tv Cuomo Prime Time CNN December 13, 2019 10:00pm-11:00pm PST
>> reporter: now there's also a question of political favoritism. >> we have someone who was convicted of killing someone in front of his wife at his home, who pulled the trigger. >> reporter: state lawmakers say they want to investigate this case because the family of the man pardoned raised more than $20,000 last year to help bevin. >> bottom line, if it looks like a duck and talks like a duck, you got to look into whether or not it's a duck. >> our thanks to natasha. we'll hand it offer to chris for "cuomo prime time." >> j.b., thank you very much. i appreciate it. it's friday night. i am chris cuomo. welcome to "prime time." the big unknown is if the president will control the senate the way he did the republicans in the house. it looks like he just may. the question, how is that okay? you're going to hear from one of the president's closest confidantes and rudy giuliani back at the white house dishing ukraine dirt. and is the plot that set off this whole mess still under way? what do you say, let's get after it.
we know the full house votes next week. two articles of impeachment, they passed earlier in the judiciary committee, two party line votes, 23-17. how is the president feeling about it tonight? >> i think it's a horrible thing to be using the tool of impeachment, which is supposed to be used in emergency. it's a scam. it's something that shouldn't be allowed. and it's a very bad thing for our country. >> and democrats argue that he is what is bad for our country, by failing to uphold the law and abusing his power. that's why the congressman last night made his historic aye vote. actually, he made it today. he'll be part of the judiciary committee that passed these first two out of the committee. it's all history. now it goes on to the full chamber vote. the question is what happens next? he joins me now. appreciate it.
after a week, not the kind of history you hope to make when you go to congress but here we are nonetheless. the outrage from your colleagues on the right, i would often read on your face that you were picking up some it have as fained, like you were looking on like where is this coming from. do you believe some of their outrage of the process and outrage of how this was going was pretend? >> look, there's no question that they were talking about process for most of the evening because they really couldn't answer the facts. they couldn't respond to the overwhelming evidence that the president of the united states attempted to coerce a foreign leader to corrupt our elections by dragging them in to help him cheat in the 2020 election and used hundreds of millions of taxpayer money as leverage. what was just shocking is there was no ability or willingness of our republican colleagues to acknowledge is that okay? is it ever okay for the president of the united states to reach out to a foreign power to get him or her to win reelection and to cheat in this way. the truth is, if we let that
happen, we will have lost that democracy. you know who gets to decide who gets to be the american president? the american people, the citizens of this great country. all throughout the night we tried to ask them is this okay? i asked what about your own election, would it be okay for you to each out to a foreign power? would it be okay? raise your hand. what they talked about was process, process, process. they kept saying why didn't you bring us witnesses? >> first of all, we had 17 witnesses, over a hundred hours of testimony, but the real answer is the president is a danger to our democracy. this is a crime in progress. we have an election right around the corner. if we don't stop this by holding the president accountability and moving forward with articles of impeachment, he will think he can continue to behave this way. it will be a message to him and other future candidates that you
can seek foreign assistance. if you're facing tough elections, pick up the phone, call the iranians, the russians. we will end up with a dictatorship or a monarchy. the most sacred right we have is the right it decide our own future by electing our own president. this is the heart and soul of our democracy. the president abused the enormous power of his office and betrayed the national security interests of his united states to advance his own personal interests. it's exactly what our framers talked about, when the president abuses the power of his office betrays the national interests to advance his own personal and political and financial interests. that's exactly what we have. >> if there's such urgency, why didn't you drop the articles in the articles of impeachment and say it's a bribe? for all of you out there who believe it's a crime, you're wrong. the crime is bribery. here's what he did. >> there is no higher crime than abuse of power. that includes a whole range of activities, including bribery, potentially.
they're going to see that in the judiciary committee and hopefully in the senate, but this is what our framers spoke about when they spoke about articles of impeachment. the constitution is the supreme law of the land. so violations of the constitution is a crime. it's a constitutional crime. >> why not say bribery? >> because this is much worse. abuse of power is worse and it includes bribery and a range of other activities, using the power of your office to advance your own political or personal interests and not the public interest. the framers spoke about using that office and they talk about foreign interference and about corrupting elections. so abuse of power is actually the worst in is the president using the office to cheat in 2020 and using the hundreds of millions of taxpayer money as leverage to coerce a foreign leader to help him cheat. and this is a crime in progress. rudy giuliani just came back from ukraine. this is ongoing. >> we don't know what he's doing is illegal.
