Skip to main content

tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  July 1, 2021 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT

2:00 pm
say about those conversations with the families of those missing and killed? >> reporter: joe biden saying that these families that he met with for approximately 3 hours are going through hell. he made it clear to these families that he knows that no one is going to understand the depth of their pain, especially those families that are still dealing with the uncertainty of not knowing exactly what happened with their loved ones, roughly 140 people still remain missing. the president also drawing from his own personal experience chapters of his life full of loss to connect with them. here's more from joe biden. >> let there be a miracle, let there be something happen for me that's good. i have some idea what it's like to suffer that kind of loss that so many are suffering.
2:01 pm
they had basic heart wrenching questions. jill and i want them to know that we're with them and our country is with them. our message today is we're here for you as one nation, as one nation. that's the message we communicated. >> reporter: jake, as he has so often during the 2020 campaign and now into his presidency, joe biden trying to spread a message of unity. in fact, very early on in that press conference, he talked about seeing levels of cooperation between democrats and republicans that he had not seen in a long time. he specifically went out of his way to thank florida's governor ron desantis and two republican senators marco rubio and rick scott and local leadership, democratic congresswoman debbie wasserman schultz and the mayor of miami-dade county daniella
2:02 pm
levine cava. he says he thinks the federal government will be able to pay for 100% of the cost of search and rescue operations here. the president was also asked about causes of the collapse. he said at this moment it still remains a mystery. >> let's turn to the new details coming out about the champlain towers condo association. the majority of the condo board quit over frustrations that residents were delaying the building repairs. this was back in 2019, two years before the building collapse. nick, what exactly was the issue between the board members when it came to the repairs? >> reporter: we spoke to structural engineers here in south florida who say in their experience they often do get pushback from condo board associations especially if maintenance suggestions, the price tag of them are high enough. we don't know whether there was pushback in this case, but we do know there was turmoil. this 2018 report didn't appear
2:03 pm
to be just suggestions, but a warning. five of the seven condo board members resigned, quitting right after that report. a letter obtained by the "washington post," the president at the time of the association went onto say this. the pattern has repeated itself over and over, ego battles undermining the roles of fellow board members, circulation of gossip and mistruths and not presenting a very pretty picture of the functions of our board and many before us, but it describes a board that works very hard but cannot for reasons above accomplish the goals we set out to accomplish. some turmoil coming out after that 2018 report. >> we just saw a second ago some majors of the president attending a makeshift memorial in the city, in the town where people have left flowers and cards and all sorts of memorials to those lost and missing. nick, back to the subject at hand. one of the families is suing the
2:04 pm
condo association and the inspector who performed the building assessment in 2018, alleging they failed to keep occupants safe. tell us what's in that lawsuit. >> reporter: we've been talking all week we've seen the range of emotions from these family members who are all processing it differently. clearly some of them not waiting to hold someone accountable. a family who still has a loved one missing in the collapse alleges in a lawsuit that marbirtha consultants didn't do enough in 2018 saying they did not certify the buildi ing was structurally safe for occupancy and should have submitted a written report to the city. they go onto say the condo association did not do the necessary repairs because they wanted to cut costs. we reached out to them. they declined comment on ongoing litigation but did say they are
2:05 pm
cooperating with authorities. a lawyer for the current condo association says the current board did not know that the building was in such disrepair. they've hired an engineer to find out what happened. >> you're looking right there on the side of the screen. you see president and first lady biden at a makeshift memorial that has popped up in surfside, florida, people leaving photographs and flowers and teddy bears and the like for the people that are lost, for the people that remain missing. let's discuss all of this with jose diaz, the chairman of miami-dade board of county commissioners. thank you so much for joining us, sir. today the president said he thinks the federal government can pick up all of the cost, 100% of the cost from surfside's collapse response. is that going to be necessary? do you have the funds? >> that is very important for all of us. the amount of people that are
2:06 pm
here, the amount of assets on the ground and the overtime, it's going to be a lot of money and we don't have those kind of funds. that's incredible for us. he told me personally that he was going to do that and we were very happy when he said that to us. >> according to the "washington post," a number of board members of the condo left in 2019 over frustration and disputes because of the repairs, the costs associated with them. i know this is a breaking news story, but what do you make of that? >> well, it doesn't sound good to start out with. a lot of condo issues in many many buildings, people don't get along, things happen because of the cost, the maintenance and so on. that's why we need to start
