tv CNN Newsroom With Ana Cabrera CNN February 15, 2020 1:00pm-2:01pm PST
you're live in the cnn newsroom. we begin with an basic collusionicollusio exclusi exclusive. nancy pelosi speaking with cnn and defending that viral moment when she tore up the state of the union speech. take a listen. >> i had no intention of doing that when we went to the state of the union. it was well into past the first third of it. i'm a speed reader. i knew what was there. i got past like a third of it and i thought this is terrible. a couple of pages thinking what's on this page. then i realized almost every page had something in it that
was objectionablobjectionable. >> the president seems liberated. this is about democratic politics so i'm not asking you the criticize. he was acquit preponderance of the evidence. >> he was not acquitted. you can't have an acquittal without a trial. you can't have a trial without witnesses and documents opinion he's imimpeapeached for ever, bd with that. even the senators were saying it wasn't right. they didn't have the courage to act upon that. >> except for? >> except for rmitt romney and the president criticized him for doing something he knew was wrong. i don't know if the president is a person of faith. it's not for me to make that judgment. >> he criticized you saying you didn't pray for him. >> a person of faith would recognize another person of faith and if he prayed, he would recognize that other people do. >> jeremy, pe lo slosi continue
criticize the president. >> it's an acquittal under the process. president was acquitted of those impeachment charges. in the wake of that we have seen the president emboelldened. the president is even exacting revenge on several of those administration officials who testified in that impeachment inquiry. most notably alex vindman as well as to gordon sondland. >> jeremy, ukrainian president, vladimir zelensky is speaking
out. he talked about the u.s.-cr u.s.-ukrainian relationship and the impact of president trump's moechlt tri impeachment trial. >> he's pushing back on the notion that ukraine remains a corrupt country. zelensky took issue continuing to claim that ukraine is a corrupt country. he want a fresh start including a visit to the united states or for the president to visit him in ukraine. listen in. >> i want to come and start it from scratch. our relations to agree on some contracts to sign some arran arrangements to agree on strategic thing, let's prepare and arrange the meeting. the ball is in the courtyard of the united states of america,
but we are always happy to see every one in ukraine. president trump come to kiev and welcome him to kiev earlier than he is available. >> reporter: you see there he's eager to welcome president trump to kiev, to the ukrainian capit capital. he said he would tliek halike t call with president trump. i'm sure he's hoping that call will go better than the call back in july. >> it's very interesting to hpe. thank you. president trump doesn't have to think much about impeachment anymore. there's now criticism that he's getting his attorney general to do his political bidding. that's because there's now a
second known incident of attorney general bill barr inserting himself in case involving one of the president's close associates. this time michael flynn. cnn confirmed that barr is ordering a re-examination of multiple high profile cases. this revelation comes just days after cnn learned that barr had been pushing for flynn to be spared prison time and after senior justice department officials undercut federal prosecutors and their sentencing recommendation for another trump associate roger stone. that move caused four federal prosecutors to quit that case. even more are considering walking out over concerns about the justice department's independence. with us now is former federal prosecutor and joe lockhart. as a former member of the justice department, i want your
perspective. how much damage has been done the the doj as an institution in terms of credibility and morale? >> i've talked to several people who are working in the justice department in high level positions. i'm not going to mention their names because i'm fearful for their careers but the thing that is being heard the most the the espree decor of the justice department. i worked there almost 30 years. i trained a thousands baby prosecutors. i told them the one thing you need as a prosecutor is a spree decor. a mission that you believe in. with bill barr at the helm and his minions and donald trump, it's being decimated and it breaks my heart. >> joe, so much was said though about barr's interview in which he notably criticized the president's tweets and he insisted he was not acting under any pressure from the president.
let's listen. >> you're saying you have a problem with the tweets? >> yes -- well, i have a problem with some of the tweets. nooi nooi i'm not going to be bullied or influenced by anybody. i'm going to do what i think is right and you know, the -- i cannot do my job here at the department with a constant background commentary that undercu undercuts. >> this was after the roger stone sentencing controversy but before the revelation that barr was re-opening the michael flynn case. do you see those comments, joe, as a rebuke of the president.
