whole structure is moved to a covered launch pad hidden until the last minute. and north korea's leader kim jong-un so unpredictable. u.s. officials say the bottom line right now is they cannot be certain what he has planned. wolf? >> barbara, thanks very much. barbara starr reporting. donald trump says he's glad he skipped the fox presidential debate. he thinks senator ted cruz got pummeled. did trump win by not showing up?
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trump and fox news staged dueling television events. trump back on the attack tonight more confident than ever apparently that he did the right thing. do iowa conservatives, though, agree? battle for second. ted cruz under siege from all sides after taking what trump is calling a pummeling in the debate, especially from marco rubio who now sees a chance to overtake cruz. will rubio see a last-minute surge in iowa? i'll ask his campaign spokesman. also breaking news. clinton controversy. 22 e-mails from form or secretary of state hillary clinton being withheld from release by the state department citing classified information contained in those e-mails. a blow to hillary clinton just days before the iowa caucuses. did she break any law? i'll ask her campaign press secretary. more breaking news. manhunt. one of three fugitive inmates turns himself in following a stunning escape. two others still on the loose as
we learn new details about one's relationship with a jailhouse teacher who helped the inmates break out. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." donald trump claiming victory tonight in his boycott of the presidential debate. his rival event cutting into fox news ratings. his absence leaving his closest competitor ted cruz in the crosshairs of the other candidates. the presidential candidates from both parties are furiously campaigning across iowa tonight with just three days to go before the caucuses. we're also following breaking news. the state department announcing it will not release 22 e-mails from former secretary of state hillary clinton's e-mail server because they contain top secret information. the clinton campaign calling the decision, and i'm calling now,
overclassification run amok. clinton's press secretary is standing by to talk about that and more. and one of the three inmates who made a spectacular break from a southern california jail is back in custody turning himself in just miles from where he escaped. the manhunt for the 24the other two fugitives continues now. we're covering that with our correspondents and our guests. let's begin with the republican race for the white house. sara murray is in iowa for us tonight. sara, donald trump says he's glad he skipped the debate. what's the latest? >> that's right, wolf. donald trump isn't shedding any tears about missing that gop debate and seems pleased with himself that he left ted cruz on stage and in the crossihairs of all of gop rivals. after a tough night for ted cruz, donald trump is piling on. >> cruz is in second place.
he got really pummeled last night. i'm glad i wasn't there. i guess -- he got pummeled. wow. and you know, they didn't even mention that he was born in canada. >> reporter: sharpening his attacks on cruz's citizenship and delighting in his decision to skip thursday night's debate. >> i did something that was very risky, and i think it turned out great. on the front page of every paper i'm getting more publicity than if i -- you know? >> reporter: cruz is coping with a rockier reception. after sparring with debate moderators. >> if you ask one more mean question, i may have to leave the stage. >> reporter: and facing incoming fire from his gop rivals. >> the truth is, ted, throughout this campaign you've been willing to say or do anything in order to get votes. >> reporter: cruz woke up to this front page in iowa and tried to get back on offense by taking shots at his opponents. >> it's easy to come to iowa and propose as donald trump did.
