January 28th, 2016
07:48 PM ET

RNC Chairman Priebus on if Trump will make an appearance at tonight's GOP debate: "I think anything is possible"

Wolf Blitzer

 

CNN's Wolf Blitzer sits down with Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus to discuss tonight’s GOP debate, Trump’s competing veterans event, and the potentiality of a Michael Bloomberg independent candidacy. Please see below for a full rushed transcript.

 

MANDATORY CREDIT // The Situation Room

Additional information: The Situation Room: http://www.cnn.com/shows/situation-room

 

 

Text highlights:

 

Priebus on Trump’s competing veteran’s event on debate night: “I mean obviously, we wish that all the candidates would compete in the debates that they qualified for.  But they don't have to.  I mean just like Rand Paul didn't a couple of weeks ago.  It's up to the candidates. If it's in their interests to compete, they'll compete.  If it's not, they won't. So, you know, there's a lot of reasons why candidates do the things that they do.  And I'm not sort of going to put myself in the position to start analyzing every move made by every candidate…I think it - listen, I don't really make much of it.  I mean I think that it's fine that they - the first debate is going to be over, they may go to that other event.  It's not a competition.  I mean I just don't look at it that way.”

 

Priebus on the possibility of Trump changing his mind and attending the GOP debate: “You know, in this cycle, I think anything is possible, Wolf.  You know, you - there certainly is a lot of intrigue and a lot of drama… Like I said, I'm not predicting anything anymore in this cycle.  I - I don't know, Wolf.  I doubt it, because that's what they've said, but, you know, who knows?”

 

Priebus on a potential Bloomberg candidacy: “He should run, because then we're going to have New York in play, Pennsylvania will be in play, Connecticut might be in play. He has no pathway to 270 electoral votes.  So - and even if he did have some kind of pathway that he thinks, well, then, we'll leave it up to the majority in the House to decide. But, you know, tongue-in-cheek, obviously, I think it's a - I think it would be a blessing, but, you know, he's not going to do it.”

 

  FULL POST

January 28th, 2016
06:41 PM ET

Hillary Clinton on additional Democratic Presidential debates: "We have to agree that we're going to debate in New Hampshire..."

Wolf Blitzer

 

CNN's Wolf Blitzer sits down with former Secretary of State and Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in a wide-ranging interview to discuss the possibility of more Democratic Presidential debates, tonight’s GOP debate, Donald Trump’s veterans event and much more. Please see below for a full rushed transcript.

 

MANDATORY CREDIT // CNN The Situation Room

Additional information: The Situation Room:http://www.cnn.com/shows/situation-room

STORY: Clinton agrees to N.H debate— but won’’t commit to more

Text highlights: 

Clinton on the possibility of more Democratic Presidential debates:  [BLITZER]:"So you are willing to commit to three specific dates for additional debates after New Hampshire? [CLINTON]:  Oh, I said, look, I'm - we have another one shortly after New Hampshire, as I remember, on the calendar.  And I said we should start looking for dates and working to get those scheduled.  I'm perfectly fine with that.But first things first.  We have to agree that we're going to debate in New Hampshire, both the governor and I have agreed and we're waiting for the senator to decide to join us. [BLITZER]:  So I just want to be precise.  After the Democratic National Committee sanctions debates, you are now ready to commit to three more debates, is that right?[CLINTON]:  Well, I have been very public in saying I would like the DNC to work with all of the campaigns, because that's what it did when it set up this schedule and obviously, we want to be supportive.  But I am urging publicly that we do this debate next week in New Hampshire.  And then I've said I am more than happy for us to start scheduling additional debates as we go through the spring and April and May and try to get those on the calendar.”

 

Clinton responds to Trump’s veterans event and tonight’s GOP debate: "You know, I am certainly not going to get into the machinations of the Republican Party primary process, other than to say I deeply regret the tone, the rhetoric that you're hearing, not only from Mr. Trump, but a number of the other candidates, the kinds of insulting remarks they're making about groups of people in our country, their strong opposition to The Affordable Care Act, wanting to defund Planned Parenthood, coming back to trickle down economics.

You know, it's really quite a disturbing spectacle that we have going on.  So whether or not they are together when they debate and reinforce these positions, which I think would be so harmful to our country, is something that, you know, they have to decide among themselves.But I'm going to continue to point out the stakes in this election, because ultimately, it will come down to one Democratic nominee and one Republican, who are fighting for the future of America.  And I strongly disagree with the direction that the Republicans intend to take our country.  And that's why I'm fighting so hard to be that Democratic nominee, to be able to make the case that we want to build on the progress we've made and we sure don't want the Republicans ripping it all apart."

