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tv   CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin  CNN  February 14, 2020 11:00am-12:00pm PST

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you are watching cnn on this friday afternoon, i'm brooke baldwin. thank you for being here, case closed. that is the message from the department of justice to former
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fbi director andrew mccabe. he had been under criminal investigation for allegedly misleading internal investigators at the justice department. mccabe was fired from the fbi just before his retirement nearly two years ago after the department's inspector general found that he, quote, unquote lacked candor when discussing a leak to the wall street journal regarding a clinton foundation probe. now, during that time, mccabe became a favorite target of president trump, you can see here, who tweeted about the former official dozens of times, and at one point accused mccabe without evidence of treason. and moments ago, andy mccabe who is a current contributor here at cnn said this to my colleague briana cubeler. >> as glad as i am that the justice department and the d.c. u.s. attorney's office finally decided to do the right thing to do, it is an absolute disgrace that they took two years and put my family through this experience for two years before
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they finally drew the obvious conclusion and one they could have drawn a long, long time ago. >> cnn crime and justice reporter shimon prokupecz is in washington. were there any hints this was coming? >> no, there were absolutely no hints, brooke. andrew mccabe and his attorneys have been asking for month when this case was kind of lingering on. there was no notice, no word on what was happening. there was -- at one point there was speculation, actually, and a strong feeling that andrew mccabe was going to be charged, that he was going to be indicted, and his attorneys started asking the d.c. u.s. attorney at the time, that office they were asking them what's going on with this case. where is this case? have you decided not to pursue? is there an indictment. and it was complete silence for months. the u.s. attorney's office would not respond to their messages, would not respond to e-mails, to their inquiries about what the
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status of the case was, and then all of a sudden today they get this notice, a letter from the u.s. attorney's office, and then also a phone call saying that they're not going to pursue any charges, specifically the u.s. attorney's office here in d.c. told them that based on the totality of the circumstances and all of the information known to the government that they consider, as you said, this matter closed. that's it. it's over for andrew mccabe. but the big question's going to be what i think cchanged annuii months since andrew mccabe's attorneys have been asking what's going on with this case, of a sudden they're dropping the entire investigation. andrew mccabe has been cleared in this investigation. >> not the only news dropping this morning, shimon. thank you. shortly after we learned that the andy mccabe investigation was over, it seems a case involving the president's former national security adviser michael flynn may now be getting
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a flesh look. officials tell cnn that request is coming directly from attorney general bill barr. so for that, let's go to cnn's senior justice correspondent evan perez. we know flynn has been waiting for sentencing after pleading guilty to charges that he lied to the fbi about that conversation with the then ambassador to russia. my question to you is they're just taking a look at this case all over again? >> right, it looks like a coincidence, right? look, i think one of the things that we have to keep in mind is that there has been this campaign by michael flynn, by certainly some of his supporters on the right, and you know, people close to the president to argue that he was maliciously prosecuted, that he never actually lied to the fbi even though he pleaded guilty. he told a judge that he did lie to the fbi in that investigation, and in the recent months he's changed lawyers and has now sort of mounted a campaign to take that back. and so that's what the
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atmospherics, brooke, that sort of overhangs all of this. so the question is is this a result of the attorney general simply buying into this theory, or is this a genuine look at this investigation simply because they're going to have to fight in court to defend it. now, it's not entirely clear what is happening here. i think one of the things that's happening is that they've brought in a u.s. attorney from st. louis. his name is jeffrey jensen who is going to be reviewing this and some other sensitive cases. it goes beyond the michael flynn case, by the way. brooke, obviously the fact that this happens this week, we're learning about it this way rather, at a time when the president, we know, is weighing heavily on a lot of these cases at the justice department. he is very clear what he wants, you know, that's one of the things that causes some of these decisions made by the attorney general to be questioned in that way.
