tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN March 5, 2019 5:00pm-6:00pm PST
new york. >> why did he hug the flag? thanks for joining us. you can watch outfront any time. go to cnngo. we begin tonight with breaking news you'll only see it hear. pamela brown learned president trump demanded a security clearance for his daughter ivanka over the objection of two top advisers. for the president, family came first. special treatment for both. cnn pamela brown joins us with details. what have you learned? >> he pressured john kelly and don mcgahn to grant his daughter a security clearance against their recommendations. this is according to three people familiar with the matter speaking to me and my colleague.
most instances are left up to the white house personnel security office which would then determine whether staffer should be granted one after the fbi conducts a background check. after concerns were raised, president trump pushed them to make the decision saying thing like it's no big deal. they will probably be leaving soon and going back up to new york so it didn't appear the president was tainting the process in his family's favor. after both refused, trump granted the security clearances according to sources we have been speaking with. this comes on the heels of the new york time reporting that trump ordered kelly to grant ivanka's husband a top security clearance despite concerns raised. sarah sanders says the white house can't comment on security clearance issues.
>> let's remind viewers of what ivanka said just last month about security clearance. >> the president had no involvement pertaining to my clearance or my husband's clearance. >> that's exact opposite of what you've learned, right? >> it is exact opposite. several sources tell us it's feasible that she was unaware of the red flags that were raised during her background check process as well as the president's involvement in it. a person familiar with her process, she didn't seek nor have outside counsel involved in her process as no issues were ever raised. a separate person added she was notified by career officials her clearance had been granted. just because concerns are raised about a person getting a security clearance, it doesn't mean that person did anything nefarious and we don't know the
precise concerns. people are told you have a security clearance or you didn't get up with. it is note wor tworthy that the president denied that he ever got involved with the security clearance for his family and he claimed he didn't know whether he had the authority to grant clearances. anderson. >> thank you. pam just mentioned this comes on the heels of that new york times reporting. the president intervened with jared kushner's clearance. mag maggie, you interviewed the president late january. he clearly lied to you about not being involved in jared kushner's security clearance. did ivanka's come up? >> i didn't ask him about hers. these two were closely linked. it had something to do with her
husband's because married couples tend to be linked together. this was an unusual circumstance in this white house. it's not a surprise. he was much more focused and as pam's reporting suggest on jared kushner's clearance. that was his focus because he has this portfolio that deals with a lot of sensitive global issues. ivanka trump was under the same limbo status. i think it bothered both of them. you can characterize it however you want . you can say they complained and pushed the president to do something. you can say they made complaints about this to the president and it might not have been an out right pressure but voicing their upset. whatever it was, the president intervened. it's not a surprise he did it with hers as well. it does go to a real contradiction in what ivanka trump said on camera and what
the president said. there's a world it's possible she didn't know. >> you think that is possible. it is possible. it's not likely. part of t >> part of the level is she wanted to study briefing books. why is she is in white house? what does she do? >> that's fwraet question. there were reports early on after the president was elected that he wanted his son and law and daughter to have high level clearances. the president did a tweet, november 16th that he wasn't doing that. what ended up happening a couple of months later, they joined the
white house and put in for security clearances. the way it was described for people around is that jared kushner sat in and he enjoyed it and wanted more. there's an addictive quality to having access to this kind of information. what ivanka trump needs to do with that information is unclear. >> she's still making money from the hotel. >> it's going to raise a ton of questions. she's making millions a year. >> it's going to raise questions about the fact that the president and his family who are serving in the government did not really step away from the business. these are just obvious questions. there's nothing surprising about them.
>> also pamela mentioned that based on her reporting the president said it's not a big deal. they will probably go back to flork so new york soon. if anything, that would be reason to not grant them security clearance. they will quickly go back to new york and reengage in the world of business and jared kushner will reengage with the saudis and chinese trying to get money to bail out 666. >> there is why chris christie was on this network last week after our story posted making the point this is why you don't -- yes chris christie, his relationship with jared kushner is legendary. there is why you do not have family in appointed positions in the white house because it just clouds the judgment, impacts the judgment on every one of these steps. you had the president -- we had reporting the president had been complaining about there lack of a security clearance for months
around jared kushner to white house officials and asking if there was anything they could do but others opini. nobody wanted to get involved. the president didn't want his hand in it directly but ultimately had to. >> do you get a sense that he understands the presidency isn't supposed to be family business or is it just that the way the trump organization was and he sees no reason to not just continue it? >> i think there's some combination of it. i think he's a 72-year-old man and he's not going to change. he has a real inability to say no to members of his family is a big piece of it. that's what you're seeing here, particularly his daughter. i think this is always going to be a problem. the view that jared and ivanka took is there were not legitimate reasons their clearances were being blocked.
