tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN December 28, 2019 11:00am-12:00pm PST
thanks for joining me. i suspect if somehow the republicans were to maneuver i'm martin savage in for into a situation where he subpo fredricka whitfield. president trump is back on appropriately respond to that the golf course and back on the subpoena pu but that's a attack as he vents his anger over a stalled impeachment sideshow. trial. he has been lashing out at nancy and that's not the critical issue before the senate. the critical issue before the pelosi and the whistle-blower. senate is the impeachment the president frustrated by the uncertainty that's surrounding documents that were -- will be his senate trial. speaker pelosi continues to hold sent to the senate. off on sending his articles of it's quite that one of those, impeachment to the senate, as the obstruction of the house of representatives or the democrats wish for witnesses to testify. obstruction of congress' and majority leader mitch mcconnell signals that he's not investigation, could be pushed in any hurry to get that trial aside if the witnesses, if the underway. as the president fumes over his information, was made available stalled impeachment, he's also during the trial. that then leaves the question of asking for advice about who should be on his defense team the first article of and what the stream out to be. impeachment, which has to do with the president literally cnn's kristen hoemds is in south bribing or extorting the government of ukraine to florida. the president has been tweeting and golfing and vending. investigate the bidens and what what can you tell us? took place there. now, all of the information, >> just moments ago cnn got from all the intelligence
exclusive footage of the sources, all of the documents, all the witnesses that provided president on the golf caourse. it is not common we see him testimony during the impeachment there taking those strokes out process in the house, all came at his international golf club. to the same conclusion. they try to keep him behind closed doors there. there was nothing going on with while he is golfing and mingling with guests and members at the bidens in ukraine. >> right. i should point out you have mar-a-lago, it is clear that his mind is back in washington and supported and have endorsed the on impeachment. in between all of these types of vice president, correct? >> that is correct. >> uh-huh. >> i think he's the right person at the right time to deal with relaxing kind of activities he's the issues of trying to put our doing, he has been lashing out government back on track, trying on twitter, hitting democrats, to heal the extraordinary harm hitting the impeachment and that president trump has speaker pelosi. he said so interesting to see created, dividing this country. >> and i want to ask you about the president, because he has nancy pelosi demanding fairness been extremely active tweeting from senate majority leader and retweeting attacking speaker mcconnell when she presided over pelosi in the last few days. the most unfair hearing in the what do you think of the impact history of the congress. he is lashing out because as you of obviously this very aggressive approach by the president on the speaker as she said she is holding on to those pushes to have a say in a senate articles of impeachment, refusing to transmit them over until she says she has some sort trial? of guarantee of a fair trial. >> well, every tweet that comes out, every lie that he expounds,
but the impasse is over really every time he goes to one of his what a fair trial consists of. rallies, it's just more democrats want witnesses and documents, and republicans division. and it's in very many cases definitely not confirm that they would do that. it will be interesting to see. bizarre, it's weird. and he uses the word crazy. i spoke to several republicans who told me they hoped it would it really is one looking at the work itself out. once congress was back in way he is responding to all of session the beginning of the january, pelosi would feel this, and the way he has acted, i guess well over 16,000 lies in political pressure to transmit the three years that he's been those articles-however they in office. might be in for a rude this is really out of the awakening. take a listen to a democratic ordinary. it's bizarre and entirely beyond congressman who talked to cnn last night. what we would expect from a >> i think we have to wait until normal person. we have some assurance that the it's kind of like that drunk at trial is not going to be some sort of a sham or a joke. the end of the bar just mouthing >> i'm talking extremes here off in a strange way. like into february? not to say the president is >> well, i mean, that's that. certainly possible, but i'm not we know he doesn't drink. going to get ahead of the but boy, i'll tell you, this is really strange. speaker. >> well, it is a long ways from >> before i let you go, as a member of the house armed february, martin. services commit e-i want to get and i know a lot of republicans are not going to be happy to your reaction to "the new york hear that. keep in mind the snoot majority times," the navy seals calling
leader did leave january open out eddie gallagher, calling him because of impeachment. we saw a lot on that schedule toxic and evil. for february. he was eventually demoted. that could cause problems. the senate majority leader has now said to sources he is open he was accused of posing with a to corpse. i'm wondering, are you worried procedures, bringing them to the senate floor without any suppor of the impact of a president meddling in military discipline? >> i know right now we have republicans, are they going to be okay? are they going to vote in favor of mcconnell? 1.4 million americans serving our country in the armed forces, of these senate procedures without the support of any and every one of those positions, many of them overseas democrats? martin? >> kristen holmes, thank you for extechbded period of time, very much. earlier today i spoke with away from their family, all of democratic congressman john them doing the very best they can to obey the rules of garamendi of california about the impasse. i started by asking him if he conduct. and here we have a situation was concerned about house speaker nancy pelosi possibly that brings into this entire dragging that impeachment trial question of how the military is into january or later while she going to provide discipline pushes for it to include within its ranks. witnesses? >> i think i'm with the american it's a very bad situation all public. they want a real trial. the way around, including the they want to have witnesses. pardon. and now we seem to have they want to have documents. mr. gallagher, or chief a lot of open questions coming