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>> evan, thank you for that. let's have a big old discussion. i have with me gloria borjer cnn's chief political analyst. and welcome to both of you. gloria, the news that barr wants this one case re-examined, it comes right after bill barr said this to abc news. >> so you're saying you have a problem with the tweets? >> yes. well, i have a problem with some of the tweets, not going to be bullied or influenced by anybody, and i said it whether it's congress, a newspaper, editorial boards, or the president. i'm going to do what i think is right, and, you know, the -- i think the -- i cannot do my job here at the department with constant background commentary that undercuts me. >> so bill barr goes on abc, and
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it shouldn't be lost on us. he picks abc, not foxment so there's that. then you have this flynn move along with the interference with roger stone, seemed to be exactly what trump wants. what is going on here, gloria? >> well, what's going on is we're seeing piece by piece bill barr and the president trying to undo a lot of bob mueller's work and what bob mueller was doing because, of course, mueller is the big enemy of donald trump, and what we saw yesterday was an attorney general effectively saying, giving advanced notice to the white house, white house, donald trump stop tweeting and shut up, so i can do what i need to do which is what you want me to do anyway. he knows and trump knows, wink, wink, that they're in sync with each other on most things. now, today the charges against
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or any of the department declined to charge andy mccabe of the fbi with anything, so that might upset the president. but in the case of flynn and stone, you have effectively barr doing the president's bidding. >> david, i know you're fired up about this. what are you thinking? >> well, look, with respect to the declination that mr. mccabe with whom i had the privilege ochl woof working, the department applies law and policy to facts on the merits. if he deserved a declination that's exactly what they should have done. with respect to the flynn matter, you know, it's valentine's day, i suppose, and nothing says i love you from the attorney general to the president of the united states than commissioning investigations of investigations carried out by career prosecutors to satiate the president's political grievances. this is absolutely something that should shock the conscience of every american regardless of political persuasion who cares about the independence and
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integrity of the department of justice. >> i want to stay with you because one day it's roger stone, right? today it's michael flynn. it would appear to gloria's point that they are slowly undoing the mueller investigation. play this forward with me. what would your biggest fear be if this is how the top law enforcement officer in the country is running the doj. >> i mean, it appears as though the department of justice is now being run by people who are enthrall to gratifying the white house. it is unheard of to be conducting not just one but multiple investigations of prior investigations, without any substantive basis. keep in mind, in the flynn case there is a pending criminal case before a district judge, and here the department has just commissioned new investigations of the people carrying out a pending criminal investigation. it's unprecedented. it's deeply disturbing, and it requires the attentions both of the inspector general of the department of justice and
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congress. >> we also know david and then gloria i want to come to you on the white house's response to barr's comments. barr goes on tv, talks to abc news, and we know that he was potentially facing exits from other doj officials so he goes in front of the camera, talks about trump's tweets. what kind of message is this sending to the folks at doj right now who may have already been thinking see ya? >> well, look, whatever chilling effect the reversal of the government sentencing position in stone had, imagine that reaction on steroids now. at least in the u.s. attorney's office for d.c. and i'm sure it's spreading throughout the department of justice now. who would want to undertake a politically sensitive investigation within the department or at the fbi that could bump up against the president's personal interests or grievance. they can now see what lies before them if they get involved in those kinds of sensitive matters. it's horrifying. >> isn't that the whole point? i think that's the whole point of it.
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nobody would want to take these cases. the president doesn't want them to be taken anyway, doesn't want them to be prosecuted anyway. >> that would be a win for the president. then you have the white house and the muted response to bill barr's comments. they include the the phrase, quote the president wasn't bothered by the comments at all. i mean, bill barr may be the only current or former trump staffer to make such a public response to the president and not get torn to shreds in return. why do you think that is? >> well, i think it's because the white house had a heads-up generally our reporting is. the white house generally knew what barr was going to say. they may not have known that he would have said the president is making it impossible to do my job, but barr may have told them, look, i'm facing a mutiny over here, and i've got to get it under control at the justice department. the question is, if barr believes the president is making it impossible to do his job and
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the president continues to tweet as he tweeted today, what will barr do the next time -- and i pribt there will predict there will be a next time, i'm going to go out on a limb -- >> what will the attorney general do the next time the president tweets. >> what if despite what bill barr said president trump tweets on andy mccabe, how dangerous is that? >> a test, a test, a test. let us see if the attorney general then says publicly what he said yesterday and says as i said, the president needs to stop tweeting and making my job impossible or does he, in fact, decide it becomes too impossible and that he has to leave? i don't know, you know, i just don't know the answer to it. it's very difficult to figure out because he is facing an exodus over there. >> david, close this out.
