09:13 AM ET, February 12th, 2015

Two new CNN Original Series will premiere Sunday, March 1st with Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact, Forgery (produced by Nutopia) airing at 9pm ET/PT, followed by the The Wonder List with Bill Weir at 10 pm ET/PT (produced by CNN). Loved and worshipped by billions, Jesus of Nazareth is, unquestionably, the most famous person of the last […] Full Post

February 22nd, 2015
03:03 PM ET

Gov. Kasich: fighting ISIS "at some point it will require boots on the ground"

CNN’s State of the Union features Gloria Borger’s exclusive interview with Ohio Governor John Kasich (R-OH) about his possible presidential campaign, the Republican Party platform, and U.S. foreign policy.



Kasich on the 2016 election: “a Republican can't be elected president without winning Ohio, and if they're going to come to Ohio, extremism isn't going to work.”

Kasich on ISIS policy: “I'm just suggesting to you that at some point, in dealing with ISIS, you mark my words, whether John Kasich, you ever hear from him again, at some point it will require boots on the ground from the world to be able to deal with this problem. And I would rather deal with it sooner than later, but you just don't go running over there. You've got to have a battle plan, you've got to figure out exactly what you're going to do, but I would never suggest that we should engage in nation building, or trying to convert all these people to our way of life. We need stability, and we need to stop this.”

Kasich on Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech to Congress: “Well I'd have a meeting with him. We'd have a cup of coffee, why not? This is, they're making such a big deal. And the guy, you know, been invited to come speak to Congress. Let him speak, and the president can have a meeting with him, they don't have to have a photo op or anything but of course you go and you talk to him. I mean that's the way I look at it. I mean, but I'm not president again and I'm not sure I will ever be president, because I haven't decided whether I'm even going to try for that yet. 24:29 But what I would tell you is use common sense. You got a foreign leader coming, a great ally of ours, he's coming here. Was it handled in maybe a clumsy way? Okay, so it was. But look, get beyond that. See that's our problem, Gloria, we spend too much time either trying to be politically correct, play to the cameras, play to our base. 24:50 I worry about America. For the first time in my lifetime, I'm worried about us. I'm worried about how our values to some degree have been eroded, of personal responsibility and compassion, and teamwork. I worry about it, I worry about the fact that we're so divided. But do I think it can be fixed? I have no doubt, because I saw Ronald Reagan do it, and I've seen other great leaders throughout history. Harry Truman, whatever party they are they can bring us together, it can happen.”

Topics: CNN Politics • Gloria Borger • ISIS • Israel • State of the Union
February 22nd, 2015
02:47 PM ET

On GPS: A public dispute between U.S. & Israel

CNN’s FAREED ZAKARIA GPS features a political panel about ISIS and U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East with Graeme Wood, the author of What ISIS Really Wants, Shadi Hamid, a fellow at the Brookings Institution Center for Middle East Policy, and Peter Beinart, an associate professor of political science at the City University of New York and a CNN political commentator.


Beinart on Obama’s approach to ISIS: “From the point of view of American foreign policy, we, as a nation, have done best when we have defined our enemies narrowly. We did not fight a war - a cold war - against communism, or when we, and when we tried - for most - for our most effective periods of the Cold War, we allied with Yugoslavia, a communist country, against the Soviets. We allied with China against the Soviets. We narrowed our enemies and therefore put more strength on our side. What’s important about what Obama is doing is he's trying to keep our enemies narrow. We are going to need to ally with people who we call - maybe call themselves Islamists in order to defeat ISIS, maybe even people who call themselves Salafi jihadists, whatever that means, just as we allied with communists against the Soviet Union. We didn't fight all fascists in World War II. We never declared war on Franco's Spain. So I think the ideological part, while it's important, shouldn't be what drives American foreign policy.”

Wood on Jerusalem’s reaction to ISIS propaganda: “Certainly ISIS is no fan of Israel. But Israel's main point for ISIS is certainly its propaganda value, but also its place in the apocalypse. ISIS believes that it’s foretold that the armies of Islam will eventually rally around Jerusalem after being defeated, actually. So they believe that they will, after conquering a large area of land, eventually be reduced to a core of 5,000 fighters around Jerusalem. That's one of the most common ways that Jerusalem is referred to in the propaganda of ISIS.”

