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tv   Erin Burnett Out Front  CNN  June 16, 2017 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT

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streamed the aftermath on facebook. she says castile was reaching for his back pocket. they thought he was going for a gun. that's it for me. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." erin burnett "out front" starts right now. >> "out front" next. breaking news. president trump lawyering up, adding another high proposal attorney to defend him in the growing russia investigation. and would he recuse himself if called? this news just breaking. the gunman who attacked republicans was found a list of other gop congressman, were they targets. let go "out front." good evening, i'm kate 3w58d win in for elin run. breaking news, cnn is learning that president trump has hired
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another high proifl lawyer to defend him in the russian investigation. john dowd once led the investigation into the pete rose betti betting scandal for major league baseball. the president seems to acknowledge thu a angry tweet he's now under investigation. here it is. i'm being investigated for firing the fbi director by the man who told me to fire the fbi director. witch hunt. trump referring to deputy attorney general rob rosenstein in that tweet. there's tension at the highest levels of the justice department tonight. he contemplates whether he will become a witness because of his role in james comey's firing? will he be the second in the justice department to recuse himself. evan perez has more on ha story ahead. first, jeff zeleny is out front
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at the white house. what can you tell us about the new attorney the president just hired? >> reporter: good evening, kate. the president is adding more firepower on his legal team. you mentioned john dowd who led the baseball investigation into pete rose but he defended senator john mccain in the keating five scandal. all of this comes as the russia investigation is widening, and the president said today he believes he's a target. >> president trump saying for the first time today that he is under investigation as the probe of russia's influence in the 2016 election expands. i am being investigated for firing the fbi director by the man who told me to fire the fbi director, the president said. witch hunt. that man is deputy attorney general rod rosenstein who made the decision to appoint a
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counsel. only a month ago rosenstein, a veteran of the justice department received the president's praise. >> highly respected, very good guy, very smart guy. the democrats like him. the republicans like him. he made a recommendization, but regardless of rechl days, i was going to fire koempl. >> it's the firing of fbi director james comey that investigators are now exploring to determine if the president was trying to onning instruct justice. the president huddling with his aides before will traffic to miami to announce new restrictions on travel and business with cuba. >> we will enforce the embargo. >> the president's agenda overshadows by the russian investigation. after several months, nobody has been able to show any proof. sad. a white house official told cnn the tweets were less spontaneous than a strategy by the president of taking matters into his own hands. this is a political fight and
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he's going to fight it, the officials said. but the russia cloud threatening to engulf the president is far more than political. we've learned the trump campaign received memos. all this comes two years to the day after mr. trump. now six months into his term questions not even imagined back then weigh on his presidency. >> one of those questions tonight is why is he continuing to may in so much on social media and other places. the answer to that, according to one person i talked to today. he's simply trying to discredit this investigation as that goes forward. we'll see if he's sweeting this weekend as he makes his first visit to camp david. >> we'll see what happens. also breaking -- thanks, jeff.
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the raesh probe causing new tension ath top officials at the justice department. evan perez broke this story moments ago. evan, we know that the president is -- has been at least stewing, if not angry at rosenstein. what's happening inside the justice department? >> i got to tell you rod rosenstein is also getting some of the same pressures inside the justice department. there's a lot of displeasure by people surrounding the attorney general jeff sessions of the fact that rod rosenstein is the one who brought in robert mul every, the special counsel. lot of people didn't feel like that was necessary, at least not yet. a lot of people, especially at the white house and on the fifth floor where the attorney general sits believe that god -- the miami of mueller has made a lot of things a lot worse for everybody. since mueller was hired you've seen a lot more people have to hire lawyers. a lot more pressures that are
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hearing from the president. the. is extremely angry and he's telling the attorney general an the attorney general in-turn is letting that flow down to rod rosenstein. >> at this point, evan, what is the likelihood that rosenstein recuses himself? >> look. he knows that once he becomes a witness, that question is going to be in floptd of him. he has not yet consulted the ethics commit at the justice department to find out whether he needs to. but that time is coming. i think we know that robert mueller is looking at this question of whether or not the president interfered with this investigation. when we get 20 to that place he'll have to at the time rod rosenstein whether he'll be a witness or not t. that will come in the next week or next couple of weeks. >> rosenstein has got ten spotlight. >> exactly. >> great to see you. >> thank you. >> sheila jackson lee sits on the house judiciary committee. thanks for coming in.