this is all part of them disliking them. their relationships with them were toxic by the time this happened. wouldn't that have been a reason for them to -- i just don't understand the logic under which they would have prolonged this clearance confusion, don mcgahn and john kelly. it's hard to understand what planet they would be doing there to play games. i know that john kelly has been accused by others of using the clearance system to go after people he didn't like. i'm putting all that aside because there were legitimate issues being raised, as far as we understand it, by the fbi and others opinion. >> appreciate it. joining us is krirsten powers ad cnn chief legal analyst jeffrey toobin. does it make sense that ivanka trump has a clearance and b, lamed her father had nothing to do with it and it appears her
father did have something to do with it. >> it makes sense because i covered the trump administration and i know that nepotism is the guiding forces. the president has the right to declassify documents he wants. why -- what was it that the intelligence agency saw in the background of jared kushner and ivanka trump that made them want to deny them security clearances? what was the financial, personal, persona personal? what was the issue? that's why they review people for security clearances because they want to protect the country from threats to flasfrom nation security. what was it? >> if hillary clinton was one and she gave chelswhich he wilc clearance and her husband who is
involved if finances got a security clearance, wouldn't republicans justifiably be screaming from the roof tops. >> the american people knew. >> i don't know. >> it's hard to believe that republicans would not be saying are you kidding me. chelsea clinton is sitting in on meetings and going overseas and meeting with foreign leaders. >> there's a lot of things the clintons did that republicans were criticizing. bill clinton could have lost a security clearance. >> this doesn't bother you? >> going to talk about the clintons -- what i'm saying is partisan politics will come into there. of course they are.
the fact of the matter is jared kushner has a real portfolio. he's leading middle east negotiations on behalf of the president. the president has the right to say i want him to have a security clearance. hi daughter is an adviser to the white house. >> it doesn't bother you that he's seeking funding or having meetings in his business life with folks middle east leaders, chinese companies in other words to get funding for his family's company? that doesn't bother you? >> it's not a matter -- the president of the united states has a right to do this. >> i'm asking you is it appropriate for jared kushner to -- on the one hand have business relationships with the same people that he now is apparently dealing with on a diplomatic basis? >> i think that has to be sorted out. i think there's clear lines they will tell you that they have drawn on those issues. therefore, it's fine. >> kirsten, when does this stuff
get sorted out? it's been two years now. >> well, i'll answer your question. the same thing happened with chelsea clinton, republicans would have gone bonkers. first of all, if she had been offered a job in the white house they would have gone crazy over that. i think justifiably so. i don't think it's appropriate. i don't think i would have thought it was appropriate if hillary clinton did it and i don't think it's appropriate when donald trump did it. it's inappropriate because he brought in people who don't have any expertise in the areas that they are responsible for. they have no government experience. if she took chelsea clinton and put her in charge of middle east peace process, that would be a problem. i don't know mike, why you can't admit that. it's so clearly a problem. it's not a question of whether or not he has a right to do it. jeffrey raised a really key point around the security clearances. why does the government feel like they shouldn't have security clearances?
