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tv   CNN Newsroom With Ana Cabrera  CNN  April 9, 2017 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT

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the trees. he got on to the green, hit a nice birdie putt and once he did, you could see the joy in his face. he once said in 2012 he thought he would never win a major, and he finally gets one after 19 years and 73 tries. but he can finally say he is a major champion winning this year's masters tournament. >> if at first you don't succeed, try, try again. andy scholes, thanks to you. the next hour of "newsroom" starts now. ♪ top of the hour, 8:00 eastern, you're live in the "cnn newsroom." i want to welcome our viewers in the u.s. and around the world. i'm ana cabrera in new york. thanks for joining us to night. as a new week looms, adversaries and allies around the world have eyes on the white house, searching for a signal as to what it may do next in syria, particularly when it comes to the fate of president bashar al assad, the man blamed for last year's chemical attack on his
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own people. how much of a priority is it to oust assad? the answer seems to depend on which administration official you ask. listen. >> we are hopeful that we can work with russia and use their influence to achieve areas of stabilization throughout syria and create the conditions for a political process through geneva in which we can engage all of the parties on a way forward, and it is through that political process that we believe the syrian people will ultimately be able to decide the fate of bashar al assad. >> there's not any sort of option where a political solution is going to happen with assad at the head of the regime. if you look at his actions, if you look at the situation, it is going to be hard to see a government peaceful and stable with assad. >> those conflicting messages from nikki haley, the u.s. ambassador to u.n., and secretary of state rex tillerson just days before secretary stiller son heads to moscow to meet with top officials. as of now russia is quite clear
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on its position. syrian state media citing a joint statement from moscow and teheran saying, and i quote, we will respond strongly to any aggression on syria. russia and iran will not allow america to dominate the war. that warning comes as the trump administration tackles yet another threat, north korea. right now an aircraft carrier-led strike group is deploying towards the korean peninsula. a u.s. official confirms to cnn this move is a direct response to recent north korean provocation. meanwhile, as the white house tries to navigate all of these mine fields, the national security council, the very people that the president is relying on for advice, is seeing another shake-up. k.t. mcfarland is leaving days after chief strategist steve bannon was booted from the nfc. the impact it could have still unclear. cnn is covering this as only cnnk can. we have a team of reporters and analysts standing by and around
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the border where we have the only american tv correspondent inside north korea. i want to begin with clarissa ward along the tirkish syrian border. how are syria and its allies responding today? >> reporter: ana, we definitely are hearing some tough words from the regime of the president of bashar al assad and also its russian and iranian bake backers saying if the u.s. pulls something like this again there will be real consequences. now, this was always the argument that the obama administration had given for not intervening more forcefully or militarily inside syria, that perhaps in doing so they could precipitate or escalate an actual clash between u.s. forces and russian forces, potentially leading to some kind of a global conflict or a world war iii. that would be a worst case scenario. at this stage we still don't know exactly what trump's policy
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in syria is going to look like. we've seen some glimpses of it today, hearing from u.n. ambassador nikki haley who says assad is definitely one of our priorities in the sense that he should go, hear slightly different message from secretary of state tillerson that our priority fundamentally is the fight against isis. of course, the concern from some is that it is difficult to engage in that fight against isis without some fundamental level of cooperation with the russians. a very complex situation in syria. a lot of very nuanced issues to be taken into issue, and these are exactly the sorts of issues that secretary of state rex tillerson and his russian counterpart, sergei lavrov, will be hashing out later this week. ana. >> we are watching. we are waiting to see how that unfolds. thank you, clarissa. let's turn to will ripley joining us live in pyongyang, the only american tv correspondent inside north korea tonight. you say north korea is not
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backing down, will? >> reporter: i have to say speaking with government officials here, ana, this is my 11th trip to the country, and this is the most tense i have ever seen it. they are very closely watching the activities of the trump administration, that carrier strike group, the carl vinson has been turned around and is heading back to the korean peninsula right now. it was off the korean peninsula several weeks ago for joint military actions. they view it as provocative actions because that strike group could launch missiles that would be capable of landing in pyongyang and other cities. they saw the missile strike president trump ordered on syria. they say they will not back down as a result of that potential threat. they say this only encourages them to develop their own weapons. not only nuclear weapons because we know north korea could conduct their sixth nuclear test at any time, we know they're working to develop an intercontinental missile, but they also have a significant
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arsenal of conventional weapons that put at risk a key u.s. ally, the south koreans. in seoul there are tens of millions of people, troops stationed in south korea, and north kree if provoked could launch a strike on a highly populated area. many analysts think they may be less than two years away from having a workable intercontinental ballistic missile with a war head capable of reaching the u.s. the big difference the north koreans say between syria and north korea is if they are provoked, they promise they will retaliate. it is a complicated situation for president trump, and the north koreans feel that the rhetoric from the u.s. indicates that military action, actual military conflict on the peninsula is far more likely today than it was during the years of the obama administration. >> well, it sounds like north korea is now upping the ante a little bit. thank you very much, will ripley.