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i want to get your reaction to the president bringing on first on this new -- another high profile attorney to can defend him in the face of the reach probe. what's yieb take? >> well, i think it's either the counsel or the white house staff or there are two sides to mr. trump. he realizes, having been in business, that this is she, very serious. an obstruction of 1yu69 charge is very serious. then on the other side he just can't contain himself. let me briefly say to you, an obstruction of justice charge can simply be the impeding of a justice action that's n ongoing by communication, by letter, when you know that it's ongoing and you attempt to disrupt the system. it's clear that the president engaged that action. if as mr. comey said under oath, that he in a meeting of which he and the president were alone he asked them to lay off.
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corroborated by system by attorney general sessions under oath as well. >> if it is clear there was obstruction, it's something that's obviously under investigation, the president says absolutely not. others say it's not even possible. want to get to that in a second. want to get your take, though, on evan perez's reporting about zbroeg tension in the justice department right now over whether rod rosenstein should be recusing himself from any part in this investigation. do you think he should? >> first of all, rod rosenstein is a professional. and one of the reasons he yielded to and thought it was appropriate to hire a special counsel, because he did submit a memo that allegedly mr. trump read but then, of course, went on national television and said it was about the russian thing. i think what is important is rob rosenstein as a professional assess where he might be in this proceeding. i believe the special counsel mueller, as he precedes, will make it very clear that rob
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rosenstein recuse himself and if he feels it's appropriate under the law. the department of justice is a particular eat. it deals with laws by statue and it adheres to two documents, the stauchl tore documents and the constitution. >> and your committee -- oversight over the -- >> absolutely. >> do you think its inevitable he'll have to recuse? >> well, i think that as the proceeding proceeds he will determine that, but i think he might just have to recuse. he's right in the middle of it. he employed the special counsel, he wrote a memo, he's been engaged in conversations. he's been the point person since he recused himself. i sthi it night that. >> the president's statement on with twitter is he's ready to come out and attack rosenstein. when he wrote that, do you -- you read the tweet. do you take that as a threat to
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rosenstein? >> well, i take it as being very ugly. kate, might i just pause and wish those who were wounded this week, my staff and others, a speedy recovery. and thank you to the capital police. we want steve scalise to have a quick recovery. i think speaker ryan has a role in this hvmt there's been complete deadening science and an abdi tags of the spochbt beginning the investigation. i do think when you mentioned with trump and the very person who told me to fire, you're pointing to someone in particular. that person was doing their job either by way of responding to the president's request or the attorney general's request, make an assessment of a particular employee, because director comey was an employee of the department of justice. >> right. >> all of that can be answeredably a jishy committee opening up an investigation and speaker ryan should allow the
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air to be cleared by the only committee that would have any responsibility in addressing the president's actions. >> is it speaker ryan or is it chairman -- >> did -- well, let me just say this. the speaker controls the house and an engagement with the chair of the committee that we need to proceed as chairman grassley independently proceeded in the snetd -- >> you think he's blocking the investigation? >> well, i would ask the question, can we go forward if he is not, then the chairman should go forward to look at these elements. we now have a new tweet that says it's a witch hunt from the very person who told me to fire him. >> let me -- >> there are too many entangled elements. >> let me ask you about what prompted this statement. the president, for whatever -- the statement from the president was that these reports that he's underinvestigation for obstruction of justice. here's what former house speaker institute gingrich had to say about the idea. listen to this.
