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tv   At This Hour With Kate Bolduan  CNN  October 18, 2018 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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trump is not wrong to want to try to find ways to preserve it and keep it moving forward. but that doesn't mean you can't be hard and very tough on them about this particular incident. >> critics would argue that administrations prior to this, including the obama administration, arguably gave saudi arabia too much of a pass on some things when it comes to human rights. we'll keep following this. the breaking news, we'll pass it on. thanks for joining us. i'm poppy harlow. >> i'm jim sciutto. "at this hour" with kate bolduan starts now. hello, everyone. i'm kate bolduan. the secretary of state mike pompeo speaking out just moments ago after wrapping a meeting with the president to discuss what is now the most critical test to date for the trump presidency. how to respond to the disappearance and suspected murder of "washington post" columnist jamal khashoggi. pompeo saying just moments ago, we need to give them a little more time to investigate. i want you to listen to this. >> told president trump this morning that we ought to give
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them a few more days to complete that so that we, too, have a complete understanding of the facts surrounding that. at which point we can make decisions about how or if the united states should respond to the incident surrounding mr. khashoggi. >> so wait and see, pompeo says. we do know that the evidence is mounting that jamal khashoggi is dead. that he was killed by the saudis and that the crown prince himself was involved. that is a lot of the reporting surrounding this, and there is a lot more. with that, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are pushing the president to act, warning that if he doesn't, they will. so once again, all eyes are on the white house and what the president may say or tweet next. cnn's kaitlan collins is at the white house. what is the next move for the white house right now? i was pretty surprised that mike pompeo came out to talk to reporters on such a sensitive issue. >> the delay continues. that's essentially what he told us when he came out and spoke
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for about three minutes to reporters and didn't even take three questions from reporters there to talk about what happened when he went to saudi arabia and turkey where he was supposed to be briefed on all of this, and white house officials have been waiting on his return for him to brief president trump before they could make a decision going forward. that's what we have heard for days. what we heard from pompeo was essentially no decision has been made and he advised president trump to give the saudis a few more days to continue their investigation so they can learn all the facts. critics are going to say they're giving them a few more days to continue to come up with their cover sory about this because they believe the intelligence points to responsibility for the saudis for the disappearance of and possible murder of this journalist. now, he came out and defended himself against criticism, kate, that we have heard of pompeo, that he was too smiley when he was meeting with the saudi crown prince in riyadh in recent days and photos of him smiling, his spokesman smiling which raises questions about what he was over there to do. he said he made clear to them
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the united states finds this really important, very concerning, that they wanted to get to the bottom of this. he did shield himself from some criticism, but he didn't offer a lot of new information on what it was that he briefed president trump on. any facts, whether or not he's confirmed this reporter is dead or alive. nothing of that kind of sort, kate, and also nothing on whether or not the treasury secretary, steven mnuchin, is still going to riyadh for that investment summit. all eyes have been on him as we have seen executives continue to drop out of this in light of all this scrutiny of this full-blown diplomatic crisis, but he didn't answer whether or not the treasury secretary, who is scheduled to leave pretty soon now, is still going to go and make that stop, kate. essentially what we got from there was no new information from the secretary of state despite the fact he was the one who went there, was on the ground hearing these saudi denials, hearing the turkish accusations, and he's the one who just briefed president trump. we didn't get any new information from that, kate. >> all right, a lot of moving
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parts. stick close to the camera. i'll come back to you in a little bit. i appreciate it. >> this all come as new evidence is emerging showing the exact movements of the saudis that are believed to be involved in khashoggi's disappearance and possible murder. that officer and also about the officer closely tied to the saudi crown prince. cnn's ben wedeman is joaning me live outside the saudi consulate in istanbul with this. remind our viewers who this is and what we see in the new images that are now being released. >> yes, these are four cctv images published in a turkish daily. they show a man who is a colonel in the saudi intelligence, a man who we have seen has traveled with crown prince mohammed bin salman to the united states, to the united kingdom, and he's part of his elite security guard. and he is shown in this cctv
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television footage at 9:55 a.m. on the 2nd of october, the day when "the washington post" columnist entered this consulate, the saudi consulate in istanbul, never to be seen again. now, then, we see another cctv picture of the colonel leaving the consulate at 4:53 p.m. that's about three and a half hours after jamal khashoggi entered the consulate. and clearly, this is a man with very close connections with the saudi crown prince. essentially at the scene of the crime. and what we're seeing is more and more threads going directly from whatever happened in this building behind me to the crown prince of saudi arabia. kate. >> ben, thank you so much. really appreciate it. joining me to discuss, david sanger is here, a cnn political and national security analyst and national security
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correspondent for "the new york times." josh rogin is cnn an ll and "washington post" columnist, and kim dozier. david, we're on our way up to the studio together when mike pompeo came out to speak to reporters. what did you think of his remarks? give them more time. what did you make of that? >> clearly, his message was you guys have to clean this up quickly. we know why. in part because the pressure is sbilding here, and in part because the administration is now a little over two weeks away from their big sanctions on iran, in which saudi arabia is going to have to play a key role and may well be enriched as they pump the oil the u.s. is trying to cut out from iran. they have to get it out of the way quickly. where i thought mr. pompeo tried to make a good case about, you know, he wasn't there for a joyful visit despite the smiles, he's a serious guy. he was out, i think, delivering a pretty tough message.
