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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  July 5, 2021 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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but experts are also warning our new freedom from covid-19 is cloud ed by the fast spreading delta variant. an eye popping admission by former president trump. he seems to be acknowledging the central facts of the criminal fraud case against his company. we want to welcome our viewers here in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. this is a situation room special report. we begin this hour at surf side, florida with rosa flores who is on the scene for us. 27 deaths, 27 deaths have now been confirmed. 118 people are still missing. update our viewers on the very latest. you're there. >> reporter: wolf, a lot of mixed emotions here after the demolition of this partial building. look, yes, it did expand the
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surge. but for the surviving families it was a devastating move. some of them telling us they couldn't bear to watch everything they owned coming crashing down in a matter of moments. tonight thanks to the demolition sunday of the last standing portion, the search of the tower south rubble is widening. >> truly we could not continue without bringing this building down. as we speak, the teams are working on that part of the pile that was not accessible before the building was demolished. >> reporter: the controlled demolition, authorities say, a necessary step, given the threat of approaching tropical storm elsa whose impacts could arise starting tonight. >> that storm could initiate a conversation about the necessity to bring that building down because the worst thing that could happen is have a storm come in and blow that building down on top of the pile. >> reporter: a lot of emotions for the surviving residents as
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families were not allowed in to get their belongings. >> the icing on the cake for their disaster, you know, they were evacuated. they saw their friends and neighbors, some of them killed, some of them missing. and now they have lost everything. >> reporter: absent the teetering structure, first responders were allowed for the first time to target areas deemed no search zones due to their dangerous proximity to the once standing partial structure. >> now that that tower has been brought down, we're able to focus our efforts on that area that was unable to be searched. >> reporter: on day 12, officials are still calling it a search and rescue mission. but the commander of the israeli search team preparing surviving families for the worst. >> i said to the families two days ago that the chances to find somebody alive is close to zero. i'm realistic, but we are still full of hope. >> reporter: new internal documents shedding new light on the urgent need for $15 million
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worth of repairs that were delayed for years. one of the slides for a series of presentations is titled "why we have to do all of this now." a driveway on tp of the garage had poor drainage, design flaw. and a third said there is no waterproofing layer over the garage in the driveway or any area except the pool deck and plantars. this has exposed the garage to water intrusion for 40 years. where there is waterproofing, it has failed. water has gotten underneath and caused additional damage to the concrete. when asked if the design flaws were being investigated, officials said it is too early to talk about the investigation. >> we're focussing on recovering victims right now. but this will be a long process as has been stated and it will be very thorough. >> reporter: but the concerns grow over the occupied towers north, a sister building that was built about the same time.
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>> there is some anxiety about the sister building, which really has the same name, the same developer, the same plans, probably the same materials. and until we know why this building fell down, that one is in question. >> reporter: wolf, i want to show you some video that i just obtained from florida task force, too. it shows the footprint of the demolition. this video was shot earlier today and provided to us. you can see and just how officials had described to us that the demolition was going to happen very close to the base of the actual building. if you look closely, even the front sign of the building is still standing. wolf, i have been in contact with search and rescuers here today all day. they tell me that regardless if it's been raining or the sun is shining here, their search and rescue mission continues. >> thank you very much.
