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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  December 18, 2017 9:00pm-10:00pm PST

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find your awesome, and change the way you wifi. good evening, i'm john burman in for anderson. we begin with tragedy in washington state. a deadly amtrak passenger train derailment near the city of dupont has killed at least three people and sent dozens to the hospital. the derailment left part of the train dangling over an interstate 5 overpass. 13 of the 14 cars jumped the tracks. the ntsb is sending a 20-member team to investigate as we speak. joining me now by phone is brooke with the washington state patrol. trooper, thank you so much for being with us. what can you tell us about the search for people who still might be inside the derailed cars? >> i'm being told all the derailed cars and all the vehicles on the ground have been searched. >> at this point, they have all been searched? >> that's what we have -- that's what i have been told.
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fire crews and rescue said they searched all the cars and so our firm number at this point is three casualties. however, there are some very critically injured people and so we don't know if that number will change. >> okay. this is an important development for us. up until this point, we were led to believe some of the cars were not safe enough to go in. at this point, you believe all the cars have been searched, so there are no people as far as you know left inside? >> not from what i'm being told. fire said they searched all the cars and information i'm given at this time. >> three people killed, many more injured. some in critical condition. do you have any count on how many might be in hospital at this point? >> our latest, roughly 100, give or take a few, were transported to local area hospitals. >> i know many state troopers were the first to reach the scene. had they ever seen anything like this before? >> it's difficult, as a state
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trooper, you see very different things and you're never quite prepared for anything like this. this is a mg tuesdagnitude i ha seen in my career. it's very tragic. it is rare. >> the scene of the accident, you say all the cars have been searched, that i are secure. is the scene, itself, safe? we see these cars perched precariously over the highway right now. is there any concern for the scene? >> yes, there is. so, state patrol did their initial investigation, they have scanners, they completed their investigation. there are other -- it's a collaborative effort right now, and other departments are doing their investigation. we cannot secure those -- those other rail cars until they're done with their investigation. but we do have some cranes and some equipment here to secure that and make the scene safe. >> the safety concerns that were raised about this high-speed fr train, do you know if any of the concerns were brought to washington state patrol? >> i don't know, sorry, not at my level. >> no, i understand, there are
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different investigations going on right now and different concerns for different areas of laurltevening, what can you tel us about the investigation? >> state patrol is standing by to be in assistance. we're waiting for ntsb to start their investigation and just caused quite the backup here in washington state. we had to shut down the freeway. this is the main artery throughout washington, so that is state patrol's big concern right now along with recovery and just making sure that everybody is safe and that families are reunited. >> all right. brooke bova of washington state patrol, again, thank you for bringing us the breaking news. all the train cars now believed to have been searched. the death toll stands at three, with no one left on the cars as far as the state patrol knows. many injured including some in critical condition. we will bring you much more on the deadly derailment over the
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next two hours as more information comes in. tonight, though, we are keeping them honest with new reporting, what seems to be an alternate ratteality for the president, a reality where he sees no security threat of russian election meddling, no political threat from robert mueller's russia investigation, in fact, no "r" word all together inside the white house at times because some aides are reportedly scared to bring it up which wouldn't matter except for the fact an intelligence officials say there is everybody reason to believe the russians will try to can do this again. the president is telling friends he's expecting something of a christmas miracle in the russia probe, according to exclusive reporting from sara murray and ma in h manu raju, insisting he's going to be exonerated and soon, but robert mueller is going to write a letter clearing him of wrongdoing that he can wave around as proof that he didn't do anything wrong. a christmas miracle. keeping them honest, no indication from mueller or his
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team that they believe in miracles or the investigation is in its final stages. only mueller and his team know for sure. some legal experts say the investigation might actually be ramping up with michael flynn's guilty plea in cooperation. as to the best christmas card ever, this magical letter of exoneration, it's unclear where that idea even comes from. the real problem, though, according to one source is if the president doesn't get what he wants for christmas, or soon thereafter, if this letter doesn't come, that he will have some kind of meltdown. that is a direct quote from a source in the piece. a longtime friend of the president says he thinks his attorneys have lulled him into a false sense of security, and unrealistic expectations which could backfire spectacularly but now made the president less agitated. take a look at what the president said yesterday about tens of thousands of trump transition team e-mails that mueller's team obtained, the president's lawyers say unlawfully, which mueller's them denies. >> not looking good. not looking good.