let's expand the ethanol mandate. now next week he may have a different position. >> reporter: cruz isn't the only one drawing scrutiny. as rubio's rivals put him on defense over his shifting stance on immigration. >> you changed your position on immigration. you used to support a path to citizenship. >> so did you. >> reporter: trump's opponents suggested his debate stunt could undercut him in iowa. >> the disdain and arrogance trump showed by not coming may well turn off iowa voters. >> reporter: but trump told brianna keilar it was a show of strength. >> i think you'll find a lot of voters and caucusgoers will say he's the one person that will stand up for himself. >> reporter: tonight, iowa conservatives seem to believe it won't do much damage. >> did it hurt him? not hurt him? >> i don't think it hurt him at all. the headline of the des moines register says rough night for ted cruz. it says it all. >> reporter: today we're seeing ted cruz try to shrug off this
negative media coverage. they'll be hunkering down in iowa trying to make the final push over the weekend before the caucuses. >> sara, thank you. sunlen serfaty is with the cruz campaign in iowa. donald trump says, ted cruz got pummeled last night. what are you hearing from the cruz campaign? >> wolf, the cruz campaign is trying to put on a brave face, so to speak. disputing the notion that cruz had a tough night. but clearly this is not the position they want to be in right now. all day today on the campaign trail, ted cruz faced persistent questions over missed opportunities, missed chances to command that debate stage last night. in trying to recover from this, what we saw is really a recalibration in strategy, almost turning a blind eye to the trump factor and focusing his fire on marco rubio. unprompted at multiple times in the day today he brought up
marco rubio's record on immigration. also in line to a strategic move from the campaign. reshuffling money, taking money from negative tv ads devoted to donald trump, putting that money to negative tv ads for marco rubio. it really is in line with the feeling within the cruz campaign right now. nervousness over rubio's challenge here. >> they are concerned about rubio moving up. and he's moving up at least according to the polls. sunlen, thanks. let's get more on all of this. the communications director for the rubio campaign is joining us. alex, thanks for joining us. you notice that ted cruz, they are devoting more energy to going after senator rubio now than going after donald trump. listen to this latest ad they're
putting out. >> i am not, and i will never support, never have and never will support any effort to grant blanket legalization amnesty. >> marco rubio was part of the
gang of eight trying to secure amnesty. >> one of the architects of the plan, marco rubio. you are giving legal status to people who have broken the law. >> it was marco rubio that was a member of the gang of eight and ted cruz that wasn't. >> i'm
ted cruz, and i approve this message. >> all right, alex, you want to respond to that ad? it's a tough one on marco rubio. >> yeah, i think that ad, first of all, it's just false. when marco rubio is president, he's going to oppose amnesty. he opposes amnesty now. as president there will be no amnesty. he'll secure the border with new fence, new border security agents. we're going to deport criminal aliens and not have sanctuary cities. voters here in iowa where marco spent the last week campaigning town to town, meeting thousands of iowans. he's talked to them about immigration. and we're moving up in the polls. we saw that last night.
one of the best moments was when marco talked about immigration and how he opposes amnesty and contrasted that to ted cruz who used to support legalization. has changed his position during the campaign in a cynical and calculating way. >> 18% -- 18% right now likely iowa caucusgoers say they vote for rubio in this new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll. he's up five points over last month. just seven points below cruz. you think it's possible could beat cruz in the iowa caucuses and come in second to donald trump? >> in a word, no. we don't expect that to happen. we're running against the greatest show on earth in mr. trump and the greatest ground game that we've ever seen in iowa with ted cruz. this is ted cruz, a couple of weeks ago, over 40% in the polls and telling people he hadn't peaked yet. his campaign claims to have 12,000 volunteers on the ground in iowa.
he's gone all in in iowa. we're hoping for a very strong third place. traditionally three tickets out of iowa. we'd love marco to have one of those. we're expecting a long campaign ahead of us. is marco directing most offing his firepower against ted cruz? >> we're directing most of our firepower against hillary clinton. hillary clinton cannot be president of the united states. as i know you'll have someone from her campaign on later on. you should really challenge him on the report today that the state department says there were top secret e-mails on her server. she is disqualified from being president of the united states. that's what's marco rubio is focusing on because we need to unite the republican party, defeat hillary clinton and elect marco president of the united states. when marco is president of the united states, we'll get to the bottom of this e-mail scandal with hillary clinton. >> i'm definitely going to talk to him about that. the hillary clinton press secretary when he comes on. that's coming up a little later. do you think donald trump helped or hurt his campaign last night
by skipping the fox news presidential debate? >> oh, i don't know. i can tell you, it helped marco's campaign. we had more time on the debate stage than in any of the previous debates. whenever marco has extra time talking to millions of people, i think 12 million tuned in and saw marco talking about his vision for the country, why he's running for president, his agenda for a new american century. when he has that much time, it's a good thing for our campaign. >> stand by. finish your thought, go ahead. >> i was going to say if mr. trump wants to skip the next couple of debates and let marco have extra time, that's fine with us. >> stand by. there's more to discuss. alex coinan from the rubio campaign is with us. a lot more coming up. we're getting more information. stay with us. hi i'm heather cox on location with the famous, big idaho potato truck. our truck? it's touring across america telling people about idaho potatoes. farmer: let's go boy. again this year the big idaho potato truck is
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the iowa caucus is only three days away. donald trump leading by double digits in most of the polls. we're seeing the battle for second place heating up. we're back with the communications director for the marco rubio campaign, alex conan. you yourself say don't expect him to come into second place. how do you think he's going to do in new hampshire? >> well, we have get through iowa first. we feel good about new hampshire. as soon as the caucuses close, we're going to get on our plane and fly to new hampshire. i expect we'll be campaigning every day until the primary there. the iowa caucuses, whoever wins here will get a little bit of a bump. whoever is in the top three will get a little bit of a bump. we feel good about south carolina and new hampshire and nevada. we're ready for the long haul.
