hello, i'm wolf blitzer. it's 1:00 p.m. here in washington. wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks very much for joining us. the white house says the congressional investigations into russia should go forward and that the lawmaker leading an the house investigation should stay at the helm. the white house press secretary sean spicer just wrapped up today's white house press briefing. he said he sees no reason for the house intelligence committee chairman devin nunes who recuse himself from the investigation. spicer said he has no new details on noneness' visit to the white house last week to view surveillance information and who granted him access to the white house. and he says the president is
willing to engage with lawmakers on a new health care reform bill. first, to the russia investigation. the house intelligence chairman nunes rejecting calls from democrats and now at least some republicans to at least recruise himself from the investigation into russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election. among the unanswered questions, who exactly cleared nunes to go on to white house grounds so that he could meet with a source and view secret intelligence reports. that's something the white house was asked about once again today. >> you said to us from the podium you would look into how chairman nunes was cleared here and with whom he met. do you have any information to live up to the commitment you made on monday to provide more details about how that happened in a process you just told us yet again is above board and totally appropriate. >> i don't have anything for you on that at this time. but again. >> did you look at it? >> i have asked preliminary
questions and not gotten answers yet. >> i'm asking you about something you told us. >> i said i would look into it. i will look into it and whether or not. >> il live up to that obligation. >> i said il continue to look it and will continue to do that. >> for now the house investigation remains at a standstill. it's a different story on the senate side where the intelligence committee is planning its first open hearing on russia tomorrow. let's bring in senior white house correspondent jim acosta and senior conscious greasingal reporter manu raju from capitol hill. jim, you just left over there. sean spicer faced tough questions once again about the house committee chairman devin nunes. update viewers on the very latest we're getting. > well, wolf, as you heard during the briefing with press secretary sean spicer, he was asked a number of times in a number of ways as to lo the source is for that information that the house intelligence committee chairman devin nunes met with last week before he
dropped that bombshell that at least the white house felt supported the president's claim that he was wire tap by former president obama. i asked sean spicer point blank, do you know who that source is. and he said no, he does not. he was asked earlier this week could you please get to the bottom of this information who cleared the chairman into the white house grounds and then who gave him access or helped him get access to that information. he said he's still trying to obtain that information but did not have it for us today, wolf. that was perhaps the only development on that front. no news on nunes. but at the same time, we should point out, there are many other questions that came up, particularly this puzzing comment that the president made last night about health care reform and how he thinks it would be easy to get a deal such an easy one. he said roughly to some of these lawmakers some senators over here at the white house last
night featuring the president and first lady. he also said that u.s. troops are fighting in iraq like never before. and i asked the white house press secretary about both of those comments and whether or not they were really in touch with reality. sean spicer said, well on health care, he was just joking when he said that it would be such an easy one. he was sort of poking fun at i suppose the fact that they were not able to turn this into such an easy ones in terms of getting health care pass 37d here's a bit of how that played out. >> if you couple that comment with the comment on health care, it being an easy one to get that done, it sounds like he's -- you probably have heard this and come across this notion he's detached from reality in making those comments. >> first of all, i again woman respectfully ask you to review the tape. he was having a light-hearted moment. it's on tape. he was poking fun and making a joke. there's been comments before how he didn't get it and he was joking about how easy it was. okay? it was a light-hearted moment. it was on tape.
