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tv   Wolf  CNN  April 3, 2017 10:00am-11:01am PDT

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hello. i'm wolf blitzer in washington. wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks very much for joining us. we begin with breaking news out of russia. 11 people were killed and at least 39 others were injured in a subway explosion in st. peterbupete petersburg. the entire metro system has now been shut down. a second explosive device was
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found in another metro station at revolutionary square. the russian prime minister described the explosion as a terrorist act. the president vladimir putin said and i'm kwquoting him now,e will naturally look into all -- let's get more from our senior correspondent. joining us live from moscow. matthew, walk us through how this unfolded and what you're hearing about the initial scene of the explosion. >> reporter: well, the scene is one of absolutely devastation. all for the past several hours since this attack took place, russian television has been rolling video that was filmed on the spot shortly after the explosion took place by people on their cell phones. still photographs as well showing the carnage and the destruction that this explosion brought. the twisted metal of the metro train. its doors blown off by the
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imfai impact of the blast. the platform outside filled with smoke splattered with blood and the casualties strewn around. an appalling incident. 11 people killed. 39 injured. six of them in critical condition according to authorities. so the final casualty figure, the death toll could well rise in the hours ahead. an investigation is under full work now with russian prosecutors on the scene. not just at this metro station but elsewhere as well gathering what evidence they can and trying to piece together what exactly it was that took place, who planted this device and where those -- that individual or those individuals are now. so i expect there will be huge effort into this investigation. some of the witness reports that having coming from the scene absolutely harrowing. one person talking to russia media saying people were bloody. they came out of the carriage with their hair burning.
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other people spoke to state media. one inside the metro car saying everybody in the carriage expected dead. people began to help each other out when the explosion was over, but everybody was covered in blood. absolutely appalling images, appalling accounts of this terrible scene in st. petersburg tonight. >> what can you tell us about the second bomb that was found and disabled? >> well, this is one of the most terrifying aspects i think of this incident because there was this one blast in a metro station in the center of st. peter bur-- peters burg. one the next hour they found another device down the same line. the station was evacuated. seven others were under suspicion and evacuated as well.
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evacuated all 67, the second biggest city in russia. there is still a lot of concern that the per petrators are stil at large. >> a russian politician says the -- vladimir putin was there earlier for a speaking engagement. what do you make of that? >> coincidence or not, it's a fact that when this device exploded in this metro train, vladimir putin was -- in fact, he was live on national television addressing a media forum, answering questions in st. peters buzapetersburg at th took place. both presidents were there at the time of the attack. vladimir putin offering his c
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con -- condolences, going to state television and vowing to bring those responsible to justice. >> matthew chance in moscow. matthew, thank you. so far there's been no claim of responsibility for the attack. so who might have been responsible? who might have been behind it? joining us from new york cnn terrorism analyst and former cia operative. paul, who are the most likely suspects? >> i think work it is assumption is that was an act of jihadi terrorism. those groups have been responsible for the vast majority on russian soil in the last decade. there could also be a syria link here. a global jihadi link. because global have made it clear that russia is now their number one target worldwide.
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not the united states anymore, but russia and that's because of russia's brutal campaign of air strikes in syria. the fact that so many sunni muslims inside places like aleppo have been killed in russian air strikes. that's angered the jihadi community and energized them. and groups like al qaeda and isis have said we're going to hit russia and there's some concern that some of these that have joined isis and other jihadi groups and there are a very large number of them, several thousand, may come back to russia and launch attacks. we've seen some of the recruits from the region actually be part of international terrorism in the past few months including that attack on istanbul airport in june of 2016, wolf. >> so paul, when you say jihadi terrorist, you specifically referring to either isis or al qaeda. is that right? >> well, isis or al qaeda or groups affiliated or sympathetic
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towards them. the jihadis now operating in the region, many of those groups now aligned with isis, their fellow travelers. we'll have to wait and see whether there are those international connections. but vladimir putin recently warning that up to 7,000 nationals from russia and the former soviet block joined groups like isis and syria and iraq. that's an astronomical number and the worry is them migrating back and russia could see an unprecedented wave of terror in the coming months. >> they found a second device at a different metro station. they were able to disable it. do what does that suggest about the size? >> i agree with paul first of all. you have a lot of russians fighting in syria. they have motivation for coming back to russia and attacking. the fact that two explosive devices were used.
