tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN December 10, 2017 12:00pm-1:00pm PST
know why they are saying it, but it's not true. >> and right now in alabama, the challenger doug jones courting the african american vote. cory booker campaigning in alabama for jones. we have a team of corresponders and commentators covering the race. let's begin with kaylee hartung. moore agreed to give i tv interview, but he has not been seen publicly. what's the strategy here? >> people on moore's campaign told me if moore it his way, there would be no campaigning on sunday because that's the lord's day. this man of faith not wanting to disrupt their sundays, but the closer we have gotten to the election, people me moore let up on the theory. today folks are launching door-to-door canvassing out of this field office, but with the
caveat that they were not taking to the streets where folks haven't been home from church and they will be off the streets by 5:00 before folks go to evening services. folks tell me that the phone call is not a priority if they are having interaction with people in alabama. they want it to be face-to-face. when i asked the question of what the strategy would be on monday, that last push to election day they said they are not sharing the strategy. they didn't want the jones campaign to have an understanding of the particular areas they would be targeting. a lot has been made of the fact that they haven't seen roy moore since last tuesday in that spirited event with the chief strategist. we did get a chance to see him on television with the voice of alabama politics show. bill was friendly to moore and even took opportunities to mock democratic opponent doug jones at times. we know that the next time we
will see moore out in public among the people will be tomorrow. another appearance with bannon in midland city. today we are told he is spending the day in montgomery with friends and volunteers of his campaign for a christmas party. >> thank you. let's check in on moore's challenger doug jones. trying to be the first democrat to win the senate seat. out at an event in birmingham, what's the closing argument in the final few hours? >> the main argument is get out the vote. you are looking at the fairly cramped headquarters here in birmingham. they are about to have a rally here with doug jones. one of the big names who have come down to alabama this weekend to help jones get out the vote and get people out to vote. particularly the african american electorate.
one of the main messages jones has had is that this is the 50 chance they have to because of the allegations against roy moore in the past few weeks. the jones campaign feels that there are a lot up for grabs. jones has taken the mainstream positions whether it's on the economy or health care. the strongest argument is that he is not roy moore. they have not shied away from highlighting the allegations whether on the campaign trail or in ads. trying to capitalize on the fact that the allegations could strip away some votes from roy moore and let's start with you.
on the republican side, what's best do you think for the republican party in the long-term? get beyond the tax bill in the long run. what's best for the party? >> i have not been a fan of roy moore even prior to the allegations. i'm privately rooting that he doesn't win, but long-term, if he does win which it looks like he had, it is a brand alcohol enj for the republicans. they will use this to hang us into the mid-terms. it looks like the republicans like donald trump are willing to strike this bargain in order to get key critical votes on things
like health care and tax reform. they were willing to vote for the allegations. not the first time it happened in politics. >> would a roy moore win be good for the democratic party? >> absolutely. if roy moore goes to the senate and mitch connell and republican senators don't immediately expel him, democrats are going to use this as an opportunity to capitalize on the stain that is roy moore. he is the embodiment of a sexual predator. the rnc is gluing themselves to roy moore and democrats inject this message and this brandt into battle ground districts for the house and the senate as we approach 2018. >> how effective do you think that will be? >> incredibly compelling. the democrats have the moral high ground and they pushed aside the sexual misconduct and
democrats get to campaign on a women empowerment message. >> assuming that no more democrats come forward that they are sexual harassers. this is largely a democratic problem. but to date it is more of a democratic than a republican problem. >> the problem is there as you know that democrats have drawn the line and said al franken you are not welcome here. john conyers, you are not welcome here. they can claim we have the moral high ground. how big is that for republicans? nancy pelosi called him an icon. it's not like democrats have been squeaky clean. moore is going to be a problem for republicans going into the mid-terms, but democrats i think don't have as easy of a path as
they think they do. if there was the republican governor, when he moves aside, the democratic governor and if democrats do have a leg up, that being said, i think it's important and a couple of weeks ago before they were calling on conyers to step aside. i think it's important for us as a party brand to be on the side of the women and say we won't stand for this. democrats have made the right
