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tv   CNN Newsroom Live  CNN  August 27, 2021 11:00pm-12:00am PDT

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week after the troop pullout in afghanistan. the concerns aren't just with the democratic candidate, however. the lapd is now investigating domestic violence accusations against a high-profile republican opponent. kyung lah joins us with the latest. so harris was scheduled to -- to campaign with the governor. cancelled after the terror attack. how badly does newsom need a boost from the white house? >> well, it's a double-edged sword here, anderson. because the last thing the california democratic governor wants right now while he is fighting for his job in this recall election that is now about two weeks away is to talk about afghanistan. what he is missing, though, by this cancelled rally is he is missing a chance for an optimistic, enthusiastic rally targeting the democratic base here in california. he would be able to stand beside the favorite daughter among the democratic base here in california, and that's vice president kamala harris. he doesn't get that anymore because this rally has been cancelled and, anderson, we are
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not getting any word of whether or not this rally will be rescheduled before the election. >> and i know you got some early-ballot return numbers. what do they show? >> you know, this is very interesting and i want to emphasize that one word you just used, early. and the reason why is because we are looking at only about 13% of the ballots being returned. this is from the pdi, political data incorporated. it is a democratic tracking firm. so with 13% of the ballots returned so far because the mail-in ballots are out, 55% of those ballots returned are from democrats. 23%, republican. 22%, independent. it is a reminder, anderson, that the numbers are on the side for the governor of this state and for the democrats. that there is a 2-1 voter r registration advantage for democrats and right now, they are looking like they are keeping up. >> and larry elder, the -- the front-runner who certainly has the best name recognition in the field of 46 candidates who is looking to replace the governor is having problems with past allegations.
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what -- what are those? >> reporter: it -- it's a little complicated here because you are talking about larry elder. he is known here as a conservative radio host. he has been on the air here for decades in california. syndicated nationally. the lapd says that it has received a recent report about something that happened in 2015. now, in an interview with cnn, elder's former fiancee alex tells us that this involved an incident in 2015 when she and elder broke up. she says that he brandished a weapon at her. and in the report that she filed with the lapd, she says that he also pushed her. now, the elder campaign says that these charges are salacious, ridiculous. they vehemently deny it, and they say that what they are going to do is to simply focus on the election. >> anderson. >> kyung lah, appreciate the update. the news continues now with don and "don lemon tonight."
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this is "don lemon tonight." thank you so much for joining us. we are going to begin with breaking news. the u.s. has conducted an air strike against isis-k, an isis-k planner, that is our breaking news tonight. central command spokesman captain bill urban says in a statement, quote, u.s. military forces conducted an over-the-horizon counterterrorism operation today against an isis-k planner. the unmanned air strike occurred in the nangarhar province of afghanistan. initial indications are that we killed the target. we know of no civilian casualties. that as we have more breaking news tonight on a new threat in afghanistan. the u.s. embassy in kabul, just now, again, warning u.s. citizens at a number of gates at that airport to leave immediately. they are citing security threats. the alert advising u.s. citizens to avoid traveling to the airport, and to avoid airport
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gates. that just hours after the president, joe biden, was warned by his national security team that another attack in kabul is likely. not just possible, but likely. a white house official telling cnn, quote, the next few days of this mission will be the most dangerous period, to date. the president saying this. >> but look, the mission there being performed is dangerous. and is -- now, it's come with significant loss of american personnel. and -- but it's a worthy mission because they continue to evacuate folks out of that region. >> the white house echoing the grim warning about the danger of the next few days. >> the threat is ongoing and it is active. it is -- our troops are still in danger. that continues to be the case, every day that they are there.
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most -- this is the most dangerous part of the mission. >> the pentagon warning the threats are credible and specific. >> we still believe there are credible threats. in fact, i'd say specific, credible threats and we want to make sure we're prepared for those. >> press secretary jen psaki says the president who in the hours after the attack warned isis-k, we will hunt you down and make you pay, doesn't want them on earth anymore. >> i think he made clear yesterday that he does not want them to live on the earth anymore. >> president biden planning to call the families of 13 u.s. service members killed in the attack once -- once next of kin notifications, i should say, are complete. and when the families are ready. the afghan death toll rising tonight to more than 170 men, women, and children killed, 200 wounded. and we are learning more, tonight, about the isis-k terror attack.
