tv At This Hour With Kate Bolduan CNN February 4, 2020 8:00am-9:01am PST
coverage of the iowa caucuses. the clock is ticking as we still have no, repeat no official results, some 15 hours after the first contest of 2020 began. we're told to expect an announcement sometime today, but who knows when. this has injected new chaos and uncertainty into the democratic presidential race as the candidates are moving on to new hampshire without knowing who won iowa. some are claiming a measure of victory anyway. let's go to cnn's jeff zeleny with new information joining us from des moines right now. jeff, what are you learning? >> reporter: wolf, good morning. as the candidates have moved to new hampshire, the controversy stayed here behind in iowa. i am told in the next hour at the top of the next hour at noon eastern, 11:00 central, here in iowa, there is going to be another conference call with officials at the iowa democratic party and members of the presidential campaigns. they're going to go through and update what they have. so that may give us more of an
indication of where things are leading here. in terms of the ultimate question, will the results be released at some point today? that is still a question. separate question, will all of them be released at one time or will they be released sort of half of them and then keep working on the rest? that is an unknown certain thing at this point. we're talking to a lot of chairs of these caucuses. saw them last night play out across iowa. people who are democratic activists, officials who are in charge of organizing these events. and one of the chairs i was speaking with, linda nelson on the western edge of iowa, she said she got a call at 1:23 a.m. from a democratic official here in des moines asking her to report her numbers. she tried to report on the app, the app did not work. she tried to phone them in. the phone lines were jammed. she went to sleep. she got up, she said, went out to her car, she got her materials, and she reported her information there from the ninth
precinct in council bluffs. she says that amy klobuchar won that precinct. we'll wait for the final results. that is just a sense here of how officials are going door to door and calling people, trying to get these numbers in. as of this morning, i was told there was 250 or so precincts still not accounted for, that number is probably different at this point. but it is very much a process here, wolf. they're trying to get this right, the future of the iowa caucuses are in question. the here and now are the results of this race. very much an embarrassment and a stain on this rich tradition here in iowa. >> certainly is. do you know if there was any training on how to use that app? whether or not they did a rehearsal, they did some practice runs, anything along those lines? >> reporter: that's a great question. we have been reaching out to several chairs of these caucuses, and they say it was not included in the regular
materials for training for this. it is a complicated process as we saw play out yesterday evening. and i'm told this app was not included because the app wasn't ready. so that will be an interesting thing to go back through to see why this app was not ready. it was always supposed to be, you know, the fastest way to get results with the backup plan of being a phone call system. but if the app wasn't ready, it is curious. it is not just an age factor. i heard again and again, maybe it is someone old not able to use this. i was talking to a parent of an 18-year-old who is a chair of a caucus here, obviously very savvy on technology, and they also were unable to use it because of an error message. i think some of the pushback of, you know, perhaps people are not as savvy with this is not a good explanation. they know a lot of chairs here in iowa may be retirees or others, so some tough questions for the software developers of that app and the iowa democratic party and the democratic national committee, which also is a partner in this process.
>> complete review of what happened, make sure it doesn't happen again. let's stay on top of that process right now, that app that has caused so many problems. mark preston, you're getting more information. what are you learning? >> well, just picking up where jeff left off, democratic source just told me that the issue does seem to lie with this major coding error in the app in that it was discovered once the data started flowing into the idp last night, the iowa democratic party. party officials then began to see that there were discrepancies in the three data sets that were coming together, wolf, as these results started to get crunched. the source said that it took time for the party officials to figure out what exactly the problem was. there was obviously a lot of concern heading into about 9:30, 9:45. hadn't seen any results. well, that's when they apparently came to realize what exactly had happened. now, this democratic source did tell me and i think this is critical, that there was not a
problem with the raw data being sent in. right now it doesn't appear to be anything nefarious, doesn't seem to be any kind of cyberintrusion. we heard that last night as well. this was simply a coding error. so that simple coding error now has thrown everything up in the air as we wait to hear what happens now. >> so let me walk over to david chalian. you know, they could have done what they have done for 20 or 30 or 40 years, the old-fashioned way, just count the numbers, count the -- and call it in. >> call it in. >> all of a sudden, it would be a little slower, might get 5% of the precincts, 20% and 50%. right now, we have zero percent and because of a coding error. >> well, you remember, wolf, the reason they weren't doing it the old way anymore is largely because bernie sanders was fighting for reforms in the process. he didn't think the old way served him that well in the 2016 race against hillary clinton. asked for these new data streams that mark was talking about,
that having the popular vote in the first round of voting and final round of voting in addition to the important metric of the state delegate equivalent, putting that all into the reporting system, clearly overloading what may have been a coding error here as well, inside the app, it is precisely because bernie sanders argued for the changes that there were more data streams. i want to pick up on something you heard jeff zeleny say. this is a debacle for the iowa democratic party. no doubt about that. but we shouldn't forget the iowa democratic party is not separate and apart from the democratic national committee. the chairman of the iowa democratic party is a member of the democratic national committee as are all state party chairman. so we do need to also hear from dnc chair tom perez at some point, there is going to be need to be a national party response to this moment to instill compensati competence going forward from here until the convention.