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that said, there are two flaws in this. the first is the saudis have basically said give us more time to investigate ourselves. they had more than two weeks right now. this allegedly happened in the office of their consul general, it appears to be where the murder took place, if the reporter we and others have done is accurate. in which case, they should have a pretty good set of facts right now. the question is, are they using the next 72 hours to find a way to go distance the crown prince from this? to perhaps arrest and maybe send to justice some of those they want to put on the blame, and their difficulty is every time they turn around, the turks are releasing more photographs, more evidence talking about more tapes that would actually make this a harder case for the saudis to take their way through. >> you lay it out so, so perfectly. and josh, with all of this coming in, we are at the point of wondering how do the saudis
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explain this away with credibility? as ben wedeman is laying out the cctv images and david is laying out it's not like this happened in just some building somewhere. this happened in the saudi consulate. >> yeah. "the washington post" reported this morning that the u.s. and saudi governments are searching for quote/unquote mutually agreement explanation. that's another way of saying cover-up story which is another way of saying a lie. the saudi government based on it own behavior and statements in the last two weeks doesn't have any credibility. that's why the idea they would be able to investigate themselves is laughable on its face. i'm also skeptical of the confidence that the turkish investigation, the other investigation that secretary of state pompeo mentioned, can get to the bottom of the problem either because as we have also reported, the turks and saudis are engaged in a negotiation over concessions that the saudis might give to ankara in order to bury some of this most damaging evidence. what does that lead to? "the washington post" editorial board has called publicly for an
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international independent investigation. that seems to me to be the only real hope of finding out exactly what happened to jamal in a way that we can have all confidence in. the other thing is that the u.s. government has the option of releasing the information that it has about this, which is a lot. and if they want to gif the saudis are couple more days, fine, but at some point, we're going to have to have a real accounting, and you know, we can't accept the o.j. defense, that like, mohammed bein salman is going to find the real killer. >> i don't want "the washington post" reporting to get lost in the shuffle of what we heard from mike pompeo because it was important. the wording from "the washington post" this morning is that the administration and the saudi royal family are, quote, searching for a mutually agreement explanation. not just for nothing. they're searching for a mutually agreeable explanation to explain the death of jamal khashoggi that wouldn't involve the crown
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prince. they're reporting that they're working together to come up with a cover story for a suspented murderer. you have been reporting on this. what could that cover story be? >> i have been on the receiving end of some of those stories. one version that has been put to me by several people familiar with the matter is that the crown prince mohammed bin salman had only improved interrogation of the saudi journalist in the consulate. but that a rogue general took it too far, had wanted to impress his boss and bring khashoggi back. and that the rendition went sour and that now they're trying to figure out who to hold responsible. an alternate version i have been told is essentially the crown prince knew and approved of an assassination of khashoggi. and that now different name said are being thrown out, including a few presented to us at the daily beast, trying to say that this is the person and that the
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crown prince's hands are clean of this. some of the things that u.s. official said are suggesting is that the king do something to clip mohammed bin salman's wings in the future, like perhaps present another deputy crown prince to remind him that his power is not all reaching. >> david, you also mentioned all of this drip, drip, drip coming out from turkish officials. that the saudis can't just get past. more keeps coming out every day. and the latest is these images of at least one of the 15 saudis that came in and left same day. into turkey. what are you hearing about who these people are that committed this? >> well, the first thing you're hearing is by and large, with a few exceptions, they were not saudi intelligence professionals. and you can see this by the
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amount of digital dust they left. i mean, they come in, they're photographed. it seems like they walked by every cctv camera that the turks have between the airport and the consulate. that is not the mark of professionals. and had professionals actually been sent out to do a rendition, my guess is you wouldn't have seen them coming in and you wouldn't have seen them leaving and you wouldn't hear these reports of mr. khashoggi being killed and all these gruesome accounts of how this all happened. so it suggests that this was done more by loyalists than by people who are professional at doing this. and that is, itself, a sign perhaps that the crown prince wanted people close to him. it's also straining credulity that people that loyal to the crown prince would go that far beyond his instructions. >> what his orders would have been. >> let's say for a moment he did just order a rendition, that