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quite sad to see senate. my people were very upset about it. i can't imagine there's anything on them, frankly, because as we said, there's no collusion, no collusion whatsoever, but a lot of lawyers thought that was pretty sad. >> are you -- >> no, i'm not. >> we'll have more on those e-mails later in the program but as to the last part, not planning to fire mueller, one source predicts if the president doesn't get this exoneration letter, again, a letter that seems to exist only in his own mind, that he will fire mueller which would leave him vulnerable to impeachment. on friday the president said law make need to get back run bing the country. >> let's put it this way. there's absolutely no collusion. that has been proven. >> keeping them honest, that hasn't been proven. it might be eventually, but it hasn't been proven yet. the mueller investigation is not over, no matter how many times the president repeats himself. the fact is it's not over. and we know the president likes
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to repeat himself on this issue. >> the russia story is a total fabrication. it's just an excuse for the greatest loss in the history of american politics. russia is a ruse. there is no collusion, you know why? because i don't speak to russians. this russia thing with trump and russia is a made-up story. the entire thing has been a witch hunt. look, there has been no obstruction. there has been no collusion. all i can tell you is this. there was no collusion. there was no nothing. >> here is more of what the president said friday. >> let's put it this way, there is absolutely no collusion. that has been proven. when you look at the committees, whether it's the senate or the house, everybody -- my worst enemies, they walk out, they say, there is no collusion, but we'll continue to look. >> now on those congressional investigations, new reporting from sara murray, manu raju and
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jeremy diamond is several members have made a conscious effort to avoid the president and the white house to guard against allegations of impropriety. meanwhile, other lawmakers are avoiding discussing russia with the president. sources say in a call with senate majority leader mitch mcconnell in august, the president railed of the ongoing investigation and the two steered clear of the topic since then. lindsey graham tries to avoid talking russia on the golf course with the president because the president will just complain about it and say he didn't do anything wrong. this all tracks with what the woe "washington post" reported last week that the president's daily briefing is structured in a way to avoid upsetting him because if anyone brings up russia, it takes it off the rails. so there are people around the president telling him what he wants to hear, others not bringing up the country that attacked american democracy because it will make him mad and he has yet to even have one cabinet-level meeting on russian interference or what to do about it. and now that the president is expecting a letter of exoneration from mueller to come soon, it may have created an
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artificial calm with some those around him concerned about an impending storm. much like a letter, we'll you po posted. joining me now, senator richard blumenthal, member of the senate judiciary committee. senator, thank you so much for being with us. you were attorney general of the state of connecticut for a long time. you know about investigations. the president says he now believes that the special counsel robert mueller is going to send him a letter exonerating him. is this how it works generally? >> very rarely. i can say not only as a state attorney general but also as a former united states attorney, chief federal prosecutor in connecticut, that this kind of letter is sent, exonerating. it's rare, virtually nonexistent in the case of the president, it may happen, but this investigation is mounting in intensity and scope. it is not the beginning of the end. it is the end of the beginning. and there will be more
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indictments and more convictions i think is a near certainty before this investigation is over. it has penetrated the white house. it's nearing the oval office. and so the creation of these false expectations is really a disservice to the president and the country. >> obviously, the white house lawyers, the president's lawyers on this issue, say something different. they believe at this point that everyone inside the white house who is going to be interviewed has been interviewed. the president believes the investigation is wrapping up. what signs do you see that they are wrong here? >> the conviction of michael flynn, and his cooperation, is a shattering blow to the trump presidency. but i also see the increasing chorus of seemingly orchestrated attacks on robert mueller, on the fbi, on the investigation, itself, from the president's
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allies in congress, which is a sign of, frankly, fear or apprehension and also by the president, himself. the calling of the investigation a hoax or a whiitch hunt, sayin the reputation is in tatters, is a sign that there are people with something to hide in the white house. >> you say orchestrated attack. do you believe republican colleagues in congress are coordinating these comments with the white house? >> there are all the appearances of coordinated attacks, whether it's by the white house or by other supporters of the president, directly or indirectly, i see signs of a coordinated attack on this investigation. seeking to discredit and undermine it. to take, for example, the claim that these e-mails from the gsa were improperly obtained, absolutely a bogus claim. there's no executive privilege, no lawyer/client privilege. the gsa was the account owner in
