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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  June 12, 2017 10:00pm-11:01pm PDT

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no shortage of breaking news, surrounding the russia investigation, tomorrow senate testimony by jeff sessions, the president weighing the possibility of actually firing
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mueller. >> i think he is considering perhaps terminating the special counsel. i think he is weighing that option. i think it's pretty clear by what one of his lawyers said on television recently. i personally think it would be a very significant mistake. even though i don't think there's a justification and even though -- here you have a situation -- >> you don't think there's a justification? >> for a special counsel in this case. robert mueller, there's some real conflict. he comes from a law firm that represent members of the trump family. he interviewed the day before -- a few days before he was appointed with the president looking at him to become the next fbi director. that hasn't been published, but it's true. i think it would be strange that he would have a confidential conversation and then a few days
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later become the prosecutor of the person he may be investigating. i think that mueller should have not taken the position if he was under consideration and had a private meeting with the president and was privy maybe to some of his thoughts about that investigation or other matters before the bureau. >> christopher ruddy earlier today. cnn's jim acosta joins us now from the white house. jim, has the white house had anything to say about the comments? >> they have. in the last hour, the deputy press secretary put out a brief statement saying that chris speaks for himself. and then a separate statement from white house officials thereafter saying that chris ruddy did not meet with the president before making these comments. i know because i saw chris myself over here at the white house earlier this afternoon that he was here on the white house grounds and he was inside the west wing earlier today. i have talked to a source close to the president who says that the president is being counseled
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by, quote, many people not to fire robert mueller. so this appears to be something that's being deliberated inside the white house and among the people around the president. >> if he is being counseled not do it, it means there's discussions about whether or not to do it. >> absolutely. it would be a dramatic move. it would be something we have not really seen, a constitutional crisis that we have not seen since the watergate era. because there are questions as to whether the president could fire the special prosecutor. i was talking to an exert who said it is a murky area. we haven't -- we haven't had a lot of test cases in this department. >> very quickly, did the white house have anything to say about session's testimony tomorrow? >> yes. sean spicer was asked about it. he said it's unclear whether the administration will exert executive privilege and attempt to block jeff sessions from answering all the cessions he'll be asked of on capitol hill tomorrow. that sets up a scenario like we saw last week where the director of national intelligence was just refusing to answer some questions because he was
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awaiting guidance from the administration. so you could have a situation tomorrow where jeff sessions is being asked all sorts of very important relevant questions and is not giving a lot of answers that will be to any kind of satisfaction to those senators up on capitol hill. it will be something to watch. i would imagine if this mueller thing is reaching his level that jeff sessions will be asked about that as well. >> jim acosta, thanks. a short time ago adam schiff weighed in with a warning to the president. if president fired bob mule he congress would re-establish independent counsel and appoint bob mueller. don't waste our time. congressman, do you think the president is seriously considering this? could this be a trial balloon? you hear the white house statement from sarah huckabee sanders saying chris speaks for himself. that's not saying the president isn't considering this. just saying chris speaks for himself. >> you know, it's hard to figure out whether it's a trial balloon or the president just expressing
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that he would like to get rid of this guy just the way he wanted to get rid of james comey. you have to hope that common sense will prevail. but it wouldn't surprise me at all, even though it would be astonishing were he to entertain this. the echos of watergate are getting louder. if he were to order jeff sessions, who has supposed to have recused himself to fire this guy, i would hope jeff sessions would resign before he would agree to that. and rod rosenstein i would hope would resign before he would give effect to that kind of instruction. if the president goes through this somehow congress will have to step up to the plate, re-establish the independent counsel law that has expired so he can once again be appointed. we're not going to let the president choose who conducts this investigation. >> playing it through, if the president did decide this is
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what he wanted, wouldn't -- this is something that the attorney general is supposed to do. it's not something the president himself is supposed to do. attorney general sessions because he recused himself, wouldn't he have to recuse himself from that decision? wouldn't it automatically go to rod rosenstein? >> it should. but then again, attorney general sessions should have had nothing to do with the firing of james comey and yet he did. the recusal isn't worth that much. if you are making decisions and you recommend firing the top investigator in the russia case, that recusal doesn't amount to a whole lot. i think you are right. i would hope you are right that jeff sessions would tell the president, number one, this is a bad idea, number two, i recused myself and number three, if you make me do this, i will quit. it would fall to rod rosenstein. and i have to think rod rosenstein having spoken so highly of bob mueller and
