tv CNN Newsroom With Ana Cabrera CNN December 9, 2017 4:00pm-5:00pm PST
even for the things that were once a given. going to college... buying a home... and not being in debt for it for the rest of our lives. but we're only as strong as our community. who inspires and pushes us to go further than we could ever go alone. sofi. get there sooner. top of the hour. you're live in the cnn newsroom. i hope your weekend is going well. all eyes are on alabama right now in the hotly contest ed senate race there. just three days to go until the election and tonight, some big national names had descended on the state. doug jones is focusing this weekend on turning out the african-american vote. and he just held a rally.
stumping with jones, senator cory booker and terry sewell. >> i'm trying to get the last, i know you made already a million phone calls, but i'm here to try to help to get some folk woke. those people who don't understand the opposite of justice is injustice b, it is indifference, it is inaction and it is silence. got to get some folk woke. >> we deserve to have a senator who's character and integrity and veracity is not questioned on day one and there is only one candidate in this race that we can count on. and that's doug jones. >> i want to bring in senior national correspondent, alex, joining us from montgomery. we just laid out some of the latest from the doug jones campaign. meantime, the roy moore campaign
is getting another boost from the president. >> reporter: they are and the moore campaign in contrast to the jones campaign has actually remained relatively silent over the course of this weekend. that is in part due to the fact that moore may feel like he is more comfortable because he knows that he has this passionate base behind him. but at the same time, he's letting the president's words speak r for themselves. the president was at a rally in pensacola in florida last night and during ta rally, he voiced his support for roy moore. that is not the last time that voters here in alabama are going to be hearing from the president on that subject. we've just learned that the president has recorded a rrk obo call for moore in these final few days before the special election on tuesday. it's unclear when that robo call will be going on, but you can
certainly imagine that it will reflect somewhat what the president said about the race last night. he was very vocal in reiterate ing that endorsement for roy moore. there was all sorts of speculation as to what extent the president would get involved in this race then last monday, the president issued this full throated endorsement for roy moore, which he reiterated last night, casting doubt on some of the accusers of roy moore's and say iing that he needs someone like roy moore in the senate to advance his vend, a conservative agenda, so when it comes to this robo call, we can imagine that it will e reflect something similar to what he said last night. take a listen. >> we can't afford to have a liberal democrat who is completely control led by nancy pelosi and chuck schumer. we can't do it. can't do it.
his name is jones. and he's their total puppet and everybody knows it. he will never, ever vote for us, so get out and vote for roy moore. do it. do it. >> reporter: so what will the president's endorsement and this robo call mean for the race? well, it could have a certain amount of impact. there is a passionate base that will turn out for moore. there might be a number of people, conservatives, republicans, who are on the fence who were scared waway by these allegations or at least were assuaged by the president. but by injecting himself so much into this race, he could turn it into a referendum and people in the doug jones camp could come out not only to vote against roy moore, but dwens the president. >> quickly, alex, we understand steve bannon is going to be holding another rally for the candidate, roy moore, on monday?
>> reporter: he is. as i noted, moore is not having any rallies this weekend, but he is having a drain the swamp rally on monday night in midland city. it will be featuring steve bannon. that's going to be the third time that the president's former chief strategist turns out for roy moore before this election. >> bannon and trump. really trying to rally the base. thank you. i want to bring in our panel to discuss further. ben ferguson, tara, conservative come taiter a tater and the boa director for stand up republican. ben, i'll start with you. the president has now gone all in. on roy moore. right? everything that comes with him. that means. beyond the child molestation accusations, we know moore has said he believes former president obama isn't an american citizen. that a lack of faith played a role in 9/11. that homosexuality is the same at bestiality and that the last
time america was great was at the time when there was slavery. as a republican yourself, are you comfortable with this man representing your party? >> i'm not and i don't think he represents the party. i think you've got a fraud candidate here who unfortunately many people in alabama say look, he doesn't necessarily represent my moral code. my moral fiber, but he represents my interests better than the democratic candidate on basic issues that matter to me in washington. and that's the reason why ipg he's probably going to win this. i personally don't think roy moore should be in the u.s. senate. but i understand there's a lot of people in alabama that say they do not trust the democratic candidate either. they don't trust him on issues like abortion and there's a being big x factor. one of the big accusers of roy moore, unfortunately, she told a lie and inscribed some of the commentary around roy moore's signature, which was clearly falsifying what she was trying to say happened to her and for a