>> how would that work? >> we're going to need a full detailed accounting of what went on, and we're going to need some kind of verifiable way as to how they counted this vote, because of that, as you know, the party said this morning, because they had the backup in place, of these paper cards, these preference cards, they are going to be able to actually verify and show that the count is accurate. that will give a lot of confidence to the campaigns, democrats, to the country at large. >> here is the problem, two weeks or so, the nevada caucuses and supposedly they were planning on using the same app. >> no. hard to believe. that is a whole other matter, nevada, ever since they got into the game of being one of the four early states, and got a kaur caucus process under way in advance of the 2008 cycle, they modeled everything they were doing on how iowa does it. they went to nevada for a big
stretch of time, trained them on how to do caucuses. as you note, they're using the same app. you're right. february 22nd is not that far away. nevada has to figure out how to adjust here. >> they got a problem, big problem right now. david, thank you. the campaigns are about to be briefed by the iowa democratic party. will they get a clear timetable for the caucus results to be posted? much more of our special coverage right after this. the number of uninsured americans,
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they did not handle the flow of information that was coming in through the technology they had. you'll now start seeing headlines in different pieces about coding errors. it takes you back to the same place, they were not prepared to do the job they were supposed to do and still haven't fixed it. that leaves the campaigns trying to basically create a reality of where we are right now, which raises a very basic question. not blame unfairly, but if you look at all the different things that happened with iowa, often the best discussions on television happen -- bernie did well and how he did well with an an emerging muslim community in iowa, partly a function they were using mosques as precincts for the first time. you guys keep saying the
democratic parties has got to be about diversity and the growth of america and where it is and not just silos. why start in iowa? >> we have to operate on the system we have now, and iowa is the first state. moving forward certainly it does make sense, i think most of bernie's national rise at least recently has been from latinos, from california or texas and obviously the tiny sliver of folks here in iowa. i think the future of democratic campaigning, a good lesson for all campaigns is to take no vote for granted. don't talk to a tiny sliver of the population you know is going to vote, capture the broad swath of americans waiting to feel heard by a politician and that's where latinos in this moment, muslims feeling under attack by this president feels bernie sanders is sticking up for them. >> we have got to completely do what you're talking about and the only way to do that is to make sure we have diverse states
to eliminate caucuses because they're anti-democratic, especially for people who can't go to the place, only 16% of people historically have participated who are eligible to vote, it is anti-democratic. this is not to blame iowans. you should have iowa be a primary. you should have iowa, new hampshire, nevada and south carolina on the same day, first, all four, to address the -- >> it doesn't have to be -- i think the iowa caucuses are dead, dead, dead. i don't think that's even a discussion anymore. i think that the nail has been driven through the iowa caucuses. but it shouldn't be driven through the idea that the campaign should start in a discreet small state or a state -- at least one state where candidates actually have to go and interact with human beings where everything isn't landing on a tarmac, making an
antiseptic speech, moving on to your next thing. this is the only place in the process where people meet and that's how candidates who are not well known have a chance to leverage their way in. that's how barack obama came forward. that's how -- >> somebody spent a lot of time in california, i think that state is exactly what is wrong with american politics right now. the state is so big, you have to spend so much money, it is all on television. you have very little interaction. i think one reason elizabeth warren, one reason she started to breakthrough and resonate is she said i'm not going to talk to big donors. i'm going to put myself in small living rooms with people and she started listening better and something about that interaction matters. >> i appreciate the sort of nostalgia of being able to do this. i think it is important to be able to go one on one.