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official legal terms, and yet the president's allies are seeking to discredit and undermine the investigation. >> over the weekend, your democratic colleague in the house, congressman adam. schi schiff said he is, quote, increasingly worried that republicans will shut down the house intelligence committee investigation at the end of the month. do you share that concern on the committee that you sit on, the senate judiciary committee? do you think that there is a rush to finish business? >> i firmly believe that chairman grassley, who is a straight shooter, would have no tolerance to shut down this investigation prematurely. i'm hopeful that my other republican colleagues share the passion and zeal that we have for uncovering the truth about any obstruction of justice as well as collusion involving the trump campaign and the russians because we have oversight responsibility. we have a very important obligation to make sure that legislation is passed, if there
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was an obstruction, to prevent it in the future, and there is increasing evidence that the russians are continuing their attack on our democracy and they will go through the 2018 election repeating that kind of undermining democracy if they are not made to pay a price. >> the senate intelligence committee chairman, richard burr, told cnn today in response to a question on whether his committee had interviewed a majority of the witnesses they will, he said, "i think it's safe to say we have two other campaigns we're just starting on." one of them we believe he's talking about is a campaign of green party candidate jill stein. do you think there is anything to mine there? do can you think that will be fertile ground for investigation? >> the russian attack on our elections in 2016 was endlessly ingenious and inventive, using all kinds of social media, all kinds of intermediaries, sources and information for them.
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so any possible attempt by the russians, either to enhance the stein campaign or use it in some other way so as to undermine our democracy i think is worthy of investigation. >> you haven't seen any sign yet, yourself, that that has happened, have you? >> i am reluctant to comment on documents and testimony submitted confidentially to our committee. >> right. >> but i think that chairman burr is well founded in talking as circumspectly as he did. >> interesting. last question, today joe manchin, democratic colleague from west virginia, said he didn't believe that al franken should have resigned and regretted the fact he was essentially forced out by your senate democratic colleagues. do you still feel that al franken needs to resign and leave the senate? >> i think, perhaps, most importantly, we need to respect and believe the brave and strong women who are coming forward to raise these allegations about a variety of spheres in american life including politics but also
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entertainment and business and sports. al franken made his decision, and i supported it after he made it, i was not among the senators calling for him to resign and i think it's his decision. >> now that he made it, though, you still feel that he should commit to it? that changing his mind now, do you think that would be the wrong idea? >> i think that's really a decision for al franken to make but he really has, i think, crossed the bridge at this point. >> if he changed his mind, you'd be okay with that? >> it's his decision. i think, though, he has made it and it's the right decision to have resigned. very strongly, it is the right decision to have resigned. >> senator richard blumenthal of connecticut, thanks so much for being with us. >> thank you. coming up, candidate donald trump often talked about hillary clinton's e-mails during the campaign. this time it's tens of thousands of e-mails from his transition team that are now part of the mueller investigation. and we'll have the latest on the deadly derailment in washington state as well. what we know from the scene when
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government e-mails. the government doesn't need a subpoena to obtain government e-mails. the people who were on the transition team were warned explicitly that they had no expectation of privacy in these e-mails. there was just no reason, legal, prudenti prudential, or otherwise to do differently than what the mueller team did. >> professor dershowitz, you say, though, that mueller's team acted carelessly. how so? >> they did. they did. this is a cutting-edge issue that courts are confronting every day and coming out with different resolutions. whether you can en masse get e-mails, even if it's in a transition team which may include some privileged, e-mails, maybe lawyer/client e-mails. there was absolutely no reason for a special prosecutor who may be going after the president not to wear a belt and suspenders and to go and get a warrant. it's the easiest thing in the world to get. judges give out warrants like christmas candy.