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let's bring in cnn's ryan an nobles in washington. a bunch of diplomatic challenges to say the least as yet another person is leaving the white how national security council. tell us more about the departure of k.t. mcfarland? >> reporter: this doesn't come as that big a surprise. mcfarland is someone that was close to michael flynn, former national security adviser. essentially when flynn was pushed out after it was revealed he was in contact with russian officials without disclosing that information during the transition, basically the clock was ticking on mcfarland in the white house. the white house is arguing she has been offered a promotion. she is set to become ambassador to singapore, which of course is an important responsibility but it certainly won't carry with it the day-to-day responsibilities of advising the president on pressing national security issues. what it tells us more than anything is that the new national security adviser, h.r. mcmaster, is really taking control over the national security apparatus around the white house. mcmaster is someone with a long
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military history. he is a west point grad, a ph.d. in american history as well, and he is someone who the president clearly trusts. he's also someone whom many national security experts, both in the congress and throughout the government, trust as well. so you can expect mcmaster's world to increase, especially when you take into account that steve bannon, one of the president's closest political advisers, has been removed from the principal's committee of the national security council. it seems as though those with experience dealing with international affairs are the ones calling the shots in the oval office when it comes to national security issues, ana. >> all right. ryan nobles reporting in washington. thanks to you. i want to bringing erik piloski who knows the inner workings of the white house serve in the obama years. told president trump that the biggest challenge he would face is north korea. now we know a navy carrier
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strike group is on its way to that region. ripley saying things are most intense than he has ever seen in north korea. he has visited there 11 times. now do you see this playing out? >> reporter: well, think we have a really tense situation coming up, and the visit of the chinese hasn't given us many clues as to how they're going to play it. i think the president has not given the american people much sense of where he wants to go other than he wants to be very, very tough. but that's not a plan, and we need to see much more articulated about what our expectations are going to be in the coming days. but obviously putting the ships off the coast is a powerful signal. >> what do we know about how they respond to aggression? >> reporter: well, i think, unfortunately, i think they're inclined to play along into the
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play book of we're responding with signals back and forth. so i think the hope is here that there's a plateau that -- or an off ramp where both sides can start to have conversations not in the newspapers but actually behind closed doors. that's where something meaningful can get done. >> we're seeing a lot of tough talk on north korea, but in syria we saw the president of the u.s. take action. did president trump enforce that red line that president obama initially declared but then didn't act upon? >> reporter: well, i think, you know, right now what we can tell from the situation is we have seen a good checkers place but we don't know if there's any chess behind it, frankly. i think it is important the president responded quickly, he lived up to his commitments publicly, but in fact when president obama was in the same situation there was several
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plays that worked out such that 1300 metric tons of chemical weapons came out of syria without a shot being fired and in a way that was infinitely safer than what might have happened if we had gone to guns. >> but yet you look at what's happening inside syria. there are still chemical weapons and now we're looking at a situation in which some 400,000 syrians have been killed. you can hardly call that a win for the obama administration, can you? >> reporter: no, ana, and that's not what i was getting at. what i was trying to say was, in fact, we saw on the chemical weapons front a very important strategic weapon taken out of the syrian's hands. there were remaining weapons. clearly we were very concerned about that at the time. we tried to make sure that the file stayed open so we could continue to pursue the possibility that there were still weapons, but absolutely you're right.