lot of voters in alabama, they said that's enough for them, enough doubt put out there by her admitting that she has you know, put commentary around his signature, to say i don't believe her or i don't believe maybe some of these other people either, so i'm going to vote for roy moore. >> dou you believe the women? >> i think there's enough smoke here and enough problems around roy moore by enough women. i think there's a real problem b with this one woman who wrote around the signature. that just flat up corruption that you shouldn't do. especially when you're accusing someone of something like this. >> based on what we know about the commentary, it sounds like she put the date and the place. >> that's right. >> but again, she stands behind the fact it was his signature and message. but tara, to ben's earlier point about why perhaps some people would choose to vote for roy moore even if they don't agree with the things he has said or
perhaps done. i remember during the presidential campaign, a number of republicans were willing to say while they weren't the biggest fans of then candidate trump, they wanted a republican picking the next supreme court jus justice. so is it far for republicans to say i want that republican vote in the senate? >> we're not talking about someone who was perhaps late on a tax payment or parking ticket or two. we're talking about someone who's credibly accused of sexually molesting a teenage girl and being a predator for other young teenage girls when he was in his 30s. how low is the bar going to go now at this point? i understand when people can you know hold their nose. some people didn't like john mccain. mitt romney, because they thought he was too stiff or too rich. we're not talk iing about those kinds of character flaws. we're talking about something that was potentially criminal. so i think that that excuse, just because you can explain it doesn't mean you should excuse it and at some point, we have to make a decision. what the character of our nation is going to be.
and by casting aside these flaws just means something shouldn't matter because he may cast a vote that you like. i think that's a very, very dangerous path. and to clarify the mischaracterization that ben is putting out, that woman can did not falsify anything. she didn't codo that. she added a date and location so she could have a contemporaneous understanding of where roy moore signed this and what the reference was. that's very different than falsifying or forging, which is what a lot of conservative media has done unfairly and another network had to correct a headline because they claimed she falsified that inscription. >> okay. >> i'm not excusing it away, but if you're a voter in alabama and you listen to this woman come out and you watched her press conference and she never brought any of this up then there's
questions. let me finish. there's also questions about the da that he would have not signed at the time because he wubt the da then they found out that's a signature put on there by assistants and court documents. she didn't disclose he was also over her divorce decree papers. you add all that up and the voters in al a al who have called into my radio show, have said they have a lot of problems with her story because it keeps forgetting these -- >> and i can hear and understand what they may be coming from on that one accusers story. and finding it relatively convenient to be able to have a hole in that credibility, but let's look at roy moore the candidate. he, too, has been questioned for his honesty. remember, he has been kicked off the supreme court in the state of alabama twice and the second time, the judges unanimously came out and said that he had not been credible.
that they found his use of case law as an incomplete -- excuse me, misleading and manipulatetive. i just wanted to get those facts out there. these voters were supporting moore are choosing to believe him whose credibility and honesty has been questioned in the past. >> as a conservative, look, as a conservative, i've never wanted someone to legislate from the bench. that's the reason why in the primary i did not support roy moore. i said clearly, the guy should have been run ining for elected office and not been on the supreme court because he clearly did not follow the law of the land. that was a huge red flag for me. for him in general. then you add all this on this. i agree with you. i don't think he should be in the u.s. senator. i don't think al franken should be in the u.s. senate, but at the end of the day, the voters of alabama clearly understand the allegations against roy moore and the majority of them that i've talk ued to have said to me again, he does not represent my morals, but he does represent my interests.
and many of them said this. look, abortion is still a very big issue in alabama. and the democratic candidate is in favor of abortion. they've said look -- >> okay. >> one senator is not going to overthe turn rowe v. wade. voters need to take a look at a single issue like this. they talk about abortion, but they don't have a problem with a guy who's sexually molested young girls? there's a certain cognitive distant here that needs to be called out and moore lied about not knowing them. he clearly did. he was called out as a liar by the ethics committee with supreme court in alabama and he also lie d about taking a millin dollars from a charity that he set up when he claimed he owed it a small salary. turned out it was over a million dollars. he's a liar and lunatic on top of all these allegations. he has other positions on things that are not in step with the
republican party and you know what else? if he wins tr, the republican py is going to have to answer. mass mutual today had to come autoand say they do not support roy moore's candidacy because they gave money to the republican national committee. they're one of several corporations who have given money to the national committee that now are going to have to answer for that their money is going to support a candidate like this. this is a terrible, long-term prospect for the republican party who's destroying itself because they want to get a winner and political expediency is dangerous. >> thanks for the debate. appreciate it. >> thanks. still ahead. kcalifornia in flames. six separate fires burning up the state and now, the first fire related fatality. we'll take you to ventura, california, next. live in the cnn newsroom.