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why not protect yourself from what inevitably is going to be a defense attack? why give ammunition to the other side if you can so easily avoid this question from even being a plausible one? look, in the end, jeffrey may be right but why take a chance? >> jeffrey, why not? >> because ashlgs l aran is advocating the sean hannity standard which is do something that sean hannity would find okay. that's a fool's game. the people are going to criticize mueller no matter what he does. i think there's a better standard, which is the law. the law is, you don't need a subpoena. you don't need a search warrant to get .gov e-mails. i am unaware of any case where the government needs any special authorization to get government e-mails. i mean, maybe the law should be different. but i don't -- >> first of all -- >> -- think there's any law that is different. professor? >> first of all, it should be
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different and civil libertarian shouldn't be moving to see an expansion of this dangerous development. second of all, i'm not aware of any case where the e-mails, massive numbers of e-mails from a transition team, which is quasi public, quasi private, sure, it's .government but why take a chance? it's not the sean hannity standard. it's the justice roberts standard. it's the justice elialito stand. make sure you're covered. make sure there's no possibility when you're going after the potential of the president of the united states, you take no risks and no chances. you cover yourself in every possible way. and that's not what sean hannity wants. he'd much prefer to see the special prosecutor be sloppy. i want to see the special prosecutor be accurate to protect himself from any possible challenge, a challenge that i would make if it were one of my clients. >> well, look, i think alan is, as always, a principled civil libertarian who has very
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definite ideas about what the law should be. all i'm saying is that as far as i'm aware, the law is currently that mueller had the right to do what he did. i don't see why he has to pretend that the law might be something different down the line when he is simply applying the law as it exists today. >> professor, why would there be any executive privilege if by definiafinition the president-e is not yet the president, not yet the executive? >> isn't that the irony? the argument on the other side is no executive privilege because he's a private citizen. on the other hand, he's a government official for purposes of getting, not getting a warrant. you can't have it both ways. clearly, anybody in the transition team is in a quasi public, quasi private position. there is no case law on this. the last thing you ever -- when you're a patient, you never want to hear the doctor say, that's an interesting symptom. >> but, professor -- >> and when you're a special
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prosecutor, you never want to hear a lawyer like me say that presents an interesting novel issue. you have to avoid novel issues like that. >> those of the transition were not quasi told their e-mails were government property. they were directly told by the gsa deputy counsel, the deputy counsel, that these e-mails lived on servers and subject to monitoring and be no expectation to privacy. does that matter here? >> no, because, you know, you're told that routinely. i'm told -- i guess i'm on the harvard law school server and somewhere in fine print there must be a statement saying harvard has a right to look into my e-mails. i don't suspect harvard is going to do that. i have a reasonable expectation of privacy if i'm writing to my lawyer, if i'm writing to the future president of the united states that there might be some privileges that will attach. it is not impossible that a judge may say that transition e-mails that haven't been vetted for any kind of privilege should have required a warrant, if that's even conceivable. >> jeffrey toobin, does this end
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up anywhere legally or is it just a political argument? does this just end up in the political sphere? >> i think what's most revealing here is that the transition lawyer wrote a letter and released it to the press and made a public stink. what he didn't do is go to court because he knew he would lose in court. i mean, this is -- >> too early. there's no standing. too early to go to court. >> this is part of the offensive against mueller's legitimacy. >> i agree with that. >> it's taking very different forms. some of it is narrowly legal, some of it is broadly political, some of it involves the personnel on mueller's staff but i don't think anyone should be confused that this is somehow a novel, legal issue. it's black letter law, it's not controversial and it is just another way of mobilizing the republican base to -- against mueller and prepare the groundwork for the possibility that he -- that the president
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might arrange for his firing. >> professor alan dershowitz, jeffrey toobin, thank you for being with us. >> thank you. up next, breaking news on the republican tax plan. you're looking at live pictures from capitol hill where people are protesting this tax bill. meanwhile, republicans are getting much close tore the finish line. we'll get into that with when we come back. and later, a serious incident in the palin family, a family feud that leads to an arrest and a dispute over a truck. sarah palin's eldest son arrested on assault and other charges. what we know about what happened, coming up.
