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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  October 10, 2017 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT

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in just a moment with all things, including the latest from the white house, the fires in california and beyond. i'm brooke baldwin here in new york. thank you so much for being with me. we'll go to washington now. "the lead" with jake tapper starts right now. thanks, brooke. more a-list celebrities telling their horrific hollywood horror stories. "the lead" starts right now. a new shocking report in "the new yorker" claims that the once big-time hollywood producer harvey weinstein used his power and position to sexual assault and rape women. as hillary clinton five days later issues a statement about her big-time supporter. after challenging the secretary of state to an iq test, president trump meets with his top diplomat. did rex tillerson bring his number 2 pencil? and was his possible replacement spotted at the white house today? plus, red alert. thousands trying to outrun some of the worst wildfires in the history of the state of california. some burning through an area the
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size of a football field every three seconds. more than a dozen people already killed. good afternoon. welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. we're going to start with breaking news in the pop culture lead. explosive allegations today against one of the most influential people in american popular culture, hollywood mogul, producer and now apparent sexual predator, harvey weinstein. "the new yorker" magazine and "the new york times" today breaking huge stories in which four of the most prestigious actresses of our time, angelina jolie, gwyneth paltrow, anna sore debt, stating that weinstein sexually harassed them. joining the ranks of ashley judd judd rose mcgowan. many other women, models, actresses, producers, journalists, instants who describe hideous behavior from weinstein, ranging from harassment to in three cases described by "the new yorker"
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magazine, rape. weinstein is one of the most prestigious fund-raisers. it's impossible to read these stories without contemplating how many people knew about this hideous behavior and let it happen for decades. the new york today published an audiotape weinstein with an italian model. in 2015, gutierrez went to the police to lodge a criminal complaint that weinstein had assaulted her. they wired her for sound and she went back to him. in this tape, we hear the disturbing sounds of him pressuring her to come into his hotel room. >> go to the bathroom. >> please, i don't want to do something i don't want to. >> go to the bathroom. come here, listen to me. i'm not going to do anything. you'll never see me again after this. okay? that's it. if you embarrass me. >> i'm not embarrassing you. i don't feel comfortable. >> honey, don't have a fight with me in the hall. please, i'm not going to do anything. i swear on my children.
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please, come in. on everything, i'm a famous guy. >> i'm feeling very uncomfortable right now. >> please come in in one minute. if you want to leave when the guy comes. >> why did you touch -- >> i'm sorry, come in. i'm used to that. >> you're used to that? >> yes, come in. >> we should note, no charges were ever filed. i want to bring in cnn's brian stelter. let's start with this case. "the new yorker" says it's from a sting operation in 2015. not long after the incident, gutierrez saw tabloids in new york publishing dirt about her. >> that's right. media complicity is part of the problem here, jake. for many, many years weinstein was able to keep these stories mostly out of the press, perhaps by leaking information to gossip columns and things like that. the manhattan district attorney said this afternoon the tape we just heard was horrifying, but insufficient evidence to actually prove a crime. there are going to be a lot of people scrutinizing that decision now. >> and some big names came out today to accuse wipe stein of
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harassment. tell me about some of the charges. >> gwyneth paltrow and angelina jolie, are both telling "the new york times" they were harassed by weinstein in the 1990s. they were early on in their careers. they were not -- they felt they were not able to speak out at the time, gwyneth paltrow now saying this way of treating women ends now. particularly rape allegations are particularly chilling. coming from three other women made to "the new yorker's" ronan pharoah. i spoke to one of the women today who said this is our truth. she said, this is our truth and it is time now for the world to hear our truth. >> weinstein's team responded to the allegations we learned today. what do they have to say, brian? and. >> about the rape allegations, weinstein's attorney says it's flatly untrue. put that on screen. any allegations of nonconsensual sex are unequivocally denied. further confirmed there were never any acts of retaliation
