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Trump Calls Second Place a 'Great Finish'; Clinton Wins Iowa, Sanders Keeps Momentum; Hillary Clinton Relieved by Iowa Results; Clinton Wins Iowa, Sanders to Keep Momentum; Alarm Over Planned North Korea Rocket Launch. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired February 2, 2016 - 17:00   ET


JAKE TAPPER, CNN: That's it for "THE LEAD" today. I'm Jake Tapper. I now turn you over to one Mr. Wolf Blitzer. He's right next door in a place I like to call THE SITUATION ROOM. Thanks for watching.

[17:00:12] WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now: New momentum. Ted Cruz finishes first in Iowa. Marco Rubio charges into third place. Will that give them a boost in New Hampshire? Donald Trump slips into second place, but he calls it a great finish. We're standing by for a Trump news conference.

Narrow win. Hillary Clinton edges Bernie Sanders by less than 1 percent. Will he challenge the results or look ahead to New Hampshire? I'll speak with the top Sanders adviser, and you'll hear my interview with Hillary Clinton.

Next battleground. Tonight, all eyes are on New Hampshire. Trump and Sanders hold big leads, but with the nation's first primary just a week away, has the game already changed?

And rocket man. Growing alarm as Kim Jong-un gets ready for a rocket launch. If North Korea can send a satellite into orbit, will it soon be able to launch a nuclear missile as far as the United States?

I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

After an all-night cliff-hanger on the Democratic side and a stunning turnabout in the Republican race, the Iowa caucuses are history, and it's now all about New Hampshire, where the nation's first primary is just a week away.

It took until this afternoon for the Iowa Democratic Party to release the final results, showing Hillary Clinton as the winner, edging Bernie Sanders in a razor-thin margin. You'll hear my interview with Hillary Clinton this hour, who says she's thrilled, but it may take a while to notch another win, because Bernie Sanders holds a solid lead in his backyard of New Hampshire.

One thing is clear: after Iowa, Democrats are deeply divided.

Republicans are even more divided in their race that's heating up heading into New Hampshire. Ted Cruz surged to an impressive win over Donald Trump. Marco Rubio finished a strong third. Trump is still the national frontrunner and holds a big lead in New Hampshire. But after Iowa, has this race changed?

Our correspondents, analysts and guests, they have full coverage of all of the day's top stories. Let's begin with the Republican race for the White House.

Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have some wind in their sails right now after strong showings in Iowa, and Iowa voters took some of the air a little bit out of Donald Trump's balloon at the same time. But right now New Hampshire is the race that matters.

CNN's Sunlen Serfaty is there. Sunlen, Trump is still the leader in the national polls, but some are saying there's a brand-new ball game under way.

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. It is, Wolf. The dynamics of this race are now significantly reshuffled. The focus is right here now on New Hampshire: a new state, a new race, and a very different and dramatically changed battle ahead.


SERFATY (voice-over): Tonight, the brash billionaire is battling back, spinning his second-place finish in Iowa as a victory.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I was told by everybody, "Do not go to Iowa. You could never finish even in the top ten."

SERFATY: But Donald Trump's moment of humility overnight...

TRUMP: I'm just honored. I'm really honored.

SERFATY: ... was replaced today with trademark tweets. Quote, "Anybody who watched Ted Cruz's far too long, rambling overly flamboyant speech last night was saying that was his Howard Dean moment."

But Howard Dean came in third in Iowa. Ted Cruz won after Trump promised total victory.

TRUMP: We're going to win. We're going to win, and we're going to win!

SERFATY: He's working now to regain his footing in New Hampshire, a state where polls show he is still leading by double digits.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So what a victory last night.

SERFATY: Ted Cruz basking in the glow of his Iowa win, feeling emboldened, taking a victory lap through New Hampshire today.

CRUZ: I think the voters of New Hampshire, frankly, deserve more than politicians trading insults and behaving like schoolchildren.

SERFATY: But this date is an uphill climb for Cruz, with a drastically different electorate than Iowa that still needs much convincing.

CRUZ: The Granite State shocked this country by giving Reagan the victory. Your actions liberated billions from bondage.