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>> technically, president of the united states cannot obstruct justice. the president of the united states is the chief executive officer of the united states. if he wants to fire the fbi director, all he has to do is fire him. >> you might not like it, but does newt have a point? >> first of all, let me be clear, investigations determine whether there has been an obstruction of justice. i gave the definition of it and it can be quite simple. i disagree with the speaker. i served when speaker gingrich was in, and he can express his views, but the issue as it was in the nixon watergate proceedings was not the breakin. it was the coverup. it is not the question of whether the president can or did fire one of his employees. it is the engagement to stop an investigation or to impede it and that is asking director comey as he's evidenced under oath which of course further investigation will be illuminate to, can you lay off of this
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individual, can you lay off this investigation? that's impoodle an ongoing investigation and that's impeding the administration of justice. so mr. gingrich is incorrect in his analysis because he's looking at the wrong incident. we're looking at the incident where distributor comb was directed to stop, to lay off. that meets the standard offage administration of justice involvement or violation and it warrants vex. now, let me be clear. what the special counsel does is different from a cheat. >> absolutely. newt gingrich did vote for impeachment of bill clinton, one of the charges being obstruction of justice. thamgs for coming in. >> thank you for having me. "out front" next, breaking news. new trump associates warming up. will the man he's known for 15 years step down from this
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the russia investigations. they are michael kohn, trump's long time attorney and personal advisor and michael caputo. house members are planning to meet with the digital director of the trump campaign. jessica snyder is out front with more. are these signs that the investigation is focussing more and more on trump's personal circle? >> michael cohen is president trump's hong-time personal attorney. he's hired attorney steven ryan helping deal with investigative requests. that's because comey was subpoenaed two weeks ago. he says he is committed to cooperating and has dpreed to testify on september 5th. then there's michael caputo. he's hired a former new york attorney general. the fbi has contacted caputo in
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connection to the russia investigation. then finally, there's brad parscale. there are plenty to call him as a witness as the probe on the house side digs into any possible links between the trump operation and russian operatives. like you said, kate, really digging into the president's own circle? >> lot of moving parts even on this friday. "out front," norm eisen, a former ambassador, of course, and also white house ethics czar under president obama and a former federal prosecutor who has known rod rosenstein for some 15 years. gentlemen, thank you so much for coming in. i appreciate it. ambassador, your take on this news. more people in trump's inner circle getting lawyers, even one of truck's lawyers is, wow, getting a lawyer.
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what do you make of this? >> kate, thanks for having me. we've seen this movie before. this is the scandal cycle that periodically seizes washington and number one, it is going to be a tremendous distraction for the white house and for congress as they try to do their other business. number two, donald trump is in genuine legal jeopardy here. don't believe what speaker gingrich or my old criminal law professor alan dish wits or anyone else says, donald trump has -- there are indications that he's committed an obstruction of justice. there's genuine jeopardy. third and finally, the people around donald trump are being drawn in. fasten your seat belts. it's going to be a bumpy ride ahead. >> it already has been. there are genuinely a varieties of opinions as we see every night.
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if i can turn with you to the other breaking news story tonight, the building tension in the justice department over whether rod rosenstein will recuse himself from the investigation. you go back with him. do you think he needs to take himself out of this investigation sooner rather than later? what's your take? >> well, i was a professional colleague of him and he has a good sense of ethical antenna, if you will. but he's also not afraid to be in the mechanics of things. >> hi huh. >> so he's in a position where i think he probably realizes it's important for having a person in that position who has strong integrity, has a strong backbone but also knows when the circumstances, if they change, and put -- would put him in a compromising position, then he'll know that's the time to walk out the door. >> ambassador, where do you lands on this? do you think he needs to recuse himself now, do you think its inef b tabl or not?
