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tv   At This Hour With Kate Bolduan  CNN  September 19, 2019 8:00am-9:00am PDT

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hello everyone. i'm kate bald oun. thanks for joining me. what if any promise did the president make? this has to do with the whistle blower complaint that congress wants to see but the director of national intelligence is refusing -- days ago, they revealed that this complaint was being held in limbo. listen. >> the director has said essentially that he is answering to a higher authority and refusing to turn over the
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whistle blower complaint. st this is deeply troubling. >> then overnight the "washington post" is saying that it's the president. communications that the president had with a foreign leader. the "washington post" cites former officials saying that trump's interaction included a quote-unquote promise so troubling this intellofficial felt compelled to report to to the inspector general. right now they're behind closed doors with chairman schiff and others presumably answering questions about why the whistle blower complaint hasn't been turned over still. the one thing we know is that decision was made by the acting director of national intelligence. in a letter to chairman schiff, the dni office explained it like this. this complaint concerned conduct by someone outside the intelligence committee and -- community, rather, and did not relate to any intelligence activity under the dni supervision. the letter goes on to explain it
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this way. it involves confidential and potentially privileged matters relating to the interests of other stakeholders within the executive branch. does that include a promise, though? and will the congress ever get the details of this complaint? more burning questions in washington at this very moment. let's get to it. manu raju is on the hill. sarah is here also. this puts it on president trump, what this whistle blower complaint is about. what are you hearing from the white house this morning? >> well, kate, we're hearing from president trump for the first time this morning reacting to the story moments agoment he tweeted his first response, writing another fake news story out there. it never ends. virtually any time i speak on the phone to a foreign leader, i understand that there will be many people listening from various u.s. agencies, not to mention from the other country itself. no problem. he says, knowing all of this, is anybody dumb enough to believe i would say something inappropriate with a foreign
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leader while on such a potentially heavily populated call. i only do good for usa. in the handling of this complaint after house intelligence chairman adam schiff said there was a higher authority before the director of national intelligence slow walking information getting to congress and we have seen contradictions between two trump appointees, the intelligence community inspector general is a trump appointee. this complaint is credible and urgent. the acting director of intelligence, also a trump appointee owe doesn't think it meets the definition of urgent concerns. those contradictions have to be ironed out with lawmakers. we have no idea who the foreign leader is that president trump was speaking to when this alleged promise arose. we know in the weeks leading up to the complaint the president spoke with a handful of leaders, including vladimir putin, north korea's kim jong-un, the prime
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minister of pakistan, the dutch prime minister and the a miles an hour of qatar. remember, it was filed on august 12th. more than a month ago. this entire episode could only deepen president trump's suspicion of intelligence agencies as we know since the start of his presidency. there's been a lot of mistrust, a lot of bad blood between the president and u.s. intelligence agencies, kate. >> all right. sarah, stick with me for one second. let me get to manu. the house intelligence committee has been behind closed doors for hours now with the inspector general. what are you hearing? >> well, we're not expecting them to learn about the nature and the substance of the complaint as well as exactly who that foreign leader was, what alleged promise the president made. we're expecting them to talk about the process of actually how that complaint was handled
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and there have been, of course, ample questions about that process and why the complaint has not been turned over to capitol hill. something that chairman schiff says is a clear violation of federal law. that process is how that's being handled is what this major focus is going to be on today. so it appears that after this hearing, that probably will take place, probably will continue on for maybe another couple of hours potentially, there will be a lot more questions about who the president was speaking to, what exactly the whistle blower was alarmed about and next week when the acting director of national intelligence, joe mcguire testifies in open session, there will be more questions for him there. it's clear today just the beginning of the process for this committee to learn exactly what happened. but they'll probably emerge saying they need to dig further to learn exactly what happened here. kate? >> it will be fascinating if anyone from the committee, chairman chiffon down, comes to