you have don mcgahn, setting aside john kelly and the issues john kelly has with the president and jared kushner. don mcgahn had no reason to try and deny the president what he wanted and he said the didn't think the security clearance should go there. there's obviously something that's problematic. whether the president has a right to do it or not, you have to ask why he doesn't care what he's being told about the conflicts. >> this is the very reason there are nepotism laws or guidelines but they don't apply in this case. >> they don't apply in this case. that's why companies have nepotism rules. other parts of the government have nepotism rules. the president is exempt from these rules. if you acknowledge that the president has the right to put his family members in important jobs, shouldn't they have to
once there abide by the same rules as every one else? that is get a security clearance on the merits not just because their father overrules the intelligence agencies. that's what makes this so outrageous. if he wants to have them work for him fine but once there shouldn't they have to get a security clearance like every one else? >> back to your point about hillary. think about to when bill clinton was elected and he openly said my wife will be a part of policy discussions. she led -- >> that went over really well. >> republicans criticized her and democrats defended her and said she's a family member. she's involved with this. >> that's not what happened. >> she in the white house. >> she had expertise. >> she wasn't elected. >> mike, what is jared kushner's expertise in middle east peace and what is ivanka trump's
expertise in anything? >> the same expertise that a business person who runs for office who has never been a politician has brings to government, which is they've negotiated deals. they have created wealth and jobs. >> there's questions about kushner's success. >> he didn't run as an inside washington politician. >> he hasn't created a successful business. he inherited it from his dad while his dad was in prison afterhiring a prostitute to blackmail another relative. there are questions about the family business. do you really believe he's qualified to negotiate middle east peace? >> look, i believe that the trump ticket, the trump campaign, the trump brand was that business people who aren't politicians who aren't a part of how everything has been going in washington will come and do things differently. >> you're totally cool with it. >> the experiences they had to these issues.
>> all right. mike, thank you. just ahead, what the president said about cooperating with the growing investigation into him and what we're learning about plans to do the exact opposite. keeping him honest. the president claims he was a top student. talk to the reporter who got that story ahead on 360. non-drowsy claritin. and relief from symptoms caused by over 200 indoor and outdoor allergens. like those from buddy. [ dog whimpering ] booking a flight doesn't have to be expensive. just go to priceline. it's the best place to book a flight a few days before my trip and still save up to 40%. just tap and go... for the best savings on flights, go to priceline.
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when he raised his rite hand opinion 45% believes he's committed crimes as president. that ought to be shocking. in case you missed it yesterday or in case you missed it now in the denials, here is what he said yesterday when asked whether he would cooperate with the democratic controlled house judiciary committee investigation. >> i cooperate all the time with everybody. you know the beautiful thing, no collusion. it's all a hoax. you'll learn about that as you grow older. it's a political hoax. there's no collusion. >> i cooperate all the time with every one. it would suggest he would cooperate now though he believes there's nothing to find. he's cooperate because as he says he always done. that was yesterday as the judiciary committee was sending out letters to 81 people and
organizations with connection to trump world asking for documents. the white house were also promisie ining cooperation. keeping him honest, all that talk of cooperation is ringing hallow. officials are saying behind the scenes officials are planning to resist the document request even as they brace for more. the president hit the cap locks key on his electric twitter machine. presidential harassment. he called the probe the greatest over reach in the history of our country and a big fat fishing expedition in search of a crime. there was more with a light dusting of bipartisan. now that they realize the only collusion with russia was done by crooked hillary clinton, they have gone stone cold crazy. 81 letters sent to innocent people to harass them.
they won't get anything done for the country. the president suggestion that all 81 letters went out to innocent people, that's not true. michael flynn got a letter, rick gates, paul manafort. george papadopoulos has served prison time. roger stone is awaiting trial. those are real facts. not alternative ones. as is the fact that whatever the political motivation for the house investigation may or may not be, it's hard to call it groundless. not when you consider the cases that robert mueller has brought and done and what the southern district of new york is covering. there is plenty to look into. if the president wants this to be over quickly he would take the advice of ty cobb who advised cooperation back in 2018 when it was robert mueller and a
controlled republican congress doing the investigating. the president didn't do that. the president railed in public against the investigation. >> it's a total witch hunt. >> they have this witch hunt. >> it's a witch hunt. that's all it is. >> they have phony witch hunts. >> that's from the president who cooperates all the time. >> hoump do yw much do you expe
white house to cooperate? >> i hope the white house would cooperate. congress is a co-equal branch of government. we have a right to sever this information. i'm not going to get into the specifics of the various requests. the fact is the american people deserve the truth and congress has a rightful role to provide appropriate oversight and again, i hope that the white house would move forward in cooperation. >> the white house is likely going to argue executive pr privilege applies here. he does have the right to with hold certain information from congress and executive privilege would seem to apply in some of the cases here. >> i'm sure there are appropriate places where executive privilege would dominate but what i understand is the white house may be
