tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN August 30, 2021 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT
allies have not had any troops on the ground, any service members in afghanistan. but hundreds of americans who wanted to leave and thousands of lawful, permanent residents of the united states, and countless afghan allies have been left behind. we are waiting to hear from u.s. secretary of state antony blinken shortly to talk about that and more. cnn chief white house correspondent kaitlan collins joins me live. and, kaitlan, four presidents, 20 years, both obama and trump promised to end this war. and now president biden has done it. it may not have been a pretty exit, but it is a very significant moment for the united states. >> reporter: it is, jake. and i do this have it's significant that of course this is driven by a decision that president biden made. but he did not announce this. it was central command of course that made this announcement that one minute before the deadline
before the clock in kabul struck midnight for august 31st was the last time that c-17, a military plane, took off from kabul and headed back home. and he is confirming there that not a single u.s. service member is left in afghanistan. however, he did note the heartbreak of this evacuation saying they did not get everyone out of afghanistan, out of kabul that they wanted to evacuate. but general mckenzie saying there he did not think if they had ten more days to continue evacuations that they still would've been able to get everyone they wanted to get out of afghanistan. still he did note the big numbers, the thousands of people that they were able to get out. he said about 6,000 americans were part of this evacuation that of course involved tens of thousands of third-country nationals and afghan allies, of course other endangered afghans as part of this massive evacuation effort. one notable thing that he did say there is there are still americans left in afghanistan who wanted to get out. he said he believes it's in the very low hundreds. but he said on those last five
military flights that happened before that midnight deadline that they did not have any americans on those flights. he said they were not able to get to the airport, they were not able to accommodate them on those flights. so of course that's another notable moment as well. this is shifting from a pentagon mission to a state department effort. and the state department is still going to work with those people who are still in afghanistan and want to leave. i imagine those are the next steps that we are going to hear from secretary blinken in just a few moments from now. one other thing i want to note, jake, before we do go to secretary blinken, though, is talking about this equipment on the ground. and he said the efforts that they had to demilitarize it and essentially make it useless. a lot of those humvees, aircraft, things that were left on the ground, they said they left because they figured it was more important to ensure the safety of the troops than for that equipment to get out of there. those humvees won't drive again, those planes won't fly again. notable moments of what's left
behind in the bigger picture of this moment that the u.s. presence from afghanistan is gone. >> the national security adviser jake sullivan said on "state of the union" yesterday that august 31st, which that's now the date in afghanistan, that's not a cliff, there still will be efforts to get people, especially american citizens, out of afghanistan, and, in fact, general mckenzie just said that one of the biggest tasks for the taliban right now is to gain control of the airport so that commercial flights in and out of that country can resume. kaitlan, it is fascinating to me that this momentous decision was given to general mckenzie to make and not president biden. because, ultimately, this was a decision made by president biden. tell us about that decision. >> reporter: well, it's not clear why it wasn't president biden who announced that the last flight had left the last
service member was gone. because it was the president back in april after he had made his decision after he got was what aides later described as not a sugar coated option. it was president biden who announced it here from the white house that that was the method they were going to be pursuing, and that was the decision he had made. but he left it up to one of his top military commanders to announce this who of course has been overseeing this entire evacuation mission over the last several days, some of which have been incredibly can a on theic and deadly. i just also think some of the reporters in the room were getting at this. he was saying they did not hand things over to the taliban, but they did inform the taliban when they were leaving and that they were leaving, which is notable
given now it is up to them to deal with that air space, to deal with that airport, to deal with securing kabul, of course the city that they took over in surprising fashion that stunned so many of the officials in this administration with how quickly it happened. and so that's a big question, too, is this is now a state department effort, and we'll hear from secretary blinken what their plan is going forward for those americans that are still there, those afghan allies that are still there. but also what does afghanistan look like going forward, and who does control the airport ultimately, and how does this work with the taliban? are they ever internationally recognized as a legitimate form of government? those are big questions that still remain going forward from the u.s. presence there. >> kaitlan, stick around. i want to bring in cnn's barbara starr live at the pentagon. alex marquardt also with us from the state department. and, barbara, it was very interesting when general mckenzie said that they did not get every american out, but he also thought even if they had