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the pentagon confirming there was only one explosion outside the airport, not two as they originally reported. the bomber wore a suicide vest. blowing it up right in the vicinity of the abbey gate. followed by a gun battle with an unknown number of shooters. in the wake of the terror attack, there were fewer people on the streets near the airport today. take a look at this. afghan -- afghan and foreign forces using flash bangs from inside the perimeter of the kabul airport to disperse crowds outside.
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some 4,200 # people were evacuated in kabul in 12 hours today on u.s. military and coalition flights. down from 7,500 yesterday. an afghan family, among those arriving at dulles airport today. so, we have much more to come on this and we are going to talk about our breaking news, as well. but i want to bring in now cnn's kaitlan collins at the white house and alex marquardt at the pentagon for us this evening. thank you, both, for joining us on this really big friday -- news night friday. alex, breaking just moments ago, the u.s. has conducted an air strike against isis-k. please, tell me what you know. >> yeah, i mean, obviously, don, those tough words from president biden vowing retaliation. and -- and now, it appears to have happened at least the first wave of it. we are hearing from cent-com which is the area of command that covers afghanistan. they are saying that they have carried out what's called an over-the-horizon counterterrorism operation. that means that it came from outside the country. that -- they also say that it was an unmanned strike, meaning
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it was carried out by a drone and the target was an isis-k planner so not your low-level grunt or any sort of facility they were targeting. it seems that they were targeting this specific individual, that this specific individual was killed and that no other civilians were -- were harmed. this is a major test for the biden administration, don. as u.s. troops leave the country. as intelligence capabilities are -- are drawn down, the biden administration needs to be able to show that it can continue to carry out these types of counterterrorism operations against the likes of isis-k and other terrorist groups. um, so here you have this operation carried out by the u.s. military. a drone strike coming from, as they say, over the horizon against this isis-k planner. we have, of course, been talking about isis-k for days. the -- the likelihood of an imminent attack, which then came to fruition just yesterday outside the abbey gate. and that came, following the warning from the u.s. embassy
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and other foreign embassies of -- warning of an imminent attack. warning citizens and afghans to get -- to leave those gates immediately. and, don, tonight, we are seeing, yet, another warning like that from the u.s. embassy in kabul. telling everyone to leave the vicinity of the airport. to get away from not just abbey gate but the four gates around the airport because they do fear another imminent attack. the attack that we saw yesterday killing scores of afghans, 13 american service members. one of the deadliest days during this 20-year war in afghanistan. the biden administration, clearly, expecting more attacks -- um -- by isis-k which as we've said tonight, they carried out their first strike against since that attack yesterday. >> well, kaitlan, we have retaliation, right? it -- it appears to be retaliation now. and we also have the warning now about possible terrorist attacks so the president vowed that he
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would hunt these terrorists down, right? so what are your sources -- what are you hearing from your sources tonight, kaitlan? >> well, he's fulfilling that vow with this strike tonight on this isis-k planner. of course, we don't know that this person was specifically involved in the attack that happened this week but we do know the white house is worried there could be more of these to come. and that is the blunt warning that president biden and vice president harris got this morning when they were meeting with their national security team. they said another terror attack is likely. and president biden had hinted at the idea that this strike could come yesterday in his remarks to us in the east room when he was talking about the fact that, obviously, he had those blunt words saying he wanted retribution. but he said he thought that they had a pretty good idea of where the isis-k planners were. and when people asked about that, he said he didn't know, specifically, where they were. but he thought they had some pretty good intelligence on that. clearly, they did given the statement we are getting from cent com tonight. of course, that doesn't make the situation any less precarious
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over the next four days. that is what they have been worried about that it is going be a situation where it is essentially at the most dangerous of this entire evacuation period is going to happen before this deadline on tuesday. and that's because, don, you are going to see them drawing down troops, drawing down resources and weaponry and -- and whatever is in that region still before tuesday actually happens because they don't want it to fall into the hands of the taliban or into the hands of other organizations that are in afghanistan. and one thing we should note. the pentagon, also, told us today they are not going to say how many troops are on the ground. they are not going to provide regular updates, like they had been doing the last several weeks because they had wanted to be judicious about that, given of course the security concerns that come alongside it. >> it's a really tenuous position that we're in now, and it could escalate as we get to that tuesday deadline. especially now, this could really escalate, kaitlan. because now, you may have isis-k wanting to retaliate for their retribution from the united states. it's a tough position that the -- the -- the administration's in and the military there.