i think everybody and the idea there is this like trying to make it look like he's being utterly serious at the time is a little bit of a stretch. >> and on the iraq comment, wolf, as we know, u.s. troops are in iraqing in an advise and assist role. they may come across combat situations from time to time but the iraqis are in the lead in that fight, particularly in the bat to retake mosul with, of course, the assistance of u.s. air power. when i pressed sean spicer on that, spicer said that the president was referring to progress being made in iraq in mosul and in the fight against isis overall. but of course, when you say that u.s. troops are fighting in iraq like never before, that, of course, completely disregards what was going on during the bush administration and part of the obama administration when u.s. soldiers were fighting and dying by going house to house and trying to beat back not only al qaeda in iraq but later on isis in iraq, wolf. >> jim, stand by. i want to go to manu up on the
hill. we're expecting to hear from the two leaders of the senate intelligence committee in the next hour. what do we expect to hear from them? clearly there's much greater bipartisan cooperation in the senate intelligence committee than the house intelligence committee. >> it's an effort on the senate side to try to reassure the publicing that this committee on the senate side is conducting a credible and thorough investigation particularly aftering what happened in the house that that investigation bogged down in politics and now you the utterly gridlocked and questions whether the house can produce anything on a bipartisan basis or continue forward on its investigation. on the house side, the reason why there's a dispute right now theing is beak over process. democrats are calling for a public hearing that was canceled yesterday by chairman devin nunes to be back on the books alongside a private briefing with james comey, the fbi director and mike rogers, the
nsa director. but earlier today, devin nunes said that well, democrats have not submitted their witness lists yet and he doesn't think they're being very serious in the investigation. adam schiff, the top democrat on the house panel just issued a statement pushing back saying there the minority submitted a list of witnesses to the majority yesterday. this list represents only the first of many witnesses we believe should be called to testify. he goes on to say that they have yet to receive a response from devin nunes. so no ingredient yet on process which is one reason why the senate leaders are trying to show they are doing a very deep dive into the issue of russia, any of those connections that occurred between russian officials and trump officials and to answer some questions about their upcoming testimony they're going to hear from jared kushner, the president's son-in-law, something i'm told will be done in a private setting likely under oath. they're going to probably lay out some of their time line for hoping to achieve some of those,
get some of that information. so we'll hear from them and just later this afternoon, but in the meantime, not much progress on the house side. as all meetings canceled this week, questions whether they can meet anymore as democrats call for nunes to step aside which he will not do, wolf. >> we'll look forward to that briefing from the leaders of the senate intelligence committee coming up in the next hour. manu raju, and jim acosta, thanks very much. coming up later today in "the situation room," i'll be speaking live with representative adam schiff about the russia investigation, t"the situation room" airs 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. eastern. schiff will be live during the 5:00 p.m. eastern hour. tomorrow the intelligence committee digs into the russia situation with two hearings. as they look into ties between russia and the trump campaign. a story sean spicer says is media manufactured and president trump calls fake news.
joining us now, the wyoming republican senator john barrasso. a member of the foreign relations complete. thanks for coming in. >> thanks for having me. >> is all this fake news media manufactured that russia interfered in the election. >> i believe russian did interfere and tried to do more in the election. they're also trying to interfere in the upcoming election in germany and in france. >> this is clearly worthy of congressional investigation. >> absolutely. the senate intelligence committee is moving along with the seriousness of purpose to get to the bottom of all of this. it's a bipartisan effort to make america safe, strong and secure. this is nothing sacrificing when you think about vladimir putin. is he cunning, aggressive, opportunistic and will do anything he can i believe to try to destroy democracy worldwide. >> does it bother you the president calls it all phony, fake, whatever adjective when he
describes this russia probe. >> i believe it's real. we need to get to the bottom of it. you have a bipartisan group in the senate. all the senators want to snow the truth and share that with the american people. >> in addition to the senate intelligence committee investigation, there's going to be other investigations into lindsey graham, sheldon whitehouse are working on their own investigation. there's a house investigation going on, not going along that great. should there be beyond that an independent commission taking a look? the stakes are enormous if the russians did what the u.s. intelligence community believes threw do do. >> i have great confidence in the committee to get to the bottom of it. >> you don't think there's an independent commission needed. >> no, it's doing its work. >> are you frustrated by what you see going on in the house intelligence committee? >> the house speaker ryan will make decisions on that. you see it with chairman richard brrr,ing with mark warner the senator from virginia who said
this is the most conscious convention counsel thing he's done as a u.s. senator >> he said it to me, in fact. i want to move on to health care. a little confusion. you were at the reception last night at the white house. republican senators, democratic senators are all invite there had. the president was speaking. first i want to play what the president said and then sean spicer's reaction. >> okay. >> i know that we're all going to make a deal on health care. that's such an easy one. i have no doubt that's going to happen quickly. i think it will actually. i think it's going to happen because we've all been promising, democrat, republican, we've all been promising that to the american people. so i think a lot of good things will happen there. >> the deal he's looking for is willing to have members come and talk to him and engage with on this whole area and figure out what it would take, what their ideas are to get there to grow that vote. if they can do that and get to an area where we have a majority of the house, we're going to engage in na.