>> this is an ongoing effort to get a foreign power to announce a bogus investigation that will smear his chief political rival. the president had to objection to military aid to ukraine in the last two years. only in 2019 did he suddenly become concerned why? because joe biden was up by double digits. >> let's say you can find some stink on what happened with biden and burst ma, say that ukraine did things that everybody was supposed to know the answers say they didn't. it still how you went about doing it that gets you in the soup. but something else i thought was interesting. they were banging you over the heads, the republicans. they don't have a good enough case. it not strong enough. why didn't you guys make the case, hey, this is impeachment,
this is the indictment. we're investigating the allegations. we're bringing forth a little of allegations of what we think there is sufficient poof to prove but we're not in the proving business, the senate is. >> for two reasons really. one is because the evidence is really overwhelming. there's no dispute about the facts. the president of the united states used the power of his office to coerce a foreign leader into our election and to corrupt it. the second thing is we met a very high standard because you don't want to move forward with articles of impeachment unless you have confidence you can actually prove knows offenses. even though you're right and a charging process is normally probable cause, i think we understood look, this is serious, in order for us to move forward and be confident and i think he recognizes we can. the evidence is overwhelming. >> one of your brothers said to me on the democrat being side, i'll knipe his name out of it.
one of your colleagues made the point i didn't want this either, the idea that someday, oh, cicilline, how do you feel about that being your legacy? >> nobody runs for congress to say i'm here to impeach a president. we ran on taking on corruption and washington and getting government to work for the people again. we've passed nearly 400 pieces of legislation, 275 bipartisan bills that do many of those things that are sitting on mitch mcconnell's desk. that's why we ran to being when you're confronted with the president of the united states attempting to corrupt our elections, we take an oath when we start, i will protect and defend the constitution. but we owe it to this generations and future generations, we need to say we did everything we could to protect our democracy, a people
get to use this own president. >> david ciccoline, thank you very much. thank you for spending time on the show. >> thank you. >> few people know exactly where the president's head is. but we do have someone who consults with the president, understands the media business and understands his objectives. chris huddy we'll talk about what matters and why next! our w, blended and aged again. it's the reason our whisky is so extraordinarily smooth. dewar's. double aged for extra smoothness.
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that's right. instead of all this that i've already-? yeah. what are we gonna do with these? keep it at your desk, and save it for next time. geico. over 75 years of savings and service. the wait is over. t-mobile is lighting up 5g nationwide. while some 5g signals go only blocks, t-mobile 5g goes miles... beyond the big cities to the small towns... to the people. now, millions of americans can have access to 5g on t-mobile. and this is just the beginning. t-mobile, the first and only nationwide 5g network. all right, look, i mean having the stain of impeachment next to your name as a president is just a horrible thing. nobody goes into it with that. nobody knows how they're going to handle it. the president is a fighter and an attacker. he's trying that right now.
