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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  July 26, 2022 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT

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affecting tens of millions of americans or the hurricanes or the drought, this is the new normal. this is a climate emergency. >> reporter: in st. louis the floodwaters are receding, but scientists say the chances of this happening again are only going up. omar jimenez, cnn. >> thanks for joining us. " "ac "ac360" start now. >> we begin with breaking news. the attorney general called the highest reaching appropriation. there's new reporting in "the washington post" this evening citing four familiar with the investigation. the headline, "justice department investigating trump's actions in january 6 criminal probe." the prosecutors have asked hours of detailed questions about meetings trump led in december
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2020 and january 2021. this pressure campaign on pence to overturn the lelection what understand instructions trump gave his lawyers and advisers about fake electors and sending electors back to the state. as the former president returned to washington since leading office, we'll have some of what he said shortly. first what merrick garland told lester holt when asked when indicting a former president and possible presidential candidate again might tear the country apart. >> we pursue justice without fear or favor. we intend to hold everyone, anyone who is criminally responsible for the events surrounding january 6th or any attempt to interfere with the lawful transfer of power from one administration to another accountable. that's what we do. we don't pay any attention to other issues with respect to that. >> reporter: so if donald trump
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were to become a candidate for president again, that would not change your schedule or how you move forward or don't move forward? >> i'll say again that we will hold accountable anyone who is criminally responsible for attempting with the legitimate transfer of power from one administration to the next. >> the attorney general vowed twice to hold responsible anyone trying to interfere with the transfer of power. cnn had similar roaring earlier today, josh. your article goes a little deeper with details about specific questions being asked by grand jury investigators, as well as phone records being seized. what more can you tell us? >> two of the main things we
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know, know, in the grand jury going on in washington, they are presenting evidence of what prum was doing in the weeks leading up to january 6th, who he was meeting with, what he saying to vice president pence and vice president pence's aides and it says they were looking at the former president and his behavior and conduct. we don't know how that will end but they are deeply interested in what he was doing a few months ago they subpoenaed phone records for his top aides, including mark meadows, for another part of this investigation. you have prosecutors who are looking at more rioters in the capitol, looking at some of these militant groups, fringe groups and outside folks and they're honing in now more on what the tformers president and his lawyers did on the days
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leading up to january 6th. >> and your investigation points to two tracks. >> yeah, they're trying to figure out whether the former president instructed his lawyers to carry out the scheme, what his role was in that and obviously obstructing a government proceeding at the capitol on january 6th. but what they're trying to figure out, is what exactly was the former president's role? you have these lawyers like john eastman and rudy giuliani and other outside advisers doing this on their own volition or was the former president intimately involved? and the days leading up to january 6th, the former president was exerting all kind of pressure on mike pence and others to overturn the election. they brought in his chief of
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staff and chief lawyer and spent hours with them both trying to understand the aspects of that pressure campaign. >> in terms of timeline, do you know how fast this investigation is moving? is it possible the former president could be subpoenaed himself? would that actually take place? >> it's certainly possible they could subpoena people in the former president's orbit. they could get records to him. we don't know how fast this is moving. by some accounts it has appeared publicly the d.o.j. has been behind the january 6th committee on parts of this at least. there are multiple reports that they were surprised at some of cassidy hutchinson's testimony, for example, and they focused more on somebody outside the rioters. it seems whenever they've gotten more evidence, they're coming in closer to the former president and his circle. >> thanks so much. joining us now is jennifer
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rodgers and chris wallace. jennifer, you and i were talking about this before. it's unlikely they would subpoena the former president if he is a target. >> for testimony. they could try to get documents or devices but they won't subpoena him for testimony because he is a target. they just don't subpoena targets. and he knows he's their target and you have this stance where they would have to give immunity and they're not going do that. >> what is your reporting of where the department of justice is? >> i think they have shifted to this mike pence pressure campaign. they're focusing in on trump and his conduct as opposed to people around him and the ones operationally. >> and to jennifer's point, the
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prosecutors in this case focusing on the former president's pressure campaign, garland sort of made a nod to that as well today. >> the justice department seems to be on the case and secondly, they want to be seen as being on the case. they seepm to be lagging behind the january 6th committee and the case with georgia and interference in the lelection there. on monday we found out they had a grand jury and we heard testimony from two top aides to mike pence, you had the attorney general agreeing to do the interview today and twice in the interview he said "we're moving urgently." one other thing in the story in the "washington post" that is
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breaking tonight that it specifically says that they seized the records of mark meadows and other people and specifically said they did it in april, months before the january 6th committee. so clearly somebody in justice from merrick garland on down is trying to say we are hot on this case, don't think that we're lagging behind. >> jennifer, on the phony electors are the question of how involved was the former president in that. was it his attorney eastman and rudy giuliani going off and doing this, you know, largely on their own? how much are they able to get the records of giuliani, records of eastman? >> so it's really hard to know from just phone records who is talking to whom for how much time and what was said. in order to get to how much the former president knew about that scheme and how much he was directing it as opposed to just being updated on it, they're really going to have to get someone dealing directly with him to testify.