>>. >> you were there. was the president joking when he said that's such an easy one talking about health care. >> i think everyone in the room smiled when he said it. it was an important thing to do to have republicans and democrat members of the senate there. we all realize it's also very serious in terms of what we need to do for the american people, even the day before the health care vote failed in the house, seven out of ten americans said you either have to repeal in total or in part the obama health care law. >> are you ready to work with dras to try to come up not necessarily repeal obamacare but to improve it? are you at least ready to take that initial step? because democrats say if you forget about the word repeal but improve, fix, make it better, we're willing to work with you, are you willing to work with them. >> i was talking with one of the democrat members of the senate this morning what we need to do to move forward. americans need relief from this health care law. their premiums have gone up.
costs have gone up. the choices have gone down. in my state of wyoming, there's only one person selling insurance. rates have gone up 25% the past year across the country. americans need a better solution. >> what's the bottom line? are you willing to work with democrats and come up with an improved health care system? forget about the word repeal at least for you. >> let me tell you from the beginning, i thought the democrats were wrong to do it working loan. we need something that, would for all of america. as a doctor, we needed health care reform before i got to the senate. we still need it. we are not there with president obama's plan. and i just think you need to work together to find the best solutions and as a physician, i am committed to that solution. >> let's quickly talk about neil gorsuch, the nominee for the united states supreme court. the majority leader mitch mcconnell set a date for a vote, april 7th. the democrats are threatening a filibuster. that means you need 60. you have 52 republicans,
democrats. if necessary, would you go along with what's called the nuclear option eliminate that filibuster option if you will, and go down to a simple majority 51? but lpt the filibuster for supreme court nominees? >> every supreme court vote in the united states senate for over 200 and some years has been an up or down vote. neil gorsuch deserves that. i am committed to having him on the supreme court. i will do whatever it takes to make sure that happens. >> including nuclear option
>> i will assure you that come the next week and a half, he will be confirmed and on the supreme court. >> you would vote for what's called the nuclear option. >> i do whatever it takes to confirm him. he is the right person. he's mainstream. i think he's the best choice that president trump could have ever made for the supreme court. he understands that it's important for a judge to apply the law and not legislate from are the bench. and that's what he's going to do. >> i'll take that as a yes.
thank you, senator ba ross so. thanks for coming in. democratic senator jeff merkley joins us. we'll get his take on the russian interference in the u.s. presidential election. yes says he'll be voting against judge neil gorsuch next week. we'll speak with him live right after this. talk about this. it's time. it is a big decision for us... let's take the $1000 in cash back. great! yeah, i want to get one of those gaming chairs with the speakers. oh, you do? that's a surprise... the volkswagen 3 and easy event, where you can choose one of three easy ways to get a $1000 offer. hurry in to your volkswagen dealer now and you can get $1000 as an apr bonus, a lease bonus, or cash back.
senate republicans are pressuring democrats to stand down on threats to filibuster the confirmation of the u.s. supreme court nominee judge neil gorsuch. a group of senators along with former gorsuch clerks gathered on the steps of the stream supreme court last hour to make their case. here's senators chuck grassley and lindsey graham. >> he's easily cleared every hurdle in place of him in front of him for this position. it leaves me then very stunned why there's this talk about a filibuster. it's quite clear that if he isn't qualified, then nobody is. >> to my democratic colleagues, if he can't get 60 votes, neil gorsuch, that tells me that you don't care about qualifications any longer. i voted for sotomayor and kagan
under the obama administration. i would not have chosen either one but i thought they were well qualified. >> joining us now senator jeff merkley of oregon, one of 28 democrats saying or at least suggesting they would go ahead and filibuster. he's joining us live from capitol hill. thanks for joining us. >> you're welcome. good to be with you. >> so you were one of the first to say you would vote against judge neil gorsuch's confirmation. why is that? the american bar association, for example, says he is highly qualified. >> well, because i'm not going to be part of a court packing scheme. this seat for the first time in u.s. history was stolen from one president and delivered to the next with the hope of packing the court to the far right. and with gorsuch, we're talking to the very far right. if this effort to steal a seat succeeds, then forever more the temptation is going to be there to do the same. it puts a big cloud over any 5-4 decision and it puts a big cloud over the integrity of the court. in fact, if neil gorsuch had
