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tv   CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto  CNN  January 16, 2019 7:00am-8:00am PST

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ime video into this... you'll see awesome stuff like this. discover prime originals like the emmy-winning the marvelous mrs. maisel... tom clancy's jack ryan... and the man in the high castle. all in the same place as your live tv. its all included with your amazon prime membership. that's how xfinity makes tv... simple. easy. awesome. good morning. it is the top of the hour. i'm poppy harlow. >> we're following sad news out of syria this hour. a deadly suicide attack on a u.s. patrolled area of manbij. the u.s. led coalition against
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isis tweeting moments ago, quote, u.s. service members plural were killed in an explosion while conducting a routine patrol in syria today. >> we also have video coming in of the moment this blast occurred. the images are extreme hi graphic and disturbing. you see pedestrians walking down the street in this u.s. patrolled city of manbij. several casualties reported in an area where several u.s. soldiers deployed. isis has claimed responsibility this morning. we are also being told the president has been fully briefed on this. this attack comes less than a month after the president
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announced his plan to withdraw u.s. troops from syria and then declared that isis was defeated in syria. barbara starr is at the pentagon. we have not confirmed it but isis is claiming responsibility. >> isis is claiming responsibility. it is not confirmed. there are many cases where they do claim responsibility for attacks and it turns out to be another perpetrator. nonetheless, we know that president trump on his holiday trip to iraq had been told by top commanders isis was not fully defeated in the area and that isis was still very much present in certain areas of syria. this area of manbij in northern syria you have against turkish border is unsettled for any number of reasons. the turks to the north are trying to push back. the u.s. backed fighters in the
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the area would like to see a zone where there are no kurds. the russians want assad to take control of the area. there's a lot of reasons there may be violence in this particular region. the u.s. has conducted about a dozen joint patrols with the turks in recent months to try to bring some stability to manbij. this is the big uncertainty. the president calling for a withdrawal of troops from syria, not immediately anymore as he did initially. they are working on a withdrawal plan. this area of northern syria could be one of the places they come out of. do some of the bad actors perceive this is their time to make a move because the u.s. is leaving? no answer to that question, but it's one of the questions being asked today as we find out
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tragically multiple u.s. service members have been killed in this suicide blast. >> if it is isis, it out right belies the claim that isis has been defeated in the area. the white house has been briefed on this ongoing situation. joe johns joins us outside the white house. are you getting any reaction from your sources in white ho e house? >> reporter: so far no information from aides here at the white house. press secretary sarah sanders has put out a statement saying the president had been briefed. she says he's going to continue to monitor the situation and has now referred questions on the situation to the pentagon where barbara starr is, of course. it's also important to just look
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at a little bit of the history of all this. barbara referred to some of it, the idea that the president would make this precipitous decision to remove troops from syria, creating a great deal of confusion particularly for united states allies including the kurds of course who are concerned about their safety in a situation where turkey might turn on them because turkey sees the kurds as a terrorist organization in syria. all of this with the background of the president of the united states putting out a number of tweets, a number of announcem t announcements suggesting this was a good reason to leave simply because syria no longer had a problem and the united states no longer had a problem with isis. let's just look at one of the tweets. we've won against isis. we've beaten them and beaten
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them badly. we've taken back the land and now it's time for our troops to come home. on december 30th the president wrote on twitter, if isis hits us, they are doomed. that raises the question of how the president of the united states might respond now that we have this news out of syria. >> joe johns, thank you. joining us lieutenant general mark hurtling. i don't have to tell you about attacks like this. you suffered attacks just like this on the ground in iraq. first, what does it take for a group such as isis to carry out an attack like this? and does it show they still have a capability, a presence in northern syria to be able to target u.s. forces in this way? >> it certainly does. i'm going to counter what you said a minute ago in terms of it
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being a complex attack. there's nothing simpler than someone going with a suicide vest. it's easy to do. having said that usually it takes a great deal of work to put a suicide bomber together. you not only need the willingness of an individual to wear the vest, you need someone to make it. usually in these terrorist cells, you also need someone to bless him to go into these attacks which is usually some type of isis or terrorist imam. as devastating and gruesome as that blast appears on the tape you just showed, there's even more to it than that. each one of these vests likely has projectiles in it. so you not only have injuries
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and maiming and destruction based on the blast alone, but it is shooting probably nails, screws, shotgun pellets great distances. even though it hits that small place where you saw the last take place, it was probably affecting quite a few people in a much larger radius than just the front of that group of stores. >> russia has a great interest in the future of syria and a particularly keen interest in this area. i'm wondering how you think that could be affected here if the u.s. does go through with the withdrawal of u.s. troops. >> there was a report from a kurdish commander yesterday. i saw this from one of my colleagues, that a kurdish commander did travel to moscow saying that should the united states withdraw, will you help us. and the report back to the kurds were that moscow was very
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willing to help the kurds. any time the united states leaves a vacuum, other people h will go in and fill it. zones that are attempted to be founded like that are almost never safe because there's a lot of players in these areas trying to work their own agenda. certainly in northern syria, especially in manbij there's a lot of people trying to play. it's very complex here. >> russia and iran also interested in this area greatly. it's early but you've dealt with attacks as a commander on the ground before. would you be concerned that a country such as russia or iran would help pave the way for this attack on u.s. forces?
