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tv   CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield  CNN  September 8, 2019 11:00am-12:00pm PDT

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yeah. yeah, i could see that. for those who were born to ride, there's progressive. hello, everyone, and welcome this sunday. i'm fredricka whitfield. we begin with stunning efforts to end america's longest war. today president trump says he was to hold peace talks with leaders of the taliban at camp david. in a series of tweets last night, trump revealed this secret meeting was to be held just days before the 9/11 anniversary. the president announcing he called off the talks with the taliban and the president of afghanistan saying in part, unfortunately in order to build false leverage, they admitted to an attack in kabul that killed one of our great, great soldiers and 11 other people. i immediately canceled the
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meeting and called off peace negotiations. what kind of people would kill so many in order to seemingly strengthen their bargaining position? the president is referencing a car bombing in kabul that killed sergeant first class ellis angel ortiz. ortiz was the 16th u.s. service member to die in afghanistan this year. his body arriving at dover, delaware, last night. and today on cnn, u.s. secretary of state mike pompeo defending the president's decision to invite members of the taliban onto u.s. soil and the president's ultimate decision to cancel the meeting. >> we've been working on this for awhile. and it was the case when the taliban tried to gain negotiating advantage by conducting terror attacks inside of the country, he made the right decision to say that is not going to work.
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it's not right, it's not appropriate to kill an american. it made no sense for the taliban to be rewarded for that bad behavior. >> all right. cnn's boris sanchez is covering these developments. what more are you learning about this canceled peace talk? >> reporter: for the decision to invite the taliban leaders to camp david for a meeting with president trump, it was decided upon at a meeting last week. president trump according to sources had become frustrated with the pace of these peace talks. he was putting intense pressure on officials to try to speed up the withdrawal of troops from afghanistan. the president famously promising in the 2016 campaign to end america's longest war. and the president according to officials, felt it would be better to meet with them himself. there is still hope an agreement could be brokered with the taliban as the secretary of mike pompeo said this morning. listen to more of what he's
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saying. >> the president believed that we could further that, that we could further america's national interests by having conversations with people that have the capacity to deliver on what you just described. that was the effort. that was the mission. that was the purpose that president trump has laid out. but you saw if the taliban don't beha behave, don't deliver on the commitments they've made to us for weeks now and in some cases months, the president of the united states is not going to reduce the pressure. we're not going to reduce our pressure for the afghan security forces that have fought so hard there in afghanistan. >> reporter: fred, we should also point out this tweet from 2012 from president trump in which he criticized then-president obama saying he would slashing the military and negotiating with our sworn enemy the taliban who facilitied 9/11. mike pompeo was asked about this. he said there was no confidence that president obama would hold
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that. they put out a statement today saying ending peace talks would only harm the americans. >> thank you so much from the white house. let's talk more about all of this. let me bring in james spider marks who is the former commanding general of the u.s. army intelligence center and a cnn military analyst. also with me, max booth, a senior fellow on the council of foreign relations, a "washington post" columnist, and a cnn global affairs analyst. good to see you both. max, you first. if this is a secret meeting, you know, why would the president tweet out about it, undermine any possibility to have a secret meeting? >> well, welcome to the latest episode, fredricka, of the trump show. diplomacy by tweet. you're seeing how that works which is not very well. now, i will commend president trump to this extent. i think it's a good idea to disinvite the taliban from camp david during the week we are
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commemorating the 9/11 attacks carried out by the allies of the taliban. this would have been unseemly. you could just imagine whou trump would have attacked any other president like president obama if that other president had decided to invite terrorists to camp david. so it's a good thing that trump is now disinvited them. but what this shows is the negotiations that have been carried on are sort of in shambles. i think what's really happening here is not the fact that the taliban carried out another attack on thursday. because they've been carrying out attacks throughout the course of these negotiations. we have lost -- >> there have been 16 u.s. deaths this year in afghanistan. >> right. we lost 16 soldiers in afghanistan this year. why is number 16 the breaking point? it doesn't make a lot of sense. it does underline the taliban have not shown they're committed to peace. we have not asked them to cease fire. as a condition for negotiations