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they would do that and think they could be forgiven. maybe they just didn't anticipate. none of the saudis anticipated what the reaction might be. >> that may be the key, that the saudis underestimated what the reaction would be in all this. >> they live in a bubble in which they're not thinking this is a very public figure with a column in "the washington post." and you know, people in the united states were not about to just let this one walk by. >> go ahead, josh. >> i think there's a good reason the saudis thought there wouldn't be a big reaction. because the trump administration has signaled since it came in office that it's deprioritizing human rights. that has consequences hat we're seeing now, and we're often presented with this false choice. we can't abandon the saudis but we can't endorse their horrendousness. there's a middle ground, called having a fact based alliance, and i think that's what we have sacrificed over the last years and it's not too late. we still have a chance to return
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to an american-saudi alliance that's based on miechual respect, the rule of law and accountability and let's hope our administration realizes that. >> and the word from secretary of state mike palmompeo this morning is we'll get to those facts, they'll reach that conclusion giving the saudis a few more days to get the story together. and then we'll see after that. exactly, this is the definition of we'll see. >> i want to let jamal have the final say on this topic. today, "the washington post" published his final column today. a column he wrote just before he went missing. it's about the importance of a free press in the arab world. he details attacks on fellow journalists and then he says this. in part. these actions no longer carry the consequence of a backlash from the international community. instead, these actions may trigger condemnation quickly followed by silence. as a result, arab governments have been given free reign to continue silencing the media at an increasing rate. jamal khashoggi hasn't been seen
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since october 2nd. he should have the final say on this. kim, david, josh, thanks guys. appreciate it. coming up for us, he was reporting on the -- he was reportedly on the outs. now he's speaking out in a rare interview, the man overseeing the russia probe defends the investigation the president calls a witch hunt. we'll be right back. alright, i brought in ensure max protein... give you the protein you need with less of the sugar you don't. [grunting noise] i'll take that. 30 grams of protein and 1 gram of sugar.
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♪better find a way to smooth things over.♪ ♪if only harry used some... ♪...bounce, to dry. ♪yeah! ♪he would be a less wrinkly, and winning at life.♪ the man at the center of the russia investigation, the man overseeing special counsel robert mueller, the man who also was reported to be heading out the door a few weeks ago after reports he proposed secretly recording conversations with the president, that man is now talking. deputy attorney general rod
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rosenstein in aera rare intervi with the "wall street journal." defending the russia investigation, telling the journal this. i committed i would insure the investigation was appropriate and independent and reached the right result. whatever it may be. i believe i have been faithful to that. sadie joins me now from washington. thanks for coming in. >> thanks for having me. >> i was not only struck by that comment by rosenstein but also how he seems to address almost directly conservatives and republican criticism of the probe head on. let me read that for our viewers, that part. people are entitled to be frustrated. i can accept that, but at the end of the day, the public will have confidence that the cases we brought were warranted by the evidence. and that it was an appropriate use of resources. sadie, why do you think he's speaking out now? >> well, that's something you would have to ask him, but i think that, you know, he's pretty much the highest profile deputy attorney general we have had in recent memory. and so it's obviously a rare
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chance for him to sort of, you know, i think share his side of the story and sort of talk about the work at the justice department. there's a lot going on at the justice department right now. you know, including but not exclusively related to mueller. and so i think this was a chance for him to sort of talk about that, but also to give the public assurances that they should be confident in whatever outcome the probe yields, you know, whatever that is. >> absolutely. especially when it's always under withering criticism and under attack by the president at every turn. do you -- did you get the sense that rosenstein speaking out and being open to even, you know, addressing the probe, that the probe is getting close to wrapping up? >> you know, he offered no timetable for when the probe might wrap up. but i think he just sort of wanted to relay, you know, that he thinks it's been appropriately managed. he's the one overseeing it.