ten extra days, he didn't think they would be able to get out everyone they wanted to get out. it has been an incredibly complicated logistically and also very dangerous process. we've all been hearing behind the scenes about buses full of people trying to flee afghanistan, not able to get through the gate because of the terrorist threat. >> well, jake, i think that's right. and i think, going back to your previous point, some of this may be the reason you saw general mckenzie be the one to make the announcement. make no mistake, president biden now has a four-star general in the marine corps senior commander putting his stamp on this withdrawal today, the completion of the u.s. effort, military effort in afghanistan. the terror threat from isis-k has certainly complicated it in recent days. mckenzie took, i thought it was interesting, he took pains to
say that they had come to a pragmatic relationship with the taliban. and he pointed out that the taliban had been helpful. but lots of reports that people could not get through those initial taliban checkpoints surrounding the airport or were too terrified to even make their way there. so that is a big part of the problem. and that now is going to be something that i think the u.s. is going to press the taliban to rectify their own position. because mckenzie went on to say one of the big problems for the taliban right now they're going to have to deal with isis-k, it's going to be their problem. they have to secure kabul, secure the airport, and they're now estimated, according to the general, about 2,000 isis-k operatives out there, many of them released during the prison releases by the taliban in the early days of this takeover. so, mckenzie is very much making the public point. this is now in the taliban's lap. they are going to have to
maintain security. they are going to have to deal with isis, and that the u.s. shifting to the diplomatic front with the state department is going to press the taliban to live up to that promise that americans, anybody who wants to leave, afghans at risk, will will be able to travel out of the country. >> if you're just joining us, we are in a moment of history. it is august 30th here in the united states of america, but it is august 31st in kabul, afghanistan. and general ken mckenzie, the commander of central command has announced the end of u.s. operations, the end of any u.s. service member presence in afghanistan, in effect, the war in afghanistan is over. it is a historic moment, it has been an ugly exit. the argument from president biden has been that it was going to be an ugly exit no matter what. be that as it may, it has not been an exit that every american
in afghanistan has been able to leave. alex marquardt at the state department, we've heard from the administration that they think there are a little bit more than 200 american citizens who want to leave who have not been able to get out. there are some americans who have family there and who have chosen to stay. of those 200, 250 american citizens who want to leave, what can you tell us about them? >> the way they're describing it, jake, is fewer than 250. and it was so remarkable to hear general mckenzie there saying that we didn't get everybody out who we wanted to get out. they said that they maintained the capability of getting americans out up until the very last moment but that there were no americans on those last five planes that flew out at 3:29 eastern time, so just before midnight on august 30th in afghanistan. now, i think at one point that is important to make, jake, is that you may have american citizens, you may have green
card holders, you may have siv visa holders who technically can get out of the country, but so many of those people don't want to leave loved ones behind or don't want to leave people that they have worked with behind. i spoke with someone earlier who said that they were an american citizen who did not want to leave by herself. she had a group of people who worked with americans who also wanted to get out. and it's remarkable that mckenzie said that these americans, fewer than 250 as the biden administration has said now repeatedly, were not able to get to the airport. so that begs the question how are they going to be able to get out now with no american presence on the ground? mckenzie making clear in his comments that the next step is what he called the diplomatic sequel that, this is moving from the military to the diplomatic realm, landing in, if you will, in the state department's lap. we are hoping to get some sort
of explanation from secretary blinken in the coming moments as to how he expects americans, afghans who have supported americans and other afghans at risk to get out of the country now. we don't even know who controls the airport. is it going to be the taliban by itself? is it going to be taliban in conjunction with other countries like qatar and turkey? we simply do not know. we do expect secretary blinken to lay out his vision for how the american diplomatic effort is going to continue, not a presence, because there won't be any american diplomats there. the last american diplomat, the most senior was on that last plane out. so, the senior state department official told us earlier that they have come up with an option for how they intend to maintain that diplomatic effort, but that there are so many questions that remain, so many answers that we
hope to get from the secretary when he speaks in what should be just a few minutes' time, jake. >> alex, barbara, kaitlan, stay with me. i want to bring back a retired major general. general marks, first, this moment in history, the war in afghanistan is over. 2,461 u.s. service members, thousands more american contractors, more than 20,000 american service members injured, including of course in the casualty toll the 13 u.s. service members killed last week and the 20 wounded. what's going through your mind right now, general? >> jake, thanks for the question. this is, as general mckenzie indicated, the time to begin reflection and to begin the real tough work of doing after-action review to determine what did we not see, where did we fail in our efforts, what did we miss in