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>> that's hard to say. what i will say is usually there are support for these kinds of actors. don't know who it was in this case. but what i go back to is the fact that any time any military commander or government says they have defeated a terrorist organization like isis, like al qaeda. they are never defeated. they always go underground. they are not defeated in northern syria and even in iraq. they will continue to conduct these kind of attacks and they will attempt to get support from alarm larger governments wherever they can find it. it is now day 26 of the longest government shutdown in u.s. history. there have been a lot of shutdowns. the impact being felt coast to coast, are there negotiations?
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where do they stand? >> two major iowa newspapers calling on republican steve king to step down after his racist remarks. will he cave and will the president say anything? and the golden retriever er are very different. they eat, digest, and process energy differently. at royal canin, we developed over 200 precise formulas to transform every cat and dog into a magnificent animal. royal canin little things can be a big deal. that's why there's otezla. otezla is not a cream. it's a pill that treats moderate to severe plaque psoriasis differently. with otezla,75% clearer skin is achievable. don't use if you're allergic to otezla. it may cause severe diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting. otezla is associated with an increased risk of depression. tell your doctor if you have a history of depression or suicidal thoughts, or if these feelings develop. some people taking otezla reported weight loss.
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so house speaker nancy pelosi is calling on president trump to postpone the state of the union address set for january 29th. that is if the shutdown continues. she wants him to postpone it. why? she's citing security concerns. she says if the president prefers, he can submit his address in writing. he's hosting a problem solvers
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caucus at the white house next hour. yesterday a second group of democrats declined his invitation for a meeting. the president said we will be out for a long time. >> the impacts are getting hard to overstate. food banks now across the country under strain from 800,000 federal workers either furloughed or required to keep working without a paycheck. that includes airport security screeners, many of whom are protesting that fact by calling in sick. food inspections have taken a hit. now the fda is calling back hundreds more inspectors, though they will not get paid. and the coast guard is the first armed service of this nation to go unpaid in a government shutdown. rosa flores is in miami beach. how are members of the coast guard reacting?
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>> reporter: some service members feel forgotten. we're not hearing from them. we're hearing from their spouses, because they're not allowed to talk to the media. it's important to note the work these men and women do. these brave men and women conduct drug and migrant interdictions in the high seas, they secure ports. whenever there's a hurricane and waters start rising very quickly, these men and women rush to save americans and take them to safety. instead of getting a paycheck yesterday, they got a note from the top service official saying, quote, today you will not be receiving your regularly scheduled paycheck. to the best of my knowledge, this marks the first time in our nation's history that service members in usa armed force have not been paid during a lapse in appropriations. there are nearly 42,000 u.s. coast guard personnel who are active duty military. these men and women are serving
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at home amidnd abroad. their paychecks come from the dhs buckets and not from the department of defense. that's why they're not getting a paycheck. meanwhile their families are having to scramble. they're having to apply for loans and grants, go to food pantries to get food. service members are not allowed to talk to the media, but spouses are being outspoken. take a listen. >> there's so much stress and it's not something that we should have to go through. i've spent so much time stressing about this, contacting people. at the end of the day we're a military family and yes we're proud to be here and serve, but at the same time it's a little disheartening to have to reach out to people for money or take community resources. >> reporter: now when the government fails to pay the bills, it's usually nonprofit
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organizations that chime in. that's what we're see right now whether it's nonprofits or companies that are stepping up to bring assistance to these servicemen and women. the bottom line here is the most powerful country in the world has servicemen and women serving their country without a paycheck. >> joining me now to discuss this is democratic senator chris van holland from maryland. first i'd like to get your reaction to the news that the speaker of the house nancy pelosi is asking the president to delay the state of the union address due to security concerns from the shutdown. it's quite a remarkable step to take. what's your reaction? do you support that move? >> yes, i do support that move, both for the security reasons
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speaker pelosi outlined. also, look, the president of the united states should reopen the government before he has a big show and a big state of the union address here on capitol hill. we should be focused all our energy on ending the shutdown. you just heard the pleas from a spouse of one the folks serving us in the coast guard. we have it in our power to do it just by voting on two bills that nancy pelosi and the house democrats passed on their very first day that have overwhelming bipartisan support in the senate. the senate also has to do its job here and step up. >> is it politics or security? he's a sitting president of the united states. he was elected. it's a constitutional requirement to report on the state of the union to the congress. it sounds like the motivation here is as much political as security related. >> no. the reality is the secret