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he thinks the public should be aware that it is being done independently and fairly, and you know, they should be satisfied with the results already. it's yielded, you know, some cases and you know, exposed widespread evidence of russian election meddling, so you know, i think he just kind of wanted to relay, you know, whatever he was able to at this point. >> of course, to whatever limits there. he's clearly aware of the criticism. he's clearly not shut off, not seeing what's happened in the press over the months of this probe. who was he trying to send a message to, the public or the president or maybe a combination of both? >> you know, i'm not sure who exactly he was talking to, but he basically said i understand the frustration. i understand the speculation out there right now. and i, you know, accept the criticism, but i respectfully disagree. >> one thing that you make clear in the piece is that he would
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not address this reporting that last year he floated the idea of wearing a wire to record the president in the aftermath of firing james comey and also the reporting that he had discussed getting the cabinet to invoke the 25th amendment to remove trump from office. he's denied this reporting, that reporting before. did you get a sense of why he didn't want to discuss it this time? >> well, you know, he basically just said, look, i'm not going to talk about what the media has been reporting, but you know, obviously, this is something that members of congress want to talk to him about. he wouldn't say whether there were currently any plans for him to speak to people on the hill about this, but you know, i think basically he just, you know, said that the president, you know, knows that he's in the job, that he serves at his pleasure and he's going to continue to do the job as long as he's able to do it. >> absolutely. regardless, always good to hear
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him in his own words. appreciate it. congratulations on getting that. thanks. >> thank you. coming up for us, the special counsel may not be making news right now, but behind the scenes, he's as busy as ever. cnn has new reporting robert mueller is showing no signs of slowing down. stay with us. e switched our auto and home insurance. with liberty, we could afford a real babysitter instead of your brother. hey! oh, that's my robe. is it? when you switch to liberty mutual, you could save $782 on auto and home insurance. and still get great coverage for you and your family. call for a free quote today. you could save $782. liberty mutual insurance. liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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russia investigation for the past couple months may have largely stayed out of the headlines but that doesn't mean they stayed out of the courthouse. former campaign chairman paul manafort and his legal team have met with mueller's team at least nine times in the last four weeks. plus, mueller has gathered a grand jury in washington every week, and special counsel prosecutors have visited the courthouse in washington almost daily in same time period. what does it all mean? political correspondent sara murray is in washington with more details. great to see you. what more can you tell us about all of this? a lot of activity, but what does it mean? >> what it means is mueller is in this quiet period because the midterms are weeks away. he may not be doing a lot publicly, but there's a lot going on behind the scenes. as you pointed out, manafort is now this cooperating witness. the special counsel's team has also met with michael cohen. they're calling in witnesses related to their roger stone investigation, and what it means, according to sources who
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are familiar with this investigation, is they believe there could be a lot more activity once we get through the midterms and perhaps even more criminal indictments that are coming, kate. >> and also, a key figure, someone who has become somewhat of a key figure is white house counsel don mcgahn. sources are telling cnn yesterday was his last day at the white house. that seems earlier than everyone thought. >> it was a little abrupt. that's partly because donald trump ran out there and announced his replacement while don mcgahn was still in the building. a bit awkward. and yeah, there's not a lot of love lost at this point between president trump and don mcgahn. they did have about a 20-minute farewell meeting yesterday before he decided to leave the white house, but mcgahn is someone who has threatened to quit on a number of occasions. he and the president have had a rocky relationship, but he felt like he was accomplishing a lot in his job at the white house in shepherding two supreme court nominees to be justices as well as remaking the court system by
