tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN March 22, 2017 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
the house intelligence committee chairman says some of the communications related to president trump may have been picked up during routine and legal surveillance. republican devin nunes raising more questions than he answered about what he learned and why he went trouble. tonight a key democratic says he has grave doubts. terror in london. panic and bodies in the streets as an attacker barrels towards the entrance of parliament. killer has a knife. in business with putin. former trump campaign chief paul manafort and ties to russia are under more suspicion tonight after a report he earned millions of dollars by helping the putin government. and razor's edge. president trump is racing against the clock to win support for the house healthcare bill and the republicans who may hand in an embarrassing defeat just
hours from now. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in the "the situation room." >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. we're following two major breaking stories this hour here in washington and london. right now urgent terrorism investigation is under way into an attack of the heart of britain's capital that killed three people, forced government into lockdown. a car mowed down pedestrians and crashed into the gate outside parliament and causing two deaths there and multiple catastrophic injuries. the driver then ran toward the house of commons stabbing and killing a police officer before he was shot by police. authorities believe there was only one attacker but a frantic search extended into the night. also breaking, a stunning new disclosure by the chairman much of the house intelligence committee that he shared with
the white house just a little while ago. republican devin nunes says u.s. investigators picked up conversations potentially associated with president trump during apparently legal surveillance of foreign officials, not related to russia. tonight, the committee's ranking democratic adam schiff said he was blindsided by this information. he has grave doubts about devin nunes's handling of the investigation. and nunes agree there is no evidence to support president trump's claim that he was wiretapped by president obama. tonight mr. trump says he feels, quote, somewhat vindicate. i'll talk about all the news with senator lindsey graham. our correspondents and analysts are also standing by. first, let's go to manu raju, he's covering a stunning new
cur curveball and the very angry reactions from the top democrats. manu, walk us through the breaking story. >> tonight, devin nunes, the chairman of the committee, creating an uproar by going public with what he learned from a secret source that some of trump's communications with officials were picked up incidentally in communications that were surveilled by the united states intelligence community. tonight democrats are concerned that mr. nunes went public without briefing them first and briefed the white house just as the house intelligence committee is conducting its own investigation, into russia, russia meddling and any improper contacts that may exist between the trump campaign and the russian officials. the question is who exactly was picked up by the incidental collections by the intelligence committee. when i asked to ask mr. nunes committee was the president of the united states picked up?
this is what he said. >> was the president part of that incidental collection, his communications? >> yes. >> this -- they were? >> yes. >> you said the president's collections were ins dejly collected then you said it's possible. was it collected or possibly collected? >> we don't know the answer. >> we don't know -- >> i know there was incidental collection regarding the president-elect and his team. i don't know if it was physically a phone call. >> you don't know it was the president. >> i do not know that. >> members of the intelligence committee tell me some of the communications were picked up from the trump transition team discussing how the new administration would start to form its new government and the that information was quote, unmasked and spread widely within the intelligence committee but not the president himself. there is discussion about the president's own family, family
issues that were also part of that incidental collection. but, wolf, nothing in here is vindicating the president's own claim that he was wiretapped under the orders of barack obama, devin nunes saying there is nothing in here that does support that claim. they can't say that any of this happened at trump tower as the president himself alleged, wolf. >> manu, i spoke with the ranking democratic on the house intelligence committee, adam schiff. you spoke with him earlier. he's upset and fuming about all this. >> he believes this could undermine this bipartisan investigation into russia. he says they did not learn about this information until devin nunes briefed reporters on this. and he's raising questions why mr. nunes went to the white house and talked to president trump about this, raising questions is devin nunes a chairman of this committee or surrogate of the white house. here is what he said earlier today. >> are you planning on pulling out of this investigation the
way that you did during the benghazi inquiry? two, did chairman nunes reveal any classified information today by disclosures to the press? >> we stayed on the benghazi select committee but we knew from the outset it was essentially going to be a political instrument to tear down secretary clinton's numbers. and, of course, we will have to analyze what this development means. i do think that if there is any chance remaining for us to conduct this investigation, we need to do it. as i said earlier in the week, we could do a tremendous service to the country if we're able to do a credible investigation and at the end of the day provide a report to the american people that has democrats and republicans on the same page. but if you have a chairman who is interacting with the white house and sharing
information with the white house when people around the white house are the subject of the investigation, and doing so before sharing it with the committee, it may -- it throws a profound doubt over whether that can be done credibly. >> did chairman nunes reveal any classified information today? >> well, it certainly -- it certainly inappropriate for us to be discussing whether specific people were the subject of collection or incidental collection to any degree that can divulge who the targets of that surveillance may be. so i'm not prepared to say that what the chairman said was classified or unclassified. i can say that it is beyond irregular to receive any evidence that's within the scope of an investigation and clearly if the chairman is right about the content here, it's within the scope of the issues we're looking at whether masking procedures are followed and whether things are being leaked.