gallagher, becoming part of the out of the hearings and the house of representatives. president's campaign, campaigning for him. more than 30 witnesses, all of and so you just -- it raises a them testifying, that yeah, very serious issue of discipline indeed, there was a problem here within the ranks, all the way in the ukraine situation. down. so i really do have confidence now let's get the witnesses from the white house. american people want it. in the men and women that are out there serving this nation, certainly i do. and i think the senate must have oftentimes in dangerous those documents, must hear from situations. >> congressman john garamendi, the key witnesses that were part thank you very much for joining of the telephone call and part us today. >> thank you. >> happy new year to you. >> to you and to all of your of the withholding of the aid to guests. >> thank you. and this just in. ukraine. >> i get wanting those kind of former vice president joe biden assurances. but of course february is once again tried explaining why awkward in timing, it's when the he won't testify in a senate impeachment trial, even if he is democratic presidential caucuses subpoenaed. take a listen? and primaries get underway. >> the whole point of this is i'm wondering should that be a anyone subpoenaed relating to concern? that might overshadow your party this investigation of of the selecting a presidential president has to be able to have nominee. >> i don't think that's what will happen. some knowledge to shed on when we return january the 6th whether or not he committed the and 7th, this will be quickly offenses he is accused of
ironed out. there's going to be a lot of committing. i have no firsthand knowledge. pressure on the senators, there's no basis to that. democrat and republicans, to have a full-blown, honest trial, in which testimony is received from the key witnesses and the my point was there would be no white house, the office of basis upon which to call me as a management and budget, the witness to an event that in fact i cannot have any impact on. and the reason -- the point i pentagon, as well as the state department, and critical was making in the second part of documents being made available. the answer i gave you was this all of those are critically whole idea is designed to take important. our eye off the ball. i suspect the first week of january you'll see this ironed the ball is, did the president do his job? that was the issue. out. and then speaker pelosi will be in an appropriate position to that's the trial. say here's what we're looking >> still to come, the crash site for, the kind of managers best of that tourist helicopter that suited for those kinds of went missing in hawaii. witnesses and the documents and it's been found, but crews have the questions that are inevitably going to be asked. >> i want to ask you about not yet recovered all the victims. cnn is live in hawaii. democratic presidential candidate joe biden. and we're learning more >> sure. >> because he says that he will about the plane crash in not comply or he's indicated lafayette, louisiana. that he may not comply if he's that too is up next. subpoenaed to testify. i'm wondering how can democrats demand if one of their own members won't testify? >> well, i don't know what vice
still searching for the seventh and final victim after a helicopter tour crashed on the island of kauai. the remains were found yesterday of the others. live in kauai with more, josh, what's the very latest? >> marty, the search for the location where that helicopter went down here in hawaii with seven people aboard is over. authorities announcing they have located the wreckage, the crash site, inside a remote area at a state park behind us here on the northwest section of the island of kauai. this began thursday afternoon after a helicopter failed to return to base at a scheduled time. an alert going out to the u.s. coast guard and navy and fire and rescue. a massive search and rescue effort by sea, air and land throughout the night for 16 hours. again the latest authorities
telling us they have identified the location. we're told about the condition of those who were on board. there were two families including four adults and two children. authorities telling us they have identified the remains of six of those individuals, the search for the seventh continues at this hour. as far as the reason, the cas of this incident, that remains under investigation. we're told by officials as we speak, authorities from the ntsb and faa are on their way here to launch that investigation to get to the bottom of what took place. authorities telling us it appears as though the weather may have been a factor, especially high winds. >> josh campbell there on the island for us. thank you very much for that update. we want to bring in david susy, an accident inspector. david, good to see you. you're just back from hawaii. and you would understand first of all the challenges that investigators are going to face