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let's take a look at what's happening with the wildfires. the challenges keep growing. high heat, dry air, strengthening winds are making things so hard for firefighters right now. flames have burned 175,000 acres so far. that's an area only shilightly smaller than new york city. thousands of homes are threatened. hurricanes have been destroyed. the thomas fire has burned 148,000 fires in ventura county. this is already one of the most devastate eing fires in califor history and with santa ana winds expected to pick up tomorrow, are they worried things will get worse? >> reporter: everywhere you go, the store, just to get ice cream, everyone is talking about the weather forecast because this is a wind driven event and that house and what you see through this neighborhood is one example of it. fire is pushed in this
community. it was pushed in this community with the wind. it whipped through this community and then it burned all of these houses down. you can see there's little left. some of the people who live here got their first look at what was left. >> my lifetime. couple of lifetimes. like i said, 84. 83. my mom and dad. they've been living here for 30 years. built it themselves. there's not much, but if there's a few things that will help them you know, have some connection with the past, then that's what i'll try to do. that's what it is. material stuff, but like you said, memories. of a lot of years. and we'll see where it goes from here. i don't know what they're going to do. it's a process. it's shock, still shock.
still trying to understand. little blocks. a little lizard. don't ask me. you know what, if it helps, it helps. despite the loss, we're fortunate. we have family close by. we have other options and you know, it's material stuff other people are doing so much more. have so much more tragedy in their life that we had nothing to complain about. you've got to just focus on that. makes the rest of it easier to deal with. >>. >> reporter: firefighters trying to prevent more people from experiencing what that man and his family has by fighting very hard in what you're looking at now. this is a live picture of the north flank of the fire. it's a giant plume that you can see across this county. the fire growing. expanding into santa barbara
county. even though this is contain ed, 15% say this is a very dangerous fire. 15,000 structures are threatened and here in ventura, they have experienced 500 structures that have been burned down in this fire alone. the weather forecast for r tomorrow, the winds expected to become even more dangerous. those dry conditions you were referencing will also continue. >> the damage there just incredible and so disheartening to see. thank you for that report. now as california battles the dry heat, increasing winds, dangerous flames, the southeast shoveling out from a surprisingly strong winter storm that's headed north. gene norman is joining us now. i want to start with the fires because of the danger where with these fires. when is the weather finally going to be helping the situation there? >> the good news is that we probably will see a break in
high winds by the time we get to early next week. so we're anticipating that and hoping that that will be the case. as we take a look at what's going on with those winds, we're seeing that as we zoom into this area here in the thomas fire location, we're noticing that well, it's a large area and when you see a report like that, you got to remember that all of this area in red is what is impacted by the fire. the potential for the winds to increase, overnight tonight and into tomorrow morning. that's a big problem, of course, because a lot of people might be sleeping. not realizing that this is going to occur. the area impacted by the fire is actually about the size of chicago, believe it or not. winds right now in the 20 to 30 mile an hour range, but watch the forecast. very important to note that the pique of the highest winds will occur around 4:00 in the morning california time. so as people are sleeping, they
may not realize this is happening and they need to be aware those embers could quickly ignite and quickly park. meanwhile, switch to the southern snow situation. take a look at these totals from overnight. nearly 2 feet in northeast georgia. about a foot in the atlanta suburb. 7 inches in corpus christi. the snow continues, the system moving up the east coast, but moving quickly. a lot of the moisture is out in the atlantic ocean and so, the it will all be done by dawn tomorrow. anywhere from 2 to 4 inches in the big cities. 4 to 6 in sections of new england. 12 days from the official start of winter, but ana, it feels like it for a lot of people. >> no kidding. a foot of snow near atlanta. wild. thank you. good to see you. coming up, 400,000 documents. we're just now learning how much evidence robert mueller collected in the case. next, you're live in the cnn newsroom. and energy in just two weeks.reh
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there are new details this weekend about how russia tried to contact yet another member of president trump's inner circle. "the new york times" is reporting that russian operatives repeatedly tried to correspond with hope hicks during the transition period. now, hicks was an adviser at the time. she is now the white house communications director. the paper says the fbi was so alarmed by the attempts that agents met with hicks at least twice to warn her that these russian officials tried to contact her were quote not who they claimed to be. the new york city new york notes there is no evidence hicks did anything wrong here, but the
report coming after we were learning she was interviewed by special counsel investigators on thursday and friday this week. so this makes her the latest person in the president's inner circle to be questioned by robert mueller's team. let's discuss where this fits in with the russia investigation. samantha, former cia operative, mike baker and paul cowen are joining us. so man that, you worked for the white house, advised president obama in national security matters. is it normal for foreign operatives to contact top presidential advisers like this? >> thanks, ana. there are two related issues here. the first is that historically, foreign governments including russia, who is a very sophisticated intelligence service, have tried to contact u.s. government officials. this is why when you enter the administration, you get a counterintelligence briefing. now it may be time for a refresher course for the administration on how to stay villagilant against contacts fr foreign governments.