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how dangerous would that be just for people who are watching who aren't in, you know, in the -- you know internal machinations of justice. help everyone understand how this is a massively huge deal. >> look, i'm on the defense side of the bar. i care deeply about the institution of the department of justice. i used the term the other day this is a break glass in case of fire moment for the department of justice. i think the fire is consuming the building now, and the question is which responsible parties, whether it's the inspector general of the department of justice or congress is going to respond to a situation that is engulfing a department? >> but the question is what can congress do, and this is -- you know, we're living in the post-impeachment world. the democrats can hold hearings. the democrats can have barr up to the hill which they are on march 31st, but in the end, what can the democrats do? they've already, you know, they've already impeached the president in the house, and they have vindicated him in the
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senate. they've found him not guilty. president is to me unbound and emboldened on all of this, and there just seems to be not much anyone can do about it. >> michael gordon who was sitting next to me, brooke as a dmbt, i'm talking to all the democrats, you've got to stop talking about this, pivot to policy and take the white house back. that's it. we're going to leave it, david and gloria, thank you both so much. >> thank you, brooke. we have some breaking news now, a verdict has been reached in the trial of former stormy daniels attorney michael avenatti. that is next. managing type 2 diabetes? dimitri's on it. eating right... ...and getting those steps in? on it! dimitri thinks he's doing all he can to manage his type 2 diabetes and heart disease, but is his treatment doing enough to lower his heart risk? maybe not jardiance can reduce the risk of cardiovascular death for adults
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this is cnn breaking news. getting some breaking news now on the michael avenatti trial, stormy daniels' former attorney has now been found guilty on all counts. let's start with polo sandoval here with me in new york. >> after 13 hours of deliberations here, and the jury in this southern manhattan coming back with a verdict. avenatti basically did a sign of the cross and then that verdict was read aloud, guilty on all three counts in this extortion case. remember, the background of this case has really been focused on betrayal and extortion. according to federal prosecutors avenatti was we now know guilty of really government said that avenatti had betrayed his client which was a youth basketball coach who made the allegations by advocating for money for himself instead of the client. so after this lengthy trial and
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really after three days of deliberations, we now have that guilty verdict. now, the big question, what will happen next, of course, he still does have those ongoing charges in federal court in california. in fact, he had been placed back into custody in december after he going to a judge violated the terms of his release. he had been in custody, flown across the country here to new york for the proceedings here in new york that are now ending with guilty verdicts on all three of the counts listed in the indictment against michael avenatti. >> polo, thank you. elie honig is on the phone with me now. he's a former federal prosecutor, you heard from polo, the sign of the cross before the verdict was read. tell me your read on this. >> so this is obviously really bad news for michael avenatti. on this conviction alone, i'm just sort of roughing it out, he's looking at something in the range of at least three to five years in prison, but the thing is this was the better case for avenatti to beat. he had a better defense on this case, the extortion of nike than
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he does on the remaining case out in california which alleges that he stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from his own client. he's only at halftime here, and he's already looking at several years behind bars. >> that's right. as polo mentioned, still faces those charges, federal court in california and that could be an even bigger uphill for him to climb. thank you so much for the hustle of jumping on the phone and polo thank you for that. guilty on all counts for michael avenatti today in new york. 2020 now, the candidates hitting the trail ahead of the next big contests in nevada and south carolina. we will take you live to nevada where 36 delegates are up for grabs. the former new york city may mayor michael bloomberg and his many billions of dollars looms large of this democratic field. my next guest says he is hacking everyone's attention, and you know what? it's having a big impact. and president trump is now considering keeping everyone off of his phone calls with foreign leaders. is that even legal? you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin.
