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tv   CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin  CNN  February 5, 2019 12:00pm-1:00pm PST

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some researchers at brookings suggested that it's been about 65% of the president's cabinet. his turnover at least one time and that is more than george w. bush had in eight years, 65% and it's almost where the last two democratic presidents, they were just over 70% for their eight years. a lot of turnover and a lot of new faces for him tonight. >> a lot more women in that audience as well. jack wolf, thank you very much. announcer: this is cnn breaking news. >> so we roll on. you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin live here in our nation's capital and we've got breaking news. cnn has learn that had in recent weeks federal prosecutors in new york have been trying to interview executives in the trump organization. it is another sign of the growing legal troubles that the president could face outside of the special counsel's investigation, the russia probe. let's go straight to cnn politics and business correspondent christina aleshi
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with these breaking details. what do you know? >> reporter: federal prosecutors in new york are now seeking interviews with top trump organization executives. look, brooke, this intensifies the fears that the bigger threat to the president and his business may come from new york prosecutors and not mueller's team. what we do know is that the new york prosecutors have been looking into two specific areas, one is the campaign finance -- a possible campaign finance violation in connection to reimbursements that the trump organization made to michael cohen for those hush money payments. the other one is financial abuses tied to donations to the inaugural committee. those are the two specific areas but we don't know if there's another area or if there are multiple other areas and we don't know if prosecutors are asking for interviews with these executives for those two inquiries or possibly something
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else. we also don't know the extent of these interviews and how serious they are. we don't believe that there were subpoenas issued so this could be an informal interview and this could be just a matter of prosecutors, what we call, checking the box or making sure they didn't miss anything and not necessarily looking for something new, but one thing is clear, these executives are senior people who have been with the organization for a long time, they know a lot of personal information about the president and his operations and this could go on for quite some time, perhaps even beyond the mueller investigation. >> uh-hum. thank you so much for the set-up and the reporting. let's analyze what she's laid out. so she just laid out a lot. what i'm hearing is some very senior people within the trump organization who obviously would know a lot about this president,
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would know a lot about his finances are being questioned by some top prosecutors in the state of new york, what could they be looking for? >> well, one point is that in addition to the people who now are learning are being interviewed, there have been two major figures in the trump organization who are already cooperating and that's the accountant and michael cohen. >> one has immunity and one is going to prison. >> both of them have been providing information and it could be that some information that we've been providing for some period of time is what's leading to this -- we're seeing subpoenas being issued with respect to the inaugural committee and now with this new reporting, we're seeing more witnesses interviewed and this is standard investigative technique when we're talking about subpoena and witness interviews. >> it is. the danger here to the trump organization and the president himself is what we don't know. we've been talking about the mueller probe for almost two years. we have a general idea of where
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he's going based on the cases he's brought -- >> do we? >> we think we do. anything is possible. >> yeah. >> we know there are some safeguards as to he has to report certain things. we don't know what's going on in new york and a lot of us thought when michael cohen's office was raided that year, that's the threat. they could go anywhere. the southern district in new york they are fiercely independent, fiercely aggressive. they will go where the evidence leads them. >> you mentioned the inaugural committee looking into potential crimes including like wire fraud, straw donors, conspiracy, that's sdny. the lead prosecutor on that case was also one of the lead prosecutors of michael cohen and it's also sdny doing now questioning these folks within the trump organization. with regard to the donations, why is conspiracy perhaps the most damning crime? >> conspiracy is the overall on the special counsel's case, that's their theory of the case. with respect to the inaugural
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committee that invokes campaign finance laws, there could be a conspiracy to violate -- >> connect the dots. >> a conspiracy charge usually goes along with some other charge. the special counsel's overall theory of their case is conspiracy to defraud the united states to effect the 2016 election and there's a whole bunch of other computer crime and other crimes that go along with that. the inaugural committee where that ties to is one big question is did foreign money come into that inaugural committee. we know that one specific instance of when it did. there was an individual charged who pled back in august sam patton who they laid out actually did facilitate foreign ukrainian oligarch money coming into the committee. that was one instance. it's not surprising to me that there was a subpoena to the inaugural committee looking for more information about whether or not there was more foreign money that came into it. the other thing, there's no time