take a listen. >> it's a very sad thing for our country but it seems to be very good for me politically. >> i have a hard time believing that. i understand the idea of projecting that maybe but it's tough. chris ruddy, wouldn't you know? he's the head of news max and understands politics very, very well. the best for you and your holy days. >> i can't believe it. this is a terrible thing, i never imagined my name would be attached to this. how difficult is it when his name is attached to it? >> the record is tremendous in terms of jobs and the economy. we've talked about that before on your show. i think it's a stain on the democrats. i saw him on wednesday night at the white house and we chatted
privately briefly. nancy pelosi is embarrassed by this impeachment. she want to run away as fast as she can. i was with the "wall street journal." they asked her about impeachment. she didn't want to talk about it. she made it very clear she didn't want to talk about it. i think the president's right. she's running away from it. that's why she wanted to do the trade deal. that's why you wrap it up, package this, put a bow on it. >> nobody does this if they don't want to do it. this is a choice. this is volitional. nancy pelosi talks about this often. i don't think anybody should brag about it. and i think that it didn't have to come to this. this is one of the reasons i'm
begging you to come on tonight. i believe if the president had gone to nancy pelosi and that, i get that you think i did this the wrong way. i don't trust the state department. i don't trust these institutions. i think they're out to get me. i don't need any help to beat biden. i'll beat him like a pinata but i did it wrong way and i shouldn't have. and i will say that. i bet you he doesn't get impeached. but he is not willing to admit that anything is less than perfect how much was this to him? >> first of all, let me compliment you on the first segment, with the congressman from rhode island. i think you asked the big $64,000 question. where was the crime here? there was no crime. you should only be impeached on the basis of a crime, not because nancy pelosi likes you, doesn't like you, was upset you didn't treat her right when she showed at the white house or
that you have a democratic base that's hysterical. >> or you use your power and try to shut down the investigation and you're asking for it. if he had played it differently, he wouldn't be here. >> she announced an impeachment process without looking at the witness statement, without looking at the complaint, without interviewing anyone. she announced it. >> she was slow on this. >> you ask the congressmen where's the evidence. i ask it now. we are now on the verge of impeaching the 45th president of the united states and we have no evidence of a crime. the constitution is very clear. anyone can read it, just look it up on the internet. it says you should only be impeached on the basis of high crimes and misdemeanors. >> everybody who looks it up now knows what their concern was when the founders paint the
president's power is a very, very severe breach of constitutional duty. no question about it. the framers saw it the same way. alexander hamilton put the word political in caps. i don't think that's the best over >> the ultimate jury is the american people. there are five polls out in the last week. >> they're split. >> it's about 45% on the real clear average for support for impeachment. over 50% against the impeachment. >> i've seen plenty of poes that call it 50%. 60% of the american people said he did something wrong. why didn't he just say that? i did it the wrong way. i shouldn't have done it this way but i don't have any corrupt intent. why not admit something that's obvious to everyone else? >> i don't think the president does everything right. i've criticized him. i've been on your network and i've said things.
i think everything he did was not perfect but it was perfectly legal the question is did he break any law? did he break the constitutionally accepted standards of the united states? and there's absolutely no evidence that he has broken any of those. so why are we here on this night making history -- >> there's a lot of evidence that he did what it appears he did in that rough transcript of the call. the standard, we disagree on it. >> the president's been like a johnny one note on this and some people laugh at it, but i actually think he's got something when he says read the transcript. when he says i want a favor, it again refers to investigating the democratic national committee servers that comes up a half hour later, has nothing to do with the statement. >> no. he never says a favor relating to the bds. he says look into the bidens and i'll get with you rudy giuliani. >> i'll put it up right now while you're talking pressured
the ukrainians to fire the local ukrainian prosecutor. >> and he should have never said it. because he was a president looking for help, trying to get a meeting, waiting to get his aid. he made it sound like a conditional thing. >> i agree it would have been better had he not said it. i agree with alan dershowitz's statement that it was a political sin. it was not something -- it's pretty clear. i've known him for many years. he's very free wheeling. i think this is why the american people aren't buying into the impeachment. he said at the beginning. if the president had commit a crime, i've known him many years. i am a friend of his. i would support the impeachment. >> if he commit a crime, it may not be impeachable.
not all crimes are impeachable. this idea and perjury about a consensual affair was worth it. >> so you still don't have evidence he's committed a crime. i've never known him to want to break the law. >> i'm not saying he's a criminal. i'm saying what did he here sets him up -- >> did he ever have a reputation for breaking the law? >> he did not have a great reputation in new york. >> i think he had a great reputation. everybody wanted to be him around a lot. your dad was with him a lot. your brother was with him a lot. >> hold on. don't flood the zone. they were both in elected office the president was very good at working politicians for what he wanted. that's who he is. and you guys now in the party excuse his behavior that this is how he is. >> i'm not excusing anything.