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or even a condition of the drawdown of u.s. forces. you know, we are -- our demands have not been nearly tough enough. i think what's really happening here is not that president trump suddenly changed his mind because of an attack last week. it sounds like he's getting cold feet. >> so max, in your own opinion that you wrote in "washington post" today, you said disinviting terrorists from camp david seems like a good idea. it was appalling that he would have been considering hosting terrorists just days before the 9/11 attack anniversary. imagine what trump who excoriated president obama for negotiating with the taliban, would have said if obama had invited them for a sleepover. but trump's explanation for this cancellation as with most things, he saythings he says, makes little sense. is this another distraction? or what is the motivation he
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would have behind doing this? >> i don't think it's a distraction as i was saying. my suspicion is that trump has probably gotten cold feet because he is hearing from people like lindsey graham and john bolton this is not a very good agreement. i certainly would not conclude this is the end of the negotiations with the taliban. because remember, in may of 2018, trump said he was going to cancel his meeting with kim jong-un then three weeks later he showed up in singapore to meet with kim jong-un. part of the trump negotiating playbook. that he thinks that walking away from the table gained sol leverage. there's not a lot of evidence to indicate that's true. but that's trump's mentality. this may just be trump grand standing. >> so general marks, how do you see it? according to "the new york times" reporting, you know, this meeting is ultimately about drawing down these 14,000, you know, u.s. troops.
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and that the taliban would help in counterterrorism. does this sound like, you know, the makings of a solid viable deal to you? >> well, first of all, the afghans and the government were all in in terms of these negotiations. whether there was secret concerns or they had voice d in private quarters, their hesitations might be the fact. what we need to do now and i appreciate max, what they're saying. to try to facilitate a resilient afghan government that could have a taliban participation, resilient enough to maintain its fledgling form of representation. but right lane it's all about
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security. if the united states is going to do that, 'er either all in or maybe we increase the number of troops on the ground or we're out. >> and while there's advocacy for the talks and having these parties at the talk, but the location. perhaps there is a location for a neutral location. perhaps it's not at camp david. or is part of the issue the conditions that are on the table as well? that make -- >> exactly. there needs to be some pre-existing conditions. at least that's what you would hope the diplomats would be doing so when the senior folks show up, the president of the united states, ghani, and the leader of the taliban show up, magic occurs because of the hard work that occurred among the various diplomats. but it's a non-event. whether it was going to take place at camp david or some place else, it's not going to take place at camp david. that's a discussion point that i think is moot at this point.
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we should probably move forward and figure out what is our relationship with the afghan government and what is our commitment to peace in that part of the world so that we can avoid what took place in advance of 9/11 and the results of 9/11. that's what this focus needs to be about. >> does this say anything about the relationship between the u.s. and the afghan government? >> well, this is really strained our relations with our allies. because president ghani has not been included in these negotiations. and hesitated to share a copy of the agreement. we need to go back to square one here and the failure of this camp david idea. which is to facilitate a peace agreement. >> all right. max boot, general marks, thank
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you. still ahead, you can call it a long shot, but mark sanford says he plans to go head-to-head with president trump for the republican presidential nomination. why he says he is running. plus, new information on the devastation in the bahamas. tens of thousands are homeless. the u.s. coast guard scrambling to find any survivors. the latest from nassau next. and breaking news off the georgia coast. rescue efforts to locate four crew members from a capsized cargo ship. and now the efforts have been suspended. why? details straight ahead. relief ere givel for your worst cold and flu symptoms, on sunday night and every night. nyquil severe. the nightime, sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy head, best sleep with a cold, medicine.