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naming judges to these lower courts. i think he wanted to stick it out as long as he could, but both sides acknowledged now was the time to move on. >> as long as he could became shorter. >> just in for us, new details about the fight of the future home of the fbi and what role the president played in it, including a secret meeting in the oval office about the renovation projects of the fbi. lauren fox is in washington right now. she's joining me now with more details on this. remind viewers what this is all about. and also, these new details of what you're learning now. >> that's right. new documents show that president donald trump was more instrumental than previously known in scrapping plans to move the fbi headquarters out of washington to the d.c. suburbs. that's according to newly obtained staff e-mails. now, the decision to rebuild fbi headquarters in d.c. could have financial benefits for trump, whose hotel is located just blocks away. and he wouldn't face any
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potential competition from developers buying the old fbi buildings. the documents obtained by house democrats show that staff openly discussed president trump's role after an oval office meeting in january between trump, gsa an midadministrator emily murphy and other officials about the future of the fbi building. a previous inspector general's report accused murphy of not being forthcoming about the white house meeting in testimony to congress earlier this year. as staff attempted to finalize the plan to keep the fbi headquarters in d.c. and put it in writing, one gsa staffer wrote, quote, ideally, i think it would first recap the oval meeting with what potus directed everyone to do. then ask emily to execute potus' order. another internal e-mail said that gsa was going to, quote, hold our ground on funding source and that it is a new demolition, new construction per the president's instructions. the documents obtained by house democrats are a preview of the kind of oversight that democrats might escalate if they win the
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house majority in november. house democrats are deeply concerned about potential conflicts of interest that the president might have in his business dealings. cnn has reached out to the white house, and we're awaiting a response, kate. >> all right, lauren, thanks so much. really appreciate it. >> we have breaking news coming in just now. we have breaking news coming in about steve mnuchin, the treasury secretary. it has been a big question, there's been a saudi investment conference that is next week, and a very big question of what he is going to do. is he going to attend, as multiple business leaders have been pulling out of this conference. are we going to the white house? all right, let's get over to the white house and get over to kaitlan collins who has more information on that. sorry, a little traffic confusion. give me the breaking news. >> we have gotten the answer we have been waiting all week to hear, whether or not mnuchin is going to go. he just tweeted the treasury
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secretary saying he met with president trump, he met with mike pompeo, and they have decided together he's not going to attend the investment summit in riyadh, a big thing for the crown prince of saudi arabia, saying he will no longer being going. this is the question, kalt, that essentially everyone has been waiting to hear, whether or not he was still going to move forward because they thought it would signal really largely how the administration, it would indicate how they're going to respond to the disappearance of this journalist, and really, he said he was in earlier days this week, he was going to wait to meet with pompeo to see what he had to say after he got back from visiting riyadh and visiting turkey to make a decision, and we know he's not going to be attending that summit anymore. that's the same summit where we have seen several top executives drop out in light of the scrutiny over this full-blown diplomatic crisis related to the disappearance of this journalist, and as the saudis are going to continue to investigate, the treasury secretary has decided it's not
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worth it for him to go. if he had gone there, there likely would have been a lot of backlash because they thought it would have signaled essentially the united states is fine with him continuing to go to this. they weighed the decision because they thought it's a lot easier for some private company executive to decide not to go, but with the united states treasury secretary deciding not to go, it would send a bigger message. they struggled with the decision, but they have come to the decision he's not going to attend. all or not what that means for the rest of the white house's response to this and the disappearance of this journalist, we'll have to wait and see. >> absolutely right. thanks so much. really appreciate it. >> much more on this after a break. your digestive system has billions of bacteria but life can throw them off balance.