>> the doj but these doj lawyers, these prosecutors are not dumb. i think they saw right through this. my guess is that probably backfired a little bit. i've now listened to that quote like four or five times and the idea of bill barr saying he won't be bullied by the president is comical. he's done everything the president wanted starting with mueller. starting to giving the constitutional justification for stone walling congress. we have flynn. stone. i couldn't remember the name. >> there's a lot of them. >> multiple cases where the president has used barr to get what he wants politically. he's not being bullied. you can't bully him. >> it doesn't seem like he was coming out and laying down the
law especially when you consider person telling cnn the president was given a heads up before the interview that barr might say something along those lines. remember, this came amid reporting that other people inside the doj were thinking of jumping ship. dwro do you think barr did enough in those comments that all is well and the boss has their back? >> if bill barr said this about two weeks after he took the oath of office to be attorney general, i would give him credibility. after he sanitized the mueller report, after he said that trump's campaign was being spied upon, his credibility is almost zero on a scale of 1 to 10. he's not calmed the waters, the turbulent waters that exist among career, senior people in the department. i got to say this, in his interview he gave the impression that was wrong on two count, at
least. one, that he did not know that the prosecutors were going to recommends 7 to 9 years. that is false. number two -- >> how do you know that was fal false? >> that's a good question. roger stone is a high profile case. when i worked at doj, any high profile case they do weekly memos, if not daily to the powers that be, including the attorney general. that attorney general knew that they were going to recommend a guideline sentence. that's falsehood number one. falsehood number two is this, he said the tweet had no influence on him. baloney. what he did in his interview, it's, i love basketball. it was a head fake. it absolutely is not calming the turbulent waters of the career prosecutors. that is a fact. >> joe, at this point, what
could barr do to prove he's operating independent ly? >> the only thing he could do is resign as a way of showing he's been used here and he acted honorably. i don't expect that. so many actions have been taken where he's had opportunity to enforce the rule of law and he's taken a pass on every one. it's worst than taking a pass. he's providing the president a legal foundation to commit corrupt acts. obstructing congress, sanitizing mueller, intervening, going after intel officials like john brennan for 2016 and the russia case. continuing having andrew mccabe twist out in the wind for two years on something that could have wrapped up in a month. he's acting as a political hack and a private lawyer for the president and the people losing
are the united states of america who is supposed to have a lawyer looking after all of our interests. >> thank you. great discussion, guys. up next, we have operation chaos. president trump and his republican allies orchestrating a plot to sabotage the democratic primary process by pushing republican voters to choose bernie sanders. the strategy behind that, next live in the cnn newsroom.
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democrats. >> that's the president speaking in new hampshire. this effort appears bigger in south carolina where they do have an open primary. cnn lauren fox reports. >> reporter: conservatives in south carolina pushing for republican voter to disrupt the upcoming democratic primary. >> you know i guess you could call it meddling. >> reporter: one grass root organizers calling it quote, operation chaos. a nod to rush limbaugh's 2008 effort to encourage republicans to vote in democratic primaries and keep hillary clinton in the race longer to hurt barack obama. >> i would love to see the democrats, whoever, wins the south carolina democrat primary for everybody else to accuse him of having stolen the election because he was actually elected with republican support and therefore prolong the chaos and the disruption. >> reporter: it's also the latest obstacle for joe biden who needs a victory in south
carolina to bolster his campaign. >> our votes count too. >> biden was expected to win south carolina. we wanted to disrupt what was expected. >> reporter: south carolina has an open primary allowing eligible voters to cast ballots in either party's primary. conservatives have complained for years it's resulted in democrats boosting moderate republicans in the state. with south carolina's republican presidential primary conservative leader karen martin says she saw an opportunity to give democrats a dose of their own medicine. >> we thought, what would happen if we made a grass roots statewide effort to cross over and vote for one candidate in the democratic primary. >> reporter: martin is pushing for vote torres bars to back on candidate, bernie sanders. >> just for the sake of optics it would be great to contrast
the ideology of a devout socialist against a capitalist. >> reporter: the campaigns have caught the attention of biden's team. he says republicans in the state fear joe biden in a one-on-one match up with trump. >> they are trying to interfere with this election to choose the weakest candidate because they know without cheating, donald trump will not be re-elected. >> reporter: it's not clear how much republican voters are going to participate and come out for the democratic party or if they will have an impact in this process. the south carolina republican party is arguing they are not endorsing this effort writing quote, we do not like democrats meddling in our primaries and we do not encourage the same thing for republican voters. the south carolina democrats they're arguing the turn out will be so high, their base is to energized that republicans