Clinton on female voter turnout in the election: "Well, look, I am thrilled to have so much support from leading women in our country, from elected women, from women activists, from organizations like Planned Parenthood fighting for women's rights.  I'm running to be president because I think I have the best combination of experience, qualifications, plans and ability to get the job done.

But I do think it's an asset to be running to be the first woman president.  And I want everyone, women and men, in all parts of our country, to join me in making sure we build on the progress we've made and not let the Republicans rip away the White House and set us back."

 

Clinton responds to the idea of appointing President Obama to the Supreme Court:  "Well, I have no idea that he'd ever be interested, but it was a fascinating idea.  And if I'm so fortune enough to be president and get the opportunity to fill a Supreme Court vacancy, which I hope I do, then I would certainly talk to him about it.  I think he has other plans for his future, but hey, it would be worth the effort. We know he's a brilliant writer.  He taught constitutional law.  So I think it's worth a try."

 

FULL POST

January 21st, 2016
07:07 PM ET

Clinton: "I think I'm the candidate of real change in people's real lives"

Wolf Blitzer

CNN's Wolf Blitzer sits down with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Democratic presidential candidate, to discuss healthcare, the Iran deal, and the continuation of her email scandal. Please see below for a full rushed transcript.

 

MANDATORY CREDIT // The Situation Room

Additional information: The Situation Room: http://www.cnn.com/shows/situation-room

 

CNN Politics story: Hillary Clinton pins 'establishment' label on Bernie Sanders


 

Text highlights:

 

Clinton responds to Sanders’s charges that she is “establishment”: “I just don't understand what that means. he's been in Congress, he's been an elected to office a lot longer than I have. I was in the Senate for eight wonderful years representing New York. He's been in the Congress for 25, and so I'll let your viewers make their own judgment… I think I'm the candidate of real change in people's real lives that will make a difference, whether it's on healthcare, or college affordability, or the economy where I've laid out specific proposals and how I would pay for them.”

 

Clinton draws distinctions between herself and Sanders on healthcare: “I think we should not plunge our nation into another contentious debate over healthcare. We Democrats have been trying to get universal health coverage since Harry Truman. We now have more than 90% of Americans who are covered. I'm going to get us the rest of the way, and I'm also going to decrease the costs so that people can afford prescription drugs, and out of pocket expenses. He wants to start all over again, I think that's a very clear contrast, and I'm appealing to people who know it's not always easy to make the kind of progress we've made under the Affordable Care Act. I want to build on what President Obama has accomplished, and take it all the way which is what I will do.”

 

Clinton on the Iran deal: “I have a lot of commitment to ensuring that the Iran nuclear agreement is implemented, and that the Iranians are held accountable if they do not. After all, I engaged in long patient diplomacy to put together the sanctions on Iran that finally brought them to the negotiating table, and actually began the preliminary negotiations that the President and Secretary Kerry continued to completion. But, I think it would be a mistake to offer normalized relations. I think that we have to very carefully continue our diplomacy. We have to hold Iran accountable… We can't rush into normalizing relations. The President doesn't believe that, I don't believe that, and I think that Senator Sanders is wrong about that.”

 

Clinton responds to reports her private server contained highly classified intel: “I think it's a continuation of an inter-agency dispute that has been going on, and that's not uncommon in our government when it comes to releasing information as I requested that mine be released. And, it doesn't change the fact that I never sent, or received any material marked classified. I do believe that these leaks which are coming out, and being in some way misrepresenting, and mischaracterizing what is going on are troubling, but the basic fact that no material marked as classified was sent or received... I will repeat, I did not send or receive classified material.”


FULL POST

January 14th, 2016
06:45 PM ET

Paul on Iran: "I still wonder whether or not they are wanting to be part of the civilized world."

Wolf Blitzer

CNN's Wolf Blitzer sits down with Senator and Republican Presidential candidate Rand Paul (R-KY), to discuss the threat of ISIS and the arrest and release of American military personnel by Iran. Please see below for a full rushed transcript.