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service speaker pelosi indicated is furloughed. we heard from folks at the fbi that said even those who were still on the job and in the line of duty at the fbi are being put at risk because their whole support team that conducts investigations and supports those currently on the job, by their going missing, they put at risk everybody else. we should be making sure those folks in the secret service and others around the country get paid on time and all of them can go back to work. >> to do that, it appears that either one side is going to have to blink or they're going to have to compromise. i spoke to democrats and republicans yesterday. everybody threw their hands up in the air when i asked them what's the way out of this. would you support an exchange that looks like this, more money for a border barrier in exchange for long-term protection of
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dreamers. >> the first thing that has to happen is reopening the government. what's happened here is the president has taken all these federal agencies who have nothing to do with home haland security and held them hostage. stop holding all these federal agencies hostage. let's open them up. absolutely, let's have a discussion over the most effective way to provide for border security. even he everyone here wants secure borders but we need to do it in a smart way. lindsey graham proposed just the other day, let's reopen the government. let's take a three-week period to try to resolve some of the issues you've just raised which we tried to do with the president in the past last summer. the president pulled the rug from under a bipartisan effort
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to deal with these issues. let's reopen the government and then we can figure out how to resolve the issues. >> i hear you and it is true and i've challenged republican lawmakers by saying, listen, both parties supported measures as recently as a month ago to reopen government. the fact is you hear messages. chuck schumer just told members of his caucus stick together. nancy pelosi has said i won't give the president one dollar for his wall. what's to keep americans from concluding that the goal here for democrats is primarily to deny the president a victory on the wall here rather than come together and find a solution? >> we've always been here to find a solution, but i think people know well that the notion that you're going to take the entire government hostage in order to extract what he wants on one item is not the way to
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conduct business in the most powerful country in the world. do you know what the president requested this year for border security in their budget? it was $1.6 billion. the senate appropriations committee gave that to him. then it's 5.7. it will be 30 billion at the end of the day. the president will just keep threatening to shut down government every time he doesn't get something he wants. that's a very dangerous game. we're already seeing negative consequences. let's come together, let's resolve the homeland security issues. we can have a constructive discussion on that issue. but for goodness sakes, why are you shutting down the rest of government when senate republicans supported by 92-6 a bill to open many of these agencies just a short while ago. >> the people that are suffering
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don't zedeserve to suffer. >> that's why lindsey graham's proposal is a good one. let's at least reopen it for a period of time and have a serious discussion about the way forward. >> thanks for joining us. still ahead for us, new details into what the special counsel robert mueller knows about the connection between paul manafort and his russian associate that he shared that polling data about the trump campaign with. new filings show the two men were talking, they were in communication before manafort resigned as campaign manager. i landed. i saw my leg did not look right. i was just finishing a ride. i felt this awful pain in my chest. i had a pe blood clot in my lung.
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welcome back. republican congressman steve king of iowa is facing growing pressure this morning to step down over the racist remarks he made in that "new york times" interview. the editorial boards of two major newspapers in iowa both say he should resign from his house seat. the editorials were published on the same day the house passed a resolution condemning king. in the times story he said, quote, why are statements like, quote, white nationalist and white supremacist offensive. here's what his constituents have to say. >> all people are of equal value in the sight of god and our
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policies should reflect that. >> they're overreacting, you know, magnifying it 100 times what it should be. >> i'm hoping they'll get him clear out of office is what i really hope. >> nobody can dismiss what the people voted for. >> joining me is a political columnist for the des moines register. that last woman said no one's going to undo what the people voted for. he did win, granted by 3%, but he won. why do you think this for so many has been the straw that broke the camel's back. look at them. he has a litany of racist remarks in the past that we can pull up. >> he does have a litany of racist or white supreme or white nationalist remarks over the years. i've known the man for 25 years or more since he was a state
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senator. he as always loved to stir things up. this time i think for a lot of people he just really went too far. he said similar things in the past. this is as close as he's come to endorsing white supremacy. i would say the important thing here is that his party is now abandoning him. >> his party, but not the president. the president hasn't said a peep about whether he thinks this is reprehensible. he said he didn't even know anything about it whi. is he getting some presidential cover? is that swaying people in iowa who are still supportive of him? >> i think if president trump came out against him, that might sway some of trump's supporters in that district. certainly it is -- they've noticed obviously that senator
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chuck grassley and joann joannie ernest have pretty stiff criticism of his remarks. it's the fact that he's now been stripped of his committee assignments. he was on the ag committee in iowa. that's really, really important in part because of farmers suffering because of trump's tariffs. he only won by three percentage points. joann joannie earnst is now distancing himself from him. as an editorial board, we just didn't feel like he could be effective at this point.