and i -- i would say that the most profound concern here i have is that these actions simply raise enormous doubt about whether the committee can do its work. >> the question now, wolf, is where does the committee go from here, can it conduct a buy partisan -- bipartisan investigation. there is separate investigations. richard burr, the republican, not commenting on this saying he's going to worry about his own investigation. one member of the intelligence committee ron wyden saying that mr. nunes may have disclosed classified information, appears that he may have revealed classified information which quote would be a serious concern. >> manu raju on capitol hill. this adding a layer of controversy to president trump's campaign that he was wiretapped by president obama. let's check in with jeff zeleny.
you had a chance to ask the president about all this. >> we did, wolf. this is coming in terms of a lifeline here at least an immediate one here for the white house which has been under siege for the week. we asked the president his opinion. >> doubtful vindicated by chairman nunes coming in there. >> i somewhat do. i very much appreciate the fact that they found what they found. >> they found what they found. but we tried asking him as he was meeting with other lawmakers what they found and he was not answering questions, wolf. this whole extraordinary development from capitol hill really shocking all of washington is simply raising more a certain about all of this. it is a beginning of a day when the president was trying to move beyond all these questions of his credibility.
but it certainly is now raising more of a concern here particularly if an independent investigation comes out of all of this here. but the white house at least in the short-term was receiving all of this as a bit of good news in a week that has not had much of it, wolf. >> yep, good point. thanks very much, jeff zeleny over at the white house. let's talk about all of the breaking stories. lindsey graham is joining us, a former republican candidate and he's now in the armed services committee. thanks for joining us. >> thanks for having me. >> you see what's happening on a slow news day. let's talk about a few versions of the story. the house intelligence committee devin nunes saying the president may have been surveilled. adam schiff saying the most names are masked. manu raju saying the content of the conversations unmasked were gossip among the transition team. what do you think the real story
is? >> that's a really good question. one, i don't know. but here is the question for me. does this fall into the category of the trump campaign was surveilled? i don't think so. does it fall into the category of being unlawful? i don't believe so. is it disturbing, in this regard it is. i meet with foreign leaders all the times a senator, i wonder if my meetings are being surveilled by the intelligence community. if so, i think when i'm involved that may be inappropriate because i may be talking of things of policy that i don't want the executive branch to know about. >> the fbi director and the national security agency director, they were testifying up on capitol hill before the house intelligence committee on monday and said none of this. what does that tell you? >> it tells me that there is no evidence of surveilling of the trump campaign where a warrant was issued or requested by the fbi, that the nsa was never involved in surveilling the
trump campaign ordered by the obama administration. now, we surveil foreign agents all the time. foreign leaders. we surveil people as part of the intelligence gathering. the one thing that is disturbing is that a transition team you expect to be talking to other countries. what i want to know is when a transition team member talks to a representative of another country, what are the procedures to make sure that that is confidential in terms of the interaction between our government and a foreign nation? >> because you said there was no surveillance that was authorize. surveillance of donald trump or his transition team but information may have been collected because they were in conversations with others who were then being legally surveilled. >> exactly. >> is that a problem from your perspective? >> well, it's a problem in this regard. no, i'm glad we're surveilling people to make sure we keep our country safe and have good intelligence about what's going