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eight days until democrats' next contest in nevada where joe biden and amy klobuchar are courting voters today while some of their rivals are hitting california and the carolinas. 36 delegates, easy for me to say up for grabs in nevada next saturday and then the following
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saturday attention turns to south carolina and its 54 delegates. cnn national political reporter maeve reston is in los angeles. i know you have been zigging and zagging, canvassing with a lot of these more latinx districts. what are you hearing from voters? >> it's such a fascinating reality check to can come to nevada after iowa and new hampshire because the candidates have not been parked here, and i have been out in some latino precincts. what was really striking to me yesterday, the first six people that i talked to didn't even know that the caucuses are coming up in a week. that just shows you what a huge job the campaigns have here over the next week in trying to get those voters out, get them engaged, and get them even sort of tuned in to which candidate they would want to caucus for. here in nevada, which is very different than the previous primary states, one in five voters who's eligible to vote is -- they're latino, and so
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some of these campaigns like bernie sanders and tom steyer have really been making big efforts to register those voters and get them out there, so it will be the first big test of that strength for those campaigns. >> also wanted to ask you just about the news today from this nonendorsement. this is nevada's largest labor union, political organizing force, and so the culinary union says they will not endorse a candidate ahead of next week's democratic caucuses. it criticized senator bernie sanders over his health care plan. you tell me, how big of a deal is this nonendorsement and will it impact the race? >> it's a big deal. they have been rumored because joe biden has such close ties within that union, it was rumored that they were going to endorse joe biden. they decided to do this non-endorsement after we saw his collapse in iowa and new hampshire. that would have given him huge organizing muscle here, if he had had their energy behind him.
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it does potentially help bernie sanders. a lot of those workers have excellent health care. they've pushed for those benefits, negotiated for them, so those workers have an issue with bernie's medicare for all position. it's going to be interesting to see how that plays out. talking to younger latino voters in this state who are not part of unions, the first name you hear all the time is bernie sanders. they are engaged on social media. they've watched the live streaming of his events, and so if he can get those younger voters out, that really could make a difference. it's going to be a big fight. we're going to see the candidates all at the casinos next week talking to these workers and really hustling because it's kind of another wild card in this state. >> yeah, i mean, maybe you're talking now as you say to people who have no idea this is coming up. they're about to. >> maeve reston, thank you in nevada. you know, one candidate who is sitting out in nevada and south carolina is billionaire michael bloomberg. he has been in the headlines, you know, plenty this week including for what my next guest
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describes as the shameless amount of his own money he is putting into tv and social media ads. in texas alone, listen to this bloomberg has spend more than $32 million. that is rivalled only by california where he dropped a whopping 39 million, so in the "new york times" charlie wor zelle writes quote, take mr. bloomberg's brazen spending which has prompted claims he is an oligarch trying to bypass by buying the presidency, mr. bloomberg is unfazed. more than that, the conversation is now centered afternoon the idea that he could very well win. and charlie warzel is with me now. charlie, welcome. >> thanks for having me. >> to your point, we just ran through the numbers. if you're michael bloomberg, why not? how do you see it? >> the way that i see it is that this is -- it's almost like he's running this campaign as some kind of control group experiment
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for some, you know, larger study that is, you know, what if you ruthlessly optimized everything about campaigning to kind of cut out the campaigning part or cut out the human element to some degree. it's really just focused on attention and that is a strategy that, you know, we see, hey, we're right here talking about it right now. it works. >> yep, yep, no, and you're not the first person who's used the word experiment, and that may work too. it's not just about all the spending, though. he's hitting back at trump on twitter. trump had called him mini mike taking a shot at his height and michael bloomberg hit back calling the president a carnival barking clown, like never in a million years when i was in journalism school did i think i'd be discussing this. this is where we are, right? so forget the whole when they go all low we go high. he's playing right out of the trump playbook, and i'm just wondering if you think, though, it is effective? >> well, it's definitely