move for republicans and it's put up or shut up. it's on republicans to expel roy moore and if they don't, that will be a challenge. >> i want to get to that and back to tuesday and talk about we will have any impact on the race. the political strategist for the moore campaign and listen to the different takes. steve bannon is not going to move the needle just like president trump barely moved the needle in alabama when he came down here for luther strange. this is an alabama race. i have covered politics here for a long time. alabama is unique. people are proud. they are going to make up their
own mind. if the people in alabama vote for this liberal democrat doug jones, they are voting against the president they put in office at the highest level. it's penitentiary for donald trump and ground zero for president trump to beat him and beat his agenda. >> two very different takes from two a.m. bammians. which is right? >> it's a blend of two. no one cares what he said in alabama. he didn't move the needle. donald trump does help among roy moore supporters. he has a 98% approval rating. luther was in a hole and it wasn't enough. it's who is best to drive trump's agenda. they asked themselves and roy moore wins. if the question is whether or
not roy moore is a child molester, that doesn't bode well. that's a conversation they are trying to have. >> doug jones is largely made this campaign about roy moore. democrats will be kicking themselves for not finding a stronger candidate that represents the alabama political beliefs. >> i beg to differ. i don't think that the jones campaign should be about running against moore and running a negative campaign. it's an important component of the mix in terms of communications, but the jones campaign has to be campaigning on a positive level with an optimistic and hopeful message. there are a number of areas. they should talk about how he will invest. the republicans and the president having campaigned on and more over when it comes to the tax plan, democrats should be talking about middle class tax cuts and not plans where they give cuts to big corporations and greedy banks.
it's important to hold the feet to the fire, but at the same time you need to have a positive hopeful message among base democratic voters. >> there is a lot on the table on tuesday. thank you both. we will have complete election night coverage of the alabama race tuesday at 5:00 p.m. eastern time. up next, a 48 hour mystery. donald trump's mar a lago resort. key moments that are prompting questions about whether president-elect trump you knew michael flynn talked about sanctions with the russian ambassad ambassador. growing evacuations in southern california as a huge wildfire spreads into yet another county. ♪ for every hour that you're idling in your car, you're sending about half a gallon of gasoline up in the air. that amounts, over the course of the week, to about 10 pounds of carbon dioxide. growth is good, but when it starts impacting
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with the russian ambassador. the answer could lie in the hall ways of mar a lago last december that is haunting the trump presidency. then president-elect trump working from mar a lago in florida. the top aides including kellyanne conway and steve bannon and reince priebus and steven miller and hope hicks. also michael flynn received contact to the russian sergei kislyak. current president obama announces new sanctions against russia for meddling in the u.s. election. the top national security aide kt farland received a call from flynn regarding what he should say about the sanctions. flynn then called kislyak and urged a muted response. he called farland back to fill her in.
trumps huddled to plan a response to the new sanctions. it's unclear whether trump was involved in those conversations. just after 6:00 p.m., trump said i will meet with leaders of the community next week in order to be updated on the facts of this situation. here now to talk about this is cnn white house reporter abby philipp and criminal defense attorney. let's start with you. you are traveling with the president and has the white house said how deeply involved the president was in any of these deliberations? did he expect them to? >> those meetings that you discussed would have happened down the street from here, but the white house is not saying a lot about what the president would have known at the time that those meetings were happening. they said two things. the accusations and the charges have nothing to do with the
president, but the president claimed that dlin's actions would not have violated any laws and would have fallen into legitimate behaviors that he didn't understand why michael flynn would have lied in the first place. they have not gotten down about who knew about the conversations. as you laid out, it seems unlikely to the president-elect at the time who was deliberating with his aides about how to respond publicly to the sanctions would not have known at all what his soon to be adviser would have done. and again it seems unlikely that the president would have been kept in the dark, but the white house is not saying one way or another. >> what is kt farland's
exposure. she wrote over the summer that she did not have knowledge of flynn's communications, but as you know, this new reporting seems to suggest otherwise. >> it will depend on who else knew about the discussions and what they knew. we know she made certain statements as you pointed out indicating she had no idea about the conversations and the substance of the conversations. if that statement was false, she could also be looking at a potential criminal charge of making a false statement. it doesn't have to be to the fbi. any false statement investigating a crime like this or even some other matter unrelated to criminal conduct can be a felony charge. >> you covered it extensively and is it plausible that they kept the behind the scenes conversations from the president? >> it's unlikely.
