tv The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN February 14, 2020 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
and tonight, attorney general william barr is intervening in another politically sensitive criminal case, criticized by the president. u.s. officials say barr has privately ordered a review of the case against former national security advisor and trump loyalist michael flynn. but at the same time, the doj is dropping its criminal probe of a top trump target, the former fbi deputy director andrew mccabe. and it's all raising more questions about barr's motives and independence a day after he went on television to deny he is doing the president's bidding. i'll be getting the reaction from senator and former prosecute doug jones and our correspondents and other guests are also standing by. including three of cnn's top legal analysts. first, two shimone. and shimone, just walk us two these developments tonight. >> it's been a very busy week here in washington, d.c. certainly with the justice department. late today, we get news that the
investigation into andrew mccabe, has been dropped. the justice department, the washington u.s. attorney's office is no longer investigating. it's been about two years since andrew mccabe got into some trouble with the inspector general, who was doing an investigation on whether or not he lied during an investigation that they were doing about whether or not he was communicating with reporters. they had referred that case to the justice department for potential criminal charges. and then all of a sudden, this morning just before noon, we get word that they are no longer pursuing charges in that investigation. we don't know why, all of a sudden, certainly that came. the other thing we're learning today is on the michael flynn investigation, of course, we got word from sources at the justice department that they are now looking at the flynn investigation. they're looking at how the fbi conducted some of the interviews. specifically, of michael flynn. they're looking at some of the procedure and the process that
went into the michael flynn investigation. of course, he and his attorneys have been battling it out before a judge here in washington, over a plea that he took and his cooperation. that is still very much ongoing. so we'll see. there's been a lot of stuff going on this week, certainly, and the attorney general in the news a lot this week with a lot of what he's saying and a lot of what he's been doing. >> and it's kind of a split personality thing because on one hand, you have them dropping the investigation of andrew mccabe, which we already know is upsetting the president. and then he says the president's tweets aren't helping. but on the other hand, you have the intervention in the stone case and this flynn business. how do you square that? >> yeah. you would have to assume that the department of justice knew this -- the investigation of andrew mccabe, the announcement that they were no longer going to pursue charges, it was coming. so they had that, perhaps, maybe in the back of their pocket. it's very unclear if it was all time to come around ending this week on a friday after given all
the other news. so it is interesting. we're seeing two different sides. we're seeing -- we're seeing one side where we know, based on the president's tweets, he wanted to see andrew mccabe in handcuffs. he wanted him brought before a court and to have to face charges. but ultimately, the department of justice defying in some ways what the president wanting choosing not to bring any charg charges against him. you have what could be helpful to the president here and certainly for michael flynn is them looking at parts of this investigation, the michael flynn investigation. and then, of course, you have the roger stone situation. and there's a lot still that we don't know about and a lot other things that are going to happen probably in the coming weeks. >> makes you wonder if, in a way, there is an aid to helping his friends but not hurting his enemies a little bit. >> that's right. >> but i also wonder, there's some new roger stone news. tell us about this. >> we just got word there is a notice the judge is notifying on the record, on the public
record, on the docket, that stone is asking for a new trial. we don't know why he's asking for a new trial. that's not revealed in this. but there is notice that he is, again, filing a motion with the court asking for a new trial. the justice department has not yet responded to that request. but that comes after word of a juror, there's been -- who spoke out publicly in a facebook posting in support of the four prosecutors who presented the case in court when she sat as a juror. after the -- after the four of them resigned from the case, she wrote on her facebook post -- she came out in support of them. and she has now been sort of caught up in the middle of this, with allegations from -- the president tweeted about her. and certainly, from roger stone's side that she was somehow biased and unfair and against the president. and, therefore, perhaps they could be using that as a case for wanting a new trial.