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>> you mentioned the ag committee. he's got some important positions that he can't work on. finally, he didn't answer any reporter questions. there's this video of him yesterday walking down the hall and every reporter is asking for a comment and he doesn't say a word. i mean, i i just wonder if you think that is a man who's actually going to resign from congress. you think he actually will despite these growing calls? >> i can't predict what he will do. if i try to predict, i'll probably be wrong. >> you've covered him for 25 years. what do you think? >> my gut feeling is that he won't resign. i wonder -- one graceful way for him to exit would be for trump to give him a job in his administration and he might actually like that move. if donald trump doesn't want to
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throw him under the bus, maybe he's going to find him a job. that's the way i see him leaving or losing a primary. >> thank you very much for being with us. it's a story we will stay on. >> fascinating development for that party in the state of iowa. the president's pick for attorney general tries to distance himself from prior comments he made involving a conspiracy theory involving the clinton foundation.
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happening now, the senate judiciary committee is convening for its second day of hearings about the nomination of william barr to serve as the next attorney general of the united states. >> barr himself will not be there today, but comments he made yesterday are raising eyebrows. barr tried to distance himself from past comments he made on the uranium one conspiracy theory. it's senator patrick leahy, long time veteran of the judiciary committee who's upset about an answer barr gave him yesterday. >> it all stems from a report in the "new york times" by peter baker in the fall of 2017. at the time baker interviewed bill barr as a private citizen. and he interviewed him about the
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fact that president trump was putting so much pressure on the justice department to investigate his political enemies, namely clinton and her family foundation. the situation involves something called the uranium one deal which we've heard a lot about, trafficked in conspiracy theories and on the president's twitter feed. it has to do with clinton approving the sale of a uranium mining company back when she was secretary of state. it's a disputed issue and it is still being investigated. barr was asked about that. peter baker kept receipts of his conversation and posted it on twitter yesterday. here's what barr said in part. i have long believed that the predicate for investigating the uranium deal as well as the foundation is far stronger than any basis for investigating so-called collusion, meaning of course robert mueller's investigation into conspiracy between the trump campaign and
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russia. when barr was confronted with this article and what he said to peter baker in the "new york times" in 2017, here's how he tried to explain away that comment to senator patrick leahy. take a listen. >> i have no knowledge of the uranium one. i didn't particularly think that was necessarily something that should be pursued aggressively. i was trying to make the point that there was a lot out there. i think all that stuff at the time was being looked at. that's my recollection. i may be wrong on that. >> now, of course, this has not satisfied senator pat leahy. he took notice of peter baker's tweet and the e-mail string last night. he's now saying that barr told me that the "new york times" got it wrong when i asked about his claim that the uranium one conspiracy theory was more deserving of investigation than russian collusion.
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the larger point is while barr seems to be on track for an easy confirmation here, this does raise questions about how he will proceed with some of these sensitive political investigations if confirmed as attorney general. of course, this is still an investigation that as far as we know is being headed up by john huber, that u.s. attorney in utah. >> you might want to assume that reporters take notes. >> they keep receipts. >> let's bring in former trump white house lawyer jim schultz. it looks like the attorney general nominee kind of fudged this answer here a little bit. but i wonder if the more important bottom line is this, because trump has pushed this, trump loyalists have pushed this idea of uranium one.