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si syria has not been a win across the board obviously but, you know, we've seen this morning the trump administration really struggling to figure out where they want to go with syria because, as you saw, the second of state said one thing, ambassador hailey said something quite different, and now they're heading straight into talks with the russians and we're going to see where the rubber meets the road in that regard. >> now, if you were advising president trump on what to do next in syria, what would you tell him? >> reporter: well, i think certainly getting the russians to a better place would help a lot. i'm not sure that they've got a way to do that. they certainly have more leverage than they had at the beginning of last week, but the russians are ready to play chess with them, and that's where they have to really step up with a plan. we haven't seen that. we saw this morning that there was at least some policy
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vibrations, if not differences, and those need to be closed out before they go into the meeting with foreign minister lavrov and potentially putin, although, as you reported earlier, it is not clear whether that putin meeting will actually happen. >> exactly. now, we do know the white house is cautiously approaching this meeting. they cautiously approached to some degree the strikes in syria, warning russia before the missile strikes were launched in syria last week. is there anything or what would it be if the u.s. could say or do to turn russia from its current viewpoint on this serious situation and from backing assad? >> reporter: well, i don't know whether they're going to be able to separate the russians from assad. i think tillerson -- secretary tillerson's comments this morning were probably intended to lower the temperature with the russians.
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obviously you put up just a few minutes ago the joint statement by the russians and iranians. obviously that's not a trend in the right direction. but, you know, those are loud noises. the real question is, one, how do the russians respond? two, how do the syrians respond? three, how does lebanese hezbollah respond? those responses, not the things they say in the press, not the things they say on twitter, but the things they actually do is going to decide the trajectory of this crisis. >> there are still about 1,000 u.s. troops in syria right now as we're assisting in the war on terror, fighting isis there. could the syrian government still retaliate for this military action in some way? >> reporter: i absolutely think they can retaliate. i don't know they'll have much joy trying to retaliate against our forces inside syria. i think that's a risky business. i have worked alongside and i have worked very closely with my
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dod, defense department colleagues. i think they would rather savior that opportunity, although i'm sure they would exercise the kind of discretion that they need to, the kind of restraint they need to. but i don't think that would end well for the syrians, so i think they'll look for asymmetric ways to respond, and that's the most dangerous, is if they go to a place where we're not expecting it, we're not prepared, it is not hardens. it is the soft underbelly where they can do more damage, and that's the risk. and that's particularly dangerous, sorry, with lebanese hezbollah. >> what do you make of the response from russia and iran, essentially saying we're not going to let america throw its weight and try to control the world? i'm paraphrasing, but that was kind of the ominous warning saying they would take more action should america do another move like they saw earlier this week? >> reporter: well, i would read it two different ways. one, i think they're playing to
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the cheap seats in the crowd. i think they're trying to convey and build up some support on their side, and then i think secondarilily, i think they're trying to say, look, you're better off if it is a one off, we're better off if it is a one off. we need to try and have conversations behind the scenes in order to step back from this. i think they're trying to say to president trump and to the administration that doubling down on this move would not be wise. >> real quick before we let you go, i want to get your thoughts on this shake-up we've seen now in the national security council given you have been in that same group. what do you make of the facts that h.r. mcmaster has come in, now we've seen flynn is gone, we've seen mcfar land, k.t. mcfarland, the deputy to flynn is gone, and we saw steve bannon taken off that group also this week? >> reporter: well, let me say
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this. i have sat in donzens of deputy committee meetings. that's the real engine of the national security council staff. that's where most of the hard work for big decisions are teed up for the principles, the secretaries of state and defense and the other members of the principles committee and for the president. that's where the work has to get done, the details have to be minded, the questions, the problems need to be surfaced. you need a strong deputy national security adviser to be running that process. and when you don't have that, then you really end up with at least a modicum of chaos if not a lot of policy incouherence. i hope very much they put a strong and well respected national security official in that role. i know a friend of mine, a
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long-time republican thinks well of deana powell. obviously that's one option. obviously there's a very deep bench on the republican side of people, some of whom criticize the president, who could play that role. >> all right. well, we'll see what happens, thank you tonight. as you have just seen, president trump is making bold military moves on two fronts, syria and north korea. does this change how he is viewed from those around the world? is there a trump doctrine? you're live in the "cnn newsroom." do you play? ♪ ♪ use the chase mobile app to send money in just a tap, to friends at more banks then ever before. you got next?