 

MANDATORY CREDIT // The Situation Room

Additional information: The Situation Room: http://www.cnn.com/shows/situation-room

 

Text highlights:

 

Sen. Paul on Islam’s role in combatting extremism: “I think it shows that the answer ultimately is going to have to be cooperation and help from civilized Islam.  I think civilized Islam needs to step forward everywhere and condemn these types of attacks louder and stronger than we've been hearing. I think in recent history actually some countries like Saudi Arabia have actually funded religious radicalism that has led to violence.  So I think Saudi Arabia and other Gulf kingdoms really need to step it up and say, we don't support terrorism, we are no longer going to fund religious schools that preach this kind of hatred for the West… I can't stress enough that civilized Islam has to step up and begin to more forcefully condemn in their mosques throughout the world and say that jihad is not acceptable - violent jihad is not acceptable.”

 

Sen. Paul on why he believes extremists commit acts of terror: “Well, they're not going to come here with armies.  And terrorists actually commit terror because they are weak.  So I believe ISIS to be very, very weak.  They have a little bit of military strength where they are. But even where they are, think about it, they have 30,000 fighters surrounded by 190,000 Peshmerga in the Kurdish region, 190,000 Baghdad army to their west - or to their east.  We have a 600,000 Turkish army, a couple hundred thousand in Jordan, half a million to a million in Israel. So they are surrounded.  We just need to coordinate our strategy to wipe them out.  But even when they're wiped out the ideology of radical Islam is going to have to be combated for generations.”

 

Sen. Paul on Iran’s treatment of American military personnel: [BLITZER]: “You have a problem, Senator, with the way the Iranians treated these American sailors?”

[PAUL]: “You know, I sure do.  And it's one of the reasons why I opposed the Iranian agreement initially, is that I still wonder whether or not they are wanting to be part of the civilized world. Now I'm glad that it ended peacefully, but you still wonder about a nation that is using, it appears, video of our soldiers as pawns in a propaganda war.  Now, I do agree that having it end peacefully was a great outcome, and maybe that's a sign that Iran is changing their ways. But the fact that they lined them up and used them as propaganda objects concerns me that Iran really hasn't quit her old ways.  And that's what's going to happen.  But it means all more important that the Iranian agreement that we watch them like a hawk to make sure that they actually are adhering to the agreement as it goes forward.”

FULL POST

January 13th, 2016
06:57 PM ET

King Abdullah II of Jordan on Syrian refugees: "We can't ignore them and just keep refugees isolated."

Wolf Blitzer

CNN's Wolf Blitzer sits down with King Abdullah II of Jordan to discuss Donald Trump, Iran, and the threat of ISIS. Please see below for a full rushed transcript.

 

MANDATORY CREDIT // The Situation Room

Additional information: The Situation Room: http://www.cnn.com/shows/situation-room

 

Text highlights:

 

King Abdullah II on Donald Trump’s proposed Muslim ban: “Well, I think that's the same challenge that we're being pushed to at the moment with, with the group that we're talking about… We are trying to bring people in, but we're trying to make sure that the mechanisms are put in place.  Make sure - it's never going to be foolproof, but we're going to try and make it as, as sterile as possible. But we're accepting 50 to 100 every day from an area that we know is a major danger.  Obviously, it's those that are ill, the elderly, women and children. I know some people can be callous and say let all the women in.  But as we saw in California and as we've seen in Paris recently, women unfortunately have been part in terms of organization of terror strikes.  But we can't ignore them and just keep refugees isolated.  So you've just got to be smart and you've got to, you've got to think of the heart.”

 

King Abdullah II on the global war against ISIS and extremism: “I said that the war against the hawadi, the outlaws of Islam, is a third World War by other means, which is probably slightly different- It's not just ISIS.  All these groups, whether they're from the Philippines, or in Indonesia, all the way to Tenali, these all the same, whether it's ISIS, Boko Haram, Al-Shabaad, Al- Nusra, wherever you find them around the world.  And, again, as I said, from Asia all the way to the African continent, there is either a full out war or counter insurgency warfare.  This is a global struggle… the global war - what I call the third World War by other means - is, is one that is a generational one.”

 

King Abdullah II on Russia’s role against ISIS: “My discussions with President Putin is we need to move the political process forward as quickly as possible.  Obviously, there are those countries that say that Bashar has to leave today, and the Russians who say not before 18 months.  And also about this from our point of view because obviously we have the Free Syrian Army in the south, and we're working with the Russians about creating a cease fire with armed forces in the south.  And I specifically I have discussed this Putin.  You can't expect to put their arms down, and, and abide by a cease fire if there's movement on, on, on the political process in Vienna.  They're not going to sit there and for two months, and not expect something to happen.  So the Russians are fully aware that sooner rather than later we have to have a mechanism that allows the process to move forward.  And I think we all understand that that does mean the departure of Bashar.”