on in the world. but there is a legal process. so from what i understand is that trump members were talking to people that were under legal surveillance. here is the question i think for the country. should the executive branch, the intelligence community be surveilling conversations between transition team members, members of congress about policy, not intelligence gathering? that's a good question. i don't know the answer to that. i would like to think that when i spoke to the prime minister of iraq, that i wasn't being surveilled. >> you know, some are suggests that devin nunes, the republican chairman, is actually providing some sort of political cover for president trump as the healthcare bill is in trouble right now, reports about paul manafort's ties to russia, he was the trump campaign chairman. you served in congress. you've been on committees for a long time. was it appropriate for nunes to rush over to the white house and
brief the white house and the president on this before even briefing his own committee especially his ranking member? >> i certainly wouldn't have done that. that's for him to explain. but the senator whitehouse and myself have been con ducking an investigation in the judiciary committee. we talk to each other, we sign letters together. senator burr have a good relationship. i find that a bit odd frankly. but at the end of the day, i don't see any evidence in in story that the obama administration had the trump administration surveilled, that they were being followed or wiretapped. what is odd about this story is there is incidental collection going on between members of the transition team and foreign governments and my question is how routine is that? as a member of the senate, can i feel comfortable talking to a member of the foreign government knowing that my conversations are going to be private? >> it's a good question. do you think it's time for an independent investigation right
now? >> no. i think what we're doing in the senate is working. we had a really good hearing in the judiciary committee. i think senator burr and warner are making great progress. quite frankly, i thought the house intel was terrific. it was clear to me that the fbi director and the nsa director could not verify there was illegal surveillance of the trump campaign. that put that to rest to me. the fbi director said there is an investigation of the trump campaign ties to russia and i think we should honor that investigation. >> that committee hearing on monday was a powerful committee hearing. there seemed to be excellent made across from republicans and democrats but that seems to be in trouble right now based on what happened today. do you believe paul manafort who is -- was the trump campaign chairman needs to testify to his ties to a russian billionaire? >> i think what was reported about his activities are very disturbing to me, that he did,
if you believe this report -- i don't know if it's true or not -- receive millions of dollars from a putin associate, a billionaire in russia tied to putt -- putin and the story goes he was trying to advise the billionaire and since then the putin had to stop the spread of democracy. i don't know if it's true or not. i hope someone is looking into it. i don't know in the fbi is looking into this. so i don't want to get into their lane. >> the fbi in the statement that comey put out on monday, it said, as with any counterintelligence investigation, this will also include an assessment of whether any crimes were committed. there is this criminal investigation now hanging over the white house, right? >> well, yeah. here is what i would say, that the fbi is investigating potential collaboration between the russians and the trump campaign that may be legal, it may not be legal. director clapper said during his time there he saw no such
collaboration, but the fbi director did confirm there is an ongoing investigation. as to mr. manafort, i think that would be appropriate to question him about this story. maybe there is nothing about it. if you believe this story and there is some truth to it, that's pretty disturbing. that's not to say president trump knew about this association with the russians but something worth looking at. >> certainly is. senator, we have much more to discuss including the terror in london today, the confirmation hearings for judge neil gorsuch. there is a lot happening in washington, london around the world. much more with senator lindsey graham right after this. heart healthy california walnuts. the best simple dinner ever? heart healthy california walnuts. great tasting, heart healthy california walnuts.