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>> i agree with the deputy attorney general. in his judgment that he express this afternoon that he does not need to recuse himself at this time. we'll see how the case develops but at this point, it's just too early for him to have to step aside from the investigation. so as a matter of ethics, of legal precedence, i think he's made the right decision and we'll just see how things develop. but no recusal at this time. >> b robert, can i also ask you another kind of development with rosenstein overnight. there's a statement he put out attacking anonymous sources. i'll read you just one part. it says americans should exercise caution before accepting as true any stories attributed to anonymous officials. people saw that statement as really quite strange that he put it out. why did he do it, do you think? >> it is unusual for department
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of justice officials to comment in any way in ongoing sessions and i guess anybody's guess is as good as anybody else's, but in reading it it sounds like it's an efforts to say let's take the step back, let's let the professionals do their jobs. don't rush to conclusions, don't rely on these crazy -- nobody has an idea what the basis, what the reliable is or what the jaenz are. it may have been an effort simply to say let us do our job, don't pay attention to the noise. >> but ambassador, as he points out, it gets to an investigation that is under way. ill advised. have you seen anything like this before? >> well, rod rosenstein has the worst boss in the world
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ultimately in donald trump. >> and i -- >> does that pass judgment? >> it's human judgment. i have no doubted -- i had a difficult clients over the years and i have no doubt that there was some expression from the white house whether probably came through don mcgann, the white house counsel, maybe through the chief of staff, reince priebus. can you say something about these leaks. and so the deputy attorney general did the best he could to please those difficult becauses while not unzooly compromising. the weirdest thing about it, kate, was the suggestion that some of the officials may not even be american officials. the hint that it was coming from a foreign sources, that was odd, so i think that il would not
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have advised the deputy attorney general to do, if he's going to do something, do something much more vanilla. some day we'll find outs how that sausage was made. it was not a very tasty one. >> i don't even know what to pick up from that one, norm. i will say coming from our reporting, from white house officials -- it just went out ironically anonymously sourced white house officials who would not be known, they do say that was not coming from the white house and he did not receive pressure from the white house to put that out. i leave you with that tonight. "out front" next, president trump won't stop tweeting about russia. is he his own best messenger or worst enemy right now? and the man found with a list of names on him. what does it mean?
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. breaking news. president trump beefing up his legal team tonight adding high profile lawyer john dowd who led the investigation into the pete rose betting scandal kpor major
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league baseball. defight president's powerful legal team and their concerns about the president's tweeting habits, the president again today took matters into his own hands. atheen aip jones is "out front." >> primp speaking with nbc just days after firing fib director comey. >> i said to myself, this russia thing with trump and russia is a made-up story. >> acknowledging the investigation into the possible collusion between his campaign was on his mind when he gave comey the boots. trump's words -- his critic's obsession with the russia investigation. three days after letting comey go trump tweeted what sounded like a threat. james comb better hope that there are no tape of our
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conversations before he starts leaking to the press. another problematic statement that raised questions still unevensed about whether the president has recordings of his oval office conversations. comey said that trump's tweet prompted him to ask a friend to share with a reporter the former fbi director's notes about a private conversation he had with the president february 14 about national foreign ministers advisor michael flynn. he said he hoped he could end the investigation into flynn. >> because i thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel, so i asked a close friend of mine to do it. >> reporter: and it worked. robert mueller was named special counsel a week later. mueller is now reportedly investigating the president himself for obstruction of justice, a move that has further infuriated trump. i am being investigated for firing the fbi director by the man who told me to fire the fbi
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director. witch hunt. his ire aimed at deputy attorney general rob rosenstein who appointed mueller. a white house official said the tweet was sierch that he was takings it into his own hands. his own supporters in congress have cautioned him about his twitter habit and his running commentary on the rashrussia investigation arguing that he is his own worst enemy. >> you may be the fishes president in history to go down because you can't stop inappropriately talking about an investigation that if you just were quiet would clear you. >> and the president has a long history of making controversial and unsubstantiated claims on twitter an off. you'll remember in march he accused of president obama of having his quote wires tapped in trump tower, a claim the former president and intelligence and law enforcement officials strenuously deny.