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applebee's handcrafted burgers now starting at $7.99 now that's eatin' good in the neighborhood. all right. search and rescue operations are still underway in the bahamas today for hundreds of people still missing. the u.s. coast guard says it has rescued more than 300 people so far conducting operations with five helicopters and five coast guard cutters. gary tuchman got a first hand look at the heart breaking destruction as crews sift through piles of rubble. >> reporter: this is the u.s. coast guard and a city of miami paramedic from the fire rescue unit looking at the rubble here in marsh harbour, bahamas. one of the most beautiful cities on earth and now it's hell on earth. this is immense rubble. it's impossible to tell how many
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houses we're standing on. they have been flattened. you get an idea here of what so many of the houses in this area look like. we came here to this part of marsh harbour because we were told by the local fire department here that they expected there would be many bodies in this area. indeed, five minutes ago these coast guard and paramedic personnel found the body of a female just past that house you're looking at. you can see in the distance there, more u.s. coast guard personnel looking around helping the bahamian government and police look for bodies and also treat people who may be hurt. we've been traveling with them in a coast guard cutter going all over the island. not just here but caves and inlets. a small case of inlets to the north of here are just that. but this is the largest we've seen in the abacos marsh harbour. what we're being told by the
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personnel here is there are still a lot of bodies to find here. and we've been here ten minutes and they found one. this is gary tuchman, cnn, marsh harbour, bahamas. >> that's an unbelievable scene. joining me now, good to see you. the devastation is just remarkable. and the u.n. is saying at least 70,000 people are now homeless on the abaco islands. and in the grand bahamas. you just heard from gary tuch n tuchman's piece, i mean, cou countless people perished in the abaco islands. what can be done for the survivors? the 70,000 people now left homeless. >> so thank you for having me on today. the government of the bahamas
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leading the support, we predeployed staff a couple of days before the hurricane hit to be able to move as quickly as possible to respond to needs in response to requests from the government. i led a team yesterday north of marsh harbour to some of the most severely affected areas. the damage to houses was catastrophic. our challenge now is delivering life-saving food, water, other types of urgent assistance. mobilized maybe 15,000 meals red i do eat. they've been moved out to the worst affected areas. the pan american health organization in concert with the ministry of health have deployed emergency medical teams. we've been responding, we are responding. our challenge now is to make
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sure we are focused on those few thousand most vulnerable people who don't have any other means of support. >> request from the bahamian government there. it was made up of bahamians hit really hard by this storm just like everybody else. talk to me about whether there is a real piece of the government that is able to assist in aid and communicate with people. or, you know, if it is crippled beyond words. so that agencies such as yours, the u.n., bodies such as yours have to help uplift and help the bahamas. >> i mean, i think it's important to signal that as devastating as the impact was on abaco and grand bahama, this country is made up of many islands.
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the central government here in nassau continues to function well and is leading coordinating mobilizing all of the efforts supported by regional institutions. and our role as the united nations and organizations is to complement activities. that's what we did in the leadup to the hurricane and what we'll continue to do for as long as requested and required. >> rein paulsen, thank you so much. appreciate your work and efforts there. >> thank you. president trump has yet another republican rival in the 2020 race for president. mark sanford says he has what it takes to take on the president and change the republican party. his main objective next. and breaking news off the coast of georgia. a u.s. coast guard effort to rescue four missing crew members on this capsized ship have just been suspended. much more straight ahead. [music playing] (vo) this is jerry.
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the u.s. coast guard is pausing rescue efforts after a huge cargo ship ended up on its
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side off the coast of georgia. fire is hampering efforts. four people on the 24-member crew ship are still unaccounted for. the u.s. coast guard says this 71,000 ton vessel capsized after leaving the port of brunswick early this morning. the golden ray is carrying cars. >> we're still conducting rescue operations. we have assets on scene that continue to do what they can. it is a complex situation, so we're looking not just for the safety to be able to rescue the people on board but to be able to provide safety for crews. so it's ongoing and we're looking to throw as much of it as we can. and we have everybody looking to try and solve this complex problem. >> crews are working to stabilize the vessel with salvagers and the coast guard will resume operations once it is safe to do so.