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typic typical tactics, never just one. always two. they wanted the russians to know that was an organized group. it wasn't a lone wolf and they're coming to get them. it's traditional using two devices. i think the russians are lucky the second device didn't go off. >> good point. all right, guys. we're going to stay on top of the breaking news. we'll get back to you as well. go back to moscow. also we're watching other important news including president trump now facing his biggest diplomatic week yet meeting today with egypt's president. meeting at the white house as we speak and two other leaders later in the week. live pictures now from capitol hill where the senate judiciary committee is debating whether or not to move the supreme court nominee before the full senate for a vote later in the week. why the tally republicans plan
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or abnormal bleeding. if you had a spinal injection while on eliquis call your doctor right away if you have tingling, numbness, or muscle weakness. while taking eliquis, you may bruise more easily ...and it may take longer than usual for bleeding to stop. seek immediate medical care for sudden signs of bleeding, like unusual bruising. eliquis may increase your bleeding risk if you take certain medicines. tell your doctor about all planned medical or dental procedures. eliquis treats dvt and pe blood clots. plus had less major bleeding. both made eliquis the right treatment for me. ask your doctor if switching to eliquis is right for you. right now the senate judiciary committee is debating the nomination of supreme court
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nominee judge neil gorsuch. democratic senator chris kuncz s speaking right now. >> his book and other comments suggest a very narrow interpretation. an absolutely central case to addressing personal liberty and reproductive rights as protected under the 14th amendment due process clause. casey is a critical precedent that the supreme court has conditicon tin yul -- on each of these important issues and more, judge gorsuch avoided responding concisely and thoroughly to questions in fact as detailed by senator feinstein. he avoided responding to questions that many other nominees that have not just
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answered but answered squarely. he told me the casey addition remains an open question. he would not agree with me the right to privacy extends to have -- and protecting the private's of intimate relations between consenting adults whether same sex or the opposite sex. this and many more left me concerned judge gorsuch harbors a view of the right to privacy and the right to liberty. let me be clear, i don't think these and other issues raised by many of my colleagues are just narrowly partisan issues. i think it is unfortunate if we leave the public to view members of the supreme court simply as red pegs or blue pegs deciding cases along partisan lines. because there are many, many cases that are decided not along partisan lines, but along lines that are narrowly legal. in fact, i think in 60% of the
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cases decided by the court they are unanimous. several justices nominated by republican presidents have appreciated exactly this point. the important role of 14th amendment due process in securing for individual liberties and have taken a far more restrained view of their judicial role than judge gorsuch's record suggests he would adapt. judge gorsuch's record shows a tendency to searchingly explore broader issues than what is necessary to decide the case before him. a willing license to revisit long settled precedent and promote actively changes to the law. as others have discussed, he has insisted the chevron doctrine should be revis tid. this is a longstanding precedent that ensures judicial difference to agencies responsible for health and safety. for me even more troubling he suggested restricting access to federal court for actions brought under section 1983, a critical tool for civil rights enforcement. it is based on these and many
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other concerns that i've detailed in my questioning, my questions for the record and in further statements i've made that i will ultimately vote against judge gorsuch's nomination today. still, i share the view of many of my colleagues that judge gorsuch is a talented experienced jurist. i understand why all of my republicans colleagues support him and why some of my democratic colleagues will support him. i cast my vote he will receive the required votes on this committee to advance to the full senate. historic moment. than thanks to actions, decisions and mistakes, we have eroded the process of reaching agreement of acting above partisanship, especially when it comes to confirmation for judges and now justices. i said last week it would be tragic if judge gorsuch's
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confirmation process leads the senate republicans to join the majority leader in abolishing the 60 vote threshold. . i don't agree with that approach, but like it or not a number of you have asserted today that is the reality. on thursday the full senate will participate in what's called a cloture. though many thanes may not know what it means, it means are ready for the final vote. all republicans required for us to get to cloture. i am not ready to end debate on this issue. so i will be voting against cloture unless we are able as a body to finally sit down and
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find a way to avoid the nuclear option and ensure the process to fill the next vacancy on the court sent a narrowly partisan process, but rather an opportunity for both parties to weigh in and ensure we place a judge on the court who can secure support from members of both parties. the reality we are in requires us over the next several days to consider what both democrats and republicans are doing to this body and to consider what both republicans and democrats have done to erode the trust that has long lasted between us and to consider whether we can stop the momentum towards abolishing the tradition that make this senate unique and important. democrats including me are still furious at the way judge merit gar lan was treated last year. but the traditions and principles that have defined the senate are crumbling and we are poised to hasten that destruction this week. so for my part i hope and pray that we can yet find a way together to find a solution.