issuing a blanket denial. that goes against the very nature of a co-equal branch of government. my hope would be -- my expectation is the house plaema fairly extensive requests. the congress has the right to provide oversight, including over all aspects of the executive branch, including the president. the law has got to be followed. >> david axelrod criticized the scope of the document request. he said it too easily play sbs o the witch hunt meme. do you think he has a point? >> i've not reviewed the extensive requests from the house. >> just the fact that it's so extensive, does that risk from an optics standpoint? >> all i can tell you with our investigation into the senate,
it's been bipartisan. we've mad a series of requests and we've been very successful with having those requests honored. >> what is the end game in your opinion for democrats and all these investigations. a lot of democrats have expressed skepticism about impeachment. if some wrong doing is found and impeachment isn't on the table, then what? >> in our investigation we started over two years ago because a foreign power, russia massively intervened in our elections and it's been bipartisan shown from the intelligence community. they did that to help donald trump and hurt hillary clinton. part of our investigation has been about following the fact, where the truth lies and what level of collaboration or collusion was there between trump officials and trump campaign and the russians. the one thing we know at this point is there was an unprecedented level of contact
between russians and individuals from both the trump business organization and from the trump campaign. where that all leads, i'm reserving my final judgment until we see all of our -- all the final witnesses and feature a final conclusion. >> richard ask if he thought michael cohen was truthful. he said koe lcohen has not been truthful in the past and made a lot of accusations. do you agree with the characterization there? he's not been truthful in be past. we know that. >> michael cohen doesn't have a good level of telling the truth and neither does donald trump. if there was one thing i took away, i can't comment on the private testimony he gave to the senate intelligence committee but from the public testimony it did appear at times that if in
cohen was trying to smear donald trump, he could have gone further. he seems relatively restrained. >> appreciate your time. thank you. >> no surprise there's an intense feedback loop between the fox news and president trump. there's a article that documents the details. we'll talk to the author ahead. t-mobile is always happy to see you. when you join t-mobile you get two lines of unlimited with two of the latest phones included for just one hundred bucks a month. carl, i as my broker...invite here. what am i paying you to manage my money? it's racquetball time. ♪ carl, does your firm offer a satisfaction guarantee? like schwab does. guarantee? ♪ carl, can you remind me what you've invested my money in.
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there was one from tucker carlson and lou dobbs. he also quoted sean hannity. like i said, that was just last night. the reason that's important is because earlier that exact morning the new yorker zeroed in on the president's intense cozy relationship with fox news. right on cue as they say. the author, the magazine chief washington kcorrespondent. it can be hard at times to tell who is behind the wheel in all this. whether it's fox advocating for policy positions that the president latches onto or the president oadvocating for polic positions that fox news latches onto. >> it's impossible to tell who is really calling the tune. i spent months working on the
story and talked to more than 75 people and kept looking at fox and watching trump's tweets. it's just a constant loop back and forth and back and forth. some days it seems like fox and friends starts with a particular subject and then president trump tweets about it. some days it's the other way around. >> there's also the number of people from fox who work in the administration. >> these are major posts. there's been people from the media who have landed in spokesman jobs in various administratio administrations. what you see in the trump
administration is play jmajor p are being filled by talking heads from fox. the particular thing that got me going on there story was that bill shine, the president of fox news became the white house communications director. you literally had someone from fox in the position of the top job controlling the president's message. it's been -- there's been coordination ever since. >> your article opens up with sean hannity press core being less in. sean hannity is already on location and he's part of the administration entourage. >> he's literally hugging members of administration and the other press are kept behind the rope lines by the secret
service. i've been a white house reporter. i was during the reagan add plr -- administration. i've never seen anything like it and a lot of presidential lis t -- lis thistorians have never anything like it. the country's biggest news would be use as a mouthpiece or state news. there's a lot of conservatives who talk to, people who used to be on fox who say there's fo kr -- no criticism of the president that's getting through on fox news. there are exceptions. let's be fair here. the good reporters. the overall message is straight out of trump's mouth and back again. >> initially, back when trump entered the race, it didn't seem
like fox news knew which way to go on the president. i don't know if they were led by their opinion people or something from the leadership from murdoch on down. you think back to the days of megyn kelly and all of that. i don't know if they saw the writing on the wall and realized the money for us is this guy and that's what led them kind of down there path. do you know how it works? >> it's really interesting. murdoch was a critic of trump in the beginning and roger ailes was uncomfortable with the situation. among other things, it was true that trump was getting great ratings. it's still true. there's aincentive to do good news about trump.