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you have been doing an excellent job from the very beginning. we'll stay in close touch with you. thank you very much. one of the top officials keeping the public informed about the condo disaster, the mayor of miami-dade county. mayor, thank you so much for joining us. thanks for all you are doing. can you tell us whether the bodies found today were found because search and rescue teams were finally able to access new areas of the rubble pile after the demolition. >> thank you, wolf. exactly. that is what happened. this was the area that we were very, very eager to get to. we hadn't been able to get to it because that rubble pile was holding up that remaining tower. so until the tower came down, we could not put our people there to search and rescue safely. and also, this is the area where the fire had occurred. so there is -- it was critical that we get there. and today starting fully at 1:00
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a.m., they were there exploring that pile and of course they did find some additional bodies. >> when you and i spoke on friday, mayor, you spoke about it being a while, maybe even weeks before the demolition could go forward. was it solely the possibility of a direct hit by this tropical storm elsa that accelerated the time line? because it went very, very quickly. >> so we did not know about this method of demolition. it came to us through the florida department of transportation contractor that had worked with this demolition expert and at the time that i announced that our engineers were telling us the time line, which would have been of course a few weeks, this came up immediately thereafter. and we all moved on it quickly. i want to say that the governor was clear from the beginning he would absorb the cost. he thought it was so important and we all did to move forward. yes, the storm was approaching. we did not want this building to
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fall where it may. we wanted it to be controlled, and we were assured that this company could bring it down as was proven to be correct in that footprint. >> you are getting a lot of praise for your decision, which i know wasn't easy by any means. what can you tell us about changes of the search and rescue effort after the demolition? >> so they have been in on this area, the pile b have also cont explore other areas. and i do want to go back and of course acknowledge the pain and suffering of those who lost all theibelongings as a result of this demolition. and the building was so unstable it was actually shifting and the supporting were wholly inadequate and it was extremely, extremely dangerous to leave that building standing. >> have you spoken with family members of the missing after the
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remaining structure was demolished? i know so many of the surviving families who managed to get out, as you correctly point out as we heard from rosa flores were upset they couldn't at least go back into their apartments and bring out their cherished valuables. >> right, of course. look, this situation is unprecedented, unimaginable. it's a catastrophe all around. many people have died. a few may still be there in the rubble and of course those who lost their belongings, and there is enough suffering to go around. we are suffering with them. we have been in constant communication with the families, those who have come to pray and hope for their loved ones and those who were evacuated from the building, all of them. >> you are the mayor of miami-dade county. a huge county. what is the long-term mayor, to deal with the possibility, maybe the real possibility that many more condo
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buildings in your area will be found to have major structural problems? >> so as a county, we are responsible for those buildings outside of the cities, but we also play a role in bringing people together. we're talking with our sister cities. we're looking at things we could do that would improve the standards for review, the standards for reporting, the qualifications of those doing the inspections, and so on many, many factors we would be looking at, the county commission, the state government all would be looking at ways to improve this process so that we know that people will be safe. we have already done our deep dive in our 40-year recertification progress at the county in our 40 or so buildings that we identified. only one had significant risk. that was for balconies. we closed off the balconies.
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north miami beach went ahead and with a late recertification that they received, the signs that they should evacuate, and that is what they did. >> mayor, good luck. we're praying together with you. i know you got a lot going on. thanks for joining us. >> thank you so much, wolf. all right. let's bring in two experts right now, rick is a structural engineer and the former chief of medical operations for a fema search and federal task force based in florida. joe, based on what you just heard from the mayor, does it look like officials made the right call by demolishing the remaining part of this structure as soon as possible so they could speed up the search process? >> absolutely, wolf. they made the fantastic decision. thank you, mayor, and thank you to those involved that opened up another quadrant for them to be able to access that pile. i know that she did elude to the