at the time the president was engaged and putting together his administration, this was something they had not been before the election. they were involved in that process and wanted to reset with russia. that was a key foreign policy pillar for the trump administration. folks like kt mcfarland and michael flynn and others who were either president or communicating regularly with the inner circle of the administration would have likely kept the president abreast of everything that they were doing and if they didn't, they haven't said so definitively one way or another. kt's statements to investigators raised another question similar to one with michael flynn. if she did know about this and have these conversations, why didn't she tell the truth or why wasn't she forth coming? was there an effort to conceal these conversations and these are all questions that investigators both in congress
and the special counsel will be looking at going forward. >> of course. the team revealed in a court filing on friday and collected 400,000 some documents related to former trump campaign officials. prosecutors say 2,000 are described as hot. what does that mean and how might they leverage that? >> it's impossible to know what the do you means are. it's not uncommon in a sophisticated federal case for there to be hundreds of thousands of documents. in my own practice, the government will give me aerer terabyte of information relating to the case. it's always helpful. the government doesn't have to do that and identify to the defense, what are the most important documents out of that 400 or 500,000 documents we are giving you. you can focus on that. this is the way things normally
happen in federal criminal cases like this. the real question is what's in the documents? his defense team, manafort's defense team will have the opportunity to find out. >> not a lot of work for the team. the president friday night in florida referred to this as a rigged and sick system. this sends an ominous signal about the probe. roger stone and former adviser to the president told the "wall street journal" on friday, the president's legal team is walking him into an abyss by not attacks the integrity. the president's language is the start of a new legal shift? >> it's not fair that it's a legal shift. the president's lawyers responded to this clamoring from the outside advisers and friend who is say that mueller is closing in. by saying that they support the direction that the mueller investigation is going in, they want to cooperate because they think the investigation is coming to a close sooner rather than later.
the president is hearing things in both ears right now. he is hearing from the lawyers that this thing is coming to a close and hearing from his friends and outside adviser who is he talks to on a fairly regul regular basis that there are huge are red flags and he needs to reign mueller in. what the president is going to do is unclear. he is being advised very strongly by attorneys and republicans in congress don't go near mueller directly. that would be a huge red line for members of congress on the hill. so far nothing, but the distrust in institutions ask a constant theme for president trump. he is talking about it since he was a candidate and it reflects the belief that the president has that he is being targeted by the so-called deep state. that includes mueller and his investigation. >> and soing distrust as a concerning development. thank you both. >> thank you. >> a raging fire in southern
california prompting more evacuations as firefighters struggle to continue tan the flame. we take you there live as we people try to escape to safety. how did you do that? masterpass. masterpass? masterpass. nice chair. thanks. i used masterpass. masterpass? yes, masterpass master...pass? yes! masterpass! pass! pass! was it expensive? priceless. i'll masterpass you a new one. masterpass by mastercard. the modern way to pay. guess what i just got? ♪ ♪ hello again. hi. ♪
witness katy perry swish. witness katy perry... aaaaaaw look at that dog! katy perry: with music videos and behind the scenes footage, xfinity lets you witness all things me. . welcome back. thank you for joining us. the tight has not turned in southern california. we are in day six in the furious winds and the thomas fire and the 13th most destructive that
torched an area over twice the size of atlanta. for hundreds of homeowners and businesses, the devastation is simply unspeakable. they call it the new formal. >> from history going back a long, long way, there have been long droughts in california. we are getting some of those returning very bad. we will get them returning more often and then with climate change, some scientists are saying southern california is literally burning up. burning up as maybe a metaphor or distribution and not just with the fire right here, but what we can expect over the next years and decades. >> cnn's senior correspondent is in santa barbara on the fire
line. what are you seeing there? >> it's expected to be a tough day. we were in the hills with the firefighters and it's kaufting and they are looking at another rough day and in those hills, we were amid that area and this is a fire that is in so many ways and it's 173,000 acres. 15,000 structures are threatened and those figures we believe outdated because while we were up in the hills, we saw a house burn before our eyes. what firefighters are hoping is that the weather will improve, but the forecast is absolutely the reverse. the dry conditions are continuing and the winds are expected to pick up in the hills. it is very, very windy. they are hitting it very hard
from the air. you can hear helicopters and i can see one over there trying to pick up water. they are trying to hit it as hard as they can from the air to try to put down these flame. the big concern right now is that the fire is going to continue to march northwest. if it heads northwest, an area called montecito, california which is populated with celebrity homes and larger estates that, could come under evacuation order and the threat. they are hoping to try to slow this merciless fire down. dave? >> terrifying new norm in the words of the governor. thanks so much. she talked about the gusty santa ana winds. what are we seeing? are the winds going to pick up? we could be looking at the potential and upwards of 20
million people under a critical fire threat across the fires in southern california with the santa ana winds. not much wind where she is, but up to the hills and the winds pick up dramatically. 35 to 45 mile per hour winds and you get back up later on today. you see the red flag warnings that continues because of the winds that have been relentless from the north and east. these are the critical things. temperature hasn't been an issue. single digit humidity values and that will continue.