>> the verdict was in, though, to be clear when she posted that, right? >> oh, yeah. this was recently. she posted it this week. right after the four prosecutors resigned. >> okay. thank you. really appreciate it. and now, to the white house and the president's reaction to the news out of the justice department. this is our chief white house correspondent jim acosta joining us now. and, jim, the president has publicly defended michael flynn and railed against this conviction. >> that's right and president trump did not talk to reporters we should point out about this decision at the justice department to review the case against michael flynn. that move obviously is not going to sit well with many federal career prosecutors, who are already becoming alarmed the president was meddling in the justice department's probes of trump associates. but i am told the president is angry federal prosecutors won't pursue charges against former deputy fbi director andrew mccabe. the president made those feelings clear to staffers earlier today we're told sounding like he's not ready to let it go. >> the president is finding his
convicted associates have friends in key places. as attorney general william barr's privately called on prosecutors to review the case against former national security advisor michael flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the fbi during the russia investigation. mr. trump has repeatedly complained about the justice department's handling of flynn, just as he's voiced frustrations about the trial of another former trump associate, roger stone, who now faces a lighter sentence after barr intervened in that case. >> he's a good person and what they did to him is very unfair, in my opinion. and what they did to general flynn is very unfair, in my opinion. >> still, the president isn't getting everything he wants out of the justice department. a white house official said mr. trump was angry when he learned federal prosecutors won't pursue charges against former deputy fbi director andrew mccabe, who faced accusations of misleading investigators about his conversations with the -- >> i'm actually not disappointed that the president is angry today about this outcome. i don't think i'll ever be free
of this president and his maniacal rage that he's directed towards me and my wife since october of 2016. for absolutely no reason whatsoever. >> reporter: but the president is brushing off the attorney general's claim in an interview with abc that he hasn't been asked, quote, to do anything in a criminal case. does not mean i don't, as president, have the legal right to do so. i do. cnn has learned the president was generally aware of what barr was planning to say in the interview. >> to have public statements and tweets made about the department, about our people in the department, our -- our men and women here, about cases pending in the department, and about judges before whom we have cases, make it impossible for me to do my job. >> reporter: a sentiment echoed by some top republicans. >> the president made a great choice when he picked bill barr to be attorney general.
i think the president should listen to his advice. >> but democrats aren't buying. suspecting barr is simply looking for more cover to carry out the president's wishes. >> what the attorney general's really saying is i know what president trump wants. i'm going to do exactly what trump wants. i just wish he wouldn't tweet about it because it is so embarrassing. >> it's worth recalling what the president's former personal attorney, michael cohen once told congress. that mr. trump rarely gives direct orders. >> he doesn't give you questions. he doesn't give you orders. he speaks in a code. and i understand the code because i've been around him for a decade. >> reporter: as for his current personal attorney, rudy giuliani, the president is now admitting he sent him to ukraine to dig up dirt on joe biden. >> was it strange to send rudy giuliani to ukraine, your personal lawyer? are you sorry you did that? >> not at all. rudy was a great crime fighter. you know that maybe better than anybody. >> something he denied last year. >> no, i didn't direct him. but he -- he -- he is a warrior.
rudy's a warrior. rudy went. he possibly saw something. >> now, all in all, trump advisors see the president on something of a win streak as he continues this apparent revenge tour as one trump advisor put it to me earlier today, if mr. trump drank champagne, he'd be enjoying some this weekend. brianna. >> jim acosta, thank you so much. and joining me now, senator doug jones. democrat of alabama. he is a former federal prosecutor, as well. sir, thanks for joining us. >> my pleasure, brianna. thank you for having me. >> as you know, roger stone is looking for a new trial and the attorney general is having outside prosecutors review michael flynn's case. did you ever see anything like this during your time as a u.s. attorney? >> no, not at all. i don't recall ever seeing this in any administration. i think you almost have to go back to john mitchell, who was nixon's attorney general, who went to prison for some of the things he did for richard nixon.