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towards any woman for refusing his advances. >> weinstein was one of hillary clinton's big supporters. she weighed in today as well. >> she did, five days after "the new york times" investigation. many people criticizing her for staying so long. in the statement, clinton said i was shocked and appalled about the revelations by harvey weinstein. the behavior described by women coming forward cannot be tolerated. their courage is critical to stopping this type of behavior. yes, the women, the courage of these women has been remarkable, but the silence among both some men and women in hollywood and politics has been disturbing. it's not just about women having to speak out, it's about men having to support them and for a long time, powerful male executivives also stayed silent. >> and, brian, it's impossible to read these stories in "the new york times" and "the new yorker" about this vile setup that weinstein had in his office, that restaurants, in hotels, at film festivals, all over the world with his own staffers helping to bring these
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women into his lair and then leave. no one knew, including all the board members at miramax who fired weinstein. acting as if this is news to them. it's just nonsense. >> i'm so glad you said that. the blame starts with weinstein, but it spreads far and wide. ronan pharoah cites 16 former staffers who say they knew about the boss' misconduct. tomorrow, the board's going to have a meeting and come up with a new name for the weinstein company. no new name can wipe away the stain on this company's reputation. >> brian stelter, thank you so much. breaking right plow here on cnn. the self-described e-mail pranker has now apparently fooled both harvey weinstein himself and his now former adviser lisa bloom. in e-mails that reveal quite a bit about the behind the scenes of this horrific scandal. on sunday, the prankster posed
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at weinstein and e-mailed the very real lisa bloom. lisa, i've had time to think and understand why you felt unable to remain on my team, the fake weinstein wrote. to which, the very real lisa bloom responded, quote, thank you, harvey. the new round of far more serious allegations were not made known to me, so i could not have realized, but i am not revealing any of that publicly because that's between you and me, unquote. so she thought at any rate. the fake weinstein asked her, quote, which of the latest allegations do you feel will hit hardest? you can be candid. she responded very simply, sexual assault. these e-mails came before the allegations of rape and sexual assault we just told you about. in a different e-mail exchange, posed as anna dunn, the former white house communications director for president obama, who a few weeks ago was asked by a mutual friend to speak to weinstein, after dunn e-mailed the real weinstein responded, i'm sick. i need your advice.
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all my best, harvey. the fake dunn replied, i'm sure redemption can be found, harvey, only if you're willing to be as brave as those who found the strength to stand up to you. accept your fate graciously and not seek to deny or degrade those who -- wrote back simply, i agree. that agreement not withstanding, weinstein's attorneys and spokespeople have been doing the opposite of that. they've been denying the allegations, and as obtained by journalist janis min, weinstein himself has been writing and reaching out privately to hollywood ceos and moguls asking them to defend him. quote, a lot of the allegations are false, as you know, given therapy and council as other people have done, think i'd be able to get there, weinstein wrote. he continued, if the industry supports me, that's all i need. we reached out to both bloom and weinstein's representatives for comment. we did not hear back. republicans have. using the weinstein scammed as an opportunity to attack
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democrats, given weinstein's ardent support for the democratic party. the president's own son, donald trump jr. went after late night host jimmy kimmel to suggest that kimmel use his monologue to attack weinstein, who has given lots of money to hillary clinton. >> and listen, it's true, i'm not defending hillary clinton. the fact is, her campaign did take money from what turned out to be a high-profile man who has been accused of sexual harassment multiple times. and not just one of them, by the way, she took money from two of them, harvey weinstein and donald trump. >> trump, of course, gave hillary clinton money in previous campaigns. now, we have counted at least 11 women who have accused president trump of sexual harassment or sexual assault on the record. jessica drake said in a press conference that mr. trump reportedly grabbed her, kissed her without consent and offered her money to have sex with him. summer, a contestant on "the apprentice" accused mr. frump of harassing her on multiple occasions, reportedly one where