no rain and the conditions have been lower. by tuesday we will see this area improved wind says. now we go from critical. elevated and we have 40 to 50 mile an hour winds and moving to the north and 242 square miles. we mentioned atlanta twice. we are looking at the size of chicago as well. this is going to continue to be a problem, but by the time we get into tuesday, firefighters have the one ingredient and that will be a big help and the winds coming down on it and that will happen between 20 and 30 miles per hour. still high, but it's a much
improved condition. >> any good news, they will take it there in southern california. thanks so much. happening right now, new jersey democrat cory booker campaigning with doug jones in alabama. we are a couple of days away from a crucial senate race. african-american turn out will be critical for doug jones. complete team coverage of that race, ahead. ♪ this holiday, the real gift isn't what's inside the box. it's what's inside the person who opens it. ♪ give ancestrydna, the only dna test that can trace your origins to over 150 ethnic regions- and open up a world of possibilities. ♪ save 30% for the holidays at ancestrydna.com
county fire authority, thank you for joining us. the governor gave a reality check about fire conditions in the state saying this is the new normal. do you agree with that assessment? >> i do. it's been about 250 days since we had significant rain in the area. this vegetation is drought-stricken and extremely dry and when we have the winds, the wind is probably the most significant problem when we have a fire like this. if it's typography driven, we get the planes and the firefighters on the ground to slow it down, any time it's a wind-driven fire, we see homes that are lost. >> it seems that the frequency and the intensity of these fires is picking up. are there numbers to support that or is that just perception? >> i would say the numbers support it. you have seen when we have the drought-like conditions and any time we get the severe santa ana
winds, right now in this area it's erratic winds and we have the normal onshore and we have the northeast. the santa ana winds. the reason why we do the evacuation orders is a prime example of carp rint ria. the residents wanted to go back home and so it was decided to lift the evacuation orders and let them repopulate. unfortunately we had severe winds and early this morning around 2:00, 2:30, 3:00, we had to evacuate the people again. i know it's an inconvenience and we have empathy for all those people who have evacuated, but please heed the warnings and know we are trying to do the best we can. life is number one. homes can be repoliced and cars can be replaced. we had one fatality on this fire early on when the fire was
moving through. we had somebody evacuated and involved in a traffic accident and they were trapped and died. we don't want to see that happening anywhere. just in bon sal a couple of days ago at the horse training familiarity, 46 horses lost their lives. the firefighters are protecting lives and property and properties can be rebuilt and lives can't. when you have evacuation orders, please heed those. >> do you think this has anything to do with climate change? >> it's gotting heter and drier and i'm not sure of all the causes, but we have definitely been seeing drought-like continues for the last five years. we did get rain early on this year, but it wasn't an awful lot. basically it caused a lot of growth and when we do have a fire like this that gets
established, the fire here is burning towards the area of car pint ria and montecito and northwest of los padres. we have a lot of personal property here. 4500 personnel are assigned to this. we have other firefighters that are coming in and our number one goal right now is to protect structures. that's what we are doing. >> devastating pictures we are seeing on the screen right now. hard to believe. it is nothing short of hell on earth. are you getting the resources you need to fight the fire? >> we are. we have resources from all over california as well as 10 other states that are close by. we have fires up and down from southern california all the way up. that's what firefighters do. we are all involved in a master mutual aid system. it's probably the best.
it is the best in the nation here in california. we have worked together and there is these additional resources. firefighters are spread thin. as more firefighters are in, we have saved thousands. it's hard to report that we do have over 750 structures that have been destroyed and firefighters don't want to lose more homes. a number of them affect them and the families. it is a daunting task, but we appreciate the support we are getting from the 10 states that are close to us.