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republicans and democrats think highly of mueller, is also not going to aqueous to this further interference in the russia investigation. >> he appointed the -- got the special counsel just recently. you said congress would just step in if this was done, congress would re-establish the independent counsel statute. are you confident republicans would go along with that? >> i think the pressure on republicans would be even too much for them to resist. i hope it doesn't come to that, we're tested this way. i hope i'm not wrong about this. at some point, republicans have to stand up and speak and act in favor of our system of checks and balances. if they were not to do it here, i don't know how they could go back home and look their constituents in the eye. >> congressman schiff, i appreciate your time. thank you very much. more on the growing complaints about robert mueller.
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the controversy involves the team he assembled. what about it? >> what we're learning is that members of the legal team known to have been hired by special counsel robert mueller to handle the russia investigation, they have given political donations almost exclusively to democrats. that's according to a cnn analysis of the federal election commission records. here is the breakdown. more than half of the nearly $60,000 in donations, it came from 1 lawyer, james quarles. you can see there. more than half of that amount was donated before the 2016 election. two of the lawyers gave the maximum $2700 donation to hillary clinton last year. we should note there was no record of special counsel robert mueller himself making any donations. james quarles, he started as an assistant special prosecutor in watergate. he donated more than $30,000 to democrats, including hillary clinton's last campaign and barack obama's campaign in recent years. but as you will note, he
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recently -- he has forked over $2700 to republican candidates. jeannie rhee maxed out. the others, they stopped donating in 2008 and 2006 respectively. didn't donate this election cycle. we did reach out to a spokesman for robert mueller. he had no comment when cnn asked about the donations and any criticism it might invite that there's bias in this investigation. >> what's been reaction among president trump's allies? >> former house speaker newt gingrich, he has come out forcefully on this. he tweeted early this morning. look at this. republicans are delusional if they think the special counsel is going to be fair. look at who he is hiring. check fec reports. time to rethink. it's notable it was just last month on may 17th when gingrich tweeted a different tune saying robert mueller is a superb choice to be special counsel. his reputation is impeccable for honesty and integrity.
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media should now calm down. even with the criticisms of mueller's team, kenneth star, he said he has confidence in the team. he said they are professionals. he stressed about mueller, quote, let's let him do his job. >> appreciate the update. bring in the panel. david, alexrod, david singer. david, let me start with you. the response from the white house on this idea of getting rid of mueller is chris is his own -- chris speaks for himself, which is not saying the president hasn't considered this or is considering this. >> it sure isn't. it's a real non-denial there. it would suggest that the subject has come up. everything we have heard tonight suggests that most people who the president may have heard from on this, and certainly the
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ones he will hear from, are going to explain it's a bad idea, that historically it has resonance of the saturday night massacre. >> even chris ruddy was saying he didn't think it was a good idea. >> that's right. that raised a couple possibilities. one, trial balloon. second, warning to mueller that this is under way. i doubt -- mueller doesn't strike me as the type who intimidates easily. but could be. third possibility is that the president really is not attune to what the reaction might be or might be trying to figure that out. congressman schiff may be right that it would result in congress acting to put together again the special prosecutor law that congress itself let lapse. i'm not certain that that's right. it could well be that they will say it shouldn't have happened but putting a law back together is too difficult. >> you worked at the fbi, do you think this would intimidate robert mueller? >> not the mueller i know. i worked under mueller. i didn't work for him personally. he is a man who i don't think
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bends to political winds. i will point out that he was appointed by george bush and he also was the head of the fbi and the investigation in the valerie plain leak. this is someone who is able to i think be unbiased and objective and has proven that and is the longest serving director of the fbi after j. edgar hoover. >> david, you're a supporter of the present. would you advise him to fire robert mueller? >> i wouldn't at all. i don't think director mueller -- he is a decorated combat veteran from vietnam. a marine corps officer. i don't think he is the type that wilts easily. i will go back to a point that was raised earlier by jeffrey toobin there on the panel about conflicts, whether or not director mueller has conflicts in his law firm or whether he has conflicts because of his close personal relationship with director comey.