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all right. meantime, reaction is now coming in from democrats on the campaign trail to president trump's bombshell announcement that he had canceled a secret meeting with taliban leaders on u.s. soil at camp david. the president said he scrapped the meeting at camp david after the taliban took credit for a deadly attack in afghanistan. killing an american soldier. this has given 2020 democrats more fuel to question the president's foreign policy agenda. >> it's just another example of the president treating foreign policy like it's some kind of game show. >> even though i do support a negotiated political settlement there that will increase stability and make sure afghanistan is not used as a base of terror operations, it's very odd to invite a terrorist organization like that to camp david. this is the worst president when it comes to negotiating, i
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think, that we've had in a very long time. >> cnn national political reporting maeve reston is here with us now. part of the criticism also includes the timing of this meeting which would have been days before marking 18 years since 9/11. >> reporter: yeah. and that was what was so baffling. not only many of the democrats but also republicans across the spectrum who just thought that the timing of this meeting was really inappropriate, fred. and another one of the candidates who is weighing in today is south bend mayor pete buttigieg who is one of the two combat veterans, one of the two veterans in the 2020 presidential race. and he -- let's listen to what he had to say about this. >> i'm also puzzled by the idea that you would invite the taliban to the united states on the eve of the 9/11 anniversary without having a rock solid way forward. or that you did it at all,
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frankly. so, you know, as usual there is a lot of noise and confusion around this president. and around the strategy on afghanistan which is unfortunate because we're a few days away from where you can be 18 years old and have not been alive on 9/11 and yet we're still at war over there. i thought i was one of the last guys turning out the lights when i left, and here we are. >> mayor buttigieg obviously having an opportunity to reference his military service, and also the fact that there's a lot of desire out there for us to end this conflict which is what president trump has been saying he wants to do. >> and maeve, this new abc news/"washington post" poll is looking at the state of the democratic race. ahead of thursday's debate, biden has a sizable lead over the rest. but what stands out to you about this poll? >> well, it's a sizable lead, but, you know, it doesn't look as big as it did when these
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polls were first started being taken. obviously these three candidates are still up there at the top. joe biden, bernie sanders, and elizabeth warren. once again in this poll, we are seeing elizabeth warren steadily rise her way up doing all that work and the rest of the field is just way down there at the bottom not gaining traction. and she's going to have a chance this week to be on that stage with joe biden showing what she would be like and whether she would, indeed, be as strong a candidate up against trump as he would be in the view of most americans. >> maeve reston, thank you so much. >> thank you. all right. that's the look for the democrats. and then there were three in the republican category. mark sanford now officially throwing his had into the ring to challenge president trump in 2020. sanford joins joe walsh and bill weld. sanford is a vocal critic of the
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president but also acknowledges his long odds of beating trump. >> i think we need to have a conversation on what it means to be a republican. we have lost our way. and i'd say so in a couple of different fronts. >> you've got to know you have basically no chance of winning the republican nomination, so why run for president? >> i think you probably would have said that same thing to donald trump just a matter of months ago as he faced the likes of jeb bush and others. >> do you honestly think you have a serious chance of beating -- >> i'm saying you never know. >> president trump's campaign had a one-word reaction to sanford's announcement. irrelevant. and just in, the south carolina gop said this is about mark sanford looking to raise his political career from the grave, not him wanting to advance ideas. in fact, calling his campaign a vanity project.
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we have lisa lehr and francesca. you first. 90% approval ratings among republicans. sanford is considered a long shot. you heard his reply as to why and he said why not. or is it what the, you know, south carolina gop says that it's about raising his profile? why would he do this? >> i spo ek to mark sanford on the phone earlier today about this exact subject. and he seems to think that president trump's support among republicans is softer than it would appear in those numbers. and if someone else were to truly challenge him, they'd be willing to defect from president trump. but i asked what the goals are of his campaign. he said the first thing is to draw attention to the balloons u.s. deficit. and the second thing he'd like to do is win. the order of those two answers really tells you something about
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what he intends to achieve. >> okay. so if that's the argument, then lisa, is it really irrelevant that he is running? >> i don't think it's irrelevant. i think he faces extremely, exceedingly long odds of beating donald trump because, you know, in part because beating an incumbent is really hard but also because of how beloved donald trump really is in his own party. the question here is really twofold. first of all, does he potentially weaken donald trump in a general election by raising concerns about spending and fiscal responsibility that could resonate with more moderate republicans who already are concerned about the president's tone? and second of all, if he does catch some fire, is he softening the ground for another republican who could be a more viable nominee. that's a harder thing to do particularly because of the structure of how these primaries are going to be run. it is something some in the party are thinking about. >> republican party leaders in south carolina, nevada, arizona,
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really on the verge of canceling the presidential primaries. the rnc has done away with the committee to set up debates. so perhaps it really is setting the stage, you know, francesca, so the president doesn't have any competition within the party. >> if you take a look at a state like south carolina which is where mark sanford is from, it is going to be an even greater uphill climb. because that is a state where he would expect to get the most support and he wouldn't be able to compete against donald trump there even. so he says, though, that he is trying to build a bigger national movement, have a national conversation about the spending. and that's what's important to him. what i did find curious is he did admit it's, quote, suspect that on the same week that he was planning to make this announcement, and he wasn't shy about that, that that's when they said they were not planning to have their primary. >> so what does this say about the republican party? that, you know, they really are behind maybe four states that
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won't have primaries. won't have any competition for the president. >> this is not unprecedented. obama in his re-election, a couple states didn't hold primaries -- >> well, that's because they were unchallenged. but this would be. >> i think the states are really interesting as francesca pointed out. you also have arizona which is a state where there has been a fair amount of opposition among republicans and independents who make up about a third of the voting base there. so i think it is very interesting, the states where these primaries are being canceled. ae and those polls have to show him as very strong. >> all right. we'll leave it there for now. good to see you both. thank you. all right. still ahead, are u.s. military dollars propping up one of president trump's golf resorts?