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fact that that pile was holding up that sister building that was still standing. and of course bringing that down allowed that void space to be in there and offers a little bit of hope and more prayers there is a possibility of that miracle to still happen in finding survivors. >> we're praying for that miracle of course like everyone else. let me get your thoughts on the newly revealed documents presented to residents of that condo building. back in late 2020 showing what was described as major structural damage to the concrete slab below the pool deck and entrance drive. does that tell you anything about a potential drive behind this collapse? >> it does in part. if you recall in the 2018 report that was done that one of the highlights in there was the fact that the waterproofing was not operating or functioning properly and part of the recommendation was to fully
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remove that slab. and, again, from my perspective, if i will be moving the entire slab instead of doing it partially, that tells me there is a big problem. so the powerpoint as understood was identifying those areas of being of concern and is consistent with that report of 2018. so i do believe that that was potentially a factor. the other issue that comes to play and i think if you take all the photographs that have been able to date and you look at the system, potentially that slab, which was referred to in the report and again in the homeowner's presentation, if those areas had failed, that alone is not necessarily a problem. but they're tied together and potentially have the ability to drag the other components of the building down. and from my perspective, it looks like the lower level columns were impacted. those columns rely upon basically the bracing or the lateral support from those slabs. if that's taken away, the capacity of that column is
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reduced. if it is reduced, it could contribute to the collapse. >> rick and joe, gentlemen, thank you so much for joining us as the search continues in surf side. tropical storm elsa is churning closer and closer tonight. let's go to tom. tom, you are tracking the storm. what is the latest forecast? >> well, things are going to start to go downhill for all of florida. already at 3:00 p.m., 3:30, we had a severe thunderstorm warning for miami-dade. inside that warning a tornado warning. that's the biggest concern. right now it is flooding like crazy in west central cuba. towns are already swelling. they're already going to see 8 to 10, 15 inches of rain. we're not going to see that. we have been watching elsa since 30. it was a hurricane in the caribbean. but the shift -- track has been
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shifting west ward, which is good. land fall wednesday morning. north up around cedar key or just north of that. this is not going to become a hurricane. but there is still a risk. the surf now, we're looking at the storm surge up to 5 feet. heavier rain fall will be on that side. the winds will stay away from surf side. this is still where they're sustained. it doesn't mean they will not see gusts. that's the issue. the probably is offshore for the stronger winds, but it is not zero. as mentioned, at 3:30 this afternoon, thunderstorms moved in on the site. that's the fear going forward. it's not so much the strong winds that you will see at 60 miles an hour on the keys or 40 to 50 on the west coast, but the chance of rain fall. i want to show you a radar forecast. it is the outer bands that will still a concern. when they move in overnight and tomorrow, they will be feeding on shore. these can spin up a small
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tornado that can damage a storm. it won't be until tomorrow afternoon that they will be in the clear. they're watching this closely. the national weather service will issue the warning for the crews so they can clear. by tomorrow afternoon, it is safe for them. then the system moves all the way up the east coast. a rainmaker for west florida and heavy amounts of rain on the east coast. >> tom reporting for us. thank you very much. just ahead, president biden marks the july 4th holiday by declaring the nation is close to ib depe independence from covid but is he celebrating too soon? this is a situation special report. when technology is easier to use... ♪ barriers don't stand a chance. ♪
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tonight americaning are wrapping up an extraordinary holiday weekend. president biden now leading the nationg july 4th and our progression against covid-19. but he can't ignore potential threats as the delta variant is spreading and vaccinations are lagging. lucy, it's been great to see so many people getting together for the holiday, but there are very real concerns moving forward. >> that's right, wolf. those concerns center on how to get unvaccinated americans to get the jab. we have made tremendous progress in this country in turning the corner in the fight against covid-19. but the biggest concern right now is how to get unvaccinated americans vaccinated because that will be the key of curbing the spread of this virus. >> despite having missed its
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target to get one shot into 70% of adults by july 4th, the white house is celebrating. >> today we are closer than ever from declaring our independence from a deadly virus. >> welcoming essential workers and military personnel on the south lawn this weekend. >> while the virus hasn't been vanquished, we know this. it no longer controls our lives. >> touting progress in vaccinating over 67% of american adults as the more infectious delta variant continues to spread. >> we're further along that anyone would have anticipated at this point. if you are not vaccinated, you are not protected. so we will double down on our efforts to vaccinate millions of more americans across july and august. >> for the unvaccinated, it is a major threat. >> the problem is in areas of the country where you don't have a significant part of the country, particularly young people. in those places the delta variant will spread because it is highly transmissible and it