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they have been friends for over 15 years. comey is a star witness here. they have been very, very close allies, battle buddies. i don't know what the terminology has been used in the past. there may be a conflict there. as well as the poor optics of hiring attorneys who work on this investigation who have given -- who are partisan. given no money to republicans and huge amounts of money to democrats. >> jeff toobin, what about that? >> i think particularly two of those prosecutors, michael dreeben is perhaps the finest appellate lawyer in america when it comes to criminal law. he has argued something like 100 cases before the supreme court. the justices lean forward when this guy argues. i mean this guy is a legend.
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andrew weisman was also the head of the enron prosecution team. these people have impeccable credentials. >> bad optics though. >> you know, the star investigation had a bunch of people who gave money to republicans. i just think -- let's just let these people do their investigation. he hasn't finished hiring. presumably he will hire some other people, but these people are a lot bigger than single campaign contributions that they gave ten years ago. >> it's interesting, chris ruddy made a point arguing along your lines but in a different way. he was saying -- he believed mueller had some conflict because he was being -- had had an interview with president trump, he was being considered for a job prior to being appointed as special counsel and his law firm -- mueller's law firm, according to ruddy has represented members of the trump family. he thought perhaps he had been privy to information or the thinking of the president that
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might -- that should disqualify him. >> i'm not sure about that. but on this network we heard this week the former assistant director of the fbi for the criminal division say that upon one of the first or second meetings that director comey had with the president where he felt uncomfortable or whatever word he used to scribble down, that he should immediately recuse himself because he became a part of the investigation at that point. what i'm saying and i'm asking jeffrey is -- just out loud is does director mueller have a conflict because of his close personal relationship with the star witness in this investigation? >> jeff? >> i don't think so. he is the director of the fbi. that's how he got this job. both of them were directors of the fbi. i just don't think that represents a conflict. sure they know each other. a lot of people who work together in washington know each other. >> i think more of a mentor,
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mentee relationship. >> david, axelrod. >> first of all, i agree with jeffrey and everyone else and david. this would increase the level of this crisis by 100 fold. every single member of congress, republican and democrat, said at the time of mueller's appointment, this is what we need, this is the impartial guy. you saw newt gingrich's tweet. i think what's happening now is because -- precisely because he is hiring these very, very high powered prosecutors that jeffrey talks about, there's a sense of nervousness and foreboding about where this might go. so there's a strategy now afoot to try and sully the investigation as political and to turn it into a republican/democrat thing.
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i think it's very hard to do with a guy like bob mueller. >> it's classic donald trump and his team. he is too close to trump, he can't be special counsel. he is too close to hillary and democrats. he can't be special counsel. they know that this guy is going to run a top notch, ethical investigation with some of the top lawyers in the country. they're frightened of that. they're going to crush to try to discredit. >> when you hear that statement from sarah huckabee sanders saying chris ruddy speaks for himself, as someone that's covered white houses for a long time, is that something like that a non-denial denial? >> yes. but at the same time, remember last week when she said you can't take what the president says with his tweets seriously. then sean spicer comes in saying it's official. we have to wait and see how this all plays out. at the end of the day, this
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president is going to speak for himself no matter who stands before him and talk to him sense about what this could actually do to the democracy and what it could do to his party, what it could do to the country. we'll have to see what the president says. i'm sure chris ruddy made his points known to the president. it's ultimately up to the president. >> did donald trump junior let a comey-size cat out of the bag? see what he said. but that throws did you tell on his father's account of their meeting. what a big court case from president trump's past. the president says it would not have been wrong to tell james comey that he hoped the fbi would lay off michael flynn. are you done yet?