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that probably means giving one of these people immunity ultimately so they can talk about the conversations where trump was being updated or maybe he was actually running the show. we know he knew about the scheme but don't know how involved. >> reporter: things like the attorney/client privilege and how does that play in with eastman? >> to the extent they're seizing documents that might have communications with trump, that they're going to seek testimony that involves communication, they're going to have so to sor through that. if the communication is for the purpose of furthering a crime or fraud and d.o.j. would argue it was, they can see that material all of that takes time. >> i want to hear more about what the attorney general said about the criticism that the d.o.j. isn't moving quickly enough. >> the reason there is this speculation and uncertainty is a fundamental tenet of what we do
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as prosecutors and investigators is to do is outside of the public eye. we do it, one, to protect the civil liberties of the people we're investigating and the second is to ensure the success and integrity of our investigation. >> it's interesting, chris, what the attorney general not only was trying to convey to the general public but the january 6th committee specifically. >> clearly he is feeling some heat and -- i mean, he says we're doing it outside of the eye of the public but there have been a thelot of leaks about th investigation, like who was testifying before the grand jury. on the one hand they're saying we're doing this outside the public but we're also going to get the was in to the public. he was asked, merrick garland, about the fact that how much are you getting informing from the january 6th committee and he said, look, they're doing the
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biggest investigation -- one of the biggest in house history. we're doing the biggest investigation in justice department history and we may have some information they don't have and they may have some information we don't have and we're hoping to toofhoover all that up. one of the offices today made the point no former president in our history has ever been charged with a crime. even regardless of whatever information they get out there, there's a lot of evidence that trump directly told one of the people of the justice department that there was a problem with the election and leave the rest to me and republican congressmen. so there are others who say trump was directly involved but going ahead and charging a former president with a crime is absolutely uncharted territory. >> genejennifer, not only a for president but a former president who by the time this comes around may actually be running
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again. >> the timing of elections is something that the d.o.j. pays attention to but it's not technically a bar. they can charge a political candidate of something. merrick garland made clear candidate or no they're looking at trump and doing what needs to be done. >> and mick mulvaney is acting chief of staff in the former administration. later a special envoy to ireland and he resigned because of january 6th. i'm wondering what you think of what attorney general garland had to say tonight. >> i was very pleased with what he said. i think most americans would be, that that chief law enforcement officer of the united states said they were going to go about things deliberately and without concern for politics. that's what i would want them to say on any particular investigation into any crime committed possibly by any person in the country. that's what we want when it comes to law enforcement.