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the protest on capitol hill over the republican tax bill. you're looking at pictures from the rotunda. we're just about a day or two away from a vote and it's looking more and more like republicans in both chambers have the number to send the bill to the president's desk. republican senator susan collins and mike lee, the two newest yes votes, but it's possible some late-game problems could still crop up. cnn's phil mattingly is live on capitol hill with the very latest details. phil, look, these two new republican yes votes, i'm not very good at math, nevertheless, this seems like a done deal. >> reporter: yeah, look, you sound like a math major based on that analysis, john. this more of less clinches. republicans needed a simple majority. senator mccain flew home to arizona. he won't be there. that leaves them with 51. they need a simple majority of the republicans in the conference do get this across the finish line. votes of senator mike lee and senator susan collins sem essentially get them to that point. one more vote outstanding, senator jeff flake, as of now,
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says he's still looking at the bill. republican leaders expect him to come along. the things he wanted in the bill, related to how it would phase out, those are in the final deal. they expect him to come along at this point, job, with a house vote on tuesday, a senate vote as soon as tuesday evening. republican leaders right now are saying this is, quote, according to one aide, drama free. they feel like they're pretty much there. >> there is some controversy over senator bob corker, though, and his vote. his yes vote. what are you learning about that? >> reporter: let's put it in perspective. senator corker voted against this bill in the senate because he had deficit concerns. there were no changes in the final conference report that addressed those deficit concerns and still he was a yes. there were news reports out saying part of the reason he may have been a yes because it changed to the so-called passthrough legislation. basically companies like llcs, business entities, pass on their income to the individual side and pay it there. senate and house republicans have made it clear they want a significant tax cut for those entities but took different approaches.
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here's why senator corker's name started to come up. the senate provisions did not include provisions that would help real estate firms, base kri basically active capital investment, didn't benefit a lot from the senate approach. the house approach did. now, the senate conference report took the baseline of the senate provision but they added in the capital investment approach from the house side of things so it made it look like anybody that's heavily involved in real estate or real estate llcs like senator corker or perhaps president trump or perhaps jared kushner would benefit mightily from this tax cut there. i can tell you, john, from talking to sources and aides throughout this process and senator corker, orrin hatch, finance chairman have said he had nothing to do with this provision. he may benefit from it. this isn't what got him to yes. what did, i'm told, mitch mcconnell is working intensively with senator corker behind the scenes lining up pressure from the outside to try to get him on board. also another noteworthy point here. senator john mccain, his absence, his inability to be here for the vote, i'm told from several people that played a role in senator corker's final
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decision. it wasn't any specific provision, john. >> phil mattingly up on capitol hill for us, phil, thank you so much. joining me to weigh in, cnn political director david chal n chalian. david, thank you for being with us. >> sure. >> to say republicans and the president are really desperate for a win, how big of an understatement would that be? >> a pretty big one. look back at the past year. if they were writing a list of all of their big accomplishments, there would be nothing on it, really. maybe they'd put getting neil gorsuch on the supreme court. that was a pretty big accomplishment. but john, congressional republican leaders have described this to their own members behind closed doors as an existential threat to their majorities if, indeed, they didn't pass this tax reform. what we saw in the polling throughout much of the year, john, republican voters were so dissatisfied with their republican leaders in congress that they voted into power for not accomplishing the campaign promises, that their numbers were really beginning to take a hit. they really do see this as an
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unbelievably important moment to take a big-ticket attempt and go back to the voters and say look what we did. >> a big tax bill. also a repeal of the individual mandate which are big items for some republican candidates, to be sure. the president, though, also campaigned on helping working class voters. the fact is, when you look at this bill, most of the benefits go to the corporations, first of all. if you're being looking at tax brackets, the wealthiest get more benefits than others. so is there a possibility that this is a tax bill for the working class, that that message somehow comes back to haunt him? >> right. i mean, we see broadly that this tax bill is unpopular and that the overwhelming majority of the american people believe clearly the benefits go to the wealthy, as you just stated. i have to say, john, though, i don't know, maybe you've looked at presidents through history as well. i can't recall a president who had a stronger relationship with his base than president trump. it just has been a remarkable relationship between his base voters. so even though some of his base voters may be middle-class folks who aren't getting the full