 

King Abdullah II on the tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia: “Well, we are in coordination with the Saudis.  We took a firm position against what the Iranians did.  We fully support our Saudi friends, and we took the position that we took.  We went to the Iranian ambassador and expressed our displeasure.  This was done in coordination with our Saudi allies.  We have any amazing strong relationship with, with our Saudi brethren. Our relationship with his majesty, the crowned prince, the king, is extremely strong. And this was the position that we had worked out between ourselves.  And, again, don't forget that we are part of the Vienna talks when it comes to Syria…But more importantly what I think that the Saudis are looking at the higher moral ground don't want this to escalate into a regional Shia-Sunni conflict.”


FULL POST

November 12th, 2015
05:43 PM ET

General Allen: Failure to address root causes of ISIS could “condemn” U.S. “to fight forever”

Wolf Blitzer

 

 

CNN's Elise Labott sits down with General John Allen (Ret.), Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, to discuss the threat of ISIS in the Middle East and around the world.

MANDATORY CREDIT // Elise Labott/ Situation Room

Additional information: The Situation Room: http://www.cnn.com/shows/situation-room

 

Text highlights:

 

Gen. Allen on the possibility of long term fighting against ISIS: “If we don’t get at those issues over the long term, not just be compelled to constantly be fighting the symptoms of the problems, which is al Qaeda and which is Daesh - if we don’t get to the left of those symptoms and try to solve these underlying circumstances, working collaboratively with those who are in the region, who best understand the region, then we’re going to be condemned to fight forever.”

Gen. Allen explains the importance of military coalitions in the fight against ISIS: “So we, we've looked at the strategy in the context of empowering the indigenous forces and providing support to them, to isolate Daesh within the region, and to begin to bring pressure to bear in a global sense, in the context of its periphery and its functions and so on. And a year later we find Daesh shrunken significantly.  We find that there has been about 14,000 or so Iraqis that have been trained, we have partners on the ground in Syria, we have the capacity to work much more closely with Turkey… We should not measure the contributions of the Arab nations solely on whether they're flying missions over Syria.  The Saudis for example have been very aggressive in providing support on a humanitarian level.  In fact, they've given one of the largest single humanitarian contributions to, to help the people of Iraq and Syria, early along in the crisis.”

Gen. Allen on Russia’s growing presence in Syria: [LABOTT]: “Has Russian intervention made ISIS stronger?” [ALLEN]:  “It certainly hasn’t hurt ISIS in my mind.  We had hoped that when the Russians entered the fray that they would join us in attacking Daesh, and they have largely concentrated elsewhere…:  I don’t know.  I think we should look for every opportunity possibly that we can to engage the Russians in the broader conversation about the future of Syria.  And that’s what happened just recently in Vienna.  It’s going to happen again this weekend. The conversation ultimately needs to get us into a diplomatic political track, which includes the Syrians and all of the external players, to talk about how the process of succession will occur in Syria.”

Gen. Allen reacts to the idea of a no fly zone over Syria: [LABOTT]: “Is that a strategy that should be considered?” [ALLEN]: “Well, we should consider them.  Now, whether we would ultimately adopt them or not - and it’s not just a no-fly zone, you know, place or a no-fly zone in - whether it’s on the air or on the ground, it’s also a matter of timing as well.  And I have to tell you, because we have looked at this, that the - the intricacies and the complexities and the cost, frankly, in terms of resources, additional resources, of a no-fly zone or a safe zone are not insignificant. And the question then becomes what do we want to accomplish with them?  And if the conditions are not suitable right now for what we might want to accomplish, then now is not the time to seriously consider it.”

FULL POST

August 12th, 2015
05:11 PM ET

Kasich weighs in on illegal immigration

Ohio Governor and Republican presidential candidate John Kasich  joined CNN's Dana Bash in New Hampshire to discuss his views on illegal immigration, 2016 and more.  The full interview will air on The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, 5:00-7:oopmET

 

 

July 23rd, 2015
06:33 PM ET

FBI Director: "ISIL is not your parents' al Qaeda"

CNN's Wolf Blitzer sits down with FBI Director James Comey at the Aspen Security Forum, to discuss a range of threats to the homeland.

Additional information: The Situation Room:http://www.cnn.com/shows/situation-room

 

MANDATORY CREDIT // The Situation Room  

FULL TRANSCRIPT:

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

BLITZER:  Mr. Director, what keeps you up at night?

(LAUGHTER)

COMEY:  What keeps me up at night is, probably, these days, the ISIL threat in the homeland.  And I worry very much about what I can't see.  You know, that's what keeps me up.