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listen to what marco rubio said just this morning. >> i listened to the interview earlier today. i guess secretary tillerson is going to have on your program and i'm a bit concerned about the outlines of the strategy as i understand it. i think it is based on assumptions that, quite frankly, are not the right ones. i hope they will reconsider. this idea we will get rid of isis and then we'll hopefully use assad and others to come up with a solution, it is not going to work. these people who have been killed and gassed and human rights violations against them will never accept assad as a rightful ruler. >> let's bring in my panel. with me cnn political analyst and columnist for "the washington post" josh rogin and white house correspondent for the washington examiner sarah westwood. the white house may have to get approval from congress before taking action serious. rubio is voicing concerns. could that be problematic? >> absolutely. there are already democrats who are concerned about getting more militarily involved in syria.
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republicans on the other side of the spectrum who are -- who want an even more expanded campaign than what the trump administration looks likely to put forward. so going through the process of seeking an authorization for use of military force, it could be productive for the trump administration in that it would force them to articulate a road map foreign gaugement engageme it could drag the trump administration into protracted negotiation with various lawmakers. we know they've had trouble getting legislative affairs off the ground, the healthcare talks were evidence of that, and this would be a much more high stakes situation for them to get into. it is the kind of distraction they weren't looking to pursue right now. >> josh, in an interview a couple of days ago senator rubio said he believed the white house was coming around to the idea syrian president assad must go. but today he is realizing according to secretary tillerson ousting assad is not a priority. the media clearly are not the
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only ones getting a mixed signal. it appears congress is too. what do you make of that? >> they're giving us mixed signals. what secretary siller son said, which is we have to fight isis first and work with russia to establish ceasefire with the assad regime and worry about political later, which is exclusive what nikki haley said earlier. we can't have a process with assad because he killed a lot of his people. marco rubio and most in congress agree with nikki haley. the question is who does donald trump agree with, and we just don't know. i mean it sort of puts a big circle around the biggest problem, which is that, you know, now we've intervened militarily against the assad regime with no really de whatsoever what happens next. and this kicks off a lot of calculations for all of these actors, the russians, the iranians, the syrians, the opposition, our allies, and they're all asking the same question, should we believe what
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tillerson says or should we believe what hailey says? the bottom line is there's no way to believe either of them because donald trump, the president, has not made up his mind. >> and who has his ears is another big question, while the white house is trying to navigate with syria, eye rand and north korea, there's been another shake-up on the council. we've learned k.t. mcfarland is leaving days after steve bannon was removed. is this significant? >> certainly any change that high up the chain is significant in that it is going to change the day-to-day operation of the nsc. this has been characterized as a punitive purge of general michael flynn's old loyalists now that mcmaster is in, and it probably is, but it is probably the nsc finding its footings and professionalizing and the white house for its part is trying to spin it as a promotion for k.t. mcfarland. they've said that singapore, for example, has a lot of english
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speaking media. she comes from fox news so she will be able to do a lot of media in singapore and represent the u.s. there. it is sort of how the white house wants to portray this, not as necessarily another shuffling of staff that indicates weakness operationally on the part of the nsc, but just h.r. mcmaster starting to want to bring his own team underneath him. >> you agree, josh? >> yes, i think k.t. has been on the way out for several weeks and they were trying to find a soft landing for her. i don't think doing english singapore media can be seen as better than being deputy national security adviser. it doesn't pass the laugh test. you know, i think k.t. had a problem from president trump he would take care of her. he likes her personally. that's why she got her soft landing where people like mike flynn got thrown under the bus completely. i totally agree with sarah. h.r. mcmaster came in and wants his own people but he don't want to scatter everybody and fire everybody on the first day, so he is doing it in fits and
