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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  September 30, 2020 11:00am-12:00pm PDT

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thank you for the update. top of the hour now, i'm brianna keilar. democratic nominee, joe biden, calling his debate with president trump a embarrassment. he derailed, in an epic way, the first opportunity for americans to see and evaluate these candidates on nair policies side by side. instead, voters sured through 90 minutes of ranker and insults, most from the president, though joe biden did call him a clown. and as painful as it was, at times too, listen to, what was not said was hugely significant. joe biden was asked if he would add justices to the supreme court. he's said he would not answer the question. and donald trump skirted questions about accountability for the failed government response that has left 200,000 dead in the u.s.
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and he wouldn't answer how to protect people currently cover bide obama care and by far inworst moment of this debate was a sitting american president given the opportunity to denounce white supremacists multiple if i ams, refusing to do so and instead issuing a call to action to right-wing extremists. >> are you willing, tonight, to condemn white supremacists and militia groups, and to say that they need to stand down and not add to the violence at at number of the cities as we saw in kenosha and in portland? >> sure, i'm plepaired to dodo that. i would say almost everything i see is from the left wing, not the right wing. i'm willing to do anything. i want to see peace. >> then do, it, sir. >> what do you want to call them? >> white supremacists and right- -- >> stand back and stand by but
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i'll tell you what, somebody's got to do something about antifa and the left. >> right now, joe biden is seizingen the president's failure to condemn racists, saying this is a short time ago to the group you just heard the president to quote, stand back and stand by. >> what are your fears about the implications of the president's rhetoric? and do you have a message for the proud boys today? >> my message to the proud boys and every other white supremacists group is seesz and desist. this is not who we are as americans. >> i want to go to kaitlan collins for more on this. you were all at the white house. tell us about the view of this from there? >> reporter: depends on what you're hearing publicly or privately. because in public, we are hearing them praise the president's performance, saying they believe he delivered a
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strong performance as he was going on with the debate last night but what we are hearing privately is not that. because we're hearing from several advisors, people who work for the president, people who are supporters of the president, who do not believe he did himself a service with that debate performance last night with those moderate voters he needs if he's going to win re-election in november. they found him too aggressive. don't believe he touted enough accomplishments and said overall, what we heard, as we were talking to the people today, they didn't believe he delivered a clear or effective line of attack against joe biden, like he did with hillary clinton in 2016. he tried to throw the entire kitchen sink at him, as they were interrupting him and with a massive audience watching. it may seem they're going to change what the next debates are going to look like.
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because we got this statement that the presidential commission on presidential debates a moment ago, basically saying they're hearing what everyone else is saying about the debate. how hard it was to understand where the candidates were going with their comments. and said last night's debate made clear additional structure should be added to insure a more orderly discussion of the issues. what's that going to look like and whether or not they're going to agree to it before they do meet on the debate stage again in miami is really another question. and they say they believe more structure segoing to make the debate more orderly. it's still going to be the same two candidates on the stage. president donald trump, who many believe is lashing out because he knows he's down in the polls and doesn't have much else left to lose. whether it changes what the next debate is going to look like is anyone's question. >> we are waiting to see.
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thank you for that report from the north lawn of the white. and standing by. how are they responding to the kumpt's comments to stand back and stand by. >> reporter: they love it. i talked to a chairman last night. he told me he not stand back and stand by meant to let them keep doing what they're doing and let police do their job. we went to a rally in portland to get a look at what they're doing actually looks like. >> we're a drinking club with a patriot problem. our main objective is to defend the west. >> do i look scary with this? >> i would never use this to hit someone out of a blatant attack. >> let the proud boys rally in delta park.
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>> reporter: the proud boys have a clear record of street fights. >> we're not punching each other in the face. >> reporter: but part of the culture is to be lightly punched. they planned this rally after a far-right activist was killed here. many worry their presence in portland will result in clashes with antifascist protesters. ahead of this, the government declared a state of emergency. and the ratio of journalists to proud boys is very high. are you here to get in fights with antifa? >> no. >> but you're dressed in the aesthetics -- >> aesthetics is one thing. we're wear prog tective gear. >> reporter: it seems like it ends with people getting beat up. >> if our mere presence causes people to commit violence, we're not afraid to defend our schbls.