>> everybody does. they say this is the way he does it. last night he said this is who he is. he's true to form. this is how he acts so that makes it okay. can you you cannot believe this is a standard for presidential behavior. i think that you guys are not happy with the election result. >> do you think that's true about me? do you think i'm out to get the president? >> i don't think you're out to get the president. >> i'm not. his followers are out to get me. >> many in the establishment and establishment are not happy with donald trump. tens of millions, maybe $100 million by tom steyer are calling for this impeachment. and you know has been calling for this impeachment. the democrats are now delivering. has had a tremendous record coming into this house. he has not had one, two, hundreds of times he brings 30, 000, 40,000 people together
>> he's a very big celebrity. no question about it. >> we've never had a politician in the city, the country, lit the imagination of -- >> 30,000, 40,000, are you the president of 300 plus million people? bringing them together. not taking pockets of people who have mutual animus, who you are giving voice to. >> well, he's the president of the united states. >> so he should bring 300 plus together. not 30,000. >> i think it takes two to tango. since he arrived on 1600 pennsylvania avenue, he's been under siege. >> he didn't say what did he, if he didn't do what he did >> you guys were calling for his impeachment -- not you personally. >> politicians say stupid
things. >> jerried iny ed in nadler tha another network. he said we can't do impeachment unless it has broad based bipartisan support. >> it is the least bipartisan one. >> i think, you're fair mined. should not the democrats say why are they doing this? >> i agree with you 100% chris, i always appreciate the argument. listen. always. you're always welcome here. >> i know melania watches. >> i invite them all to watch. i wish them the best for the holidays. >> go on his show. i think you would do well getting out to the other side of the country. your point of view. your record. you've got a great record >> any time the president wants to come on, he is welcome. i'll give you more than anyone.
all right. rudy giuliani. i keep coming back to him not because he's the bad guy. you have to stop thinking as simply that. why was he there? what was his role? what is he doing now? that's what matters. when i say all roads go through rudy, he is an expression of the intent here. so i have a wall we've done a lot of research today and i'll take you through the questions that matter next. let's be honest, every insurance company says they can save you these. in fact, if you had a dollar for every time they said it, you'd have a lot of dollars. which makes it hard to believe, especially coming from a talking lizard. pip, pip, cheerio! look, all i, dennis quaid, know is that esurance is built to save you dollars
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rudolph giuliani walking into the dugout to show his latest trip in ukraine. the president seems excited. >> he says he has a lot of good information. i hear he's found plenty. >> the president doesn't seem to get it. this isn't about what can be found out about hunter biden or burisma or even about ukraine and election interference. the president is being impeached for how he arguably abused his power to get that information. you see, the ends don't just justify any means. injecting the former mayor into official u.s. policy raises questions. now the big of them is what was rudy's role? trump's personal attorney as he said here. >> they asked me about the allegations related to my client.
>> but what if he said i'm not acting as a lawyer. i'm acting out someone trying to straighten out governor. then when it was just helping trump, he shifted to this. >> you know who i did it at the request of? the state department. >> all right. different answers. let's take them all. if he's the president lawyer, where's the money? he says he working for free. because from and if it becomes to be seen as part of the campaign, millions in legal services and even michael cohen had to is julianna's donation have never been listed on campaign disclosure forms. i think if he were doing this for the campaign, then there goes the president's main being inserted directly into u.s. foreign policy. there's a reason people involved in the diplomatic course goes through that giuliani might have some standing, working with dubious answers as to why and
with indicted guys with the kinds of russian connections. there's a reason people involved go through vigorous security checks. maybe the man who earned the reputation as america's mayor and the former u.s. attorney, might have some standing. that was a long time ago. now giuliani is a man working with dubious answers as to why and with indicted guys with the wrong connections. that screams for security screening to avoid being any more helpful than this guy. >> thank god nobody is accusing us of interfering in the election. now they're accusing ukraine.
>> rudy is helping russia? that would seem like more of a stretch if giuliani wasn't pushing the same bunk that putin put out about ukraine. now he's talking to sketchy foreign sources to justify what he was right about all along. even if he were right, what the president did with rudy and with his duty to execute his office faithfully could still be wrong. no one was stopping the president from going to barr trying to leverage ukraine to own the attacks, that could have been a clean ask instead for information to the right places. instead, it looks dirty as a minimum. as the impeachment trial looms, many are worried it will be unfair. the chief juror, mitch mcconnell, says he's in total coordination with the likely future defendant. does that sound clear? and fair?