principle, developed turned down this nomination on the basis that the person who should be nominated is merrick garland. >> merrick garland was nominated by president obama during the final year of his administration. he didn't even get a vote. didn't even get a hear. is this simply revenge? >> so the 16 nominees that have occurred, nominations that have occurred in a presidential election year, every one except merrick garland received action by the senate. they were considered. some cases they were rejected. most were confirmed. but the senate acted under its obligation of advice and consent. in this case, however, merrick garland got no conversation, no hearing in front of judiciary, no vote in front of the judiciary, no vote on the floor, no consideration and the whole goal was to follow the instructions of the koch brothers to pack the court with a conservative by putting the nomination in the hands of the president. >> so senator, it is an element of revenge but am i hearing now
that over the next four years, while president trump is in office, he nominated, let's say this one goes down, neil gorsuch goes down. you're going to oppose anyone he nominates? you know he's going to nominate a conservative judge. >> there is absolutely no revenge in this. this is about saving the integrity of the court from here on through the next generation. and certainly, if one doesn't care about the integrity of the court and you just want to look at this nominee from a judicial perspective, we have two other significant problems with him. the first is that the president's team is under investigation for having potentially interfered in the "uss presidential election. if that turns out to be true, that is traitorous conduct. that means this conversation should be set aside till that is cleared up. the second is gorsuch is way out of the mainstream. he hates class action lawsuits. he doesn't want the lgbt community to be able to use the
courts to end discrimination. he twists a lot to find corporations against ordinary citizens time after time after time. this is a judge so far right that "the washington post" analysis said he is further to the right of anybody currently serving on the court. >> you know senator, if they can't get to 60 in order to break a filibuster, they are going to use that nuclear option. that will only require a simple majority in the senate, 51, to go ahead and confirm him. the republicans have 52. democrats have 48. are you willing to see that option implemented? he will be a justice on the united states supreme court, the republicans say, one way or another for the next 30, maybe 40 years. >> this is a decision of the republicans. but to ask us to go away, to concur with the theft of a seat and the destruction of the integrity of the court is unacceptable. and if the republicans want to continue this court packing
scream, that is on their hands. what if trump only gets one nominee to the court but the next president who will be a democrat i'm sure after this administration gets three. that would be unacceptable for the republicans. it would be a simple majority vote at that point. we preserved -- >> elections as your critics will tell you and everybody agrees, elections have consequences. trump was elected president of the united states. president obama was elected president. he served for eight years. he nominated more liberal judges to the u.s. supreme court. they were confirmed. isn't it the prerogative of a president to nominate someone he or she feels comfortable with? >> for a seat that opens during that president's administration, yes. but this seat did not open during his administration. and to proceed to and let this individual who wants to turn our constitution on the head change our government from of, by and for the people to of, by and for
the powerful and privileged would be a huge mistake. those lo care about our system of government so different than many nations that have government-based for and by the powerful and privileges, those who care about we the people are against this nomination. this hurtses our vision of what america is going to be. >> i know you've got to run. i want to wrap it up. let's say he goes down. anyone that president trump nominatenates you will oppose over the next nearly four years? >> what i'm telling you is the president can end this desecration of the court by nominating merrick garland and having the senate go through the process it was supposed to go through more than a year ago. >> one final question. a different subject. devin nunes, chairman of the house intelligence committee, investigating the trump campaign's ties to russia says democrats aren't serious about the investigation. likewise, democrats have called for nunes to recuse himself. do you think the house is capable of handling this
investigation? or do you think the senate needs to take the lead? i assume you have much greater confidence in the senate intelligence committee. >> absolutely. i sure do. i know the democratic ranking member mark warner is doing everything possible to keep that conversation series and focused. the intel committee is not enough. it's hard to get information back out of them. we need a public commission and a special prosecutor. >> senator jeff merkley, thanks for joining us. >> you're welcome. good to be with you. >> live pictures now from capitol hill. the heads of the senate intelligence committee, the chairman richard burr, the ranking member senator mark warner will repru their hearing tomorrow, russian interference from the u.s. presidential election. we'll have live coverage of that. this is an important event. stay with us. we'll be right back. it just feels like anything is possible here in upstate new york. ( ♪ ) at corning, i test smart glass that goes all over the world.