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>> i know what you do, bro. >> reporter: the proud boys tell us ne'er here to drink beer and barbecue. but there have already been a couple of incidents, including our own crew being threatened. >> take the. [ bleep] camera. [ ] out, [ bleep] . you got something to say? >> we had one an trk ifa come ien here and the cameras caught oh, look, they're being so violent. i told them later you're lucky. >> reporter: if you're not mere for violence, it wouldn't be a stroke of luck? >> sure. >> reporter: you weren't expecting to be violent?
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>> reporter: who do you think the proud boys represent? >> losing power. they're the superior race. >> we call them the proud little pen boys. >> reporter: and why is it important to have a counter rally to the proud boys? why not ignore them? >> we're here to show we're not afraid and we're not going to back down, especially when our president is amping up this whole situation. >> reporter: as the nightly antifa protest, they waited for the proud boys to show up, but they never came. instead, the only clashes were the same ones that have happened
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nearly every night since may. in the end, it was just another night in portland. >> and back with us now. i mean, just explain foous what the goals of this group are and what the demographics of this group look like. >> reporter: sure. they keep their political goals pretty vague. they want to defend western civilization. they're not explicitly white supremacist. it's mostly white but not entirely. mostly working class but not entirely and a big part of it is self help. if they want to project a certain kind of masculinity. >> and what's the dynamic between an teefau and proud boys as we've seen them clashing in protelss across the country? >> reporter: pretty nuts. the proud boys want to intimidate antifa.
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that's why they dress the way they do and talk the way they do. and to a degree, it works. rumors would spread proud boys are coming. when they actually do clash, it can be explosive. a lot of times it's just one person who gets singled out and they'll be chased down a field. there's been one death, although that person was not a proud boy. when you're on the ground, it's very scary. >> and you really communicate that through your piece. thank dprz being with us. >> thank you. >> i wanted to bring in the cochair of black voices for trump. why did the president not condemn white supremacists? >> three times the president said he would condemn white supremacist. >> and then he didn't. and then he didn't. >> how many times does the president have to have this conversation? at some point the media has to
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accept his answer. he's called out that group by name. i refuse to speak their name. i'm surprised cnn is giving it such a broad -- >> oh, come on. he told them to stand up and stand by. >> he said stand down, stand back and that means we're coming for you. the president makes clear he wants law and order. >> no, you are not -- >> if you're going to ask the question -- >> then let me tell you -- no, that's not right. he said stand back. he did not say stand down. he said stand back and stand by. that's not what he said. stand back and stand by. >> i'm offended by that and you should apologize for it.