>> start with one state. i hear you. but these campaigns now start 18 months ahead of time. if you can't get to the four small states in 18 months, then why are you -- >> i'm not saying to, like, totally -- i agree with you about california. it can't be california. it is too crazy. small states, nevada. >> first four all in the same day. >> that's a plausible, that's a plausible idea. >> you can shake those hands. wasn't to think about what the field will look like right now if we started that way. would we still have booker? would we kill hastill have kama? i'm glad there are candidates still in the race who picked those up and run with them, but we would probably be looking at a field that was much more representative of the electorate they hope to win over if we -- >> we heard these arguments every four years.
about -- >> not from the democrats as much as -- look, rick santorum was here last night. i'm old enough to remember when he had to wait two weeks, in 2012 to get his results on the iowa caucuses. and so every year it is sort of like, well -- >> they recognize, i think, iowa recognizes -- >> i don't think iowa recognizes. i was texting last night with the former chairman of the iowa democratic party who said very clearly this isn't about iowa, this is a glitch, people should wait a day, there are -- >> that's not -- this is a -- can i just -- >> the democratic party this is the question. when will the democratic party decide -- >> this seems to me, though, this seems to me like a second order issue because that is going to be litigated after this election. there is an election going on here. and the question is, where are we coming out of this thing. >> you said the word glitch.
i just want to point out that when you look at the advertising for this app that failed, one of the big points was it is a low cost solution by a not for profit organization. i love not for profit organizations, this is not the thing you want a low cost solution for. you have a billion dollars, i don't know how much money was spent in the state. >> $68 million. >> $68 million spent on the state. we're going to save on the app? listen, 60,000 bucks on an app, that's not -- >> i have a low cost solution, hands. >> sharpies. >> phone banks. it worked for a long time. >> important point, want to point this out, there are this things you have a single point of failure, for anything significant, that's not where you go cheap. you want to do -- if you got to spend money anywhere and had a single point of failure in everybody's hand, and we're paying a huge price, unbelievable price, you can add a zero to how much money was
spent and still -- >> the difference here is that it is not a difference, the distinction is often we're in the search for why. the iowa story is not a why story because i don't care what the explanation is. you didn't do your job, okay? we're not fascinated by the idea it was an app and a glitch in coding like nobodies what those words mean. everybody's life is about apps. we understand. should have been able to get it right. said you had three backups to the backup, this couldn't have been true. you have the numbers by now. it is a what story. it is a what story. why? because this party is trying to figure out who best takes on the president of the united states, one of the most fierce campaigners i've seen in my life. and you are nowhere closer to that. and now your next step to do it, which is new hampshire to give some sense of semblance, even though you won't have the diversity throw you're looking for, is compromise. so now you're further behind. we have to take a break. when we come back, we'll be in the hunt for new information about where the iowa democratic
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new information, a lengthy statement just released by troy price of the iowa democratic party. tell us the upshot of this. >> this is a statement given to the campaigns ahead of a call that cnn already reported they're going to have at the top of the hour and we obtained this letter and i'll read you the most important part. we have every indication our systems were secure and there was not a cybersecurity intrusion. in preparation for the caucuses our systems were tested by independent cybersecurity consultants. as precinct caucus results started coming in, the idp ran them through an accuracy quality check, it became clear there were inconsistencies with the reports, the underlying cause of those inconsistencies was not immediately clear and required investigation, which took time. as the investigation unfolded, i dp staff activated a preplanned backup measure and entered data manually. this took longer than expected.