terms of our assessment of this afghan military with whom we had been embedded and had equipped and trained for the past two decades. did we not see that there was incredible fractures throughout the entire organization of the afghan military and law enforcement and all the security forces? was it really a misreading of the culture? did we not have the right filter on in terms of understanding this? we certainly had history in front of us. the brits couldn't do it in the 19th century. the soviets couldn't do it in the 20th century. and we thought we could get it done in the 21st century and found out we could not. we need to get back to the notion of how can we as an american military, along with incredibly diplomatic efforts, be able to reach across the horizon and better figure out who our friends and partners are and to convince folks that they
can move to our side of the national security perspective so that we can get a better understanding. we certainly cannot go it alone. >> julia, you used to work for the high-ranking official at the department of homeland security. let me ask you a broad question. 20 years later, thousands of lives, $2 trillion. is the united states, are the american people safer now than we were on september 10th, 2001? >> i can say affirmatively yes. i think there's just no question about that. we're not safe, we've never been safe. i think some of the mythology about 9/11 is the thought that it was unicorns and roses before that. it's not just simply our homeland security defenses. of course as general marks was saying, just our capabilities to
stop counterterrorism. but it's not risk-free. we have not eliminated the risk. we delude ourselves. there's no risk elimination in a world like ours, but we can continue to reduce the risk. and i think there's a lot of emotion for a lot of us right now because when you think about when the afghanistan war started, and righteous may not be the right word, but i think that there was sort of a singular focus about what our mission was in terms of counterterrorism, the world i came from, and what had happened on 9/11. that mission changed, and we also started another war. and we're going back to that mission, as general mckenzie made clear at the end of his presser, we will continue that mission, we must. that is a good mission for the united states. but a lot was lost in 20 years. but we're a stronger nation in terms of our defenses, our capabilities are different. and the taliban is different. we don't know what they're like,
but it's a different world. i'm going to quote mckenzie who said he was conflicted about leaving afghanistan. i think he was speaking on behalf of much of this nation. >> yeah. the taliban is different, we hope. we hope the taliban is different. i'm not so certain. everyone stick around. we are waiting to hear from the u.s. secretary of state antony blinken after this historic withdrawal of u.s. from afghanistan. stay with cnn. plus, of course some other crises still going on in this country. families are trapped in attics in scenes reminiscent of hurricane katrina. as volunteers look for survivors after hurricane ida. stay with us. this is t-mobile, america's leading 5g network. this is apple tv+. and now only t-mobile gives new and existing customers one year of apple tv+ on us.
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blinken for more on the end of the war in afghanistan, america's longest war. but in the meantime, lots of other stories in our national lead. ida is now a tropical depression, weakening after having made landfall yesterday in louisiana as a category 4 hurricane. at least one person has been killed, as cnn's jason carroll reports. the governor in louisiana is warning that the death toll almost certainly will not stay there. >> reporter: throughout much of downtown houma, louisiana, one can see the damage from hurricane ida in nearly every direction. this was once the childhood home of harrison short, his great grandmother lived here. now it's all gone. >> my whole childhood is gone now. this is all that's left.
>> reporter: across the street the barbershop destroyed, the home next door is still standing, barely. lionel says part of the roof is damaged, his carport gone. he waited out the storm with his wife at their home, and at one moment he says the wind was so bad they thought they would not survive. >> it was scary. we prayed and asked the lord to take care of us and protect us, give us this opportunity to breathe. >> reporter: you got down on your knees and prayed? >> yes, sir. >> reporter: next time a category 4 comes through, do you think you'll evacuate? >> i'm getting out of here. >> reporter: ida crawled across the southwestern section of the state. portions of the houma, terrabonne airport destroyed.
this man found someone else's roof had landed on his car crushing it. thankfully it missed most of his home. >> i heard a big thump on my house. >> reporter: it could be from this building over here or that one over there. >> we're not sure where the roof came from. >> reporter: so, jake, some out here in houma were luckier than others. some came home and found out that they had just lost their roof or part of their home. others came home to a scene like this. the man who lives in this house at one point yelling out for help. he survived the storm. he, like so many other people here, now figuring out what to do next. jake? >> all right, jason carroll in houma, louisiana, thank you so much. joining us on the phone right now is the sheriff of terrabonne parish.