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a security guard has been stabbed in a bus station and police are calling it a terror attack. they identified the attacker as a 24-year-old palestinian captured at the scene. the guard is hospitalized. lebanese forces fired tear gas and water cannons as hundreds of angry protesters near the protest in lebanon. they gathered to demonstrate president trump's decision to recognize jerusalem as the capital of israel. they are protesting in pakistan and turkey where hundreds showed up to show their anger at the decision. earlier today the ambassador to the united nations nikki haley defending the president's move. >> for 22 years you had had presidents and the american people ask for the embassy to be moved. no president, not clinton and not bush, not obama had the
courage to make that move and listen to the will of the american people. when it comes to those that are upset, we knew that was going to happen, but courage does cause that. >> cnn correspondent has more on the protest near the u.s. embassy in beirut. the rocks had no chance of hitting the embassy. the chants calling for the embassy to be shut down probably barely audible to the american diplomats hunkering down inside. the embassy itself is more than a mile away. but the message from more than 1,000 lebanese palestinians and others who gathered here was clear, rejection of president donald trump's -- came from
palestinian refugee camp. we can't do more than this he concedes. all we can do is raise our voices. some tried to stop. lebanese fired volley after volley of tear gas knocking some protesters unconscious. demonstrators burned home made israeli flags but their anger was aimed at their own leaders as much as it was at the usual suspects. we are used to arab leaders and regimes who talk but do nothing says this man. their denunciations are useless. all those leaders are sheep even our children know they are sheep.
more stones were thrown and outrushed lebanese security arresting those who weren't fast enough to get away. in the end the demonstration was disbursed by security forces. the road leading up this hill to the u.s. embassy is secure for now. ben wedeman cnn north of beirut. still to come, growing concerns north korea could try to stage some sort of attack at the 2018 olympics in south korea. details next. at t-mobile, when you holiday together, great things come in twos. like t-mobile and netflix. right now when you get an unlimited family plan, netflix is included. ho ho ho! t-mobile covers your netflix subscription... best christmas gift ever! ...so you can binge watch all year long. now you're thinking christmas! and now when you buy any of this season's hot new samsung galaxy phones, you get a second one free to gift. that's one samsung for you. and one to give.
tensions run high over the missile threat from north korea, concerns the rogue country may attempt some sort of attack during the 2018 winter olympics in south korea. how north korea could possibly interfere in the upcoming games. >> reporter: as tensions with kim jong-un's regime intensify, u.s. law enforcement and security agencies are ramping up coordination with their south korean counter parts. eight weeks before the winter olympics 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. >> my concern are softer targets. obviously, things that north korea might do to provoke the south koreans to attempt to cause games being shut down or events
>> i think it depends on what is going on at the time. >> committees say america is planning to send athletes to the winter olympics. still there is a unique security threat at these games. the location and razor sharp tensions over missile tests have the region on edge. north korea has used tunnels to try to assert frog men into south korea for spying and assassinations and the regime has a history of violence surrounding major south korean sporting events. an airliner was blown up by two agents in 1997 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 olympics
in seoul. and during the 2002 world cup in south korea, north korean patrol boats engaged in a skirmish with the south leaving several on both sides dead. analysts say kim has strong motives. >> he is facing the prospect of two years of maximum economic strangulation through sanctions to cripple his economy. >> the south korean economy right now is 100% focussed on a successful international olympic event. imagine cyber sabotage. you don't kill anybody but you 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 they are at least likely to spend spies
during the games. they say the olympics will offer an opportunity to gain economic intelligence on south korea, to place sleeper agents there and to make contact with the north korean agents they already have in south korea. cnn, washington. >> thanks for joining me. thanks for being here on a sunday. two more days until alabama voters go to the polls. both candidates are in final sprint. president trump for republican roy moore and recording a robo call for moore's campaign despite child molestation allegations. foor responding saying he does not know the women making the accusations. >> i do not know any of the women who have charged me with sexual allegations of molestation and i did not know