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will affect a lot of those people not yet vaccinated or not yet infected with covid. >> more than 99% of u.s. covid-19 deaths in june were among unvaccinated people according to anthony fauci. >> if you look at the number of deaths, about 99.2% of them are unvaccinated. we have a big country. >> alabama, arkansas, louisiana, mississippi and wyoming among those falling behind on vaccinations prompting fears about a looming surge in cases. >> you expect to spikes in certain states, cities or counties. i don't think you will be seeing anything nationwide because fortunately we have a substantial proportion of the population vaccinated. >> thanks to vaccines, america does appear to be on the road to recovery, making the nation's second pandemic birthday
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celebration look very different from the last. >> new data shows states with below vaccination rates have three times the number of covid cases, compared to states with higher levels of vaccinations. it is another statistical reminder that getting the vaccine is the biggest tool in american's arsenal in turning the corner on the pandemic. thanks so much for joining us. do you agree first of all with president biden when he says we're closer than ever to declaring our independence from covid, or is it too soon to celebrate? >> wolf, thanks of all, thanks for having me back. i agree with president biden. we made incredible progress and for parts of the country, the pandemic is largely under control. places with high vaccination
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rates i think can feel very good about that. and the country overall has made terrific progress. but there are clearly gaps and there are areas where we need to do more work. >> how concerned should we be about places in the country with low vaccination rates? will those communities become breeding grounds for new variants? >> well, we're starting to see places starting to have relatively big spikes from the delta variant. we have seen in arkansas and missouri and wyoming, many of the states mentioned by lucy in the last report, those are the places where we will see more hospitalizations and deaths as well, unfortunately. any time you have large outbreaks, it does become a breathing ground for potentially more variants. >> how worried should americans be about this delta variant, especially if they live in a community with low vaccination rates? >> well, if you are fully vaccinated, no matter where you are, first of all, you are very protected. i would if i were in one of
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those communities, i would exercise a little bit of caution, places where i might encounter unvaccinated people. you really are in much, much better shape. you are unlikely to get sick or hospitalized or end up dying. >> in los angeles county, officials are encouraging residents to start wearing masks indoors once again even if they have been fully vaccinated. do fully vaccinated people need to wear masks or take any other precautions? what do you think? >> this is controversial. the way i thought about this is if you are in a low infection high vac sinuation area, you don't need to be wearing a mask indoors if you are fully vaccinated. if i were in southwest missouri right now, i'm fully vaccinated, but i would be wearing a mask indoors. it has to be tailers to local conditions. >> doctor, as usual, thanks so much for joining us. >> thank you. coming up, did former
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president trump give prosecutors a gift by appearing to admit the facts of their tax fraud case against his family business? and we expect a news briefing any moment now on the florida condo collapse. we expect it to begin at any moment. every day in business brings something new. so get the flexibility of the new mobile service designed for your small business. introducing comcast business mobile. you get the fastest, most reliable network with nationwide 5g included. and you can get unlimited data for just 30 dollars per line per month when you get four lines- or mix and match data options. available now for comcast business internet customers with no line-activation fees or term contract required. see if you can save by switching today. comcast business. powering possibilities.
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we're expecting a news conference on the surf side condo collapse to start at any moment. you are looking at live pictures coming in right now. we will go there once it begins. we will update our viewers on the latest developments. right now we want to break down the potential legal fall-out for
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former president trump after he made a rather surprising admission. he appeared to acknowledge the core facts behind new criminal tax fraud charges against the trump organization and its chief financial officer allen weisselberg. listen to some of what the former president had to say. >> they go after good, hard working people for not paying taxes on a company car. company car. you didn't pay taxes on the car or a company apartment. you used an apartment because you needed an apartment because you have to travel too far where your house is. you didn't pay tax. or education for your grandchildren. i don't even know. do you have to -- does anybody know the answer to that stuff? >> let's talk about that with cnn senior legalan, the chief washington correspondent for "politico." so the former president once