the fact we're gaining momentum at the right time shows we're doing something right, that people are expecting with marco's message for a new american century. >> how bitter is the relationship between marco rubio and jeb bush? it got a little testy last night. >> marco has a lot of respect for jeb bush. they are friends before this campaign started and after the campaign started. i think it's sad what happened to jeb during this campaign and what kind of campaign he's running. he said it would be a joyful campaign. now he's running almost $1 million or over $1 million of negative ads every day against marco rubio. that's not joyful. that's sad. he's going to do what he's going to do. obviously hasn't had much of an impact on marco as we continue to rise in the polls, see our crowds growing. seeing raising a lot of money at marcorubio.com. >> is it true what jeb bush said
in that debate last night that marco rubio as a senator as a member of the so-called gang of eight working for comprehensive immigration reform called up the florida governor and asked him for his support for a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants. true jeb did support the gang of eight bill. as marco worked on, what happened after that bill passed the senate is it went on and died in the senate. and what we need to do is approach immigration reform. first we need to secure the border and put into place e e-veri e-verify, we need to modern eiz our legal immigration system. only then can you deal with the millions of illegal immigrants in the nation. first you have to secure the
border. jeb bush still doesn't understand that. at least at the debate last night, he seemed very confused over what his current position is since jeb has switched on it so much. >> at one point supported a pathway to citizenship. now a pathway to legalization. i want to be precise. did senator rubio make a call and ask jeb bush to support that gang of eight legislation because you heard jeb bush last night say he wound up supporting it because he was influenced by marco rubio. >> obviously, when working on that legislation we reached out to a lot of people in the republican party. we wanted as much support as we could. it passed the senate and died in the house. that bill is dead. it's not coming back. when marco rubio is president, we're not going to pursue a gang of eight-style legislation. we're going to secure the borders first. we're going to, as i said in the previous segment, we're going to secure the border. 700 miles of new fence. everify. we're going to make sure we have
illegal immigration under control. thanks very much for joining us. >> thank you. let's get more on this with gloria borger, hilary rosen, ron brownstein and our political commentator kevin madden. gloria, how was the debate different without trump there last night. >> a lot more breathing room for all of these candidates. a battle on immigration that without donald trump there who says he's the only reason immigration was raised in this campaign. turns out not to be true. rubio and cruz go after each other and now you saw rand paul actually get some moments on the stage. so i think it was a very different kind of debate, however, i think in the questions about muslims, for example, you did see the
influence of donald trump on the stage. >> there was a lot of risk involved. if you look at the fact that one-third of iowa voters right now are still open to changing their mind, and you know, iowa voters are very fickle. they expect a big part of the job is showing up. not showing up, potentially sending a naej message of disrespect was a huge risk. you look at the headlines in iowa, donald trump got exactly the headlines he wanted. one of his main opponents got bloodied up. and at the same time if you look at some of these newspapers, from sioux city to davenport, he had people billing. so it was a lot of risk involved but i think he got the desired
effect. >> he showed up at a rally for veterans in des moines only a few miles from where that debate was. >> his rally. >> ron, you say the candidates continue to try to take each other down instead of devoting energy for making a case against trump. how much will that hurt them in these early races. >> i thought last night's debate really encapsulated in two hours the huge strategic gamble all of the other campaigns are making. when you talk to them one by one, they are all more focused on emerging as the last alternative to trump, and we saw that clearly. they would prefer trump to win iowa, and the assumption is trump still faces a ceiling. the risk is that trump's momentum continues and he does something no republican has done in the modern primary era of winning iowa, new hampshire and south carolina in that order. then the momentum he aquires may make being the last alternative