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>> kids vo: ♪ safelite repair, safelite replace ♪ welcome back. president trump's business em pair is at the center of yet another house investigation. this time it's his golf course and resort in scotland. the house oversight committee is looking into increased u.s. military spending at the trump turnberry golf resort. air force members paid to stay there when they stopped to refuel back in march. cnn international diplomatic editor nic robertson is following details on all of this. the air force acknowledged that this happened, but they're also defending this decision? >> reporter: they are. they're saying that it's not unusual that the air force members and in this case in march on this flying this c-17 on a refueling stop on the way
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to kuwait, there was seven of them, that they stayed within the bounds of what the recommendations are. that they booked their tickets through the defense ticketing agency. that they were -- that they could choose hotels, if you will, providing they were lower than the per diem and that they were in the, you know, in the right place, i suppose is the best expression. not too far from the refueling. which prestwick is close to turnberry. there were other hotels in the area, but this one was deemed by the air force to meet all those monetary requirements that they weren't exceeding values that they were limited to. but further investigation here has revealed a trend and the total seems to reveal perhaps a much greater system than just seven national guardsman on this one c-17 transport aircraft.
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since president trump's election since october 2017, prestwick airport, there have been 629 refueling stops totaling a stand on fuel of about $11 million. prestwick is a small civilian airport. it's not doing well initially. they're all staying at turnberry, significant figure. >> and so you touched on the airport there that had financially not been doing very well. and now as a result of many of these stops, it has helped them stay afloat. isn't that a significant tie being made? >> reporter: it's a connection that's being made. the scottish government is saying that they -- you know, that this is not something they follow in a detailed day-by-day basis. but obviously it raises questions about that airfield. it is an important airfield.
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for that part of scotland, glasgow airport is not so far away but not as convenient for turnberry. and certainly as a feeder airport coming in, it would be useful. so yes, the possibility for -- the possibility here for, you know, for money not being spent as is appropriate is quite big. >> nic robertson, thank you so much. all right. straight ahead, the drum beat for president trump's impeachment is expected to get louder on capitol hill this week. but will congress freshmen put the brakes on it? why they have reservations next. anyone can deliver pizza. only marco's can deliver america's most loved pizza. hot and fresh, and right to your door. dough made from scratch, every day. sauce from the original giammarco recipe. and authentic toppings like crispy,
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all right. just into cnn, cnn has learned that warrants have been served against the business that owns the scuba diving boat that caught fire last week killing 34 people. the boat went up in flames on labor day just off the southern california coast. officials say the coast guard investigative service issued
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search warrants today. part of the ongoing probe. all right. just three days from now, congressional democrats are expected to take official steps to lay the ground work for an impeachment probe into president donald trump. house judiciary members will vote on a resolution that sets the rules for any hearings. at least 134 house democrats along with independent justin amash have publicly voiced their support for an impeachment inquiry. but one group openly grappling on whether this will hurt or help democrats is the newly elected freshman class. it's an issue that cnn politics reporter jeremy herb has been following very closely. what is the sentiment among democratic freshmen members of
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congress here? >> reporter: there are clear divisions about whether to go forward with impeachment or not. the house judiciary committee, they are voting to expand to formally set their probe and expand it in the coming months. but nancy pelosi is still not on board with impeachment. a key reason why is the house democrats. i traveled to california over the recess and heard from constituents in several districts where democrats won republican seats. there really was a range of opinions. you had some voters who were adamant. others who were worried it would help republicans politically. so we have democrats like katie porter of orange county. you know, she said politics aren't going to affect how she decides and she is in favor of an impeachment inquiry. up the road, you have a northern los angeles democrat. what she's saying is she's not ready to support an inquiry yet, but she wants to see the evidence. so she's leaving the door open.