it's now clear that the russian intelligence operation which began during the campaign continued through the transit n transition, didn't end when the administration took office. despite the fact that the obama administration had publicly outed the russians for interfering in the election, the it's now clear that russian officials tried to contact hope hicks. so my question is whether the russian government tried to contact any other administration officials and if so, when. >> and the question i have is why, mike? because russia had communication lines with other trump transition members during the same time period we're learning. mike flynn was in touch with the russian ambassador and actions and jared kushner was reportedly trying to set up a secret channel with the kremlin. so why would russian operatives need to reach out to hope hicks? >> because this is what they've been doing for generations. it was just pointed out, this is nothing new. you go back to the beginning of
the 19 how 40s when russia was still alive with gjere germany before hitler decideded to invade russia. they spent a lot of time here in the u.s. trying to influence public opinion. trying to keep the u.s. igslationists out of the war. they paid off journalists. they set up trade groups that were independent. they paid off union leaders. they contacted and tried to engage and influence government personnel. they've been doing this all this time. this is what the russian intel service does. they're zoeing discontent and constantly, their game's never changed. it's trying to chip away at the credibility of democracy, of government here in the u.s. anybody who's been involved in a counterintelligence operations and not spent some time working against the russians in my time, this is not a surprise to anybody. not saying the investigation isn't important. do what you need to do. but understand it and put it
into context from an operational perspective. >> again, this is happening during the transition, does it undercut the idea of collusion and that russia had deep rooted ties to the trump campaign during the campaign itself? >> well, it does in a sense. i suppose you could look at it this way. speculation on my part. but i will say this. they played both sides. the russian intel service, the people involved in this effort, they've been promoted an they're you know, they've done a very good job from their per specktive and played the democrats and republicans. so you know, again, carry out the investigation. make the interviewed, do what you need to do. we knew that hope hicks was going to be interviewed several weeks ago. they said they were fwoipg to do this. that's the right thing. the fbi did what they're supposed to do. from a counterintelligence perspective. this is what they're supposed to do.
they become aware of something and they are supposed to sit down with whomever is in the administration and say we've got a concern and this is why and ensure that people are aware of how aggressive it is out there in the world. >> so paul, hicks may now know, interviewed with mueller's team, two days worth of questioning with her. how integral do you think she has become in this investigation? >> i'm not surprised that it would take so long. because remember, she acted as a personal assistant or administrative assistant to the president for a long period of time while he was in office during the campaign. going back into the days of his business. so she obviously knows all about the trump financial empire, the trump campaign and what went on and key moments. one of the big key moments for instance being after the famous trump tower meeting at a press release was issued, she was involved in the process of working on the press release presumably and has been a big debate about whether the president was involved. >> after the revelation there would be this meeting.
