tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN March 20, 2017 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT
>> reporter: but with the president off, we'll have to find out if he played golf from a little birdie. >> anderson's next. >> good evening from washington, this was by any measure a remarkable day. two months into his presidency and a little more than two weeks since the saturday slew of tweets accusing president obama of a spying on him, a sitting president of the united states was rebuked public by by the head of the nsa, rebuked on suggestion that british television was involved. there's a lot to cover over the next two hours but one of the oddest aspects of today was how the white house responded to what was by nearly all definitions a pretty bad day for the president. even while the hearing was unholding, the white house was selectively live tweeting the hearings. here is the tweet, quote, "the
nsa and fbi tell congress that russia did not influence electoral process. that is not, however, what the fbi and nsa said at all and director comey said so. and this isn't true what sean spicer said today about the campaign's former chairman. >> there's been discussion of paul manafort who played a very limited role for a very limited amount of time. >> trying to minimize paul manafort as time. >> i have fantastic people. paul manafort just came on. he's great. >> paul is amazing. he helped us get through the primary process. >> i brought paul in because a very, very smart mine who knew him very well said he was fantastic. >> paul manafort remains as our chairman. >> bringing in a professional like paul made the campaign.
we need ten more of him. >> that's a small amount of the items we could have put together there. >> what we saw and heard today is not business as usual in washington. it was extraordinary. pamela brown tonight sets the stage. >> reporter: fbi director james comb comey wasting no time dropping this bombshell. >> this includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the trump campaign and the russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and russia's efforts. >> reporter: and in a rue bebur
the president, comey said there was no information supporting the fact that president obama wiretap tapped trump tower. the head of the nsa, admiral mike rodgers denied a report repeated by the white house that the obama administration asked british intelligence to spy on the campaign. >> no, sir, nor would i. that would be expressly against the construct of the agreement that's been in place for decades. >> reporter: republicans focused on whether laws were broken and reporting about ousted national security adviser michael flynn's conversations with the russian ambassador that were caught on surveillance. and even insinuating former obama appointees could be the source of the leaks.
>> do you know whether director clapper knew the name of the u.s. citizen that appeared in the "new york times" and "washington post"? >> i can't say in this forum. >> would director brennan have access to an unmasked u.s. citizen's name? >> in some cases, yes. >> congressman trey gowdy providing no evidence to back up his accusations. >> it wasn't simply that the russians had a negative preference against secretary clinton, they also had a pr positive preference for donald trump. >> comey repeatedly tried to avoid going any further on what the investigation has uncovered. >> i'm not going to talk about any particular person here today. i can't answer that. >> reporter: perhaps anticipating outcry from democrats, comey sought to
explain the different between today's testimony and when he spoke with the investigation of hillary clinton as you use of a private server. >> some folks may want to make some comparisons. past instances have spoken about the details of some investigations, but please keep in mind that those involve the desales tails of completed investigations. our ability to share details with congress and the american people are limited when those investigations are still open. i hope this makes sense. >> did he give an indication how long this is supposed to continue? >> he was asked but he said he didn't know. he did say the investigation began this past july. one person i spoke with said counterintelligence suches th counterv counterinvestigation can take a while. normally they're doing it with
shades of gray. it's not black and white. for example, there could be a source that claims something but they have a tough time corroborating that information so it's unclear, frankly, when this wrap up. it could be some time, which could mean a cloud hanging over the trump white house for some time but it also could mean that the smoking gun that some peo e people, including some democrats on the hill are looking for may not come to fruition. we don't know how it going to play out. anderson. >> the president is in louisville, kentucky. ryan nobles is there. ryan, has he responded yet to the fbi director's comments. >> reporter: he has not, anderson. and it's interesting because he's been speaking for 25 minutes to a raucous crowd. no mention of the hearing that
took place today in washington. the on response today at this point has been a series of tweets from the official potus accounts. throughout the hearing they were refuting some of the claims made and taking out of context some of the things said as well. as i said before, anderson, 25 minutes into this speech, no mention by the president at all about the serious accusations that were leveled this morning at that hearing. anderson. >> we should point out that tweet we talked about was that from the official potus tweet page and they still have not corrected that tweet, even though it's been pointed out to them multiple times what they're saying is no true. how is the white house responding to the statement that no wiretap evidence has been found? >> reporter: they're still not backing down, anderson. you have now republicans and democrats in the house and sena senate. now you have the fbi director