can't meddle in their primary. >> joe lockhart is back with me. >> what impact could this have? >> there's a lot of talk about this. it rarely comes together and has an impact. if the republicans are organized in south carolina and they do turn out an extra 2 or 3% for sanders, that makes a difference. it suggests that that's what donald trump wants. he wants to run against bernie sa sanders i'm a little skeptical it will have a big impact. >> some democratic lawmakers have expressed concern about sanders being the nominee that could impact down ballot races. i think back to 2016, wasn't
that the argument against president trump. he went onto win the white house. republicans gained states and they held the house as well. >> yeah. i'm going to talk about this more on my show at 6:00 because there are a lot of parallels between 2020 and 2016 especially where bernie and trump are concerned. additionally just how many candidates there are and that sets certain conditions that bernie sanders could exploit in the way that trump exploited them. that said, trump was a unique candidate. he's running against hillary clinton, another unique candidate. i would caution against going too far with that analogy but democrats are right to be concerned about bernie in the way he could affect the party long term. he could surprise a lot of moderate democrats. >> biden has been trying to make
the case for electblts and now he's trying to get back on track. he took place in new hampshire. he wasn't in the top three in iowa either. when cnn christiane amanpour sat down with nancy pelosi she said don't count biden out yet. let's listen. >> with all the respect in the world for iowa and new hampshire, i'm not counting joe biden out. there's still races ahead that are much more representative of the country. >> it's worth noting there, owe, in the question before that answer. she wasn't asked directly about joe biden. are you surprised she weighed in here? >> not necessarily. the reality is, this thing is wide open. i think we're the parallel to 2016 on trump falls down a little bit is you're looking at the different set of rules. a republican nominating in 2016
was winner take all. all trump had to do was beat the person behind him and he would win in a very fractured field that meant he ran away with the nomination. it's not proportional which means, which is the reason bernie sanders after two contests is virtually tied with pete buttigieg. they both have the same number of delegates. it is wide open. because of the way this is set up, you don't know. they all have realistic chances of winning the nomination. >> amy klobuchar
baggage. she will be at the top or the nominee for vice president. they make the case she has debate chops. they talk about her momentum. what do you think? >> wow, that sentence packs a punch. hillary clinton without the snark and baggage. i didn't find her snarky. i found her entitled which is a very different thing. i don't know anyone that had the baggage that she had. she had a lot of it. amy klobuchar is ascending. she's got a lot of things that moderates and centurists should like and pay attention to. she's also got some baggage. this came up a little earlier in the primary. talking about the way she treated her staff. if she really gets momentum, expect a lot more of those
stories to come out and having been on the hill a long time, there's a lot of stories that haven't come out. she's still going to go through some vetting but at the same time, i wouldn't look twice at her. i think she's got real potential. i wouldn't look sideways at her. i think she's got real potential to get very far in this primary. i think when you have a bernie and a warren pulling so far to the left, you're really looking for that moderate. i think a lot of people are looking for that moderate who could really make a play. >> speaking of warren, she's getting some flak for this comment. >> young woman came up by herself and she said, i'm a broke college student with a lot of student loan debt. she said, i checked and i have $6 in the bank. i just gave $3 to keep you in this fight. that's what we've got to do. we got to stay in this fight with people who are counting on
this. >> joe, warren was trying to make a point about her grass roots support but taking someone's last few dollars. that's the part she's taking heat for. >> yeah, a lot of these stories are composites. my guess is that maybe she had more than $6 but who knows. the thing on warren and it goes back to my last answer, is this thing wide open for whatever reason i think she offended her base in some way by trying to move a little bit more to the middle and show she was more electable. she's still turning out big crowds. she's talking about ideas that democrats respond to. in a wide open race we're not going to know until just before we get to milwaukee who the
nominee is. i don't count her out. >> that's a terrible story. she should stop telling it. it makes me sad. >> okay. s.e. cupp, thank you. be sure to catch her on s.e. cupp unfiltered. a pro-trump nonprofit might be in some legal trouble for passing out cash prizes to black voters who support the president. is a pro-trump super pac trying to buy votes. you're live in the cnn newsroom. robinhood believes now is the time to do money.
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welcome back. a pro-trump non-profit is coming under fire accused of using envelopes of cash to try to boost the president's smortsupp among black voters. >> reporter: was it savvy political out reach on community pandering. >> i'm going to dinner with this money. >> reporter: a non-profit founded by president trump's allies is under fire after dolling out cash prizes t a cleveland event last christmas. >> four more years of trump. >> reporter: while organizers pumped up president trump. >> i'm a donald trump supporter. >> i don't see any other party giving us a thing. >> bless people with cash money around christmastime. >> we're doing it any way. >> reporter: at the center of the controversy is a new charity led by ohio pastor daryl scott.