SERFATY: Cruz isn't the only one emerging from Iowa with momentum. Marco Rubio's stronger-than-expected third-place finish breathing now not only new life in his campaign but in the establishment lane of the party. Rubio today trying to cast himself as the only viable alternative to Trump and Cruz.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm as conservative as anyone running for president, but I believe I can grow the conservative movement. And that's what's important about our candidacy, too, is I can take the conservative movement to people that are living today the way that I grew up.

SERFATY: Trying to clear out the crowded establishment field, where his main opponents in New Hampshire feeling this new pressure are now getting a little testy.

[17:35:08] GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When Senator Rubio gets here, when the boy in the bubble gets here, I hope you guys ask him some questions, because it's time for him to start answering questions.


SERFATY: And -- and New Hampshire holds its primary just one week from today. Now today, Ted Cruz split his time between New Hampshire and South Carolina, the next state up.

But there are some big signals coming from within the Cruz campaign that they intend to make even more of a push here in New Hampshire, Wolf. Now that they feel they have the momentum.

BLITZER: All right, Sunlen. Thanks very much. Sunlen Serfaty reporting.

Let's go to the Democrats now, where Iowa's Democratic Party made it official earlier this afternoon. Hillary Clinton won the Iowa caucuses but barely. Both she and Senator Bernie Sanders now are in New Hampshire. So is our Jeff Zeleny.

So what's the latest there, Jeff?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, New Hampshire often has a mind of its own when it comes to reacting to the results of those Iowa caucuses.

But Hillary Clinton was relieved today when she finally learned she was officially declared the winner. Bernie Sanders, of course, has been leading here for a long time. The question is, what do the next seven days hold?


HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am so thrilled that I'm coming to New Hampshire after winning Iowa!

ZELENY (voice-over): Hillary Clinton officially declared the winner today by the Iowa Democratic Party. But Bernie Sanders is pointing to a victory of a different kind, an improbable rise with the wind of a growing movement at his back.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We took on the most powerful political organization in this country. Last night we came back from a 50-point deficit in the polls.

ZELENY: It was as close as close could get, .3 percent, 49.9 to 49.6.

CLINTON: I've won, and I've lost there. It's a lot better to win.

ZELENY: But you win a presidential nomination by scooping up the most delegates, not states. On that score in Iowa, Clinton won 23, Sanders 21.

Sanders didn't formally concede. His campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, says he wants to know the truth on the ground.

As Sanders flew to New Hampshire overnight, he pledged to fight until the convention. He's counting on a big fundraising haul that aides say could rival the $29 million he raised online in January alone. But for now, it's a fight for next week's New Hampshire primary.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I believe that you will win!




ZELENY: In an interview today with Wolf, Clinton dismissed any talk of voting irregularities.

CLINTON: From everything we have learned and know, I won; and I'm very proud of that.

ZELENY: One group she didn't win: voters under 30. They chose Sanders by a crushing 70 points.

CLINTON: I'm going to have some work to do to reach out to young voters, maybe first-time voters.

ZELENY: But those first-time voters are a key part of Sanders' growing movement.

SANDERS: We began the political revolution, not just in Iowa, not just in New Hampshire, but all over this country.


ZELENY: And there is good reason to believe that the sharpening contrast between these two rivals are only going to continue. Hillary Clinton today said that she is the only person who can beat the Republicans.

And Wolf, just a short time ago, Senator Sanders had a news conference, as well. He was asked if Hillary Clinton is a progressive. He said, "Some days" -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Jeff Zeleny reporting for us, thank you.

Joining us now, the Sanders' campaign senior media adviser, Tad Devine. Tad, thanks very much for joining us.


BLITZER: The Iowa Democratic Party now says Hillary Clinton has won. Are you ready to concede?

DEVINE: Well, I would concede she won four more state delegate equivalencies out of 1,406, without a doubt.

Listen, I think we should take a look at the results, what happened yesterday. We want to have, you know, faith in the process. We want to make sure everything adds up.

If you had an election anywhere in the world that was this close, people would go back and take a look at results.

So -- and by the way, Wolf, the election in Iowa isn't over. It just started yesterday. There's going to be delegates from the precinct level to the county convention, to the county convention to the state convention. And then finally, in June we'll elect national convention delegates. We're going to work this process tier to tier, and we hope to pick up more delegates along the way.

BLITZER: Here's what Hillary Clinton told me earlier today when I asked her about your campaign's unwillingness, at least so far, to formally concede that she was the winner. Listen to this.