have you been able to reach every part of your parish to assess the damage? >> we're still working to get clear -- pretty much covered the north and south end of the parish. >> sheriff, you're breaking up a little bit. what more do you need from the state government or from the federal government? >> well -- they've been very helpful in getting what we need so we can continue serving our people in terrabonne. looking forward to continue to take care of the people. >> when do you expect people can return to their homes? >> the natural gas, there's not a lot of fuel and there's no
running water, and there's no electricity. >> all right, sheriff, the phone lines are, in addition to all other challenges in louisiana, the cell phone service is pretty horrific. we hope to make a connection with you that would be better so our viewers can hear it. any moment we're expecting to hear from the secretary of state antony blinken on the end of america's longest war. stay with us. we'll be right back. and month. and these aren't made-up numbers. it's what you'll really pay, right down to the penny. whether you're shopping or just looking. it only takes a few seconds, and it won't affect your credit score. finally! a totally different way to finance your ride. only from carvana. the new way to buy a car.
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announcement from the pentagon that all u.s. troops have left afghanistan. veteran and republican congressman of illinois, adam kinzinger joins us now. congressman, i know that you are critical of the way that biden, president biden has conducted this exit. and i know that you disagree with the idea to withdraw all u.s. forces. but, just as a moment in history, as a moment of this war is over, are you feeling -- what are you feeling? >> well, it's certainly a significant moment. i think we all expected we would be out in an additional 24 hours because august 31st deadline i think we all assumed it was 11:59 p.m. on the 31st. so it's surprising. but on the one hand it's great relief that we got those thousands of military members out other than the one tragic bombing. on the other hand, it's kind of
like a mix of sadness because i have this sense of a number of americans, a number of allies that we've left behind. i know that the taliban's kind of good front they've put up is going to disappear soon. i hope i'm wrong and i hope that maybe we have this magical relationship and the taliban decides they want to liberalize and give women's rights and not have retribution against people who fought against them. but unfortunately i don't foresee that happening. >> you just tweeted about general mckenzie's announcement. you just tweeted about this. general mckenzie was talking about how they dealt with them in the manner of this exit. i don't think he was praising them as jeffersonian democrats. but do you think, as a general rule, that u.s. officials have been naive about the taliban
during this withdrawal process? or do you think that they've just been, you know, playing the hand they've been dealt? >> well, i think it's that. i think you're playing the hand you're dealt. i mean, look, here's the reality. you have on the one hand these, i guess, pragmatic negotiations of the taliban when it comes to airport security. on the other hand, behind that, you have afghan sivs, american green card holders getting beaten as they went through checkpoints. i think that's an important point to make. and i think when all the troops are out of there, i don't think we have to basically go kind of above and beyond. and i don't blame the general for saying it really. i don't think he was trying to be particularly nice to them. but to me it was surprising that we were ever in a position where we had that relationship with the taliban. and i think the important point here isn't that we can't look and say maybe there was a pragmatic relationship for that little moment but that we don't now go from here with this naive belief that somehow the taliban
is going to be our bulwark against isis-k or against al qaeda. i would encourage people to really study the relationship and the interplay between those ideologies before we start somehow thinking that the taliban is going to be the new protecting savior of afghanistan because it's just not. >> general mckenzie said that there could be still up to 250 american citizens who want to leave afghanistan still stuck there. obviously we know also there are thousands of legal permanent residents of the u.s. who wanted to leave who couldn't. the afghan allies with special immigrant visa applicant numbers who wanted to leave who were not able. general mckenzie also said that he thought they could have extended the date ten more days and still they wouldn't have been able to withdraw everybody they wanted to. what was your reaction to that? >> i mean, again, you know, looking at, and i think it's important now to kind of look back and say where did things go wrong because we're out. and this is now essential that we do this.