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>> yeah. and it's actually -- there was a question of whether or not this strike, this retaliation would come while those troops were still on the ground because what the pentagon told us earlier today was there were still about 5,000 there. as i noted, that could change. it likely will over the next few days as they focus more on the drawdown of this. but that is something that likely they had to weigh when they were making the decision for president biden who we are told did approve this strike, of course, when they were deciding this is that there are still u.s. forces on the ground. and also, as alex was saying, this is an over-the-horizon strike. that is what they have been saying since president biden announced in april that he was going to draw down that they would rely on as an effective measure for the united states to respond. and there had been some people who had raised questions about how effective that response would be, given, of course, you are operating hours away than
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what you typically would have before with troops still on the ground. so this could be a testament to that. of course, it really remains to be seen if more follow this. what does it look like in the next few days? of course, they will be watching closely as that deadline approaches. >> alex, a sad and solemn part of this news. just horrible news. cnn is now learning the identity of three of the service members killed in that kabul attack yesterday. heartbreaking. what can you tell us about them? >> it really is, don. we are getting this information from the families, themselves, not from the pentagon. the pentagon hasn't, yet, released the names. they, of course, want to notify the next of kin before they do that. we -- we will expect -- um -- more names from the pentagon tomorrow. but we have gotten three names and, don, as is so often the case, what hits you when you see the -- the -- the information about those who have been killed. these soldiers. is how young they are and, you know, these are in at least two of the cases -- um -- men who were young children when this war started 20 years ago.
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i want to go through the -- the three names, the three individuals who -- who we do know about tonight. um, the first one is rylee mccollum. he was one of the 11 marines who was killed in this suicide blast yesterday. um, we've heard from his sister who said in a statement that he was a son, a brother, a husband, and a father with a baby due in just three weeks. um, he was just 20 years old. um, he was a baby, himself, when this war started. and his sister said that he wanted to be a marine his whole life. so much so, that even as a toddler, he carried around a toy rifle in his diapers and cowboy boots. and then, there's corporal dagan page. also, a marine. he was 23 years old. his family said in a statement that he had a tough outer shell and a giant heart. that he had planned to become a lineman once his marine enlistment was finished, and that he loved hunting and spending time outdoors. and then, finally, don, there is
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the navy corpsman, maxton soviak. navy corpsman are the medics for the marines. um, and he told his mom over facetime when he was saying good-bye that -- don't worry, mom, my guys got me. they won't let anything happen to me. and today, the statement from his family says his mother realized that they had all just gone together. maxton soviak had 12 brothers and sisters. don, as i mentioned, we will expect to hear from the pentagon with a more full list of names tomorrow. but again, among the 13 service members who were killed, there were 11 marines, one army soldier, one navy soldier. and we do know tonight, we are told by the army that the soldier was a member of special forces. don. >> wow. rylee was 20. corporal dagan was 23. and what -- what did you say how old was maxton? >> we didn't get the age but, again, maxton was a navy
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corpsman. so he was in charge of -- of keeping them safe and -- and attending to them, if they got wounded. um, and he never got that opportunity. >> yeah. wow. i mean, really children. 20 years old. when we went to afghanistan, rylee was just being born. alex, the pentagon is warning that there are still specific, credible threats. it's a race against time to get people out. about 500 americans still trying to get out. do you know the latest? what -- what's the latest on these evacuations? >> well, the -- the lingering question for the past few days has been how many more american citizens are left in afghanistan? because that obviously is a priority for the biden administration to try to get them out. we did hear from the state department today that it is 500 americans who they are in contact with who have expressed a desire to leave. and so, the -- the administration has been in touch with them. trying to facilitate that evacuation. there are also hundreds more, the state department said, who have not said that they are certain that they want to leave.