2:07 pm
holding a task force now where we start with our county commission again next week. it all depends on the storm heading our way too. we're going to be looking at a lot of things, not about the invest investigation. that's going to be the case. we're going to hold off to know exactly what took place for that part of it. but on the other things, we're going to be trying to understand all these situations and how they continue to happen and we're going to start looking at legislation to start looking at some of these issues. >> since the building collapse, we've learned so much about anecdotes, photographs, building assessments, letters detailing water damage in the building going back years. you can be completely candid. 1981 is not that long ago when the building was constructed, and yet this building collapsed. does your part of the country
2:08 pm
have a handle on rules and safety regulations when it comes to construction? i know that rules were changed after hurricane andrew in 1992. how do you explain why the city didn't force the people who owned the building to fix them? >> that's a good question and that's part of the information. to go back to what you said, after hurricane andrew, we have the strictest building codes probably in the nation. south florida building codes is the strongest that exist. this is something that we could never imagine happening in our community since we're so strict on building codes. i know it takes a while to build a building here, but that's how much you have to put into it. something like this that happened -- this building was built in 1981 and there's a twin building not too far away.
2:09 pm
it's pretty difficult for something like this -- none of these buildings just fall. something happened with this building. until we have all these investigators on the ground to know exactly what took place, that's just one part of it. everything else to do with condominium and so on, even though that's under the state regulations and so on, we're going to work together to find the legislation, the rules and regulations so this will never happen again. and if there is a structural situation and they don't have the money to pay for it or so on, then we've got to deal with that if that's the case. we're going to have to see about legislation and dealing with that and making sure that won't happen again either. >> this morning search and rescue operations were paused because of concerns that the remaining building could topple. when do you expect the operation, the search and rescue
2:10 pm
if not recovery operation to resume? >> we are making sure that it's safe for firefighters to be safe. we don't need anybody else hurt in this process. people trying to save lives could lose their own. we're waiting to hear from the fire chief and the people that are looking at the structure. these guys want to get back on there, but we have to make sure of their safety. that's a big issue right now. h they're really working to get on there as fast as they possibly can. >> i've seen reports of inspectors because of this incident going to other buildings built before 1992, the hurricane andrew reforms, and finding buildings that are not safe. what's going to happen with those residents? where are they going to go? who's going to pay for them?
2:11 pm
>> that's a very good question. that's something the mayor and myself, we're trying to see what is actually taking place. each city has their own jurisdiction and they have this autonomy to do what they belief is right within their city. the county's responsibility is county wide, but it's also the unincorporated area. that's our domain that we deal with and that's something that i'm going to try to work with other cities in conjunction with the mayor of these cities and our mayor to see how we can combine these efforts. >> chairman jose diaz, thank you for your time today. coming up the trump organization and its key financial officer indicted. what it all might mean for former president trump. plus, why one trump associate says this will only fuel trump to run again in 2024.
2:12 pm
keeping your oyster business growing has you swamped. you need to hire. i need indeed. indeed you do. when you sponsor a job, you immediately get your shortlist of quality candidates, whose resumes on indeed match your job criteria. visit and get started today. with armor all, a little bit of this... ...protects you... ...from a lot of that. keep your car cleaner longer. armor all extreme shield plus ceramic.
2:13 pm
this past year has felt like a long, long norwegian winter.
2:14 pm
but eventually, with spring comes rebirth. everything begins anew. and many of us realize a fundamental human need to connect with other like-minded people. welcome back to the world. viking. exploring the world in comfort... once again. (vo) nobody dreams in conventional thinking. it didn't get us to the moon. it doesn't ring the bell on wall street. or disrupt the status quo. t-mobile for business uses unconventional thinking to help you realize new possibilities on america's largest, fastest, and most reliable 5g network. plus customer experience that finds solutions in the moment. and first-class benefits, like 5g with every plan. network, support and value-- without any tradeoffs. that's t-mobile for business.
2:15 pm
in our politics lead, trump's former fixer michael cohen thinks there is more to come after new york city prosecutors charge the trump organization's chief financial officer with 15 felonies.