himself coming out and saying there's no evidence yet sean spicer did not back down. listen to what he said today in the press praefibriefing. >> he said there's no information to -- >> at this time. >> p. >> reporter: is the president prepared to withdraw that accusation -- >> no, we started a hearing, they're still on going. this is one in a series of hearings that will be happening. there's also a lot of interesting news coming out of that in terms of the activities that have gone on to reveal information of individual this been a part of this, particularly general flynn. there a lot of things that aren't being covered that are very interesting. since it's ongoing, i'll leave that for now. >> so as you heard there, anderson, not backing away from that wiretap claim but at another part in the press
briefing today, they did seem to distance themselves from some of the talk about the interactions with the trump campaign and russia, particularly former campaign manager paul manafort, who sean spicer described as having a limited role in the campaign. that's not true at all. he was the campaign chairman, he organized the convention. perhaps an attempt to distance themselves from someone who played a central role. >> paul manafort said, quote, he's never spoken with any russian government officials or anyone claiming to be involved in the attacks. as soon as he talks about today's events, if he does, we'll go to him live. with that is national security
analyst steve hollings, new yorker washington correspondent ryan lizza is joining us, david gergen and gloria borger, paul bell b be begala. >> i would argue this was the worst day of his 60-day presidency and that the role road ahead is pretty perilous for him because they now have this big cloud hanging over the white house. today was the day that donald trump's own fbi director said that the president was wrong, that president obama did not wi wiretap his phone and made it clear that there was an ongoing
investigation of trump officials communicating with the russians, his own fbi director swatted him counsel and the white house with sean spicer saying nothing has changed or that the hearings are still ongoing but i think a lot kanged today. >> david, watching the hearings, it was almost like there were two different hearings going on, republicans asking questions basically about leaks more or less and democrats focusing on allegations of russian hack organize allegations of cooperation. >> they obviously had game plans on both sides. but the republicans in turn should have given much more attention to the russian allegation because after all, those are foundational. i agree with glovia.
we've never had a sitting president accuse a former president of a high crime, an impeachable offense and do it in such a blunt way and then have that argument, that statement totally rebuked -- >> by his own justice department. >> by his own justice department. >> thank goodness for checks and balances. this is another time when the system worked to show us, mr. president, you got to start doing this. you're shredding your own credibility. i also agree this could go on for a long time now and it greatly complicates the chances of governing. i was in that white house during watergate and i can tell you that was a much, much bigger and this is not watergate but there's that same sense of, you know, we don't even know what the ruth truth is inside the wh house. we don't know where this goes. it leaves you with a great pit
in your stomach as to where it's going. >> by the white house continuing to kind of have this line there's nothing to see, we didn't see anything today, nothing new happened today, oh, and by the way, what comey said -- they're misrepresenting what comey said and now they're saying paul manafort, the guy we all interviewed and knew and listened to actually wasn't there much at all. >> it was almost as if they didn't see the hearing or watch the hearing, that was different than what we all watched. i think today is the first day where you have to think well, wow, this could be something abnormal. you have the fbi confirming an span investigation involving the without -- white house. the gravity of this can't be
understated. i think the fact that comey was so reluctant to answer anything i think suggests the depth of this investigation. if this was a nothing investigation, i think comey would have been a little bit more forthcoming. and the response from the white house is triple down on the original tweets that now the fbi director, the leadership of both intelligence committees, the dni, the brits and anybody who knows about the intelligence concerning obama and his potential to surveil trump has now said that was false and thes would still won't admit that. >> we heard from a lot of democrats today, some of them were making statements knowing the director wouldn't be able to answer, it's very possible there is nothing there, this is all just circumstantial and just smoke but no actual fire. this could go on for a very,
very long time. >> this is going to be a counternmgs investigation that may or may not lead to criminal conduct. and the problem with counterintelligence investigations s is is that th very, very complicate $. they deal with sensitive, secret information obtained in a clandestine fashion. in this case we're talking about, for example, russia. so you're going to have cia and nsa who will also be involved in terms of collecting information. we don't know yetit may be counterespionage. it may be a lot of smoke and no fire. having been involved in a couple of councillor intelligence matters myself, there seems to be a lot more smoke than -- there's got to be something behind it. >> you believe that as someone