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>> athena, thanks so much. out front with me now, rick santorum and jennifer grant home. great too see you guys. thanks for coming in. >> thanks, kate. le. >> let me ask you this first. the. has 345id it clear that he believes this is more of a political fight than it is a legal one. is he right? >> well, it certainly a political fight and has been a political fight. certainly, the folks up in kong as well as here in the media are having a field die. that's going to have a big political impact, but it does have legal ramifications also and that's the real cautionary tale for the president and what a lot of republicans are reminding him that it's not squlu like it was during the campaign where twitter was very effective in throwing off your opponent, you're now dealing with some serious people who are out to get you. one of the reasons i was very much against this special
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prosecutor. the special prosecutor, particularly this one, who has a career of being an fbi get your man, we got to get the man, now he's assigned to get the man. and whether that's prumpl or somebody else, he comes with a -- an agenda. and it's not -- i don't think it's an unbiassed one. i think it's one that he's going to find something. that's a real problem in my mind and one that i think the president is underestimated as he continues to tweet. >> but senator, everybody says he had unimpeachble predeny shals. >> no one has no baggage. he's an fbi guy. his job is to go out and find the bad guys and dig and dig and dig until you can -- and go after them. if bob mueller was a famous defense lawyer, i'd feel very differently about this investigation, because then you have the idea of well, you know, we're going to find out and have a little bit more of a
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balancing. i think mueller is like everythingevery other fbi director is to find something wrong, whether big or small, his job is to find something wrong. >> governor, in the end, though, legal versus political, this could very well come down to a political decision, members of congress decidesing wlnltd top try and impeach him. with that in mind, if you're looking at the president's case in the white house, why not find it out, why not take to twitter and think this is a total political fight like he's treating it? >> it is a political fight but his political strategy has not been working for him. i happen to have today -- i don't know if you can see this. i'm trying to make sure you can. >> real close. >> a politics draft of his approval and disapproval number. oh, boy, they starts off really great on january 20th. but his disapproval numbers continue to go up and his approval numbers continue to go down. if tweeting was a good strategy, you would think that would not
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good the trajectory of that chart. let me just say rick, i like many others are seeing you guys do this, discrediting of a man who has given his life in law enforcement to finding the truth. if he is as unimpeachble as many republicans say, then he will exonerate the president, if he can't find anything. but this notion of going after him personally, going after rosenstein. what are you going to do? is he going to fire mueller, fire rosenstein and continue to go down the list of people in the department of justice? this is -- if he's really not guilty, then he will be happy to be exonerated by somebody who was out to find the truth. >> look. i think rosenstein did a great disservice to the president by doing the special counsel. you take the heat. >> who is -- his service is, too -- to the american people.
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>> that's right true. >> that's true. service to the american people, do your job, don't throw it to someone else as a quote special prosecutor. do your job and handle the investigation properly under your jurisdiction and not smblsz. >> senator, the white house and the president have said over and over many a time that he is his own best messenger. here's a little taste. listen. >> i'm a good messenger, you have to say, right? i've been good. [ cheers and applause ] but it is you. i'm a messenger. i'm a messenger. >> i'm your messenger. just a messenger. doing a good job. i'm a messenger. i'm evenly messenger, remember. i'm only a messenger. but you have to say i'm doing a pretty good job as a messenger. >> the approach got him to the white house, no question. senator, do you think he's still his own best messenger? >> what was the message? this message wasn't doing battle with all the the washington insiders as much as it was delivering a message about what
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he's going to do for the american workers, what he's going to do on trade and immigration. he had a great event in florida. it was after moving event, a terrific event but nobody's taking about it because he's tweeting about somebody that -- >> but then -- >> be their messenger an stop getting way leyed on all this personal stuff that you're not moving the ball forward for the american people. >> i'm uncomfortable -- this is making me feel uncomfortable. >> he needs to be a messenger about what he allegedly was out there fighting for. but what he's fighting for now is not for the people. he is fighting for his own skin and he's fighting against this investigation. he has spent more tweets tweeting about this investigation by far than tweeting about fighting for jobs. >> well -- >> -- so rick, if your opinion is for him to put down the twitter an start fighting for real people, i think we actually are on the same page.
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>> in the senator's side of the fence -- and he never needed that -- but governor, many defense of the president, when you're backed in the corner and you're a fighter, what do you do? you fall back to what has worked. >> except for if he puts himself in legality deputy and certainly in jeopardy in the court of public opinion, this is not a good strategy. allow the investigation to go forward if you are really unafraid of them finding what can you colluded with russia. what i think happened this morning, kate, is that he saw last night the stories about follow the money and that really caused him to melt down. and that's when he started lashing out. because that potentially is of much -- of very serious consequences. he released the public statement ability his finances today but i think you're going to see tax returns pretty soon. >> that would be -- we all will be breaking coverage.