2:16 pm
>> allen weisselberg is not the keystone. he is not the keystone to this investigation. >> joining us now is cnn's cara spinel was in the courtroom today. he got away with this for 15 years? >> that's right. 15 years from what prosecutors call an audacious and sweeping illegal payment scheme. weisselberg was charged with 15 felony counts. the trump organization were charged with 10 tellfelony coun. weisselberg was led into the courtroom in handcuffs. he pleaded not guilty. a lawyer for the trump organization also pleaded not guilty to the charges. as part of the scheme, it's alleged that over these 15 years since 2005 that weisselberg and the trump organization helped to seal some payments.
2:17 pm
the focus has been on benefits. saying that weisselberg had defrauded new york city state authorities by concealing that he lived in new york city at the same time that he was living in a trump funded apartment on the upper west side of manhattan. that's just one detail from these allegations today against allen weisselberg and the trump organization. they are expected to be back in court in september. prosecutors say this investigation is active and ong ongoing. >> what does the trump organization have to say? >> reporter: the trump organization came out swinging today. they said this was a political vendetta. they said the district attorney's office is politically motivated and that they haven't brought cases against some of the biggest culprits, some of the financial institutions from the financial crisis, that they were honing in on donald trump and the trump organization. they also said the case against weisselberg, they were using him as a pawn to get back at the former president. >> what happens to weisselberg
2:18 pm
now? does he just go home? >> reporter: yeah. there's no bail in new york city for these type of white collar offenses. weisselberg can go home, but as part of his release, he agreed to turn over his passport because prosecutors said they were concerned he was a flight risk since he has means and money and also works for the trump organization that has hotels and properties all over the world. >> joining us so discuss criminal defense attorney caroline policey and elliot williams. 15 counts against weisselberg, 10 counts against the trump organization. does that prizsurprise you? >> big picture, potential charges and certainly everything that michael cohen testified to before congress, this is sort of a big letdown is that these aren't the big time fraud charges, not bank fraud, insurance fraud, wire fraud, things like that. that being said and as kara
2:19 pm
noted, as garden variety tax fraud schemes go, this is a pretty intention one and the indictment is fullsome. clearly the district attorney has done its job. this sounds more like a federal indictment, actually, than a state indictment. we're getting up to $900,000, a million dollars in loss amounts. that means weisselberg could be facing jail time. it doesn't carry a mandatory minimum so there could be an opportunity for a probationary sentence, but if they're trying to get weisselberg to flip, this gets a little bit more in that direction. >> the indictment mentions certain employees plural, weisselberg and others and, quote, persons other than weisselberg. obviously that suggests there are people other than weisselberg involved. do you expect more indictments? >> it is quite telling because
2:20 pm
throughout the indictment here they do mention several times other people. there could be other lower ranking employees. it would be sort of odd to indict someone like a cfo and go to people lower on the totem pole. i hesitate to say the former president of the united states, but any number of people. they have spoken with the comptroller and the chief operating officer and chief financial officer at various points. i would be shocked if there weren't more indictments. we'll have to wait and see. >> would you advise him to flip if that is ultimately prosecutors' goal here? >> i haven't seen the evidence, but clearly were i to give that advice it would have been well in the past. the ship hasn't sailed completely for weisselberg here, but by all accounts he is holding steadfast in his ability
2:21 pm
not to flip, as it were. i prefer the term cooperate. again, the fact is he may get off with the potential for no jail time here. i think it's interesting that they charged the organization first. i'm probably less optimistic than elliot is that there are going to be more indictments here. there may be another round of indictments on the tax fraud cases but in terms of those higher level charges that we were all sort of waiting to see, i'm not sure, given how fulsome this indictment is, i'm really not sure there's going to be more. >> you heard michael cohen say weisselberg is not the keystone. who is? is donald trump in any legal jeopardy, do you think? >> obviously he was implying the former president is the keystone here. we could absolutely envision a scheme in which the former president wasn't aware of the
2:22 pm
illegality. for instance, he's not aware of whether lower level employees are paying their taxes or who's paying rent or so on. we know the president doesn't e-mail. it's actually going to be quite hard to charge him even if there's a lot of anecdotal statements that everyone knew donald trump knew this stuff was going on. >> he's not famously a detail guy. just based on what we know of donald trump, it's hard to imagine he would say to weisselberg, use this tax break or cheat on your taxes this way. for 1.7 million. >> i hesitate to say how he governed is indicative of how he managed the company, odds are he was not in the details of the finances of the organization when he's got a money guy, he's got calamari and weisselberg and cohen to do things like that.