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what exactly happened to jamal khashoggi after he entered the saudi consulate in istanbul more than two weeks ago? the burning question still not answered but reports tell a grisly story of possible dismemberment and murder. josh campbell is joining me outside the consulate where khashoggi entered and disappeared. a senior law enforcement analyst and supervisory agent. there's been a lot of activity there overnight and yesterday. what exactly do we know, though, about what happened inside the consulate on october 2nd? >> yeah, we're here outside the saudi consulate, which is the alleged scene of the crime. cnn has been reporting based on
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information from turkish officials that behind me, inside the facility, the missing journalist, jamal khashoggi, was reportedly tortured, dismembered, and killed in the facility behind me. overnight, you'll recall there was reporting where we were standing at the residence of the saudi consul general. that became of interest because cctv of the day he went missing shows vehicles moving to the residence. officers were processing throughout the night, they spent about nine hours with forensic teams. we have yed to get a read out on what they found. but obviously, there's a lot of information that's damning that has been coming to light, things we have been reporting to include the members of this alleged 15-member hit team. cnn has obtained passports for seven of the individuals. one in particular, and this is raising a lot of eyebrows. was an individual linked to the saudi ministry of medicine. there was a 2014 news article that came out from a london
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newspaper that actually indicated this individual was actually boasting in 2014 about a new capability that the saudis had. that was the ability to move a mobile forensic crime scene processing center to the area where an individual was found deceased in order to quickly do an autopsy, find out what the cause of death was. the reason that caused eyebrows is if a 15-member hit team came here for the purpose of conducting an interrogation, why would you send someone who had that expertise? a lot of questions remaining. we're yet to get a full read out, but we're keeping an eye on that. >> hearing from mike pompeo after his meetings in riyadh that they want to give the saudis a few more days to figure out what they found or to figure out their story. joining me now is bob baer, a cnn forer cia operative. if this team of 15 that came from saudi arabia, if this included senior saudi
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intelligence officers, if they were just there to interrogate him, what would they have done? >> i doubt that they were there, kate, to interrogate him. what they would do normally is grab the guy, put him on an airplane as fast as they can, and take him back to riyadh and interrogate him there. i think the case for premeditated murder is getting better by the day. everything the turks have said, they have backed up with evidence, with photographs, with cleaning up the scene. this whole story about cutting him up while he was still alive, putting earphones. i mean, the turks know what they're doing. and this frankly is a slow roast of saudi arabia. and possibly trump as well. i mean, they do have political motivations. now, the question is whether they have the tape or not, and that's being a key piece of evidence. but i just don't see this as an interrogation gone bad. interrogators are in riyadh. they could have done all the
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interrogation they wanted. the whole point of the rendition is to do it quickly and get the person out and not wait around to question them. >> that is a real question. and i want to get your perspective on that. if it was a botched interrogation, how does something like this go so wrong? especially if it's a -- if this involves senior intelligence officers? >> well, if it was a botched interrogation, a man of that age, if you hit him hard enough a couple times, he could die of a heart attack. i have seen that happen over and over again in the middle east. where they're overaggressive and they die during the interrogation. but that's not what the turks have said what happened. >> yeah. and as you were talking about, turkish officials told cnn that his body was dismembered -- just horrible to even talk about. dismembered after he was killed. bob, why would they ever be done? i don't understand. >> mohammed bin salman, the crown prince, runs all the security services.
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he runs the military, the economy. he's an autocrat. it is known to be particularly cruel, and this could be a message to the rank and file. this is what happens to you. you know, it's psychopathic, no question about it. and there's a big question of whether this had been filmed and sent back to the kingdom for mohammed bin salman. that's something else the turks could answer. >> well, again, no definitive answers yet, but a lot of mounting evidence all pointing one direction and not inother at the moment. bob, thank you. i appreciate it. coming up for us, the new battle brewing for democrats in a historically blue state. how one heated senate fight could dash any hopes of a blue wave. that's next. for a single dad, and back pain made it hard to sleep and get up on time. then i found aleve pm. the only one to combine a safe sleep aid, plus the 12 hour pain relieving strength of aleve. i'm back. aleve pm for a better am.
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warning, california. a handful of billionaires have spent over $70 million on campaigns to undermine our public schools. and electing a former wall street banker named marshall tuck to superintendent of public instruction is all a part of the billionaires' plan to take money away from neighborhood public schools and give it to their corporate charter schools. that's why tony thurmond is the only candidate endorsed by classroom teachers for superintendent of public instruction. because keeping our kids safe and improving our neighborhood public schools is always tony's top priority.
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public schools traffic and roads... a mess, honestlyrents going up,le. friends and family moving out of state, millions of californians live near or below the poverty line. politicians like gavin newsom talk about change, but they've done nothing. sky-high gas and food prices. homelessness. gavin newsom, it happened on your watch. so, yeah. it is time for a change. time for someone new. and i am a certified arborist for pg&e.ughes i oversee the patrolling of trees near power lines and roots near pipes and underground infrastructure. at pg&e wherever we work, we work hard to protect the environment. getting the job done safely, so we can keep the lights on for everybody. because i live here i have a deeper connection to the community. and i want to see the community grow and thrive. every year we work with cities and schools to plant trees in our communities. so the environment is there for my kids and future generations. together, we're building a better california.