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effective. that last sort of response tweet from bloomberg that you mentioned, that actually out performed donald trump's tweet, and it's very rare that you kind of get that. it is working. also, you see that generate a lot of interest, programs, cable news, again, we're sitting here talking about it. it flashes on the -- it become sort of a self-sustaining cycle. i think that's really what he's doing. he and the campaign are trying to generate controversy at every turn. they're not turning away are from it. like you said, you know, no -- they go low we go high. it's no, we get in the mud and we wrestle, and everyone will talk about the fact we're sitting here wrestling. >> are there some lines that michael bloomberg won't cross? >> i think that remains to be seen. i mean, obviously there's a fair amount, you know, coming out he's got the past history of
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stop and frisk. there's other reports around things like red lining that are coming out, and it's unclear exactly what he's going to do towards valid criticism of his past proposals. it's very easy to sort of just, you know, go after the president, go after a lot of that, sort of that brazenness, but i'm not really sure where that's going to fall. those are very valid criticisms. those are things -- but i will say, i think it all kind of plays into the strategy. if we're talking about him, every minute that he is sort of getting, you know, this earned media and also buying a lot of media, too, this paid media, he doesn't have to engage in iowa, new hampshire, nevada. he's already -- he's there. we're in the mix. he's in the mix. >> here's my last question on all of this. you know i had this guy adam the creator. he's got like a gazillion instagram followers. he's one of those instagram meme guys. he's the beneficiary of one of
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these high dollar meme ads with team bloomberg and this third-party party. he was open to the political dialogue happening around whether or not candidates should be able to do this. i'm just curious if you're surprised other candidates aren't capitalizing on the opportunity in this space? >> i think it's really difficult, you know. the reason i said a shamelessness with bloomberg is he's basically saying, i'm a boomer. i'm out of touch. i'm old. like i don't really understand this stuff, but i'm going to throw money at it and make that a bit of the joke. i think there are a lot of o'candidates who are maybe not quite as shameless at the moment, but also don't have that organic thing like trump or on the left alexandria ocasio-cortez has who is just innately good at this stuff. i don't know, it's a weird balance but he seems to have found something that works, and it's kind of disheartening that democracy sort of means, you know, two men in their 70s
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yelling at each other on twitter. >> will the experiment work? tbd. charlie warzel, great piece. thank you very much. are trump allies trying to use cold hard cash to win votes. what cnn has learned about the events being held in black communities. next. if you're 55 and up, t-mobile has a plan designed just for you. and, for a limited time only, we're making it an even better deal. now you can get two lines for only $55. that includes unlimited talk, text and data. with no annual service contracts. it also includes talk, text and data when traveling in mexico and canada. so if you're 55 and up, you can now get two lines for only $55. because at t-mobile, we have a plan designed just for you.
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othroughout the country for the past twelve years, mr. michael bloomberg is here. vo: leadership in action. mayor bloomberg and president obama worked together in the fight for gun safety laws, to improve education, and to develop innovative ways to help teens gain the skills needed to find good jobs. obama: at a time when washington is divided in old ideological battles he shows us what can be achieved when we bring people together to seek pragmatic solutions. bloomberg: i'm mike bloomberg and i approve this message.
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now to the latest lesson the president has learned from his impeachment, which involved trump's july 25th phone call with ukraine's president, being facetio facetious. at least nine aides and staffers were listening in on that phone call. now the president is suggesting he may no longer allow officials to listen in on his calls with foreign leaders. this is what he said on a radio call. >> that call was perfect. i say it again. it wasn't one calls. it was two calls. they were both perfect calls. >> why are so many people allowed to listen to your phone
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calls anyway? >> that's what they've done over the years. when you call a foreign leader, people listen. i may end the practice entirely. i may end it entirely. >> joshua get ser served as senior director on counter terrorism on president obama's national security council. and josh, can he do this and might this make you nervous? >>. >> he can do it, but boy does it make me nervous that he's thinking about it. i mean, this would go a long way toward defeating the whole point of having these calls in the first place. the reason two heads of state talk on the phone is so they can agree on things and their staff can implement what they've agreed to. if you don't have a staff listening in, you don't have a staff who knows what you've signed up for, it defeats the purpose of the calls and leaves the executive branch without direction. >> i read one of the notes that you said how it would also potentially give leverage to foreign governments. explain why? >> well, you can be sure that other governments are not going to emulate trump's approach. they are going to take notes.