this is unprecedented. this is not what i think is in keeping with the pillars of the department of justice. the professionals that are there. that are supposed to stay out of politics. that are supposed to do -- follow the rule of law. it appears that that is just going out the window at this point. >> do you think the attorney general is trying to undo the work of the mueller team? >> i don't know if he's trying to undo the work of the mueller team. what i think he's trying to do is, apparently, try to do the bidding of the president. you know, look, the president does not have to talk to anybody to relay his wishes. he's got a telephone and he does it via twitter. he does it on -- in media interviews. everyone knows what he wants. everyone knows he wants revenge on the people that have testified against him, who have moved against him in any form or fashion. he would like to help his friends. i think you see that. michael flynn and his lawyers are getting them -- the message. and that's why they filed the motion they did. i think it was kind of a -- a -- a -- i don't think it was a coincidence, actually, that all of a sudden the president tweets about the roger stone juror
foreman and then the next day roger stone files a motion for a new trial, probably alleging the same thing. there's got to be some communication going on there. i just think that this is part, as y'all said, a revenge tour. and i think it's a very dangerous precedent for the department of justice. >> this comes after the attorney general pushed back on the president's interference in an interview yesterday. how do you square his words with his actions? and do you agree with senator blumenthal's assessment that this is essentially the ag saying, no, i already got you. i don't need you to tweet about it. >> yeah. no. i said that yesterday in a couple of interviews. this is -- i -- i think everybody has got his -- the president's back. that's all the president wants. he wants people in congress. he wants people in the department of justice. he wants everybody to do nothing for the american people. he just wants people with him that's got his back. and that's all he wants. and so i think the tweets do get in the way. they do create a firestorm that are unnecessary, that puts the
attorney general in a tough spot. but i think the attorney general knows exactly what the president wants and why he's doing it. i think it's really unprecedented that he is having this looked at, the flynn case, by a second set of prosecutors. remember, brianna, michael flynn -- michael flynn stood before united states district judge. he said, under oath, that he was guilty. he said, under oath, that he had not been pressured. that he was pleading guilty solely because he was guilty and for no other reason. and now, all of a sudden, that's going to be reviewed? i think it's a uphill battle to try to get that overturned that his lawyers have. but i think he's -- the message is coming from the president. and this is really directed to try to help the president because one of these days, i think that we're going to see a bunch of pardons coming out of the white house, sooner rather than later. >> sources had told cnn to expect some more resignations from the justice department. but it's really interesting because you urge prosecutors to, quote, stay strong and stand up to any political interference they see.
explain what you want to see them do. explain that sentiment. >> well, look. i -- i can understand the -- the frustration. and i think when you are in a position that these prosecutors were the other day, when you have a direct rebuke like that, that the way the department handled that. you get off of that case. and somebody may have, you know, one of the prosecutors resigned. and i understand that sentiment. but at the same time, these are career folks. they've been there a long time. they've come across administrations and different parties. they're career people. they're dedicated to the rule of law and they believe that no one is above the rule of law. no one is above the law, not even the president. and we need people like that in the department of justice. there's thousands of them like that. and every now and then, they're going to bump up against these political shenanigans. every now and then, they're going to bump up and get pushback from political winds. they need to stay strong. the american public depend on them. more so than they depend on the president. more so than they depend on the
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barr is pouring fresh fuel about concerns about his independence from the president after he insisted to the world he wouldn't be bullied by mr. trump. we are digging deeper into barr's decision to order review of the michael flynn case. and another breaking story, roger stone asking, once again, for a new trial. and we are joined now by our legal analysts to dissect all of this. former top lawyer at the fbi, jim baker. former u.s. attorney pete barara. and former federal prosecutor, jeffrey toobin. jim, i want to start with you. you were the top lawyer at the fbi during the russia investigation. you have been watching these developments with roger stone. multiple developments. michael flynn. do you worry that this is just undoing all of that work of the mueller investigation? >> this is a terrible week, i think, for the department of