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we're going to get an update on senate intelligence committee's russia investigation into the u.s. presidential election from the chairman and the ranking member. that's coming up next hour. live coverage here on cnn. meanwhile, a member of the house intelligence committee now says its russia investigation will move forward and a former deputy general will eventually testify. here's what congressman trey gowdy said on cnn's "new day." >> we're going to talk to sally yates. the fact we didn't do it this tuesday doesn't mean we won't do it next tuesday. we're about a week behind. but if we start next week, we can catch up. >> let's bring in our panel. cnn political commentator ryan an liz da, new yorker magazine,
cnn political director david chalian and senior washington correspondent brianna keilar. brianna, how is this all going to play out now? the senate side seems pretty smooth. house side seems pretty ugly. >> at some point, that is the perfect characterization of it. it seems as if the senate side on the intel committees has been doing a better job of trying to project this sense of being objective. so the expectation now is we're going to be hearing from sally yates. we don't know when but expect we're going to hear from her and what she is going to say, we would expect, is not going to be something that the trump white house is going to feel is friendly to them. she is the one who alerted the trump white house that michael flynn, the now ousted nsa director was someone who could be open to blackmail. why? because we know he told mike pence the vice president and told administration officials had he not talks to the russian
ambassador about sanctions. turned out he did and that led to him being fired. >> can they get their act together on the house side? you've heard the ranking democrat, adam schiff say he thinks the chairman should at least recuse himself from this entire investigation. >> right. so once you have the top democrats saying that the chairman should reduce himself and he doesn't, i don't understand where a functioning committee comes after that. it doesn't make sense. sure, they could try to get their act together. trey is right. i just think though it is the house side is done with this. from trust among the american public that they're getting a full, thorough, fair nonpartisan investigation, i think that's done on the house side. i think we need to start look together senate. >> devin nunes shows no sign of accepting that recommendation for him to recuse himself. he says he's not going anywhere. >> that's right. to me, that's an irreconcilable
position between the ranking member and the chairman. >> you wrote an article, ryan, in the new yorker magazine how the white house and republicans blew up the house russia investigation. that's the title. let me read the opening instance. the evidence is now clear that the white house and devin nunes, the chairman of the house intelligence committee, have worked together to halt what was previously billed as a sweeping investigation of russian interference in last year's election. so what led todd that conclusion? >> well, a couple things. the monday hearing, there was obvious evidence that the white house new that nunes would change the focus of that hearing to this somewhat prefer ral view of incidental collection. >> where james comey the fbi director and admiral mike rogers, director of the national security agency, testified? >> exactly. they knew at least some folks knew that the headline would be the comey announcing there was an fbi investigation. i talked to a senior white house official who previewed what
nunes was going to say. then, of course, he went to the white house, briefing the president on this allegedly secret information he has and the canceling of meetings and "the washington post" reporting yesterday that sally yates was if not blocked at the very least discouraged from testifying. two things happening, one white house and nunes, some evidence that they were coordinating the messaging of the hearings and there's evidence that they were at the very least did not want yates to testify. >> you heard sean spicer flatly debbed that washington post story saying they want her to testify. they want to hear what she has to say. you heard him say that at the briefing. > they've given up all clims of executive privilege. if perhaps once this became public because it's clear yates made this public. i don't know that for a i don't know who else would have had those let ares. once it became public, they said this is a political problem.
let's drop any objections whatsoever and have her testify. at the end of this week and a half, as david pointed out, the committee seems broken, dead. but having said all that, i actually have a little bit more optimistic than you that it could get back on track. it's interesting gowdy who is a pretty conservative republican said we're a week behind. let's move forward. there's a lot of public pressure now for that public hearing that didn't happen yesterday to actually happen. the white house has said yates can testify. so it seems like there's a good chance that might happen. the democrats importantly have not given up on the committee. they still think they can get something out of it. nunes is a little bit weakened, chastened he's been seen as a tool of the white house than someone running a credible investigation. maybe they can get back on track. >> everybody stand by. more coming up. we're standing by to hear from the chairman and vice chairman of the senate intelligence committee. you're looking at live pictures. we'll have live coverage of
that. lots of news happening. we'll be right back. but mobility itself. an autonomous-thinking vehicle protecting those inside and out. and it's the mercedes-benz of today that will help us get there. the 2017 e-class, with innovations no car has offered before. and that will change driving forever after. lease the e300 for $549 a month at your local mercedes-benz dealer. mercedes-benz. the best or nothing.