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>> i'm not apologizing for the frump -- -- no. i'm not apologizing for the fact that the trumped aman stragz -- >> for you to tell me what's facing my community is offensive. >> the greatest threat to the u.s., the trump administration, should they apologize? >> the trump administration has condemned white supremacy. why bring up last night's point. the real issues facesing the debate should have been bhauts joe biden's record with the african-american community? it's abysmal. he's done nothing in 47 years. >> the trump administration says white sprem cease is the greatest threat? >> reporter: in 1994 he passed the crime bill, which locked up people that looked like me and said we're threats to the community. that's what the debate should have been. the president said it three
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times. he condemned it flea times. they asked would you condemn white supremacy, he said yes. >> he said sure and then he didn't do it. >> that was absolutely the right thing to do. and he's done it several timez bfore. >> nis is why it's important the president condemns it because he raises -- >> absolutely and he has. >> stop interrupting me. hey, we're not at a presidential debate. can you listen to my question. >> you won't let me answer your question. i'm here to ask questions. >> and i'm there answer, if you'll let me. >> this is what he has done over time. in the 1970s, he discriminated against black tenants, in in1980s, he called for the death penalty for the central park five, who you were know were exonerated. in the '90s, he was exonerate
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prd discriminating against black employees. then he pitched a version of inapprentice that pitched black against whites, then in 2011, pushed the obama birther conspiracy, then called mexicans people bringing crime and then claimed hispanic judges couldn't be impartial and refused to condemn k can k leader -- >> where is the question? >> i'm asking a question. this is part of the question. >> let me hear it, please. >> 2017, he said there are fine people on both sides in charlottesville. >> that's not true. >> 2020 called covid-19 the china virus and the kung-flu and same year this year suggest
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egsed that kamala harris isn't a u.s. citizen. working to stop diversity training and working to roll back fair housing rules and warning of an invasion and he's defending the confederate flal, depi despite what the pentagon has said it wants. you say he has condemned white supremacy, i think you're being very liberal in your distinction of that, but you heard what i just said and i have to be honest, i had to list to go through and this list is so long, this is why he has to condemn white supremacy and he is not doing it adequately and you know that. >> the problem is the president has done it on several occasions. >> we're going to play last night's de -- we're playing last night. you're not answer the question. this is what he said.
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>> you're not allowing me to answer the question. i want the viewers to know what he said last night. that's why we're here. >> proud boys, stand back and stand by. >> it's a call to action. he did not -- >> the question was asked in the context of violence in the street. he said give me a group. in fact, just last week, i was in atlanta, where he called the kkk as a hate group. he said it should be and he said it seven times before. the problem is the media won't accept the narrative. the reason this is so hurtful to me is because there are a whole lot of other issues facing our community that don't get faked about. let's talk about job creation.
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that's what the president is talking about. >> let's talk about unemployment. i would like to. black unemployment right now -- let's talk about it. 13% white unemployment -- 13% white unemployment, 7.3%. that's this month. >> the pandemic for the president's unemployment rate to get to where it was under the obama administration. before the pandemic, african-americans had the lowsh unemployment rate in the history of the country. that's a fact. if you're going to ask the questions and answer them, that doesn't make sense. this sounds a lot like the debate from joe biden. >> well, you're acting like donald trump. i think if you look at the numbers, black unemployment, and i don't just think nis. it's verified by statistics. 13% in september, 2020, which is where we are right now.
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white unemployment, 7.3%. you said it took a pandemic. here we are. we're in a pandemic. a president deals what he is handled. you look at lives, black cases, 2 poitd 6 times higher than whites. black deaths, 2.1 times higher than whites. spin that. >> i'm sorry, is there a question in that? >> what is your reaction? >> if not for his leadership, we would have had more than 2 million deaths. >> that's if you did jack squat. he is the president. >> let's close the boarder. >> too late. >> into our country. president trump did that. >> it was too late. these are not mutually exclusival that he was too late.
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>> you should be embarrassed for promulgating nat nonsense. the reality is this. we are facing a pandemic and because the president's leadership, we're actually moving forward with the economy. the economy has grown by leaps and bounds since march. >> black unmployment 13%. >> before the pandemic it was less than 3%. >> we would all like the go back in a time nusheen, but we're in a pandemic. >> and joe biden hasn't offered any plan to do that. joe biden hasn't offered one plan. why don't we talk about joe biden's record on african-americans. the reason is because it's abysmal. he doesn't have one. he hasn't done anything for the african-american community in 47 years but lock us up and tell me that people that look like me, that we're a twlet and that's a reality and something the media doesn't want to report on. president trump has been undoing
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the chaos that joe biden created in this country and he needs another four years to undue the chaos. >> i would like to point to the record you put up. please put up the full thing again. this is the record of president trump when he was a private citizen and when he was president. this is his record right here, t.w. >> i can't see the record but i will tell you this. when he was a frievt citizen, he was receiving awards from jesse jackson and al sharpton for his work in the african-american community. this nonsense about him being a racist did not come into reality until he started running for president of the united states. this is being promulgated by inmedia. it's just not true. it's not. >> what is not true of what i read to you? >> what is not true is president
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trump is not a racist. he did more for the african-american community than any president in the history. the first to create economic empowerment zones, saying the real issue is not racism. the real issue is job opportunity, access to a quality job, access to a quality education. >> black americans are not doing well. and on infirst step act -- >> black americans weren't doing well long before president trump became a president. >> mitch mcconnell blocked criminal justice reform under obama. mitch mcconnell blocked it, by the admission of republicans 347 >> the criminal justice reformt was to fix joe biden's 1994 bill. that's what we're trying to clean up. >> and this first-step act is unevenly working. >> you're right. it's helping 90% african-americans.