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i'm going line by line on that one. >> not voluntary. >> exactly. it's good to know that the governor's ipad is now the new white board. i appreciate it. up next, following breaking news. the gunman who attacked lawmakers at a baseball game, he was targeting people. we'll speak to one reporter reportedly on that list. what erin burnett wants you to know about a life changing service for people who need care and people who provide it. >> how much has its changed your life? >> well, i guess completely, because i can't cook.
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. breaking news, a list of names including republicans in congress found on the man who opened fire at a congressional baseball team practice. ryan noebels is out front with me on this breaking news. ryan, what was this? was this a hit list? >> well, kate, i think that's what investigators are trying to find out at this point. they're stopping short of calling it an assassination list but they found a list of names
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on the list after the shooting took place during their investigation. among those names were members of kang at this ball practice. congressman mo brooks was on the list, along with his office phone number. as a result congressman brooks is telling his staff and associates that are around him to take extra precautions just in case this means something more. we do know that none of the victims, none of those who were actually hit by kbufts at the baseball field on wednesday morning were on this list but this is a chilling development in this story and something that various are taking a close look at to determine as you mentioned whether this was an designation list. kate? >> thank you for bringing that. i appreciate it. "out front," trent francs. congressman, thank you for jumping on the line. i appreciate it. >> i'm glad that you allowed us to come on.
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thank you, kate. >> thank you, congressman. there are multiple reports, sir, that your name was on that list. what can you tell us on that? >> kate, because it's an ongoing investigation i'm really not going to be able to speak to anything related to any list or confirm that -- confirm if one exists or not but i do think that there are a number of different indications now that this was a premeditated situation. we certainly had that in mind for some time already. but just the fact that it's clear that it was premeditated is such an important consideration for i think all americans. it's a very important that we ask ourselves how we got to this point and i think somehow we have to remind ourselves, you know that we're the ones that believe that we're all created equal and that each -- that means each american is a child of god and if we could stop trying to figure out who was right and start trying to focus
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on what is right and using principle persuasion to convince each other and to reason these things out, i think it would reduce the invek active and obviously, sometimes it's only a short distance between ininvestigative and violence. i think it's very, very important that we do that. doesn't mean we have to hide from the big issues. to the contrary. it means the great and noebel issues are sometimes the most controversial issues. we have to say we're not deciding this by bullets, it's going to be decided by ballots. >> more folks speaking like that on capitol hill and beyond would be very good. this troubling news, congressman, congressman mo brooks tells cnn tonight that he was contacted by capital police and he was told that his name and office number were on the list. were you contacted by capital police about this? >> we were, kate, yes.
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i'm not going to say anything beyond that, no. >> just your simple reaction to becomes contacted? i understand that you don't want to go too far because this is obviously an ongoing investigation but what's your reaction -- and if there is a list -- if your name would be on it, sir. >> well, i mean, obviously -- see, i think there's two points to -- things to point out here. i don't want to do anything that makes the capital police's job anymore difficult because they, oov all people in this entire incident, they are the most heroic of all, because they were the ones that stopped the bad guy and it's a great iran any and a from great poignancy that steve was out there, steve scalise was out there with his rank and file members, even though he's the whip of the house, he's the third in leadership here and he was out there playing baseball with everybody and being the humble,
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cristian, decent soul that he is and because of that, his team was there and he was shot. it was something that was -- it was something that cost him a lot to be there and yet probably, very likely, he saved the lives of a number of his colleagues and to take one for the team like that, as it were, is, i think noebel beyond words and i just join with everyone in praying that this man gets back on his feet and continues to do the great things he was before this happened. > is. congressman scalise's lead spokesman spokes out today and this is what he said. >> congressman scalise sustained a single rifle wound that entered his hip and exited out of the other hip which we call a
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trance hip rifle wound. >> i think he said he could be in the hospital for weeks. if the congressman and his family are watching tonight, what do you want him to know? >> i just want them to know that they personify everything that is good about america. this man came to congress and to the capitol to make a difference for his children and their contemporaries and the future generations of this country, and he has shown us what nobleness looks like and i pray for god speed, and he's not only a good and kind and decent man, he's not going to let this stop him. he's going to do some great things for this country and he's going to transcend this evil that's overcome him with good. >> in light of this breaking
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news of this list and reports that your name was on it. thank you so much, i really appreciate it. >> thank you, kate. >> out front for us next. change makers, erin burnett's looks at the charity that's changing american lives. listen up, heart disease.) you too, unnecessary er visits. and hey, unmanaged depression, don't get too comfortable. we're talking to you, cost inefficiencies and data without insights.
