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tv   CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin  CNN  May 9, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT

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white house is simply approaching science? >> well, i certainly share some of the concerns that you have highlighted, and to be fair, the appointment of my role and the eight other members who were not renewed were expiring and certainly, any new administration would have the authority and the right to appoint its own advisers. >> will you reapply? >> in some ways -- i don't plan to at this time. but when you see it in the larger context of proposed changes to the science advisory board which is a different board proposed budget cuts, the removal of information and data from the epa's web page, taken into totality, this gives me great concern. >> okay. robert richardson, thank you so much in michigan for us this afternoon. appreciate your time. top of the hour, you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin.
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moments ago the white house on the defense over testimony from sally yates, the one-time acting attorney general, who was fired by president trump. she had raised a number of questions about then acting national security adviser michael flynn. you know the story. the white house took 18 days to fire general flynn after yates went to the general counsel of the white house three times and warned him that general flynn was vulnerable to blackmail from the russians. moments ago, white house spokesman sean spicer said this about sally yates. >> dwee whwe did what we should. just because someone comes in and gives you a heads-up and says i want to share some information doesn't mean you immediately jump the gun and take some action. if you flip the scenario and say what if we had dismissed somebody because a political opponent of the president had made an utterance, you would argue it was pretty irrational to act in that manner. we did what we were supposed to do. the president made ultimately the right decision and i think he was proven that --
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>> reporter: how is she a political opponent of the president? she's acting attorney general. >> appointed by the obama administration, a strong supporter of clinton. that's now i think number four. >> let's start with jim sciutto, our cnn chief national security correspondent there. jim, we had a whole conversation a couple minutes ago about even spicer's characterization of her warning as a flippant heads-up. what did you make of his words today? >> reporter: he's doubling down on that heads-up description which is the same description he had on february 14th, the day after flynn was fired when he was asked about what yates said. he described it as a heads-up and since then, in public hearing yesterday and we reported this last week, yates has made clear it was far more than a heads-up. it was a warning, a very serious warning. she said she walked in her words, she walked the white house counsel through the details of flynn's underlying behavior, again, her words, and she specified that that made her concerned that he was subject,
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vulnerable to being compromised by russia. that description of the conversation is far more than a heads-up. it becomes i suppose a question of who do you believe then, sean spicer's description of that meeting or sally yates' description of that meeting. what is clear is it does not meet the definition of heads-up. it certainly meets, as sally yates described it, as quite a forceful warning. >> we know general flynn was on the inner circle, was the warmup act for right around campaign time for when candidate trump would come out. we talked a lot about how president trump is very loyal to his inner circle. still, the question is, why is the president still defending this man that he fired? >> reporter: well, it was one of his first big hires, right? it's hard not to see that as a mistake, right, and sean spicer in effect admitting that today, saying after they went through their process the president made the right decision. the other point i would make is this.
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as spicer and the president frankly attack sally yates as a partisan, keep in mind not only did she serve the administrations of both parties, even as dana made the point a few minutes ago went after democratic politicians in her role as a prosecutor, this is a charge that the president and his advisers have leveled at other senior national security officials. they have accused the former cia director brennan, at times they accused the fbi director james comey of being partisan when those senior national security officials come public with information that is inconvenient or that they don't accept. so that is you might call it convenient but it is certainly a frequent way to react or undermine people who come forward even from these very senior positions, even people who served multiple administrations with information that the administration doesn't like or disagrees with. >> jim sciutto, thank you. let's talk health care now. the battle over the nation's health care right now.