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>> there are hundreds of people who have seen sentence reduction, only to face reincarceration. many for drug crimes. i'm sure you're aware of this. >> you can spin this false narrative to yourself. >> no, this is true. >> right. where is joe biden's plan on criminal justice reform? no, seriously. pretty sure familiar with what? >> the first-step act, it has -- >> i'm familiar with one of the first people who benefitted -- i talked to them personally. have you? >> are you familiar with the people who have benefitted, only to face reincarceration and this is because of a very questionable interpretation by trump's attorney general, bill barr. that is what's going on. this is being unevenly worked out, this first-step act. it has big problems. you hold up as a success.
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>> that's unconscionable that you would say people are going back to prison, that the first-step act isn't a success. they're not all going back to prison. >> it's not recidivism. that is so -- >> you can't change that fact. >> that's not a fact. t.w., it's not a fact. >> it is a fact. it is absolutely a fact. they were highlighted -- >> i'm not talking about recidivism. >> people released and going back, that's recidivism. >> no, it's not. let me explain what i'm talking about. >> i'm speaker of the house from the state of oklahoma. >> very good for you, sir. what i'm talking about is folks who have been seen sentence reduction and then there's been a reading by the department of justice about the amount of drugs that they may or may not
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have had and then it is applied retroactively, not based on what they were convicted of and they find themselves possibly reincarcerated. this has to do with the original crime and that is not recidivism. i wish i could say it was a pleasure having you on. have a good day. >> i wish i could say the same. president trump throwing nearly every health within in his health administration under the bus. and we're going to dig into what happens if his efforts are successful. us that cannot be extinguished. to stir that fire, university of phoenix is awarding up to one million dollars in scholarships through this month. see what scholarship you qualify for at did you know scholarship cliberty mutualir.y for customizes your car insurance
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we know president trump does not have a degree in medicine or science. he claimed to know more than experts who work for him. >> the head of cdc said it would be summer before the vaccine would become generally available to the public. you said he was confused and mistaken. those were your two words but the head of your operation warp speed said exactly the same thing. are they both wrong? >> i've spoken on the companies and we can have a it a lot sooner. people like this would rather make it political. become very political. the left or whatever you call them. i disagree with both of them. j he didn't say that.