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claimed we knew more about taxes than anyone else on earth. listen to this. >> i know about tax abatements. i know more about taxes than any human being that god ever created. >> that was back in 2016. now he claims ignorance while admitting to almost everything prosecutors have alleged. what do you make of that defense. >> it wasn't that shocking. >> hold on for one moment. we'll get back to you. but the news conference with the mayor of miami-dade is beginning. >> and we're able to report that the search and rescue team has been able to search all sections of the grid on the collapse following the building demolition. now that the entire area is safe to search. and so the teams have now removed over 4.8 million pounds of concrete from the pile as they're searching through the evidentiary debris. the bad weather, unfortunately,
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has caused some temporary pauses of the work, specifically lightening, which as you know is not safe for conducting the search effort. it does force us to stop to protect the safety of our first responders. but through the team's ongoing search efforts today, we have recovered another victim. the number of confirmed deaths is now 28. with 26 identified, 191 accounted for and 117 unaccounted for. and i want to remind everyone once again that our detectives are continuously auditing the list to verify all the reports of potentially missing people and as a result these numbers will likely shift. i'm in awe of the men and women of the task force teams who have been continuing to brave dangerous and changing
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conditions for 12 days. fire, smoke and now wind and torrential rain. they are continuing the mission and the search of the collapsed area. they have worked under this great difficulty, and they have pulled shifts to rotate because that's how much they want to be out there searching. the first responders are the most frustrated by any delays we have experienced. truly they live to save lives. and they have pushed ahead no matter what is thrown in their way. and our community and the whole nation and world is forever grateful to them as we have watched them labor to save lives and find people. and as we're experiencing now the outer bands of tropical storm elsa, we have seen this inplemt weather on some tornado warnings across the country. if you do not need to be out tonight, please try to stay home to avoid any potentially
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dangerous conditions on the roads. and i also want to remind our community that all county departments will be operating as normal tomorrow. i want to take a moment to thank all of you, the members of the media, for your own extraordinary efforts over these past 12 days. i know that reporting this tragedy and telling the stories of those who have been lost and those who are grieving is not easy for you either. i have spoken to you. i have seen it in your faces. i know that it's very, very personal for you. so on behalf of this community, we're deeply grateful for all of you and especially i want to mention to reporters at the miami herald and so many other journalists for the care and attention they have given for telling the stories of these individual families and what they have gone through, the impact that it's had in making sure that the world knows that they have lived lives that have
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now been lost that we celebrate, that we remember. thank you for helping to remind us of all of our shared humanity and making sure that these stories are not forgotten. >> all right. we're going to continue to monitor the news conference. very strong, powerful words from the miami-dade major. 28, 28 confirmed deaths. 26 of them have now been identified. 117 people still unaccounted for, still missing. rosa flores is our correspondent on the ground for us in surf side, florida right now. 12 days. it seems every day, rosa, we seem to get one or two or three more confirmed deaths. it is a relatively slow process. do they anticipate now with the demolition of the rest of that condominium building things will move a little bit more quickly? >> absolutely, wolf. as the mayor just mentioned
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there, now they are actually searching the entire grid, the entire pile. before they had told us that they couldn't access about one-third of the site because of the building and because of the dangers -- the partial building, i should say, and because of the dangers it posed to search and rescue teams. i have been in contact with some of the search and rescue teams today. they say they're focussing on the areas where the bedrooms are. that's where search and rescue teams where the residents of this building were at 1:30 in the morning when this collapse happened. they are following the areas where they believe these bedrooms were looking for signs of life. the other thing they're doing, and this is very important for the families is they're also cataloging all of the personal belongings that they have found. wolf, you and i have talked to some of these families. some of them, this is the only thing they will have from their loved ones. and city officials say they want
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to make sure that these items are cataloged and they're returned eventually to the families. >> yes. and so many of those families, rosa, as you and i know they really would have loved, the ones who survived, to go back into their apartments before the building was demolished to find some of their cherished items, photographs, whatever, jewelry, diplomas. but it was deemed simply too dangerous to even allow them to do that, right? >> you're absolutely right. from the get-go, search and rescue teams said that it was too dangerous to enter this building. despite those dangers, the building was searched three ti times as they were looking for pets. the mayor saying that pets weren't found, even though drones were used as well. i can tell you that i talked to one man, one survivor this morning by the memorial wall who said that it was very difficult