2:23 pm
>> the trump organization lawyers keep saying typically this kind of case would be a civil case, not criminal. is that true? >> that is absolutely true. i would say with the addiction of susan necheles who gave that statement later this afternoon there, she is a great addition to that team. she is a very well respected criminal defense attorney here in new york city. cy vance really has opened up himself up to criticism in that regard. this has been a three-year long investigation. he took the case up to the supreme court. tish james is pitching in from the attorney general's office. they made a lot out of this case. it is true that these are typically the types of charges that do get involved in consent decrees or agreements to pay money. i bet the district attorney's
2:24 pm
office approached the trump organization to try to settle. it does say something that they are fighting these charges as well as weisselberg. >> it seems they didn't get him. cy vance and others and tish james went after trump, wanted to get trump. i'm not a lawyer, i don't know. who knows what's going to happen? anything could happen. weisselberg could flip. there could be more. >> another thing to think about and we're just keeping the options here and seeing where things go based on today's office, it looks like they filed charges to get within the statute of limitations of a number of the crimes. if you notice, they're for tax years 2017, 2018. at a certain point you can't charge conduct that's further remote in the past. they can then supercede the indictment down the road and add more charges. you're right, where were the bigger sort of insurance fraud or charges that might have
2:25 pm
brought more serious liability and if they had them, why didn't they come forward at this time? >> thanks so both of you for joining us. one of former president trump's upcoming rallies is reportedly drawing criticism from a top republican ally. who? we'll tell you next. ahhh! get out of here mouse. ahhh! ♪ don't flex your pecs. terminix.
2:26 pm
from a pioneer in photographic film to a master of the digital age, we're always searching for new ways to imagine, create and capture your world. but why stop there? when there's so much more we can do. in healthcare, we are revolutionizing diagnostics by applying our imaging expertise and ai technology which aim to enable earlier detection of disease. but why stop there? when we can apply our expertise in cell biology to help make vital vaccines and treatments available to all. and we can focus our research and development on medicines to tackle unmet medical needs, including cancers and infectious diseases. but why stop there? when we can also consider the health of the planet. our innovations in data storage are reducing co2 emissions. we'll never stop innovating for a healthier, more sustainable world. fujifilm value from innovation
2:27 pm
(customer) movie night. (burke) should have been watching the stove instead. (customer) tell me something i don't know. (burke) with your farmers policy perk, guaranteed replacement cost, your home can be rebuilt, regardless of your limits. (customer) that's really something. (burke) get a whole lot of something with farmers policy perks. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪
2:28 pm
delicia: this is where all our recycling is sorted -- 1.2 million pounds every day, helping to make san francisco the greenest big city in america. but that's not all you'll find here. there are hundreds of good-paying jobs, with most new workers hired from bayview-hunter's point. we don't just work at recology, we own it, creating opportunity and a better planet. now, that's making a difference.