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he said it could be there. i had him in my office two days ago. >> he said the summer before it's available. >> he said it's a possibility we'll have have thenceberfore november 1st. >> i want to bring in dr. lena nguyen, an emergency room physician at george washington university. so, what are the chances we are going to have an answer, to the words the president used, on a coronavirus vaccine before november 3rd? >> extremely low. maybe what he's referring to is this answer of emergency-use authorization for people like frontline employees, those most vulnerable. even that, for to become before election day is -- i would expect a timeline would be beginning of next year, where there's a process of
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manufacturing hundreds of millions of doses because of the vaccine because they probably will require two doses. imagine giving that to hundreds of millions of americans. i think a much more realistic timeline is looking into made to midnext year. right now the sfudies dent don't involve children. so, there also needs to be testing for kids and that's going to extend the timeline even further. >> we watch him. he's making his campaign all about a vaccine for coronavirus. and we see him throwing his own experts under the bus. but i wonder what that means for what should really matter here, which is the vaccine. not whether the president wins, but if there is a vaccine, will be confident they can take it safely. >> that's right, brianna. for a vaccine to be life saving t needs to be safe and effective and trusted. people need to have trust and
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need to understand that it's science driving the process and not political pressure and m manipulation and on top of nat there, are things we can do before the vaccine arrives. and even after, because it's going to take so many months before we can come close to reaching herd immunity. we're still going to keep up these same measures. this is a time to double down on wearing masks, practicing social distancing, all these life-saving measures that i wish all of our elected officials, including president trump, can champion. >> i wonder for you, seeing what the contents of this debate were, if there was anything you took away from it, as a medical professional, feeling like, either the government has a plan moving forward or if the former vice president joe biden has a plan. were you able to discern that from this? >> i definitely could not tell
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whether president trump has a plan, because we haven't seen it in all these months he's been the president. there have been pieces of a plan. for example a plan on reopening safely that the coronavirus task force put out and we openly disregarded guidelines. we still don't have a national testing strategy. my concern is how he's going to bring together how anyone could bring together the american people at this time that's so divided. i think it begins with having a national straltagy because this piece-meal approach is only costing lives. >> many lives. thank you so much for being with us. still ahead president trump trying to claim paying millions in income taxes, despite a "the new york times" article claiming he paid virtually nothing for the better pafrt of a decade.
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president trump is insisting he paid millions in income taxes, despite a detailed report shat showed he pads not a penny for ten of the 15 years before that. here's what he said about this. >> i've paid millions of dollars
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in taxes, millions of income tax. and let me tell you there, was a story in one of the papers i paid $38,000,001 year. i paid 37 million -- >> see our tax returns. >> you'll see it as soon as it's finished. you'll see it. >> the president claims he cannot do so until his irs audit is complete. that's a lie. nothing prevents, someone being audited by the irs, prevents them from releasing their returns publicly. the author of "the making of donald trump and it's worse than you think." how telling is that to you? >> that's how donald does everything. it's extremely strong, v yes, he's paid millions in
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taxes, but the report from my report about his 2005 tax return i have at my house. he paid in regular income tax, $5 million on over $150 million of income. and the rest of it, he paid 30 some million with something called alternative minimum tax. that's what he got back in the refund and what the audit is about. whether he improperly got that back in the refund case. and the regular income was less than 3.5% than the rate fade by the poorest american taxpayers. not the poorest americans. their average income was only $16,000 and they paid more than 3%. >> he'll say he's been smart about it. his main defense is everything he's done has been legal. >> i don't want to pay tax. before i came here, i was a
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private developer. like every other private person, unless they're stupid, they go through the laws and that's what it is. >> a lot of stupid people out fl paying their taxes. >> and we have two courts that ruled on this. he was tried civilly for tax fraud twice. he lost both cases. his only witness in one of the cases was his own long-time tax lawyer and accountant, who testified the tax return the government had was a forgery. he said my signature's on that return but i didn't prepare it. and trump concocted $600,000 of deductions. no receipts, no nothing. just made it up. >> we appreciate your insight. >> take care. the week after the election, the trump administration will argue in front of the supreme
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court to strike down obamacare. when pressed, president trump still couldn't explain what his replacement would be. hi sabrina! hi jen! hi. so you're the scientist here. does my aveeno® daily moisturizer really make my dry skin healthier in one day? it's true jen. really?! this prebiotic oat formula moisturizes to help prevent dry skin. impressive! aveeno® healthy. it's our nature.
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the very first question of the presidential debate was about the supreme court vacancy but it quickly descended into a clash. as far back as 2015, then candidate trump claimed he would quickly replace it with his own plan. that plan repeatedly has not materialized. the president promising to reveal it, quote, soon, for years. he even says it's ready now but theed a minvation f the administration has provided no proof that a health plan exists. and moderator reminding trump he has failed to make good on that promise. >> you have never in four years come up with a plan, a comprehensive plan to replace
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obamacare. >> of course i have. i got rid of the individual mandate, which was a big chunk -- >> thalgt that's not a comprehensive plan. sir, let me ask my question. >> i'll ask joe. the individual mandate was the most popular aspect of obamacare. >> there are 20 million people getting health care that he wants to take it away. he won't ever look you in the eye and say that's what he wants to do. take it away. >> no. i want to give them better health care at a much lower price. >> he doesn't know how to do it. >> i already fixed it to an extent. >> the chief washington correspondent for kaiser health news. and you're always wonderful in helping us know exactly what's going on with health care. he tsaid it's already fixed. >> the president did put out what the administration is calling his health care plan last week.