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father. >> when he tells you to do something, guess what, there's no ambiguity in it. there's no, hey, i'm hoping. you and i are friends, i hope this happens but you have do your job. for this guy as a politician to go back and write a memo, he felt so threatened, but he didn't do anything. >> back now with the panel. david, it does seem like the president's son is contradicting his father, president trump said he didn't say i hope you can let this go about flynn. >> only two people were in the room, the president and director comey. as i have said before on your show anderson and other types, if director comey felt so uncomfortable, i think he should have said to the president, mr. president, this is a completely inappropriate discussion for you and i have to be having. i don't feel comfortable about it. the president would have asked him why. he could have explained it. we would have been at the end of it. >> is this just a mistake by donald trump junior? he was tweeting all during the comey thing. he was listening to that very carefully. >> i believe it's a mistake. he misspoke.
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i have not spoken to him. i believe it's a mistake. >> does donald trump junior's explanation make sense to you? >> let me just say what it says to me is he is a chip off the old block. he shouldn't be talking about this stuff. someone like an attorney should sit down with the entire trump family and say, folks, we got a problem here. let's be discreet. let's not be contradicting each other's stories. let's not be talking. somehow that is beyond the president and apparently beyond his son. he went out there in the interest of defending his father and he complicated things. >> april, how does this white house compare to others? in terms of their ability to craft a response, in terms of their ability to be on the same page.
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>> i know the obama administration, the bush administration, even the clinton administration would say this is under investigation, they would keep quiet. this is something we have never seen before. i'm just this weekend watching former white house press secretary ari fleischer say, you need to stop, because you will perjure yourself. and i talked to ari today, and he said something to the effect they don't realize what is going on and what can happen. as david said, they need to stop. it is now a spiral that they may not be able to stop at all. >> you covered the white house for "the new york times," how do you see it? >> there was an interesting line in donald trump junior's phraseology there that had the president said it, he might be in less trouble today. it was that line, but you have to go off and do your job. had he offered that -- had comey said that he heard that, had the president said, but i added that, then i think it might have relieved a bit of the pressure. the question isn't really just
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the i hope you can interpret whether or not that means you better do this and how to phrase it, but if he had said at the end of the day, your job is to do your job, i don't think we would be having this discussion today. i have never seen another presidency do that. in clinton white house when april and i were covering that white house, they walled off the lewinsky investigation from the policy side. >> david, you wanted to get in. >> i would say, your latter point, second point, i'm in favor, i believe they should wall off this investigation and never speak about it again and talk infrastructure, talk about jobs and apprenticeship programs they will talk about later this week. to your earlier point, there are two people in the room. we don't know what was said. we only heard from one side. we don't know the president didn't say what you hoped he had said there at the end. >> people like us have been saying, donald trump can't say
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this, he can't say a bad thing about john mccain, he can't say a bad thing about megyn kelly. you know what happened? he got elected president of the united states. i think he thinks he has a better understanding of the public and public perceptions than people like us. who is to say he is wrong? >> an argument to be made there. >> i agree with that. >> what we saw was classic new york city big guy-itis. i will tell me people what to do and they will do it. that is the attitude donald trump has brought to the white house. it is bullying, ordering, but also very simplistic. what you can order in the boardroom is irrelevant to international and national politics. >> on jeff session's testimony tomorrow, he will no doubt be asked about the preamble or the moments before director comey was asked to stay in the oval office, sessions was there, lingering by director comey and
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then the president dismissed him. no doubt we are going to at least theoretically get jeff session's perception of that, what happened in the moments before. >> he is going to be asked about what happened before and i think even more importantly, he is going to be asked about the conversation that comey had with him after when comey said, you have to make sure that that never happens again. >> comey said he remained silent. >> session's version is very different. comey says he stayed silent. sessions said that told him to abide by protocol. there's another he said he said happening there that's going to matter. >> i want to thank everyone. if the president testifies under oath in the russia investigation, which he said he would do or willing to do, would he tell the truth? we will take a close look at when he testified in a lawsuit in 2007. he was caught lying about everything from how much he was paid for a speech to how many employees he had. that's next.