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limit to these investigations. >> this could go on -- >> these investigations on the political side when is it going to end, when the special counsel's counsel investigation going to end, there's no requirement that they have a time stamp on them. they will run their full course. >> which means that why mueller may say i'm done, the sdny with all the tentacles could go on for a while. so people understand, so the reporting details how the sdny is looking for paper work related to the possibility of donations made by foreign nationals which kerry was mentioning but it's only a crime if it was done with the knowledge that the foreign contributions were illegal. so they had to know, right, that that's what would make it the crime? >> true. what's the point of donating to a campaign? >> to curry favor. >> to go to the parade and to go
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to the balls. so the idea that you would get large amounts of money over $100 million and be able to say with a straight face, i don't really know where it came from, that's going to be a very hard argument to make. >> thank you very much, joe and kerry. now to this, to the state of the union. he will now give it where he was expected to in speaker pelosi's house. the president is expected to make a plea for unity and bipartisanship while staring a divided congress right in the eye. the white house started its campaign for common ground, zeroing in on one issue that affects so many american fixing the nation's crumbling bridges and roads. >> you can expect the president will talk about infrastructure. you'll hear the president talk about the opioid crisis in this country. i'll leave some things left for the president to talk about, but there are a number of policies that democrats and republicans know need to be addressed.
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infrastructure's one of the easiest ones for us to look at. >> while trump's words will be certainly in focus, so to will the reaction of those in the room with him for starters. house speaker nancy pelosi will once again be center stage sitting right behind the president and in the audience looking back, lawmakers who stand in stark contrast to this white house and its policies and a diverse group of democratic candidates ready to run against him. members of congress will be bringing guests, among them a transgender navy lieutenant commander, a student who survived the parkland school shooting and a mother and daughter separated at the border last spring. so, ladies, good to be in your town. let me just begin with there is some reporting that jared kushner and president trump had met with some contractors at the white house to discuss building a wall.
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do we think the declaration of a national emergency is pretty much an assumption at this point? >> yes, although we're not sure if it's going to happen tonight. we don't think that will happen. they'll see this out, congress. there's been a committee that's supposed to come to a compromise on this but the president has already undercut that committee. the president has basically said there's no use in trying. the emergency declaration is really -- it's a controversial thing with the president's own party. i talked to lots of republicans that do not like an emergency declaration. >> let me jump in on that point. this is what you're talking about. >> as a member of the senate, i am concerned when any president regardless of party circumvents the appropriations process. >> this would just be another erosion of congressional authority in this particular area. >> what we'd like to do is do it in an appropriation process. we've shown we can do it if
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people leave us alone. >> but does the president -- it's one thing for democrats to say, we don't like it, but members of his own party? >> i think it's very clear that this is one place -- a rare place where republicans are willing to draw the line and say no. the one thing that congress undoubtedly has the power to do is appropriate money and they do not want the president to come in with a few notable exceptions like lindsey graham who said republicans should just mark in lock step behind him if he does this, but for the vast majority of republicans, this is not good. the president -- there's a mechanism there for congress to intervene and for the house, the democratic led house to try to pass a resolution to stop him from doing that. not only could that have a substantive affect of blocking the action which everyone assumes the courts would do any way, but that would put republicans on the spot in the senate to say yeah or nay to support it or not and that sets
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a precedent that they don't want to go anywhere near. i don't think he'll declare this in the well of the house tonight. this is still an issue. >> while aside, how about just thinking of -- i was reading this piece in the a.p. laueri ankleman wrote this piece about how trump will be surrounded by women. many of them white. two former employees of trump's golf club and you have stacey abrams who is giving the response. what do you think of that? >> it's certainly a new year, it's a new congress. this is a record number of women in congress. we have the first woman to ever be elected speaker elected a second time. it's notable and the president is -- he has to know that. also all the women will be wearing white. they did that the first year the