If you imagine a nationwide haystack, we're trying to find needles in that haystack.  And a lot of those needles are invisible to us, either because of the way in which they're communicating or just because they haven't communicated or touched a place where we could see them.

BLITZER: Is that now a bigger threat to the U.S. homeland than al Qaeda?

COMEY:  Yes.  Yes.  The - the threat that ISIL presents, poses to the United States, is very different in kind, in type, in degree than al Qaeda.  ISIL is not your - your parents' al Qaeda.  It's a very different model.

BLITZER:  Why is ISIS so powerful?

COMEY:  Well, they have adopted a model that takes advantage of social media in a way to crowd source terrorism.  They have invested about the last year in pushing a message of poison, primarily through Twitter, but other parts of social media, that is a siren song with two dimensions.

They are preaching through social media to troubled souls, urging them to join their so-called caliphate in Syria and Iraq, or if you can't join, kill where you are.  And Twitter is a valuable enterprise, because it works to sell shoes or to sell ideas.  It works to sell this message to troubled souls.

With al Qaeda, if you wanted to consume their propaganda, you had to go find it somewhere on the Web.  You'd read their magazine.  If you wanted to talk to a terrorist, you might send an e-mail in to their magazine and hope that somebody answers you.

ISIL has changed that model entirely, because ISIL is buzzing on your hip, right.  That message is being pushed all day long.

And if you want to talk to a terrorist, they're right there on Twitter direct messaging for you to communicate with.

It’s the reason we have these investigations all across the United States, that year of investment is producing a warped view of the world.

And the people that ISIL's trying to reach are people that Al Qaeda would never use as an operative.

BLITZER: Why is that?

COMEY: Because they are often unstable, troubled, drug users and - and ISIL also does something that Al Qaeda would never do. They'll vet an operative by tasking them. Right? Give them as assignment, go kill somebody, as a way of checking out whether they are a real person or an informant of some kind.

BLITZER: So when ISIS publicly puts out there on social media, if you can't come over to Iraq and Syria and fight with us, go out there and kill U.S. military personnel or law enforcement officers, you take that seriously.

COMEY: Very.

BLITZER: You told us recently that you and your colleagues thwarted a July 4th attack or attacks, right?

COMEY: Correct.

BLITZER: What can you tell us about that?

COMEY: Not much.

(LAUGHTER)

COMEY:  There were a number of - what's interesting about the ISIL model there too is the normal terms inspired, directed or enabled blend together with ISIL. Because they just push it - they're like a devil on somebody's shoulders saying kill, kill, kill all day long. So to figure out whether someone was directed or inspired or enabled is actually a waste of time in many cases. There were a number of people who were bent on engaging in attacks in the United States, killing innocent people, timed to the July 4th holiday. And thanks to great work, not just by the FBI, but by our partners, State, local and Federal law enforcement, it was disrupted.

BLITZER: And that's why you concluded now that ISIS represents the major threat to the U.S. homeland as far as terrorism is concerned?

COMEY: Right. And one of the reasons I say that is the sheer volume. Again I have investigations - the FBI has investigations related to this threat all across the country. There are hundreds of investigations. We're trying to understand where somebody is on the spectrum of a consumer of this poison on Twitter, to an actor who's about to try and murder innocent people, and evaluate where are they on that spectrum. We have hundreds of people we’re looking at on that spectrum. The ISIL Tweeters in theory have 21,000 English language followers. Hundreds of those people, probably thousands, are in the United States.

And the other challenge that we face, again, totally unlike your typical Al Qaeda model, is what we call the flash to bang, is both short and unpredictable with ISIL, that is often an operative will have an idea to do something, say on July 4th and wake up on June 2nd and say, you know, I'm not waiting. Today's the day I'm going to go kill people. Which poses an additional challenge for us conducting investigations.

BLITZER:  You think you have a pretty good appreciation of how many Americans have actually gone over there and trained with ISIS?

COMEY:  I think we have a reasonable idea.  It's not a high confidence read, because there's lots of ways to get to Syria.  But I think we have a pretty good sense.

BLITZER:  How many?

COMEY:  I'll - I'll give you dozens of people have gone with ISIL, to ISIL.  Again, it's hard phenomenon to track, because they range in age from 18 to 62.

BLITZER:  What's the biggest stumbling block you have right now, because we were talking about the encrypted communications, the dark side?