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thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. senator creybolt -- >> there you heard senator coons say he's going to opose the confirmation of judge gorsuch for the supreme court but is deeply concerned that the rules of the senate could change if in fact they can't get him approved. the nuclear option potentially could be used. that's what the republican leader of the senate mitch mcconnell has suggested that they will get this judge approved for the united states supreme court one way or another. i want to bring in phil mattingly up on capitol hill. walk our viewers through this sort of complicated process. you just heard senator coons say he will vote against nomination. deeply concerned that the entire
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rules of the senate could change as a result of a filibuster. >> that's exactly right. they basically will change based on what you just heard senator coons say. he made it very clear. he's opposing the nomination of neil gorsuch, but he's also saying he's going to vote no no cloture. what that means is he becomes the 41st democrat to say he will filibuster the nomination. you need 60 votes in favorite of that nominee to be able to move to a final vote. with chris coons decision, vote against that idea to just move forward, that means the democrats have enough to filibuster the nomination. what does that mean going forward? senator majority leader has been very clear neil gorsuch will be confirmed as the next supreme court justice, as the next nominee no matter what. which means he's made very clear he will be changing the rules of
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the senate to ensure that a simple majority will be all it will take to continue on through-to-that final vote. so as it currently stands, and this goes back to years of a very acrimonious, look, nobody's hands are clean in this debate back and forth. democrats changed the rules on other judicial nominees back in 2013 making it only a prerequisite to having a majority to move them forward. now republicans have made it clear based on the 41 democrats th that you now opposed to move forward, they will also change the rules going forward. as it currently stands, by the end of this week, senator mcconnell will invoke the nuclear option and that means a full blown change of the rule as it pertains to supreme court nominees to be able to move this nominee forward as we've heard repeatedly over the course of this day. kind of walked through it. you heard a lot of democrats
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talk about it. but you hear even more of them and a lot of republicans as well kind of to -- want current way things are moving. nobody is happy about the direction. one quote, it is very clear it is not a healthy institution, but republicans have made the judgment that this is their supreme court nominee. they're going to do whatever it takes to get him through. democrats have basically tried to call their bluff. they are saying together on this for the most part minus the three that have come out in favor of the nomination. what that means is the senate is headed down a path that frankly a couple years ago they think they would never go to. >> this will mean that from now on a u.s. supreme court justice nominee will only need a simple majority. will not need 60 votes. so if there are more openings on the u.s. supreme court down the radioed and president trump nominates someone, that person will only need 50 votes because
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the president of the senate is the republican vice president to break that tie or a simple majority. this dramatically changes the rule that have been around for so long, right, phil? >> that's exactly right. the big debate behind the scene is if you make this change, the next pick could be very far right. if democrats are in power t could be from the far left. it's something the senate tries to avoid particularly on a nomination like the supreme court nominee. you don't want kind of nominees that come from the opposite polls of each party. as this goes forward based on the rules that is almost certain to happen by the end of the week. from here on out it will only take 51 votes going forward. if things stand as they did with the republicans holding 52 seats. if another seat opens up,
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president trump only needs to look to get the majority. doesn't need to care about democrats anymore. >> it would be a historic moment for the united states senate. phil, thanks very much. right now plump is stiresident still meeting with egyptian president. he's also weighing in on the latest russian terror attack. we'll have details more on that when we come back. hey allergy muddlers are you one sneeze away from being voted out of the carpool? try zyrtec® it's starts working hard at hour one and works twice as hard when you take it again the next day. stick with zyrtec® and muddle no more®.