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if there's anything that sort of gave some insight into what's happening, though, it's not what merrick garland said this evening, it's the fact that mark short was called into a federal grand jury under subpoena on tuesday. that -- >> and jacob as well. >> that's correct. that tells me a lot more about what's actually happening than what you heard from merrick garland this evening. >> the attorney general said they were investigating the legitimate transfer of power. do you interpret that as going beyond january 6th? >> the chief counsel, chief lawyer for the vice president was called in. we know because of the work that the january 6th committee has done that there were a lot of discussions with the lawyers in the period of time between the election and january 6th so the simple fact that mike pence's lawyer was subpoenaed tells me something is going deeper than just that 24-hour period around the riot itself. >> do you believe garland when
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he says we don't take anything into account other than we're following the law. should the justice department take into account potentially charging somebody who is running for reelection if in fact the president decides to do that? >> no. republicans were okay. i was okay with the department of justice investigating hillary clinton when she was a candidate. if there have been crimes by anybody, we want the department of justice to investigate whether or not that has happened. we don't want law enforcement to be politically influenced one way or the other. we don't want the supreme court to be influentialced one way or other. is it difficult for a nation to take the decisions of the department of justice or supreme court? yeah but that's their job. you want them to do that devoid of politics. >> i want to ask you about former chief of staff mark meadows. given what you heard from former white house aide cassidy hutchinson and others about his
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actions and inactions, do you think he may be in legal trouble here? >> i never practiced criminal law. i don't want to give an opinion showing how stupid i am. what i took away from cassidy hut hutchinson's testimony is the west wing wasn't functioning. a giant red flag things weren't functioning properly. can people make bad decisions in that type of setting that can come back to haunt them? absolutely. i think personally there's bigger risk for obstruction of justice after the fact. you can be as innocent as the new driven snow on january 6th, but if you try and interfere with witnesses, it's so often the cover-up that is a bigger deal than the potential crime itself. there was a lot of things happening in the west wing and
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bad decisions are made. when things are broken, bad things happen. >> the bar is higher for the department of justice than it is for the january 6th commission. the january 6 commission, they are able to say things which in a court of law, hearsay, for instance, would not hold up. >> that's correct. a lot of cassidy hutchinson's testimony is interesting and inciteful but it would never be allowed in court. it might be allowed in a grand jury. one of the questions they asked of merrick garland this evening is why he wasn't going faster. he gave the exact correct answer, they're doing it methodically because that's their job. the january 6th committee is a political process. there's a political agenda, there are politicians involved. it's not a courtroom and it's not a criminal investigation. you want the department of justice to be more methodical because it's a lot more serious. >> jared kushner wrote in his new book when he was being treated for thyroid cancer in
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2014 he only told four people. you told "the new york times" you don't remember that. is that accurate? do you remember jared kushner telling you that? >> that took me by surprise. i don't recall that. if anything on the staff including the son-in-law of the president of the united states told me i have a very serious health matter, i'm telling the president. you don't get to keep secrets from the president of the united states. i don't have a specific recollection but i can assure you any chief of staff finds out a senior person like that is ill, the president is going to know about it. >> appreciate talking to you. >> thanks, anderson. >> coming up next, the former president is called to give back the press that they deserve. and why the president is saying he is the most persecuted person ever in the history of this country. also more on the economy
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teetering between high inflation and possible recession. we'll talk to the political person who famously said, "it's the economy, stupid." james cacarville joins us. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ discover intuitive technology at the lexus golden opportunity sales event.
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tonight's reporting in "the washington post," the justice department is investigating the former president's actions with respect to january 6th comes at the end of a day that we saw the former president return to office and familiar theme, himself. >> a friend of mine said i was the most persecuted person in the history of our country. then i started thinking about it, kellyanne. i said you may very well be right. >> it was after a long litany of crime. he said this. >> we have to give back our law enforcement resources, power and prestige. we have to leave our police
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alone. every time they do something, they're afraid they're going to be destroyed, their pension is going to be taken away, they'll be fired, they'll be put in jail. let them do their job. give them back the respect that they deserve. >> as you might imagine, those words, which were well received by the audience, might land quite differently for many people, especially in law enforcement, in light of what they experienced on january 67th as trump supporters violently assaulted police, including a d.c. police officers who was badly beaten, tasered and subsequently suffered post traumatic stress. when you hear the former president say give police, quote, back the respect that they deserve, i'm wondering what went through your mind. >> just listening to the speech,