COMEY:  I'd say one of two stumbling blocks in these cases.  The first is the technological one.  ISIL's MO is, they'll broadcast on Twitter, get people to follow them, then move them to Twitter direct messaging while they evaluate whether they're a potential live one, either to travel or to kill where they are.

Then they'll move them to an encrypted mobile messaging app where they go dark to us.  And so that's what I mean by the needle becoming invisible.  We can, with court authority, get access to the Twitter contacts, but we don't have the ability to break strong encryption.

So if they move to the mobile messaging app, we're going to lose them.

BLITZER: What do you need now, legally, in order to get access to that?

Because as you know, there's a big controversy.  A lot of people who don't want their privacy infringed on.  They don't want you to have access to that.

COMEY:  They - we need what the FBI needs in all of our investigations, right, we want to listen to that communication or intercept the content flowing back and forth.  We've got to get a court order.

So we go to a judge or, if it's sitting on a device, we go to a judge for a search warrant. But the problem we're facing is, even with judicial orders, which is at the core of our work, we are unable to find out what people are talking about when we've demonstrated probable cause to believe they are terrorists or they are serious criminals.

BLITZER: Why is that?

COMEY: Because of the nature of the encryption. We don't have the ability to break the strong encryption.
The way in which the, the mobile messaging app for example has been designed, stops it by virtue of its design. It is end-to-end encrypted so, without the key of one of the two devices at the user end, you have no ability with a court order to intercept and look at that communication.

BLITZER: So do you want the software manufacturer to allow some sort of key that would give you that kind of access, once you get a court order?

COMEY: The answer is, I don't know exactly. I can picture the end state we need. We need judges' orders to be complied with. Now how to figure that out? Lots of people, smart people, tell me, oh, it's too hard. I don't buy that. I don't think we've tried hard enough yet. If we recognize that we all share the same values, I think smart people can figure out how to do it.

July 23rd, 2015
10:27 AM ET

FBI Director Comey tells Wolf Blitzer Khorasan Group diminished

FBI Director James Comey says U.S. military strikes have diminished the al Qaeda offshoot Khorasan Group, but the bigger threat faced by the U.S. is now ISIS.

Comey, in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, used an appearance at the Aspen Security Forum to raise concerns about encrypted communications the FBI can't access, comparing ISIS militants to needles in a regional haystack.

"If you imagine a nationwide haystack, we are trying to find needles in that haystack. And a lot of those needles are invisible to us either because in they are communicated or just because they have communicated in a place that we can't see them," Comey said. "And knowing there are needles out there that you can't see is very worrisome."

Comey said Wednesday SIS has become a bigger threat to the United States than al Qaeda.

"The threat that ISIL presents and poses to the United States is very different in kind, in type and degree than al Qaeda," Comey said. "ISIL is not your parents al Qaeda. It's a very different model. And by virtue of that model, it's currently the threat we are worried about in the homeland most of all."

The Pentagon announced Tuesday Muhsin al Fadhli, a Kuwaiti-born jihadi and leader of the Khorasan Group, was killed earlier this month in a targeted strike. The strike happened July 8 while Fadhli was traveling to Sarmada. Syria.

"His death will degrade and disrupt ongoing external operations of al-Qaeda against the United States and our allies and partners," Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said in a written statement.

While terrorist groups like ISIS and the al Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra are responsible for much of the violence inside Syria, the Khorasan Group was believed to direct most of its energy plotting external attacks in the West.

Comey also said Wednesday that investigators haven't determined why Mohammad Abdulazeez carried out the shootings that killed four Marines and a sailor last week in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He said the FBI is determined to "understand every second of his life" for the last two years, at least.

Comey said the prospect of a terrorist group launching a cyberattack on the United States is a small but growing problem.

CNN Receives 14 News And Documemtary Emmy Nominations
July 22nd, 2015
03:59 PM ET

CNN Receives 14 News And Documemtary Emmy Nominations

CNN received 14 nominations for the 36th Annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards, it was announced today. CNN’s diverse nominations encompass television programming, newsgathering, digital, and Spanish-language, and include:

Outstanding Coverage of a Breaking News Story in a Regularly Scheduled Newscast

The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer

Ÿ Rescue from Mt. Sinjar, reported by Elise Labott, Barbara Starr, Ivan Watson, anchor Wolf Blitzer

Outstanding Investigative Journalism in a Regularly Scheduled Newscast

Anderson Cooper 360

Ÿ Crisis At The VA, Veterans Dying While Waiting For Care, reported by Drew Griffin

Ÿ Theme Parks Investigation, reported by Kyra Phillips

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