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mike owe row phones and speaks and says we leave the session. thank you, manu and sarah. i really appreciate it. as manu pointed out, there are a lot of questions here. joining me is attorney bradley mossment he specializes in national security issues and represented whistle blowers. and former senior adviser to the national security adviser under president obama. brad, you've represented whistle blowers. what do you think of this situation where the dni now is facing off with the house intelligence committee and disagreeing with the inspector general? >> look, i mean, we're in uncharted territory here. as far as i'm concerned and aware, there has never been a whistle blower complaint brought to the inspector general of the ic that was verified as credible and urgent concern that the dni refused to forward on to the relevant intelligence committees and certainly, this is news to me. this is the first time it's involved the president. i want people to be aware of how this works. the urgent concern is not a
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simple matter of you know a difference of opinion about policy matters. that's excluded by statute. this is something related to a serious flagrant violation of law concerning an operation of an intelligence activity. this whistle blower did everything right. they went through the process properly. i've heard people, including some calling him a snitch. no, this person did it properly. real quick, brad. the fact that there is a disagreement at the least between the dni and the ig about this very issue of urgent, does that surprise you? because is that something that you're laying out that really there isn't a lot of gray area for? >> so the dni's dispute, as much as i don't liket i understand their concern. there's wasn't a dispute on substance. it was on jurisdiction. this is an uncharted and unprecedented situation. they're saying we don't have any jurisdiction over this because the president doesn't fall under the dni super vievision.
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the president is the article 2 authority here. this was a problem of statutory concepts not envisioning this scenario existing in reality. >> sam, now, the "washington post" reporting is that the issue is a promise that the president made to a foreign leader on possibly a phone calm. you would have to -- i guess assuming that this person, the whistle blower knows that a president can dee clclassify an information he wants to, that wasn't a problem of passing along overly sensitive information. with that assumption in mind, is there any way to define the universe of possibility of what that leaves? >> kate, to for a president who -- it's not a stretch to imagine why this is concerning to so many of us from a counterintelligence perspective. declassification is the president's authority. but the president can't
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declassify something expecting something illegal from a foreign power in return, let's say. the authority is his but not if he's committing an illegal act. we don't know if the whistle blower complaint is related to a quid pro quo. what we do know is that this whistle blower as brad discussed, that this promise represented some kind of threat to national security, a violation of law or harm to the public good. and the issue now is who else may have been on that call? the white house situation room, comprised of a variety of people, implements a call to a foreign leader, writes a transcript of the call, the national security council writes a -- files it. >> can the president say, everybody off? >> it would be highly unlikely for that to happen. there is a legal reason for that. there's a presidential records act. the president could have implemented a call from his cell phone. but if this was a head of state
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call let's say to vladimir putin which the white house gave a readout of, the situation room would be involved in setting up the call and monitoring it. >> let's see how to put this. are there perfectly legal reasons, good reasons for a spy chief to decide against the i.g. and not turn over a whistle blower report because the whistle blower protection act seems to be pretty clear. >> pitts never been done. as far as i'm concerned no. the dni has no legitimate authority not to turn it over. they're relying on this jurisdictional hitch. this unprecedented, you know, bit of nuance in order to say we don't believe we're required to transmit it. they added language in their letter to congressman schiff saying we haven't stopped the ig from transmitting it. as far as i'm concerned the whistle blower can now go through his counsel and coordinate with the inspector general to make sure it's transmitted to the intelligence committee. >> do you think it's going to
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get to the intelligence committee? >> in the end i believe it will get to the committee in some form. what is unsure is how long it's going to take. that's up to ultimately the dni if he continues to get in the way. >> okay. fascinating. complicated and important. brad, sam, thank you guys very much. >> absolutely. coming up, a cnn exclusive. iran threatens all-out war if the u.s. strikes following the saudi oil a pak. nick paton walsh spoke with the iranian minister and he had a lot to say. we'll go there next. in a lot of hot water, after photos of him show up. what is he saying? that's ahead. ohhh. ahhgh. so imagine how we cheered when we found tide pods sport.