like being the last speed bump. i think they are all taking a calculated risk by focusing their energy mostly on each other and only to a lesser extent on the front-runner leading them all. >> listen to what donald trump said about ted cruz today. >> ted cruz may not be a u.s. citizen, right? but he's an anchor baby. he's an anchor baby. ted cruz san anchor baby in canada. but canada doesn't accept anchor babies. they just waited a long time. >> your reaction when you hear that kind of talk? >> doesn't even make sense because that's not what the anchor baby term was. but i think trump is actually doing something else that people aren't paying enough attention to which is by distancing himself -- in some ways he's setting himself up for a large amount of independent voters, fr a large amount of folks who were just disenchanced with the republican party. maybe even with the democratic
party, and we have to be careful with this. particularly in iowa, you can -- anyone can caucus. you can have independent voters. new hampshire has a significant independent voter bloc. >> hardly ever disagree with ron, but i'm sorry. but i do think that a lot of these candidates have tried to take on trump. particularly look at jeb bush. you know, jeb bush accused his colleagues of being in the witness protection program, right? when it comes to taking on trump. he has been taking on trump and it's gotten him absolutely nowhere. and everybody else is taking on trump. >> could be he took trump on too late. >> and cruz is -- well, and same with cruz. >> they started late. they thought he would implode.
but he didn't. and so -- >> go ahead. >> and certainly jeb has -- and this is what they call the tragedy of the commons. they all recognize that something has to slow down trump. but they are afraid that if they are the one who goes out on that limb and trump turns all their firepower on them, they will be hurt and someone else will ben if t efit. >> you go through a two-hour debate where no one makes a case approaching the front-runner. if he wins iowa he'll be positioned to take new hampshire and south carolina which no one has done. i think there's a lack of urgency in the field about what that might mean for the rest of the race. they are still assume if they can be the last person standing he will hit a ceiling. >> i want everybody to stand by because there's a lot more coming up, including on the democratic side, new information coming in. we'll take a quick break. much more right after this.
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we're also following breaking news in the controversy over hillary clinton's use of a private e-mail server while she served as second of state. the state department now says it will not release 22 of hillary clinton's e-mail exchanges because they contain top-secret information. potential fodder for hillary clinton's political rivals just
days before the iowa caucuses. our chief national correspondent jim sciutto is working the story for us. we don't know if this information was classified at the time or retroactively. is that right? >> that's a key open question. seven e-mail chains, 37 pages of e-mails which the intelligence community decided to upgrade to the top-secret status. the highest classification status. that is new. this is the first time the e-mails have involved the top-secret status as opposed to lower levels of information. the state department says these were not marked as such at the time the e-mails were sent but to that question you brought up, was the information in there, whether marked or not classified at the time it was sent? the state department doesn't know the answer to that but it's launched its inquiry. here's how the state department answered questions on how these e-mails came to be determined to
be top secret classification. >> you guys were prepared to release it until the intel community came in and said, hey, wait a second? >> no, i wouldn't say that. we had an ongoing discussion with them at their request. we've decided to make this upgrade. it's a state department decision. we're doing it but at the request of the intelligence community. >> here's another key question. we asked the state department about this. even if the information is not marked as such, does the state department employee or official have an obligation to look out for it? and the fact is that, yes, state department employees are trained to handle classified information very carefully. if they see something, even if it's not marked as classified, they do in his words, have an obligation to do something about it. whether that's a legal obligation, that's a question for someone else. but there is, it appears to be, a positive obligation to protect classified information. >> jim sciutto, thanks for that explanation.