involved in investigations? >> if i were leading this counterintelligence investigation, i would say i defer to the lawyers on how to prove this and move it forward but i think there's something here. >> were you surprised comey went as far as he was today? >> i was, too. >> i think it would have been easier for him to say this is a a very sensitive investigation and because of all the sensitivities -- >> i think we're out of touch. i think the average person watching -- number one, the average person didn't watch that hearing today. >> can we stop that argument? that argument is made all the time. if you use that argument, nothing really matters. the only thing that matters is someone as family life and their day-to-day activities? >> i'm not trying to shut it down with a phony way to shut it down. i sincerely think there was a time d-- 15 years ago if a hearing like this what taken place, the country would have
been in an uproar over the allegations up in smoke. of course if there was a smoking gun that shows president trump knew about this and was communicating with the russians, then it would be a big deal. but we live in a world today where donald trump gets away with so much, there's the depth of outrage. i think woe're much more outragd than the average person. >> that doesn't necessarily make it right. >> my point is ultimately when richard nixon -- going back to watergate when richard nixon was president, part of what forced him to resign was public pressure, and members of congress. there was shame. there's no shame. >> with watergate, there were a lot of people who stuck with nixon all the way to the end. was it a groundswell or republicans in congress who were holding hearings and finally it became untenable? >> it was a tie.
the republicans to their credit took the lead in going to president nixon and saying you got to resign. >> but that could still happen here. this is going to be a long process. there's going to be more hearings. and when the question is raised, when people associated with the president of the united states -- >> if it wait a minute out that paul manafort did this, i could see donald trump saying, oh, i had no idea. he didn't even work for me. >> i have to take a quick break. we'll continue this discussion. we'll have from congressman adam schiff and republican congressman trey gowdy.
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welcome back. quite a day. president trump has just finished speaking. he did not make any reference to the hearings o todtoday. the democrats spofocusing on th criminal and counterintelligence contacts, republicans spotlights on the leaks about the investigation. i spoke to trey gowdy earlier this evening. but first, congressman schiff. i want to play a portion of his opening remarks today. >> is it possible that the removal of ukraine pro vivision from the gop platform was a coincidence, is it a coincidence that jeff session forgot to tell
the senate about his meetings with ambassador. is it a coincidence that ronald stone predicted that john podesta would be a victim of a russian ham and have his private e-mails were published? is it possible that all of these events and reports are completely unrelated and nothing more than an entirely unhappy o coincidence. is it possible? yes, it is possible. but it is also possible, maybe more than possible that they are not coincidental, not disconnected and not unrelated and that the russians used the
same techniques to corrupt that they used elsewhere. we simply don't know, not yet. and we owed it to the country to find out. >> thank you for joining us after this long day for you. how do you reconcile the information today with the white house still standing behind its statements. >> there is no way to reconcile it. i was hoping the president would say, okay, enough. that was too much to hope for. either the president is just fundamentally incapable of admitting error, or he just can't discern fact from fiction and he is so vested in this now, he truly believes it. that's probably a more frig
frightening prospect. >> the nsa and fbi tell congress that russia did not influence electoral process. that is not true. even a million people responded to them on twitter saying that's not true, that's not what director comey said. that tweet is still up there. >> and here's the problem. we saw this snaexact scenario played out when the unclassified information was published. they said there was no evidence there was impact on the election. that's not what was said today. >> you can't say to the fbi or the nsa, you can't say whether it impacted the electoral process. >> and of course it had an impact in the election in the fact it forced one candidate to continue to respond to these
leaked e-mails. we don't know whether it was decisive and it's just not the intelligence community's place to try and figure that out. they made at that clear. for the president to say otherwise is just another falsehood labeled on falsehood. >> i heard from a lot of democrats today who said, look, director comey talked about an ongoing investigation against hillary clinton before the election. based on testimony he gave today, this investigation into russia and the trump campaign was ongoing at that time or before the election late july, and he could have said there's this other investigation. why would he say there was an investigation about hillary clinton and not say this investigation of going on. >> i think the criticism is perfectly salad. >> you think he should have? >> yes, he is should have. he attempted distinguish them today but frankly i don't buy