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he thrust his genitals at her. sat on a flight next to her, lifted the arm rest and began to grab her breasts and put her hands up her skirt. quote, he was like an octopus, his hands were everywhere, she said. that's only three of the 11. mr. trump has denied many of these allegations, but these women deserve our attention to, even adds those close to the president try to deny another wise. she was being asked about her call for democrats to give back or give away weinstein's political contributions, as well as the crude words mr. trump said on that infamous "access hollywood" tape. >> even made that comparison is disrespectful to the president. he didn't have eight settlements. he didn't have women coming forward -- >> he didn't have women coming forward? yeah, he did. he had lots of women coming forward, ms. mcdaniel. we listed three of the multiple accusers. those who express outrage at one sexual harasser and not another because of the first harasser's political views, that is morally
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bankrupt. this is a point made interestingly enough by fox news anchor sean hannity last night. saying the left has this selective moral outrage. it's a cogent point, except that very same sean hannity hosted sexual harasser bill o'reilly on his show two weeks ago. o'reilly, of course, fired from fox news channel after an investigation into multiple allegations of sexual harassment, including multiple settlements. look, this shouldn't be hard, and it shouldn't be partisan. it doesn't matter if it's harvey weinstein or donald trump or roger ailes or bill cosby or bill o'reilly or bill clinton. these accusations are all worthy of reporting and outrage. you don't get to pick and choose which ones you find valid and outrageous based on political party. by the way, here is how mr. trump himself and his daughter ivanka took the suggestion of him being a sexual predator on howard stern's show back in 2006.
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>> donald, seriously, you know about sexual predators and things like that. >> right. >> you are one. >> all right. i was going to say that. >> isn't that funny? her dad's a sexual predator. in our politics lead, president trump took to twitter to go after, quote, l-i-d-d-l-e bob corker. after the tennessee senator told "the new york times" mr. trump is putting america on a path to world war iii. firing back at corker yet again. that story's next. unitedhealthcare has the people and tools to help guide you through the confusion. well that wasn't so bad at all. that's how we like it. unitedhealthcare. ♪ can i kick it? ♪ yes you can ♪ can i kick it? ♪ yes you can ♪ can i kick it? ♪ yes you can ♪ well i'm gone
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and we're back with our politics lead. politics lead that again today feels less like a politics lead and more like satire. here are some actual headlines from today about president trump and the white house. trump proposes iq tests, face-off with tillerson after secretary of state calls him a moron. here's another, trump mocks bob corker's height, escalating feud with a key republican. another, self-serving noise.
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read melania trump's response slamming ivana trump's first lady claim. be honest, if i shared those three headlines with you last year, would you have that i was not quoting the onion? that is our currently reality. maturity and decency are in the same abundance and electricity and potable water in puerto rico. the same issue senator bob corker, the chairman of the senate foreign relations committee, was getting at when he expressed his concerns about president trump's erratic behavior with "the new york times." saying i know for a fact every single day at the white house it's a situation of trying to contain him. cnn's jim acosta joins me now live from the white house. the president responded today to senator corker's comments that the u.s. is heading on a path to world war iii because of his reckless comments and tweets. what did he have to so i? >> reporter: that's right, jake. date started off with the president responding to senator bob corker's critical comments by making fun of the senator's height. the white house went further were sarah sanders quieting pat
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moynihan, saying you're entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts. this from a white house that once talked about alternative facts. >> it's an honor to have dr. kissinger with us. >> reporter: just as president trump was asked once again to express his confidence in secretary of state rex tillerson. >> do you still have confidence in secretary tillerson, sir? >> yes. >> reporter: the white house is in the grips of another week of reality tv-style drama. the president appeared to invent a new kind of competition for secretary of state rex tillerson, challenging him to a battle of wits. commenting on reports that tillerson had called him a moron, the president told "forbes" magazine, think it's fake news, but if he did that, i guess we'd have to compare iq tests, and i can tell you who is going to win. just kidding, says the white house. >> he made a joke. nothing more than that. >> reporter: the president didn't comment on the iq challenged but claimed he isn't undermining tillerson. >> i don't believe in undercutting people. >> reporter: tweeting about north korea, i told rex tillerson, our wonderful