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president -- trump was president and lois frankel said it was a protest of trump. last year they wore black as part of the me too movement and this year they're supposed to be wearing white again but this time they're saying it's a more optimistic, they took back the house, voters, you entrusted us let's keep it going message. it's just -- it's a new congress. >> it is, it is. with stacey abrams who lost in georgia, would have been the first black female governor in the country so she's giving this response, but then bernie sanders, you smile, he's giving like the response to the response and i'm just wondering why? >> this is a repeat of what we saw a few weeks ago when the president gave his -- he likes to respond. >> and chuck and nancy gave their response and bernie sanders gave the bernie sanders response. there's no question that both in his presidential came when he ran and as a senator he likes to
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set himself apart from the rest of the democratic party and certainly as the democratic primary already gets going for 2020 he wants to be a voice out there, you know, with a slightly different tweak on the message. he's not the establishment democratic party. he's not going to be the official responder but he wants to get his word in. i do think it's significant they chose stacey abrams, woman of color, gubernatorial candidate, someone who will speak to a lot of the divides that exist now and do so in a way that it might be difficult for sitting members of congress who are literally in a live power struggle with the president to do. she's removed from all of that, but i think democrats are hoping she puts it in perspective a little bit. there's no question as well that the president, even though he's in this room, which is quite distinct from his friendly realm, i think relishes that imagery as well. he likes the idea that he's going into the belly of the beast and -- >> such a great point. >> this is a moment he really
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did not want to surrender. that's why this power struggle of where he was going to give the speech was so alive and so -- >> he's like bring it. i'm here madam speaker. thank you both very much for that. don't miss special coverage of the state of the union starting at 8:00 tonight. next, one man decisions. today the head of u.s. central commands says he was not consulted with the decision to withdraw troops from syria before president trump made the announcement. how alarming is that? also, did the godfather of soul really die of natural causes? questions now being raised after a cnn investigation two years in the making into the death of james brown. will there now be an investigation into his death? you're watching special coverage here live from washington, d.c. i'm brooke baldwin. this is not a bed.
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the u.s. commander responsible for overseeing military operations in the middle east says he was not consulted on president trump's decision to get out of syria, but says he is not under pressure to leave the country by a certain date. testifying before the senate armed services committee, general joseph votel said that trump's announcement came as a surprise. >> general, were you aware of the president's intention to order the withdraw of our troops from syria before that was publicly announced? >> i was not aware of the specific announcement. certainly we are aware that he has expressed a desire and intent in the past to depart iraq -- depart syria. >> you weren't consulted before that decision was announced? >> i was not consulted. >> syria has been trapped in civil unrest for nearly a decade
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but in one eastern town, liberation from isis is not being met with joy or relief. many homes and businesses there are now nothing but rubble. cnn senior international correspondent ben wedeman takes us there and shows us the devastation. >> reporter: this is not the happiest of home comings. the town near the ufreighties river in eastern syria was the intense of coalition bombing followed by house to house combat between isis and u.s. backed predominantly kurdish forces. it's a repetition of the same scenario that is played out for mosul to raqqa and now here isis's last stand. to save towns and cities from the extremists, they must be destroyed. this family returned two days ago and sells snacks to make some money. only stones are left she tells me. her little daughter far too young to comprehend what is
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happened. some of the residents of this town which was liberated from isis in december have begun to return, but to return to what? most of the buildings are either severely damaged or utterly destroyed so the best they can do at this point is just retrieve their belongings and leave again. they returned last week to find his house in ruin and no way to support a family here. life was hard under isis he says, but it's still hard, harder still with this destruction. there's no sign that any government or other authority has begun to clear the rubble and restore a semblance of normal life. we want to make it like it was in the days of the regime. there was a hospital and the
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roundabout and those buildings, all destroyed because of isis. this war has been pursued with a single minded focus on defeating the enemy, with scant attention to what happens the day after victory is declared. ben wedeman, cnn, eastern syria. >> ben, thank you. coming up next, we'll talk to a woman who made headlines for confronting senator jeff flake over the brett kavanaugh supreme court nomination. she's a guest of alexandria ocasio-cortez at tonight's state of the union. what she wants her message to be? you might take something for your heart... or joints.