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for him to see that this building, the partial portion of the building was demolished because the one thing, wolf, that he wanted to recover was a photograph of his mother. he shared with me how every single morning that he saw this picture of his mother, he was re-energized. and now he hopes to recover that picture. >> let's hope that happens. rosa, thank you very, very much. rosa flores on the scene for us. we will continue our special coverage here in the situation room right after this. ♪ ♪ ♪ hey google, turn up the heat. ♪ ♪ ♪ among my patients i often see them
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sure, it's for a good cause. but a good cause shouldn't mean sacrificing a good time. ♪ all right. let's pick up our conversation about former president trump apparently acknowledging the core facts behind new criminal tax fraud charges against his business. our senior legal analyst laura coats is still with us, along with brian lizza, the chief washington correspondent for "politico." laura, when i interrupted you, we were talking about former
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president donald trump talking about everything he has been accused of doing, right? >> right. how shocking. this is why defense attorneys don't want their clients talking. he does make admissions that could be consequential to the organization and allen weisselberg as well. the charging documents talk about allen weisselberg performing this task with others. we have not named who that is. i got the impression that former president trump, who said that everybody else new much less than he did about taxes, that he almost had this attitude of, well, sure, one could essentially evade taxes. but what's the big deal, as long as it's not murder? equating the two of them, obviously they're distinct and different and there should be accoun accountability. but violating our tax laws is a violation of the law. it seems like he did. >> he's clearly trying to play this out in the court of public opinion among his base, if you will, using his old tactics to
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fight this new fight. is that right? >> yeah, absolutely. this is what obviously he did as president. and because the sort of justice system for presidents is basically political, right, the remedy was impeachment because the justice department decided you can't indict a sitting president, you know, i guess that made a lot of sense to treat it purely -- you know, the various controversies that came up during his presidency. it made sense for him to treat it strictly as a political issue. obviously as a private citizen where he can be indicted, it is very different. and those rules don't apply. if he gets caught up in the criminal justice system, if these -- if these cases, this prosecutor comes after him, it's, you know, public opinion might be great. it might be on his side. there will be a lot of people angry and e grieved about it. but it's not going to affect
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prosecutors' case and as laura points out might have a detrimental effect on his defense. >> laura, actually, eric trump made similar remarks on fox news last week. listen to this. >> these are employment perks. these are -- you know, these are a corporate car which everybody has. i guarantee you people on this network have corporate cars. this is what they're going after. this isn't a criminal matter. >> so will prosecutors, laura, be able to use that in their case against the trump organization? >> well, they could. but first of all, there goes that court of public opinion that common man and every woman defense. who among us has not had a corporate car or education for their children or grandchildren paid for by a company. eric did not talk about the latter and just talked about the car. but the idea here of course is
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remember the charging documents, although they have begun of course with allen weisselberg and the trump organization, it has not named specific aside from that particular person. so the more people that talk about this issue and essentially confirm what the d a's office already said in an indictment, the worse is for them to say, yes, we knew about certain things and we knew it and it was okay. what the tax code clearly says, it's not. >> ryan, does it sound like former president trump is using this case as part of a perhaps a political comeback? >> you know, i think he would be -- he would find other cases and other things to be angry about and reasons to be egrieved, right? but he is clearly using this whole play book of, you know, pick your term, the deep state,
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his enemies on the left trying to take him down and we've seen over and over again that does have a galvanizing effect on his supporters where they do think people are out to get trump. and if you watch the media that his supporters tend to play closest attention to, this story is being played in a very, very different way with the trump organization as essentially a victim. >> thank you very much. be sure to join laura later tonight, 10:00 p.m. eastern when she fills in for don lemon on don lemon tonight. laura, we of course will be watching. just ahead, new details of an hour's long standoff between an extremist group and police that shut down parts of interstate i-95.