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you can imagine, these are people who possibly -- and i am just speculating here -- who have family members there. um, who might not want to leave their family behind. and so, according to the -- to the state department -- it's -- it's under 1,000 americans who remain in afghanistan. 500 of whom, who have expressed desires to -- to get out of the country. the state department spokesman today also saying that in the past 24 hours, that was from this afternoon, that 300 americans had been evacuated. and so far, we know that around 109,000 people, all told, have been evacuated. of course, the emphasis for the biden administration is to get those americans out and to, also, get those special interest visa holders out. those who have worked with american forces and american diplomats over the last several years. but we can't forget that there are so many more who are trying to get out. um, people who have worked with aid organizations, for example. people who are being targeted by the taliban.
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um and -- and who are desperately trying to get on those planes at hamid karzai international airport. i think all of us who have been covering this story over the past few days have been inundated with messages from people on the ground asking, pleading with us to try to -- to help them to get out of drn of the country. it is extremely, of course, desperate situation not just for the hundreds of americans who are trying to get out but thousands, tens of thousands more. don. >> yeah. yeah. and thank you for your reporting. and, kaitlan, thank you very much. and our hearts go out to the family members. we are learning the names of three of the folks tonight. all, in their 20s. we don't know the name of the -- of -- the age of one of them but 23 and 20 years old. i mean, boy, oh boy. appreciate your reporting. we will see you soon. thank you very much. this is our breaking news tonight. the u.s. has conducted an air strike against an isis-k planner. initial indications are the target was killed. that as the u.s. embassy in kabul just now, again, warning u.s. citizens at a number of
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gates at the airport to leave immediately. we have got more on all of this. we'll be right back. try pantene. it's time for the biggest sale of the year, on the new sleep number 360 smart bed. it helps keep you effortlessly comfortable by sensing your movements and automatically responding to both of you. and, it's temperature balancing to help you stay comfortable all night. it even tracks your circadian rhythm, so you know when you're at your best. in other words, it's the most energy-building, wellness-boosting, parent-powering, proven quality night's sleep we've ever made. don't miss our weekend special where all smart beds are on sale. save 50% on the new sleep number 360 limited edition smart bed. plus, 0% interest for 60 months. ends monday.
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strike against an isis-k planner. initial indications are the target was killed. an official says president biden approved the strike on the isis-k planner. that as there is another, new threat. a new threat in the afghan -- afghanistan tonight. the embassy in kabul just now, again, warning u.s. citizens at a number of gates at the airport to leave immediately. they are citing security threats. i want to bring in now, cnn military analyst, retired lieutenant general mark hertling. general hertling, thank you very much. so, here we go. um, you know, we've got retaliation from the u.s. military approved by the president of the united states. they're calling it an over-the-horizon counterterrorism, unmanned air strike. initial indications here according to central command was that the target was killed. no civilian casualties. i mean, this was incredibly quick. what does it say the u.s. about our capability and that we are responding this quickly? >> well, don, i'd, first of all,
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say that as we talked about the threats the other day that pre -- preluded the -- the suicide bombing at the airport. whenever you have that kind of distinct possibility of an attack, it's because you have information. and i'm sure that the department of defense had some information garnered by all sorts of intelligence that said there was going to be some type of attack. but they didn't know what kind. but it was -- it was leading to someone who was planning that attack. so when you have something like that, you put together a target package. waiting to see what happens. you monitor the situation, perhaps with overhead imagery. either satellites or -- or air breathers above the target. and then, watch what happens. and then, watch the people scurry afterwards. so i think, you know, whereas the -- the suicide bombing was horrific and terrible. it probably was the last bit of information that was needed to strike this target.