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starts, in little bits here and there. having a deputy that you trust, that you want to work with is kind of the right of any national security adviser. he should have someone that he likes and i totally agree with sarah this is the professional zae of the nsc. the big question is when mcmaster gets his team in place are they going to influence the policy? we have a president of the united states that changed the u.s./syria policy because he saw pictures on tv of children being gassed. if we build this beautiful process where everything is functioning like a well-oiled machine, that cannot account for the fact that the president of the united states doesn't have a foreign policy doctrine and is learning on the job and is liable to change u.s. policy with a plea at any -- >> josh, i want to push back on that because we know trump ran on a nationalist message of american first. let's watch the moment from his inauguration day, in fact. >> from this day forward it is going to be only america first,
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america first. >> now, that line is straight out of the bannon play book. >> that's right. >> is it a coincidence really that this week the president abandons his nationalist message and strikes syria that bannon is booted from the national security council? >> i think it shows a trend towards the normalization of the trump policy team. the establishment pebt are ascend ant and nationalist people are on the ropes. i don't think the battle is over yet. when it comes to trade next week i think you're going to see the nationalist, the america first winning some of the trade battles. trump likes to set his teams against each other. it is hard to predict who will win each battle on syria. yeah, the bannon team lost, okay, because there's no way that america first and bombing syria can be con grunt with each other, but that's president trump's style. he said he changed his mind. he said it is my responsibility. that's what he said in the rose garden standing next to king
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abdullah. so that's a totally 180 change from where he was in that clip that you just showed. you know, going forward i think there are many fights that sometimes the nationalists will win and sometimes the hawks will win. >> sarah, you will get the first question next time around. thank you both for joining us tonight. >> thank you. we have seen a dramatic shift to president trump's stance on syria. ahead, a look at how it has changed, why and what it tells us about what could happen next. you're live in the "cnn newsroom." voluminous original mascara the original soft-bristle brush separates every lash. the creamy formula builds 5 times the volume. voluminous. let your lashes speak volumes. from l'oréal paris.
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president trump openly admits he has changed his attitude towards syria, and its president bashar al assad. he says the images from the chemical attack deeply impacted him. but this is actually a complete about face. cnn roar respondent breanna keeler has a closer look at how much president trump's position
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has changed. >> reporter: president trump long said the u.s. should keep to itself. >> i'm not and i don't want to be the president of the world. i'm the president of the united states. >> reporter: that was before his decision to attack syria in response to horrific pictures of a chemical weapons attack on civilians there. >> tonight i ordered a targeted military strike on the air field in syria from where the chemical attack was launched. >> these heinous actions by the assad regime cannot be tolerated. >> my attitude toward syria and assad has changed very much. >> reporter: in fact, it has completely reversed. in 2013 when it was first confirmed the syrian government was using chemical weapons on its own people, as pictures came to light of an attack much like the ones we've seen this week,
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p president obama weighed whether to make good on an earlier threat. >> a red line for us is we start seeing a bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. >> reporter: at the time trump tweeted repeatedly opposing action, to our very foolish leader, he said, do not attack syria. if you do many very bad things will happen, and from that fight the u.s. gets nothing. there is no upside and tremendous down side. and he told cnn -- >> why do we care? let isis and syria fight, and let russia -- they're in syria already. let them fight isis. >> reporter: then thursday and about face. >> it is in this vital nation at security interest of the united states to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons. >> reporter: and trump's decision to strike syria was a unilateral one, after once chasening president obama for considering a go-it-alone
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approach. the president must get congressional approval before attacking syria. big mistake if he does not, trump tweeted in 2013. president obama was ultimately unable to and scrapped plans to strike syria until 2014 when arab countries also participated in military action. but perhaps this is also classic trump, championing the element of surprise in foreign policy. >> i'm not saying i'm doing anything one way or the other. >> reporter: and obsessed with appearing strong. >> if president obama's goal had been to weaken america, he could not have done a better job. >> reporter: it also changed the narrative long plaguing the trump administration, the drip, drip, drip of the stories about his campaign officials' ties to russia and their meetings, oftentimes undisclosed, with russian officials during and after when russia attempted to interfere in the 2016 election. brianna keeler, cnn washington.