CLINTON: I can say that I believe the Democratic Party of Iowa ran a good caucus from everything that our people told me. There was an enormous turnout which everybody said would tremendously favor Senator Sanders. If there are legitimate issues, both sides, I don't think the Democratic Party has any problems with that. But from everything we have learned and know, I won, and I'm very proud of that.


[17:10:03] BLITZER: So do you agree the results are valid?

DEVINE: Well, I agree with Senator Clinton. If there are legitimate issues, we should look at them. I couldn't agree more. I think she said it precisely as the way we feel it. We should take a look and see if there are legitimate issues. If there are, we should look at them. But remember, the process just began yesterday in Iowa. Those precinct delegates to go county conventions. Then they go to state conventions, and finally we'll have national convention delegates.

So in the meantime, she couldn't be more right. We should take a look at legitimate issues.

BLITZER: So when the Iowa Democratic Party says Hillary Clinton is the winner, do you agree with them?

DEVINE: Well, like I said, Wolf, I agree she won four more state delegate equivalencies yesterday. I think the winner of Iowa is going to be determined when we have the state convention in June, and they elect national convention delegates. That's -- you know, this isn't a primary. We don't even know, of all the people, 171,000 people who participated yesterday, we don't know what their preferences are. If there's a way to determine that, I think we should know that.

Because you know, I think what happened yesterday is a lot of people came out to support Bernie Sanders. We registered thousands of voters in Iowa yesterday. These are people who can now vote in November. And this process of bringing new people in -- young people, independent voters -- to the Democratic process, first-time voters, we're going to do this all over the country. And we intend to bring millions of people into the Democratic process through Bernie Sanders' candidacy for president.

BLITZER: Yes, a lot of people agree with you that the Iowa Democrats should release the raw numbers, how they got -- how they divided up those 171,000 Democrats who showed up in the caucuses in Iowa. As you know, they don't release those numbers. The Democrats don't. The Republicans, on the other hand, do.

Let's move ahead to New Hampshire now, where the Hillary Clinton people say, you have a home-field advantage, because Bernie Sanders is from Vermont, and that's right next door to New Hampshire. What do you say to that argument?

DEVINE: Well, I say Vermont absolutely is next door to New Hampshire.

And I also say that there's only one candidate in this race who actually won the Democratic primary in New Hampshire. Her name was Hillary Clinton. She defeated Barack Obama. OK?

So listen, she's got some advantage here, too. And they can spend all that time talking about how close Vermont is to New Hampshire. That's an objective fact. But the Clintons have been here for decades. They have huge support. The entire political establishment practically is supporting her candidacy here. She's got a lot of advantages.

We're going to talk about a rigged economy that sends all the wealth to the top, held in place by a corrupt system of campaign finance. That message worked in Iowa. I think it's going to work here in New Hampshire, as well.

BLITZER: Bill Clinton, as all of us remember back in 1992, he was the comeback kid, thanks to the primary in New Hampshire at that time. What kind of infrastructure does Senator Sanders have in South Carolina and Nevada? DEVINE: Wolf, we've got great campaigns that we've built on the

ground in Nevada and South Carolina. We have a large number of people in both states organizing out of a number of field offices around the state. We've been on television now in Nevada since the 23rd of December. The Clinton campaign joined us January 6. We're on television in South Carolina, as well. I think they're about to join us there soon, where we've got strong campaigns. We've got great support. We're winning people every day. We had a huge field organizing meeting in South Carolina yesterday.

So I think we're going to be able to compete with them on the ground in South Carolina and Nevada, just like we did in Iowa yesterday.

BLITZER: Some of your -- some of your colleagues in the Sanders campaign say this could go on until June, which is what happened eight years ago when Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, that decision wasn't made until June. Do you see this going all through the spring until June?

DEVINE: I do, Wolf. And I think it's important for the Democratic Party to have the kind of process like we had in 2008. You know, a lot of people wanted one candidate or another to get out. They stayed until the end. A lot of people participated in this process. I think it led to high voter turnout in November 2008.

We can have a good process here. There's no need for negativity. There's no need for attacks. We can talk about differences on issues. There are differences on big issues.