>> cleveland, we're here to bless you tonight. >> reporter: tax experts contacted by cnn raised regular flags saying the cash events they violate tax laws and could jeopardize the group's tax exempt status. in an interview scott says he's been careful to follow the law. racial justice groups ae kccuse scott's charity of trying to buy support for trump in the black community. >> it's very disingeneral youous. elections are won by the margins, less than a fraction of the percentage and people are using many tricks to encourage people to participate or persuade their political point of view. >> reporter: scott hit back telling cnn, i really think that's insulting to black people. they automatically think black people demean themselves so much they will sell out a vote for $300. trump has struggled to build
support among african-american voters and 83% 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 trump, the one they say is racist, is first president in the history of this country to incentize the people to put it in areas where it's needed. >> reporter: the cash give away was not affiliated or sanctioned by the president's campaign. scott has been a fixture in 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 found scott's organization has close ties to one of the main outside groups, america's first policies. it gave the coalition a $238,000 grant in 2018. that quote helped get the organization off the ground, an america first spokeswoman said. >> reporter: a white house official even attended the
cleveland event touting trump t commitment to boosting urban communities. >> it was a goal from day one, from the president, to speak on behalf of the community. >> reporter: another planned give away slated for martin luther king day at a black university in virginia was cancelled amid backlash from students and alumni. it was set to honor trump and his son-in-law with a $30,000 cash give away. >> we got a lot of money to give away. >> reporter: scott said the event helped the community and none was an endorsement for trump but critics worry that people are being duped into attending pro-trump events with the promise of cash prizes. >> the first thing that came to our mind is our community needs authentic relationships. we don't need a one night stand in cleveland. >> reporter: they wanted to honor him. after learning more he denounced it. >> when i began to do the math, it doesn't smell right.
>> reporter: scott says the criticism isn't stopping him. his group has more cash give aways scheduled. a lot of people don't stand up under pressure but i'm not going to let me make me think my good is bad. >> come back in february when we give you $50,000. >> reporter: when i spoke to daryl scott by phone he said his group has held all kinds of vents. they gave away turkey, toys. it wasn't until they started giving away cash that people took notice and started to get offended by the vents. that's not deterring them from holding more in the future. back to you. >> thanks. still ahead, this is not the cruise they signed up for. americans stuck on board a luxury ship quarantined for the coronavirus could finally start to make their way home, but not all of them. a live report, straight ahead.
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the end may finally be in sight for hundreds of u.s. citizens stranded aboard a cruise ship off the coast of japan. roughly 400 americans have been stuck on the diamond princess since february 4th amid an out break of the coronavirus coronavirus cry issues that's affected 67,000 people globally and killed more than 1500. there's 219 infected passengers making this cruise ship situation the largest outbreak of the virus outside of mainland dm china. the u.s. state department is sending a charter jet to rescue people from the ship and bring home american who is have not tested positive for the virus but returning to the u.s. soil doesn't mean they get to go home. those who do have the virus have other hurdles ahead. will ripley is in japan. will, two kats gocategories her. close to 400 americans who
aren't testing positive and two dozen who are in this video that we shot moments ago. the shot where we see the ship in the background there. what happens next? >> reporter: for the americans who qualify to get on these flights, ana, this is not necessarily welcome news for some because they had been told up until yesterday that once their quarantine period ended on thursday that they would be free to go home. now, they are learning that yes they can get on these charter flights and get off the boat early but they still have to go through another 14 day quarantine either at a military base in california or a military base in texas. some people, the retirees say that's okay with them. other people that have businesses say this is just an extra added burden and then there were people who wanted to get on the flight but found out they couldn't. for americans under quarantine on the diamond princess, a knock on the door.