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investigation into michael flynn's ties to russia. sarah huckabee sanders said the president is nut a liar last week. as a civilian he was caught dozens of times saying things not true, caught in a court deposition in a lawsuit that trump filed against a reporter who wrote a book that questions his net worth. trump sued which opened the door to answer questions under oath. randi kaye has more. >> reporter: december 2007, donald trump under oath in a courtroom deposition. and if it was a test of honesty, the future president didn't fair well. even the simplest of questions turned tough to answer. lawyers asked about trump's boast regarding how much he was paid for a 2005 speech he gave at new york city's learning annex. trump, i was paid more than a million dollars. he said the same to larry king back in 2005. >> you make appearances, you got a million dollars. you got a million dollars for
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appearances with the learning an ex, right? >> that's true. >> reporter: it wasn't. what trump didn't reveal until he was pressed during the deposition was that more than half of the $1 million he claimed he was paid for that speech was actually just his own estimate of the value of the publicity that came along with it. the lawyer asked, how much of the payments were cash? trump, slight, approximately $400,000. trump was also exposed for not coming clean about his stake in a manhattan real estate project which trump claimed for a 77 acre project was 50%. the lawyer asked, mr. trump, do you own 30% or 50% of the limited partnership? his answer, i own 30%. after a confusing explanation, he was asked, are you saying the real estate community would interpret your interest to be 50%? even though in limited partnership agreements it's 30%? smart people would trump responded. on the subject of his net worth, tim o'brien wrote in his book that trump was worth less than
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the amount trump had claimed. under only trump was asked, have you ever not been truthful about your net worth? his response was non-committal. it fluctuates and goes up and down with markets and attitudes and feelings. even my own feelings. but i try. it didn't stop there. in fact, "the washington post" found donald trump either lied, exaggerated or told falsehoods a full 30 times. on the subject of the number of people working for him. >> how many people work for you? >> 22,000 or so, different businesses, over 22,000. >> reporter: in court the lawyer asked are all those people on your payroll? no, not directly, trump said. turns out, he was factoring in employees of other companies that he subcontracted. on his claim he had zero borrowings from his father's estate, under oath, a different
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story. quote, i think a small amount. i think it was in the $9 million range, he told the court. about those fees at the golf courses? trump said memberships had been going for $300,000. he was again proven to have stretched the truth when the lawyer questioning him provided an internal document showing the correct figure, $200,000 per membership. trump was cornered. correct, he conceded. randi kaye, cnn, new york. >> joining us is david parenthol who reported on this, timothy o'brien, the author sued by donald trump. tim, it's fascinating to see the president, because we have heard so many of the statements he made before he was president when he was a real estate developer here in new york, to actually see him pinned down under oath and confronted with facts that he can't -- >> with documents from his own business and with bank filings or tax returns or records of
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receipts from fees he got for various services. he simply -- the way i think my lawyer set it up was to ask him a question based on something he said publically and then he would attest that that was correct and then they would show him a document that showed it wasn't correct. then had say, oh, right. and of course, that proceeded 30 times. >> did he ever say, you are right, i made that up or i lied about that? >> no, he never said that. he said i interpret it differently. the magic and humor and crazy in all of this is how he interprets it. my lawyer said, how do you value how well your golf courses are performing? i walk around and i look at them. my lawyer said you don't write it down? there's no financial audit? no. then how much -- how do you know how much they are worth? mental projection. i use mental projections. similarly when he is talking about his net worth, it depends
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how he feels. he introduced this notion that all these things are malleable and they're subject to his whims, but they're not. >> you have done extensive reporting, is that the kind -- what you found as well, how he interpreted things? >> the striking thing to me was that most people when they tell a falsehood they put in wiggle room, there's some vagueness. trump was very, very specific. i found that in my charity reporting as well. i will give x amount and he would give nothing. he realizes that people put a lot of faith in statements that sound specific and exact and had no problem saying false things that were specific and exact. because they were exact were easily disprovable if anything got ahold of the proof. >> he seems to believe in repeating a falsehood over and