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secretary of state, that he's wasting his time trying to negotiate with little rocket man. down pennsylvania avenue, the president is continuing his running feud with outgoing gop senator bob corker, who warned mr. trump may be leading the u.s. down a dark path. >> he doesn't realize that, you know, that we can be heading towards world war iii with the kind of comments he's maybe snoog the president's response, to refer back to his campaign style cut downs to his adversaries. 9 failing "new york times" let lil bob corker up. made to sound a fool. that's what i'm dealing with. adding to that, the white house accused corker of getting his facts wrong. >> senator corker is certainly entitled to his own opinion, but he's not entitled to his own fact. >> reporter: sitting next to former secretary of state henry kissinger, the president denied the country is heading towards a third world war. >> we were on the wrong path before. if you look over the last 25 years, through numerous administrations, were were on a
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path to a very big problem. a problem like this world has never seen. we're on the right path p.a.t.h. right now, believe me. >> reporter: the president's schedule was asked at punch waiting that point, not just meeting with kissinger, tillerson and james mattis. gop leaders are largely staying on the sidelines of the president's latest slugfest. democratic lawmakers say they've heard their gop colleagues share corkerari corker's concerns in private. >> i hear the same things senator corker has said. i've been asking them why don't they say these things in public? i think many of them are concerned about being the victim of a tweet. other ones are worried about having someone run against them from the right, and there are others who basically say boys will be boys. >> now as for the secretary of state, a spoekkesperson at the state department set the record straight and said, quote,
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tillerson has a high iq. no need to react to the president's comments. as for why the president keeps referring to the nicknames he used during the campaign season, one source told me, jake, a source who advising the white house, by the way, quote, it works. that's the answer for that, jake. >> all right. jim acosta at the white house. thank you so much. the white house now says the president was joking when he said he would beat secretary of state rex tillerson in an iq test. but with so many other disasters and dictators and nuclear crises, should battling wits with his top diplomat be even entering his mind at all right now? we'll talk to a republican lawmaker next.
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compare iq tests and i can tell you who is going to win, unquote. joining me now is republican congressman shawn duffy of wisconsin. we are going to go into an iq test right now. just joking. i do want to ask you in that interview with "forbes," the president said about secretary of state tillerson, i'm not undermining, i think i'm actually strengthening authority. a lot of people have been wonder about the relationship because, of course, the president tweeted last week, quote, i told rex tillerson, our wonderful secretary of state, he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with little rocket man, a reference to kupg. save your energy, rex, we'll do what has to be done. that doesn't seem to be strengthening secretary tillerson, it seems to be undermining. >> you saw this nbc report that said, you know, tillerson was saying not so pleasant things about the president. if president trump believed that and president trump didn't believe he had the full confidence of rex tillerson, he would fire him. if he didn't think rex was doing
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a good job, he would be out of a job right now as secretary of state. you have to look behind the scenes, jake, at the relationship that these two have and how they're trying to navigate some really big problems the world. and i think, at least thus far, the president has the trust of rex tillerson. and rex has that of the president. you know, you hear the "forbes" article that you referenced and president trump talking about having a better iq or higher iq than tillerson. he's joking. you've got to be able to have fun in these jobs. looks like what he was doing with the author of the article, having fun about iqs. >> sure, but if you listen to the comments made about senator bob corker, the respected republican chairman of the senate foreign relations committee to "the new york times," he thinks that president trump's tweets about foreign policy have actually caused diplomatic problems and he said he was concerned that, you know, the president's leading us on a path to world war iii. forgetting the hyperbole of world war iii a second, that's the chairman of the senate foreign relations committee