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you have the president's attorney general nominee. later he said i wasn't thinking in terms of a criminal investigation of the foundation. he just said he didn't think it should be pursued progressively. is the bottom line that william barr really took the wind out of a two year long argument by trump and his supporters about uranium one? >> i would say i think there's some truth to that. it's easy to fire off an e-mail to a reporter or to write a tweet or talk about this at the dinner table and spout off about uranium one or whatever. but when you're under oath in front of the senate judiciary committee, it's a different story. i think the reality of the matter is it may be easy for fox news or something to talk about the seriousness of those allegations, but when it came
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down to it mr. barr is a serious man and i think when he was presented under oath with an opportunity to repeat those claims, he was not willing to do so. >> except this doesn't read like he was just spouting something off in 2017 when he said this to a "new york times" reporter. he said to peter baker, i have long believed that the predicate for investigating the uranium deal as well as the foundation is stronger than any basis for investigating so-called collusion. either his opinion changed dramatically in two years, or he was down playing it yesterday. what's your read? >> i think yesterday he was being responsible in his role as the nominee for the attorney general of the united states. renato is right. we speak on legal issues based
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upon facts that are only given to us from the news media and what's publicly available. what we don't know is what we don't know. bill barr certainly doesn't know what's going on with that investigation. it was very responsible of him to walk it back yesterday in the forum in which he sat yesterday rather than taking the position based upon facts that a reporter or are publicly available. i think he did the right thing. >> another topic. we learn yet more about paul manafort, the president's former campaign chairman, and his conversations with those known to be working were russian military intelligence and lying about it again. it appears to be another example of manafort protecting these russia relationships. how significant? >> i think it's very significant. we don't know exact hi what he was lying about. obviously there's a lot of
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redaction there s there, which s there's a lot that we don't know and more shoes may be dropping. you have the former chair of the president's campaign lying repeatedly and at length about his relationship with a former russian intelligence officer who mueller has hjed still has a relationship with russian intelligence. very alarming and we're going to hear a lot more about that in the weeks and months to come. >> jim? >> i agree that it's very alarming that russians had leverage over manafort or allegedly had leverage over manafort. it's continually alleged by the justice department that he's lying about it. his lawyers are in a really tight spot. they don't want to admit he's lying. it's going to be very tough on manafort. it's important to know that manafort has never been charged with conspiracy. if he was dealing with the
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russians was he dealing in the course and scone of his position within the campaign or was he out there on his own protecting his own tail? >> that's a fair question. let's hope mueller has an answer to that question because it's an important one. >> jim doesn't get the emphasis on his name from you. >> i'll keep shouting it from the hill top. we'll be right back. there is chaos across the pond. this is a really big deal. the british prime minister facing a no confidence vote after her brexit plan crashes.
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welcome back. hours from now british prime minister theresa may will face a no confidence vote. this comes after her brexit deal, the plan for the u.k. to leave the eu, suffered an historic defeat. >> what does this mean for the key u.s. ally for europe? i want to bring in nick robertson. i know there's not a clear answer to this, but does this mean that brexit may not actually go forward? >> reporter: that's a possibility, but that's still one of the remoteer possibilities at the moment. i think the reality of the situation is that britain is in a period of political chaos and uncertainty and no one really knows the way forward. the prime minister is expected to win that vote of no confidence in the government later today principally because more than 100 conservative members of parliament from her own party, of course, who voted against her yesterday, they will back her today because they obviously don't want to give the opposition party a chance to form a government.
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she'll also have the support of those northern irish mps whoundwho underpinned her slender majority in government. no one in the country is clear at the moment about what prime minister theresa may's plans are going forward with brexit. what does she plan to change fundamentally in the agreement she put forward yesterday that didn't pass? there simply isn't consensus in parliament on one central issue. at the moment, it appears, she says she's reaching out to other political parties, but it seems to be a very limited outreach. >> n >> political chaos for a key
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u.s. ally in that big vote. the president is set to host a bipartisan group of house members at the white house. they're going to try this after it didn't happen yesterday of the shutdown. this has house speaker nancy pelosi is calling on the president to postpone his state of the union address. >> tech: at safelite autoglass we know that when you're spending time with the grandkids... ♪ music >> tech: ...every minute counts. and you don't have time for a cracked windshield. that's why at safelite, we'll show you exactly when we'll be there. with a replacement you can trust. all done sir. >> grandpa: looks great! >> tech: thanks for choosing safelite. >> grandpa: thank you! >> child: bye! >> tech: bye! saving you time...
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hello. i'm kate bolduan. we start with breaking news this morning. american service members on patrol in syria killed in a possible suicide blast claimed by isis. i want to warn you the video we're about to show is horrifying. it happened in the northern town of manbij near the turkish border. there's surveillance video of the moment before the explosion. you see a busy market area, people walking down the sidewalk, including what appears to be a young boy walking into frame. then the sidewalk explodes. ice is claiming responsibility. in claims responsibility, says that a suicide bomber carried out the attack. the spokesman for the u.s. fight against isis says they are still gathering information as we speak. we have yet to confirm the exact number of casualties, but we do know u.s. service members are among the


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