as they begin the investigation there. >> yes. that na pali coast is something that's horribly difficult to get into and out of. the fact that they found those there and will be extracting bodies from there first, the first step, but the winds were horrible. i was scheduled for a flight with my family the day before and it was canceled due to high winds. i can't say that's the cas, but i do know we were canceled the day before. >> meanwhile i want to get to this, at least five people are dead and four others injured after a small plane crashed in louisiana. one passenger survived. the lafayette fire department saying they don't know yet how many passengers were on that plane. the chief adds that three people on the ground were rushed to the hospital. federal investigators are headed to the scene. here's what they had to say. >> limited information. i'm only going to say this one
time, i'm going to let the feds take over from there. the plane has taken off from the airport and crashed. >> so david, what are investigators going to be looking for first when they arrive? >> we understand that there's one witness that saw smoke coming from the aircraft prior to the crash, prior to the crash site. with that one small piece of evidence, i've worked on this cheyenne 2 airplane before, and it's a high performance aircraft with turbos on the engines. i have had problems with them before with oil and the turbines going out. it's too early to speculate. but it appears from the witness, there was smoke coming from it which would indicate the turbine had failed and the amount of smoke that was coming out of the engine. >> this occurred shortly after takeoff. >> that's when the highest power is coming out of that enjip. i looked at the airspeed on flight radar.
it never exceeded 200 miles per hour. he had a controlled movement. he was endtending to land and would have been safe, however it looks like he hit wires on the way down which are nearly impossible to see. that could have interfered with his ability to make a safe landing. >> weather, it's always something we consider. and the weather conditions at the time, there was i think fog and mist was listed but the visibility at three-quarters of a mile. that's not bad? >> it's not terrible. it was over cast which might affect the ability to see those wires, because they're gray. that can affect that. on a sunny day he might have been able to see. in that case i don't think the weather caused the accident but may have been a contributing factor when selecting the place to land. >> your insights are always well received. thank you very much.
>> thank you. coming up in the "cnn newsroom," new york authorities are stepping up patrols after what appears to be a series of anti-semitic attacks. why police are concerned there could be a pattern. if your glasses aren't perfect, we'll fix them. so will we. no we won't. don't forget to use your vision benefits before they're gone. now in-network with vsp. visionworks. see the difference. if your dishwasher doesn't get dishes completely dry... try finish jet-dry. it dries 100% better than detergent alone - even plastics. get dishes drier than you ever thought possible. try finish jet-dry.
students are among the dead. nobody has claimed responsibility yet. but the attack bears all the hallmarks of an attack by al shabaab, that's the terror group linked to al qaeda. this week during a celebration of hanukkah, the city of new york saw at least eight alleged anti-semitic incidents. that's spurred police to step up their presence. mayor debloousia reiterated the city stands with the jewish community. >> we have to show people right now really worried here in crown heights and other communities that the city of new york will stand by them, the nypd will stand with them. you will see increased patrols to protect people. >> with me now, polo, what more can you tell us about these incidents. >> the numbers are disturbing here. you counted them, at least eight of them in the last week alone. that's why investigators are out
in some of these jewish communities. when you look at video of some of these confrontations, the nypd releasing video of one imagine, the man you see on your screen carrying what appears to be a briefcase was wearing religious attire. he's confronted by an individual wearing a hoodie and is struck. that's when that individual makes a getaway. investigators releasing this video hoping to try and track down that video. another incident, just a day after -- or rather day before, which was on christmas eve. this is when another individual wearing religious attire is also struck in this case by several individuals here. police trying to track them down. two more to tell you about that took place yesterday and one of them here in -- in brooklyn, three women reported being slapped. investigators tracked down the woman who is believed to have been responsible. and according to detectives she did it simply because they were jewish.
the main question here, why do we appear to be seeing this spike in these kind of reports of anti-semitic incidents? we turned to the antidefamation league, the organization that spoke to us and says there are multiple factors. one of them could be tensions in some of these neighborhoods that have been populate the historically by jewish families, some of those because of rising housing prices. also the resurfacing of old stereotypes. you're about to hear, they're speaking to police, trying to say definitely, what's behind this phenomenon. >> there's issues of white supremacy, this is not that. what we're dealing with right now is something very different. we're dealing with other minority groups attacking a single minority group. >> as you hear from the adl they're confident in saying what they believe is not behind this and what could be multiple factors here, martin.
but what we are seeing, nypd in some of these neighborhoods speaking to members of the jewish community to make sure they feel safe. of courseer layor, speaking to how heinous this is, this is when many people are coming together in peace celebrating hanukkah and now this threat looming. >> thank you for the report. still ahead, a look at impeachment from 19 -- when senate minority leader chuck schumer had a much different tone on how the impeachment trial and the jurors should act. hi i'm joan lunden.