lindsey graham. i want to get back to you in a moment. we have breaking news on the terror attack in london. we have clarissa ward with us. update our viewers on the very latest. >> well, we do know now that the parliamentians, that were sequestered are allowed to leave. that the investigation is being wrapped up. this took place in one of the busiest most bustling parts of london, it would have been buzzing with students, lawmakers, politicians, schoolchildren, all different sorts of people would have been thronging around this area when the attack happened. take a look. >> reporter: tonight london police are investigating what they say is a terror attack on britain's parliament, the area
placed on dockdo -- lockdown. >> it's confusing, we're told one police officer has been stabbed. it would appear that what happened with the car was coming to westminster bridge and mowing down pedestrians on the way and it seems that then the driver had -- it appears he came and got access onto the grounds and stabbed a police officer. >> reporter: officials confirmed that account, 20 people hurt some with catastrophic injuries. as a car plowed into the pedestrians and bystanders on westminster bridge. >> there were bodies literally -- ten bodies. >> ten bodies. >> i saw five people down, mowed down by a car. including one person bleeding heavily from the head. and another person lying down
unconscious. >> these five people you say lying on the ground on that bridge had been hit by this vehicle, is that right? >> so it looked like the car was -- i am now assuming, i'm not speculating -- as if the car was swerving between the pavement and the road to hit people. >> reporter: seconds later, the vehicle crashed into a parliament gate. authorities say the assailant then attempted to enter the grounds and reportedly stabbed an officer before being taken down. >> sadly, i can confirm that now four people have died. that includes the police officer who was protecting parliament and one man we believe to be the attacker he was shot by the police officer. >> reporter: prime minister theresa may was inside the building at the time of the attack. eyewitnesss say she was rushed away as gunfire was heard. >> the occasion of this attack
was no mistake, he chose to strike at the heart of the city, where people of all nationalities, cultures and countries, come together to celebrate the values of freedom, democracy and freedom of speech. let me make it clear today as i have had calls to do before, any attempt to defeat those values through violence and terror is doomed to failure. >> reporter: the assistant british police commissioner said this is the day we have planned for but we hoped would never happened. sadly, it is now a reality, and wolf, the terror threat as been at the level of severe for sometime and it will continue to be so according to british prime minister. >> clarissa ward, thank you very much. let's get back to senator lindsey graham. have you been briefed on this attack today? is there any intelligence, for
example, on similar plots in the united states? >> no, i have not. i've been in the gorsuch hearings today. our condolences to those who lost their lives and the families and those injured. with what i want to know for our nation was this a coordinated terror attack, directed by isil or some other organization or a loan wolf -- lone wolf killing in the name of jihad. that's my question was this a coordinated attack or a self inspired terror attack. >> he used a knife and a car. supports said if you don't have a gun, get a knife, you don't have a knife, get a car. start killing people. here's what worries me, copycat attacks. is that a serious concern?
>> yeah, you have mentally disturbed people who want their 15 minutes of fame and others who become radicalized because of this action. i like that president trump is going to have a more aggressive military plan. if you can destroy isil that's a step in the right direction. if someone wants to take their own life and do it this way, it's hard to prevent this stuff. you need good intelligence. my worry one day it won't be a car and aknife but something worst. >> as you know tomorrow there will be a vote on the house floor and a repeal and replace of the healthcare. >> right. >> at least six of your republican colleagues are leaning no on this republican healthcare bill. are you going to vote for this bill if it comes to the senate? >> number one, i have no idea what is in it. i have a lot of colleagues in the house that i respect who
believe it is not where it should be. the most embarrassing thing for the republican party is repeat the mistakes of the democratic party. not understand how it works, and do it fast. and i can tell you as a united states senator i'm not going to vote on this bill until i can understand it, ask questions about it, and maybe change it. the process we're engaging in i don't think is our best efforts to repeal and replace obamacare. and i want to do that, and i want to help the president. going over to the house saying you want to vote thursday. most people don't know how it works in the senate. not what i want. >> i heard it from rand paul of kentucky. you're not alone. let's get to judge neil gorsuch. you said if the judge isn't confirmed with 60 votes it means politics have replaced
qualifications. but you believe president obama's supreme court nominee merrick garland was refused because a lot of -- democrats are seeking, i don't know if revenge, but they're upset about that. why should the democrats listen to you now when you say vote on qualifications? garland wasn't even given a vote. >> number one, i'd be glad to tell you. i voted for soeto mieor and kagan because i thought they were qualified. scalia passed away, there was a running for the election. there was one time in the last 100 years where somebody, a replacement in the supreme court was in the last year where the senate was of one party and the senate was of the other. ask joe biden.