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while there were certainly elements of it that i agree with, i think he's the least credible person, perhaps the least credible person in our history to deliver any remarks purporting himself to be pro-police or, you know, pro law and order. he literally incited an insurrection and that there is significant evidence now that we've seen to show that he participated in and maybe even orchestrated a seditious conspiracy. >> and the former president is claiming that he champions law enforcement, as someone who was obviously viciously attacked by members of the trump-inspired mob, he claims he's championing law enforcement calling police officers his heros. do you buy that? we've heard testimony in the january 6th commission from people who were working with the
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former president who specifically had pointed out he doesn't -- all that stuff about his support for law enforcement, once you see what he did put up upon on january 6th, it just -- >> i mean, donald trump is pro police in that he supports the police officers that vote for him, just like he's pro anyone who was willing to cast a ballot in his favor. but as far as caring about the individual law enforcement officers, just like a lot of people in this country that he couldn't care less. >> i want to play another part of what the former president said about law and order today. >> and where there is a true and total breakdown of law and order where citizens' most basic vhav been violated, the president should send the national guard
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to restore the peace without having to wait the approval of some governor who think it's politically incorrect to send them in. they need to send the national guard to chicago until safety can be restored, which can happen very, very quickly. >> the former president is talking about not having to wait for a governor's approval. we heard the federal government never gave them a formal order on january 6th like he keeps claiming he did. >> first of all, we have a law in this country which prevents federal troops from entering into the states and engage in law enforcement activity without first receiving approval and authorization from the governors. i'm an american. i don't want to live in a country where i'm policed by the
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military. i think that's probably one of the most unamerican things that i could imagine. i get it crime is real bad in some of these areas, but there are a lot of other solutions, you know, rather than declaring martial law. and again, like the irony of donald trump claiming that he's willing to use these resources to combat crime but was not willing to use them to defend the police officers who were fighting to protect members of congress and the capitol complex. >> it is particularly shameless of him on his first time back to washington to be making this the subject of his speech. he defended insurrectionists in this speech, people who, quote, in his words, in some cases didn't even enter the building. he went on to say they are, quote, being tortured and handled so handled so horribly.
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what do you say to this? >> he sent them to the capitol on january 6th. he has to stick up for them. i'm assuming his going to submit a bid for 2024 to run for president. call calling him shameless, those things ring hollow. those are just not words that mean anything to him. unfortunately they don't mean a whole lot to many of his supporters. >> i appreciate talking to you as always. thank you. coming up, new polling showing trouble from president biden's possible election efforts. i'll talk to james carville next. a monster was attacking but the team remained calm.
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a new cnn poll today showed a dim outlook for the president of 2024. 75% of democratic voters want someone other than president biden for president in 2024. it's said it's the weakest numbers of an incumbent president since jimmy carter. inflation at 40.
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year high, americans struggling with rising costs in food, housing, gas, consumer confidence slipping for the third straight month in july. the president said he doesn't believe we will see a recession. joining me is james carville. is there anything the president can do to reverse thee kind of numbers in his own party? >> if we have a decent 2022, it will help. in my business it's considered to be impliolite to talk about e election before the next one. we'll see how well we do in november this year and we'll get to 2024. >> i famously coined the phrase "it's the economy stupid." index for consumer confidence fel fell for the third month in a row.
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what can the democrats say to impact this next election? >> hourly workers are actually having a pretty good go at it. there's no doubt there's deep and profound troubles in this economy, but the strange thing is that contra-indications, some of these senate races, the guys called me and said we're doing a lot better than i thought we'd be doing and small donor stuff is pouring in for democrats. >> is that related to roe v. wade, to the idea of president trump coming back? what do you think it is? >> we're going to find out a lot a week from today in kansas because there's an election, an actual election where dobbs is more or less on the ballot. so we'll know a week from tonight exactly what it is because in one of the deepest red states, the question of regulation of abortion is going
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to be on the ballot and people will actually vote on that. that's something that every viewer of this network and this program should be, you know, get their popcorn out and watch these election returns tuesday night because they're going to be very, very significant. >> if you were in the white house right now and whether it's concern about the presidential election or the mid terms, what would your messaging be? what would get you up in the morning? >> what would get me up in the morning is first thing i'd do is exactly what ron klain does, i would check the gas prices and check in with the different campaigns and see what's going on. the truth of the matter is there's not for a president to do. i sat through the 1994 cycle and we got clobbered, we got clobbered in 2010 and republicans got clobbered in 2018. there's a lot of history going against the party in power but you're trying to get things better.