But we can do this in a way to make the Democratic Party stronger. That's what Bernie Sanders wants to do. I hope Hillary Clinton and her campaign want to do the same thing.

BLITZER: Will Senator Sanders show up Thursday night at this debate that -- it's not sanctioned yet by the Democratic National Committee -- Hillary Clinton says she will be there. She's challenging Senator Sanders to show up Thursday at this debate, one-on-one in New Hampshire. Will he be there?

DEVINE: We'd like to be there, Wolf. You know, the Democratic National Committee put in place a process of six debates. It was agreed to by the Clinton campaign about five seconds after they announced it publicly many months ago. We said at the time, listen, we'd like to have more debates, but that process didn't include them.

Now, recently, Senator Clinton, trailing in the polls in New Hampshire, decided she wanted a New Hampshire debate. Senator Sanders said, "OK, we'll debate in New Hampshire. Let's debate a few other places, as well."

We've challenged them to debate in New York. For some reason, they don't want to debate in her home state. We think they should. Hopefully, we can work those things out. I don't think this will get in the way of actually having debates, because Bernie wants a debate. He thinks voters deserve debates, and hopefully, we'll be able to work out the details. [17:15:14] BLITZER: She says you keep changing the goalposts. She's

agreed to what you initially wanted, and now you're changing -- changing the goalposts. I guess the question is, is he definitely going to be at the debate Thursday night?

DEVINE: You know, Wolf, I think we'll be able to work things out by then. I certainly hope so.

BLITZER: That's not a definite.

DEVINE: Well, you know, we'd like -- you know, one thing we don't like, Wolf, is you know, the Clinton campaign dictating all the rules. You know, they got their debate structure in place, and then when they didn't like it, they changed it. They decided to have a New Hampshire debate because she was behind.

You know, she -- we need to come together and have an agreement and not just have the Clinton campaign deciding everything and dictating all of the rules. They did that a long time ago. But now they have a real opponent, and so they're going to have to sit down and negotiate.

BLITZER: Tad Devine is a senior media adviser to Senator Bernie Sanders. Tad, thanks very much for joining us.

DEVINE: Thank you, Wolf.

BLITZER: And a quick reminder: what is definite, 100 percent definite, tomorrow night, 9 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN, Anderson Cooper moderates the CNN Democratic presidential candidates' town hall with Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. That's 9 p.m. Eastern tomorrow night only here on CNN.

Up next, we're standing by for a Donald Trump news conference. He calls his Iowa stumble a great finish, but has the frontrunner been hurt heading into New Hampshire?

And my interview with Hillary Clinton. She beats Bernie Sanders by a razor-thin margin in Iowa. But he holds a big lead, at least according to the latest New Hampshire polls. Can she beat Bernie Sanders again in his own backyard?


[17:21:13] BLITZER: Once again, we're standing by for a Donald Trump news conference, after he slipped to a second-place finish in Iowa. Trump still calls it a great finish. He still is the overall frontrunner. But has he been hurt heading into next week's New Hampshire primary exactly one week from today?

Let's go live to New Hampshire right now. CNN political reporter Sara Murray is on the scene for us. Sir, what are we expecting to hear from Donald Trump today?

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, if Donald Trump's Twitter account is any indication, he could come out swinging against Ted Cruz. He tweeted earlier, "Anybody who watched all of Ted Cruz's far too long, rambling, overly flamboyant speech last night would say that was his Howard Dean moment."

Wolf, that tells you he realizes he needs to take on Ted Cruz and also probably Marco Rubio, if he wants to keep his lead secure here in New Hampshire. Now, his supporters tell me they do feel like this is more favorable territory to Donald Trump. There are fewer evangelical voters, more of these independent swing voters. And Donald Trump's messages really seem to resonate here. That's why he's so far ahead of his rivals in the polls.

His goal this week is going to be maintaining that lead, making sure he does not cede any ground, or at least not too much ground, to Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio -- Wolf.

BLITZER: All right, Sara. Thank you.

Joining us now, CNN political commentator S.E. Cupp; CNN special correspondent, Jamie Gangel; CNN political director, David Chalian; and our chief political correspondent, Dana Bash.

S.E. Cupp, how important will New Hampshire been for Donald Trump?

S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. With the brand of winning that he has, if he doesn't get a "W" on the board soon, I think that's kind of going to crumble. And having not won Iowa, I think New Hampshire for Donald Trump becomes must-win.