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vice president mike pence is meeting with senators to try to advance the obamacare replacement plan the house passed five days ago. that's happening as we are getting word of a response to the lack of diversity in this group. you can see the picture for yourself. these are 13 republican male senators who are tasked with finding consensus on health care. now we are hearing from a senior white house official telling cnn women will be added to the team saying quote, you will see these optics addressed, end quote. phil mattingly is up on the hill for us and so again, this is coming from this white house senior aide. what are you hearing on the hill about additions to this group of senators? >> yeah. the white house senior aide appears to be a little out in front of where senate republicans here are right now. you talked about that lunch vice president pence was at. there's a meeting before the entire republican senate conference met on health care. we talked to republicans about this issue which we first started discussing on friday when the names of this working group and the photos of those in the working group became very
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public. one republican aide told me explicitly this is about the policy, it's not about the optics, saying there was no plans to add anybody in the near term. senator mitch mcconnell came out after that meeting, saying everybody is involved in this process. i'm told behind the scenes, at this lunch behind closed doors, senator mitch mcconnell made very clear if you want to be part of this process, you will be a part of this process. remember, they have got 52 members in their conference. they need 50 votes at minimum to be able to pass this. so they need people involved. you want to talk about what perhaps they are doing to make clear that they want this to kind of go away a little bit. shelly moore capitoe was invited to the working group meeting to talk about medicaid expansion. susan collins, very important republican senator on health care, gave a presentation behind closed doors at this lunch. senators making very clear, senate republicans making very cloer that they want their women -- the women involved from the conference but not quite going as far as the white house right now as saying there will
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be an explicit addition to this already announced 13 member working group. >> okay. stay on it. phil, thank you. let's discuss all of this with erin elmore, former contestant on "the apprentice" and zerlina maxwell. ladies, good to see both of you. erin, let mow bege begin with y. why is this taking so long to address the lack of diversity -- >> i'm sorry. i'm having a very hard time hearing you. but i think i understand your question. >> hang on a second. hang on. >> -- it's a lot more -- >> can you hear me? we need to be able to have a two-way conversion. take a break. ♪ the sun'll come out for people with heart failure, tomorrow is not a given. but entresto is a medicine that helps make more tomorrows possible.
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hi..and i know that we have phonaccident, so the incredibly minor accident that i had tonight- four weeks without the car. okay, yup. good night. with accident forgiveness your rates won't go up just because of an accident. switching to allstate is worth it. all right. we're back. we will brush that off the shoulder and continue on with ir o erin elmore. ladies, thanks for the patience as we iron out technical problems. where was i? we were talking about this all
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male 13 senator panel. yes, you were listening to phil mattingly saying some women are certainly coming into the room. they are making sure their voices are heard. but why do you think it's taking the white house or the senate so long to address the optics issues? >> not long at all. i don't think this is about identity politics at all. it's more about statistics. obamacare is failing and one out of three counties in the united states, if you lo -- >> wait, wait, wait. let me stop you right there. hang on. you can give me statistics on obamacare if you want but to me this is just about women having a voice when it comes to health care in this country. why do you think it's taking so long for them to get some women on this panel? >> i don't think it's taking that long at all. they are working on it and it's been addressed append we are mog forward in a positive direction. women should absolutely be part of the process. >> why is it taking four or five days? >> i'm not sitting on capitol hill. your reporter should have addressed it. i'm telling you obamacare is
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imploding. it is not working. it's a failing system. premiums are soaring through the roof. all they are trying to do is achieve a common objective. that's their job. >> you are totally changing the topic. erin, this is -- >> we are not talking about obamacare? i thought we were. >> this is about maternity care. this is about breast feeding and rape treatment. >> i'm a mother. absolutely, you are so right. all of these 13 gentlemen on this committee right now, they are all elected officials. they weren't just elected by men. they are speaking on behalf of women who have issues like breast feeding and child care and mothering. i think -- >> i'm with you but why is this taking -- may i speak? it's my show. why is it taking backlash for us to put these graphics up of these panels since friday afternoon for them to take note and finally address the optics? i have an issue with that. >> i do, too. from what i understand, that