pass art of our investigation, we determined with certainty the underlying data collected via the app was sound. while the app was reporting data accurately, it was reporting out only partial data. we have determined this was due to a coding issue in the reporting system. the issue was identified and fixed, the applications reporting issue did not impact the ability of precinct chairs to report data accurately. it goes on to say, because of the required paper documentation, we have been able to verify the data reported in the app and used to calculate state delegate equivalents is valid and accurate. precinct level results are still being reported to the idp, while the plan is to release the results as soon as possible today, our ultimate goal is to ensure that the integrity and accuracy of the process continues to be upheld. this is troy price, the chairman of the iowa democratic party, this is a letter to the
campaigns. so he's kind of explaining what happened with the app, but also saying that the backup system is working, and the data, meaning the votes, who won, where they won, what the actual percentages are, is valid, and yet it doesn't say as we were talking about as we got this letter, where are the votes? if they have all the information, why aren't we seeing them what is the -- >> what is the answer? >> it doesn't make sense. if you have -- if you -- i get everything that troy price is saying in this letter to the campaigns this is why it took long last night, we had to investigate, the backup plan took longer than we anticipated there is a lot of explaining there of why, but then he gets to we have verified accurate results, we have totally been able to tell that what they input into the app according to our backup paper record matches so the numbers that were put into the app were accurate, something in the app didn't report them out accurately to
the party, which is where they saw the inconsistencies from what was being put in and what was coming out to them. but they now have gone to the paper and they say, yes, we verified in this precinct we can see the paper preference card here, it matches what the caucus chair input into the app this is a verified accurate result, down to the percentages, then where is the information? the question then becomes you told us you verified accurate results, where is it? >> yeah, yeah. this has been the question sort of transparency, since last night. there have been so many calls that iowa -- a democratic party has made with these different campaigns, some of them didn't go very well last night. you know, listen, it is sort of hard to understand this. david understands it very well, he studied it. to average viewers, average iowans, this looks like a colossal failure. now they're saying they have accurate data, verifiable data,
and it is sort of a paper product. but still so many questions about this. where is tom perez? he is -- >> the chairman of. >> the chairman of the democratic party. where is troy price. he should come out and talk about this. it doesn't give much confidence in this system even with this paper -- >> they are going to be doing a closed conference call at the top of the hour. the iowa democratic party, idp, with the campaigns. we're not going to be able to listen in. >> hopefully we'll get reporting. >> i guess the fundamental question is at this point, why not be transparent and share with the american public, especially the people in iowa, exactly what they're sharing with the campaigns. why do they have to do this in secret? >> i think the campaigns, my understanding last night, some of the campaigns were saying, we need you to brief us on when is going on first before you express it publicly. we put all this money and effort
in here, we need to make sure you're communicating with us. that's what this letter is about, trying to get to the campaigns information before it is recorded. but also, i agree with you, i think there is a moment here where if you have all your ducks in a row, as this letter is trying to claim, you got to put your cards on the table publicly. >> that's the most important question. the other interesting thing in this letter, the party touched on it last night, and went there, but it feels to me like they're being more aggressive in their claim, that this was not a hack, that this was not a problem from the outside, that this was a glitch in the system, you know, there is going to be more reporting and studying of that actual -- what actually went wrong and that claim, but the fact that he said there was not a cybersecurity intrusion that they were tested by independent cybersecurity consultants, that's a whole other story line we're going to be following up on. who were the consultants, you
know, how experienced were they, how much time did you spend, all of those questions. >> how do they prove that claim publicly. >> correct. >> they made this claim late last night at a time when it seemed like it was probably premature to say there was no hacking, but that's something very hard to find. i was talking to some people about that last night, that's a claim they made last night, not a lot of credibility. they're trying to earn credibility. it is not clear to just average people they're going to -- >> there is going to be a lot of suspicion about hacking and interference. alex marquardt has been doing some significant reporting on this. what are you learning? >> it is an extremely important point. and as nia malika was saying there, the idp did say last night there was no hacking, no malicious activity surrounding this app. they were trying to quiet the concerns as the questions were growing about where the results were. we're now hearing from the department of homeland security saying something similar.