justice on many, many levels. i mean, i'm very happy for andy mccabe, personally. he's -- the way he was treated over the past several years has been outrageous. the way the department treated him. the way the fbi treated him. the way the president treated him. it's just been outrageous. and the way that they are treating the department of justice is outrageous. the way they're handling these cases is outrageous. it's terrible for the men and women of the department of justice who try their best every single day to do justice. that's what the place is all about. that's how people think. and when you work there, you put aside your personal interests, your views. i don't care what people say on twitter or anywhere else. i mean, it's just not true. people that go there, put aside their personal views and try to do the work of the american people in an independent, impartial way. that's what everybody is about. that's what the culture is like. and so this has just been terrible. and it's very disruptive. and so i think, you know, the attorney general's comments yesterday in that interview were an effort to try to get ahold,
to try to deal with i think what sounds like a rebellion from within and demoralized workforce. so to me, as somebody who worked a long time there, i'm distressed for the department. >> jeffrey, i wonder as you watch. let's just hone in on one part of this. the roger stone developments. he wants a new trial. we don't know the grounds that he is asking for a new trial on. but you can kind of guess, right? considering this juror who's come out and sided with the prosecutors. is there any chance that he would actually get a new trial? >> well, i -- you know, to be fair, we obviously have to read the court papers first. but based on what the juror has said, i think there is no chance for a new trial. he's already been denied a new trial once. and it's very typical for defendants, after they're convicted, to ask for a new trial. here, the statement by the juror, it's almost impossible to get a new trial based on a juror's after-the-fact statement unless it's incredibly
outrageous. like, they went and inspected the -- the crime scene themselves. or they betrayed some horrible, bigoted bias. here, this was just sort of words of support for the prosecutors who quit. i -- i don't see any basis for a new trial here. >> pete, on michael flynn. i just wonder if you could put into context, how rare is it for the doj to bring in outside investigators to look at a case like this? >> it's very rare. in fact, lots of things have been going on in the last week where i have gone back, racked my own memory, consulted with my former deputies to say, has this happened before? do you remember this happening during the eight years that i was u.s. attorney almost? and the answer most of the time this week has been no. and with respect to this, there are times when there are questions raised about a prosecution because people are human beings and you have two agencies within the justice department, two subdivisions. you have the office of professional responsibility and you have the office of the inspector general.
and generally speaking, when there is some question about the behavior of prosecutors or law enforcement officials, you go there thaw rout through that route. and you don't call people in other parts of the country in other u.s. attorney's offices to take a look. especially, when you have a guilty plea like you have in the michael flynn case. and especially after some of those allegations have been made by the defense and shot down by the judge. so maybe it has some precedent. none that i am aware of. and i was not at the department for a short period of time. >> can i just make one point about the michael flynn case? pete just referred to it in passing. michael flynn pleaded guilty. >> that's right. >> he was represented by fine lawyers at the law firm of covington and burling. he had what is called an where the judge asks him a whole series of questions. are you pleading guilty because you are guilty? do you understand the penalties against you? this is not some 16-year-old kid, railroaded by a judicial system that he has no support in.
this is a guilty plea by an extremely knowledgeable, educated person, advised by the best lawyers in the country. and -- and this is what the department of justice is investigating? the only reason they are investigating it is because donald trump didn't like the result. that's what's going on here. and that's what's so disturbing about this. >> all right. we have much more to discuss. all of you stand by. ahead, we will talk about andrew mccabe. a good day for him after a long two years. his investigation, now dropped. we'll discuss that as soon as we're back. so you only pay for what you need. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
legal analysts. and the other big story out of the justice department today, the criminal investigation of former deputy fbi director andrew mccabe has been dropped. i spoke with mccabe, who is a cnn contributor, a short while ago. and i asked him about president trump's apparent anger that he is not facing charges. he told me he'll never be free of the president's wrath. let's listen. >> i'm not surprised. and i'm actually not disappointed that the president is angry today about this outcome. so i guess, to answer your question, no, i don't think i'll ever be free of this president and his maniacal rage that he's directed towards me and my wife since october of 2016, for absolutely no reason whatsoever.