Now, he's doing well in New Hampshire, and I think New Hampshire is a much more friendly environment for him. But Marco Rubio has a lot going for him in New Hampshire that Donald Trump will have to reckon with.

Marco Rubio won most of the votes among Republican Iowa caucus goers who had not decided yet until that week. Now, that week leading up to the primary was dominated by Cruz and Trump headlines. And yet Marco Rubio is the guy that got a lot of those votes. He also got independent voters. That's going to be big in New Hampshire, too.

So I'm not actually sure Donald Trump should be going after Cruz. I think it's Rubio he needs to worry about.

BLITZER: Well, it's getting pretty testy in New Hampshire right now, Jamie. I want you to listen. This is the New Jersey governor, Chris Christie, what he had to say about Marco Rubio.


CHRISTIE: We know who the boy in the bubble is up here, who never answers your questions, who's constantly scripted and controlled, because he can't answer your questions. So when Senator Rubio gets here, when the boy in the bubble gets here, I hope you guys ask him some questions.


BLITZER: You've been talking to your sources among these so-called establishment candidates like Chris Christie. Are the gloves about to come off?

JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: That's Chris Christie being nice. He is going to go completely New Jersey on him; and so is Jeb Bush; and so is John Kasich. There is going to be a bloodbath in New Hampshire the next week. It won't just be Trump. It's going to be these guys who are in the establishment lane.

That said, I am told Marco Rubio is ready, and he's going to hit back. The gloves are off. And also, the campaign is going to roll out some things. There are going to be some more endorsements coming. There's money flowing into that campaign.

And, as we saw when Rubio hit back to Trump, he's pretty good at doing it.

BLITZER: Dana, is Rubio now the establishment candidate?

Dana, if you can hear me, is Rubio, for all practical purposes now, among those so-called establishment candidates?

DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: No question about that. Forgive me, Wolf. It's a little hard to hear here.

[17:25:08] But absolutely, he is trying to position himself as the establishment candidate. As Jamie was just saying, he's really, at this point, based on his very strong showing in Iowa, well on his way to doing that.

There's no question that the other people in that lane who have been living here in New Hampshire, literally like Chris Christie, like John Kasich, to a lesser extent Jeb Bush, they're going to try hard to tear that away from him.

But as we get closer to the primary, certainly the Rubio campaign, they are hoping that even Donald Trump's numbers come down to earth a little bit here. He's got a double-digit lead here in New Hampshire. That could help. Because remember, back to yesterday, it is Donald Trump and his supporters. It's very clear that Marco Rubio was able to siphon off and potentially, potentially, give Ted Cruz the win. So it's that kind of dynamic that the Rubio campaign is hoping to keep up here and then going forward.

BLITZER: I'm sure you have, David Chalian, just like me, been receiving a lot of messages or calls from Trump supporters saying, you know what? The Cruz victory in Iowa, Santorum won four years ago, what did that do for Santorum? Huckabee won eight years ago in Iowa. What did that do for him. Cruz is going to wind up the same place.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: I don't think Ted Cruz is Rick Santorum or Mike Huckabee at all.

First of all, he has a ton more money in the bank than either of those candidates had when they emerged from Iowa with their victory. I think victory in Iowa for Ted Cruz is a pretty big deal, especially because there was this expectation that he was on the way down heading into the caucuses and that Trump was having a moment where he might score this first crucial victory.

So I think it actually enhanced the importance and the momentum that Cruz gets out of Iowa. Obviously, Iowa is a tailor-made state for Ted Cruz. That is where he was going to have to win, and he did. New Hampshire is not as tailor-made, but I wouldn't rule out the ability for Ted Cruz to do well in New Hampshire, because of exactly the lane you're talking about.

There are so many guys in that establishment lane. Kasich, Rubio, Christie, Bush, that Cruz has the ability to consolidate the conservative vote. And we saw the conservative vote rally around him in Iowa. And then to South Carolina, and you look at that southern map, the SEC primary on Super Tuesday, that's fertile ground for Ted Cruz also. With the kind of money he has in the bank, with the momentum out of Iowa, Ted Cruz is going to be with us for a while.