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the truth of the matter is we're actually doing better in the generic ballot test in a lot of these senate races around the country. so there's some sunshine coming in which looks like a really dark cycle. >> i want to ask you about this thing that some groups that support democrats have done which is bought advertising, which may boost far-right candidates, the idea that fringe candidates will be easier to defeat in a general election. congressman kinzinger called democrat groups deniers disgusting. i want to play what he said and ask you to respond. >> sure. >> while i think a certain number of democrats truly understand that democracy is threatened, don't come to me after having spent money supporting an election denier in a primary and then come to me and say where are all the good republicans? you're worried about democracy. i truly believe that all these
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issues we argue about, they matter, but the things that matters the most right now is the threat to our democracy. it's the thing our kids will judge us by. when we're sitting there playing dnc politics, let's promote the crazy and if that person win, you don't understand the real threat. i'm sorry, you don't understand the threat to democracy. >> what do you think of this strategy that some of doing? >> well, look, this is going on forever. rush limbaugh told his people to vote and crossover in democratic primaries. i've seen this happen any number of times and most of the time it's ineffective and doesn't work. if i'm running the campaign, i'm going to do whatever i think is in the best interest of that candidate. that's what they hired me to do. i would without hesitation, equivocation, if i thought it would promote my candidate, i'd do it and not have one iota of moral qualm about it. usually it's not very effective.
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people say, well, the democrats wanted to one against reagan. okay, the republicans didn't nominate him anyway. well, the democrats didn't want to run against trump. the idea that they have the real power to do this. but in pennsylvania if the josh shapiro thing, what they did i think was ethical, smart and they're acting in the best interest of their candidate, their party, their supporters and their donors. i have no problem with it. >> james carville, that's why we asked you. appreciate it i knew you'd get your thing in. best to your family. up next, a look at next week's primary battle in michigan where a pressure naun republican congressman who voted to to impeach the former president. that's coming up. everything was all good bubut then things hit a slight snag. ok so they were trtrying to very my employment status while i was at work, in n a giant hole, in a mine.
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but then something amazing happened. hello? carvan worked with my shift manager and got everything sorted out i didn't miss out on the car. super helpful. i w over the moon, even though i was underground. we'll drive you happy at carvana. primary battle in michigan where
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it's paid for by the out of state gambling corporations that wrote prop 27. it doesn't tell you 90% of the profits go to the out of state corporations. a tiny share goes to the homeless, and even less to tribes. and a big loophole says, costs to promote betting reduce money for the tribes, so they get less. hidden agendas. fine print. loopholes. prop 27. they didn't write it for the tribes or the homeless. they wrote it for themselves. it is one week before and the most closely watched republican primaries in the country. the mayor voted for the impeachment of the former president. gibbs is endorsed by him.
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>> reporter: three days into congress meyers freshman term, pro-trump rioters attacked the capitol. a week after that, he voted with nine other republicans he voted with trump to impeach biden. >> if your number one job in office is to stay in office, you should find another job. >> reporter: you don't regret that vote? >> not for a second. >> reporter: despite hailing from a storied michigan family and maintaining a conservative voting record, tjohn gibbs is trying to unseat him. gibbs is embracing false election claims.
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you think the election was stolen? >> i think there was enough to change the result. >> reporter: what do you say to folks who think that kind of rhetoric is dangerous? >> don't blame the messenger. >> reporter: it was never proven. what do you say to the fact that it doesn't materialize? >> i think one analogy is the mafia. you can never arrest them, even though they were throwing guys off roofs and stuff. >> reporter: it's that kind of rhetoric, being propped up by this ad. >> hand picked by trump to run for president. >> i think that gibbs has certainly fired up a certain portion of the electorate over those claims. and i think it's dangerous. >> reporter: democrats could flip the seat with a boost from redistricting. >> this ducistrict is so winnab.