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truthfully, don, i'm not surprised that this happened this fast. in fact, i was talking to someone at cnn off air this afternoon and they -- they said when do you think there might be a strike the president said? and i said the next couple of days and they were shocked when i said that because whenever you have intelligence that said there is about to be a strike, it usually means you have a whole lot more information than you are giving out about who is conducting it and where they are. >> so, no surprise to you. but just before we learned about the -- the strike against isis-k, general, the u.s. embassy in kabul, they put out this warning to u.s. citizens to leave the airport gates immediately. you know, they did that warning yesterday or the day before. and then, we had, you know, the explosion at the airport. do you think that's connected in any way? >> yeah, i'm going to guess yes. i don't know for sure, don. i'm not privy to secret intelligence anymore but that's the way it has always happened in my experience when i was in
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combat. you know, you have one piece of intelligence. you track it down, and then you start getting more. and -- and whether that was coming from signals intelligence, they were reading their mail. human intelligence, on the ground with them. overhead intelligence that the -- the very different kinds of intelligence. i'm sure the warning at the embassy tonight and, in fact, that's what kind of piqued my interest. it told me uh-oh, they got the crosshairs on someone who is planning attack and whereas they want to get people out of the embassy or -- or -- excuse me, out of the airport quickly. they are still drawing a beat on the individual that is either planning or executing the target and i'm glad they got -- they got one of the planners. >> well, i want to ask you because i posed a similar question to -- to kaitlan, earlier. i mean, you have to weigh a lot of things when you are planning to retaliate, right? um, how much more harm does it -- might it put people in who are there? how much might it really tick off, you know, isis-k and -- and -- and upset them?
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and maybe, they want to strike out, again. so should the u.s. be worried at this point? i'm sure the answer is yes but i want you to talk about it. about reprisal. >> well, i think things are spinning up, certainly. you know, and this was in nangarhar which is to the southeast of kabul, the capital of nangarhar province is jalalabad. we've heard about that. this is an area that borders pakistan -- pakistan and the federally administered tribal area. so this is a crossroads for isis-k coming in and out of pakistan. and they get a whole lot of other terrorists that are part of this group, folks from bangladesh, tajikistan, india. this is truly a "star wars" bar scene of bad dudes as part of isis-k. this is -- by the way, don, this is the location or the province where in 2017, president trump made the big deal about dropping the large nonnuclear bomb, the so-called mother of all bombs, the moab. so this is -- this is not -- and
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by the way, this is also where osama bin laden hid out. so this is the -- this is the badlands. this is really bad. what we are seeing, though, is, you know, when you are talking about kabul, isis-k has mostly operated for the last several years in the rural areas. they are now going into the urban areas and they are using kabul as one of their bases. we will probably learn more tomorrow about where this strike hit. but i would suspect -- i'm guessing now -- that it wasn't in jalalabad but it was probably in one of the rural areas of -- of nangarhar province. >> you think we will see more strikes? u.s. strikes? >> i think -- yeah, i think it's a possibility because whenever you strike one target like cockroaches, they scatter. and they also start sending out more intelligence. so, you know, when i was in combat, we always liked to strike and see what happened immediately afterwards. if the lines lit up, if the cell phones lit up, if the couriers started flowing, we could then
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track to other locations. and -- and that's not a secret technique or procedure. that's just what counterterrorism forces do. so, yeah, i -- i think we may see several more targets hit within the next couple days because i think the president wants to show he's serious about, you know, the over-the-horizon capability but also countering any kind of threats to the airfield. >> let me -- let me ask you something. another quick question here which is -- you know, we talked about reprisal. you said, you know, the phones lighting up and probably they are getting more intelligence and more information. but what -- isis-k -- what are they -- a strike like this. does it concern them? um, does it, you know, inflame them? like, what happens if the u.s., you know, does what they do now, they hit their targets. do they at some point maybe say, okay, we -- we need to stop this? or let's go get 'em?