2:29 pm
we are back with our politics lead. president biden is right now in surfside, florida meeting with families and first responders and local officials after the horrific condo collapse. it's his predecessor's upcoming
2:30 pm
trip that is a concern today. the washington examiner is reporting that governor ron desantis has made a direct plea to trump's team asking trump's team to cancel a rally that is currently scheduled for sarasota, florida, on saturday. one florida republican telling the outlet that trump and his team need to, quote, read the room. let's discuss. amanda, the trump team says they're not cancelling. the rally is more than 3 hours away from surfside, florida so it won't impact rescue efforts. they say they're going to collect donations at the event for surfside victims. still the optics, desantis saying don't come, our state is focused on this horrible disaster. >> does desantis really think he's going to be able to tell trump know. part of the reason ron desantis has been able to become popular
2:31 pm
and has been viewed as the potential 2024 republican nominee is because he's never really been under trump's thumb, right? as a florida republican governor, he's never had to be responsible for trump in the way that, say, a nikki haley has or a ted cruz, where he actually has to answer for trump's actions. if trump comes into ron desantis's back yard and starts going on about the rigged election and everything else when everyone else in that state is focused on the horrible disaster that unfolded in surfside, that's not going to look good. when do the optics get better? when it is ever going to be good for donald trump to keep going in there and relitigating the stolen election and downplaying the election. i think their team is trying to test the waters and see what they can get trump to do. but ron desantis is completely boxed in. the only way he gets the 2024 nomination is if donald trump hand it to him on a silver
2:32 pm
platter. >> it's interesting also, because this comes the stamame we see this very nice american moment of the democratic president and a republic governor putting aside their vast differences about politics. and they disagree about almost everything. to just talking about what can be done to help the residents and the survivors. the washington examiner says quote, the governor is getting tested here as to how far he's going to be pushed before he breaks ranks with president trump. he has to be careful because this is trump country. the base loves the president, but they equally love ron. it's a showdown going on right now. desantis's office is denying this story. this is the washington examiner. it's their reporting, not mine. what do you think? >> first, are we surprised that donald trump is not concerned with the agony and misery that the people in surfside, florida
2:33 pm
are actually enduring? he hasn't shown real compassion based on what i've observed, so i'm not surprised he's putting politics over the people like he's done his whole presidency and political career. in terms of desantis, he's going to play it cool, not acknowledge the story. desantis wasn't a landslide victor in his election in florida. trump won pretty decisively in florida. he needs to get reelected before he can run for president. he's going to play it cool, say not come and have this great bipartisan moment. i think it was encouraging for people to see, but doesn't surprise me with trump, doesn't surprise me that desantis would be frustrated but not publicly say it. >> i agree. >> desantis is dealing with a disaster. >> why would trump care, though? >> would that be beyond the peal
2:34 pm
for donald trump to do? >> no. anyway, i think desantis will do what you're saying. this does come on the heels of the trump organization and its cfo being charged with tax crimes today. trump sees this as a political witch hunt. the aide says, quote, now he's definitely going to run for president again. i'm not sure what the calculation is there, but what do you think? >> i do think part of donald trump's calculation in making it seem like he is running for president and doing a lot of these rallies now is to insulate him from these kinds of legal questions. don't come after me, this is a witch hunt. and he can play that game. that said, is this going to add up to anything for trump? i don't know. i mean, is it worse than anything we saw go down in his white house? is it worse than him inciting the insurrection? i'd say not. >> biden is trying to walk a very fine line here, only pointing to biden's tax reform proposals when asked about the charges. is there a rift for biden if he
2:35 pm
were to say too much? when he was asked, he said i don't know anything about it, i was on my way, which i don't believe that for one second. what do you think? >> i don't know if president biden was briefed on the situation but it is important for him to stay focused, to continue to govern. he has a huge infrastructure bill. we just got a big blow to voting rights today. we have a voting rights bill that needs to be passed. let the courts handle trump and the trump organization and see what happens, but i don't think biden should engage in this conversation. i appreciate him staying focused on the victims today. >> really good to see you. coming up next, his parents survived the holocaust and now he's been the target of anti-semitic acts. a look at the rise of an anti-semitism in europe, next. you already pay for car insurance,
2:36 pm
why not take your home along for the ride? allstate. here, better protection costs a whole lot less. you're in good hands. click or call to bundle today. i've got moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. now, there's skyrizi. with skyrizi, 3 out of 4 people achieved 90% clearer skin at 4 months, after just 2 doses. skyrizi may increase your risk of infections and lower your ability to fight them.
2:37 pm
before treatment, your doctor should check you for infections and tuberculosis. tell your doctor if you have an infection or symptoms such as fevers, sweats, chills, muscle aches, or coughs or if you plan to or recently received a vaccine. ♪ nothing is everything ♪ now is the time to ask your dermatologist about skyrizi. replace old pipes? i can do that. install energy-efficient windows? i can do that. build an electric car? i can do that. weld the tower of a wind turbine? modernize the grid? install 10,000 solar panels? do what i've been doing my whole life? rebuild the country and protect america against climate change? we can do that.