Hamid on ISIS’s targets of anger: “Where al Qaeda was obsessed with the West, ISIS is focused on Iraq, Syria, the immediate surroundings. They hate Arab rulers more than they hate Israeli leaders. And that does, that should affect how we react to them and how we think about the threat that they face. So in that sense, they're less of a direct threat on the American homeland, but they are very much a threat to Middle East stability.”

Beinart on Obama-Netanyahu rift: “The reason this clash is so fierce is it goes to the heart of the legacies of both men. Benjamin Netanyahu sincerely believes that he is Winston Churchill in the 1930s - the only person wise enough and brave enough to sound the alarm about a potential - about a potential Nazi-like threat. Barack Obama sees himself as much more akin, I would say, to Richard Nixon in the 1970s, trying to make - look at the possibilities of making an opening to Iran, which would be like an opening to China, which would rejigger the entire power balance in the Middle East and allow America to solve problems they can't solve now and put itself in a much stronger position. It's not just that these guys don't like each other. It's not just that Obama is a Democrat and that Netanyahu plays footsie with the Republicans all the time. It really goes to the core of the way they see themselves historically.”


Topics: Fareed Zakaria GPS • Iran • Iraq • ISIS • Israel
February 22nd, 2015
09:59 AM ET

DHS Sec: "very concerned" about independent terrorists in the US

Today on CNN’s State of the Union, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson joined Gloria Borger to comment on al-Shabaab’s recent terror threat, tension in Congress between immigration and the Department of Homeland Security’s funding, and Rudy Giuliani’s comments about President Obama.


On the nature of al-Shabaab’s recent terror threat: “We’re in an environment right now where I suspect these groups are competing for attention.  ISIL has received a lot of attention through their very effective use of the Internet, social media.  And we’re now seeing, for example, AQAP in its most recent addition of "Inspire", a whole chapter on how to build a nonmetallic device, as well as this most recent public cotton buds.  So, my concern is these groups were actually competing for attention and for fundraising and recruitment.”

On the safety of the Mall of America: “I would say that if anyone is planning to go to the Mall of America today, they’ve got to be particularly careful”

On appealing a federal judge’s decision to prohibit the processing of illegal immigrants: “We will appeal and we will seek a stay so that we can go back to implementation of our efforts to build accountability in the non-documented community.”

On Rudy Giuliani’s comments about Obama: “His comments were not helpful.  And I’m sorry to see statements like that coming from the former mayor whose response to 9/11 in 2001 I admired very much.  His response to me is a model for how government leaders should respond in times of crisis.  I think his most recent statements are very regrettable.”


Topics: Gloria Borger • ISIS • State of the Union
February 15th, 2015
02:15 PM ET

Putin's net-worth is $200 billion says Russia's once largest foreigner investor

CNN’s FAREED ZAKARIA GPS features an interview with Bill Browder, the CEO of Hermitage Capital Management, formerly Russia's largest foreign investor, and a once supporter of President Putin. He also describes the dynamics between power and wealth in Russia, claiming that during “the first eight or 10 years of Putin's reign over Russia, it was about stealing as much money as he could. And some people, including myself, believe that he's the richest man in the world, or one of the richest men in the world, with hundreds of billions of dollars of wealth that was stolen from Russia.”


On Putin’s networth: “I believe that it's $200 billion. After 14 years in power of Russia, and the amount of money that the country has made, and the amount of money that hasn't been spent on schools and roads and hospitals and so on, all that money is in property, bank - Swiss bank accounts, shares, hedge funds, managed for Putin and his cronies.”

On Putin and his cronies: “These guys killed Sergei Magnitsky, my lawyer, for money. They all got rich, they all got bank accounts and villas and cars. Why should we allow them to come to America, travel to America, keep their accounts here, spend that money?” FULL POST

February 15th, 2015
01:54 PM ET

Panetta: Netanyahu will "make this a partisan divide between Democrats and Republicans."

Today on CNN’s State of the Union, former Secretary of Defense and former director of the CIA, Leon Panetta, joined CNN’s Chief White House Correspondent, Jim Acosta, to discuss the instability in the Middle East, Putin’s aggressive foreign policy, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech to Congress, and President Obama’s performance regarding said issues.


Topics: Iraq • ISIS • Israel • Jim Acosta • Russia • State of the Union • Syria • Ukraine
DHS Secretary: gov shutdown "means furloughing employees"
February 8th, 2015
04:29 PM ET

DHS Secretary: gov shutdown "means furloughing employees"

Today on CNN’s State of the Union, Dana Bash speaks to the Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson about national security and the fate of Homeland Security funding.