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>> no, they'll -- they'll continue to try and attack. there's no doubt about that. but it does hinder their capability of planning. because you -- you got to realize, don, it isn't just like in the military. you have a commander that tells a unit go do this. take this hill. in -- in an organization like isis, you -- you not only have the leaders of the organization but you have the planners, the money people, the imams who bless the attacks, and several other authority figures that before you can conduct a suicide attack like occurred at the airfield, there's several layers of people that bless off on it. so it takes money. it takes -- you know, and we heard today, 25 pounds of dynamite allegedly on this suicide bomber that hit the gate. that's a big suicide vest and it's hard to get -- sometimes hard to get that kind of explosives to do these kind of things. plus, getting the willing martyr to go up to the gate and blow him or herself up. all of these are are factors in consideration. but it -- you know, trust me. this -- a strike isn't gonna
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stop isis from continuing to attack. but i will say one other thing. this strike against isis-k is going to make the taliban very happy because they're not big fans of isis. they are mortal enemies. so this will be another interesting dynamic as -- as the sun rises in kabul tomorrow. >> we are fortunate to have you to give us that information. retired lieutenant general, mark hertling, thank you. >> you mind if i say one more thing? >> go ahead, general. >> because oren liebermann was on just a minute ago and he mentioned the three -- the two marines and the one navy corpsman and it really struck my heart and i got emotional because he talked about maxton soviak, the navy -- the -- the navy corpsman who is a medic. right before the last time i went to combat, i was meeting with a group of medics and one of the medics asked me, sir, you're going to bring us home, aren't ya? that's the kind of weight and that commanders and leaders carry.
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and when oren, you know, commented that he told his mom don't worry, my guys will take care of me. that really struck me as the great, young people we have serving. so, god bless all of them and may they all rest in peace. >> i agree with you, 100%, squm glad that you are here to really pay honor to them. and you know, these young men pay -- paying the ultimate price and we are going to learn the names of the other ten members of our military who did, as well. i have got to go back and ask you something, and bear with me. sorry about that. when you said that the taliban -- it's going to make the taliban happy that the u.s. -- um -- carried out this successful strike against isis-k. so then, what happens? does it cause them to fight? or is it just -- it just makes the taliban happy? is there any sort of interaction? or something that could happen there, on the ground? >> when -- when i say that, what i am talking about is they are going to attempt to govern now. they are shifting from a counter -- counterinsurgency force to a governing force in
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kabul. they have been fighting isis-k for three years. and we got to harken back, for those who haven't been watching afghanistan for a while. every time isis-k conducted a suicide attack in kabul which they have done many over the last two years. or any other province. the people of the provinces blamed the afghan government for not providing security. so, when the taliban knows that big planner of suicide attacks has been killed by the americans, even though they still consider us the great satan, they're going to be very enthused about having another one of their enemy wiped off the battlefield. it's -- it's the so-called -- the enemy of my enemy is my friend for a while. so i don't know -- yeah -- i don't know what that will generate in terms of diplomatic relations with -- with the taliban over the next few days as we continue to get out. but it could generate some good will, potentially. i don't know. that's a guess. >> yeah. well, again, as i said, we are
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very fortunate to have you here and i'm glad you paid tribute to the service members. thank you so much, general. stay close. we may need you. >> thanks, don. >> thank you. so, this is our breaking news. just talking to the general about it and there is lots of it on this friday night. the u.s. military announcing air strikes against the isis-k planner. initial indications are the target was killed. so, stay with us for more on our breaking news. we'll be right back. acks that t, and come straight from the earth. and last time i checked, pretzels don't grow on trees. just saying. planters. a nut above.