2:38 pm
2:39 pm
we have some breaking news for you in our national lead. rescue operations have resumed
2:40 pm
at the site of the condo collapse in surfside, florida. the town's mayor says the operations were paused earlier today when the debris shifted and engineers were worried that the remaining building could topple. 18 people are confirmed dead, 145 remain missing. turning to our world lead, we continue our series on the disturbing rise of anti-semitism across the globe. yesterday we looked at what's happening in the united states. today cnn's melissa bell focuses on europe, where the scars of the last century have not healed and new incidents of hatred are sadly increasing. [ speaking foreign language] >> reporter: andy rosen knows all about where hate can lead. his grandparents survived the holocaust. they always warned him to keep his head down because there might be more to come. last august, they were proved right. rosen was targeted along with his synagogue in austria.
2:41 pm
its walls made from the bricks of the synagogue destroyed in 1938 defaced. >> after this attack, those warnings of my grandparents kind of flashed back and this made me very, very sorry and brought tears into my heart and my face. >> reporter: a few days later just outside the synagogue, rosen was chased by a man wielding a baseball bat but managed to get back into his car just in time. >> i've been physically attack ed it is different than being verbally attacked which i'm used to because anti-semitism has risen in the last year. >> reporter: in to 20 anti-semitic incidents in austria reached their highest level since the country began keeping records 90 years ago.
2:42 pm
incidents rose as much as 30% according to a german watchdog. protesters demonstrating against restrictions held signs depicting forced vaccinations by jews and two men were shouted at. whenever there has a pandemic they have come to the fore again. >> reporter: anti-semitic attacks have been rising for years. from a deadly standoff in 2015 at a kosher supermarket in paris to vienna where four were killed in a rampage outside a synagogue last year. and then there is the desecration of jewish graves like these in eastern france. in brussels, a rabbi now wears a baseball cap when he goes out to hide his very identity.
2:43 pm
>> translator: of course i wear a yi don't mean ka at home. i think that as well as being vigilant we must tackle the evil at the root of the problem and that is about being different. >> reporter: the holocaust killed an estimated 6 million jews in europe. as living memory gives way to fading footage, so denial grows and hate speech returns. as well as the tension around covid lockdowns, the violence between israel and hamas in the middle east also drives hate towards jews across europe, like here in berlin or in brussels. >> indeed the technical increase
2:44 pm
in expressions of anti-semitism and anti-semitic violence, but if we look more broadly at the phenomenon of anti-semitism in europe we see that much older and much wiser and it's really a european issue. >> reporter: the hate is also spreading online, according to human rights watch. horrific cartoons like this one depicting jews with a big hooked nose, or this one in france of a conspiracy theory blaming jews for the pandemic and shared, he says mistakenly, by a candidate in recent regional elections. the european commission has a deal with tech companies to remove offensive content within 24 hours, but only once it's been alerted. this is the memorial in the very heart of vienna to the 65,000 austrian jews who were deported during world war ii. most did not survive. it's a reminder of where words and conspiracy theory can meet,
2:45 pm
but it's also a reminder of europe's own very violent home grown history of anti-semitism that has never quite disappeared. prayers continue to be heard all over europe. from the center of paris to the old synagogue in vienna. andy rosen says his grandparents' approach of keeping a hoe plow profile afte holocaust was understandable but ultimately misguided. european jews keeping their heads down, he says, has not prevents anti-semitism from rearing its head once again. >> contrary to my grandparents, i will tell my son or i will tell young jewish people to be proud of being jewish. >> reporter: jake, one of the figures that struck us the most as we began to dig into this
2:46 pm
problem was that it is 9 out of 10 european jews who now feel that anti-semitism is rising in their own countries, which means that just 80 years after the holocaust began, a lifetime, people are beginning to forget here in europe precisely what the world vowed it never would. >> thank you so much. coming up, we're live on the ground in afghanistan. we'll tell you what a top afghan official just shared with cnn. stay with us. but if you're a kid with diabetes, it's more. it's the simple act of enjoying time with friends, knowing you understand your glucose levels. ♪
2:47 pm
2:48 pm
2:49 pm
this isn't just a walk up the stairs. when you have an irregular heartbeat, it's more. it's dignity. the freedom to go where you want, knowing your doctor can watch over your heart. ♪