in 1992 he told the last year of bush 41 do not send a nominee over here if somebody retires, the election season is full blown. to my democratic friends, you're manufacturing this issue, there is no doubt in my mind that if the shoes were on the other foot you would have done what we do and said since the campaign season is afoot, we'll let the next president pick. garland was a good pick, i expected clinton to be nominating somebody but it did not work that way. twice i voted for qualified nominees. this man is beyond qualified, unanimously qualified, rating by the american bar association. not to vote for him is not revenge, you're more worried about your basis to vote no i got the crap braeten out of me when i voted for soeto mieor and
kagan, and i'm proud that i did, nominated by president obama. gar la garland was a fine man, but we haven't done it that way for 100 years. >> you said you voted for democratic nominees even if you disagreed with him. elections have consequences, the president has a right to nominate individuals, republican or democratic president. >> sure. >> in the senate right now, who is the democratic lindsey graham, who is the democratic that you believe will stand up and vote to confirm judge gorsuch and say this transscents politics. >> i really don't know. i don't want to be hard on my colleagues. we had the six years of terms where the saucer that cools the coffee cup. the pressure on all politicians including senators is enormous and immense.
here is what i can say. i haven't voted for a withining presidential campaign. i did honor the fact that president obama won. and let's honor the fact that president trump won and from a republican conservative point of view, he picked the most qualified among the 21 that i could have thought of. he's extremely well-qualified and a good man and you want to reward president trump for picking well-qualified people because at the end of the day i was worried he would pick somebody else. i would ask my colleagues to look to the long term here. there will be another democratic. what goes around comes around. if we can put gorsuch on the bench it will be good for the body and court. >> the american bar association ranked him as highly qualified for the u.s. supreme court. senator graham, thank you for joining us. >> happy birthday. >> thank you very much.
more news breaking on the house intelligence committee. new claims related to the surveillance of the trump transition team. did the congressman devin nunes cross the line? it's the fast and easy way to a thick, green, resilient lawn, with two simple feedings. one now, and one later this spring. it takes grass from hungry - to healthy. pete may not be an expert, but look at that grass. this is a scotts yard. for a quick and easy lawn care plan, download the my lawn app.
police have just announced four people, in addition to the tacker, were killed. the number of injured at least doubled to at least 40 people. list in london say the attack was international terrorism. they believe they know the identity of the attacker. they're not revealing it to the public at least not yet. we'll update you once it comes in. truly new developments in the white house probe into russian meddling here in the united states. devin nunes says intelligence reports given to him shows president trump's communications may have been incidental picked up by u.s. intelligence agencies, his decision to immediately go over to the white house to brief the president before sharing that information with his committee including the chairman angered.