the acting secretary of homeland security chad wolf on fox news earlier today saying that there was no hacking that was evident, so far no malicious intent. what is important to note, though, wolf, is that this app, which obviously was a vital part of the first in the nation caucus, was not screened by the department of security. dhs did offer to screen this app for hacking potential. that offer was not taken up by the idp. so they never actually got their hands on it. now, this isn't all that rare. the dhs does not want to be seen as intervening in states elections, they don't want to be seen as interfering too much. so they allow the states to develop and screen and process this type of technology for themselves, often using local
assets, local vendors. but the question has arisen as to why no one at the federal level has seen this and so what dhs tends to do is they offer advice, they offer services, they offer technology. in this case, wolf, that was not taken up by the idp. dhs, department of homeland security, did not get to take a look at this app in terms of its vulnerability for hacking. >> thank you very much, good reporting, alex. all right, we're getting very close to when the idp, the iowa democratic party is going to be briefing the campaigns. we'll monitor that. much more of our special coverage right after this. ( ♪ ) only tylenol® rapid release gels have laser drilled holes. they release medicine fast, for fast pain relief. tylenol®.
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checked to be put out, not explained away. or am i wrong? let's talk to the better minds? david axelrod. >> i think the irony of the whole deal is that they put these changes in to bring greater transparency to the iowa caucuses so that people know exactly who voted when, and how the shifts were made and how the final calculations about delegates were made. that was the whole rational behind it. that's why they put this system in, but they could not have been less transparent in the last 16 hours. we still haven't really heard from them about, you know, when this coming, why it has taken so long. this has been -- this is a textbook that should be taught in classrooms on how not to handle a crisis. so in trying to be transparent, they have been as untransparent -- >> they were trying to give us the popular vote, the delegate
allocation and that's important. i think in their effort as david was saying, they failed mightily and last night or was it this morning when we were all waiting for the results, for a couple of hours, we really had no idea what was going on. and in the political environment, in which we live, in which people don't trust government, people don't trust the elections, it was doubly important for them to say, wait a minute, this is the problem. we're trying to fix it, there was no interference here. >> that part is good. >> let's get that out there. >> that's out there in terms of cynicism, which is what trump went to. the democratic party is trying to oppose by showing a better version of this and now it showed a worse version. >> i think when the process is as bonkers as the iowa caucus is, transparency might not be the best remedy here. looking in on how it all goes
down, we're seeing coin flips to determine which candidate emerges. i don't think people want to see that as the way their democracy is aenenacted. i think in the lack of transparency now is a problem, i think the window that we all got into the process last night, also doesn't cast it in a wonderful light. >> yeah. i think if you're a human being who, you know, couple of days ago, thought, hey, we're going to do this thing, and now you're in some room some place, you're in hell. and nobody is really prepared for this level of global scrutiny of everything you do. and tendency is to get very tight and say, now i got to go from -- would have been okay, going to be perfect. that's the psychology cap loop they're in. >> they say they have the numbers, call tatively assessed that they have to put them out.
you're the big person with rap music. a tribe called quest paraphrased this situation, they rushed, brushed and attacked and rebuked and got a smack. so now it is time to move on. here is the thing, rojas, it is affecting new hampshire, the first primary in the country. bernie sanders just put out a letter saying i'm disappointed too. this is the first real primary in new hampshire. and the state of play working on the ground there is not what it would have been if each campaign had a fair chance to say here's how i did, here's what i mean to you. >> i think that's totally right. what this has done is left, like, folks like bernie sanders and elizabeth warren who did do really well not able to fund-raise off of it, not really able to capitalize on the victory heading into new hampshire. we don't know. but -- >> pete buttigieg came out and said i won. >> i think that's what's also -- in addition to the iowa democratic party maybe failing a little bit, it is irresponsible of candidates to say they have won when we don't have the
results in. i think -- >> how much money do you think bernie sanders left on the table last night? >> easily millions. i think from the way that grassroots movements -- >> this is the question, i don't know, can he not get it -- >> i think that he's got -- >> the least damaged by this. his people are so reliable and they react to every provocation in the environment by sending another 30 bucks. but he was smart to issue that statement because new hampshire has a deep resentment toward iowa and i think if i were a candidate, i would take advantage of that. and say, finally, a state that can count. >> all right, we got to take a break. we're going to stay on this, monitor the phone call. i'm sure that tons of journalists fighting to have equal footing with the information because, remember, the people who need to know most, not the campaigns, it is you. stay with cnn's coverage. .