2:50 pm
in our worldly today, a cnn
2:51 pm
exclusive. one of the top leaders in afghanistan telling cnn there is no guarantee that the country will not become a safe haven for terrorists again once forces leave. they are admitting that the taliban have gained ground in recent weeks. anna, you just spoke with him. what did he have to tell you about the u.s. withdrawal and his concerns about the rise again of the taliban? >> reporter: yeah, jake. we have yet to hear from any of the afghans leaders since the taliban launched their massive offensive, you know, claiming so much territory, which coincides with the u.s. withdrawal. but we did sit down with dr. abdullah today at his home. he gave a very frank overview as to what the situation is at the moment. and that is the taliban is gaining momentum. they are seizing territory, and it has caught government officials and afghan national
2:52 pm
security forces off guard. in relation to the u.s. withdrawal, he said this is not the choice of the afghan people. this is not what they would have chosen, but that this is the reality. we have to live with it. they are not being abandoned. america will continue to support afghanistan. what i found particularly alarming was when i asked him whether he could guarantee if afghanistan could remain not become a save haven for terrorists again. take a listen to what he said. >> i do not think there is a guarantee. taliban have failed their promise that they will de-link with al-qaeda and other terrorist groups. we don't have many signs of that. so that's the danger. for us as well as for the region. >> reporter: and certainly for every u.s. military leader that i have ever spoken to when i
2:53 pm
have come to afghanistan, that was their mission, to make sure that afghanistan was never a safe haven for terrorists again. dr. abdullah also spoke about the challenges facing this government. peace talks are virtually nonexistent. they have made little, if no, progress. and he said he's under no illusion that the taliban want peace. you know, when i asked him about the mass exodus of afghans wanting to flee the country because they feel they have no future here, this is what he had to say. >> our people are going through very, very difficult times. the world has supported us and we will continue to support. but it is only us who can save it. those who believe in military takeover take responsibility for the continuation of the misery of the people.
2:54 pm
and they will not have their ideas materialized. >> reporter: he knows there are tough days ahead, jake. >> and, anaa, what do we know about how much ground the taliban has gained in recent weeks? >> reporter: yeah. look, the numbers vary depending if you speak to the taliban or if you speak to the government. but certainly the data that we are looking at, it is over 100 over 370 districts. that works out to be more than 50% of the territory. the taliban are yet to seize any provincial capitols, but here we are in kabal. the taliban is 10 to 15 kilometers away. they are continuing to release propaganda video on a daily basis. this is another war that is ongoing. and the most recent video shows the taliban, as they claim,
2:55 pm
taking another district as well as seizing equipment from the afghan national security forces, equipment, i should add, jake, that is u.s.-funded. >> thanks so much. we'll be right back. rugs starting at $39.99. but you'll make 'em look like a million bucks. home. there's no place like it.
2:56 pm
2:57 pm
cookies and breyers. that's like getting two desserts! wait... do we have to thank our moms twice?
2:58 pm
i don't know... (laughs) breyers. 100% grade a milk and cream, and loaded with delicious cookie pieces. better starts with breyers. talk to me. what do we got? when you have xfinity xfi, with blazing speed... [ screaming ]
2:59 pm
a powerful connection. that's another level. and ultimate control. power us up. you can do more than you ever thought possible. yes! hold on. get a powerful and secure connection you can count on. only with xfinity xfi. and see f9 only in theaters. ♪ ♪ to our viewers in the united states and around the world, welcome to "the situation room". take a look at this video from los angeles overnight. that's a bomb disposal truck exploding. police officers were intentional nay detonating improvised explosives after they were tipped off to the massive stash, according to officials. but something went very, very
3:00 pm
wrong. >> something happened in that containment vehicle that should not have happened. and we don't know why. >> 17 people including 10 law enforcement officers were injured by the last. our coverage continues now with one mr. wolf blitzer live from surf side, florida. this is cnn breaking news. >> welcome to our viers here in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." we're live in florida following breaking news. we're standing by for a news conference on the collapsed condo search and rescue effort, which the surf side mayor now says has just resumed after being halted over concern of further collapse. also, president biden meeting first responders and families of the victims.
3:01 pm