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expressing concern that the. 's tweets, you know, it's one thing if he's going after jemele hill on espn. it might not be cool or mature, but it's not going to cause an international incident. these tweets about north korea, that's alarming bob corker, at least. >> i don't know if bob corker wants us to go back to the policies of barack obama or george bush or president clinton. donald trump has shaken things up with north korea, and when he's done that, yeah, it's made people uncomfortable, but he has the rest of the world now better engaged and more engaged in how we address the rising threat of north korea. you have economic sanctions coming from the rest of the world. sanctions coming from the u.n. we have for the first time china engaging with us to shut down banks, financial institutions that are laundering money for north korea. this hasn't happened in the past. if you look at the successes of donald trump and compare that to past presidents, this president's making a lot of progress to actually address the threat. i would argue that if you want world war iii, continue with the failed policies that you had
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over the last 16 years, and you'll have the kim regime continue to develop weapons of mass destruction and missiles that can deliver it to our shores. so the president's going in a different direction, but i think he's having success with that strategy. >> take a listen to former white house strategist and close confidant of the president steve bannon last night. >> corker, mcconnell and corker, the entire click of establishment globalist click about capitol hill have to go. if bob corker has any honor, any decency, he should resign immediately. >> so just to -- steve bannon saying that corker, mcconnell and the entire click, the globalist click on capitol hill has to go and corker should resign. he would if he had any honor or decency, do you agree? >> corker won a seat. he gets to fill the remainder of his term. if he so chooses to leave the senate, good for him. if not, he gets to serve his term as tennessee elected him to do. they're throwing in mitch mcconnell. i don't think anyone has been
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working harder to accomplish the trump agenda than mitch mcconnell. he hasn't been successful because he has some rogue senators, but the trump agenda has been a republican agenda on health care and taxes and regulation and border security. we've all for the most part bought into that agenda and mitch mcconnell's trying to accomplish it. to throw mitch under the bus, think mr. bannon is misguided. a few senators he should focus on, to throw all of those into the mix when they've been trying to get a deal together to accomplish this agenda is short-sighted by bannen. >> is it short-sighted by president to go after john mccain, lisa murkowski, jeff flake, i mean, i could go on and on, but, i mean, bob corker, i mean, he's going to need these votes for tax reform or for other things. he's certainly not winning friends and influencing people that way when it comes to senators whose votes he needs. >> jake, you know i'm a house member and i'm over here in the senate. the senate this week is not in session. there no difference when the senate is in session or out of
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session. nothing happens over here. we have 300 bills we've stacked up on the -- at the senate chamber that they can't get done. i look at this and see a president who is frustrated with the inaction of the senate. he's starting to push on them. publicly call them out. i think that's a good thing. if you want to get some action. and the president when he does this on twitter, i think he riles up the republican base and gets them on his side to start pushing these guys when they go home to their home states, whether they're doing parades or fund-raisers, they hear from the people who gave them 25 bucks to run the first time for election. these constituents are saying, get your act together. this is a chance in a lifetime to actually accomplish this agenda, move our country forward, reduce regulation, grow our economy and put people back to work and give us health care that actually works for the american people. when they don't do that, the president is leading the charge against this dysfunctional senate, which i think is a good thing. >> he's leading the charge against congress. throwing you house guys in under the bus as well. >> well, it's been more of the
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senate. he's not coming after individual house guys. going after individual senators that can't get the job done. look at the house, we've actually passed health care and a lot of other bills we're going to get tax reform done as well. the question about what passes doesn't come to the house. you know it actually goes to the senate and they can accomplish these big agendas. >> congressman, good to see you. >> thanks, jake. >> entire neighborhoods wiped out. thousands of people forced from their homes. at least 15 people have been killed as multiple fires are raging through the state of california. will firefighters catch any break from the weather? stay with us for that story. ers in ahhhhhhhh! you know what's easy? building your website with godaddy. get your domain today and get a free trial of gocentral. build a better website in under an hour. what's critical thinking like? a basketball costs $14. what's team spirit worth? (cheers) what's it worth to talk to your mom?