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sentiments in the late 1990s. >> this is not a criminal trial. but this is something that the founding fathers died to put in a body that was suspectable toll whims of politics. it is not like a jury box in the sense that people will call us and lobby us. you don't have jurors called and lobbied. it's quite different than a jury. >> senior editor of cnn, andrew kaczynski joins me now. quite a contrast from what we were hearing today. >> i don't know if it's a reverse groundhog day or ghosts of impeachment past. but with what we're seeing with schumer is it's very similar to what mcconnell was saying just last week, where he was saying, i'm not an impartial juror. the context to these schumer comments was that he ran -- he was in congress in 1998 when
they voted on impeachment and he had sort of this very unique role in that he not only voted against impeachment in the house judiciary committee then voted against impeachment in the full house, but then he was elebted to the senate in 1998 campaigning against impeachment. and then as a member of the senate got to sit on the senate trial. he got attacked basically by the rnc, by his opponent, by a lot of people saying he had prejudged the case. as we saw in the clip from larry king in 1999, schumer said this is not like a jury, we come to this with our preopinions. when he voted yens convicting clinton in the full senate, he harkened back to the earlier votes in his campaign saying, i made up my mind about five months earlier in the midst of that campaign and the house vote. >> you know, i often wonder if
they look back and remember the videotape and remember the statements that they made. >> yeah, you know, you often wonder stuff like that, you know. a couple of i want to say three our four weeks ago when we went to the controversy where donald trump compared impeachment to a leenking then joe biden attacked him, and we posted a video of cnn of joe biden using the exact same words saying lynching comparing to impeachment. do they forget? think no one will remember? it's up in the air. >> andrew kaczynski, always great to show what really happens. thank you very much. for more on what to expect from the senate trial, let's bring in congressional reporter for the hill and cnn presidential historian. welcome to you both. >> thank you. >> i should point out, tim, you're the co-author of the book impeachment, an american history. olivia, how can senator schumer, we have these instances thanks
to videotape where we can show exactly how one person acted as a different time. so schumer is caught in this flip-flop. how does he explain what we've all just looked at? >> he's saying he was in a unique position, he was in the house so he had already seen the evidence that had been collected and sort of presented in impeachment. he's also saying there was differences because they had witnesses come testify. in this case the white house blocked a tiere series of top witnesses like mulvaney and bolton and more. we're also noticing that when you say something in politics years back, it will and can be used against you. that's just something so always for politicians to keep in mind. and there is some ring of truth to that. this is a political process in many ways. you have 11 democrats who are saying they will vote for the articles of impeachment. you have 37 republicans saying they'll vote against it. that's about half the senate
saying they have made up there are mind before the trial has even begun. >> this is where the public skepticism comes from, just the latest example of how lawmakers are being forced to vote on their prior statements. how damaging is this to their reputation and to politics overall? >> first of all, impeachments happen so rarely that politicians are not actually -- it's so unusual for them, that they don't fully understand that they have a constitutional duty that is beyond politics. so chuck schumer in 1999 was not speaking the way he should have been speaking. chuck schumer now is in a different position. he's now one of the leaders of senate. the leader of senate, whether majority or minority, has to set an example. an example they have to set is a
constitutional example. they have to make clear to the american people that they have required to handle the data as if they were part of the jury. as a member of a jury, they cannot and should not express their particular point of view until they have examined the daya, the information. that's what we would require of any ordinary american who sat on a jury and that's what we require of our senators. in 1999 that chuck schumer was not speaking like a constitutionlist. that's the way they should be speaking now. >> olivia, how much does this hurt democrats and their approach leading into the senate trial? >> it's certainly going to be weaponized by republicans saying, hey, look, you want us -- this to be a fair trial, but look what schumer said. but i think it's also, democrats are going to move past it in this -- there's going to be a new thing being thrown back and forth by the time that the senate and the house are back in
session. and hopefully they can decide what -- where to go next. >> i have asked this of other guests, tim, but you of course have the expertise here. i'm wondering comparing the impeachment process so far to that which we saw in the 1990s with president clinton, how do they compare or contrast? >> first, let's keep in mind that it was partisan back then. we do talk about the hyper partisanship of today, it's true, it exists. but let's not be naive. these are always occurring in partisan times. but one big difference this time is first of all the democrats control the house, and the republicans control the senate. in 1998 and '99 the republicans controlled both. when speaker pelosi is doing this time is the first time
because she's of a different party when dealing with her senate colleagues. she's trying to use what little leverage she has to try to influence the shape and the rules of the trial in the senate. that's unprecedented because we've never had a divided congress in an impeachment process before. the second difference is that it looks as if leader mcconnell does not have the same relationship with the rest of his republican house colleagues that's similar to the relationship that leader trent lott had with the house in 1999. in nooint 1999, trent lott worked closely with tom dashel in part because he did not like the antics that his house republican colleagues had engaged in against president clinton. i'm not saying that trent lott thought that clinton should stay in office and in the end he actually voted for removal. but he didn't like the antics.