BLITZER: For these so-called establishment Republicans in New Hampshire, New Hampshire is really, really critical. Somebody has to emerge decisively impressive.

GANGEL: Right. And I think some of them are going to go on, and some are not. If Christie and Kasich don't finish high, I think this is about it for them. Jeb Bush can go on. I'm told by his campaign he plans to go on. He's going to South Carolina. His brother, former president George W. Bush, is going to come out and campaign for him. That gives him a lot of star power. And he has his mother coming at the end of this week to New Hampshire.

So he's going to do -- they're pulling out all the stops.

BLITZER: George W. Bush is going to New Hampshire this week?

GANGEL: Not to New Hampshire. Barbara Bush, his mother, former first lady Barbara Bush, will be appearing with him Thursday night at a town hall and at some events on Friday. After New Hampshire, South Carolina, where George W. Bush was very strong, that's where they want him to come in.

BLITZER: All right, guys. I want everybody to stand by. We have a lot more to discuss.

Once again, we're awaiting Donald Trump's first news conference since the second-place finish in Iowa. My one-on-one interview with Hillary Clinton, that's coming up, as well. We'll be right back.


BLITZER: Today Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders brought their fight for the Democratic presidential nomination to New Hampshire, where the primary is just one week away. I spoke with the former secretary of state just a little while ago, just after the Iowa Democratic Party declared her the winner of the last night's caucuses, and I asked her about something she told the crowd during her celebration in Des Moines.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) [17:33:33] BLITZER: You said last night you breathed a big sigh of relief, your words, a big sigh of relief. What did you mean by that?

CLINTON: Well, as you recall, my luck was not that good last time around, and it was wonderful to win the caucus and to have that experience of all of the hard work, the grassroots organizing, pay off the way it did.

Now we're here in New Hampshire, and we are going to have a contest of ideas. I'm looking forward to the forum tomorrow night on CNN and then a debate Thursday night here in New Hampshire, because I think that Democratic voters and other Americans want to know what are the principal differences between me and my friend and opponent Senator Sanders?

And I want to get that information out there. I think it's important people understand that good ideas are one thing, but you've got to know how to implement. You've got to have a record of getting results. And I'm taking my ideas and my record to the people of New Hampshire this week.

BLITZER: The Sanders campaign says they won't have this debate Thursday night with you unless you agree to a subsequent debate before the New York primary in New York City. Are you willing to agree to that?

CLINTON: Well, you know, Wolf, this is really hard to follow, because when we said we would do the debate, they came back with conditions. We met the condition. Then they said they want different conditions. And we've tried to be very accommodating.

[17:35:05] But you know, we have agreed with everything that they have asked us to do. And I sure hope -- we're in Bernie Sanders' backyard here in New Hampshire -- I sure hope he intends to show up in his neighboring state and let the people of New Hampshire see us both on the debate stage.

BLITZER: Well, but just to press the point, the debate in New York city that they want, are you accepting that?

CLINTON: No, we've accepted all of their conditions. We did that last week. And they keep trying to add new conditions, which you know, raises questions about how ready or willing they are to debate here in New Hampshire. We met their conditions. We agreed to more debates, something that I wanted to do, because I think it's great to debate. And we're ready. I'm going to be there Thursday night.

BLITZER: Back in 2008, as you well remember, you lost Iowa, but then you came back to win New Hampshire. This time you won Iowa. Can you win New Hampshire one week from today?

CLINTON: Well, I think it's certainly what I'm aiming for. I care a lot about this state. I view it as being the first-in-the-nation primary for a reason.

I know that they tend to favor their neighbors. That's the pattern, the history of the primary, and Senator Sanders is a neighbor. But I think we will have a good contest, talking about, you know, what results we can produce, what our records have been, both in domestic policy, foreign policy, national security. And I think the people of New Hampshire will get a chance to really evaluate both of us. And I feel good about my prospects.


BLITZER: We're going to have more of my interview with Hillary Clinton a little bit later here in THE SITUATION ROOM.

But right now, I want to go back to our political experts: Dana Bash and S.E. Cupp, they're still with us. We're also joined by former Obama senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer; Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen.

You were part of the Obama team that beat Hillary Clinton back in 2008 in Iowa. She came back in New Hampshire, as we all know. What does she need to do now to continue the momentum she got from a narrow but important win in Iowa?