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[burke] abstract accident. seen ♪ video-it. covered it.c we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪ kim jong we're back with breaking news in the national lead. the dpeld infernos tearing through california. the death toll this afternoon rose to 15 people. two of the victims an elderly married couple. charles rippey was 100 years old. a fire engulfed their home and they could not escape. authorities expect to hear of more fatalities. there are at least 20 fires burning, mostly in northern
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california. a bright orange ominous glow fills the sky near disney and anaheim. the smoke and flames sparie nothing. before the wildfire, on the right, the building's shell barely standing after flames got to it yesterday. this is just one of 1,500 structures destroyed by these wildfires. i want to go to cnn's dan simon in santa rosa, california. winds to die down? has that happened? >> reporter: the wipnds have did down, jake. hopefully firefighters will start making some progress with this. it's unbelievable. we're in the coffey park neighborhood. literally, jake, not a single home is standing. ash as far as the eye can see. thousands have been evacuated. we were at a couple of shelters, absolutely packed. they need assistance, jake. clothes, toys for kids. so many have been impacted. from northern to southern california, more than a dozen wildfires still burning out of control. >> trying to get out of here.
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we saw it. now it's getting across the road. it's all bad. >> reporter: 50 miles northwest of san francisco in wine country, flames tore through parts of santa rosa, california. turning cars and subdivisions into ash. >> we were screaming, fire, fire, fire, get out, get out. >> it just happened to fast. had time to just run away. >> we have cars and harleys and boats, all kinds of stuff, all gone. >> reporter: fast food restaurant restaurants, hotels and homes all destroyed. hospitals in the air gentlemrea. more than 15,000 acres burned, most in wine country, napa and sonoma county. these flames -- farther south near los angeles, fires in anaheim have lit up skies over wallet disneyland. >> on the even flank last night,
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we got outrun by the fires. >> reporter: fire chief tom welch's own home near santa rosa burned . >> the fires are still out there. they are still actively growing. >> and the firefighters are exhausting. >> resources still continue to be limited. we have folks on the fire lines starting their third shifts right now that have not been relieved because there are folks not available to come in with so many fires in the area. >> reporter: the fierce winds which have been spreading uncontrollably died down tuesday. the flames with it. but a forecast of dry weather and no rainfall for the week is still a concern. and you can see the utter devastation here. hundreds of homes in this one subdivision. you can see the burned out vehicles and the chimneys and, jake, the forecast does call for more wind tonight and tomorrow, but hopefully, as i said, firefighters will begin making some progress. you talked about that elderly couple that died, jake, just the
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details are so horrific. they tried getting out in the middle of the night and the flames just overtook them. jake? >> so horrible. dan simon, thanks so much. joining me now is the sheriff of sonoma county. sheriff, thanks so much for joining us. big picture, are you and the firefighters making any headway yet in fighting these fires? >> my understanding is fire is working hard and they are making headway at it. i think the important message out there for the community is that they are not contained and we are still working on protecting people's lives and keeping people safe from the damage. it's not over for us yet. >> you've warned residents in sonoma county not to return home until the evacuation orders have been lifted. do you have any idea how long that might be? >> i don't at this point. we really want people back in their homes. it is a priority for us, too. the issue downed power lines, hotspots, safety is the number one concern. we're trying to get teams out there to check the areas. i was at a cal fire briefing
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this morning. they want people back in their homes as soon as possible. we're working diligently to get them back. >> your county alone reported nine of the 15 known deaths in california, according to the sonoma county sheriff's office. you have 200 reports of people missing. this time, many of the wildfires are tearing through major populated cities such as santa rosa. do you feel many people felt they would not be victims? >> you know, i think that's one of the things we have to realize about fires is, they choose to go where they want to go, and, unfortunately, the damage they leave behind is dramatic. where we choose to build a house doesn't protect us sometimes. >> winds died down a bit today. it's also cooler. how much does that really help the situation? >> yeah, the weather, i understand, has been a big help. it's definitely cooler up here. i'm really hoping it gives fire the edge they need to at least contain the fires. >> and many deputies and employees of the sheriff's office and the county lost their own homes.