there was i sense i think he had that his colleagues in the house were not living up to their constitutional responsibilities. i don't believe that senator mcconnell sees the same way. i o don't see them house side, and there's a different kind of politics on the senate side. this is why i think leader mcconnell has not shown the kind of bipartisanship that trent lott did. right now we're in this awkward situation where there doesn't seem to be a path forward for the democrats and the republicans to work together in the senate the way they did in 1999. do you know who loses? the american people lose. because it undermines the american people's understanding of government, and that's bad. >> the president has been openly talking, taking aim at speaker nancy pelosi on twitter. what does that signal to you about his current mindset? he's clearly upset here?
>> right. as you said i can't talk about his mindset, but my sources have been telling me that he's frustrated these articles have been held up, they're looming over him and the senate and democrats from the house are trying to dictate how the republicans in the senate are going to run their impeachment trial. because pelosi said i'm not going to send in impeachment managers without knowing whether it's going to be a fair trial, she's sort of taking this political gamble to see where -- to see if she can maybe push mcconnell to allow witnesses to come in. as tim was saying earlier, this kind of just shows that the constitution -- there's a lot left for either party to kind of decide with a lot autonomy to decide where to go next because it's not really mapped out. >> correct. it's actually got a limited number of counts inside the constitution. thank you very much. much more to come on this
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seen it. covered it. at farmers insurance, we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪ 2019 mark the fifth year in a row in which ten or more billion dollar weather disasters have hit the u.s. chad myers brings us the top nine that have impacted our earth and our lives this past year. ♪ >> as we end one decade and head into another, there's even more uncertainty of what's to come for the u.s. and our planet.
here are the top nine events related to weather, climbed and the planet for 2019. number 9, the sudden and deadly new zealand volcano. >> incredible images there. at least five people dead in the eruption overnight of a new zealand volcano popular with tourists. >> look at that. wow. it really does look like complete and utter devastation. >> 47 people were visiting on a day trip when plumes of steam, ash and rock began to explode. at least 16 people were killed, dozens more suffered extensive burns. number eight, a powerful waergtd system on palm sundae. including tornadoes damaging winds, and flooding. >> saw the trailer flying over and land on their house. the power poles were sparking
out the top. and then there was like a funnel that you could see the debris just going in it. >> alabama and mississippi suffered the worst. but tornadoes reported as far north as pennsylvania. >> we have breaking news on cnn, two children in texas now confirmed dead after at least two powerful tornadoes touched down there today. >> the rash of storms killed at least eight people including three children. number seven, in october more than a dozen wildfires tore across california. >> right now brand new brush fire has flared up this morning if simi valley threatening neighborhoods and the ronald reagan libly. >> there goes the -- right on cue we've seen helicopters coming through, the super soakers dropping retardants. >> a library spokeman saying it
caused half a million dollars in damage. shut off power to thousands in an effort to prevent firefighters. firefighters worked tirelessly to save people and homes from the flames. hundreds of thousands were forced to evacuate. number six. >> hundreds of active bushfires raging across australia after a heat wave. the unprecedented number of fires has burned millions of acres and destroyed hundreds of homes all over the country. >> more than 100 fires burned across new south wales at the end of november fueled by strong winds, high tometures and low humidity. in sydney dozens were treated for asthma and breathing problems as thick smoke engulfed the city. >> a lot of firefighters are saying it's a bit different, it's running harder, faster, and far more intense. >> it couldn't have p come at a worse time, in the midst of one of the woerts draughts in
decades. number five, typhoon hagga lus, in october a deadly storm rocked japan, one of the strogts to hit in years. >> we're talking about a wind field of 54 kilometers per hour stretching over 1,400 kilometers. >> tens of millions of people were ordered to evacuate and tokyo was put on lockdown. as the storm packing 122-mile-per-hour winds, the equivalent to a category three hurricane approached japan.thou water. number four, amazon on fire. in august, wildfires ravaged brazil's rainforest burning at a record rate. >> getting a rare aerial look at the fires rav ageing the rain forest known as the earth's lungs providing 20% of the oxygen. >> a research center said there
were many fires in this year with more than half in the amazon. that's more than an 80% increase compared to the same period last year, the majority fwlamd on loggers and ranchers to set the fires to clear land for cattle. a practice that's on the rise and baksd by brazil's pro business president. number three, climbed change, including the heat waskz that scorched parts of europe and the u.s. >> dangerous heat wave about to scorch europe and this is only the beginning. >> this is what parisians have been reduced to to try and cool in the sweltering heat. a new record set today, 45 degrees celsius, not that hot since records began. >> in june and july western, central and north aechb europe dealt with heat waves that shattered records.