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. over at the white house today the president's been meeting with egypt's visiting president el-sisi. here's part of their oval office remarks. >> i just want to let everybody know in case there was any doubt that we are very much behind president el-sisi.
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he's done a fantastic job in a very difficult situation. we are very much behind egypt and the people of egypt. we'll fight terrorism and other things and we're going to be friends for a long, long period of time. >> let's go to our white house correspondent sara murray. this is an important meeting. in fact, there are a series of important forum policy meetings the president is having this week not only with the leader of egypt, the king of jordan will be coming to the white house on wednesday. thursday and friday he'll be meeting with the president of china down in mar-a-lago all setting stage for some important decisions. >> that's right. it will give us a good indication of how this president plans to approach foreign policy. very differently from his predecessor. this meeting with the egyptian pd is a good indication. you saw the warm greeting.
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this is something he forecasts on the campaign trail. he specifically talked about the president of egypt and the king of jordan as key partners in combatting terrorism and in another difference with the obama administration a trump administration official told reporters last week that any discussion of human rights concerns, human rights abuses would be done discreetly, raised quietly outside of the public realm. that is different than how president obama approached these relationships, but of course the most important, the high stakes meeting is sure to be with the chinese president at mar-a-lago. they're expected to meet over the course of two days. the president has already made clear he plans to warn china about the north korean nuclear threat. he wants to be able to forge a partnership on dealing with. that he did not sound particularly optimistic about that possibility in an interview with the financial times even suggesting that the u.s. could deal with north korea unilaterally, wolf. >> we know the president also just spoke out on this terror
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attack in st. petersburg. >> he pointed to concerns about terrorism and seemed to indicate this is the kind of thing we're seeing happening all over the world. this will be a driving discussion in a number of his meetings. the question of how terrorist attacks like this are continuing to happen, what's driving them and how the u.s. can partner with these other countries to prevent them. so it sort of builds into the narrative that the president is hoping to get across this week already to see these tragic images as we've seen today coming out of russia. >> sara, thanks very much. we'll get that sound and that tape shortly. president el-sisi of egypt is at the white house. the king of jordan will visit tomorrow. later in the week china's president xi jinping is headed
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to mar-a-lago to meet with president trump. moments ago we saw the president of egypt and the president of the united states walking over at the white house. you see some pictures there. unfortunately they're being blocked by the pillars, but there's the president right there. they have extensive meetings with their aides, an earlier meeting in the oval office as well. this is an important relationship, the u.s./egyptian relationship. clearly it has dramatically improved during the term of el-sisi as opposed to his pr predecessor who was a leader of the muslim brotherhood. still remains in jail. he was democratically elected but removed by the military. there seems to be a new stronger egyptian relationship. you might recall that while on the campaign trail the president, then the candidate had plenty of harsh rhetoric at china. listen to this. >> we can't continue to allow
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china to rape our country and that's what they're doing. it's the greatest theft in the history of the world. >> i'm going to instruct my treasury secretary to label china a currency manipulator. which should have been done years ago. >> i want to bring in aaron david miller. a cnn global affairs analyst, former adviser at the state department. aaron, thanks for joining us. let's talk a little bit about these major foreign policy issues facing the president this week. how will that previous harsh campaign rhetoric against china impact the upcoming meeting later this week with president xi? >> we're only 60 days in but i think it's clear that the realities of governing have given way to some of the harsher rhetoric that the president-elect used on the -- candidate trump used on the campaign trail. you don't hear talk of two chinas. you don't hear much talk about the imposition of terrorists.