DAN PFEIFFER, FORMER OBAMA SENIOR ADVISOR: I think she would need -- she doesn't have to win New Hampshire. She needs to beat expectations now. And Bernie Sanders has very high expectations, because the polls have been so in his favor, and he's seen as such momentum there. So she needs to do well there, get onto what is more favorable territory in Nevada and South Carolina, win there, and I think win decisively, and she will be on the path to the nomination.

BLITZER: All right, guys. Hold on for a moment. We're getting some more information coming in. We're also standing by for this Donald Trump news conference, the first news conference he's had since his second-place finish in Iowa. We'll take a quick break. We'll be right back.


[18:42:20] BLITZER: Once again, we're watching what's going on. Hillary Clinton did win in Iowa, narrowly though, over Bernie Sanders. S.E., what does she need to do the next seven days between now and the New Hampshire primary to at least do better than expectations, as Dan just said? She might not win. The polls show that he's way ahead. But what

does she need to do to do better than a lot of people think she might do?

CUPP: Well, stay the course, but also hope that these polls, like they were in Iowa, are a little off. Donald Trump's numbers in Iowa overestimated. She needs to hope, maybe, that Bernie Sanders' numbers in New Hampshire are a little overstated. And if she can narrow the existing gap between where they are right now and have a decent enough showing, as Dana says, to surpass expectations, I think then she can say New Hampshire is essentially a win.

CLINTON: Hilary, what do you think she needs to do?

HILARY ROSEN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, you know, New Hampshire voters are very independent, so 40 percent of voters in New Hampshire independent, and you've got to get some of those to come to vote in the Democratic primary.

Democrats have historically said in the election that they want experience over significant change. That's been why Hillary Clinton has pretty much stayed the course in pushing her experience. But she's got to add some more change to this dialogue. She's got to make people believe that she's got this vision that she's going to go forward with something fresh and something new and connect that to how she's a pragmatist who will get stuff done.

And I think that's what Democrats need to hear from her, is that vision but also staying the course on her pragmatism.

BLITZER: Dana, the -- we heard Tad Devine, a senior advisor to Bernie Sanders, just say just moments ago he thinks this probably will go, this contest between Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, all the way through the spring into June, when the final primaries and caucuses take place. Is that what you're hearing, as well?

DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It certainly is what Bernie Sanders continues to say he is intending to do, not leave. And you know, there isn't a big reason for him to do that for a while. He's got momentum. He certainly has money, a lot of money, which he likes to say he's raising, not from, you know, sort of big donors or lobbyists and things like that. But from the people out there.

So you know, it's absolutely what he should be saying now. If he would say anything different, it would be political malpractice, because so much of what is going on with his support is genuine energy, genuine enthusiasm. So if he says, "Oh, you know, I might drop out," that's going to be the worst thing he could do.

But the one thing I will say, adding to what Hilary talked about, but where I am right now, and I should say, Marco Rubio is about to speak behind me.

[17:45:01] But that kind of makes my point. This is a place of a lot of independent voters who are not only deciding between Republicans and between Democrats, but they can cross over and that should not be underestimated when it comes to how or whether or not Bernie Sanders' big lead here is going to shrink or even Donald Trump's big lead here is going to shrink.

There's a lot of I wouldn't say monkey business but interesting voter turnout that could happen, especially when you have such active races on both sides of the aisle.

BLITZER: Certainly is. All right. We'll stand by to hear what Marco Rubio has to say behind you over there, Dana.

Donald Trump, by the way, he just arrived in Manchester just moments ago. He walked down, you see these pictures, off of his plane in Manchester, he's going to Milford. That's where he's going to be holding his news conference, the first news conference since his second place finish in Iowa. Were you surprised, Dan Pfeiffer that he came in second? The polls

including the so-called gold standard polls, "The Des Moines Register" had him winning.

DAN PFEIFFER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, look, it wasn't a good night for pollsters, period. That's obvious. If we take a step back, about a week ago everyone assumed that Ted Cruz is going to win Iowa and Donald Trump would come in second, right? And so that was the most -- that was what we thought before. And so it kind of played the way we thought it would be. The one thing that I think went against expectations is Marco Rubio did a little bit better as third.

BLITZER: Everybody thought Trump was going to win Iowa and Cruz would come in second.