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all-out war, that is what is coming according to iran foreign minister if the united states or saudi arabia retaliate with military strikes on the attack on saudi arabia oil facilities. this came in an exclusive interview with nick paytton wal. what would be the
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consequence of a military strike on iran right now? >> all-out war. >> you make a serious statement. >> well, i make a serious statement about defending our country. >> president trump just yesterday announced the sanctions against iran in response to the same attacks on saudi arabia. sect of state mike pompeo isn't mincing words calling the attack an act of war. while iran denies it, pompeo once again says iran is responsible. for more on the interview let me bring in nick paton walsh. he had a lot more to tell you. >> yeah, he did. one key thing from the interview was we asked whether the people who says were behind this, the houthi rebels of yemen, he had actually seen proof they were behind it. he said no, he heard the statements they put out evidence which weakens the vigor in which
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iran holds that particular idea. that's been their explanation that the houthis and yemen have been -- saudi arabian air strikes and this was revenge for that. the issue of sanctions and negotiation with the united states saying simply there will be no talks at all until the united states or unless the united states rejoins the nuclear deal and takes off the sanctions that trump reimposed when he pulled out of that nuclear deal. we also talked about the possibility of a military response. here's what he said. >> imt the things that the united states has accused iran of so far, frankly called an act of war, said you fired missiles from a sovereign territory and the sovereign territory of another state. >> that's a lie. >> i understand. these would normally result in some kind of military retaliation. do you believe donald trump is gun shy? >> no.
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i believe that he has been the subject of an attempt many times to drag the united states into a war and he has refused. and in spite of the fact that i disagree with many of his policies, i think this is a prudent decision. but it doesn't mean that somebody is gun shy in order to avoid starting a war based on a lie. >> this is sort of his appeal here. i think what he's been trying to say in this interview, donald trump essentially appealing directly to him, don't start a war with us, you won't like it if you do. but at the same time, i don't think donald trump that that's actually what you want to do. that's what you're advisers are pushing you towards. the trouble, though, doesn't seem to be room for negotiation. he was hoping to get the united nations general assembly in new york in the days ahead. he said in the interview he was waiting for visas and time was getting short. he's still waiting. mike pompeo hinted quite strongly they're not coming.
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kate? >> fascinating. so important how he, the nuance in what he was saying and that appeal. it sure seemed like to president trump in that interview. great stuff, nick. thank you so much. coming up for us, world leader with his political career on the line. canadian prime minister justin trudeau after photos of him wearing racist makeup. his apology and what this means for his re-election bid. that's next. i found some incredible records about samuel silberman... passenger manifests, census information, even wwi draft registration cards. the records exist... they're there, they're facts. that made it so real for me, it wasn't just a story anymore. bring your family history to life like never before. get started for free at
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san francisco's e-cigarette protections. say no to juul, no to big tobacco, no to prop c. canadian prime minister justin trudeatrudeau's reputati re-election is on the line. his campaign is being rocked after two photos surfaced of him wearing racist makeup. yesterday he apologized and alluded to this photo. this is the second photo really obtained that was taken when he was in high school. trudeau saying that he put the makeup on for a high school talent show. the prime minister is apologizing for the photo from 2001. cnn's paula newton has more. >> canadian prime minister justin trudeau asking for
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forgiveness. >> disappointed in myself obviously and i'm apologizing to canadians. >> after this photo was tweeted showing him wearing brown face to an arabian knights themed party. >> i dressed up as aladdin and went to a party. i shouldn't have done that. i should have known better and i'm sorry. >> this is one week after he launched his bid for re-election. >> i stand here before canadians as i will throughout this campaign and talk about the work we have to do to make a better country together. and i'm going to continue to stay focused on that and continue to work to fight intolerance and discrimination. >> other canadian lawmakers immediately slamming the prime minister. >> wearing brown face is an act of mockery and racism. just as racist in 2001 as it is
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in 2019. >> it's going to be hard for a lot of people and bring up a lot of pain, a lot of hurt. >> in the past, trudeau has been accused of cultural appropriation. during a visit to india last year with the prime minister and his family dressed in traditional clothing. the move criticized and even mocked by many canadians. >> whether i'm wearing a traditional clothing or a suit and tie has been extremely encouraging in the friendship. >> trudeau is compared to two u.s. politicians who had similar issues surface. last month, kay ivy expressed quote, genuine remorse for wearing black face in a skit as a college student in the 1960s. >> i offer my heartfelt apologies for my participation in something 52 years ago that i
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find deeply regrettable. >> virginia governor ralph northam admitted then denied being in this photo from his 1984 medical school yearbook showing a person in black face and another in a ku klux klan robe. >> it's definitely not me. >> northam refused to step down despite public pressure. trudeau is facing those calls. when pressed on whether that could happen, the prime minister offering yet another apology. >> i didn't think it was racist at the time but now i recognize it was something racist to do. i'm deeply sorry. >> we're expecting more acts of contrition from the prime minister who will speak in three hours from now. i have to say there's at least one other incident of this that has now emerged. i say at least -- i think the issue here is that the apologies were blunt, they were swift. it will remain to be seen if his constituency, his own base forgives him.