the audience turns away when there's bad news from trump. they make more money by making him look good. >> you talk about, in the beginning of the article, whether fox is a propaganda machine for the administration. do you believe it is? >> i mean, i think it's a big concern. i think there are a lot of questions raised by all of this reporting i was doing. there's more reporting to be done. we have seen there were a lot of favors that were done for rupert murdoch by this add plrministra. it's situation i wouldn't like to see in this country where we have state propaganda coming out of one of our largest cable companies. >> it's a fascinating article. it's in the new yorker. i recommends people read it. thank you so much. new insight about the
lengths that president trump's friends made sure his high school transcript never got out after he heard president obama was a terrible student. new report frg ting from the washington post. i'll speak to that reporter next. why accept it from your allergy pills? flonase sensimist relieves all your worst symptoms, including nasal congestion, which most pills don't. and all from a gentle mist you can barely feel. flonase sensimist. little things can be a big deal. that's why there's otezla. otezla is not a cream. it's a pill that treats plaque psoriasis differently. with otezla, 75% clearer skin is achievable. don't use if you're allergic to otezla. it may cause severe diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting. otezla is associated with an increased risk of depression. tell your doctor if you have a history of depression or suicidal thoughts or if these feelings develop. some people taking otezla reported weight loss. your doctor should monitor your weight and may stop treatment. upper respiratory tract infection
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intelligence. he said he heard that obama was a terrible student and he should show his school records. the headmaster at mr. trump's own high school got an order to help find trump's school records and help bury them. first let's point out this all came from something michael cohen said last week that the president was determined people not see his academic records. >> i'm providing the committee today with several documents. copies of letters i wrote at mr. trump's direction that threatened his high school, colleges and the college board not to release his grades or s.a.t. scores. >> joining me tonight is washington post reporter mark fisher. >> can you just explain how president trump's high school records were buried? >> yeah. this is going back to 2011 when trump was considering running for president in 2012 and he was out there attacking president
obama saying he should release his academic records and he was a poor student. immediately after that, within hours after trump made that statement, the top officials at the new york military academy where trump had gone to school for five years received calls from wealthy alumni who were friend of trump, ordering them to find his academic record, retrieve them, remove them and hand them over for safekeeping. the top people at the school did the first part of that. that he found, they combed through basement archive and brought them to the superintendent of the school and he decided not to give them but rather bury them in place where no one cold find them on campus. >> they are literally buried? >> i don't know about literally but they are hissen somewhedden
and the idea is they would not be retrievable by current members of the school staff. >> michael cohen said he threatened the schools, did you find out if cohen was behind this in. >> as he said last week was threatening trump's colleges and high school and ordering them to make sure there was no record of his academic acloohievement tha was available. that's the message that filtered down to the headmaster and superintendent at the military academy. he was not in direct contact with school officials but this was filtered through other people. >> who knows where the president's high school records are now? >> that's not clear. the folks at the military academy aren't talking. at all schools the president attended. people are saying these are records that are governed by privacy law and not available to
the public unless the president decides he wants them out there. he has said he's not going to let them out even as he claimed he was a top student at military academy and elsewhere. that turns out no the be the case. >> probably none of this would really matter unless donald trump hadn't gone after president obama about alleging things about his grades. obviously there's a certain level of hypocrisy there. he did say -- i think his exact quote is he was one of the top guys at the whole school. >> that's right. he said he was one of the top students at the military academy. we don't have his records. we have spoken to some people who have seen them and they report they were immediate i don't care -- immediate ymedioc. we don't have the details. >> maybe they're under audit or
something. let's check in with chris. >> i think it's a vexing question -- >> i like the use of world vexing. >> it's a word guys like you would know. what lies matter anymore? you broke that very compelling news about security clearances not just with kushner but with ivanka, the daughter. that's another lie in the same way. what matters to people? it seems pretty clear to guys like us that people who support him don't care about the lying. they expect nothing better from this political process. he's just -- it's like judging someone in a bar fight for using bad language. i think their expectations are disaffection is so extreme they don't expect anything better. how do you make people care about the things that matter? part of that is what we elect the talk about. part of that is raising expectations. we somebody who wants to do that. the governor of colorado has entered the race for president. why will he be something better?