let's get back to our panel. i want to shift gears. the vote on the neil gorsuch u.s. supreme court nomination set for next friday. democrats are vowing to filibuster the nomination. can republicans get the eight votes they need to break the filibuster. it's an important question. when a president nominates someone for the supreme court, the president can stay in office for four years or even eight years. a supreme court justice stays for the rest of his or her life. in his particular case, he's only 49 years old. he could be there at least 30 or 40 years. >> yeah, an the trump influence on the court on the law could last decades and decades.
right now, it looks like democrats are prepared to move forward and force republicans into this nuclear option. so it looks like they're committed to a buster filibuste this point. you have a little bit of time. the final vote won't be till next friday. the key test vote is likely next wednesday or tuesday. >> wednesday or thursday. >> wednesday or thursday. middle of the week. >> procedural vote. >> but the one that really matters would be the 60-vote threshold, they're looking at democrats in trump states who are going to be up for re-election. senators in two years. they're hoping that they can kind of increase the pressure. it's not just what you're hearing sean spicer call them out really from the podium every day but there's a ton of money. if you go to any of these states and turn on the television, you're seeing neil gorsuch ads where he is being talked about in glowing terms by democrats. by former obama administration officials. and they're hoping that they can
prevail in that way at this point. though it doesn't look like democrats will go along with it. >> two of the ten democrats running for re-election in states trump won. >> next year. >> next year. bob casey of pennsylvania, bill nelson of florida already said they're voting no. now you're down to eight remaining trump state democrats up for re-election next year. we've got to run the table. >> joe manchin. >> right now onlien two, mansion of west virginia, heidi heitkamp of north dakota indicated they don't support chuck schumer in that filibuster and they would potentially vote to cut off debate and let an up or down vote on the floor. what i think is so interesting, we've seen this all the time in this town. a supreme court nomination is like one of the most partisan events in washington. all the outside groups come in, everyone plays their role in sort of the kabuki dance ta goes on. even something like there, a guy who is clearly going to end up
on the supreme court and yet everybody is playing their role. democrats as you discovered with senator merkley are making there the fight. the beall and end all fight when this is a conservative for a conservative. if you're an ideological warrior in this battle is the next fight. >> this would just restore the court to the 5-4 or the status ideological status quo of most of the obama era. it's just replacing scalia with another conservative. i think the democrats for two reasons are being pushed hard on this. one obviously, there is mass opposition to anything trump does within the democratic party, not just the base but the whole party. so you have to be seen to be fighting as far as you can go and that includes being willing to support a filibuster against him. and then two, obviously, are the very bad feelings or what happened to barack obama's last supreme court pick, merrick garland's. you know, the democrats view of
this is the seat was stolen and there's got to be some consequences for that. then just the bigger picture here is the filibuster is like a domino, we're just losing the filibuster for various senate procedures. already lost the filibuster for lower court nominees thanks to harry reid. it looks like we'll lose it for supreme court justices. if not this time, you can be sure the next one. then the question is will the filibuster remain for legislation. >> a major change if in fact it happens. thanks very much for that conversation, brianna, david and ryan lizza. coming up, the pentagon taking some blame now in announcing an official investigation into an incident this month that killed hundreds of civilians in mosul. we have details. when my doctor told me i have age-related macular degeneration, amd, he told me to look at this grid every day. and we came up with a plan to help reduce my risk of progression, including preservision areds 2. my doctor said preservision areds 2
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the pentagon now says it's moved into the investigation phase of an incident this month in mosul, in iraq, and allegations that the u.s. is responsible for dozens of civilian deaths there. general joseph botel, commander of the u.s. military's central command, spoke about it at a hearing earlier today.