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they may even record the call, and when trump turns around as the only person on the u.s. side and claims that he said x or y, those foreign governments are going to know when he's lying, and we know that he lies quite a bit to say the least. that is then leverage they'll have over him. they'll know he's lying and they can exploit that in their interactions with him lest they choose to call him out on it publicly. >> does the president not have an obligation to inform his team, the american, you know, public of what's discussed on these calls with said foreign leaders? >> we thought -- when we worked at the white house that the president did not just have that as an obligation, the president wanted that. he wanted his people to know what it was he'd said yes to or no to because then you knew what the executive branch policy was. this is a president who seems uninterested in normal functioning of the executive
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branch. he would rather not have people hear his improprieties than have them be positioned to do the job of the executive branch. it's the deliberate destruction of normal executive branch functioning. >> one more question on you also served as deputy legal adviser to the national security council, and so just this past week, judge amy berman jackson, who is the same judge who's presiding over that roger stone case, she ruled in favor of the white house saying it is not the federal court's job to make sure that the white house keeps notes and records of the president's meetings with foreign leaders including those details regarding those meetings between trump and vladimir putin. so is there anything to stop the president from banning others on his calls? >> as a matter of law, he is probably entitled to have the calls be private, but they're supposed to be more than law that guides a president. the president takes an oath to serve the country faithfully. article ii says he'll take care
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that the laws be faithfully executed. there is good judgment. there's just basic morality that you do this job in a way that facilitates the national security of the country, not the personal political advancement of you, the president. of course that brings us right back to the ukraine skecandal, right back to how this president would rather use the office to advance himself rather than advance the national interests. >> thank you for your expertise and your honesty. >> thanks for having me on. more questions today about allegations of sexual abuse at ohio state university back in the late '80s, early '90s. what the brother of the alleged victim is now telling cnn about the role of republican congressman jim jordan. this is the frels family's land.
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today cnn talked to former ohio state wrestler who is accusing jim jordan of a cover-up. jordan is one of the president's most loyal and vocal allies in the house, and he says when he was assistant wrestling coach at ohio state in the late '80s he was not aware of the sex abuse the students allegedly were experiencing by richard strauss. he killed himself in 2005, but this week the brother of one of strauss's accusers says jordan told him in 2018 to keep quiet. adam disabato made the statement during a state hearing for a bill that would allow a victim to sue a university if a university doctor abused him or her. disabato talked this morning to allis alisyn camerota about the call he received from congressman jim jordan on the 4th of july two years ago.
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>> he was, you said, crying -- >> oh, he was crying, yeah. >> and groveling. what was he asking you to do? >> he was begging me -- he was begging me to go against my brother's testimony basically, and come out with a statement and so i just listened to him and, you know, expressed that i didn't know what my brother was -- what his motives, i hadn't talked to him or anything, but i said, you know, i'll -- i can't really give you an answer right now. i'm in the middle of something, and i said let me talk to my family, and that was that. and i kind of just brushed him off, you know, and that was the conversation. >> here's what congressman jordan said in a statement to cnn. congressman jordan never saw or heard of any abuse, and if he had, he would have dealt with it. congressman jordan would never ask anyone to do anything but tell the truth. what's your response to that, adam? >> i think it's a boldfaced lie
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because went to him and told him about an exam to his face, and it's been documented. there were several people that went up to him. we all complained. it was open. it was open discussion around any -- anywhere we were at, but mostly when the physicals came around every year. >> disabato's attorney says the ohio state case now involves more than 350 plaintiffs encompassing 13 male sports over a 19-year period. a pro-trump nonprofit is coming under fire now. it's accused of using a controversial tactic to try and boost the president's support among black voters. cnn political correspondent sara murray has the story. >> come on now. >> reporter: was it savvy community swrooutreach or polit pandering. a nonprofit founded by president trump's allies is under fire
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after doling out cash prizes at a cleveland event last christmas. >> four more years of president trump. >> reporter: while organizers pumped up president trump. >> i am unapologetically a donald trump supporter. i don't see any other party giving us anything. >> i don't care who thinks it's insulting or condescending to bless people with cash money around christmastime, we're doing it anyway. >> reporter: at the center of the controversy is a new charity called the urban revitalization coalition led by ohio pastor darrell scott. >> cleveland, we're here to bless you tonight. >> reporter: tax experts contacted by cnn raised red flags saying the cash events may violate tax laws that bar nonprofits from engaging in political campaign activity and could jeopardize the group's tax exempt status. in an interview with cnn scott says he's been careful to follow the law. racial justice groups like the naacp accused scott's charity of trying to buy support for trump in the black community.