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over and over again with the idea, i guess, it's a marketing thing and the more you say it the more people are beaten down and just start to believe it or think he must be partially true. >> the interesting thing about this deposition was trump kept so many things close, hidden in his company. it was hard to know what his company was doing and whether it was succeeding or failing financially. that was what was so great about the lawsuit. he sued tim and opened the door to his own company. tim's lawyers could see how this worked. trump had been going by for so many years that nobody could check what he was saying. all of a sudden it got checked. >> it's one thing as a private citizen to say things not true and another thing as president of the united states. do you think trump -- president trump realizes that difference, that he is in a deeper pool? >> i don't think he does. this stuff is so central to who he is, he is so used to -- he will be on -- on wednesday he will be 71. he has been doing this for the last 50 years or so. essentially getting away with it. insulated from his own -- by
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wealth and celebrity and now the presidency. i don't think he cares in the short term whether or not he is believed. he cares whether he is paid attention to. if he needs to -- >> that's the fascinating thing. he is automatically paid attention to. it's not like he is fighting for -- >> it will never be enough. >> -- to get in cindy allen's column. he's won. he won in so many respects. the most powerful guy on the planet. >> one of the things that struck me about the way he behaved as president, he is borrowing a tactic, if he is caught, he gives a time frame when he will tell you the real truth in week or two weeks, long enough that it sounds close when he says it, but long enough also that you might forget or get distracted. >> that's the idea that something else will come around to supplant that. >> thank you so much. jeffrey, we will have more coming up ahead. melania and baron move into the white house.
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nearly five months an president trump took office. this might change things at 1600 pennsylvania avenue. dale. dale! oh, hey, rob. what's with the minivan? it's not mine. i don't -- dale, honey, is your tummy still hurting, or are you feeling better to ride in the front seat? oh! is this one of your motorcycling friends? hey, chin up there, dale. lots of bikers also drive cars. in fact, you can save big if you bundle them both with progressive. i'd like that. great. whoo. you've got soft hands. he uses my moisturizer. see you, dale. bye, rob.
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the first family is under roof again. over the weekend melania and 11-year-old son barren moved into the white house. they are back together since five months ago. the first lady could make a big impact moving forward. more now from kate bennett. >> reporter: it was accompanied president trump last month that offered the public the longest and most consistent opportunity to learn more about mrs. trump. after wowing international audiences with her style, the first lady closed it with a speech. >> it is because of your selfless commitment that we enjoy the freedoms we have today. >> reporter: since january, back home in washington, the first lady has taken part in official duties when she's able. hosting the wives of dignitaries. >> thank you very much. >> reporter: and making two
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visits to children's hospital. while on the campaign trail, melania said she would focus on putting a stop to cyber bullying. however, since the election, she's appeared to back off that cause focusing speeches on women's issues, human trafficking and education. a white house source today told cnn cyber bullying would be on the list of issues, just part of her work for children. the source said the next few weeks could see a rollout her initiatives, the outline of her platform. her presence and that of barron might fill up free time for the president. who has been living solo and having a few extra hours to watch the news, ponder politics and, yes, tweet. now back together, melania could tell him to put down the phone as she said in an interview last year she's tried to do. >> sometimes he listens. sometimes he doesn't. >> i'm not a big tweeter. >> reporter: being a first couple now full-time means trump might be on better behavior,
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making sure not to crowd his wife on the red carpet, a reminder from the stop in israel when melania fell behind walking next to her husband and the netanyahus which led to the hand swat seen around the world. remembering to cover his heart for the national anthem, something that took a nudge. >> now that she's in washington, do we expect to see more of her? >> the offices are filling up her schedule. she will host the annual congressional picnic here at the white house later this month. then next month, she's going to go abroad again with her husband, stopping in poland and then to the g20 summit in germany. >> thanks very much. >> still to come a navy veteran's new mission, protecting k9 police dogs.