the president has been lying about us and defaming me and my family, consist law enforcement consistently, for years now. do i think that will stop because of the doj's decision today? no, i have no illusion that will ever stop. he's made it pretty clear in the way that he's conducted himself over the last week, that he's, you know, high and mighty on the tour of retaliation against everyone who had anything to do with his impeachment inquiry. so he's -- he's a vindictive guy. and i fully expect that he'll continue to hound me and my family. it's just another absurdity from someone who really has no understanding of the fundamental tenants of our system of justice. and how we go to incredible lengths. you know, the constitution creates -- gives us the rights that we enjoy, as americans, and it is our criminal justice system that delivers and protects and ensures those
rights for all americans. and the president has a responsibility to step back and allow that process to take place in a fair and unbiased manner. but he has proven, time and time again, that he doesn't understand or respect that system. as he's weighed in, repeatedly on criminal cases about his friends. both lobbying for leniency for his friends like paul manafort and roger stone. and also, advocating for vengeance to vengeance to be meted out against myself and jim comey and many others. >> jim, he is your former colleague. he's andy to you, not andrew. you are very familiar with him and he's clearly angry, i think, justifiably. and this clearly just weighs so heavily on him, what he's been through the last couple years. take us into that a bit. >> yeah. it's been terrible. it's been terrible for all of us to live through this. it it's traumatic. it was traumatic at the time to go through the hillary clinton investigation, jim comey being
fired, everything that happened to andy. the trauma continues. you can't escape it because it's constantly being talked about and frankly we're on tv talking about it still. you're live inning that. so it's extremely difficult. i always thought about the human development or -- excuse me -- the human element of this when i was a prosecutor, too. and you -- prosecutors wield enormous power. the government has enormous power over individuals. and people have to exercise that wisely, impartially, appropriately, because it does take a huge toll on everybody. so as i was saying earlier, the way andy's been treated by the government has been outrageous and it's high time they concluded this matter. >> but -- but at least the u.s. attorney's office came out with the right decision. i mean, i'm familiar with the facts of the case. and the idea that it took two years to decide that this was not a prosecutorial case is ridiculous. this case, if this had been anyone else, would have been kicked out of the u.s. attorney's office in, probably, a week. this was never an appropriate
criminal case. but, again, because donald trump has been, you know, harassing mccabe and his wife, who ran for the state senate in -- she's an emergency room doctor in -- in virginia. she -- because he was obsessed with the fact that she ran as a democrat for the state senate there, you know, he's been hounding both of them for a year. and that's the only reason this has taken so long because it never should have even gotten this far. >> it's hard to think, preet, that this is completely over because he's become this caricature that donald trump has created. and who has so much ire from the president. >> yeah. look. i want to echo what the other folks have said. an andy mccabe. i know him as andy also. he was a colleague of mine. we were both young law enforcement folks going back 15 or 16 years in new york. as a line fbi agent, he was. and i was a line prosecutor doing cases related to russian organized crime.
the judge in the case has indicated in documents that were made available, i think, today for the first time was also concerned about how long this was taking. and also, more importantly, concerned about the hounding of the president. and i think even used the phrase banana republic to refer to the kind of country we would be in if you had people at the highest level of government, who don't know about the facts and have a personal vendetta or animus toward somebody saying publicly, like the president did, over and over again, he wanted something to be done about andy mccabe. or wanted something to be done about jim comey or any number of people. which is why the incidents of the last week are so incredibly troubling. the president of the united states needs to stay out of naming individuals he doesn't like or are his campaign rivals. and asking for prosecutions of them. and he also needs to stay away from figuring out ways to protect people who are his allies. there are lots and lots of people who get swept up in the criminal justice system in this country federally and on the state level. and the president only seems to involve himself when it relates to an enemy or to an ally.