i want to get more from jeff zeleny out in iowa for us. what's been the reaction, jeff, out there? >> reporter: well, there's no question the campaign pushed back aggressively on this. even within minutes saying they would like the state department to release these e-mails. if i can tell you, that's the sentiment from democrats as well. they do not want the specter of this hanging over her campaign. senator bernie sanders, her chief rival here in iowa and new hampshire, he is not touching this. a senior adviser to his campaign told me they are not going to comment on this or weigh in on this at all. he believes the e-mails is a nonissue. among democrats, it's a nonissue. they believe that -- this is sort of much ado about nothing in the words of tom harkin from iowa, a top clinton supporter. as this moves forward to a general election campaign, should she become the nominee, this is an issue at that point among independent voters. the campaign realizes this.
they want this to be dispatched with as soon as possible here. there's so much chatter going on about these e-mails and the potential criminal review. there's deep suspicion about why this is happening, three days before the iowa caucuses. they don't think it's going to affect the vote here or in new hampshire because these are democratic primary contests going on and democrats aren't holding this against her. it could still be a big factor here. it's a big question mark hanging over the campaign. the campaign wants to be done with this, and it is not happening in that respect. >> jeff zeleny out in iowa. let's get some reaction from the clinton campaign. the spokesman is joining us. thanks very much for joining us. the republicans, they aren't waste anything time. they're accusing her of breaking the law. criminal the negligent, irresponsible. your reaction to the state department decision today to not release any of these 22 documents. the state department itself now says they've upgraded to being
top secret. >> right. as you heard, they did it at the behest of the intelligence community. the reality is, wolf, many people saw this coming because there was an inner agency dispute that's been going on for months and some of the more aggressive actors within that inner agency have been broadcasting publicly their feelings that some of this material should be treated as very sensitive, even as other agencies in the government have said that they don't have any basis to believe it to be classified. it seems like some of the more aggressive, louder and, in fact, more leak-prone agencies involved in this review of her e-mails have gotten the upper hand here and were disappointed in that. we disagreed with the finding and think these e-mails should be released, as she called for a year ago when she provided them. she provided them for the purpose of being made public because she wants the opportunity to have an
opportunity to read them and learn about her tenure at the state department. we're confident in people saw what was in the e-mails they'd realize this san example of overclassive kagss where you have the gray area of different agencies of what's classified and what's not. >> do you know, brian, what's in these specific 22 e-mails, these exchanges, what's kind of information? >> i would note it's quite remarkable that unlike all the other e-mails, because there's been so many agencies involved in reviewing these, that it's almost guaranteed that some agency is going to raise their hand and say, hey, actually out of an abundance of caution, i'd like to pull that back and think we should not. it's almost inevitable that's going to happen. and that has happened several hundred times over the last few months. at every opportunity the state department has said it was not classified at the time it was sent. it's being classified
retroactively. there's a decision to be made about these because you have the inspector general from the ic who has been leaking out or transmitting information to members of congress who have been leaking out his opinions that these e-mails have been classified. because there's been so many leaks, we have a decent window into what's contained in these e-mails. we know this ig has gotten it wrong in his judgment about several of hillary clinton's e-mails. there was one e-mail he judged to be classified that it turned out was actually marked unclassified. the exact office of what he thought. and we've learned also that there was another e-mail that was one of the ones that initially caused him to ask the fbi to conduct a review. today the state department told us in the final analysis they determined he was dead wrong. there were no actual concerns to that e-mail. there's been multiple instances where some of the loudest voices on the intelligence committee have misjudged whether this material is classified or not. >> this inspector general was
nominated by president obama, confirmed by democrats in the u.s. senate. a career former fbi agent, someone with an enormous amount of experience. are you saying this inspector general for the intelligence community is a partisan trying to undermine hillary clinton right now? >> wolf, his motives need not be partisan for him to be behaving inappropriately. in fact, what i think is going on here is you have a bureaucratic turf battle. agencies duking it out with each other and they all strongly believe in their own opinions about these findings that they've made. this inspector general is quite proud of the -- has a lot of pride in terms of valuing his ability to recognize classified material. so he went out on a limb back in august and said that four of these e-mails he looked at he thinks are classified. today one of them, the state department, has rendered a final judgment and said he was wrong about that. and at various points along the way, some of his other e-mails
he has flagged have been judged as not sensitive at all. and so i think there's been a desire by he and some others involved in this process to try to bolster their case. and share with members of congress their rationale and explain the justification for why they thought this last august. and that has armed republicans on capitol hill with the ability to help bang the drum that this is very sensitive material. even as you have other agencies in the government that are saying, actually, we routinely traffic in this information on unclassified e-mail. this is not bothersome at all. they've been duking it out. and i think the loudest voice has prevailed. if the public had an opportunity to look at them they'd think this was much ado about nothing. >> the state department has agreed, at least for now with the inspector general for the intelligence community. these 22 documents, these exchanges weren't simply redacted for sensitive information. they weren't released at all.