the distinction. he said the one investigation on hillary clinton was closed and this one was open. but the fact is he talked about the clinton e-mails 11 days and two days before the election, was it closed then? no, it was reopened or in some kind of a twilight stage. the reality is i don't think it can be justified. >> is there a reason you didn't press him on that today. >> you know, frankly, i'm not sure that there's much value to reliving it in that question. i thought that that was the wrong judgment call at the time the director talked about that so close to the election. i think that violated department policy and i can't reconcile the approach you took there and his unwillingness to sign the attribution, acknowledging that the russians were interfering. that didn't even go necessarily to any trump campaign involvement. >> when congressman doughty
began name being normal obama officials, not only president obama, clammer and others, where do you think he was going with that? and that was all in relation to his final question about the leak and where it may have come from. i talked to congressman gowdy, we were going to play that in the sext negment hp he says he was not implying that any of those people were the people who leaked the information. i said it could have come from people in the trump white house. he said, yeah, it could have. everybody he named was a democrat. do you think that was what he was applying? >>. >> i think up until the last day of the trump administration, he will be blaming obama for something. the reality is we don't know where the leaks are coming from. they're probably coming from different sources and some of
the sources may be in trump's own white house. so mr. gowdy could just as well have said did steve bannon know about this, did the white house know about this. he could have named anyone in the president's circle who were equally in a position to have leaked this and maybe this was a product of an internason scene in the white house. i do think the committee gop need to be careful. >> just very briefly, were you pleased with to you pod went? just watching it as an observer, it did feel like there were two different committees, one republicans focusing on leaks and rush in any possible connections. >> i mentioned people were likely to see us focused on different things and that's perfectly fine. the most important thing is we have come to agreement that we ought to look at all of these issues. we ought to investigate all of
them. i'm not trying to investigate, to looking at all of the issues and we have signed within a lope and one side or the other to wall off any legitimate inquiry. >> congressman schiff, i appreciate your time. >> thank you. >> just add. we'll hear from congressman trey gowdy. allergies with nasal congestion? find fast relief behind the counter with claritin-d. [ upbeat music ] strut past that aisle for the allergy relief that starts working in as little as 30 minutes and contains the best oral decongestant. live claritin clear, with claritin-d.
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republicans hearings, south carolina governor trey gowdy discussed conversations that were intercepted by american intelligence. th he started by ask being james comey about james clapper. >> would he have access to an unmasked name? >> in some circumstance, sure. he's the director of national intelligence. >> would director brennan have access to an unmasked u.s. citizen's name? >> in some circumstances, yes. >> would norfolk adviser susan right have access to unmasked citize citizens's name?
>> in general, yes. >> would former white house adviser ben rhodes have access to an unmasked u.s. citizensans name? >> i don't know the ann to that. >> would former attorney general loretta lynch have access to a name. >> in general, yes. >> and that would also include sallyates if. >> >> same answer. >> did you brief president obama on -- i'll just ask you. did you brief president obama on any calls involving michael flynn? >> i'm not going to get into either that particular case, that matter, or any conversations hi with the president so i can't answer that. >> i spoke with congressman gowdy just before air time. congressman gowdy, you put a lot of focus on leaks today, the anonymous sourcing that led to news reports.
can you that is os important or more important than discussed raugs's role in trying to influence the election? it's all important, which is why i asked for additional time at the end and you i went through all of the other non-leak-related matters. it all really important. i am a former criminal prosecutor so it makes sense that i would be asked to pursue the potential criminality. but i went back and covered all of it with my second line of questioning. >> at one point you name served. >> perhaps that it was one of them who were the source general flynn's communications, the leak of general flynn's communications with the russian ambassador being revealed. were you just floating that idea
or do you believe it was one them? a lot of democrats pointing to the fact it could have been somebody from the crumb crumb anderson, we'd already saabaged 20 different people in the nsa were in the unmasking train. i skebd previously with director comey and another setting, i went throughout cia, went through main jt. >> anyone who thinks the president of the united states was either jouming on -- that is what president trump has accused him of in the early morning
tweets he sent out, i don't know, two weeks ago. does that make sense to smu. >> i used to accuse people of crumbs for a living. i know how serious that prom ul goes sfrrch spb a prosecutor and had a formal chocking document. even though i wouldn't do it publicly. >> there is obviously leaks have always gone on or the nsa director today talked about reading over the washington, republicans were on it, he was accused by the democrats and democrats were leaking oat
heerl. sfchl. >> well, apdson there's a difference between leaks. that's a moral issue whether or not -- you never ahead me weekly to complement julian assange. that's a moral issue on some level. the leaking of classified information or the leaking of information that was acquired through a another crime is a relying on anorthern mouse souss and relying on classified.