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it's taken a lot to get to this moment. ♪ grew up at midnight - the maccabees ♪ dreams are on the line. you got this. refresh... it all, comes down, to this. ♪♪ here is our breaking news at this hour. the u.s. carrying out an air strike against an isis-k planner. initial indications are that the target was killed. an official says that president
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biden approved the strike on the i is isis isis-k planner. coming moments after the u.s. embassy in kabul warned american citizens to leave the airport gate immediately. secretary cohen, thank you, and we are -- are happy to have you here, as well to talk about this breaking news. this air strike. that's what i want to start with. and what centcom is saying. that it believes that the target is dead, and they don't know if any civilian casualties. what do you make of this response to yesterday's attack? >> well, i think it's a case of president biden saying, basically, that the long arm of justice is going to reach out and touch you wherever you are. it's not quite justice, frankly. we lost 13 and many wounded. and 170 or more afghans killed, as well. so, taking out one or two people is certainly important but it's certainly not justice, either. i want to say just a word. you had general mark hertling on
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just a moment ago. and he said how personal it was to him. it's personal to me and my wife, as well. we remember the uss cole and the cole was a navy ship that was hit by a terrorist boat blowing a hole below the water line. killed 17 sailors and wounded 37 others very seriously and i remember being at the ceremony a year later when paying tribute to -- to them and the father of one of the sailors. he stood up and he put his hand up and he said remember the cole. we've never forgotten the cole. we have never forgotten those who parents we had to speak with and try and bring comfort to. so, this is personal to -- to all of us who had anything to do with -- with the pentagon and the young men and women who are serving us. many of whom, weren't even born when i was there. so it tells you how young they are, how brave they are, how willing they are to -- to put their lives on the line to save other people, to save their freedom. so we have to remain grateful
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every day of the -- of the year. every day of the week that we see them, telling them how thankful we are. >> yeah. 20-year war. rylee mccollum who died. one of our service members. 20 years old. so i mean, these -- and they are kids. they are children, at that age. very young men. secretary cohen, there is another frightening warning tonight about an immediate threat to the airport. american citizens are told to get away from the gates. how dangerous is this situation right now? can you put it into context for us? >> well, i think it's highly dangerous. i think we had the same warning just a day or two ago now and we saw the result of that. part of the challenge is going to be those americans and other afghans who have helped us who want to get out. um, president biden has made it clear he's not changing the date. and if you don't change the date, that means the great possibility that a number of americans are going to be stuck in afghanistan. and then, we're going to have to have contingent plans on how do we get them out and when can we
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get them out? so i think we are going to come into a real crisis mode here, very shortly. unless we can either open up the gates or have a way to have americans on the ground who are able to -- to get those americans and afghans to the airport to get them on those planes. otherwise, they are going to be going into hiding and trying to exit afghanistan in other means. it's -- it's a real challenge for this administration, for all of us. when you set a deadline, and that's one of the problems. whenever you set a deadline, you -- you -- you hand your bargain power over to the enemy. and once that deadline is set, the enemy is calculating. looking at their watches saying we can be here a hong tlong tim you can't because the american public is tired of this war. so we are in a rather difficult and dangerous position right now. and as the thing is winding down and we are looking at how many troops are we going to put on our own aircraft? how much equipment on our aircraft, as well as remaining americans who are at the airport. the remaining afghans who have
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helped us are at the airport. how do we retrograde this? how do we spin this down in a way that more and more of our troops are leaving that makes us more and more vulnerable. so i suspect we are going to have a lot of overhead capability not only with drones and aircraft and other overhead capability to make sure that we do the best we can to make sure that we don't have to take fire on the way out. so that's -- we're in a dangerous spot right now. >> yeah. secretary cohen, thank you, sir, i wish we were speaking under better circumstances. but again, we are very fortunate to have you -- you here, as well. and your voice and your expertise. thank you very much. so this is our breaking news tonight. the u.s. air strike against an isis-k planner. early indications are the target was killed. the president of the united states, joe biden, approving the strike. that as the u.s. embassy in kabul warns u.s. citizens at a number of gates at the airport to leave, and do it immediately. citing security threats. stay with us.