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it's a bunch of press releases and a list of some small things that he's already done. there was not much forward looking in that plan. the president likes to say that obamacare is dead because inpenalty for not having insurance is gone. although the health insurance exchanges are getting along surprisingly well without that penalty. >> that's right. there's a lot of people who are on there. i wuntder if the supreme court hears the trumped administratios case, there could be a new justice by then. so, we could see the aca entirely struck down. what happens for real people who have health insurance and coverage through obamacare, what happens if it goes away? >> it would be an enormous mess and not just the 20 million who directly get it through the exchanges or expansion through the medicaid program.
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it's basically everyone who uses health care in this country. it was a huge sweeping law. there was not a ton of concern, as of a couple of weeks ago, because it's not considered very strong and figured chief justice roberts would stand with the liberals. but if there's a new conservative justice, even if chief justice roberts votes with the liberals, there could be votes to strike down the entire law. it is a live possibility. >> we know you will be watching very intently here in the next month or so to see what's going on. always, thank you. any moment we're going to hear from the president, as joe biden calls the debate performance a national embarrassment. our home was burned to the ground
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in the tubbs fire. the flames, the ash, it was terrifying. thousands of family homes are destroyed in wildfires.
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families are forced to move and higher property taxes are a huge problem. prop 19 limits taxes on wildfire victims so families can move without a tax penalty. nineteen will help rebuild lives. vote 'yes' on 19. the unfair money bail system. he, accused of rape. while he, accused of stealing $5. the stanford rapist could afford bail; got out the same day. the senior citizen could not; forced to wait in jail nearly a year. voting yes on prop 25 ends this failed system, replacing it with one based on public safety. because the size of your wallet shouldn't determine whether or not you're in jail. vote yes on prop 25 to end money bail. excuse me, portland, the sheriff just came out today and he said i support president trump. >> literally never happened. the sheriff of the county that covered portland, mike reese, is
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not on record having ever said he supported the president. and he responded on twitter saying i have never supported donald trump and never will. portland has seen regular protests against police brutality and racial injustice since the killing of george floyd and become a target of trump's hard-line mess sath on law and order. we have breaking news. and confirmation of how the coronavirus is shaping everything. the nfl announcing that it will postpone the sunday contest between the pittsburgh steelers and the tennessee titans after four titans players tested positive for covid-19 and including a starting offensivelineman. they will share details next week when they plan to reschedule the game. and president trump spoke about the disastrous debate where he fared to condemn white supremacists. we're going to bring that to you as soon as we have it.
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which biden was unable to talk about. because the radical left followers, i don't think there is too many of them left. but i thought it was a great evening. it was an exciting evening. i see the ratings were very high. and it was good to be there.
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felt very comfortable. and i appreciate all of the good words. so we are going now and we're going to have a big rally. a lot of people showing up. yeah. >> mr. president -- [ inaudible question ]. >> i don't know who the proud boys are. you have to give me a definition. i have to say they have to stand down and let law enforcement do their work. law enforcement will do the work more and more as people said how bad this radical liberal democratic movement it and how weak, law enforcement is going to come back stronger and stronger. >> i don't know who proud boys are. they have to stand down and let law enforcement do their work. >> [ inaudible question ]. >> stand by. look, law enforcement will do their work. they have to stand down. everybody. whatever group you're talking about, let law enforcement do the work.