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tonight we're learning new details of two little known extremist groups including one involved in a nine-hour standoff with police that actually closed part of interstate 95. cnn national correspondent brynn gingras has the latest. >> reporter: two extremist groups surfacing this holiday weekend. >> we are on interstate 95. >> reporter: a standoff on the highway in massachusetts between an anti-government group and police. and a white nationalist hate group marching in the streets of philadelphia. >> they pose a real threat to everyone in our communities. >> reporter: in massachusetts,
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11 men, including a 17-year-old facing several firearms related charges. >> everyone remain calm! >> reporter: state police stumbled on the group early saturday morning. the men were on the side of the road refueling their trucks with gasoline from canisters they carried with them. many were wearing full tactical gear and they were armed. a standoff with authorities unfolded, shutting down the highway and forcing nearby neighborhoods into a shelter in place situation. >> you can imagine 11 armed individuals standing with longguns slung on an interstate highway at 2:00 in the morning certainly raises concerns and is not consistent with the firearms laws that we have here in massachusetts. >> reporter: in livestreams posted on lines, they were called the rise of the moors which seems to be connected to the moors movement which claims
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an 1827 treaty with morocco grants them special rights. there is little else known about them, but the law center which tracks extremist groups says they're gaining followers. >> they don't get driver's licenses, they don't seek gun licenses, they don't pay taxes to the u.s. government. they try to recruit followers to heir country that they've declared by seeking people who might be down on their luck. >> reporter: after about nine hours, the standoff ended peacefully but police seized eight guns, including assault rifles, as the investigation continues into this group with the help of the fbi. in the streets of philadelphia saturday -- >> too scared to take the mask off! >> reporter: -- a different extremist organization. about 200 members of the patriot front who was identified as a white supremacist group carried flags and chanted about a stolen
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le election. >> when something is stolen, you believe you can get it back rightfully through violence. that's what we're seeing through the radicalized right wing groups. >> reporter: the groups had several batd encounters with th public, including throwing a smoke bomb to run away from authorities. the mayor of philadelphia tweeted this, appalled these groups chose philly as the place to demonstrate their hatred. racism, intolerance and hate have no place here. >> philadelphia police would not comment how many arrests were with that demonstration. if so, how many. wolf? >> brynn gingras reporting. let's get more. law enforcement analyst charles ramsey is joining us and phil mudd is with us, a former cia counterterrorism official. chief ramsey, as i said, you're the former police commissioner
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in philadelphia. how does it feel to watch this white supremacist group march through the streets of philadelphia, harass the public and not a single one of them has actually been arrested? >> it doesn't feel good at all. >> as far as we know, i should say. >> it doesn't feel good at all, but i'm right here in philadelphia. i had no idea that this had even taken place until this morning when i turned on cnn and i saw it. so i don't know how much advance warning they got, if police were deployed. it would have been smart on their part if they kept it quiet because i guarantee they would have had thousands of counter-demonstrators had people really known about it. >> phil, when you hear about this group in massachusetts who don't believe the laws of the united states apply to them, what goes through your mind? >> how to catch them. my spirs response as someone who served in the fbi is to keep people safe. you saw that confrontation on
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the highway. that was not a safe experience. if you look at groups like this and the rise of groups like this and political encouragement for them to believe that the government is after them, that the election is fraudulent, that the government has people that are deep state people who don't represent their interests, you look at this and say how do you collect intelligence on people in 50 states who may be in grums as small as 12, 24, 36 people? you can't gather intelligence on that, wolf. this is a witch's brew of point of impact w-- people who don't believe the government represents them. >> government has warned that direct extremism is a threat to the united states right now. is that what we're seeing play out in these types of incidents, whether in philadelphia or massachusetts? >> we're certainly starting to see more and more of it. january 6 certainly gave us a taste of what could happen, but we're starting to see more and more of these groups just come out from underneath the cover,
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wherever they were hiding before. and now it's getting to the point where they're out there to march in philadelphia on the fourth of july and feel comfortable doing it. i mean, you know, this is dgoin to lead to some serious violent confrontations with some demonstrators at some point in time, and police are going to have to be very, very aware of that and take extraordinary steps to contain violence. >> what does philadelphia need to do to fight back against these demonstration extremist groups? >> they have to turn to leadership, including congress, and have that leadership get on tv and say, this is not acceptable. it's a leadership problem, it's not an fbi problem, wolf. >> thank you for joining us. chief ramsey and phil mudd. it's a huge problem. i've spoken to federal officials and they're very, very concerned about what's going on, not only
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in massachusetts or philadelphia, but throughout the country right now. an enormous problem seems to be getting worse. to our viewers, thanks very much for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in the situation room. you can always follow me on fw twitter and instagram at wolf blitzer. you can tweet the show show @cnnblitzroom. "out front" starts now. the death toll is rising as crews sadly pull another body from the debris of the florida condo collapse. plus, white nationalists echoing trump's big lie as they march through the city of philadelphia. that city's republican commissioner, al smith, who has pushed back against trump's baseless claims, is our guest. an urgent manhunt is now underway this hour after a golf pro and two other people were found dead on a country club golf course just outside atlanta. let's go "out

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