is it just about trump being bad or does he have something to offer? the crisis on the boarder rder l but it's not what the president told you. the new york times came out about the flow right now is nothing compared to what is feared to be coming. i have those numbers. i have who they say coming and it is fright tennessening becau not ready. >> thanks very much. the man president wants overseeing america's public lands is an oil lobbyist. we uncover what he may have done for his former client. at fidelity, we help you prepare for the unexpected with retirement planning and advice for what you need today and tomorrow. because when you're with fidelity, there's nothing to stop you from moving forward. you won't find relief here. congestion and pressure? go to the pharmacy counter for powerful claritin-d. while the leading allergy spray only relieves 6 symptoms,
>> since he joined the agency, the department of interior has made at least 15 policy changes or decisions decisions that benefitted them according to a cnn analysis. >> we're seeing favors large and small being granted. everything from specific projects getting green lights to larger policies either being rolled back from the obama administration or moved forward in the trump administration. he's moving between government jobs to a major lobbyist for the
oil industry. appointed as deputy secretary of the interior in 2017 and promising in this ethics letter not to be involved. to recuse himself from any decisions involving 26 different groups. mostly in oil and gas that he has lobbied for but only for a certain amount of time. curiously, 13 of his former clienlts ha clien clients have gotten what they wanted from the department of the interior. one name is popping up again and again. the independent petroleum association of america or ipaa. one of the group's requests, do something about it. >> it's sparked the largest land conservation effort in u.s. history. >> in 2015, the obama administration implemented a protection plan for the bird which meant lots of federal lands across the west would be either off limits or more difficult for oil and gas
exploration. the ipaa, bern heart's former client repeatedly lobbied department officials to loosen restrictions. records reviewed by cnn show bern hea bernheart involved with three meetings on the issue. ipaa and other groups thanked him for his involvement and by december of 2018 the trump administration released a plan to amend protections and open vast swaths of western land for oil drilling. the industry requests and actions taken go on and on. fracking offshore drilling, easing of safety requirements, former clients asking and receiving favorable decisions from the government agency run by the former oil lobbyist. >> we're talking about the literal fox guarding the hen house but this administration doesn't mind the notion that a lobbyist is going to regulate the industry they used to work
for. the acting secretary is fully in compliance and critics that say he is granting favors are categorically incorrect, either misunderstand the law, regulation and the acting secretary's ethics pledge or they're deliberately misleading. she defends the acting secretary's actions this way. >> dave bernhart is not pursuing his agenda or those he worked for as a lawyer. he's pursuing the agenda that president trump won the election on and is implementing. >> but the acting secretary isn't so eager to talk about any of that. >> i'm happy to visit with you at any time. right now is not the time but talk to my press folks and we'll set something up. >> just to be clear your press folks told us that you are inaccessible for the next several weeks. >> they haven't talked to me. i'll talk to them.
>> within minutes of this conversation, his staff in washington was sending an e-mail to cnn confirming there will be no interview. seems like the bottom line is all of these decisions may be helping his former clients but they say it's just policy not granting specific favors. that's right. they benefit industry in general and also just happen to benefit a former client. they say it's all okay. he's not violating any rules. >> i'm sure his former clients are happy. they get what they want and they don't have to pay him. >> they had no direct contact with him since he joined the interior department and these are now changes they have been fighting for for decades. so you have the trump administration with an oil
lobbyist at the interior department and making those come true. >> we want to hand it over to chris for cuomo primetime. >> welcome to primetime. the president pulled another fast one with the security clearance, this time for his daughter ivanka. democrats are asking for answers. the white house reportedly ducking. can the democrats take on all of this president's problems or is the hunt going to backfire? we're going to bring in one of the top investigators. plus exclusive reporting for you tonight. the real crisis at the border. it's one the president isn't selling. it's one a wall will not fix. the people trying to keep us safe are worried and i'm going to tell you why, only here tonight and the latest candidate to enter the 2020 race is only here tonight, why does
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