PFEIFFER: Correct.

BLITZER: That was the expectation.


BLITZER: Cruz won, Trump came in second.

PFEIFFER: But that's what everyone thought in the last week. But everyone -- Iowa is Cruz's best state, right, and Trump's worst. So I think to really see whether the Trump phenomenon is real or not, we'll know that after New Hampshire.

BLITZER: Is the phenomenon, the Trump phenomenon real?

S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It's serious, for sure. But Iowa I think is a nice reminder to all of us, A, to put a little less stress on the polls. Because when you're just calling people with landline phones you don't really get an accurate interpretation of what's going on. But also to -- I mean, Iowa went the way Iowa should go. Iowans voted for Ted Cruz, the very conservative evangelical candidate. They did as they were performed, meant to do before Trump really sort of made us all second guess conventional wisdom.

So I think we all need to realize that while Trump is a significant force to be reckoned with, some of this is just baked in. New Hampshire is going to vote the way New Hampshire generally does and so on and so forth.

BLITZER: The New Hampshire Republican community is different than the Iowa Republican community.

CUPP: Yes. Right. Right.

BLITZER: Hold your thoughts, guy, because we have a lot more to discuss. We're also once again standing by for that Donald Trump news conference. You saw him landing in Manchester just a little while ago. It's his first since he stumbled into second place in Iowa.

Has the GOP frontrunner been hurt at all going into New Hampshire one week from today? And meanwhile, there's other news including growing alarm as North

Korea says it will launch a satellite into space. Does that mean Kim Young-Un's regime is closer to being able to launch a nuclear missile toward the United States?


[17:52:44] BLITZER: There's growing alarm right now over a planned satellite launch by North Korea. Mainly because a rocket that could lift the satellite into orbit is just a step removed from a missile that could carry a nuclear warhead as far as the United States.

CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr reports.


BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Japan's military on high alert in Tokyo watching for a North Korean satellite launch. Deploying Patriot missiles around the headquarters of japans' Ministry of Defense. North Korea has now openly declared it will launch a satellite on top of a rocket sometime between February 8th and 25th.

JOHN KIRBY, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: This act would violate numerous Security Council resolutions by utilizing prescribed ballistic missile technology. It also comes on the heels as you know of the January 6th nuclear test which is itself an egregious violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions.

STARR: The major U.S. worry, it's all a cover for a bigger effort.

MARCUS NOLAND, PETERSON INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS: The North Koreans call it a satellite launch, but let's not kid around, this is an attempt to build an intercontinental ballistic missile that is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead to the United States or other destinations.

STARR: In 2012, North Korea successfully conducted a similar satellite launch. U.S. intelligence agencies watching this time will look closely for signs of an improved rocket booster, the equivalent of a long-range missile.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter warning the rogue nation's military is under constant U.S. scrutiny.

ASHTON CARTER, DEFENSE SECRETARY: We, as I said, never take our eye off that. Every single day we're watching that DMZ.

STARR: The latest commercial satellite imagery also showing increased nuclear fuel activity at North Korea's major nuclear facility at Yongbyon. Amid growing U.S. worry North Korea is hiding even more.

NOLAND: We also have a program based on highly enriched uranium at a disperse set of facilities which we cannot track and monitor, so they have two parallel programs to develop nuclear weapons and they have a missile system as a delivery vehicle. (END VIDEOTAPE)

STARR: Now this launch site that everyone's watching, well, it is designed to keep everything hidden so U.S. satellites, U.S. radars may have a very tough time seeing what is happening until the last minute before a launch -- Wolf.

[17:55:10] BLITZER: All right, Barbara, thank you.

Coming up, we're standing by for Donald Trump's first news conference since his second-place finish in Iowa. He calls that a great finish. Trump already on the campaign trail in New Hampshire. We'll go there live. Stay with us.


BLITZER: Happening now, Republicans regrouping. The GOP White House hopefuls storm into New Hampshire. Donald Trump, brash as ever despite losing the Iowa caucuses to Ted Cruz. Will New Hampshire be his comeback? We're standing by to hear from him this hour. And we'll talk to a key Trump supporter.

Razor thin. Hillary Clinton beats Bernie Sanders in Iowa by the smallest margin ever. But the Vermont senator holds a considerable advantage --