adam schiff says he has grave concerns about the committee's investigation. let's dig deeper with our experts and analysts. was he out-of-bounds, jeffrey toobin today, for rushing to the white house before briefing his committee? >> completely. because it looks like he is trying to defend the president and help the president rather than conduct an independent investigation. i'm not sure how much he helps the president because these disclosures just add another question. who is he talking to, about what? in the context of an investigation talking about russia, if they're russians that may be of interesting. >> adam schiff, phil mudd, says he worries that the house intelligence committee investigation will not fair given the behavior of the chairman. it was supposed to be nonpartisan, bipartisan, if you will, but he fears that is an illusion and it may be time for
an independent commission. would that help? >> i think that makes sense to me. look, make it even simpler, take the names out. take the committees out. the judicial branch of government in our system is looking over an intelligence investigation, democrats and republicans, they're getting highly sensitive information, some of it relates to the executive branch. in this case the executive branch, the president of the united states and advisers. they have an umbrella, they talk to each other -- >> you mean the legislative branch. >> right. i'm sorry. what do we have today? one branch of government goes %-p investigation, without talking to the counterpart? i think you have to step back and say how do we confirm this is a fair oversight when the first conversation isn't with the economy but the white house. >> where do we go from here, david? >> i think we go from here so
far where we've gone today, first with congressman schiff coming out and responding very rapidly to congressman nunes because as he said he was blindsided. and also you have a situation where you have democrats calling for this separate, outside, independent investigation, and i think we're going to have to wait and see how the white house responds. president trump seems to indicate -- he had the quote saying he felt partially vindicated, i'm paraphrasing. but i think there is more to come. >> rebecca, will there be an independent investigation? >> the pressure, i think, will be founding after this because republicans will be hard pressed to defend what nunes did today as something that was nonpartisan, not trying to help the president or influence the process. when you have the chairman of the intelligence committee in that situation, it becomes difficult for leaders in the house or the senate, what have you, to defend this as an independent investigation. so the next step if you can't defend this as independent, to
do a select committee or something else. >> there is a criminal investigation. james comey announced it on monday. he said that the fbi criminal investigation has actually been going on since last july. >> if you're sitting in the fbi, what are you are saying about the criminal investigation when you have members of congress saying please give us the details, this is important for the american national security. if i were at the fbi i would say you mean you want me to reveal details of this investigation to you, which the fbi shouldn't do anyway, when you're suggesting me the first response is to go to the white house, the entity under investigation. that's not going to happen. i think san independent council or investigation may work. because people in the intel will say i'm nervous going to capitol hill and being open in my conversation. >> isn't the fbi investigation an independent outside investigation? >> it is. but it has a very different purpose than a congressional investigation. i worked on the iran contra
investigation for lawrence walsh who was a prosecutor. at the same time there were the iran contra committees. it was a joint house senate committee. their mission was to disclose to the public what really went on. our mission was to identify and from any crimes that took place. here you could have the same structure. it was the same situation in watergate. you had the prosecutors and special investigators. but what was common and not here they were independent congressional investigations. they were not run bipartisans. they were joint house and senate committees that did a fair investigation. >> amidst all these investigations, david swerdlick, as you know and all of the journalists know there are a lot of journalists who are investigating this right now, and you never know what they're going to pick up. >> right. what we know is that congressman
nunes is coming out here and saying essentially that there is more information that he believes he has than what seems to be the case on monday during the hearings. we don't know who is going to get picks up. everybody stand by. we're getting new details of last minute arm-twisting by the white house to get the votes to pass the house healthcare bill. we'll update you on that right after this. our heart healthy idaho potatoes, america's favorite potatoes, and donating to local charities along the way. but now it's finally back home where it belongs. aw man. hey, wait up. where you goin'? here we go again. what would help is simply being able to recognize a fair price. truecar has pricing data on every make and model,
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getting new information about president trump's campaign for the gop health care bill on the eve of a high stakes vote. let's go to our congressional correspondent, sunlen serfaty, on capitol hill. sunlen, crunch time for the president and the republican leadership. >> reporter: it absolutely is, wolf. the situation right now is very fluid on capitol hill. there is certainly an intense pressure now forming on the republican leadership and the white house as this bill barrels towards a potential final vote tomorrow in the house. they still have to work over a few members to get the votes that they need for this bill. this next 24 hours is absolutely critical. it's the final stretch. house republicans scrambling for votes. with precious few hours left on