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you hear that comment about the u.s. taking care of north korea if the chinese wouldn't. i suspect that this meeting in mar-a-lago will probably go pretty well because i think the president and his advisers are coming to reality that it's a cruel and unforgiving world and china and china's requirements have to be dealt with. i don't anticipate any transformations. i don't believe in grand bargains after one meeting. frankly xi is probably much more prepared and focused in terms of what he wants from the president than the president's agenda can respect to president xi. i think it will be a good meeting, but by and large transactional. no issues are going to be conclusively resolved. >> there's no doubt north korea will be high on the agenda. china has influence over north korea and this interview the
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president gave over the weekend, he says if china is not going to solve north korea, then we will. that is all i'm going to tell you. will china do what president trump wants china to do, lean on north korea to cut back on those missiles, the launching of ballistic intercontinental potentially missiles with a nuclear warhead? >> i mean, i think there may be polite pressure or at least a tendency on the part of president xi to say to president trump that perhaps the chinese are prepared to use more pressure, but i don't think that president xi will become an agent in order to jeez kim jong-un. i think there's so many reasons why the chinese do not want to put themselves in that situation. the united states will have to face the rather cruel reality that it's own options in terms of a preemptive strike against north korea nuclear technology or even ballistic missile
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technology has to take into account japanese and south korean reactions. it's a problem that doesn't have a solution it seems to me. and on balance i would bet by the time we're done with this, in the end we're moving toward more in the direction of diplomacy, wolf, than preemptive use of american military power. i don't think you'll see a lot of threats coming out of mar-a-lago this weekend. >> we've also been told that president obama told president trump as this transition was taking place that the most serious national security threat facing the united states right now is north korea. so i know that will be high on the agenda. aaron, thanks very much for joining us. >> you're welcome, wolf. >> there's other important news we're following. president trump now says he is not giving up on health care reform, repeals and replacing
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obamacare. telling the "financial times" if we don't get what we want we will make a deal with the democrats and we will have in my opinion not as good a form of health care but we are going to have a very good form of health care and it will be a bipartisan form of health care that the president's comment this weekend. this week the president got in a round of golf with senator rand paul, one of the fiercest critics to repeal and replace obamacare. rand paul tweeting out afterwards i had a great time today and believe we are getting closer to an agreement on health care. i want to talk about this and more with senate bill cassidy, a republican from louisiana, a member of the sub committee. thanks, senator, for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. >> are you okay with the freedom caucus very conservative republicans in the house continue to resist with the president making a deal with democrats on health care? >> i'd actually think we can
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bring everybody together. the point being that may sound naive, but if you're conservative, you are conservative about how we are spending money. we need to pay for that which we are doing and we need to spend the money we spend most wisely. there should be common ground in there both from democrats all the way towards the freedom caucus. >> you say bring everyone together, you mean bring all the republicans together or bring republicans and democrats together to come up with some new health care legislation? >> you have to bring republicans and democrats. there's never been a sweeping social change that has endured in our society unless it's bipartisan. i will say that. and it's a truism. therefore, it really should be bipartisan if we wish it to endure. by the way, many of the policy changes that republicans wish to achieve can only be done with democratic cooperation. so my perspective has always been that we need to have this bipartisan more inclusive, not less, including house freedom caucus members as well as
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democrats. >> but remember the former president, president obama in 2009, 2010, he got the affordable care act, obamacare through with only democrats on board. there were no republicans who supported it. >> and so it proves my point. it's been under assault ever since. and it's been difficult to do anything. so therefore it looks as if it will not endure. i wish that when we achieve under president trump to endure. not just because it's trump. not because it's republicans or democrats. that is what's better for patients. i just take that perspective of the average american . if we do what's best by her and it epdndures, that's the best solution. >> but if it's called repeal obamacare, you know senator schumer, the democratic minority leader, nancy pelosi, they're not going to support anything that repeals the affordable care act. they're willing to improve it,
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but they don't want to repeal it. >> if we fight about semantics t's going to be like an old married couple that forgot what they are fighting about. in the meantime everything else is going to heck. i do think we can achief thve t which the american people see as repeal and replace. another american might say repair. what's important is both sets of americans will be happy where we end up. that's what i'm concerned about. something that's enduring that takes care of americans, takes care of parents. >> has the white house reached out to you? >> i've spoken to a white house official earlier today as well as members of the house of representatives earlier today. and continue to speak with various senators. >> so when the president says he's willing to work with democrats and come up with a new deal, you're encouraged by that? >> absolutely. it means it's still front burner if you will. we need the president's