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want to get now to exclusive cnn investigation that raises questions about the death of james brown, the godfather of soul. >> this morning at 1:45 a.m., mr. james brown passed away. >> the godfather of soul died christmas morning, 2006, 41 years after his signature song hit the billboard charts. officially the cause of death was a heart attack and flewid in the lungs. >> he sat down on the bed -- >> officially the only person
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with him when he died was his personal manager. >> and he sighed very, very quietly and very gently, then he closed his eyes and he was dead. >> until recently, i had no real reason to doubt these details, but that was before i learned that if it involves james brown, you should always question the official story. two years ago i got a phone call from a woman who sang in the circus. she had some surprising things to tell me. >> i've just kept it quiet. it was a need to know. if someone didn't ask me, i didn't tell them. james brown was murdered. >> i know. it sounds insane, and that's not the half of it. in the years that followed as you listened to jackie and met others who knew james brown, the story kept getting stranger. >> why in the world has james brown not been buried yet?
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>> i don't need an autopsy. i'm his daughter. >> this story has never been told before in the mainstream press. you won't find it any of brown's biography. >> nobody wanted to hear the truth or print the truth. >> i spent nearly two years checking out jackie's story. i traveled through nine states, interviewed nearly 140 people, analyzed more than 1,300 pages of text messages from her iphone and sent a mysterious item from a black duffle bag for forensic testing. in two years, i found out a lot of things that jackie didn't know when she called me. pull up a chair and let me tell you the story of the godfather of soul. >> the king is dead, long live the king. >> oh, my goodness. cnn's thomas lake is here. we wrote this extraordinary three part investigative series
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that just went live on so thomas, thank you so much for coming to d.c. and talking me through this incredible, incredible investigation and this journey you've been on for the last two years. let's just start with why won't these questions of his death go away? >> here's what i learned in my reporting, there are at least 13 people who knew james brown who think there should be an autopsy, a criminal investigation or both and his wife says this, his manager, the doctor who signed the death certificate, dr. marvin crawford gave cnn an exclusve interview and he still wants to know what went wrong in james brown's hospital room just before he died. >> he was 73 years old. he had a history of drug abuse and health problems. doesn't that explain his death? >> he said brown was almost ready to go home. he had been treated. he had a concert tour scheduled. he was going to get in the studio with aretha franklin and suddenly he took a drastic turn
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for the worst and died and people still want to know why. >> there wasn't an autopsy done at the time. >> the doctor says he wanted one but brown's daughter declined it. >> if the authorities it get involved, then i understand one of your sources has some items that might interest them. >> right. the woman who's phone call that first set me off on this investigation. she came into possession of a black duffle bag. it came back positive for marijuana, cocaine and prescription drugs. we don't know yet what that proves but it's another avenue. >> it was 1996, james brown's third wife was 45, recovering from plastic surgery in beverly hills. investigators found no sign of foul play back then.
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so why raise this now? >> we've got new information on that death. in 2017, the same woman jackie, she was a friend of adrian and she told me i should call this detective now retired who looked at adrian's death at the time. she said he was suspicious about her death too. so i find this guy, i call him. and he has this notebook that an informant gave him in 2001, a reliable informant he says but at the time he didn't read all of it. after i reached out to him, he goes back and reads the rest of it and what he finds there is amazing. it is an allegation from this informant that a doctor confessed to her that he had sneaked into adrian brown's recovery room and murdered her with a fatal drug overdose. >> what? >> this notebook contains such phrases as make it look like an overdose and murder for hire.
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>> cnn is not naming the doctor because he has not been charged with a crime, yes? >> that's right. and i did find this doctor. i interviewed him, he denied the allegation, denied killing adrian brown. >> you have spent nearly two years on this entire project. you've interviewed close to 140 people, reviewed thousands of pages of documents. you've identified some disturbing similarities, between these two deaths, adrian brown in 1996 and james brown in 2006. >> that's right. both times the wife told others she feared for her life and both times someone went in for medical care and didn't come home alive. >> and we can find your entire piece on this is the three part investigative series on james brown. it is live on thomas, thank you so much. >> thank you, brooke.