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it's -- it's really affecting everyone. >> no, it's actually -- i came in the night when the fire broke out and i had many deputies out working coming in. we were checking with all of them and many of them lost their homes. >> it's just horrific. what is the biggest concern right now, sheriff? >> so our biggest concern is finding those missing people and keeping those safe and out of the burned areas. we have a team of detectives working on locating the missing. they've been successful in finding 57 people. communication breakdown is part of the problem. we're working through that missing person list. keeping our people safe and finding the missing people. >> is there anything that you and those battling these fires need from the federal government or from the state government that you are not getting? >> no, we have great resources. everybody's working hard. i'll tell you, i've been so impressed with the level of support from the bay area agencies. i mean, just as an example, there are probably 200 law enforcement officers working in this county right now from all
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over the bay area, san francisco, alameda, great at sending us support. that kind of mutual aid support has been great. >> sheriff, thank you. our thoughts or with your. our thoughts and prayers with our brothers and sisters in california. >> thank you so much. >> the president has found time to pick on a gop ally and go after a sports network. nothing so far about the four u.s. inning soldiers killed in a mysterious ambush in africa. we are now finding out more about what happened in that terrorist hotbed. stay with us. ♪ ♪ can i kick it? ♪ yes you can ♪ can i kick it? ♪ yes you can ♪ well i'm gone ♪ can i kick it? ♪ to all the people who can quest like a tribe does... ♪ how much money do you think you'll need in retirement? then we found out how many years that money would last them. how long do you think we'll keep -- oooooohhh! you stopped! you're gonna leave me back here at year 9? how did this happen? it turned out, a lot of people fell short, of even the average length of retirement.
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marie callender starts her tuturkey breast to perfection. so that you can spend time on what really matters. marie callender's . our world lead, while president trump has tweeted dozens of times since last wednesday, attacking a republican senator, attacking an
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espn commentator, going after the nfl, among other matters, the president himself has not tweeted a single thing, nor spoken publicly about the four u.s. soldiers who were killed in an ambush in a remote area near the mali niger border last wednesday. cnn is learning more about the routine patrol that went horribly wrong. cnn's barbara starr joins me now. barbara, are we getting any better sense of how this happened and who might have been behind the ambush? >> we are, jake. indeed, for a president who likes to tweet about winning, he may not have any good news to report about this attack, where americans apparently died at the hands of isis. >> reporter: four u.s. soldiers killed in an isis ambush in the 1-877-nation of niger, coming home to their families. the 12-man team led by green berets killed or wounded in a surprise ambush attack. >> we assess risk before every operation.
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the military has a rigorous risk assessment process in place, but it's only an assessment. >> reporter: intelligence showed it was unlikely they would run into enemy forces, officially tell cnn. they were meeting with locals in advising nigerian forces, but suddenly they were ambushed by more than 50 isis-affiliated fighters. the american troops' pickup trucks were shattered by gunfire. they had only rifles to fight back. the isis attackers had rocket propelled grenades and machine guns. but sergeant johnson, 25 of florida, was separated from the others. he was found dead north carolina 48 hours after the fire fight. the pentagon's africa command does not know for sure if this american soldier was wounded and alive on the battlefield and if he was even for a brief time in isis hands. >> we are reviewing very closely the security procedures.
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>> reporter: the army chief of staff openly acknowledging a full investigation is underway. >> they're evaluating the mission, terrain, time, and all of that to come up with appropriate risk mitigation factors. >> reporter: a u.s. special operations team quickly organized a high-risk rescue mission, ready to move in. president trump was briefed. military officials are now looking into reports that a locater beacon emitted a signal from the area indicating that someone might still be alive on the ground. they are not sure if that signal was really accurate. >> these are some offer most sensitive operations. the tactics, the techniques and the procedures are something that we protect very closely because this is very delicate operation. in order to bring back a service member who has somehow been separated from his unit. >> reporter: there were no u.s. armed aircraft nearby. french aircraft did arrive on scene, but there was no
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authorization from niger to allow air strikes on its territory. and cnn has learned the u.s. is now talking to niger about the possibility of military operations against the attackers soon as they can locate them. jake? >> barbara ra, the military uses this term, advise and assist. it doesn't get at how dangerous these missions are. how dangerous are they and how common are they? >> this is something the military is relying on more and more, to use special operations to conduct these missions. you're right, jake, they are very dangerous. they are often lightly armed. they happen across africa, several places in iraq and syria, in afghanistan. and they go in trying to help local forces get them trained up so that they can look after their own affairs and their own security, but it is very difficult business because in so many of these places, there are so many different terrorist groups operating.