>> that's right and this profit the president helped to draft it and he's denied that now and don jr. was questioned about that. so hope hicks would have a lot of answers to very important questions. >> do you think she could be in legal trouble if she was just a conduit or a fly on the wall during some of these conversations? >> i think it's unlikely that she would be in legal trouble unless she lies to the investigators then she can wind up like a lot of other people do in these investigations, being charged with lying to the fbi because you're trying to help a friend or help somebody else like the president on one of his sons and you get in trouble yourself. so it remains to be seen. >> samantha, president trump haeeld the rally last night. at one point, we heard the crowd start chanting lock her up in reference to hillary clinton. i want everyone to hear what the president said in response to those chants. >> this is a rigged system. this is a sick system from the
inside. and you know, there's no country like our country, but we have a lot of sickness in some of our institutions and we're working very hard. we've got a lot of them straightened out, but we do have, we really do. we have a riggeded system in this country. we have to change. >> the president of the united states calling u.s. institutions rigged and sick. what impact does that have? >> these statements are disturbing on a rot of levels, but they have real national security implications for two reasons. think about what kind of message those statements send to our enemies.commander in chief of the united states broadcasting publicly that our institutions in his mind at least, are sick. this could send a message to our enemies that your institutions are in a weakened state and are vulnerable to attack. he's yet again undermining the
confidence and moral of the dedicated public servants that go to work every day and serve our country. we've seen this every day and we've seen him do this with the fbi. this is not a way that ta president should be protecting our country. >> mike, how do you see it? did do the president's attacks against the fbi, the department of justice, make the u.s. less safe? >> i don't think they make them less safe. i think they're completely unnecessary and again, it all comes back around to this issue of what i would like to see. again, i didn't vote for either of the candidates this this last election. i just thought in country this large, we might have been able to do better perhaps. i suppose we could ask bernie sanders if the system was rigged after we found out the actions there. but i don't think that any of these tweets or any of the messaging that goes out is helpful in any way. i don't think it necessarily makes us less safe. from the bureau's perspective, i can speak from the agency's perspective, the people out there in the field on the pointy edge of the spear, they just get
on with their job. they don't care who's in the white house in a sense. just give us priorities, tasks, we're going to march on. at the same time, sort of at the top level, they're human, right? and they would like to always feel as in because they operate off the radar. that's their job. you don't go into the cia, the bureau, because you want a pat on the back every day. you would like to think you've got top cover from above and that's where sort of that human sense comes in and the frustration. >> i want to ask you about what we're learning, a new detail in mueller's investigation. court documents revealing what kind of evidence he is now collecting for paul manafort and rick gates cases and includes 400,000 document, 36 laptops, phones, hard drives, thumb drives. that soupds like a lot. 400,000 documents in just a motter of months. is is it a lot? >> it's not really a lot consider considering what he's investigating and he's investigating $75 million, $25
million of which he says might have been laundered by manafort. that's what's charged in the indictment. in connection with the indictment. so and in these white collar crimes when you're dealing with that kind of money, there's a lot of evidence involved. a lot of documents involved. what's most surprising to me having looked at it now caref carefulfully, it doesn't touch on trump. all the manafort stuff is before the election campaign. it's, he had a complicated life and obviously, a lot of money. 75 million passed through his hands and they say 25 million of it was laundered. but all before the election. so i think what trump supporters will say is well, this is n nonsense. it has really nothing to do with the president. we have yet to see the connection from president trump to the manafort investigation. >> we know though because he's been charged, it doesn't exclude other charges. >> this could be superseded if these charges and this investigation leads to something that connects him to the
president or connects the campaign to the russians. so we'll have to see what happens in the end. >> all right, everybody. paul, samantha, mike, thank you all. coming up, tensions are now at an all time high on the korean peninsula and there are new fears about athletes competing at the olympic games. just 50 miles south of the dnz. we'll tell you what precautions are already being taken, next. (vo) dogs have evolved, but their nutritional needs remain instinctual. that's why there's purina one true instinct. nutrient-dense, protein-rich, real meat number one. this is a different breed of natural nutrition. purina one, true instinct.