of tweets. congressman himes read it to director james comey and asked for a realtime fact check. >> the anybody tells nab mabb has gone out to millions of american, isn't.com mill yams this are exact lp. >> it's hard for me it react. let me tell you what we understand the state of what we've said it. we've offered no opinion, have no view, are no information on pee it. >> so, paul, as a kroot who, you know, very clearly was working for hillary clinton, you clearly pish james comby believe or
should up about the thethe nins while clearing hillary, put on a 60 or 90-minute infomercial attacking her. even thod we don't talk about that. they're own because we don't want to but our president, sometimes he lies our allies in the u.i. pb. >> so we know he's a lawyer. he learned that from the sprrm. >> potential collusion with a pos pill, african-american.
for it to be coming from from personal look, i was on a radio talk show in birminghamham, alabama, the richard dixon show by name. we were talking about the tweet and wiretapping and a host said to me we speak here beon try to -- remember the old sherlock holmes about the curious incident with the dark that
didn't dark at a stranger in the middle of the night. if a clael and it is not possible it didn't mean brark when he called him sick and, you know, termly kind of attacked this, he said it was mccarthyism and all thet flm, you have to have a sr the national security adviser today under oath said no he's wrong, right? >> in his own justice department. >> in the justice department. >> so he's going to fine hirst attorney general, his fbi director and attorney general. they said it not true because maybe it not.
this is the problem. either he's nuts and deliberate literally, they don't speak -- >> american ease. >> because they're so part of washington that they are actually taking the president of the united states. >>. i have toll you, this is such a classic washington story. >> come on. >> i think that's totally wrong. look, i don't think every person is following every aspect of the fact that they're human beings. >> because that's where the seed of the government is it. >> the storm's just there. >> stu: it's right here. >> what i think was a little bit
cloudless but congressman gowdy where no one this any if someone robbed a bank, let's say. but if the police then don't read the miranda rights and abuse that person, we should also be very, very considered about this. it's a crime that we shouldn't have dismissed. >> the question is doo d deep throat go to. >> we don't want a world where ecan leak unanimous information. we can all accept that.
but it shouldn't be a tough call and country more post limb i with [ all talking at once we're going to be, it's going to take a long time to investigate and figure out what really happened between the russians and the folks around the president. i think we crossed a threshold today. this is so obviously, boom, he wiretapped me, he's a bad guy. he's a sick guy, and the whole world had a chance to watch this unfold, and it was a direct test of his credibility. and the whole world now knows he lied about it, and his white house is continuing to lie about it. and i just can't tell you how important trust is between the american people and the president. >> i wish we lived in the world
that david gergen thinks we live in. >> i'm sorry. one of the reasons people didn't vote for hillary clinton is they didn't trust her. trust matters. >> also the question is, maybe to your point, maybe it's not right now today, but others have made this point that down the road, months from now when the president stands up and says we have to go to war or launch this attack because this is what's happened, is there enough of a trust deficit? >> i would argue yes. >> lyndon johnson went down over this. that's what's opening up here, it makes a real difference in the capacity of a president. we've seen it again and again. when we have a president who is a congenital liar, it really matters. >> unless, david, and we did have a president for eight years who said if you want your doctor you can keep it. >> do you believe this president of the united states is a congenital liar? >> no. >> do you believe he has lied repeatedly? >> no. >> i believe he's a liar.