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wasn't the issue. we are making it about something that it's not. every conversation i have seen with all 13 individuals say this is not a closed door conversation. >> it's not a closed door conversation. you are correct. they have been, some of the women have been allowed in. zerlinea, do you see it as an issue? >> i do. because representation is important. having a diverse set of perspectives in the actual room making the decisions about what are really serious policy issues, health is something that is universal. it's really important to make sure you have women in the room who understand what maternity care means and what issues in terms of essential health care benefits go directly to women. one of the aspects of obamacare that has been largely successful, i would disagree that it's imploding, premiums were skyrocketing before obamacare was implemented. in terms of those preventive health care benefits, there are a number of different essential health care benefits that go directly to women, that are directly impacting women. millions of american women who would go and seek out services
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at places like planned parenthood in the alternative if they weren't included in the obamacare bill. >> okay. let's move off of that. i really would love both your two cents on jimmy kimmel. he's back on tv, trying to hit back at critics after he made that emotional appeal, talked about his child, about health care in this country, his newborn son had to undergo open heart surgery. here he is from last night. >> and i would like to apologize for saying that children in america should have health care. it was insensitive. it was offense tiive and i hope can find it in your heart to forgive me. here are very sick and sad people out there. here's one of them. his name is newt gingrich. he's former speaker of the house. >> you show up at the hospital with the brand new baby and the brand new baby has a heart problem, the doctors of that hospital do everything they can to save the baby. they don't say we will take care of the baby right after you write a check. they try to save the baby's life. that's true across the board. >> yes, it is true if you have an emergency they will do an
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operation and that's terrific, if your baby's health problems are all solved during that one visit. the only problem is that never, ever happens. we have had a dozen doctors' appointments since our son had surgery. you have a cardiologist, pediatrician, surgeon, some kids need an ambulance to transport them. that doesn't even count the parents who have to miss work for all this stuff. those details, newt forgot to mention. i don't know if the double layers of spanx are restricting the blood flow to his brain. >> so erin, you are one of the critics that kimmel is addressing here. you have come after him. >> absolutely. he's a limousine liberal, two-time college dropout that's losing in the ratings so i don't really think he has any credibility. speaking of another statistic he's saying children don't deserve health insurance? they don't have it right now. millions of americans are uninsured, premiums are through the roof. >> isn't he dwndi indefending t people, too? >> i don't see how he can be. what he's talking about isn't
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statistically sound or accurate. have you seen the man show? someone criticizing newt gingrich and spanx shouldn't be having girls in slow motion jumping up and down on a trampoline for entertainment. he's not exactly the voice of someone i respect or appreciate or isn't necessarily mysogenist himself. he's really toeing a slippery slope here. >> okay. how do you see it? >> i think jimmy kimmel was talking from a personal perspective which is why the original clip went viral. in terms of health care, that's something we all have to deal with. we all have family members who may avoid going to the doctor because for the fear that there will be exorbitant costs they won't be able to afford. so yes, people are dying because they do not have access to affordable health care. that was true before obamacare. that will be even more true if trumpcare gets to the senate. i think americans rightly so, about 100 million or so will be impacted by the bill in its current form and that should be concerning to all americans because health care is something
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that i think we can all agree as jimmy kimmel said in his original segment, is something that is a right. a baby should not have no access to the care it needs because their family can't afford it. >> appreciate both of you. ladies, thank you. coming up next, just in. the white house re-thinking the u.s. strategy in afghanistan. might that result in a u.s. troop surge? we will talk about what's next for america's longest war. and does fbi director james comey need to correct the record? all these new questions emerging about the accuracy in part of his congressional testimony and what the fbi plans to do about it. n one thing. more than one flavor, or texture, or color. a good clean salad is so much more than green. and with panera catering, more for your event. panera. food as it should be.