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all week cnn's been running a special series called champions for change, featuring people who are working to make a real difference in the world, for erin, that's the staff and volunteers at meals on wheels. >> good morning, how are you? i'm fine, thank you. >> reporter: a midday food delivery to a small apartment in new york city, a place connie pierce has called home for 30 years. >> today is pork. >> reporter: connie pierce is 94 years old and fiercely independent, she's also a world war ii army vet who has outlived
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her siblings. >> i said when i grow up, i'm going to get a job and get my own little bed. >> reporter: she got a job during world war ii, and she got her little bed when she joined the army. >> a lot of people when you were born, didn't get to go have jobs, they would get married, have children and stay home. >> yes. >> reporter: but you knew you never wanted that to be you. did you always know you wanted to be different? >> yes, i did. i wanted to be adventurous. >> reporter: connie is widowed now and her two stepsons live abroad. her chronic arthritis is forcing her to make changes, she can't shop anymore, she can't cook for herself and she rarely le lly l home.
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>> reporter: what now are your biggest frustrations? >> i used to do my own shopping, i used to do my own things, but now i can't. >> reporter: 43 million americans are elderly, and one in six of them struggle with hunger. that's where city mealings on wheels comes in. i learned about meals on wheels when i got a flyer in the mail. i saw that someone who -- the reality is, this is about much more than providing hot food. >> if there's no one at home, do not leave the meal. you're not just delivering a meal today, you're checking in on our seniors. >> reporter: beth shapiro is the executive director of city meals on wheels. we're all so afraid of losing what we have. and yet you see that every day. >> i see that every day and to me it's beautiful, to leek at
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someone who has the wrinkles of a life well lived is something to celebrate. >> in new york city alone, the program serves more than 18,000 people. 2/3 of them are women. nationwide, more than 5,000 local meals on wheels programs help t2.5 million seniors. >> when we go to deliver today, our seniors can be chatty, please talk to them, have a conversation, you're the only person they're going to see today, okay? >> reporter: what gives you the most joy now? >> i guess i have to just say be grateful that you're fairly well, learning to accept what is. that's what -- i'm at that point. >> on average, city meals on wheels, costs $7 a meal in new york. >> how are you today? >> reporter: mai has been delivering meals on wheels to connie for almost two years.
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how has it changed your life? connie is able to live at home thanks to meals on wheels and meals on wheels exist because of city funding. every dollar donated goes to meals, not overhead and the financial need the growing quickly. >> the senior population is the fastest growing population in this country. it will be doubled across the country, by the year 2050. the program needs to grow. >> this is the president's fy-2018 budget. >> reporter: there was outrage after the trump administration announced it may make cuts to programs like meals on wheels. >> we can't spend money on programs just because they're good. and meals on wheels sounds great, we're going to spend money, we're going to spend a lot of money, but we're not going to spend it on money that don't actually show that they deliver the promises made to people. >> reporter: meals on wheels doesn't know whether it will
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face cut backs. >> it will have a devastating effect on the infrastructure that meals on wheels provides the country. >> reporter: it's worth remembering, meals on wheels are thinking about people, people like connie pierce. >> and you can meet all of the change makers tomorrow night at 8:00 eastern. thanks for joining us, "a.c. 360" with john berman, starts right now. good evening, john berman here in for anderson, it's been quite a week and it's not over yet. we have seen a man with two guns, try the politically motivated mass murder and failed. and and. we begin with new friday night tension inside the justice department about the future of deputy attorney general rob rosenstein. remember, he is the one with the power to fire special counsel robert mueller, and he is the one that came under attack from the president today. who wro

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