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bringing you a series called champions for change, a chance to tell you about people dedicating their lives to making a difference in their community, helping others. when i got this assignment, i knew who i wanted to tell you about. you are about to meet someone who i know very well. his name is jimmy hatch. he has done extraordinary things in his life to serve his country. he's not just a friend but also a personal hero of mine. you'll see why. >> i'm going to step straight back. >> you are stepping out. i'm looking toward -- >> straight back. think about falling. >> i don't want to think about falling, but okay. if you are friends with jimmy hatch, chances are you will end up here. on a plane climbing to 13,000 feet, about to do something a little crazy. this group in the plane with me are mostly volunteers. we're all here for a fund-raiser for jimmy hatch's charity spike's k9 fund which raises
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money to protect the lives of police dogs, buying them custom-made bulletproof vests. >> wow, she's fast. >> she's an athlete. >> i met jimmy two years ago when i interviewed him for a story. he served in the navy for almost 26 years. most of it as part of a special mission unit in iraq, afghanistan, and elsewhere. jimmy doesn't like to make a big deal of it. he has seen a lot of combat in his life. he has done some remarkable things to help protect us. on his last mission in afghanistan in 2009, jimmy was critically wounded, shot in the leg by a taliban fighter while searching for army private bowe bergdahl. his life was saved partly because of a military dog in his unit who was the first to spot the taliban fighter and the first to come under fire. >> i watched his body language. as it changed, i knew we were
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getting close to something. and then before i realized what was there, he took a couple rounds to the head. >> remko was killed. jimmy was badly wounded in the leg. he had to retire from the navy. that didn't mean that jimmy retired from serving. he found a new mission, by founding spike's canine, named for spike, in the military in 2006. >> for me, who handled the dog, it was my duty to make sure he was protected. when the dog gets hurt or killed, you failed. >> jimmy is dedicating his life to help train and protect police and military dogs. jimmy helps police department
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canine units around the country, often posing as a bad guy, a decoy, to help train the dogs and get them used to wearing these vests. in some situations, the dogs are sent in when it's too risky to send a police officer. the dogs find the suspect and grab on to him. it gives police officers valuable time to apprehend him. volunteering as a decoy is not glamorous work. jimmy spends a lot of time getting bitten by dogs over and over again. this dog is wearing a custom-made bulletproof vest that spike's canine fund got for him. it's lightweight so it doesn't slow the dog down but it will protect him. it can save his life as well as the life of his human handler. these vests aren't cheap. they cost about $2,500 apiece. all of this training helps the dogs and their police handlers get better. and though the dogs look scary,
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they can actually save a suspect's life, stopping him before he gets shot or tasered. the better trained the dogs are, the safer everyone is. >> training is how, just like when i was in the military, it's the same thing. you train, train, train, train, and your odds of success go up. >> spike's canine fund is a small charity. jimmy runs it along with his director of operations, emily sukino. >> currently we serve in 25 states, and i would like the map to light up with dogs we've helped. >> jimmy says more than 80% of the money donated goes to dogs' vests and medical expenses, which sometimes aren't covered by local police departments. he's gotten vests for 288 police dogs so far. by the end of the year, he'd like to be able to say he's outfitted at least 500 police dogs. last month i met up with jimmy