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jake? >> barbara starr at the pentagon for us. thank you so much. breaking this hour, new information about how the vegas shooter was planning to escape after his murderous rampage, including special equipment he had in his hotel room with him. stay with us. how do we say that this fall, our guests can earn a free night when they book at choicehotels.com
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we have breaking news in our national lead now. we're learning new details about the las vegas gunman's arsenal. two law enforcement officials with knowledge of the investigation tell cnn that the shooter had significant amounts of tracer rounds, which are illuminated and can improve someone's firing ability, along with insend year ammunition. kyung lah joins us now. kyung, you broke the story. what have these sources told you
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about the shooter's supplies? >> reporter: this is information that we're getting from two law enforcement sources with direct knowledge of this investigation, and they're talking about what was recovered inside the gunman's room, that suite where he fired upon that innocent concert crowd below. tracer rounds, a significant amount of them were recovered. they were not used, but they were recovered in that suite. the way these tracer rounds work is one round that sort of lights up every four or five rounds in your clip. that does help improve your accuracy. previously we had been told that he simply attempted to buy these tracer rounds. we are told now he was successful, he just simply did not use them, though. incendiary rounds, these were also recovered in his room, and these rounds are designed to ignite upon impact. our sources tell us that they were found in the room. they were also used. according to these sources, these incendiary rounds were
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recovered near the fuel tanks at the airport nearby. it is a little unclear because what the airport had said previously five days ago is that rifle rounds had been recovered. they were unclear about exactly what kind of rounds, other than they were rifle rounds. that they struck the tank. a little context here, just because the way jet fuel is designed, it is designed to withstand a brief open source of flame. so even if these incendiary rounds had come in contact with jet fuel, it may not have succeeded in doing anything. also, jake, survival equipment, according to our sources was found in the room. some type of breathing apparatus. we're led to believe this is a gas mask as well as protective vests. jake? >> las vegas police announced a major shift in the timeline of the shooting. tell us about that. >> reporter: well, we are told now, based on that press conference that the sheriff held, is that the security guard was shot first.
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shot a full six minutes before the rampage began. here's what the sheriff said. >> he was injured prior to the mass volley of shooting. what we have learned is mr. campos was encountered by the suspect prior to his -- his shooting to the outside world. >> reporter: previously, we had been told the security guard had surprised, mr. campos had surprised the gunman. the gunman was shooting at the crowd and turned his attention to the security guard. now at 9:59 p.m., jake, the gunman had been firing first on the security guard and then six minutes later began his rampage. jake? >> all right. kyung lah in las vegas for us covering this horrific mass shooting from nine days ago. thank you so much. be sure to follow me on facebook and twitter. tweet the show @the lead cnn. that's it for the lead today. i'm jake tapper. turning you over to wolf blitzer who is in "the situation room." thanks for watching.
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happening now. deadly wildfires. at least 15 people have died and more than 100 are injured as wildfires burn out of control in california. 2,000 homes and businesses have been destroyed, including entire housing subdivisions and two hotels as the fires ravage northern california's wine country. comparing iq tests. president trump pushes back against reports that his secretary of state called him a moron. the president says they'll just have to compare iq tests, adding, i can tell you who is going to win. six minutes. the las vegas gunman shot a hotel security guard six minutes before he opened fire on concertgrs