france, germany, u.k., the netherlands, belgium, and luxembourg all broke all-time high records. in the u.s. from september to october felt like an endless summer. atlanta hit 91 degrees for a record times. many broke their records for a number of 90 degree days as well. number two, catastrophic springtime flooding in the midwest and the mississippi river valley. from march until the end of julie, historic flooding in the middle of the country, storm after storm along with snow brought flooding to missouri, arkansas and mississippi river. >> water levels the highest they have been in 157 years. >> across the midwest, hundreds of farm animals draund or were stranded, grains submerged and fields turned into lakes.
>> this viv a very surreal thing. >> the record march flooding blamed for at least four deaths in nebraska and iowa. and it didn't stop there. the wet spring continued to wreak havoc on the missouri and mississippi river. the flooding on the mississippi continued well into julie causing billions of dollars of damage. number one, the worst natural disaster to ever hit the bahamas, hurricane dorian. >> please pray for us. please pray for us, pray for us, i'm begging you all. >> we in the midst of a historic tragedy in parts of northern ba hachlas. >> the brutal storm lingered over the bahamas for days continuably battering the islands with heavy rain and strong winds. >> sounds like a jet engine roaring all night long. >> it looked like a war zone,
homes flattened, entire neighborhoods swept away. thousands without power or running water. >> the unprecedent the devastation in the bahamas after the storm parked itself on top of the islands for nearly two days, moving just 30 miles in 30 hours. >> the storm weakened, brushing the u.s. east coast as a category 1 hurricane. in all dorian killed at least 70 people, with hundreds still reported missing. >> my poor little wife got hyperthermia and she was standing on top of the kitchen cap nets until they disintegrated. and then i kept with her and she just drowned on me. >> i'm so sorry. >> i -- i know. >> damage from dorian has been estimated at over $3 billion. chad myers, cnn, atlanta. ♪
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wars" film, the rise of skywalker. cnn's natasha chen has more on the newest jedi master. >> when i first saw you it was like the sun came out, bright and beaming on the cloudiest of days. >> riley howl's family remembers him as a day of light and now he'll also be known for fighting dark forces in a galaxy far, far away. >> a nice way to round out the year. >> he died in apri shooter. his girlfriend shared a letter to lucas film from the howell family. they asked the family to keep it secret until later this year, saying riley's courage and selflessness brings out the jedi in all of us. turns out the film has made him a master and historian in the star wars book companion.
>> it's still riley but it's spelled ri dash lee already l-e-e. he's a jedi master historian who i guess has preserved these books. >> fitting for a young patta won who loved all things "star wars." >> his fifth birthday was all "star wars" themed. his cake, he made everybody be quiet so he could name all the toys. >> this real life hero has become ry-lee howell. just as the character says in the films -- >> nope is ever really gone. >> closing out the letter, lucas film wrote, the force will be with riley and all of you always. natasha chen, cnn, atlanta. >> wonderful way for us to finish. "cnn newsroom" continues at the
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you are live in the cnn news room and i'm jessica dean in for ana cabrera in new york this afternoon. breaking news on cnn, a terrifying plane crash, at least five people are dead, several others hurt. this is in lafayette, louisiana, a twin engine private plane had just taken off from lafayette's airport when it crashed and caught fire. officials now confirming all except one person onboard the plane is dead,
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