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>> good to see you. >> thanks. when president trump walks into the house chamber tonight, he will be surrounded by democratic women wearing white to show their solidarity, one of them is freshman congresswoman katie hill who is already selected her candidate to challenge trump in 2020. we'll talk to the congresswoman live next. liberty mutual accident forgiveness
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she's katie hill. she'll be joining dozens of her colleagues following the call to show solidarity inside the house chamber. it represents the suffragets who fought for women's right to vote. that's not the only message this freshman congresswoman plans to send. her guest is an air-traffic controller who according to hill, says should not endure another government shutdown working without pay. so katie hill is with me now. congresswoman, nice to meet you. >> nice to meet you too. thanks for having me. >> you have said you would vote for some kind of border barrier of the have you implored your party's leadership to cut any kind of deal? >> i don't even have to implore them. there's a great deal of desire to come to some kind of agreement. we don't want to have another shutdown. i -- >> to build a barrier, i don't know if speaker pelosi is -- >> so much of this is around semantics which is really frustrating. >> you do? >> there's a lot of agreement that border security's necessary, that sometimes that's going to include money for
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barriers of some kind. what's frustrating for me is that people are upset about this 2,000 mile concrete wall. that's where it started. we've moved on from that and we need to see that as a victory and say just based on recommendations, based on the best security experts do we know, what do we really need and in some cases that will include a barrier. >> brooke, you can call it a wang doodle. call it what you want. it's the word wall and so you think it's the word wall -- >> people are getting very hung up on wall. >> he was into fencing. >> i just feel like we've got to stop it which is just ban the word wall from the dictionary and we'll be in a much better place. >> i want to play a moment from new world order in washington, a lot more women in congress, speaker pelosi, back up on the dais this year, so i want to remember -- when she was first
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up there, this was bush 43 when he first introduced her in 2007. >> tonight i have the high privilege and distinct honor of my own as the first president to begin the state of the union message with these words, madam speaker. >> obviously the president now and speaker pelosi had their own differences. do you think that president trump tonight will acknowledge her presence with the same amount of grace? >> that's a great question. i hope he does and i hope he also acknowledges the historic significance of how many women are in the house right now and i do think its unfortunate that we are largely concentrated on the democratic side of the house, but hopefully that will change over time too. >> looking ahead, 2020, so many people are already running. you have thrown your support no surprise behind senator kamala harris also of california, but
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with so many more people potentially jumping in in the months to come, do you ever have buyer's remorse? could there be someone better? >> what i feel like is, i believe in her and i support her wholeheartedly, but i think we have an incredible group of candidates that are running. i just feel really excite that had no matter who makes it through the primary, i think we'll have a really amazing opportunity and i believe in so many of them. i've gotten to know so many of them over the course of my campaign and since i got here. this is where we need to let the democratic process play out. somebody said to me i saw on twitter that someone said, oh, you're a super delegate and i had no idea i was a super delegate. it's weird for me to think that now i'm part of the establishment, but also whatever -- we can get into that later. >> yeah. you are and people also care. we know it's senator harris.
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she was on our cnn town hall two mondays ago out of iowa and jake was asking her about, do you support medicare for all and she sort of classifirified the next they want that option, where are you on medicare for all? >> i've always said, like, medicare for all is the place we want to go, but how we get there is really important and i'm somebody who worked on the medicaid expansion in california to a significant degree. we have to have the right process to get there -- >> would you eliminate private insurance? >> that's where i have a hang-up. i have a problem eliminating private insurance. that's one of the reasons i haven't dived in on the newest bill. i need to look at it fully. people do like options. i get the argument on both sides. but i think that that's where we have to explore it. we have to have this debate. i'm excited to be having this debate within our caucus and outside of it. hopefully this presidential
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election will let us flush this out further. >> what a first couple months in congress for you, president trump, state of the union, government shutdown, here's hoping we're not back where we are in ten more days. >> could not agree more. >> congresswoman hill, nice to meet you. >> you too. back to our breaking news. the federal prosecutors in new york have been trying to interview executives in the trump organization. we have details on what they want to know. and actor liam neeson in a bit of trouble for telling a story how he once contemplated racist revenge and what happened on live television when he was confronted about it. to make you everybody else... ♪ ♪ means to fight the hardest battle, which any human being can fight and never stop. does this sound dismal? it isn't. ♪ ♪ it's the most wonderful life on earth. ♪ ♪
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announcer: cnn's coverage of the state of the union address is brought to you by -- >> members of congress are inviting one guest to the president's state of the union tonight. they typically invite someone who serves as a real world example of a lawmakers passion or policy. my next guest got national attention for confronting a very important lawmaker during the brett kavanaugh supreme court confirmation hearings. >> you have children in your family, think about them. i have two children. i cannot imagine that for the next 50 years they will have to have someone in the supreme court who has been accused of violating a young girl. what are you doing, sir? >> that was ana maria archila.