and that needs to stop if we're not going to become like the judge in andy mccabe's case said, a banana republic. >> i want to get all of your perspectives. maybe quickly here. but i just want to read something that sally yates, former deputy attorney general said from virtually the moment he took office, president trump has attempted to use the justice department as a cudgel against his enemies and a shield for himself and his allies. with every blow, the wall of justice of independence has wobbled a bit more. this week, it tetered on the verge of collapse. you first, jim, do you agree with sally yates? >> this was a bad week for the department of justice. i think it fits the pattern, though, of the president attacking the department of justice and the fbi saying we're corrupt for all these years. in order to make it easier for people to believe then that he could use the department in the same way because, hey, they're all corrupt anyway. i'm not doing anything different so it's okay if i exert this authority on the department of justice, as well, because, hey,
the whole thing is corrupt. the system's corrupt. it's all a swamp. >> real quickly, jeff. >> it's not a swamp. i mean, you know, i was at a much lower level in the justice department than these two guys. and, you know, i was so proud to be associated with the lion prosecutors who were there through one administration after the other, just trying to do the right thing. and, you know, to see the -- the -- the president using the judicial system in a way that richard nixon didn't even do. that richard nixon wouldn't have stooped to. is something that is really chilling and we are not at the end of it. we are in the middle of this effort, and i don't know which way it's going to go. >> preet, just lastly, we actually have some breaking news that i want to share. "the washington post" just now, the reporting that the impeachment trial as it was ending, the impeachment trial, federal prosecutors in new york were reaching out to witnesses. and they were collecting additional documents relating to rudy giuliani. so i mean, here we are, again,
right, giuliani is not out of the woods yet. what's your reaction to that news? >> my reaction is if it's true, rudy giuliani should not be playing any role in bringing information from ukraine or anywhere else into the justice department under some special arrangement that bill barr seems to have acknowledged and that lindsey graham seems to have acknowledged. and going back to the prior point, donald trump likes to say we should build a wall. he wants to build a wall. the wall he should build is one between law enforcement and politics. that's the wall that has been eroded. and the other thing about that is that's a wall you can build that doesn't cost a penny. it just takes some integrity. >> preet, jeffrey, jim, thank you so much. i really appreciate the conversation. and just ahead, we are going to check in on the democratic presidential race as joe booend is making predictions and trying to calm concerns about his chances. and the startling new warning that the number of cases of coronavirus could be much, much higher than currently reported. m that has a truly long-term view? it begins by being privately owned.
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told donors that he believes he will place either first or second here in nevada as he is looking to regain his place in the race following those disappointing finishes in both iowa and new hampshire. the biden campaign really sees nevada as a launching pad for the former vice president. in part, because of the diverse demographics here in the state. and also, the strong presence from unions. they believe that that group is also beneficial for the former vice president. today, he picked up a key endorsement from one of the congressmen from the state. the only african-american member of congress from nevada. and as the democratic candidates prepare to descend on the state, one candidate who will not be here is michael bloomberg. but right now, his record is really coming into sharp focus. and he is apologizing for his defense, his past defense, of the stop-and-frisk policing policy. take a listen to what he had to say. >> there is one aspect, approach, that i deeply regret. the abusive police practice
called stop-and-frisk. i defended it, looking back, for too long because i didn't understand then the unintended pain it was causing to young black and brown families and their kids. i should have acted sooner and faster to stop it. i didn't and for that i apologized. >> now, next week, the democrats will be gathering here in nevada for the next democratic debate. and one question is will michael bloomberg meet the qualifications to be on that debate stage? and if he does, his rivals could be ready to pounce. brianna. >> arlet, thank you so much. and just ahead, experts issue a new warning about the spread of the coronavirus. buying a car 100% online. now we've created a brand new way for you to sell your car. whether it's a year old or a few years old, we want to buy your car. so go to carvana and enter your license plate, answer a few questions, and our techno-wizardry calculates your car's value and gives you a real offer in seconds. when you're ready, we'll come to you,
. tonight new concerns about the spread of the deadly coronavirus. over 64,000 cases are confirmed around the world, and cnn's lindsey kavanaugh is following all of this. tell us what you're learning lucy. >> well, u.s. officials are frustrated with the lack of reliable data coming out of china, but some americans under quarantine are demanding more transparency from their own government. as the coronavirus crisis grows so are fears and frustrations among americans in quarantine. at the miramar air station near sand dwra go san diego, evacuees from wuhan were increasingly worried, now