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we can do it this time. >> reporter: moving the district nearly 12 points in the democrat election. is the president helping or hurting you in this race? >> the president isn't in this race. >> reporter: yet both biden and his predecessor loom large. like the former president, gibbs downplayed the january 6th attack by the trump-inspired mob. trump supporters, do you blame them who were there? were they the ones who came into the capitol? >> i don't know but from my understanding, the vast number of them were standing around and holding flags. those people didn't do anything wrong. >> reporter: meyers lived through the deadly riot of that day. >> for three hours the president did nothing. i think that was a shameless dereliction of duty. >> i'm amazed at some of the things mr. gibbs says with a straight face. how does the rest of the
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republican feel about him? >> reporter: they want peter meyer to win. the republican leader kevin mccarthy quietly gave through his leadership pac $10,000 to peter meyer just over the last several days. the republican committee is staying neutral on this. what's interesting in this race, pe peter anderson and his super pack have spent a ton of money trying to promote him. not only does january 6 views and the views about false claims about a stolen election they plant to jump on but also his views on abortion as well, anderson, telling me he does not support exception in the cases of rape, something democrats undoubtedly are trying to exploit in the general election. >> thanks. after years of waiting, families
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of those of those killed at sandy hook elementary school in connecticut are finally getting a chance to get paid. we'll have a live report from auststin, texas, next. and with resolve you neverer hae to worry about the mess. love the love, resolve the mess. (computer keys clicking) (mouse clicks) - shriners hospitals for children is awesome! my favorite people in shriners are the doctors and the nurses because they hel people through life. wow, i was a really cute kid! (chuckles) but it's true! shriners hospitals for children is awesome! the first time i went to shriners hospitals for children, i was two months old. since then, they have helped me with over 18 operations, and thousands of rehabilitation hours. because of their care,
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opening arguments began today in the first of several trials by parents of kids killed in the sandy hook. >> harm that was done to the grieving parents of children who have had to endure for ten years the most despicable and vile
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campaign of def naamation of character in history. >> the mass killing occurred ten years ago this december in newtown, connecticut. six adults, 20 children were murdered. joining me is "the new york times'" elizabeth williamson. you've been following, elizabeth, this story and the consequences of alex jones' lies about sandy hook shootings for years. what stood out to you in court today? >> hey, anderson. thanks for having me on. i think what stood out to me is that this is the first time that we have heard a dollar figure attached to the suffering that these families have gone through after alex jones began spreading lies about sandy hook, that it was a government hoax in service to gun control. this is an attempt to sort of, you know, put a material value on what they've gone through as that sort of secondary trauma after the shooting itself.
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>> the $150 million in damages, $75 million represents one dollar for each person who didn't believe the shooting occurred because of false information pushed by alex jones. that's what the lawyers are saying. i'm wondering what the reaction from jones was when that number was set in court. >> he was visibly unnerved by that. it's kind of a complicated formula that the lawyers came up with after monday when jones' own lawyer suggested that they might seek a single dollar in damages. and he extended this argument that the parents' loss of their son, jesse lewis, was so enormous that anything jones could have said or done was just sort of paled in comparison. this motivated the lawyers to say that for -- they cited a poll in which a quarter of americans shortly after the shooting believed that sandy hook was either definitely or
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possibly faked. and so that's 750 americans. they came up with a formula that would make him pay a dollar for the reputational damage and motional damage that he inflicted by convincing that many people that the shooting was faked. >> i understand alex jones was parading around today, acting as if he's a victim. and in the proceedings did he go out and hold a press conference that the judge add mmonished hi for? >> yes. after this $650,000 amount was raised, a couple dozen feet from the courtroom, the judge was really unhappy about that because jurors are in the area. so she admonished him for that. he was enormously angry. he called this a
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constitution-destroying move and that it was a kangaroo court and a show trial. this is something he's been saying for years of course. >> is there any indication that jones will actually testify? >> that's an open question. up know you know, he was in the court today, as we've seen in other court appearances in other related cases he has a hard time kind of controlling his emotions in court. today he was putting a piece of duct tape over his mouth saying "save the first," meaning the first amendment and leaving duct tape on the table in front of the jurors. i think it would be seen as a risk because he's such an un unpred unpredictable character. >> he has a pretty ingenious business model. when you look at the fine -- the
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proposed judgment, really that's equivalent to about three years worth of $50 million in annual revenues that he has earned. sel selling doomsday medical, body armor, diet supplements all for people who distrust anything from traditional medicine to the federal government. that's kind of what's at the root of this whole case. so the money is probably there. >> elizabeth williamson, i so appreciate all your reporting for years on this. thank you. we we'll be right backck. right un. or... his nose.
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klondike could not have picked a worse time to announce the end of an ice cream treat. choco taco is no more. klondike did say they're working hard to bring it back to ice cream trucks in the coming years. the news continues. let's turn it over to laura. >> is there a burrito coming at some point? if the push pop goes, i'm out of here. thanks, anderson. everyone