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engagement. as long as the president signals this is a priority, it will continue to be a priority for senators and representatives. that means it will be a priority for the american people. the american people want change. they want lower premiums. they want candidate trump's pledges to be fulfilled. they want it to be done in a fiscally responsible way. that's what we should be about if the president's about it, it it's more likely to happen. >> one final question before i let you go. will you support what's call the nuclear option and end this whole filibuster rule that will allow neil gorsuch to be confirmed as a united states supreme court justice by a simple majority? >> absolutely. if we don't allow gorsuch to go forward, a guy who jurist and lawyers from across the political spectrum say is imminently qualified, that would suggest that president trump will never be able to nominate somebody that will get approved. if he's president for eight years, there might be four
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openings that go unfilled. you just can't allow obstruction because chuck schumer is afraid of the far left. it has to be based upon qualifications. absolutely i will support whatever it takes. >> senator cassidy, thanks very much for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. >> up next president trump weighing in on the terror attack in russia that killed 11 people and injured dozens more. what he said right after this. a. now i have nicoderm cq. the nicoderm cq patch with unique extended release technology helps prevent your urge to smoke all day. it's the best thing that ever happened to me. every great why needs a great how. my insurance rates are but dad, you've got... with accident forgiveness they guarantee your rates won't go up just because of an accident. smart kid. indeed. it's good to be in, good hands. he's a nascar champion who's she's a world-class swimmer who's stared down the best in her sport. but for both of them, the most challenging opponent was...
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now you can with southwest fares as low as 59 dollars one-way. yes to low fares with nothing to hide. that's transfarency. we have breaking news now on the nomination of judge neil gorsuch. democrats have crossed the threshold to achieve their threatened filibuster with this. >> throughout this process i have kept an open mine.
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after reviewing judge gorsuch's ro record, after participating in four days of senate judiciary confirmation hearings submitting written questions and getting feedback from literally lands, i have decided that i will not support judge gorsuch's nomination in the ju dish-- judiciary committee today. >> he also said he would support a filibuster. that makes 41 democrats in the united states senate in favor meaning the only path forward for the republicans to get the confirmation is to trigger what they call the nuclear option. senate coons is joining us. senator, in the committee you also said you would support that democratic filly bus fibuster. the marria you're going to force the
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republicans to change the rules to do what the democrats did in 2013 when harry reed was the democratic leader and rewrite what the united states senate can and cannot do by simple majorities? >> well, wolf, as you may have heard in another point in the hearings this morning, in the judiciary committee markup, senator from texas said that there has never been a partisan filibuster of a supreme court nominee in senate history. in my remarks, i said if seven months of preventing judge merit garland from getting a hearing and a vote is anything, it is the longest and most successful partisan filibuster in senate history. in the end of my remarks at the committee today, i also remarked that what cloture means, what that means is we are done debating. 60 members of the senate agree we're ready for the final vote.
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i said to be clear that i am not yet ready for us to be done debating and for us to get to the final vote. so i will vote against cloture. >> that means that -- to explain to our viewers, you will be part of the democrats who will fi filibuster this nomination and you understand the consequences of -- >> i understand. >> they're saying you don't need 60 votes to be confirmed. you only need 51. >> i urge you to rchb listen to rest of my comments. i said i will vote against cloture unless the republicans and democrats can somehow find an agreement that is trustworthy and reliable where on the next supreme court nominee they won't change the rules and we will have input and a more confirmable consensus nominee will be put in front of the senate. i'm not saying that i am insisting that we force the
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republican majority to break the rules. that's a choice they're going to have to make. the republican majority is going to have to decide now how they will act in response to democrats saying we're not ready to vote for cloture. we need to see if there is still any hope, any way, that they will back off from the about how they will handle the next nominee. >> explaun that to me. . i'm a little confused. will neil gorsuch be -- in this compromised proposal, this idea that you have, let's call it a compromise down the road. will neil gorsuch become a supreme court justice? >> that entirely depends on what actions the majority takes now. they are clear if the vote were called today when the can vote is called thursday, there would be 41 democrats against him. we don't want to do that. we don't want to break the rules. we recognize that what happened
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to merrick garland was wrong and want to work with you to find a path forward or they won't. >> what's the path forward? what's the best scenario? how do you not change the long standing rules as far as conf confirmation of supreme court justice nominees are concerned while allowing this nominee to go forward and be confirmed. how do you walk that tight rope? >> that would require a personal commitment, a trustworthy binding commitment from a significant group of senators of both parties that we won't change the rules. that we won't change the rules on the legislative filibuster, that we won't change the rules at least for this congress on supreme court nominees. that forces the majority to get eight democrats to agree that the next nominee is someone we can confirm. president trump relied upon the federalist society to pick his nominee for this vacancy.