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at this point in time, he's staked a political brandon being the inclusive prime minister. >> paula, it's great to have you here. you know everything about canadian politics. he's so close to -- right up against, about a month away. >> the polls neck and neck. you can see him pulling away. i think the issue here again is what can canadians tolerate from the prime minister. >> i think you need to get back there really quick. appreciate it. great to have you here. >> explosive new report about a promise that president trump made to a foreign leader sparking a whistle blower complaint. will congress get any answers. top democrat joins me next. e yo" of course i have- ever since i started renting from national. because national lets me lose the wait at the counter... ...and choose any car in the aisle. and i don't wait when i return, thanks to drop & go. at national, i can lose the wait...and keep it off.
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a book that you're ready to share with the world? get published now, call for your free publisher kit today! welcome back. and let's get back to the story rocking washington this morning. a communication between president trump and a foreign leader prompting a whistle blower complaint. a complaint that by law should be shared with congress. but it's also a complaint that the director of national intelligence right now says he cannot and will not hand over. the "washington post" has new details reporting this. president trump's interaction with the foreign leader included a promise that was regarded as so troubling that it prompted an
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official in the u.s. intelligence community to file a formal whistle blower complaint with the inspector general for the intelligence community. so many questions. not a lot of answers. joining me right now is jerry peters of michigan. he sits on the armed services committee and the homeland committee. >> great to be with you. >> you literally have a contact for whistle blowers to be able to get in touch with your staff. you see this report in the "washington post" from a whistle blower that -- about this promise that was so troubling that they needed to go to the ig and then the dni refusing to hand it over to congress. what questions do you have right now? >> well, it certainly raises a host of questions. you're right. i'm the ranking member on homeland security government affairs. we're the top oversight committee for the united states senate and whistle blowers are critical to our oversight efforts. you need to have people who can
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come forward. their story can be heard. they need to be protected. if you're dealing with something of urgent concern, that needs to come to congress. that's fundamental to our job as providing oversight outlined in the konconstitution. the reports in the press are troubling particularly if it's urgent nature, critical to national security. that must come to congress and we have to ask questions why it's being delayed. the number one question. it's been taking a while for this to even come forward. >> the dni's explanation is that he doesn't have jurisdiction -- he can't turn it over because he doesn't have jurisdiction over it because it doesn't involve something in the -- of the intelligence community. do you agree with that? >> i think it's hard because i don't know the substance. we don't know the substance of exactly what we're dealing with here. it would be speculating. but these are the questions that have to be asked immediately and the justice department has to
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come forward and have their explanation for it. obviously, you need the substance of what the whistle blower is talking about in order to move forward. >> is there a role for your committee here? >> there could be. we have to wait to see the facts. this is a rapidly revolving story that's new. i don't want to speculate based on media reports of we need more substance. it certainly raises every flag that you can raise as to something that we need to investigate further. >> what you said just reminded me of something. you have interacted with whistle blowers because of the nature of your job. they're taking an incredible risk in coming forward with any information they have. i wonder, especially someone in the intelligence community, i mean, is this person's career one way or the other over? >> well, certainly every effort will be made to protect the individuals under our whistle blower laws. you're right, a person, even with whistle blower protections and they know about them, folks