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several men through molotov cocktails at the synagogue. no reports of anyone hurt or any damage to the building, but stay in touch with cnn because we are in touch with officials there. meantime, tensions running high over the missile threat from north korea and concerns this rogue country may attempt some sort of attack during the 2018 winter olympics in south korea are growing. brian todd has this report on how north korea could possibly interfere in the upcoming games. brian. >> as tensions with kim jong-un's regime intensify, u.s. law enforcement and security agencies are ramping up coordination with their south korean counterparts. just eight weeks before the winter olympic, concerns are mounting that north korea might engage in a violent provocation to disrupt the games. which are being held just 50 miles south of the dmz. >> things north korea might do
to provoke the south koreans, to cause either the games being shut down on events being moved or potentially war. >> security experts say soft targets like transportation hubs, schools a, and shopping areas could be targeted fwi the north koreans during the li olympics. could athletes from america and elsewhere be in danger? nicki haley hinted at it on fox. >> do you feel comfortable sending family members? >> i think it depends on what's going on at the time in the country. we have this watch this closely and it's changing by the day. >> but now, the white house and u.s. olympic committee say america is planning to send its athletes. still, there is a unique security threat at these games. the location and razor sharp tensions over kim's missile tests have the region on edge. north korea has used tunnels to try to insert commandos and frog men into south korea for spying and assassinations. and the regime has a history of
violence surrounding sporting events. a south korean airliner was blown up in 1987 with all 115 people on board killed. one of the agents was captured and said the bombing was ordered by the north's leaders to disrupt the 1988 summer pim liam picks in seoul and during the world cup in south korea, north korean patrol boats engaged in a skirmish with the south, leaving several servicemen on both sides dead. analysts say kim has strong motives for disrupting these olympics. >> he is facing the prospect of two years of maximum economic strangulation through sanctions and over law enforcement measures to really cripple his economy. he's going to look for ways to fight back. one way is to hurt the south kor koreaen economy. the south korean economy is 100% focused on a successful international olympic event. >> so imagine cyber sabotage. so you don't kill anybody, but
you just disrupt the economic flow. the transportation flow. you create a headache for the south korean government. you make the south koreans look bad. they lose face. >> analysts say if the north koreans don't engage in a violent provocation during the winter olympic, they're at least likely to send in spies. they say the liolympics will ofr the north korea bens to gain economic intelligence on south korea, to place sleeper agents there and to make contact with the north koreans agents they have in south korea. brian todd, cnn, washington. coming up, congressman trent frank allegedly offering to pay an aide $5 million to have his child. details on this rather bizarre resignation and the story behind it, next. live in the cnn newsroom. you switched to the capital one quicksilver card. and how do you feel? [sighs] like a burden's been lifted. those other cards made you sign up for bonus cash back. then they change categories on you every few months.
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a u.s. congressman offering a woman in his office millions of dollars to have his baby. that is a bizarre accusation leveled against trent franks and apparently the reason he abruptly resigned from congress this week. he was the third lawmaker in the spin of three days to resign in the face inappropriate sexual conduct or sexual harassment. here is sunlund serfaty with the details. >> i talked to a confident who detailed her side fof the story. she said she was asked by the congressman to be a surrogate
for money. the woman said she was asked to look over a contract to potentially carry his child and if she conceived his child, she would be given $5 million. this account comes from andrea laverty and she's presented her side of the story to speaker of the house paul ryan's office. and this of course was first detailed and reported to the associated press. speaker of the house paul ryan quickly called for his resignation after a very swift condemnation. he called the charges very credible and very serious. the congressman pushed up his deadline for his official resignation. he did this on friday. instead of resigning officially on effective january 30th, 31st, he resigned on friday. he is out and he's punting a bit to his family. he said his wife was admitted to
the hospital with an ongoing ailment, it's the best thing for his family to have him go and resign. it very clear in the halls of capitol hill there was no and tied for him to stay longer. >> thank you, sunlen. a simple tweet goes viral and helps raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for st. jude's hospital. you're live in the cnn newsroom. hey ron! they're finally taking down that schwab billboard.
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diseases. danny wanted to raise money for st. jude's children's hospital and so she tweeted out this message, pledging to give 25 cents for every favorite and 50 cents for every retweet she received. well, she never expected this tweet to go viral. >> i drew a blank. i really had no idea what to expect. at the time i had 600 followers and i was like, okay, so that's basically impossible. then i'm like okay, this is the time, this is the time to make a change. >> so that tweet ended up getting hundreds of thousands of retweets and favorites and so now it has raised more than $95,000. there's an additional gofundme page that has raised $100,000. the goal is $220,000. good job, go koucougs, honored
bring that sfor. i'm ana cabrera, back here with you tomorrow. up next, "justice for jessica." stay warm and good night. >> announcer: the following is a cnn special report. i look at it as two ways. it either tells me a scared person is trying to cover up evidence or the meanest person i've ever seen in my life committed this crime. >> one unspeakable crime. >> she was saying, "help me, help me, somebody set me on fire." >> a mystery that baffled investigators. >> we all feel like it's just right there, why can't we figure it out. >> and put one tiny southern town in the crosshairs.