the clock, house republican leaders and the white house are making the final push. >> thursday is the big day. >> reporter: before their bill faces a vote in the house tomorrow. >> it really is a crucial vote for the republican party and for the people of our country. >> reporter: house leaders locking in at least one new vote today, congressman lou barletta, who was leaning against the bill, declaring he's now a yes vote. >> we're adding votes by the day, not losing votes. we feel like we're getting close. >> reporter: but the bill is still in serious jeopardy. >> we still haven't seen the movement we want. >> reporter: according to cnn's latest vote count, at least 23 house republicans have said they'll vote against the bill. more have indicate caited they'll likely oppose it. speaker ryan can't lose more than 21 votes or the bill fails. >> there's no plan b. there's plan a and plan a. we'll get this done. >> reporter: this reality setting off an aggressive last-minute offensive to make
deals and change mipds before the vote. in public -- >> this is called legislating. there are people who want various provisions in the bill but what's important for us is we have to broker compromises to make sure we draft legislation that can actually pass. >> reporter: and behind closed doors today. president trump ramping up his personal pleas to some of the holdouts. so with so many members of the conservative house freedom caucus to the white house today. >> big vote tomorrow. >> reporter: sources tell cnn the president is telling skeptical members i'll have your back if they sign on. >> obamacare is making their lives so much more difficult as we know. >> reporter: but that presidential arm twisting for some isn't enough. >> i don't think the votes are there today. >> reporter: after the white house meeting today, the chairman of the house freedom caucus is still a no. >> we believe the best approach is to actually start over and do something that actually lowers premiums. we need changes to the underlying bill before we vote on it in the house. >> reporter: today the house rules committee taking the last key step before bringing the
bill to the floor, marking up minor tweaks to the bill. >> this legislation answers the president's call to action in a thoughtful, deliberate way. >> reporter: democrats day countering with their own celebrity to celebrate the seven-year anniversary of obamacare. >> it will be as our former vice president once said, a bfd. >> i just want to tell governor brown be careful what he whispers to me. >> reporter: and some cautious optimism and some potential softening coming from mark meadow, the chairman of the house freedom caucus. spokesmen for meadows saying they're working with the president and his team to make changes. they're hopeful they can get something done. that a big shift in tone from just only even an hour ago. >> potentially very significant moment. all right. sunlen, thanks very much. sunlen serfaty up on capitol hill. just ahead, a new missile launch
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north korea's threat growing in the wake of the latest missile test. barbara starr reports. >> reporter: u.s. anxiety about north korea's nuclear weapons and missile programs is at an all-time high even with a just-failed test launch of one medium-range ballistic missile. >> we see the reckless behavior north of the dmz on the korean
peninsula as unsettling the northwestern pacific, east asia area. >> reporter: tonight a highly classified u.s. aircraft is in the region, ready to move in to take air samples if north korea conducts another underground nuclear test. classified satellite imagery shows that test it would be the sixth one, could happen at any time with no warning. north korea also appears ready to launch missiles that could eventually hit the united states. >> north korea's reckless rhetoric and provocative actions continue despite united nations censure and sanctions. >> reporter: the u.s. aircraft carrier "carl vinvinson" joinin military exercises with south korea. and u.s. air force b-1 pomers joining south korea fighter jets in more training. >> if they elevate the threat of their weapons program to a level
that we believe requires action, that option is on the table. >> reporter: military action now openly discussed. but it's putting the pentagon in the position of figuring out whether a war against north korea and the continuing war against isis can really both be carried out if it comes to that. >> if there was a hot fight on the peninsula, if the united states and its allies decided to go against those missile and nuclear development facilities in north korea, that would be priority number one. >> reporter: it would put huge pressure on u.s. satellites and drones to conduct surveillance both on the korean peninsula and in the middle east at the same time. the air force already needs up to 500 more drone pilots. isis may be the threat that is somewhat set aside. >> everything we are doing vis-a-vis isis, everything we are doing to try to contain the caliphate in the mideast would
become a secondary effort. >> reporter: just how busy is north korea with its weapons programs? the pentagon calculates it has increased its missile launches by more than 80% over the last year. wolf? >> barbara, thank kate bolduan picks up our special coverage on "erin burnett out front." democrats crying foul after trump's communications may have been incidentally picked up by the intelligence community. time for an independent investigation on trump and russia? the other major breaking story tonight, terror attack in london, four dead, at least 40 injured. the investigation ongoing. was it isis? plus, does president trump have the votes? hours before the house votes on the republican health care plan, one congressman changed his no vote to, quote, hell no. let's go "out front." good evening.