 Johnson: Head of Secret Service to be chosen "soon"

Feds: People in U.S. in contact with ISIS

DHS Secretary on securing American hostages

Johnson: Furloughs coming at DHS if funding stalls


Johnson on the Congressional budget: I am on Capitol Hill now virtually every working day talking to Democrats and Republicans about the importance of a fully funded Department of Homeland Security in these times in particular. We're on a continuing resolution right now, which, as you point out, expires on February 27, which is less than 20 days at this point. And, as long as we're on a continuing resolution, that, in and of itself, creates uncertainty about how we go about our Homeland Security missions. And, if we go into government shutdown, for example, that means furloughing employees, furloughing Homeland Security officials. As Craig Fugate, the administrator of FEMA, pointed out the other day, if we go into government shutdown, he's got to furlough something like 80 percent of his FEMA work force. And so I'm on the Hill every day stressing the importance of a fully funded Department of Homeland Security, separate and apart from riders to try to defund our efforts to reform the immigration system.”

Johnson on the global terrorist threat: “We have evolved to a new phase in the global terrorist threat, in that, 13 years ago, when we were attacked on 9/11, we had a relatively conventional command-and-control structure from core al Qaeda that would dispatch, deploy operatives to commit terrorist acts. The situation now is more decentralized, more diffuse, and frankly more complex, in that terrorist organizations such as ISIL or al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula use the Internet, use social media to communicate and to inspire acts of terrorism in individuals' home countries.  And for that reason, we need to be particularly vigilant here at home, working with state and local law enforcement, working with the public through campaigns such As If You See Something, Say Something. “



Topics: CNN • Dana Bash • Iraq • ISIS • State of the Union
Cruz: No U.S. boots on the ground against ISIS
February 8th, 2015
04:18 PM ET

Cruz: No U.S. boots on the ground against ISIS

Today on CNN’s State of the Union, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) spoke to Dana Bash from the Munich Security Conference about the war on ISIS, violence in Ukraine, and his plans for 2016.


Cruz: No U.S. boots on the ground against ISIS

Is Ted Cruz the Republican Barack Obama?

Cruz: U.S. should provide defensive weapons to Ukraine

Sen. Ted Cruz extended interview – Part 1

Sen. Ted Cruz extended interview – Part 2


Cruz on fighting ISIS: “We met today with the president of Kurdistan. And the Kurds on the ground are fantastic fighters. The Peshmerga have been our allies. They have been our friends. And they're actually fighting every day to stop ISIS. Now, Dana, what makes no sense whatsoever is, the Obama administration is refusing to directly arm the Kurds. We need to arm the Kurds now because they are our boots on the ground. I don't believe it is necessary to put American boots on the ground if we are arming the Peshmerga. They're fighting there. Just today, they didn't ask us for boots on the ground, but what they did say is they need the weaponry to stand up and destroy ISIS. And the Peshmerga on the ground, combined with overwhelming American airpower, can take out ISIS. But we're not seeing leadership from the administration to get that done. Instead, they continue to send weaponry to Baghdad, who doesn't pass it onto the Peshmerga, and it doesn't get put to use effectively.”

Cruz on Department of Homeland Security funding: “the Democrats are working as a unit to filibuster funding for the Department of Homeland Security. And it's one of the patterns we've seen the last six years that's really unusual, is that Senate Democrats have consistently been unwilling to take on the president. It's part of why Harry Reid and the Democrats shut down the Senate. And I got to say it's unprecedented. I mean, look, Dana, if there's one thing that I think you would acknowledge I've been willing to do is take on my own party when my own party is not standing for the principles we're supposed to stand for. It is time to see some Senate Democrats willing to take on their own president but right now they're putting partisan politics ahead of principle and that's why they're filibustering the funding for Homeland Security. It's the wrong thing to be doing.”

Cruz on violence in the Ukraine: “what we're seeing is, when America doesn't lead, Europe can't be expected to step into the breach. What is missing from this is the president of the United States. And I have got to tell you, Dana, I'm part of a large bipartisan congressional delegation here. And it is striking that, across bipartisan lines, the delegation is united on the need for us to get serious and provide defensive arms to Ukraine.”