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welcome back. the white house today is responding to a new proposal on president trump's desk that is looking into sending an additional 3,000 to 5,000 troops to afghanistan. how does the president justify this military surge? how does it square with his america first campaign promises? here is sean spicer from moments ago. >> he's also very clear on in the campaign that, and as president, that he is going to do everything he can to fight radical islamic terrorism, to root out and destroy isis. in some cases if isis, where he has to go into afghanistan, that's -- they may be synonymous at that point. let's be clear, with the exception of the piece we announced today that the president authorized yesterday, no decision has been made. so let's not get ahead of what that ultimate policy will be. >> just to get a sense of the president's thinking on this,
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let's take a look back to 2012, 2013, in tweets when donald trump called afghanistan quote, our longest war and that it's quote, time to get out of there. that is just -- take a listen to this. >> what exactly will you do about afghanistan? >> i would say in afghanistan, it's probably the one place we should have gone in the mebl east because it's adjacent and right next to pakistan which has nuclear weapons. i think you have to stay and do the best you can, not that it's ever going to be great but i don't think we have much of a choice. that's one place frankly instead of going to iraq we should have probably gone there first, but i would stay in afghanistan. >> on afghanistan, you are saying that you are with the president, for now you leave the troops there and see what -- >> i would leave the troops there. begrudgingly. i'm not happy about it, i will tell you. but i would loov teave the troo there, yes. >> let me bring in brigadier
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general anthony tatum. you were former deputy commanding general of u.s. forces in afghanistan and your book "besieged" takes a look at domestic terrorism in the united states. sean spicer was asked what is the calculus of this potential surge in afghanistan, is this more about this deep-rooted issue with the taliban or isis. >> all of the above. i really think what you have got is a commander in chief who has a lot of confidence in secretary mattis and general nicholson, the commander in afghanistan. when you put that together it's good to see the commander in chief supporting the commander on the ground and secretary of defense. mcnicholson and i served together in afghanistan, as you referenced. i was deputy commander there. he was one of my subordinate commanders and he's been in and out of afghanistan for the last ten years. so there's not an american soldier that understands
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afghanistan and the pakistan greater region than general mcnicholson. if he is saying he needs 3,000 to 5,000 more troops, what he's really looking at is building capacity in the police forces and military of the afghan national police, afghan national military, and also for governance. let's remember, they were xlo completely dismantled so their governance is continuing to grow and now we have a new threat with isis there. we are trying to bring the taliban to the table politically. so those three things are really why you need 3,000 to 5,000 troops is roughly a combat brigade. there has also been an ask of nato, the uk is now considering sending some more troops also. but this dates all the way back to 2001, when you had guys like rumsfeld and wolfowitz that really did not know what they
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were doing and unplugged everything, sent it to iraq and left us with an incomplete mission in afghanistan and now we have paid that price dearly, and that's why we are still there. because we never did it right to begin with. >> he is giving all this latitude, i think you are saying he feels really confident in these top military brass, to make some of these decisions. but you also then have critics of the president who point to when he decided and got massive bipartisan support for the decision to strike in syria, do you think that sort of round of applause politically factored into this decision? >> you know, i really think this is a thoughtful decision. you don't send 3,000 to 5,000 u.s. soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, into combat lightly without going through the process. he's got a great team there with h.r. mcmaster, secretary mattis,
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mcanymo mcnicholson coming together, making recommendations on how to i don't these troops, where they would be used. there's a thorough vetting process that happens. the deployment will occur, training will occur before the deployment and it will be sort of a shrink-wrapped package of troops that go there for a specific mission. one thing i appreciate is that we are not really talking about where they are going to be, what they are going to do exactly. in general terms they will build capacity, they will train the police, train the army of the afghan nationals and then they are probably also going to conduct combat operations. if mcnicholson says he needs them, we need them over there. ultimately, the whole purpose for us being there is to deny sanctuary to terrorists. that's where 9/11 originally occurred or was planned. >> of course. general, as always, really appreciate your wise, wise
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perspective. thank you so much. >> thanks, brooke. let's talk about james comey, the fbi director under fire for some false statements he made under oath. cnn has confirmed that when the fbi director testified last week, comey overstated the number of e-mails that hillary clinton's aide huma abedin forwarded on to her then husband, anthony weiner, as well as the number of confidential classified e-mails forwarded. >> huma abedin appears to have had a regular practice of forwarding e-mails to him, for him i think to print out for her, so she could then deliver them to secretary of state. >> she forwarded hundreds of thousands of e-mails, some of which contained classified information. >> turned out those e-mails ended up in abedin's husband's computer because of a backup system for her phone. essentially in the cloud. the actual total is far fewer than the hundreds of thousands comey had claimed.
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not only that, but the e-mails that were classified, that were found, weren't actually marked classified at the time. with me now, the former republican chairman of the house intelligence committee. congressman, welcome back. good to see you. >> good to see you. thank you. >> so on james comey, this is a guy who has prided himself in rushing in to correct the record on multiple occasions, including the infamous letter ten days before the presidential election. his words have become political talking points. why do you think james comey isn't rushing in to correct the record this time? >> i mean, you have to ask james comey about that. it's obviously an embarrassing place for the director of the fbi to be, to be that wrong about that kind of a statistic, about that kind of an issue. the thing that happened just before the election. it's a bad place for the fbi director to be. >> although when sean spicer was asked does the president still have most confidence in james comey, essentially spicer responded, hasn't told me anything differently, so yes.