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and it'll be democrats like hill that will be key to watch in the coming months. >> what is it about california? >> you know, you see california and think it's about the least competitive state you could get in politics. but when you get to the congressional districts, democrats flipped seven seats that were held by republicans. including four in orange county which has been a long-time republican stronghold. california really does illustrate this divide that we're seeing among freshman democrats in these districts. you know, it was kind of all of these members were in one place where you could kind of see that division and that grappling that you do when it comes to deciding what to do with impeachment. >> jeremy herb, thanks so much. >> thank you. straight ahead, a texas lawmakers now joining the fight for tighter gun laws after recent mass shootings in his
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u.s. congress is back in session after a deadly august with three mass shootings in america. lawmakers are under renewed pressure to do something on gun safety after the killings in odessa and el paso, texas, and dayton, ohio. just last week senate majority leader mitch mcconnell says he will not bring any gun legislation to the floor without president trump's backing. cnn's polo sandoval joining us
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now from new york. so the question is, you know, will these mass shootings have any impact as congress makes its way back this week? >> you showed those grim numbers that lawmakers will be returning to. the question will be will we see any significant changes in gun reform not just from lawmakers in the senate, the house, but also in the white house where president trump has been receiving advice from those close to his circle, but you've also been hearing from even the country's top cop where attorney general william barr according to several sources has been even trying to nudge the president in a direction of implementing some kind of universal background check here. we should note that this is something that president trump was quick to support after the most recent shootings here in this country. but then he seemed to have backed down after pressure, if you will, from the national rifle association and those close to his conservative circle. >> so now you've got texas lieutenant governor dan patrick, a republican, who says he is willing to back stricter background checks.
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how influential might that be? >> as a texan and a journalist, this is fascinating. where dan patrick the lieutenant governor spoke to a texas newspaper on friday and endorsed expanding these background checks, specifically though for private sales between strangers here. he said that would not apply, this potential legislation would not apply for any private gun sales that happened between family and friends. but still, you're talking about a republican here who has been a strong proponent of gun rights and has not responded to repeated requests for comment. i want to read a portion of his statement to the dallas morning news. this is straight from the lieutenant governor here. he says, i'm a solid nra guy, but not expanding the background check to eliminate the stranger-to-stranger sale makes no sense to me and to most folks. so i think that's certainly
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significant here. especially in light of what's happened in the lone star state alone. of course the two shootings this year. then you go back to 2018. and then also of course the sutherland springs shooting that left more. a total of 64 innocent lives cut short here. what does that actually mean for the state of texas? it's really important here. i've spoken to various democrats in the state house of representatives. they feel the comments coming from this official is an acknowledgment that texans are very tired and that they do believe that this would be well received by not just democrats but some republicans. i do want to tell you that obviously these comments were not well received by the national rifle association. they were very quick to respond to the lieutenant governor's comments. before i let you go, i'll read a portion of what they had to say. the nra with a specific message to the lieutenant governor saying instead of trampling the freedom of law-abiding americans, they should focus on
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actual solutions. so the question here, what will we see in the state of texas and does that have potential to shape what we will see in washington, d.c.? >> interesting. all right. polo sandoval, thank you for bringing all that to us. appreciate it. >> thanks, fred. so much more straight ahead in the newsroom right after this. kim is now demonstrating her congestion. save it slimeball. i've upgraded to mucinex. we still have 12 hours to australia. mucinex lasts 12 hours, so i'm good. now move- kim nooooooo! only mucinex has a patented tablet that lasts 3x longer, for 12 hours.
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