>> we are doing everything humanly possible to prevent these types of events and incidents from occurring as a result of our operations. i do agree with lieutenant general tom zen's comments yesterday. he is our commander on the ground in iraq. when he said that there is a fair chance that our operations may have contributed to civilian casualties. while we consider and establish accountability over our actions in this incident, i think it is also important to clearly recognize that the enemy does use human shields. >> our pentagon correspondent, barbara starr, is joining us. barbara, the pentagon has been accused of changing the rules of engagement in iraq when it comes to military operations where civilians may be impacted. what more is the pentagon now saying about this formal investigation and the rules of engagement? >> wolf, right now, military officials across the board are insisting there is no change in the rules that would permit
greater tolerance for civilian casualties. but, consider this. they are also noobacknowledging good example. mosul, in the month of march, they are dropping about 500 precision-guided bombs every week now during march in mosul. 500 bombs a week, in very crowded areas where civilians may be. there is precision guidance, but it just tells you what is happening to the people on the ground who are, you know, stuck between isis, they're holding them as human shields, and the military action on the ground, as the u.s. tries to support iraqi forces moving forward. so it's becoming an increasingly difficult situation. the attack in mosul underscoring all of this, more than 100 bodies now pulled from the rubble. and indeed, that formal investigation underway. top commanders know they owe answers about exactly what happened, wolf. >> at a reception at the white
house last night with democratic and republican senators with, the president said this. >> we're doing very well in iraq. our soldiers are fighting and fighting like never before. and the results are very, very good. so i just wanted to let everyone know. >> well, u.s. troops have been fighting in iraq now for a long time. what's the reaction there to what he said? >> well, i think, you know, people generally feel maybe he was trying to boost moral. but he didn't mention 500 bombs a week in mosul. and in fact, wolf, it's just what you said. i mean, let's remember, more than 30,000 u.s. troops wounded, more than 3,000 killed in all of those years of very heavy combat on the ground in iraq. right now, u.s. troops mainly are advising, assisting, and trying to help train iraqi forces. wolf? >> yeah, he said the results are very, very good and u.s. troops are fighting like never before. all right, barbara, thank you very much. coming up, a terrifying incident near the u.s. capitol
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get unlimited access to all of netflix and more, free with xfinity on demand. welcome back. you're looking a lot live pictures coming in from capitol hill right now. the leaders of the u.s. senate intelligence committee are set to hold a news conference just a little while from now on their investigation into russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election here in the united states. live coverage of that coming up. stand by. meantime, there was some pretty tense moments up on capitol hill today here in washington. police tell us a car hit a police cruiser, nearly ran over capitol police officers. in the midst of all of this, shots were fired. let's go to cnn's brian today on the scene for us. brian, tell our viewers here in the u.s. and around the world what happened. >> reporter: well, wolf, at this hour, the suspect is in police
custody, being questioned by the u.s. capitol police. we are told the suspect is a woman. police have not released her identity and have not been forthcoming with information on a possible motive in this situation. but we can tell you right now the scene is cleared. this is independent avenue southwest. and the incident happened just behind me on washington street and independence avenue, about a block down that way. you can see it's a very heavily congested area, a lot of foot traffic and vehicle traffic. and we can tell you about 9:22 a.m., the police observed a vehicle on this street driving very erratically, very aggressively. when they tried to stop that vehicle, they say, the vehicle made an abrupt u-turn, almost struck some police officers on the street. it did strike a vehicle, and then shots were fired, and the suspect was taken into custody. now, we've pressed police on whether shots were fired to disable the vehicle or for any other reason. they didn't give us that information, but we did get some visuals of the scene and our photo journalist, peter
cavanaugh, who took some visuals said he saw some bullet holes on the windshield and glass on the ground. it does appear they fired to disable that vehicle. no one was injured in the gent. and the important thing to note here, wolf, is that police are now treating this as a criminal matter and say it has no nexus to terrorism. but of course given what happened to london last week and the heightened security around capitol hill all the time and the fact that this was really at the fool of capitol hill a few feet from the capitol building, it was a very tense situation here earlier today. >> just to be precise, brian. the shots were fired by police, not by the driver? >> reporter: that is correct, wolf. the shots were fired by police and it appears that they disabled the vehicle in the process of doing that, but thankfully, no one was injured in this. >> and this is the height of the tourist season in washington, d.c. cherry blossoms are out right now. lots of tourists. fortunately, that incident is over. that's it for me. i'll be back 5:00 p.m. eastern
in "the situation room." i'll be joined by the ranking member of the house intelligence committee, adam schiff. he'll be be among my guests. but first, leaders from the senate intelligence committee getting ready to brief reporters any minute now. we'll have live coverage. in the meantime, the news continues right now on cnn. here we go. how are you? i'm brook baldwin. thank you for watching cnn as the white house is facing new questions over the trump campaign's ties to russia. moments from now, the senate intelligence committee will be holding a news conference on its investigation. all of this comes amid the turmoil involving their counterpart over in the house, you know the story, the republican chairman in charge of the house committee, refusing to recuse himself over questionable actions involving the white house. moments ago, white house press secretary, sean spicer, commented on questions surrounding chairman devin nunes' secret visit on white house grounds. ta