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sean spicer during the briefing, they were talking about the former acting general, sally yates and of course, her testimony yesterday, and when spicer was asked about her, he referred to her as a political opponent of the president. political opponent. what do you make of that characterization? >> well, i think that the decision that she made to not defend the president's directive on the immigration effort clearly indicated that she has a partisan bent to her i think that was a political decision. >> congressman, if i may just jump in, if you look back to her record as a prosecutor, there have been democrats who have balked at her including congressman john lewis out of georgia, because of a totally separate case years ago. the role, the partisan role was entirely flipped back then. >> it may have been totally flipped back then but this is the relationship and this is the experience that this president and this administration had with
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the former acting attorney general. they viewed it as a partisan behavior and so their experience with her is yes, she made a partisan decision in not supporting this president and the activities he wanted to conduct to keep america safe. >> how was she not supporting him when she was going to don mcgahn, the general counsel at the white house, and saying that the then national security adviser was compromised by russia? >> well, in that instance, she was doing what she thought was the appropriate thing to do. she went to the white house, she issued the warning to the administration, the administration considered the warnings and the admonitions that she provided with them -- >> for 18 days. >> for 18 days. which i this is is an appropriate time. number one, this isn't someone the president did not appoint. he did not know her. she came in to the white house and said this guy is susceptible
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to blackmail. well, as soon as the white house and the fbi are saying that, we know that that's not going to happen because it's now clear everybody knows what the situation is so the immediate danger and the immediate threat of general flynn being blackmailed, that was gone. so this then provided the administration time to check all the facts, what he had done, what he said to the vice president, the information that was provided to it by the justice department and to move forward and make a decision. i wouldn't have expected them to fire general flynn immediately. they went through a process, reached a decision and made a conclusion. >> okay. how about senator lindsey graham yesterday, he said one moment surprised him. watch this with me. >> general clapper, during your investigation of all things russia, did you ever find a situation where a trump business interest in russia gave you concern?
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>> not in the course of the proliferation of the intelligence community assessment. >> since. >> i'm sorry? >> at all, any time. >> senator graham, i can't comment on that because that impacts the investigation. >> we also, let mow ae add this during the press briefing today at the white house, president trump instructed this d.c. law firm to send senator graham a certified letter saying that he has no business connections to russia. any concerns here? >> no. well, the concern here is that the intelligence community prepared what they call a unanimous appraisal of the situation of which i believe the fbi was a part of and for the fbi as part of the deliberations
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leading to that document, not sharing with the rest of the intelligence community, i think it was the nsa and the cia, that there was an ongoing investigation and then putting this document forward seems a little bizarre to me. you would have thought that the importance of putting out a unified intelligence statement is that everybody's sitting at the table, puts all of the cards on the table so that everybody knows all of the facts as they are moving forward. that's the surprising thing, the dni, director of national intelligence, would not have been aware of this situation. >> congressman, appreciate it. >> thank you. next, brand new developments just in involving this murder mystery inside a penthouse in boston. these two doctors engaged to be married were brutally killed. hear about the suspect's connections to the building.
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investigators in south boston are trying to unravel this high profile murder mystery. these two doctors who were especially gau engaged to be married were killed last friday inside their luxury penthouse. mro mroes found their bodies, throats slashed, hands bound. moments before mropolice stumbl upon the suspected killer still in the penthouse. allison kosik has new details about the suspect. we are way off of answering why but what's the connection? >> what we are learning is that
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you lo ok at this luxury conne condominium complex, it's more than one building. several years ago the suspect did work in the complex adjacent to where the couple lived as a security guard. we don't know for how long. knowing that richard field, the man who was murdered, part of this couple, he lived in this complex since 2013. it is possible their paths could have crossed but it's interesting because you lo ok a this complex, it's not easy to get into. you need a key fob to get into the building. the elevator won't open if you don't have a key. there's a concierge there 24/7. we are also learning the suspect has a record serving nine months in prison for two larceny convictions. he was basically convicted for passing notes to a bank teller, the same bank, in two different incidents. he just got out a few weeks ago before this incident. >> just the way they were killed.