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that situation hasn't made either one of them think once, let alone twice on the impropriety. it's the way it was done. >> the argument that i'm putting out there, kick it down or make your own if you don't like it. you can come back with all the dirt you want on the bidens and on ukraine. how you went about soliciting it is the problem. >> there's only one of two possibilities what rudolph giuliani is doing. either he's out there digging for dirt on political opponents or running some kind of vigilante off the books criminal investigation. which one is it? common sense tells you, rudy has told us, he's out there looking for dirt on biden. he was saying it before there
was an impeachment underway. do you know how we know he's not really digging out corruption? a, the department of justice has nothing to do with this so there won't be a prosecution in the united states. and what's the plan? ukraine will indict joe biden? >> who cares what he's doing? >> number one, we don't know all the details. it could be criminal. it is illegal to solicit something of value from a foreign national. and number two, it is exactly what donald trump is about to be impeached on. >> when you look at the situation, they seem to feel that if they get information that something was wrong with bryzgal burisma, then it is all okay. >> giuliani has justification all over the place so it is hard
to say what his role is. >> but it matters. >> it might matter. >> it might matter but there is been no ability to nail it down. and never a real touch with the president of the united states. there is been no testimony or anything else that puts it directly on the president of the united states. >> let's be fair to juju. you -- let's be fair to rudy giuliani. all of them were saying we were told to work rudy by fill in the blank. >> hold on.
>> one of the most consistent themes we heard from the witnesses over the past couple weeks, rudy was at the center of and it donald trump put him there. if you need any more proof, look at the reporting today. when rudolph giuliani landed on his trip, donald trump asked him, what did you get? you cannot deny the connection of the. >> well, can you give me a quick contest? >> look, i just, i don't think we have all the facts here. and look of the rudolph giuliani again has been all over the place. certainly being in ukraine this week is not a good thing for the president. or probably for the country. who knows what he's doing over there? >> the senate why. is it wrong for mitch mcconnell to coordinate with the white house and say he is listening and taking his cues from the white house lawyer about how to conduct his senate trial in an
impeachment proceeding. >> mitch mcconnell from here on out is the single most important person to this impeachment. he is judge and juror. and he's the most powerful judge in controlling the senate majority. he'll have the primary say over how this thing runs and he's one of 100 jurors who happens, he's almost boasting that he's in complete coordination with one of the parties to this. and he has all but guaranteed outcome and acquittal. i know it is not a criminal trial. but a useful point of reference. what if a judge or a juror did that with a party to an actual criminal or civil case. he would be bounced immediately. >> it seems dirty. this is how it happened in the clinton -- >> let the president know what was coming but they did not
coordinate. let's talk about what the democrats did. they controlled the entire process. they didn't give them the opportunity. >> they gave them rights and more rights. there was a real law enforcement investigation that took place during nixon. >> and the president had no access to it in either case. >> they do this silly investigation because they're not even willing to go to court. it is all about timing and politics. this is how the system works. >> when it comes to procedure.
>> yes. >> mcconnell is in control. >> they're going to control the procedure. >> that was never my point. >> trying to make this a court of law. >> i hear you. >> the democrats say it is an ongoing crime. i'm not saying the republicans don't have control of the senate. i'm saying going and coordinating with the white house seems dirty. thank you to both of them on a friday night for coming in and making good arguments. congress is not supposed to be his counsel. you can say it's a dirty job but somebody has to do it. you dome want dirt on your hands. you want to seem better than what you're overseeing. mike bloomberg's never been afraid of tough fights,
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president trump is on the couples of bearing the stain of impeachment. for all the cries of his defenders, the only bar democrats had to meet for impeachment was proof to justify an allegation. let's be honest. that's all it is. the president may have abused his power by lenking ukraine the way he did things. that's what they say. when i say it like that, it doesn't sound that conclusive. that's the point. the idea that impeachment means you have to have the case closed in the house is bogus. i don't know why democrats didn't make more of this point and set the stand darr. i also don't know why they waited as long as they did or why they let the dossier author, or why former vp biden didn't jump all over the right attacking hunter b's mental health struggles and launch a campaign