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now antifa is a real problem. because the problem is on the left. and biden refuses to talk about it. he refuses to issue the words law and order. you saw that last night when he choked up. he can't say the words because he'll lose the rest of the left. so he's got to condemn antifa. it is a very bad group. >> mr. president, white supremacists clearly love you and support you. you welcome that. >> i want law and order to be a very important part of my campaign. and when i say that, what i'm talking about is law enforcement, police have to take care and they should stop defunding the police like they've done in new york. >> but white supremacist -- >> i just told you. >> but do you denounce them. >> i've always denounced any form, any form, any form of any of that. you have to denounce it. but i also -- joe biden has to say something about antifa. it is not a philosophy. these are people that hit people over the head with baseball bats.
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he's got to come out and he's got to be strong and he's got to condemn antifa. and it is very important that he does. >> can i follow up about joe biden? >> mr. president [ inaudible question ]. >> i can't hear a word you're saying. i can't hear. >> i hear he doesn't want to go forward but that is up to him. >> what about you? >> yeah. i would like to. by any measure, we won the debate last night. he looked weak. he was whining. we won the debate by almost every poll that i saw. if you look at the -- the various polls. i looked at about six of them and we won every one of them. i don't mind debating them. i hear he wants to get out of the debates. i don't know, that is up to him. >> why are you afraid of the --
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>> [ inaudible question ]. >> it does concern me. and crime generally concerns me. any form of crime. and let law enforcement take care of it. >> mr. president, are you afraid -- >> so we have a problem in new york. they have 100,000 ballots that are amess. they are all confused and mixed up and now they're going to redo them. what are they going to do with the 100,000 ballots already set. this is what i'm talking about. it is a big scale problem. 100,000 ballots went out to new york with the wrong names and wrong envelopes, wrong addresses and wrong everything. and now they want to redo the ballots. that doesn't help. what about the ones that are already sent. this is exactly what i'm talking about. >> can i follow up to that. there is a -- from the 20th of january. >> there won't be. >> sir, what if there is?
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>> [ inaudible ]. >> all right, everyone, thanks for joining us i'm kate bolduan. as you're listen, donald trump leaving the oval office heading off on marine one and we're watching this tape come in for the first time and watching it coming together. and the president addressing the issue that he must, which is his refusal last night to condemn white supremacy when he was handed very easily the opportunity to do so. pressed several times about it today, he said he doesn't know who the proud boys are despite the fact that he's had at least 15 hours to figure that out. but then saying that he does denounce all forms of any of that, referring to white supremacy. let me get over to kaitlan collins.
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and the president today and that is his response. >> reporter: it took him this long to come up with that saying he doesn't know who the proud boys are and that he wants them to stand down. part of what he said last night and what people took issue is how he said to stand by last night. this is something that the white house was immediately getting questions about, including campaign aides as they were getting on air force one to leave cleveland last night and then of course you saw several spokesperson ask about it today. they didn't feel like it was anything that the president needed to clarify and he came out and was pressed by reporters on this and trying to clean up his remarks from last night during the debate where he refused to explicitly condemn this group after saying that he would condemn the groups. and then you saw how that moment played out, one of the main takeaways from the debate last night. now the president said he does not know who this far right group that has endorsed violence is. of course we have seen several members of them at the president's rallies. we've reported on that here at cnn in the past. but the president does appear to
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be trying to clean up his remarks from that debate last night. it almost seems inevitable but he pivoted to joe biden talking about what joe biden has and hasn't said about antifa. similar to the way that you saw the president do so on the debate stage last night. and this is coming after hours of fallout here in washington, that follow the president on the way back from cleveland where you saw people who were typically his allies, like tim scott, the senator from south carolina on capitol hill saying it was a comment that the president needed to clarify. and he said if he wasn't going to clarify it, then obviously the president stood by what he said. now, of course, you are seeing the president give some republicans some leeway by saying he doesn't know who the group is and he wants them to stand down and let law enforcement do the work is what he told reporters just there. >> and kaitlan, the president could say he doesn't know who the proud boys are. but the fact of the matter is that it is eerily similar to what he said when he's been