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are hesitant to come forward. they worry about their career, their future. i got to expect, when you're dealing with the president of the united states themselves, that's going to be something extraordinary for someone to come forward knowing that the consequences and the media attention will be intense. this is a big deal. >> yeah. if i could putting on another hat of yours. i want to ask you about the attacks on the saudi oil facilities. my colleague just interviewed the iranian foreign minister and he denies iran has any involvement and also threatens all-out war. that was zarif's terminology if the united states or saudi responds with a military strike. if iran is behind this, senator, would you support any u.s. military action in response? >> this is not a military action from the united states, no. at this point, if there was an attack on saudi oil facilities from the iranians, obviously the
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saudi government needs to deal with that. they have the ability to do that. they have a sophisticated military. this is saudi oil. i don't see any obligation for the united states to defend saudi oil. that's something the saudi government needs to do. >> gary peters, appreciate your time. thank you for being here. >> thank uchl. coming up for us, two presidential campaigns under pressure. bernie sanders and kamala harris trying to jump-start their campaigns at this moment. what they're planning and will it be enough? that's next. , that's the retirement plan. with my annuity, i know there is a guarantee. it's for my family, its for my self, its for my future. annuities can provide protected income for life. learn more at retire your risk dot org. you get more than yourfree, you get everything you need for your home at a great price, the way it works best for you, i'll take that. wait honey, no. when you want it.
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even saying that they need to now finish in the top tier in iowa in order to survive. this comes as the bernie sanders campaign is facing -- he lost the endorsement of a progressive group that backed him in 2016. instead, endorsing elizabeth warren this week. how much impact do these changes, are these changes going to have? joining me senior political writer and writer, and senior political analyst john avlon. my unfortunate and wonderful co-host. >> our new podcast. the forecast -- new episode dropping today, friend. just so you know. >> on the changes that -- the new focus, the iowa or bust mantra for kamala harris and her campaign, you have seen some of the poll numbers that the harris campaign is kind of focusing on
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that is kind of showing them troubling signs in iowa. what are they telling you? >> look, the fact is david binder, her campaign pollster, in line with another group, they put out a poll essentially having her dropping double digits from after the first debate. she's well behind joe biden, elizabeth warren basically tied in that survey. kamala harris' campaign is in trouble. right? she's been losing ground in iowa nationally the past few mornts. can she get that back? we're going to try and compete there. we know if we can win in iowa, that can change the entire campaign. >> what do you think of the -- seems like a big admission hearing from folks around the campaign that they need to finish top tier in iowa or -- >> toast. >> something. what does that say putting that out there. >> top tier or toast. it's a sign of a campaign that's flailing. campaigns begin and they look at the map, super tuesday has been moved up. california is in there. kamala harris is somebody who
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can really get a lot of the imagination. she's a candidate, voters want to know the most about. after she attacked biden, shah boomeranged back on her big time. this poll in iowa is brutal. she goes from 18 to 5 in three months. she knows she's got to go all in. it's also a concession that new hampshire is unwinnable for anybody not named elizabeth warren or possibly bernie sanders who won it last time. >> interesting. >> you know, biden has been strong in south carolina. so this is a sign of a degree of desperation by the harris campaign. it's still relatively early. she's still a candidate. >> staff shakeup in iowa and new hampshire from any candidate is a sign of good things? >> i used to mock the late inning staff shakeups and then donald trump brought on steve bannon and kellyanne conway three months out. it seemed to work out. so you're saying there's a chance. >> stop stealing my lines.