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benefit that they may have been promised on the campaign trail, i don't see over that issue alone them peeling away from president trump. >> yeah, the issue is when it gets beyond his base, when you get beyond that 35% or the other 12% that ended up voting for him, what happens to them? particularly when you have a historically unpopular president. right? he has an approval rating which is very, very low. and this tax bill polls even lower. right? it's at 29% approval, the last polling we've seen. >> it does. and remember, you mentioned there's also a health care piece to this tax bill and that clearly animated the opposition as well. democrats were able to really form a lot of their political energy this year around the health care attempts to roll back obamacare. now that a piece of that is in here, democrats can use that in their messaging in addition to sort of the class warfare that they will employ that this benefits the wealthy. here's the thing. you are right. donald trump is having a problem with some of his coalition that
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put him into office, independents, suburban voters. these are people that we are -- not his core most fervent supporters who we see at rallies but part of his electoral coalition has drifted away and this bill is not going to help that problem for him. >> no, look, there are suburban voters in new york, new jersey, connecticut, california, they didn't put him in the white house but may have received their support. many of them may see a tax increase in the next few years and that will be interesting to see how that plays out. >> that's why you see the republican members in some of those districts like in new jersey, again, though he didn't get new jersey's electoral votes, those republican congressional members are voting against the bill. >> david chalian, thanks so much for being with us, sir. >> thanks, john. up next, more breaking news on the fatal train derailment in washington state. inaugural trip on a brand new train line ending in disaster as cars full of passengers plummet onto a highway below. we'll have the latest details. also ahead, sarah palin's oldest son arrested on assault and other charges in a dispute with his father over a truck. when it comes to heartburn
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♪ ♪ i'm gonna let it shine.e, ♪ it's energy saving time, ♪ i'm gonna reduce mine. ♪ californians all align ♪ to let our great state shine. ♪ let it shine, ♪ the power's ours to let it shine! ♪ unplug chargers - go, ♪ devices go off-line. turn thermostats down low, ♪ led's shine mighty fine. ♪ small actions quickly grow, ♪ to let our great state shine. ♪ energy upgrade california, will let us shine. ♪ breaking news tonight on the tragedy in washington state. there are now three confirmed fatalities in the amtrak
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derailment that left passenger cars dangling onto a highway this morning. more than 100 were taken to the hospital. cnn's kyung lah has more on how this horrific accident unfolded. >> amtrak 501, emergency, emergency, emergency. we are on the ground. >> reporter: alarming words. the 911 call from the conductor of an amtrak train cascades 501 on its first ever run from seattle to portland on this route. >> we were coming around the corner to take the bridge over i-5 there right north of nisqually and we went on the ground. >> okay. are you -- is everybody okay? >> i'm still figuring that out. we've got cars everywhere and down onto the highway. >> reporter: some of the train cars came smashing down onto five cars on the ground and two semitrucks. the train included 12 cars and 2 engines almost all derailed. authorities said 7 crew members and 77 passengers were onboard. one of those riders estimated the amtrak train was traveling
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between 70 and 80 miles per hour when he knew something went terribly wrong. >> we felt a little bit of a jolt and then at a certain point the -- we could hear crumpling of the train car and we were catapulted into the seats in front of us. >> emergency responders transported crash victims to hospitals all along i-5 including mad began army medical center which took in 20 patients. the worst off in stable condition. the recovery process got slowed down because some of the train was teetering from the bridge. the mayor of lakewood washington, a city just north of the crash site, expressed grave concerns about the new train route prior to the accident and the city of lakewood actually sued the washington department of transportation over the new rail route citing safety concerns. >> don't come back when there is an accident and try to justify not putting in those safety enhancements, or you can go back
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now and advocate for the money to do it. because this project was never needed and dangerous to our citizens. >> all right. kyung lah is on the phone with me now. you've been talking to the madigan army medical center. where the majority of victims were sent after the crash. what are you learning? >> reporter: most of them were sent here, john, because this hospital is just four to five miles away from the crash site. it is the closest one. so that's why so many immediately were taken here. but there were so many patients transported that they went all along the i-5 corridor as there are several hospitals that we've been checking in with. but as far as madigan, there are 19 that were transported. 12 remain. nine in serious but stable condition. three in fair and 5 of those 12 i just talked about, they've been admitted to the icu because their injuries are so severe. those injuries are fractures and broken bones, say the hospital. it's consistent if you're thrown
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at a high rate of speed, all of those people are suffering from fractures and broken bones and one other thing, john, that we found quite interesting, this is a military hospital. the doctors, though they are civilians, there are military doctors here with a unique background. they are able to respond to those large traumas, some of them who have even been in combat situations. so this hospital says they're doing the best that they can to make sure these patients walk out. we should stress, john, that they do not believe at this point that the injuries here are life threatening. they do believe that everyone will pull through. >> that's good news. kyung lah for us in washington. thank you so much. joining me now, deborah hersman, former ntsb chair. president of the national safety council. thanks for being with us. from an investigative standpoint, what do you make of what we know so far? >> well, it's still really early and i think the most important thing to understand is what was going on at the time of