they just said we're going to deny any opportunity to even see these documents because they're top secret at this high classification. i think that's the first time they've completely avoided allowing any piece of these documents to be released. is that right? and i ask you that as a former spokesman for the u.s. justice department. >> that to right, wolf. you are right about that. and, to me, that is another very questionable aspect of what happened today. because even in the worst scenario, even if you believed certain members of the intelligence community that have strong feelings that some of this material is sensitive and should be redacted, the two field, front field, the day of it being sent, the idea that these documents in full had to be fully held back and withheld, i think, is suspect given that in every instance to date, even when they've wanted to redact a whole document, with the benefit of hindsight, wanting to exercise caution, they've at least released the paper --
>> why did the stat department even refuse to do that? >> i think the state department is in a tricky position here, wolf. they are the entity that is on the receiving end of the freedom of information act request from the reporter. so they are the tip of the spear and having to respond. they are the party involved in this foia lawsuit. even though it's an announcement that came out of the state department today it reflects a lot of jostling going on behind the scenes amongst a bunch of other agencies. >> is there a group in there that's trying to hurt hillary clinton among u.s. officials? >> i think that what could very well be going on here is you have a fogood-faith dispute because we have a problem of overclassi ivification in the ud states government to. john bolton, a conservative republican who served in george bush's administration, said that
if anyone tells you that we have a rational system for classifying things, i'd like to meet that person because he disagrees. i think that's the reality here. you can have one agency of the government that redacts a document one way and another agency within the same government that looks at the exact same e-mail and redacts it differently because they have dueling interpretation of what's class feud and what's not. when you have six or seven agencies that all get to weigh in you'll more than likely have someone raise their hand and say we need to raise it back. that's what's playing out here. it's a good-faith dispute. but the state department that's stood up for the last several months each time redactions have happened and said we don't believe that information is classified, that speaks to the fact that this is a gray area and the career foreign service officers often the originators of this e-mail know the difference between what's classified and what's not. a lot of people are mistaken to suggest that hillary clinton originated many of these e-mails. in fact, they are chains
ultimately forwarded to her after being bantied back and forth by career foreig service officers in the state department. these people know the difference between what's classified and what's not. by the logic of what today's announcement suggests, then there would be dozens of officials in the state department that were completely negligent. does anyone think that's what's going on here? i don't. in fact, wolf, just in closing, if you look back, the state department has a very good foia website on its website where you can look back at foia productions done across the years. and you can go back and look at e-mails from the bush administration under condy rice where e-mails were redacted after the fact for classification. did anyone suggest that condy rice's state damage was negligent in putting sensitive information into e-mail? this is a routine matter that happens when a foia request is granted and documents are released to the public. >> if it's routine and nothing classified in these documents,
hillary clinton can go to the president of the united states and say, please declassify these e-mails. he can do that on the spot. is she asking him to do that? >> we are -- we want the e-mails to be released. so that is our position. and that the decision today to withhold them in full was the wrong one. unfortunately, because we are cooperating in full with this process, we don't retain any copy of the e-mails. so some people have said, why don't you release them yourself? we've gone through the process the appropriate way but disagree -- >> why not ask the president? >> we're asking the government to reconsider the judgment that was made today in terms of the loudest voices from some circles within the intelligence community that have apparently prevailed in withholding too many of these e-mails. >> but the president easily could declassify all of these e-mails if she asked him, and if he agreed, right? >> wolf, i'd really be surprised if this has risen to the president's level because again,
this is a mundane matter of fulfilling a foia request. and i think only because the -- in this case, the subject of the request happens to be running for president of the united states, you suddenly have a proliferation of interest from various agencies across the government who are looking over the shoulder of the state department. quite frankly these foia requests get processed every day. i'd be surprised if the president is familiar with what's being redacted today. i think that any reasonable person, if they were automobile -- able to see the e-mails would understand why agencies like the state department have fought this for the last several months. >> because the inspector general for the intelligence community, brian, as you know, and you are familiar with all the various categories of classified information, he's not suggesting that this is confidential or sensitive or secret or even top secret. they are saying this is the highest levels of sensitive