going to our political reporter covering the bernie sanders campaign in iowa. how are they reacting to the chaos in iowa? >> that's right, wolf. they will be on this call with iowa democratic officials next hour and getting more information from the iowa democratic party. they hope senior campaign officials. but in the meantime we're hearing more from bernie sanders himself via twitter. i'll read to you what he had to say about all of this. he said, while we wait for the results from iowa, we cannot
lose focus of the fact that the new hampshire primary is just seven days away. he added, we have to be ready. sanders, of course, is also trying to take advantage of this moment as much as possible despite not having results from iowa, his campaign sending out a fundraising email echoing those sentiments he tweeted out, saying although the campaign is difficult about the situation in iowa, they want to try to keep the focus and energy on the path ahead here in new hampshire where they have suggested sanders is well positioned. he's one of the leading candidates here moving forward. now, of course, you look at the contrast between what sanders is saying now and what we're hearing now from the campaign like joe biden, for example, calling into question the integrity of the process and calling into question the results. sanders staying very upbeat, very positive in his remarks last night and no criticism from him so far of the iowa democratic party and the caucuses, wolf.
>> rebekkcca buck, thank you ve much. by all accounts, bernie sanders will do well in new hampshire given the fact he's from a neighboring state. >> he did very well four years ago. he trounced hillary clinton in that state. what rebecca buck was saying about what these campaigns are hoping to hear from the iowa democratic party, some kind of reassurance and finality or at least a plan of when things will happen and in a way they feel is in an assured, verifiable manner. if they don't hear that, if they just hear excuses of things that went on last night, i think this problem will get worse before it gets better for the party. >> in the letter that is obviously the template for this call, it was to the campaigns, it just says that they hope to release the results as soon as today, which is the same thing they were saying at 2:00 this
morning or whatever time it was earlier this morning. >> time is -- >> i know, what is the space and time continuum at this point? but the other issue that troy price has had with these calls, these very, very frustrated campaigns not just with the process, but more importantly at this point with the lack of answers. the campaigns are hoping they can actually spend time on this call asking those basic fundamental questions like, when are we going to see the results and how is that going to happen? that hacsn't happened in the many, many hours since we were supposed to get it last night and it didn't happen. >> 16 hours since the iowa caucuses began. 16 hours later right now, we're still waiting for the results. even 5%. 0%. >> 0%. honestly, bernie sanders trying to put on a brave face, move on to the process in new hampshire.
he doesn't really want to criticize the caucus process in iowa or anywhere, really, because the caucus process has been good to him. but listen, this has got to be frustrating for those campaigns. they're not able to do sort of a victory lap that's based on any real data, so they're trying to turn the page. we'll see what they say when they have these town halls on cnn tomorrow and the next day. but goodness, what a frustrating result for all of these candidates and not getting better. as david alludes to, the situation was terrible last night and they handled it terribly in these 16 hours since we've been waiting on these results. >> people are watching us here on cnn and cnn international around the world. they're probably saying to themselves, what's going on in the greatest democracy in the world, the united states of america? much more of our special coverage. we're waiting for a report from the iowa democratic party to the campaigns. we'll have details. stay with us. [ fast-paced drumming ]
welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king. to our viewers in the united states and around the world, thank you for sharing this very busy, somewhat hectic news day with us. this is supposed to be a defining day in the 2020 presidential campaign. instead at this hour, it is an uncertain mess. the democratic candidates are in new hampshire which votes one week from today.
the problem is they don't know, and the voters don't know, who won last night in iowa's kickoff caucuses. the iowa democratic party says those delayed results should come later today. the campaigns were told to call in for more information right now. in the meantime, frustration, anger, and yes, this is politics, after all, campaigns spinning lthe iowa results even though they don't know the numbers. >> it's clearly a victory for us even as we, along with the whole country, impatiently wait for results from the caucus. for us it was extraordinary. >> we know we did incredibly well. we won a bunch of precincts and delegates at places we didn't expect to win, and so we're feeling good. >> when i left iowa, i said it was too close to call, and it still is, but i feel good. >> several candidates are making new hampshire stops this hour. we'll try to keep an eye on them. dip in if it seems