Full transcript: FULL POST

Topics: Dana Bash • Iran • Iraq • ISIS • Russia • State of the Union • Ukraine
"ISIS is self-destructing" -Fawaz Gerges
February 8th, 2015
04:12 PM ET

"ISIS is self-destructing" -Fawaz Gerges

CNN’s FAREED ZAKARIA GPS features a political panel about ISIS and the recent events in the Middle East with  Marwan Muasher, the former deputy prime minister of Jordan and the vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace,  Fawaz Gerges, professor of Middle East studies at The London School of Economics, and Rula Jebreal, an Israeli-Arab journalist who has worked as an anchorwoman in both Egypt and Italy.


Muasher on Jordan's response to ISIS: "Certainly the unity that took place among Jordanian society is unprecedented for some time. If ISIS wanted to galvanize public support against the government, they miserably failed to do so."

Gerges on ISIS: "ISIS savagery should not blind us to the fact that ISIS is self-destructing. ISIS is strangling itself. ISIS is pitting itself against the Muslim mainstream, Muslim public opinion, Arab public opinion. There is really shock and outrage throughout the Arab and Muslim world. I would argue that ISIS is digging its own grave. And the reality is, this is where you want ISIS to be. You want it to be pitted against Arab and Muslim public opinion. This is how ISIS should be defeated, from within by Arab and Muslim public opinion, because even if you defeat ISIS militarily, you have to deconstruct, dismantle the ideology, which is insidious and which has done a great deal of damage, in particular to Arab and Muslim societies.​"

Jebreal on inclusion in the Middle East: " We need to think beyond terror and tyrant and create a vision for society where there is inclusion. I mean a lack of inclusion of moderate Muslims will open the space for them to be exploited by extremists. So when you view Sisi or Mubarak before him and other autocrat as an answer to terrorism, you have to think this same regime who gave you political Islam with Sayyid Qutb in the '60s, Ayman Al-Zawahiri actually is a product of Egypt, repression regimes of Mubarak. But let's remember the guy that built Al Qaeda in Iraq. He's a Jordanian man, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who fought Shiites in Iraq, but also sent people to blow up themselves in Jordan nine years ago. We need to think on how to - you know - to decimate extremism. And extremist is not only ISIS. It's also al Qaeda. It's also Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Nusra Front. So how do you dry up this? We need consensus and inclusion in these states. But also we need this war between Shiites and Sunni to end. We need Iran and Saudi Arabia to come to terms and eventually reach some kind of an agreement that end up these extremists."


Topics: Fareed Zakaria • Fareed Zakaria GPS • Iran • Iraq • ISIS
Jordanian Interior Minister to CNN's Becky Anderson: "This is our war – not the West's war."
February 6th, 2015
03:13 PM ET

Jordanian Interior Minister to CNN's Becky Anderson: "This is our war – not the West's war."

Speaking to CNN’s Becky Anderson (@beckycnn) in Amman, Jordanian Interior Minister Hussein Majali says the war against ISIS is “our war – not the West’s.”

“We look at ourselves as principals in this coalition. This is our war. This is not the West’s war. We are the spearhead of this war.”

Majali continues: “His Majesty – in his latest visit just a few days ago to the States – I think he was promised extra assistance on military hardware, which will make our forces more effective and more sustained.”

On whether he’s satisfied by support from the U.S. and other allies:

“We are extremely satisfied. The United States have gone the extra mile for Jordan.”

On ISIS claim that Jordanian airstrikes killed an American hostage:

“This is another PR stunt by ISIS. They tried to cause problems internally in Jordan and haven't succeeded. They are now trying to drive a wedge between the coalition with this latest low PR stunt.”


Topics: Becky Anderson • Connect the World • ISIS
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh gets firsthand look at devastated Donetsk airport
February 2nd, 2015
02:55 PM ET

CNN's Nick Paton Walsh gets firsthand look at devastated Donetsk airport

Amid active shelling by the Ukrainian military, CNN's senior international correspondent Nick Paton Walsh (@npwcnn) gets a firsthand look at the devastated Donetsk International Airport.

Walsh recalls flying out of this airport just six months ago, and now very little of it remains.

"Hard to imagine how just six months ago we were here flying out of Donetsk at this – what was then a state-of-the-art terminal. Just look at the destruction and how this symbolizes how far eastern Ukraine has fallen."


Topics: Breaking News • Nick Paton Walsh • Ukraine
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