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so grisly, personal. i hope they get him to start talking. that's so horrible for those families. thank you so much. coming up next on cnn, two teenagers who witnessed a deadly mroes sho police shooting of their friends are speaking out about what happened when an officer fired his weapon. also new details about the lawsuit filed pie tby the famil jordan edwards. travel with my daughter. roller derby. ♪ now give up half of 'em. do i have to? this is a tough financial choice we could face when we retire. but, if we start saving even just 1% more of our annual income... we could keep doing all the things we love. prudential. bring your challenges.
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the father of a texas teenager killed by police is now suing the officer who took his son's life. 15-year-old jordan edwards was leaving a party with his two brothers and two friends last month near dallas when an officer just started shooting at them in their car. one of the bullets hit jordan in the head, killing him. his two friends who were in the car with him that night are now speaking out. the twin brothers say the officer had no reason to shoot. >> we did nothing wrong. we never heard no cop tell us to stop or anything like that. we didn't know what was going on until that happened.
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really, nobody did anything wrong. it was five innocent people, somebody ended up getting shot over nothing. >> the officer who shot jordan, roy oliver, has been fired and is now out on bond and first degree murder charges. nick valencia is working this one for me. tell me more about this lawsuit. >> reporter: there were five people in that car. you heard from two of the teenagers. while they said they may not have heard anyone tell them to stop the car, this lawsuit filed by the victim's father, jordan edwards' father, claims otherwise. it says at the very least, the driver of that car heard someone say quote, stop the f'ing car. but before the driver could do anything, the lawsuit claims, that's when officer oliver began opening fire. this lawsuit is a wrongful death lawsuit but makes a lot of racial claims against the police department. here's one of the most important parts of this lawsuit which is over 20 pages. it says quote, it was not until the release of body cam footage that chief of police changed his defense of defendant oliver. the officer who fatally killed
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jordan edwards. additionally, a police officer at the scene of the shooting also attempted to cover up for the defendant murder of edwards, in other words, but for the release of the body cam footage, the policy makers and other officers would have stood in defense of oliver. plaintiff seeks answers and compensation for damages and wropgf wrongful death of jordan edwards. this lawsuit goes after the officer who fired the shots but also goes after the african-american mayor and city council and chief of police, saying this wasn't enough training for these police officers, creating a culture which never gives edwards a chance at living that day. here's one of the racial claims made against the officer. the driver of that car according to the lawsuit said quote, an officer commented this "n" word doesn't know his f'ing left from his right. that heard by the driver of the car after being instructed to walk backwards. the father of the victim claims that all of this shows the
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racial makeup that this police department at the very least made it very difficult for african-american teens in balch springs. we reached out to the police department to give comments. they are not commenting on pending litigation. we also reached out to the attorneys but neither were available by the time of this report. we can tell you officer oliver is out on bond. there is no timetable to when he will make his first court appearance. >> nick, thank you. next, humiliating scene playing out in school cafeterias across america. kids being lunch-shamed because they can't afford it. we will discuss that. first, take a look at this week's upstarts. an l.a company reinvented the concept of a kir sus with the unique mix of engineering and technology. >> oftentimes i will be talking with people and they are like what do you do? i'm like i run a circus. some folks are like yeah, i got a web design firm. we are kind of a circus, too. i said no, no, we are really a
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circus. lasers, fire, robots. we are a location-based entertainment company creating the future of fun. people have a lot of options for entertainment. we are adding to that landscape in a new way. and adding new styles of interaction. new styles of play. it was a bunch of nerds that would get together once you know, it was a bunch of nerds that would collaborate on stuff and we started making interactive art and then microsoft called and said would you do all the entertainment for our e3 party. we said is there actual party here? is this a high-tech circus? it was fascinating because the brands kept coming, so intel, honda, cisco, ibm. we started working with all these monster companies as a tiny little group of 30 nerds, but we were sitting at taint section of software and game
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design and fabrication and frankly out-of-home entertainment. this stuff is really a ton of fun. you know, sometimes i can't really believe i get to call this work. it really is work, you know. make no mistake. about my small business so when it comes to technology, i need someone that understands my unique needs. my dell small business advisor has gotten to know our business so well that is feels like he's a part of our team. with one phone call, he sets me up with tailored products and services. and when my advisor is focused on my tech, i can focus on my small business. ♪ ♪ the unpredictability of a flaree may weigh on your mind.