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we're following breaking news tonight. the u.s. carrying out an air strike against an isis-k planner. early indications are the target was killed. this coming just a day after president biden vowed to hunt down the terrorists responsible for the kabul airport bombing that killed 13 u.s. service members and more than 170 afghans. joining me now, matthew dowd, the former chief strategist for president george w. bush. he's also the author of "revelations on the river," coming out september 7th but can be pre-ordered on amazon now. matthew, thank you for joining. air strikes tonight. biden vowed revenge. this is fast. >> well, you know, i think the president has shown that he's capable of saying what he means and then following through on it and doing multiple things simultaneously that i think some of us aren't used to in leadership. so he said he was going to get the people out of afghanistan,
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and it's gone better than expected from what people said at the beginning of this. he said he was going to go after the terrorists that committed this act against our troops, and he's doing it. so, you know, bravo to president biden. he says what he's going to do, and he does it. >> you know, this war has been going on for 20 years. i want to play what the president said yesterday and then what the former president, former president bush said after 9/11. watch this. >> we will respond with force and precision at our time, at the place we choose and the moment of our choosing. >> this conflict was begun on the timing and terms of others. it will end in a way and at an hour of our choosing. >> it's pretty similar, right? what does that say about the war on terrorism, matthew? >> well, i think what it says about the war on terrorism is that at times we conducted it
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well, and at times we didn't conduct it well at all. and afghanistan is a perfect example of both. you know, we obviously pursued the taliban, removed them because they were harboring al qaeda. and then we got bin laden, but then we stayed and tried to nation-build, which was a drastic mistake as joe biden has said and other presidents have said, including donald trump has said. so i think when we stay out of the idea that we're going to take over countries in pursuit of something bigger and go to the specific thing of taking out terrorists, we do it well. when we do it in a laser-like focus and take out terrorists, that benefits the american public. when we go something broader, we use up our resources, and the blood of men and women in our country, and it only makes a mess. >> yeah. you know, matthew, there are republicans calling for the president to resign. i mean there used to be a time when we didn't talk about politics on the same day when american lives were lost, when
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we lose american service members. same thing with not talking about the gun control issue on a day of a mass shooting. you know, republicans always say, now is not the time to talk about gun control. clearly that's not the case today because they're talking about the president resigning on the day, very same day that we lost service members. >> well, the republican party and most of the republicans in washington have shown themselves to have just no shame on everything they do. for one thing, they didn't ever want to pursue impeachment against donald trump, who did far worse acts against our democracy and did far worse things related to other foreign adversaries like russia and other countries than this president has ever come close to doing. so i know hypocrisy, everybody sort of smiles and grins at the hypocrisy in washington, but republicans have taken it to a whole new level. i think they should actually spend their time asking the former president, who they seem to be want to be close to, why
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he made the decisions on releasing the 5,000 taliban prisoners and leaving the afghan government out of the negotiations. on all of those things that led us up to where we are today, granted, i think president trump made the right decision that we were going to pull out of afghanistan. but republicans ought to spend their time instead of making these political points in a ridiculous fashion, because there's nothing president biden has done that would justify impeachment, and worry about their guy that they're trying to be buddies with sitting down in mar-a-lago. >> matthew dowd, thank you very much, sir. always a pleasure. i appreciate having you. so we have more breaking news. huge breaking news tonight on this friday night with u.s. air strikes on an isis-k planner and new warnings for u.s. citizens to leave kabul airport and do it immediately. there's more, okay? a category 4 storm bearing down on louisiana almost exactly 16 years after hurricane
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especially you folks down south. hurricane ida bearing down on the gulf coast, expected to make landfall as a category 4 storm. louisiana and mississippi now facing both hurricane and storm surge warnings. here with the latest now is meteorologist karen maginnis. thank you so much. i appreciate you joining. i understand you just got the latest from the hurricane center. what can we expect from this storm? >> yes. our latest information from the national hurricane center says this is still a category 1 hurricane, but there's one huge difference, don, and that is now it's out over the open waters of the gulf of mexico. so there's going to be rapid intensification. right now the winds associated with it at 80 miles an hour. as it moves into the gulf of mexico, it is going to intensify. and for the folks who live in coastal louisiana, but not just there but also on either side of louisiana, we are looking at the potential for devastation. in what form? power outages, storm surge. that will be the big one.
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we're looking at localized flooding. it could be devastating for weeks, in fact, if not months. there you can see it as we go into sunday. category 3. that's when it's right onshore. the water temperature is very warm. some of the warmest that we've seen all summer with temperatures in the mid-80s and upper 80s. that is going to cause this to intensify and grow possibly to that category 4 before landfall on sunday. don? >> wow, and we will be watching. karen maginnis, our meteorologist. thank you very much. i appreciate it. our breaking news tonight. the u.s. air strike on an isis-k planner and new warnings for u.s. citizens to leave the kabul airport immediately. 105,000 people evacuated so far, but time is running out. days away from the deadline to withdraw from afghanistan. we're going to have the very latest right after this. how much you'll need, and build a straightforward plan to generate income,
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