i think part of it is the second we surge troops into kabul, first up, our bulwark, like our base of operations was an urban airport with one runway in the middle of the largest city in afghanistan. so tactically that is a huge problem. secondarily, when we landed with 5,000 troops or 2,000 initially and then we spun it up, we should've pushed those troops outwards to go save americans at that point. and we hit a defensive position. look, i'm not the tactical guy to sit back here and second-guess all of that. but what i do know is that we ended up in a situation where we're relying on former special operators, you know, people that had relationships with these afghan sivs. we talk about the pineapple express. but pineapple express is one of many of these unofficial networks getting people to the fence. there is going to be heroic stories written. but there is no doubt that that position we found ourselves in is not one that any military planner would ever have authored
if we could have done it, like, basically our own way. >> i know that you've been working hard behind the scenes to try to get american citizens, legal permanent residents, and siv holders out. and i know that not everybody especially with the sivs have been able to get out. what do you tell them? what's next for them? >> well, i think, look, it's don't lose hope. again, i don't have any vested interest in, but operation recovery, i raised a lot of money for our country first and they're going to get some of that. they're going to continue with the mission of getting people out, in some cases border exits, maybe it's pakistan, tajikistan, et cetera. this isn't over, but it gets far more dangerous when you start having to evacuate people over land. i hope the story is told of these people, though, that had this great relationship with some of these afghan translators that just put together these informal networks. lieutenant colonel mahon
retired. we learned about this whole pineapple express. save the people they needed to save and then expanded that to save hundreds and hundreds more. it's an amazing story and i think there's going to be heroic books and movies written about it just to show the goodness of america and the goodness of who we are as a people. >> illinois republican congressman kinzinger, thank you so much. it's good to see you, as always. coming up we're going to hear from antony blinken for more on the end of america's longest war. plus, more clarity on booster shots and when you could need one, could be coming today. we'll talk about that next. -what's snapshot? -what the commercial was about. -i tune commercials out. -me too. they're always like blah, blah blah. tell me about it. i'm going to a silent retreat next weekend. my niece got kicked out of one of those. -for talking? -grand larceny. how about we get back to the savings?
$2 trillion, thousands of lives, the end of america's longest war. let us turn now to another story while we wait for secretary blinken in our health lead, the centers for disease control and preventions vaccine advisory board is meeting. that meeting comes as coronavirus hospitalizations here in the united states are still skyrocketing. >> reporter: as new covid-19 cases in the u.s. surge to levels not seen since january, averaging more than 155,000 a day, a grim new prediction. the country could see 100,000 more covid deaths by december, according to a university of washington model. >> what is going on now is both entirely predictable but entirely preventible. >> reporter: the alarming forecast driven by the 80 million people eligible for a vaccine who haven't gotten one. mississippi and florida leading the nation in new cases per capita. >> we could turn this around and we could do it efficiently and
quickly if we just get those people vaccinated. this is very, very important not only for your own health but for the health of the country. >> reporter: covid deaths continue to rise. at nearly 1,300 a day, the seven-day average of covid deaths has jumped nearly 30% over last week. and with nearly 100,000 people hospitalized nationwide with covid, at about 30% of intensive care unit beds occupied by covid patients, another problem, not enough oxygen to treat them. >> patients are 30, 40, 50 years old. they're hungry for oxygen and they're dying. >> reporter: several hospitals in louisiana, texas, and florida run the risk of running out of oxygen. a central florida medical coalition bought 14 portable morgues to help with the enprecedented number of covid deaths in the region.
>> some of them are reaching a point, they are near some capacity. >> and as more and more children head back to school. >> there is no question that we're headed into a really tough time for young people. >> reporter: with thousands of students already quarantined due to covid cases, experts say vaccine mandates for in-person instruction should be on the table for eligible children. >> we've done this for decades and decades, requiring polio, measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis. so this would not be something new requiring vaccinations for children to come to school. >> reporter: for kids age 5 to 11, pfizer expects to submit data to the fda in september, and apply for emergency use authorization in october. >> our thanks to athena jones for that report. let's bring in the co-director of the center for vaccine development at texas children's
hospital, as well as dean of tropical medicine. voted to recommend pfizer vaccine for people 16 and older. what kind of difference will that make? >> well, i think, first of all, it's long awaited, and we want to remind the american people that the emergency use authorization process was sound because it required their cooperation, and this is a great validation for the work of both the centers for disease control and especially the fda that they got it right through the emergency use process. i think, you know, a lot of people are hoping now that it's fully approved, it's going to flip a lot of vaccine-hesitant people to now getting their first shot because they were waiting on this. i don't know how much of that is really the case. i think there's a pretty big group that's deeply dug in ideal