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when he was working with the norfolk police canine unit. >> anderson, come in here. listen to this dog, man. see how he keeps biting to get deeper? >> one of their police dogs, kreiger, was shot to death in 2016. through spike's canine fund, i was able to help get bulletproof vests for a number of police dogs in the area. officer ryan mcniff was kreiger's partner. >> this animal was named for stacy. >> thanks to his canine fund, officer mcniff's new partner has the vest that kreiger did not. >> what's cool is he's wearing the vest provided for the dogs. that's a bulletproof vest and he wears it to work every day. >> jimmy somehow convinced me to suit up so i could experience the power and discipline of these dogs. >> i got him. i got him. come on, let's get up. feel how intimate that is? he's talking to you. >> they should be unsung heroes
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of the police force. >> indeed, for sure. they're not really on the spreadsheet for a budget. they're actually pretty expensive. >> so, often in a police force budget, with all the limited resources they have, the dogs are pretty low on the list. >> right. >> since the canine fund is so small, they need donations to keep going. jimmy asked me to attend a fund-raiser in may. you can make a huge difference in this organization. and you can actually see the difference you make. you can see the vests that you buy that are on the dogs that are helping to protect them every single day. and that's just an amazing, amazing feeling. one thing i wasn't all that keen on doing this weekend was skydiving. i'm afraid of heights, but jimmy has a way of convincing you to do things. ♪
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>> whoa! >> yeah, man! >> that was intense. that was intense. getting out of the airplane is so unnatural. it's so, like, holy [ bleep ]. jimmy hatch is no longer wearing a uniform, but that hasn't stopped him from continuing to serve our country. and it hasn't stopped him from continuing to fight to keep all of us safe. he's an incredible guy. if you want to find out more about jimmy's charity, go to cnn and hln anchors will be bringing you the causes close to
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their heart all week long. don lemon will have our next report for change in our 11:00 hour. up next, marking a solemn anniversary. we remember those who were killed in the pulse nightclub llege football. now you drive 300 miles to watch this. yes, nice pop toss! flag dancing? we've been there. and with free hot breakfast and a warm welcome, we'll be there for you. hampton by hilton. is america's number-one you kmotorcycle insurer. yeah, she does purr! best bike i ever owned! no, you're never alone, because our claims reps are available 24/7. we even cover accessories and custom parts. we diget an early start! took the kids to soccer practice. you want me to jump that cactus? all right. aah! that lady's awesome. i don't see a possum!
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while painting your toes. on demand laughs, during long bubble baths. tv on every screen is awesome. the all-new xfinity stream app. all your tv at home. the most on demand, your entire dvr, top networks, and live sports on the go. included with xfinity tv. xfinity the future of awesome. we end the program tonight marking a very solemn milestone. one year ago, 49 people were murdered at pulse nightclub in orlando, florida. the youngest victim was 18 years old, the oldest was 50. they were sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, boyfriends and girlfriends, husbands and wives. they were all taken from this
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world far too soon. tonight their loved ones, survivors of the attack, first responders from that night and the people of orlando are mourning the 49 and celebrating their lives. their ceremony is just about to get under way at pulse nightclub, what is now considered sacred ground. stay with cnn for continuing coverage of that event at pulse. time to hand things over to don lemon. "cnn tonight" starts now. this is cnn breaking news. >> breaking news, president trump considering whether to fire special counsel robert mueller. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. that word coming from a close friend of the president. i will speak to that friend very shortly, so stay tuned. attorney general jeff sessions now just hours away from testifying in public before a senate committee investigating russia's meddling in the election. it will be the first time he testifies in congress since recusing himself from the justice department's russia probe. but will he invoke executive privilege to avoid answering some questions? you'll see what the white house says now.