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>> thanks, brianna. thousands to take the streets of dallas for what organizers call a mega march. look at the numbers. the purpose behind the rally when we come back. you're live in the "cnn newsroom." various: (shouting) heigh! ho! ( ♪ ) it's off to work we go! woman: on the gulf coast, new exxonmobil projects are expected to create over 45,000 jobs. and each job created by the energy industry supports two others in the community. altogether, the industry supports over 9 million jobs nationwide. these are jobs that natural gas is helping make happen,
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whatever they went through, they went through together. welcome guys. life well planned. see what a raymond james financial advisor can do for you. ten also of thousands of people hit the streets of dallas today always a massive gathering, organizers called peaceful but it was an urgent call to bring change for those people who are out there. they want their voices heard when it comes to immigration and racial equality. cnn's ed lavandera was there. ed. >> reporter: ana, on the streets of downtown dallas this afternoon tens of thousands of protesters turning out to march in what has been billed as mega march 2017. tens of thousands of people have been winding their way, it is a marching route now spanning several miles here through the streets of downtown dallas, making its way from the cathedral of downtown to the stems of city hall. it is a pro-immigration rally,
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calling out what they view as abusive policies of donald trump. that's woo you see here repeatedly, not just questions of immigration, but how undocumented migrants are treated by this administration. dr. martin luther king iii was one of the lead marchers here as well as a number of civil rights activists, and joined by a great number of democratic party leaders here in the state of texas as well. a similar rally was held in 2006 where hundreds of thousands turned out. they're doing it once again, and this is a crowd that's grown to massive numbers here this afternoon in the streets of downtown dallas. ana. >> ed lavandera. thank you. straight ahead tonight, police are keeping a close eye on churches in wisconsin on palm sunday after an online threat is made, aimed at president trump. the latest on the manhunt to find this suspect. you are live in the "cnn newsroom."
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an increasingly urgent manhunt is on for a wisconsin burglary suspect who allegedly sent a lengthy manifesto to president trump, and then reportedly posted video of it on facebook. the manifesto contains anti-government and anti-religious writings, so police across wisconsin are concerned. they believe this man is armed and dangerous and they've been on high alert at churches and places of worship. cnn correspondent rachel crane is following for us. >> reporter: authorities say they've received over 300 tips regarding the search for joseph jakubowski, also more than 150 local, state and federal officials working around the clock to try to find him. the manhunt is on in wisconsin for this suspected burglar who police say mailed a 161-page manifesto to president donald trump last week. >> revolution.