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>> he steals my lines all the time. >> can we not waste -- quickly on the new polling from fox news. biden still in but they also have a head to head with the president. they do these head to heads with the president, and if anybody listened to our podcast recently, you know how i feel about head to heads. is to how much stock should people actually be putting in the matchups and president trump at this point. >> i think it's still very early, but two things from that poll. number one, if joe biden is making the electability argument over and over again, he's the one who does better over the president of the united states. and if you go back to 1943, essentially, the second world war, what you'll find is no president at this point was trailing by as much as donald trump is trailing joe biden right now. he's the worst of any incumbent right now. >> 1942, when harry likes to say
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he was born. >> i was. >> here's what we can confirm. trump is really in trouble if you look at the polls. the state by states aren't any better. the argument that biden's electability is viable, that's a huge gap he's beating trump by. everybody is beating trump by a smaller margin, though. we'll be right back, friends. managing lipids like very high triglycerides, can be tough. you diet. exercise. but if you're also taking fish oil supplements, you should know, they are not fda-approved,
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right now a preliminary hearing is happening for the man accused in a deadly shooting at a synagogue outside san diego. that, of course frks happening ba back in april. this coming as some of the jewish community raising the alarm that they feel more targeted now than ever before. cnn's jason carroll has more on the rise of semitic hate crimes across the country. >> reporter: in the year following the shocking attacks at the tree of life synagogue in pittsburgh where 11 people were brutally gunned down and the shooting in san diego where one woman was killed, anti-semitic incidents have been on the rise. in santa monica, swastikas and hate speech scrawled across a bridge in late july. students at this high school shocked to find anti-semitic graffiti on walls two weeks ago.
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this in a rash of suspected hate crimes. the reports coming in across the country alarming. but one part of the jewish community feeling more vulnerable. rabbi avrohon gupern is still attacking from a vicious attack after a man assaulted him in a park last month. now in custody charged with a hate crime. >> the hate of jews says something. certainly looking to kill. no doubt about that. >> reporter: the police are also investigating another hate crime vov involving a jewish orthodox man attacked outside this synagogue soon after gupern frls attackwa. >> weav've seen mental illness, we've seen some that just hate.
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>> reporter: hate crimes in new york city up 53% from last year. while they don't specify the type of person attacked, the jewish community says because they're more visible, they are an easy target. akiva pearl says it has been decades since he's been so unsure about his surroundings. i grew up in england and that was how it was 50 years ago. it's returning. >> why is it returning? >> i really don't have an answer for you. >> reporter: a civilian patrol in flatbush, maryland is an area with a high jewish community. >> you have one of these areas in a synagogue community. >> right. >> he said he was not surprised to hear about those numbers coming from the nypd. >> i would like to think we have our fingers on the pulse of the community. and we do. we're hearing a lot of stuff. people are afraid. if they're not afraid, they're certainly concerned.
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>> reporter: city officials say they hear those concerns. >> we are dtaking this very seriously and unpacking this head on, because no one should have to change the way they dress, whether they wear a facial beard or they wear a synagogue or a yamika on their heads. >> reporter: they said what is needed in a time of tolerance is more toleration for elected officials. >> standing up and denouncing hate in all its forms, it's not just words. it really makes the difference in the aftermath of a hate crime or worse. >> reporter: as for kiva pearl, he offered this advice. >> increasing goodness and kindness to one another, all walks of life. that increases in goodness and helps, because a little light, you know, elevates and illuminates all darkness. ro
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and those that we talked to say also what is needed is more of a police presence in these orthodox communities. in addition to that, the new york city mayor's office has also opened an anti-hate crime prevention office. that is something that should help as well. >> more police needed. you wish they wouldn't need to be, but that is needed right now. thank you, jason, for shining a light on this. thank you so much. and thank you all so much for joining me today. "inside politics" with john king starts right now. thank you, kate, and welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king. thank you for sharing your day with us. a top secret spy drama grips washington. did president trump make a reckless promise to a foreign leader? a whistleblower thinks is to and the inspector general who deemed the complaint urgent is on capitol hill right now giving select members of congress a classified briefing. plus, two big shakeups by struggling 2020 democratic


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