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>> it is very disingenuous. you know, we are in a political climate where elections are won by the margins, less than a fraction of a percentage, and people are using many tricks to encourage people to participate or persuade their political point of view. >> scott hit back at his critics telling cnn, i really think that's insulting to black people. they automatically think black people demean themselves so much that they'll sell out a vote for $300. trump has struggled to build support among african-american voters and 83% of african-americans believe the president is racist according to a recent poll. and the organizers have touted the group as a link between the white house and urban communities. >> president donald trump, the one they say is a racist, is the first president in the history of this country to incentivize the people who have the money to put it into areas where it's needed. >> reporter: the trump campaign says the cash give away was not affiliated or sanctioned by the president's campaign. but scott has been a fixture in
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the trump camp for years playing a lead role in the president's diversity program for his 2016 campaign and attending white house meetings. cnn also found scott's organization has close ties to one of the main outside groups supporting trump's re-election, america first policies. it gave the urban revitalization coalition a $238,000 grant in 2018 that, quote, helps get the organization off the ground, an america first spokesperson said. and a white house official deputy assistant to the president jeron smith even attended the cleveland event touting trump's commitment to boosting urban communities. >> it was a goal from day one from the president to speak on behalf of the forgotten communities. >> we've got two $300 gift cards. >> reporter: another planned giveaway slated for martin luther king day at a historically black university in virginia was canceled amidback lash from students andalumni. it was set to honor trump and
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his son-in-law jared kushner with a cash giveaway. scott said the event helped community and none of it was an endorsement for trump. but critics worry that people are being duped into attend gd pro-trump events with the promise of cash prizes. >> the first thing that came to my mind is that our community needs genuine, authentic relationships. wi we don't need a one night stand in cleveland. >> reporter: organizers said they wanted to honor him at the end of the event. he denounced it as condescending and. >> when i began to do the math, it just didn't smell right. i thought it was disingenuous. >> reporter: scott says the criticism isn't stopping him. his group has more cash giveaways scheduled. a lot of people don't stand up under pressure, he says, but i'm not going to allow people to make me think my good is bad. >> come back in february when we give you $50,000. >> when i spoke to darrell scott by phone, he said his group has held all kinds of events. they gave away turkeys around
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thanksgiving. they gave away toys around christmas, but it wasn't until they started giving away cash that people took notice and get offended by the events. it's not deterring them from holding more in the future. thank you for that. more on today's breaking news, charges dropped against andrew mccabe, but the attorney general is ordering another look at the case against michael flynn. what is going on with bill barr's justice department. we've all committed skin sins! new neutrogena® bright boost... kick-starts dull, tired skin with neoglucosamine... a gentle, non-acid amino sugar exfoliant that works within the surface and boosts cell turnover by 10x. for brighter, wide-awake skin. bright boost. pair with illuminating serum for 3x the brightening power. neutrogena®
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hour two, i'm brooke baldwin, you're watching cnn. a tumultuous week at the justice department ends with even more fireworks. follow with me here, so first, after a nearly two-year investigation, andrew mccabe, the former fbi deputy director accused of misleading internal doj investigators, today he learned that he will not face criminal charges. mccabe, who was fired from the fbi in 2018 is now a cnn contributor reacted to the news this way. >> as glad as i am that the justice department and the d.c. u.s. attorney's office finally decided to do the right thing today, it is an absolute disgrace that they took two years and put my family through this experience for two years before they finally drew the