>> that electoral thing that you just mentioned, the electoral tweet, i think they are referring to the questions which we all saw where they asked, did this influence, do you have information about pennsylvania, ohio, wisconsin. >> that's not what the tweet said, the electoral process. >> that's part of the electoral process. >> no, it's not. come on, jeffrey. >> you don't think he's a liar. do you think he was wrong? >> look. >> on his obama tweets. >> sure. >> well, was he wrong in this particular instance? >> donald trump -- >> all of us accept for jeffrey would agree that he's a liar. jeffrey, jeffrey. >> i think you have a very good point there. we become desensitized. sadly, we've arrived at the point of the death of outrage. >> maybe an optimistic note here. one thing that's good here today is we had institutions working to correct a white house that is out of control with misinformation.
we had a fbi director that by all counts is doing a serious investigation here. as pa as part san as that congress is, >> is there anybody in the president's orbit who is trying to speak the truth rather than a version of their -- >> i won't be as optimistic about the white house, but at least the fbi and republicans and democrats are genuinely trying to get to the bottom of this issue. up next, what trump supporters have to say. in louisville, where americanese is spoken. it's also spoken here. but we'll be right back. at fidelity, you get a retirement score in just 60 seconds. and we'll help you make decisions for your plan... to keep you on track. it's your retirement. know where you stand.
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upper respiratory tract infection, and headache. tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, and if you're pregnant or planning to be. ask your dermatologist about otezla today. otezla. show more of you. just moments ago, as we mentioned, donald trump wrapped up his campaign-style rally in louisville. our gary tuckman is in louisville to get their take. here's gary's report. [cheers and applause] >> reporter: president trump wasn't set to arrive until the evening. but that didn't stop these ardent supporters from arriving very early in the morning. [cheers and applause] >> reporter: and mike carroll was near the front of the line. >> i've got a copy of march 1990 playboy interview with donald trump. >> reporter: he waited in line for hours in hopes of getting a trump autograph on that
magazine. and while he was waiting, the fbi director was testifying on capitol hill. the director is testifying on whether any crimes were committed. does that trouble you. >> it really doesn't. >> reporter: why not? >> i look at it as a matter of, minor issue that i think is perpetuated by the media. >> reporter: also thinking it's minor, this minor. >> my papaw was a miner too. >> reporter: he says all the accusations against trump are unfair. >> i think he's doing a great job. >> reporter: you don't think he's getting distracted? >> no, i don't think so. >> reporter: many think any russia links are not a problem. >> i think that all of our super powers in the world interfere with everybody's elections, and if by bringing out e-mails for someone as evil as hillary not being president, please bring it out. >> reporter: it's okay that
donald trump said that, that he wanted russia to release those e-mails? >> absolutely. our media is so lib reral in th united states, if our people aren't going to do it, let russia do it for us. >> reporter: meanwhile, the claim that he was wiretapped is still widely believed. no one's saying it. >> when the truth comes out, then what's everybody going to say? >> reporter: why isn't he presenting that evidence now? >> i think there's more to it than the public can know. and they've got to get everything all together. >> reporter: do you think donald trump's involved in preparation to present this at some point? >> yes, mm-hm. i do believe that. >> reporter: one of the few trump supporters we found that is fine with the investigation is robert berry. >> otherwise there's no legitimacy. if it turns out to be true, that would be bad, and i would be very disappointed. >> reporter: what people are not disappointed with, two months
into his presidency is donald trump's tenacity. what do you think his greatest accomplishment has been so far? >> i think standing up to the press that he's received so far. he's got and tremendous headwind. >> reporter: you think that's his greatest accomplishment, dealing with the pressure as opposed to something more specific? >> i think he's delivering on a lot of his campaign promises already. >> reporter: what's the main one? >> the immigration, the movements he's made on immigration are important. >> reporter: the travel ban has been turned down by courts so far. >> some of that stuff's out of his hands. >> you've been going to these campaign-style rallies since the president took office. do you notice anything in the last two months? >> reporter: as we've traveled around the country since inauguration day, we've certainly talked to trump voters who have concerns about the presidency. but here at the rallies, you have the most loyal trump voters, the loyalist of the loyal. and the enthusiasm we saw tonight matches or exceeds the enthusiasm i've seen at any rally before or after he became
president. >> thanks very much, we appreciate all those folks talking to you. we have much more to tell you about on 360. including more breaking news on air travel, why some things are banned on flights to the u.s., things like computers and mosh. we'll tell you about that ahead. . we'll tell you about that ahead. . we'll tell you about that ahead. . we'll tell you about that ahead. . we'll tell you about that ahead.