compartmented information. they are saying it's sensitive special projects, all these codes they have for the highest classified information. those are serious accusations. >> yes, and i can understand how to the laymans ear that sounds like an egregious situation. however, that's why it's reckless and irresponsible that these types of findings and allegations have been floated through correspondence with capitol hill when no one can judge the content of the underlying e-mails. if you look at congressman adam schiff. very few members have had an opportunity to scrutinize these e-mails. a handful have. the chairman and ranking members of some of the committees of jurisdiction have had an opportunity. congressman schiff was out with a statement suggesting a lot of this is being taken out of context and affirming our perspective if people had the opportunity to judge this, they'd find it quite less serious than what the statements swirling out there make it seem like. he gave the example the other day on fox news sunday, he was
apeering on a sunday show and gave the example of a news article being forwarded to secretary kerry, if he was on an overseas trip. it could be even though the article was published that if the cia was coming in and had an opportunity to second-guess whether that should have been put into an e-mail, they might say, hey, we are going to redact that for classification purposes, even though millions of people would have read that article that same day in the newspaper. and that's sort of the irrational approach we have to classification in the government. >> brian, we've got to leave it there. she agrees it was a mistake to have a private e-mail server for four years as secretary of state, right? >> she, does but that's very different from agreeing with the announcement made today. very different. >> brian, thank you. >> in fact, wolf, it's actually immaterial to this whole announcement today that she had a personal server because all these e-mails were already on the unclassified state department e-mail system.
>> thanks very much for the explanations. >> thanks, wolf. we'll take a quick break. much more after this. think of it as a seven seat theater... for an action packed thriller. it takes a lot of work... but i really love it.s. i'm on the move all day long... and sometimes, i just don't eat the way i should. so i drink boost® to get the nutrition that i'm missing. boost complete nutritional drink has 26 essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium and vitamin d to support strong bones and 10 grams of protein to help maintain muscle. all with a great taste. i don't plan on slowing down any time soon. stay strong. stay active with boost®.
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there's breaking news in the manhunt for three inmates who made a stunning jailbreak. pamela brown reports. >> reporter: tonight, this man bac duong is back behind bars. chopper video shows the arrest scene where police say he surrendered to authorities outside an auto repair shop in santa ana, california.
>> bac duong contacted a civilian on the streets of santa ana and said he wanted to turn himself in. >> reporter: two others are still on the run. police say nayeri had an inappropriate relationship behind bars with this teacher at the california jail. cnn has learned the pair exchanged flirtatious handwritten letters. >> i don't know physically how close and personal, but i can tell you the correspondence they had in writing was of a personal nature. >> reporter: she taught english as a second language at the jail and nayeri attended her classes, but they believe the two iranian natives bonded over their first language, farsi. >> he speaks english. why he was attending that class and the connection, whether it is from iran, we're not exactly sure, that is very much of a
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terrorists but abandoned by its residents. clarissa ward reports. >> reporter: kurdish fighters are now in control, but the shadow of isis still looms large. the militants left here in a hurry. isis documents litter the floor of the islamic courthouse. further up the road, a kurdish fighter showed us a hastily abandoned bomb factory. in another building, barrels packed with explosives are still ready to be detonated. all of these are filled with hundreds of pounds of tnt, he says. they make a suicide attack. they can cause massive
devastation. these stockpiles just a tiny fraction of munitions scattered across syria. this town was liberated nearly two months ago, but when isis fled, so did all of arab residents and the streets here are still completely deserted. kurdish fighters just told us one of the 3,000 inhabitants remains. the rest simply vanished leaving behind shuttered shops and empty schools. an ominous sign of the deep distrust that haunts every corner of this country. erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. next, down to the wire. 72 hours before the first votes are cast. br donald trump unstoppable.