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it is time for change. >> reporter: authorities released this video of 32-year-old joseph jakubowski mailing an envelope. investigators say it contains his manifesto filled with anti-religious views as well as grievances against the government. >> it is really a long laundry list of injustices that he believes that the government and society and the upper class have put forward on to the rest of the citizens. >> reporter: schools and churches are on alert after he followed through with one of the threats in his manifesto, to steal weapons and use them against public officials or schools. last tuesday he allegedly robbed a gun shop where authorities say a large quantity of high-end handguns were stolen. 30 minutes after the robbery, police found his car on fire nearby with evidence of arson. >> please do not approach him. we consider him armed and highly dangerous. >> reporter: authorities beefed up patrols at churches and places of worship and shut down
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the janesville school district on friday as a precaution. the fbi is offering a $10,000 cash reward for any information leading to his arrest. this is not his first run-in with the law. in fact, he has a linengthy criminal record dating to 2001 including some violent offenses. in 2008 he tried to disarm an officer. he pled guilty to that. officials are urging anybody with any information in regards to this case >> a wild story, thank you. still to come, people divided. the growing friction between orthodox and secular jews and what it means for israel's future. you're live in the cnn thunderstorm. from l'oreal. full coverage foundation. super-lightweight. pro formula. really lasts. but if forever doesn't last forever, just cover and conceal. new infallible total cover from l'oreal paris
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welcome back. in tonight's season finale of believer, he senses the growing
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friction between the secular and orthodox jews. >> the sabbath, the jewish day of rest. i have been invited to spend it at the home of a secular couple. two architects born and raised in jerusalem. >> i'm going to do it in the same style that my father used to do it. although i'm secular and i'm not really connected to it. >> you grew up in this house. what was it like growing up? >> it was completely secular. but we are the only non-religious family that was left. >> growing up e completely secular neighborhood not far from here, when i moved there in
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'98 or '99, there were no religious families. so and seven years later, we moved out because my neighbors would use diapers and rocks a at our cars. >> there is a fight. >> if they are talking about demographics, yeah, you're losing. >> let's bring in the host of "believer." give us an idea of what's behind this growing friction you speak of among the jews in israel. >> the orthodox community in israel is a diverse community, of course, but it is also extremely conservative, very insular. they tend to gather in certain neighborhoods, not just in jerusalem, but places for the most part stick to themselves and their own traditions and very ancient jewish tra dugss.
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but over the last two or three decades, they have become much more political. they are beginning to vote. they have many political parties. they are making decisions for the state and particularly for many secular jews that many jews in israel feel is undermining the secular democratic foundations of the state. i remind you that 86% of the ultraorthodox jews want israel to be a theocratic state. they want it to be a state that's predicated on jewish law. this is creating an enormous amount of friction. >> you write about some of your concerns. you have a piece that you wrote why i worry about israel's future. what are you most concerned about? >> i mean, i know this is a controversial thing to say, but i grew up in iran. i know better than most how quickly a country can change and how quickly a group of zealous conservative religious people who feeling as though the state
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is leaving them behind can very easily influence the state can enforce their values, traditions upon the state. i'm not saying israel is about to become iran, but there are different kinds of revolutions. some are much more sudden like what happened in iran ask some are more gradual. i heard during the week that i was following the ultraorthodox in israel, i heard from many secular jews, who openly said to me they feel that the enormous influence that this group has on israeli society, on the israeli government threatens the secular foundations of the state. even heard people say that israel is turning into a jewish version of iran. so that tells you just how worried, just how anxious many success lar jews are about the future of israel 37. >> one of the concerns you have written about is this idea that the ultraorthodox group lead to
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oppression of women, discrimination, can you exlain more of that? >> as i said, this is a very religiously conservative group. they believe in gender segregati segregation. they enforce that by segregating buss. they enforce female buss and male buss or make women go to the back of buss. they enforce that sometimes with violence, with regard to what a woman can wear in orthodox neighborhoods. in one town where e we filmed there are the self-ascribed morality police. thugs. youth go around harassing and even physically assaulting women that they feel are either not dressed modestly or not acting mozestly. those are the reasons why a lot of israelis think this is not the secular israel of its democratic founders. this is something else entirely.
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where we go from here is anyone's guess. >> thank you for joining us. don't miss the season finale of believer. it airs here on cnn. but first, brand new ep of "finding jesus" is next. have a great night and a a great week. he's the disciple famous for a lack of faith. by the sight of the risen christ. >> a skeptic is the strong eest kind of believer. >> an ancient tradition claims jesus sends him on a terrifying journey to the ends of the earth. he is martyre


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