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after that confrontation, jeff flake moved to success pent the confirmation. ana maria is with me now. it's so nice to meet you. >> so nice to meet you. >> still incredibly gripping to watch it so many months later. take us back what hoe possessed you and the passion? >> women were trying to help senators understand what this moment meant for us, for the country. i had told my story a few days before i saw him in the elevator in front of his office as part of a protest.
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i went back to the senate building on the morning when the supreme court was supposed to vote and met this woman that was there for the first time. the woman in the elevator. she was there. they won a protest because she heard the testimony. she said let's go to senator flake's office. >> still, congresswoman tells you her hero. >> what does that mean for you? >> it's -- she gives me so much hope because she embodies the kind of moral clarity i think we really need in a moment like the one we are living now where we have a president that is instilling so much fear and hate and fanning the flames of hatred and telling lies and i think
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it's so important to have someone that has moral clarity like her and that has urgency about how essential it is for us to clang thange the course of h. >> she is clearly super popular on the left. i was hearing how some republicans admire her. i was reading a quote from steve bannon that said you either have it or you don't. so many can't stand her. w she has a target on her back. >> she is the future. she represents the country that is here. >> the republicans and president trump are trying to resist by trying to define who we are as a nation by saying that immigrants do not belong here. by saying that we need to build walls instead of building bridges and creating infrastructures that allow people to have health care and education. that's what we should be having
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and we should be inviting this idea that we can actually see each other in each other's faces even when we are different even when we come from different nations and have different genders. when we speak different languages we can see each other. >> you're wearing your white. who is the one person you're most excited to lay eyes on this evening? >> there are so many guests coming. >> pick one. >> i'm a big fan of omar from minnesota. i think she represents the spirit of the people that have been fighting for the last two years in this country. >> thank you. >> nice to meet you. >> enjoy your evening here in washington. federal prosecutors looking and it comes one day after the trump inaugucommittee.
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that's coming up. i ordered it for everyone. [laughing] (dad vo) we got the biggest subaru to help bring our family together. i'm just resting my eyes. (dad vo) even though we're generations apart. what a day. i just love those kids. (avo) presenting the all-new three-row subaru ascent. wave to grandma, everybody. (avo) love is now bigger than ever. but prevagen helps your brain with an ingredient originally discovered... in jellyfish. in clinical trials, prevagen has been shown to improve short-term memory. prevagen. healthier brain. better life.
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let's blow out the candles together! ok, let's huff and puff. like you do sometimes, grandpa? well, when you have copd, it can be hard to breathe. so my doctor said... symbicort can help you breathe better-starting within 5 minutes. it doesn't replace a rescue inhaler for sudden symptoms. symbicort helps provide significant improvement of your lung function. symbicort is for copd, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. it should not be taken more than twice a day. it may increase your risk of lung infections, osteoporosis, and some eye problems. tell your doctor if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure before taking it. symbicort could mean a day with better breathing. watch out, piggies! ask your doctor if symbicort is right for you. if you can't afford your medication, astrazeneca may be able to help.
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he says he once contemplated racist revenge. he says it happened years ago but he did not say when or where. he took to the streeted after learning a loved one had been raped. >> i asked did she know who he was? no. what color? she said it was a black person. i've gone up and down areas with
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a kosh hoping i would be approached. i'm ashamed to say that. i did it for maybe a week hoping some black [ bleep ] would come out of a pub so that i could kill him. >> he told abc he is not racist. i'm not racist. this was nearly 40 years ago. >> would you have had the same reaction if it because white man? >> if she said irish or scott or brit or lithuanian i would have had the same effect. i was trying to show honor for -- stand up for my dear friend. >> he said he is now ashamed of
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his whorrible behavior and he dd seek help from a priest. thanks for being with me. let's go to jake tapper. the lead starts right now. as he divides with demands for a wall president trump promising a message of unity as they plan to troll him with many of the faces of his own policy. breaking news, federal investigators taking another lope. what did they want to know from the trump organization? plus news to him, president trump's announcement come as a surprise to one of the first people that should have