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we are less than two weeks away from the big game. midterms, 2018. if democrats have hope of taking back the senate, they not only need to pick up red seats, they need to hold on to the ones they've already got. that brings us to new jersey where a traditionally blue state is making democrats a little more nervous, maybe a lot more nervous this morning. joining us right now is our senior political writer harry enten. let's talk about new jersey. what is going on in this race? >> yesterday was a quinnipiac university poll that had menendez just ahead. he's at 51% compared to bob hugin's 44%. this is surprising given that donald trump lost this state by double digits, given that bob menendez won by 20 points in 2012 but it was the corruption
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trial, menendez was either found not guilty or there was a hung jury on some count bus it clearly had an impact. my forecast has him slated to win by only nine percentage points, that isn't that great. why is he not doing as well as we might think? look at the favorable ratings. right now menendez in that quinnipiac university poll was at a 36% favorable rating to unfavorable at 52%. that makes him much less liked than bob hugin who is a 39% favorable rating. >> but does that matter at small look at the 2016 model. hillary clinton and donald trump were -- they were both unliked, in you will. >> the two least-liked candidates of all time. >> that no longer a measure? >> i think it's a measure in so far is that menendez's favorable rating is so low it's holding him back but if you look at the monmouth poll that came out as we've been on the air, most voters in the state of new jersey are making up their mind
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not on how they feel about menendez but thaw howe they feel about donald trump. >> so it has nothing to do with his favorability and all to do with donald trump's favorability? >> it has nothing to do with bob menendez, it's the "d" next to his name and the "r" next to donald trump's name. >> fascinating. i don't think if that's good or bad for menendez. >> he'll probably win. the forecast has him winning by nine. >> ends justify the means in politics. the president is heading to montana. i think this is his third time to campaign this cycle. he's campaigning against john tester? >> he has spite given what tester did to ronny jackson who he wanted the run. >> republican strategists say the race is significantly closer. >> so trump could have an impact? >> trump could have an impact.
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we'll see. >> stand by to stand by. coming up for us. beto o'rourke has tons of cash but he doesn't have a ton of time. the texas democrat is trailing in his bid to bounce senator ted cruz out of office. will a new strategy step in what is the new strategy? that's next. ♪ a wealth of information. a wealth of perspective. ♪ a wealth of opportunities. that's the clarity you get from fidelity wealth management. straightforward advice, tailored recommendations, tax-efficient investing strategies, and a dedicated advisor to help you grow and protect your wealth. fidelity wealth management.
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democratic congressman beto o'rourke is trying to unseat ted cruz. o'rourke has raised a record amount of cash but polls show he's still training -- close but not close enough. tonight his closing argument. cnn hosts a town hall meeting with o'rourke and an important note on that. cnn invited senator ted cruz multiple times to appear tonight as well but he declined. let's go there. mark preston is in mcallen, texas, a live look where the town hall will be held tonight at 7:00 eastern. what are you looking for tonight? >> this is a border town. when we talk about the problem of illegal immigration and we talk about the problem of nafta, this is the heart of it here where we stand and we'll see beto o'rourke try to make his case not only to texan bus to the nation. he's somebody as you know and i know and our viewers are starting to learn, he has come
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on fast in the closing months of this campaign. we'll see president trump come here to help shore up support for ted cruz. we'll see tonight if beto o'rourke can talk about being conciliatory. at the same time, can he reach out and have his liberal base energize energized. >> what do you think about the fact that he raised $38 million in the third quarter and what what if he loses after that? >> $30 million in three months, astronomical amount of money. people think that beto o'rourke is looking beyond this selection, he's looking perhaps at running for president, looking at perhaps running for governor down the road. the fact is, though, beto o'rourke has showed how much energy we've seen in the democratic party when they're looking at new leaders. beto o'rourke one of these young guys they're investing in. we're seeing television ads and digital ads in texas. a lot at stake in mcallen, texas. >> how many times are we going to hear lying ted tonight? >> certainly more than once.
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probably not more than 100. >> thank you so much for sticking your neck out. great to see you, mark. it will be awesome. appreciate it. it all happens tonight. cnn's dana bash moderates the texas senate town hall. that's live at 7:00 eastern on cnn. thanks so much for joining me. inside politics with john king starts right now. welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king. thank you for sharing your day with us. new twist in the saudi crisis. images that undermine the royal family's denial and a big oval office meeting between the president and his secretary of state. plus, rod rosenstein praises the special counsel investigation -- the one his boss calls a witch-hunt and a con job. and a big campaign swing for the president, immigration is on his mind as he heads west but in most close races, health care is a bigger flash point.
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