>> hi. >> reporter: a glimmer of hope. >> our purpose is to come on and check on a couple of the passengers. we will be looking at all the americans over the next couple of days. >> reporter: infectious disease doctors checking every american on the ship. kent from oregon has someone else on his mind. >> are you checking those americans in the hospital? >> yes. >> my wife is in one of the hospitals. >> reporter: his wife tested positive for novel coronavirus last week. each dapy apart feels like a week. we're back now at the quarantine hospital in tokyo. she still has no symptoms of the virus. she's feeling great. they just learn oed of plan to evacuate americans on u.s. government charter flights. >> i'm hopeful that myself and my husband can hopefully get on that plane. >> reporter: she's not bothered
by the prospect of another 14-day quarantine in the u.s. at least she will be with her husband. that's what she thought. >> what happened after we left the hospital? >> the doctor came in not even ten minutes later. i also got my test results back and they were positive still. >> reporter: a positive result means she cannot get on that flight. >> i'm so sorry. >> that's devastating. >> it was like a punch in the gut. i was so sure this was going to come out negative. i was so sure. >> to get this kind of news that you're still going to be separated for the foreseeable. >> it was devastating. it really was. we had a pretty clear picture in our minds what was going to happen and it just shot to hell. >> reporter: the frazier's holiday from hell now has no end in sight. >> it makes things really tough.
today was looking really good. we were getting excited. we might be going home. hours after that, it was just back down worse than what we were before. it's an unknown until she can test negative. >> reporter: when the other americans board those charter flights home, the fraziers like dozens of other u.s. citizens with the virus and their families, have no choice to stay behind. waiting for the day their good news will finally come. i have so brand new numbers about a significant jump in the number of coronavirus cases on the cruise ship behind me. it's up to 286 from 219. that's why the u.s. government is urging all americans who can get on those flights to do so. >> oh, my gosh. i'd be running off that ship. our hearts go out to those folks. up next, an all star tribute
set to honor kobe bryant and hi daughter. >> this nba all star weekend is all about honoring kobe bryant and his daughter. we'll hear from the team's captain about what kobe meant to them. stay restless with the icon that does the same. the new rx. crafted by lexus. lease the 2020 rx 350 for $419 a month for 36 months. experience amazing at your lexus dealer. lease the 2020 rx 350 for $419 when youyou spend lessfair, and get way more. so you can bring your vision to life and save in more ways than one. for small prices, you can build big dreams, spend less, get way more.
former president obama called the deaths of kobe and gianna especially heartbreaking being a parent himself. >> that loss is something that i know many are still grappling with, particularly kobe because he was with his daughter and those families and those children and those of us who have had the joy and privilege of being parents and taking kids the ball games and then rooting for our children and seeing our dreams and hopes passed onto them. nothing's more heartbreaking. i want to offer the nba family, michelle and i deepest condolences and the families and the bryants. >> cnn andy is in chicago and has more on how the nba is paying tribute. andy. >> reporter: it's a frigid all star weekend here in chicago but
luckily all of the events are in doors. this entire weekend is about honoring kobe bryant, his daughter and david stern. they played a video tribute for them last night before the rising star's game. his friend and teammate came out to center court and spoke about what kobe meant to the game of basketball. the all star players met with the media earlier today. i asked what about kobe meant. >> testifies the mihe was the m our generation. he gave back to the game so much. he gave back to the players. a lot of people don't do that. there's a quote that says talent is worthless if you're not willing to share it. he share his talent with us. he's going to be missed. >> for us honor kobe bryant and
hi legacy, it's a beautiful time. even in loss it's a beautiful time. happy to be a part of this weekend. >> lebron will be making his 16th appearance in the nba all-star game. the tributes for kobe will continue during nba all star sad night. that gets started tonight on tnt at 8:00 eastern. as for the game on sunday, jennifer hudson will be performing a musical tribute before the game for kobe, gg and the 7 others who lost their lives in that helicopter crash. as for the game, when it tips off, team lebron will be wearing the number two to honor gg. that was her basketball number while team yani will be wearing kobe's number 24. >> sounds like a very touching tribute. thank you. if you think everything happening with prince hr arry a meghan has been dramatic, you'll want to tune into our series taking you behind the palace walls. we have a preview of the
windsors. >> reporter: the physical therapy -- fairy tale setting. an event capturing a generation. that was deliberate. an effort to renew and refresh the royal brand. to keep it relevant. in our new series we reveal how unlike this magnificent church, this wasn't a marriage destined to last. it led to a cry vis that gripped the british monarchy. it would bounce back but only to be hit by break down and scandals. life is never dull at the very top of british society. max foster, cnn, london. >> the windsors, inside the royal dynasty appears tomorrow night at 10:00 p.m. on cnn. we'll be right back. woah, is this real gold? where did it come from?
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