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there are more confirmable, more centrist republican judges out there. if there had been some consultation between the trump administration and democratic leaders in the senate, judge gorsuch would have gotten more democratic support. this is a a very close call, wolf. it's important to not miss that seat and thinks there has to be some action take on to recognize that we should be celebrating the anniversary of justice garland rather than voting on judge gorsuch today. >> so in this nuanced position that you have, and i understand it's complex. what i think i'm hearing you say is is that if you can get a commitment from the republican majority in the senate that the next supreme court nominee will require 60 votes in order to be confirmed, you would step back and allow neil gorsuch to be confirmed this time. is that what i'm hearing? >> i'm saying we need to begin
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that conversation. now that it's clear there are 41 democrats willing and ready to vote, we have to have a conversation about how we got here and where we're going. i'm very skeptical given just how much distrust and disagreement there is. how much what's happened to judge garland and now happening to gorsuch has divided our parties. quite skeptical we can come to an understanding. but i wanted to be clear what i said in hearing today if you run my entire quote was i'm going to vote is unless there's a a path forward that we can trust. that allows us to have confidence they will not change the rules on the next confirmation. >> you would allow him to be confirmed this time if you can get what you want the next time. is that right? >> that's right. >> senator coons with a concept of where he wants to go. any conversation with mitch
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mcconnell on this front? >> i have not had any direct conversations with senator mcconnell about this. now that i think it's clear, there will probably be 42 or 43 democrats by the end of today now that it's clear there aren't enough democrats to be invoked on thursday, it's my hope we will work together in the nx two o three days to find our way towards each other. if that doesn't happen, there will be another step downwards in the spiral of our a ability to work together in the senate. i think that would be tragic. >> just to be precise, if you get that commitment that the next supreme court nominee if there's another opening on the supreme court will require 60 votes, you're going to step back and stop the filibuster this time. is is that right? >> i would be looking for an agreement from both parties that we won't change the rules. and that in recognition that judge garland should have gotten a vote and should have been cob
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sulation on who was nominated this time that on the next there would be a binding commitment that we will be consulted and democrats and republicans will work together to make sure there's a confirmable nominee. e we won't break the rules. we won't change the rules. we'll proceed as we should. >> we want the that commitment because this could be a historic moment for the supreme court if the rules are changed now, you have heard the criticism the senate becomes the house of representatives, simple majorities rule and that unique nature of the senate goes away. you understand that, right? >> to be clear, what you're now talking about is the legislative filibuster. the fact that to move any bill in the senate also requires that this point a motion, i'm greatly concerned that we not let the change in the standard for judges and judges bleed over into legislation. that really would mean that we would be nothing different than the house that the senate of the united states would lose what
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has made it special ask what has forced compromise. regardless of how this dispute over judge gorsuch turns out this week, regardless of what happens this week, i'm determined to work with colleagues, both parties across the aisle to make sure we don't put the legislative full buster at risk, which is something that's foundational to the history and nature of the senate. >> it certainly is. thank you so much for joining us. glad we got some clarification on where you stand. take a look at this. you're looking at live pictures from the white house briefing room. the press secretary sean spicer will be answering questions in the next hour right here on cnn. we'll take a quick break. ♪
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