but the bottom line is the bar is low for what amounts to an indictment in the house, and they have the proof, and more importantly the votes. everything that matters in terms of trials the way you think about it comes next. that's the guilt phase. the job of testing what the democrats say they found belongs to the senate. you see there, straight party line vote. the senate, they and only they are constitutionally bestowed with the sole power to try all impeachments. now, you'll notice you didn't see anything in there about the president having a role in the planning of his own trial, right, which would make sense. but once again this president's pull on his party seems to trump all. and the adherence to any oath doesn't seem to matter other than the loyalty oath to him. >> everything i do during this, i'm coordinating with white house counsel. there will be no difference between the president's position and our position as to how to
handle this to the extent that we can. >> so the guy leading the jury and also kind of the judge says he has the same position as the defendant? surely senate majority leader mitch mcconnell spoke, right? wrong. >> exactly how we go forward, i'm going to coordinate with the president's lawyers, so there won't be any difference between us on how to do this. >> that was the second time. he said it again. anyway, to be fair, tom daschle, senate minority leader during the clinton impeachment -- so he wasn't in control, but he was the ranking member of his party. he tells cnn he didn't personally speak to the president during the process, but his team was in constant contact with the white house coordinating the moving parts. what's the difference? one, he wasn't in power of the process, right? he wasn't in control. the idea that, well, they all stink, no, not here. there's a big difference between
letting the white house know what's going on when you're not even in control and asking the white house what should happen. that's what republicans are doing, and they are continuously subordinating their oath to oversee just to be loyal to this president. now, look, it's not illegal, but there's another word that keeps seeming to fit so much of what this president and his pals do -- dirty. trump's alleged payoffs to the porn star and the playmate. not illegal, especially since no one seems to care about campaign finance violations. not worthy of impeachment, i don't think. but dirty. #dirtydonald. his conversations with now convicted felon roger stone about wikileaks. information that would hurt hillary clinton. asking russia to interfere more, going after kids, playing on gender and diversity issues, ignoring congressional subpoenas, refusing to release his taxes. all of it maybe not illegal but just dirty. #dirtydonald. and when confronted with this,
republicans seem to own that being dirty donald is okay. here's former a.g. michael mukasey. >> he is not somebody with a great deal of knowledge of or high regard for the usual procedures. >> are you one of the integrity mentors in my life creating a low bar for the president of the united states where he usually does shady things, so let's assume that that's just pro forma? >> no, i'm not creating a low bar for the president of the united states. what i'm doing is telling you that he is here running true to form. >> true to form. i argue also means dirty in this case. now, the best you'll get from republican electeds -- that's not what mukasey is -- is they'll say trump has a unique way of communicating, or if pressed, i would have said it differently. so the party that once argued in
impeaching bill clinton that they needed to cleanse the office, forget about crimes, cleanse. now, dirty donald in the white house, that's okay. look, the democrats had it out for him, they say, that this isn't a fair look at the facts, they say. then their main man in the senate says this. >> we all know how it's going to end. there's no chance the president's going to be removed from office. >> so he just did what you complained about them doing in the house. dirty to do what you say you're better than. senate majority leader says he's in lockstep with the white house and that the ending is already written. dirty. so the senators, like the representatives before them, are going to have to decide. you don't have to ignore the obvious to find arguments against removal. you can see the wrong and still do right by this president.
at least that way you'll be able to say you took a clean look at the situation for what obviously is instead of just doing this job and this country dirty. that's the argument. coming up next, a president, zero accountability from his party. he's now going to have even less checks on him within his white house. this is a good bolo. red flags, next. ♪ stop dancing around the pain
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bolo means be on the lookout. sources tell cnn the president's senior aides have further restricted the number of officials allowed to listen to his phone calls with foreign leaders. now only a handful of trump loyalists like mick mulvaney and mike pompeo are going to be allowed to listen. the change, which has been jokingly referred to as the vindman rule shuts out career
diplomats like lieutenant colonel alexander vindman, who raised concerns about trump's july 25th call with the president of ukraine. in short, the white house reaction to being accused of conducting foreign relations the wrong way is to limit transparency. once again, they are doing us dirty. that's all for us tonight. time for watching "cnn tonight" with the man, d. lemon, right now. >> that's the solution? lower the bar? that's the solution? how many more excuses are you going to -- so don't change the behavior, right? just how do we -- >> hide. >> -- hide or how do we change things around? don't try to curb the behavior or say something is wrong. you just keep allowing the behavior to continue, and then you scurry around and do everything, make excuses so that he can continue to do things
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