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i want you to hear what happens to a number of children when they can't afford lunch at school. instead of getting hot food like everyone else, they get a paper bag with a cold cheese sandwich and milk, and in some schools there are two lines in the cafeteria. you have a line for pizza and the other line is for kids who can't afford to stand in the pizza line. another school, the student says
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he was forced to mop the floors because his parents hadn't paid off his lunch money debt. at another a teacher says kids go around the cafeteria collecting food scraps from trays. at another, a homeless student in tears afraid show wouldn't be able to graduate because her lunch money debt piled up as her family lost their home. these are just a few examples of lunch shaming. a child through no fault of his or her own treated differently or singled out because they are poor. it is happening in several states, and it's happening right here in america. 76% of school districts have kids with lunch debt, and nearly half of the nation's schoolchildren get free lunch. that is had a massive jump from 17 years ago, and it's a problem my next guest is trying to fix. she is jennifer ramos, executive director of a nonprofit called new mexico apple seed. her team just wrote a law that just passed in new mexico to end this practice, and a similar bill was introduced in congress just yesterday. jennifer, great to have you on.
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>> thank you for having me. >> i mean, i just rattled off just really sad scene in the lunchroom that's playing out across the country. i'm sure you can tell me similar stories. >> you know, it really is had a heartbreaking practice that children all over the united states go through every day when their parents haven't paid the bill, and a lot of times the parents may just need a little extra time. they may be paycheck to paycheck and they just need more time to pay the bill, and what ends up happening is children are ashamed and feel terrible and often go hungry. you had mentioned having two different lines for pizza or a cheese sandwich but many schools just give them nothing. if you don't have any money on you. >> awful. >> or on your card. >> so how in new mexico have you all worked to fix this? >> you know, we've been working on this for about nine years. we originally heard about the cheese sandwiches in 2009, and
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we're just appalled. what the we did is tried to work diplomatically to get more and more gets introduced in reduced price meals. 50% of the lunch debt here was from children who should have been eligible from free and reduced-price meals and just weren't enrolled. we've come a long way improving that but ultimately at the end of the day we needed legislation that said we're not going to throw out meals that children have taken. we're not going to make them work to pay their lunch debt. we're not going to stamp their hands with ink saying that they owe money. we're just going to feed children, and that seemed like the right thing to do. fortunately our sponsor, senator michael padilla and the governor, agreed. >> which is great, but it's an issue nationwide, right? you all dealt with this in new mexico and it's a question of how do you pay for it, and when you talk about lunch shaming, it shouldn't be shaming the kids. so who should be shamed over this? >> i don't think anyone should be shamed. i mean, one of the things that we do is make poor people feel
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bad for being poor. this is had a minor paper cut compared to what families in had the united states go through when they don't have enough money. so this seems like a fairly easy fix, and we feed the children and then let the debt be settled by their parents. oftentimes the parents just need a little more time to pay the bill and that's what we're going -- that's what we hope to give them with -- with this legislation and the anti-school lunch-shaming act that was introduced yesterday by the new mexico delegation and others. >> great job, jennifer. jennifer ramos with new mexico apple seed. thank you. before i let you go, let me show think story. mayhem and just chaos owe rupting amongst spirit airlines passenger and employees. this is hollywood international airport in florida. angry passengers are filling the terminal after spirit cancelled dozens of flights. multiple fights broke out, even with police.
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three people were arrested and spirit has cancelled 100 flights over the last week. the airline blaming the pilots for filing suit. yikes. i'm brooke baldwin. thanks for being with me. "the lead" with jake tapper starts right now. thanks, brooke it. never took the president that long to fire someone on "the apprentice." "the lead" starts right now. 18 days is how long it took trump to do something who experts believe was open to russian blackmail and all president trump and the white house are doing now is attacking the messenger. the senate takes the ball in an efforts to repole and replace obamacare but should some of the democrats share some of the burden for fixing the problems? we'll talk to minority leader chuck schumer. and never before seen images of the horrors after assad's chemical attack in syria, the one that forced president trump to act. video you have not