in isolation at a nearby hospital but not before spending time among the healthy evacuees. jacob wilson is among those in quarantine worried about the risk of infection. >> we're all coming from the epicenter of this virus, and we were also exposed in wuhan so we wanted to get tested because in cases of people in our facility walking around with us, going to meals with us, just had mild symptoms or had a reason to hide their symptoms, they could be transmitting the virus to us within the quarantine kwa silty. >> he and other evacuees sent this information, including preventing people from gathering in small, enclosed environments, and having protective gear delivered to their rooms. he showed this video showing clean up crews in hazmat suits. the top request for all evacuees to be tested for the virus, for
now denied. the cdc saying for now it's not necessary. >> our biggest concern, the ability to be voluntarily tested for the coronavirus has still fell on deaf ears. >> a cdc spokesman told cnn several changes have been made to the procedures to address these concerns. we're doing what we can to make everyone as comfortable as possible. for jacob, that's not enough. >> i felt very troubled by the cdc's response and i felt some of the lack of precautions that they had taken from the very beginning of our arrival had put us at risk. >> that doesn't make you feel very safe. >> no. and i think that a lot of the people here don't feel safe as well. >> meanwhile, wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak reporting a record spike in the number of deaths. the global toll now topping 1,300. chinese authorities resorting to wartime measures, barring citizens from leaving their homes. beijing revealing for the first time more than 1,700 front line
medics are infected with the virus. short on medical supplies, these doctors are creating protective gear out of garbage bags. american officials are frustrated with the lack of reliable data. there are only 15 confirmed cases in the u.s. so far, but that number could grow. >> right now the risk to americans is very low, but that can change quickly. this is a virus and viruses don't respect borders. >> and new today, five american cities will start testing patients with flu-like symptoms for the coronavirus. the cdc says this is all part of an effort to determine whether that virus is spreading across communities here in the u.s. brianna. >> lucy, thank you so much. we have more news ahead. have you ever wondered what the motorcade driver drives when they're not in a motorcade?
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with the nevada caucuses just eight days from now in the 2020 presidential election cycle in full swing, cnn is taking you behind the scenes of some of the presidential elections of year's past. the premier episode tracks the history making 2008 race between freshman senator barack obama and john mccain. tom foreman looks at the most pivotal moments during the 2008 race. >> for democrats, the 2008 contest started with our fifth most memorable moment, hillary clinton jumping in with the best odds ever for a female contender. >> she's former first lady. she is a well-respected senator. she is married to bill clinton.
>> and i'm in it to win it. >> for republicans, another seasoned pro was emerging. john mccain, a war hero with years in the senate. >> i know who i am and what i want to do. >> what neither of them could have foreseen is our fourth most memorable moment, the explosive rise of a far less experienced contender. >> people call me alabamaer, but the name is obama. >> he's a candidate running for president. >> barack obama shocked the old guard. >> you were a corporate lawyer sitting on the board at walmart. >> by the time clinton realized her race was in trouble, the nomination was effectively his, and mccain was waiting along with the third most memorable moment. >> no, no, no! not god bless america! >> obama was soon being hammered over his ties to a controversial
family pastor and an old acquaintance. >> barack obama and domestic terrorist bill airs, friends. >> still he weathered those storms and began surging again, triggering the second most memorable moment. desperate to improve in the polls, mccain made a wildly unorthodox choice for a running mate. >> governor sarah pallen from the great state of alaska. >> the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull, lipstick. >> and scorn from liberals. but mostly she and mccain failed to deliver the votes the party needed. and in the end, the number one most memorable moment is one that country will never forget. >> barack obama, 47 years old, will become the president-elect of the united states. >> tom foreman, cnn washington. >> be sure to watch the cnn
original series "race for the white house." this all new season premiers this sunday 9:00 p.m. eastern time right here on cnn. i'm brianna keilar. thank you so much for watching. erin burnett "out front" starts right now. out front next, banana republic, a federal judge slamming the president for getting involved in the case against the former fbi deputy director andrew mccabe, this as the attorney general bill barr tells the justice department to take another look at the michael flynn case. plus just eight days until the nevada caucuses, could we see a repeat of the iowa debacle. a man overseeing multiple precincts there tells me he has not yet been trained. bernie sanders moving on to super tuesday states topping new polls. is it the sanders democratic party now? let's go out front. good evening, i'm erin burnett. out front tonight,
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