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derailment, where was the point of derailment, what speed was the train traveling? and the ntsb should be able to find out answers to most of those questions within the next 24 hours. >> when you look at the crash scene and we're seeing the pictures here, the way the cars are all piled up end over end there, a lot of them disconnected from each other, does that tell you anything about what errors might have occurred here? >> you know, it doesn't. it's very typical to see at a train derailment that the cars are piled up. certainly when we see them, you know, with the speed that -- or with the energy that we can see here in this crash, it tells us they weren't going at a low speed. you always want the cars to remain upright. that's the best outcome for passengers. but in this case, falling from that bridge or going into the woods where they can hit other things, again, those are all not outcomes that you want to see, especially train cars flipped over. >> there's been a lot of talk about ptc, positive train
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control. can you explain exactly what that is and how that might have been able to make a difference in this crash? >> so positive train control has been around for decades. this is not new technology. and in fact, in 2008, after 25 people were killed in a metrolink crash in southern california, congress required that all passenger lines and high hazmat lines install positive train control by 2015. and so they gave the railroad seven years to do it. congress pushed that deadline back when it became evident that many of the railroads weren't going to make it and so the concern from a safety perspective is not having positive train control, which is a gps-based system that backs up the engineer if they're fatigued, if they're distracted or incapacitated and slows or stops the train before a
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collision or an overspeed derailment. that technology is a lifesaver and should be on all of those routes now. >> it wasn't used here. we don't know if it was there and not implemented but it wasn't used by this train on this day. now, i do understand the track has undergone millions of dollars of improvements but it was still a track previously used for occasional freight and military transport. could that be problematic at all? >> so it's still too early to tell if positive train control could have prevented this crash because you have to know what the cause of the derailment was. but certainly when you're looking at upgrading track, there are specific requirements that the federal railroad association has for classes of track and if you're going to operate high speed, in this case, up to 79 miles per hour passenger service, the tracks have to be inspected and have to be able to support that kind of speed of train. you can also look at the curvature of the track and look
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at where they might have speed limits because you can't go 79 everywhere. they're going to have lower speeds in certain parts of the track. you've got to pay attention to that as well. >> in terms of data, we have recorders and we also might have a forward-facing camera here, deborah, quickly? >> yeah, very consistent in rail events. you get a recorder, there wasn't a post-crash fire. they should be able to download the data from that recorder and forward-facing video so you can see any issues with respect to the track or the environmental conditions. >> deborah hersman, thanks for being with us. appreciate it. >> thank you. up next for us, the palin family feud that led to an arrest. what happened when "360" continues. known for its perfect storm of tiny bubbles, it has long been called the champagne of beers. ♪ if you've got the time welcome to the high life. ♪ we've got the beer ♪ miller beer
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a difficult weekend for sara pay lin and her family. her oldest son, track, who is 28 is facing serious charges after he allegedly assaulted his father. and it was sara pay lin who called police to their aalaska hope. randy kaye joins me with more. >> what do we know.
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>> reporter: track palin has been charged with first degree burglary and assault, which are both misdemeanors. according to the officer's affidavit it was sara palin herself who told police that their son was i'm quoting, freaking out and on some type of mead indicati medication. when officers approach they said track palin started calling the officers pe sans, insisting they lay their guns on the ground. at one point track palin crawled out a window and onto the roof of the garage. >> how did they arrest him? >> reporter: after about 15 minutes they talked him into
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coming inside. and police say he told them he had a few beers. >> do we know whatw=x) the figh was? >> reporter: it was about a vehicle. he went to the vehicle, saw his dad todd pointing a gun at him. inside track somehow got the gone away from his dad, he told 34r police he started hitting him in the head. todd palin has his own version. he said his son wanted to get a track, he told his son not to because he had been drinking and was on some pain medication. and he said his son said he was coming anyway, and he was going to beat his ass. and that's when todd got his pistol and decided he was not going to shoot his son. >> the family has had trouble
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before. >> reporter: back in 2016, track was arrested on domestic violence charges. he did take a plea deal that resulted in some of the charges being dismissed but you may remember in 2014, the whole family was involved in a drunken brawl. and police say they responded to a report of a verbal and physical altercation, track was heavily intoks kayed, according to police, bristol had gotten into a fistfight. but sarah palin did take to facebook, writing, my kids' defense of family makes my heart sore. john. >> we appreciate it, randi. sources say that president trump expects to be exonerated soon in the russia investigation ut a melt down.
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