logically about it. >> do you think eight months should be a hard and fast marker? what about people planning to travel six months after their second shot? is that not a good enough reason to get a booster, that third shot? >> well, i think we have to look at the data showing when immunity actually wanes. and we actually haven't seen certainly very little published data. it's mostly information on the israel ministry of health website, a little bit of data coming from the mayo clinic and other sources. so we haven't really had the chance to review the full data to say when that set point is to give the third immunization. i think the other thing that we need to do is reframe this a little bit. we keep on talking about it as a booster. whereas i have thought all along this is a three-dose vaccine. and it was a three-dose vaccine because the way we had to give those first two immunizations right in a row just three to
four weeks apart because we were in crisis, we were losing 3,000 american lives a day, we had to get everybody fully vaccinated. but when you do that kind of schedule, it almost guarantees that you will have waning immunity at some point. and that's the reason why it became a three-dose vaccine. the other piece, though, is we haven't seen whether we're really seeing breakthrough hospitalizations. yet we are seeing a lot of breakthrough infections, efficacy's declining from over 90% to 40 to 50%. do we need to see that decline in hospitalizations as well? or because of the longhaul covid that we are seeing among breakthrough unvaccinated cases. so the acip which met today only set aside a small amount of time for these questions. pfizer's just recently applied for it. so i think this will come up at the next acip meeting. >> pfizer today indicated that it will submit vaccine data for children ages 5 to 11 in
september, which is just next month. and possibly apply for emergency use authorization for that vaccine for kids in october. that means theoretically, assuming that they get what they want, young children won't be getting shots until very late this year. what should parents do tuntil then? >> well, i think the most important is to make certain that everyone in the household who is eligible to get vaccinated get fully vaccinated because we know a lot of young kids are getting sfick from ther parents or from unvaccinated adults in the house. and i also think it's going to be really important that when your child attends school that everybody in that school is masked and everybody who's eligible gets vaccinated. and that's kind of what's happening in the northeastern part of the country. but down here, jake, where i am, we've got still 25% of the teenagers vaccinated. so the vast majority of
teenagers are not vaccinated. even some of the teachers. so really trying to build in as much as we can enforcing the importance of having everybody in the school vaccinate school district going to be critical. coming up, he was almost an investigator on the january 6th committee. now he could be a witness. that's next. and now only t-mobile gives new and existing customers one year of apple tv+ on us. that's a year of apple originals like ted lasso and the morning show. so more people can watch them all in more places with 5g on the largest 5g network. apple tv+ on us and america's leading 5g network. only at t-mobile. ♪ ♪
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at our politics lead. the house select committee investigating the deadly january 6th riot at the capital is set to request phone records from a number of members of congress, from former president trump and from members of the trump family. the records ask is the first step in the committee's investigatory process and could signal the direction the committee plans to go when it calls witnesses. manu raju joins us from capitol hill. it is interesting. one of the members of congress that the select committee is seeking phone records from had been nominated to be on the committee by republican leader mccarthy. >> yeah, jim jordan of ohio. he is one who has spoken to donald trump in the run-up to january 6th. spoke with donald trump on january 6th and was viewed by the democrats as a material witness of what happened on that day on january 6th. and he is one of the republicans who could be targeted by this investigation, at least the conversations that he had with donald trump provided potential
and any information he had about what donald trump's mind set was at the time. now, what we are learning is that the committee has asked 35 companies, telecom companies to preserve records from communications they had from the middle of 2020 through the end of january 2021. now, they don't list the individuals whom they are asking to preserve records for, but we have learned from our sources that they could include republican members of congress. some of whom participated in that so-called stop the steal rally that occurred on the day of the insurrection here in the capital. people like congressman mo brooks of alabama. others such as marjorie taylor greene of georgia and congresswoman. some of donald trump's staunches allies here could be subject of this investigation going forward, at least those conversations that they had with donald trump and any of his
allies on that day. now, at the same time, the former president himself could also be targeted here as well. we are learning that the committee is interested in seeing what records involve the former president as well as his daughter ivanka, his son donald trump jr. as well as eric trump and his daughter-in-law, laura trump and kimberly who is donald trump jr.'s girlfriend and senior advise tore the trump campaign. jake, this investigation has been happening behind the scenes. these letters are coming out just now. but as you can see all the ground work being laid for an extensive investigation that can run up to the midterms next year. >> okay. thank you very much. appreciate it. coming up, we're waiting to hear from u.s. saecretary of state for more on the end of the longest u.s. war. power,
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this is cnn breaking news. >> welcome to our viewers here in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." we're following breaking news on the end of america's longest war. we're standing by to hear directly from the secretary of state shortly after the last u.s. military flight took off from the kabul airport. it is now august 31st in afghanistan. that is the deadline for american forces to withdraw. all u.s. troops are now out of afghanistan.