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tv   CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield  CNN  June 18, 2017 11:00am-12:01pm PDT

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in ireland, leo baratka, a doctor and son of an indian immigrant was formally confirmed as the country's first openly gay prime minister this week. thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. i will see you next week. the president is not under investigation. >> donald trump's attorney is contradicting the president's own statements, and multiple media reports about whether the special counsel is investigating the president for obstruction of justice. today the president says this is all a distraction from his agenda, and after vowing unity and cooperation following a shooting that rocked capitol hill, senate democrats plan to bring operations to a standstill this week in an effort to derail the republican's health care plan. a search for missing sailors ends in tragedy, their bodies discovered in flooded compartments of the "uss
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fitzgerald" after it collided with a containership. we'll discuss the investigations that lie ahead. thanks for joining us on this father's day. i'm boris sanchez. fredricka whitfield is off. we thank you so much for watching and we begin this hour with what else, news about donald trump, and the fact that he's not under investigation for obstruction of justice. at least according to his attorney. that statement flies in the face of the president's own tweets which reads "i am being investigated for firing the fbi director by the man who told me to fire the fbi director. witch hunt. which is it? atheenia jones this is all in response to reporting in the media. >> this is complicated. "the washington post" reported on wednesday special counsel robert muler is investigating the president for possible
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obstruction of justice. on thursday the president took to twitter to blast this new focus on obstruction of justice as phony, that is one of the words that he's used to describe the russia investigation. day later friday the president took to twitter again to announce his 32 million plus followers that he is being investigated, but a source familiar with the president's thinking said that he was only talking about these news reports. he wasn't saying that he had personally been informed that he was under investigation. listen to how jay sekulow one of the attorneys on the president's legal team explained this on "state of the union." >> should we take that tweet as confirmation the president is under investigation? >> the president is not under investigation as james comey said in his testimony the president was not the target of an investigation on three different occasions. the president is not the subject or target of an investigation. that tweet was in response to a
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"washington post" story that ran with five unnamed sources without identifying the agencies they represented saying the special counsel had broadened out his investigation to include the president. we've had no indication of that. the president was responding to that particular statement from "the washington post" again with five anonymous sources and again, without any identifying agency. no, the president is not under investigation. >> the president said "i am under investigation" even though he isn't under investigation? >> that response on social media was in response to "the washington post" piece. the president is not under investigation. >> boris of course it isn't that simple. for months after having white house officials telling us we should take the president's tweets seriously one of his lawyers is saying the opposite and they are using outdated information to insist the president is not under
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investigation, referring to now former fbi director james comey's telling the president on three separate occasions that he was not personally being investigated. had that held true while comey was still running the fbi, which he cnn.com' been doing since the beginning of may, so it's not at all clear that that information is still up to date. i should mention that cnn has not confirmed "the washington post" reporting that the president is under investigation for possible obstruction of justice, but law enforcement sources have told cnn that bob muller shall the special counsel is gathering information and looking in to whether to open a full obstruction of justice investigation. bottom line the president's own tweets, own words have complicated the situation and raising a whole bunch of questions and of course, his 32 million twitter followers might not get this latest response from his lawyer backtracking on what he said. so it's a complicated situation. boris? >> yes, a lot of mixed
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messaging. athena jones thank you so much. let's bring in the panel to discuss. cnn legal analyst and bob muller's former special assistant at the doj michael zeldin, them thee neftali and constitutional attorney page pate. michael, for several days we've asked the president and the press corps if he is under investigation. we got no direct response until that tweet came out about you now it seems like there's a contradiction here, what do you make of all of this. >> it's not clear what to make of all this. it seems that the president's tweet is in response to the "post" story that muller is interviewing people with respect to obstruction, so i think it's a visceral response we're getting from the president. the lawyer sekulow seems to be saying in legal terms we have not been informed by the special
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counsel's office through a letter which is the required form that we are a target of the investigation, so there's no legal designation by the special counsel that the president is a target. you have that nuanced difference between the president saying i'm the subject of a witch hunt broadly speaking his lawyer saying in narrow terms but we never received specific notification we're the target or subject of an investigation. these are not necessarily in conflict but don't answer the question whether or not muller who is under the original mandate to look at the obstruction is looking at obstruction. the indicators that might reflect he is looking at it, one, he has comey's testimony and memos, we know that. two, we know the people from the intelligence community who may have relevant information about the obstruction of justice, that is they were told to intervene in the investigation are coming in for interviews. those may reflect muller's process determining whether or not there is an obstruction of
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justice infiery worth pursuing. >> yet another instance of someone speaking for the president and saying don't listen to what he actually said. this is what he said. we spend a lot of time interpreting for the president. does he have a problem communicating directly and sticking by what he says? >> i remember hearing not too long ago he was going to set up a war room to deal with the investigation. there is no central communication strategy at the white house looks like. the president already established as far as the american people were concerned that he's under investigation. by the way, it surprised me that he would be formally under investigation anyway at this point, because muller's team isn't ready. he just assembled them. it stands some reason it will take time for the letters to go out. the president jumping the gun is
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an indication that he anticipates being formally investigated. i think that's what i learned from it. >> sure. i want you gentleman to pause for a second and listen to congressman adam schiff, ranking member of the house intelligence committee on abc news this morning. listen to this. >> if he should conclude that rod rosenstein's conduct may be culpable in some way, then i think he can't report to rod rosenen stein and rod rosenstein would need to recuse himself but there's no way for us to know that at this point. >> page, to you, if the president is under investigation for obstruction of justice, isn't it feasible rod rosenstein recuse himself since it was his letter that the president continues to cite saying it was a factor in him firing james comey? >> boris, i don't think that's necessarily a requirement here. i mean, at best, rosenstein would be a witness as to what the president may have told him, the memorandum he prepared and sent to attorney general
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sessions that was eventually forwarded to the president. i don't think that presents a conflict. rosenstein is not the prosecutor here. bob muller is the prosecutor. muller will prepare a report based on all of his findings, his complete investigation and basically turn it over to the deputy attorney general and the rest of the country. so ultimately, i don't think rosenstein will be in a position to say yes or no about prosecution, and i don't think his involvement maybe as a fact witness will present such a conflict he has to recuse himself. >> i want to you listen to this sound from marco rubio he was on "state of the union" with jake tapper this morning talking about the investigation. listen. >> some of your senate colleagues as you know are concerned that president trump is preparing to fire mueller or mueller and rosenstein. how would you react if he did? >> first of all that's not going to happen. yoblg it's going to happen. the best thing that could happen for the president and the country is a full and credible
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investigation. i really truly believe that. if we want to put all this behind us, find out what happened, put it out there and let's not undermine the credibility of its investigation. that's the best thing that could happen for the president and for the country in my view. >> how sure is marco rubio, considering, michael to you, considering nobody expected jim comey to get fired? >> well, so it's too bad for the president that marco rubio is not his lawyer, because that's very good legal advice. second point is, i don't think that the president has the legal authority to fire mueller. under the statute that governs their behavior, only the attorney general, in this case, rosenstein, deputy attorney general because the ag is recused, can personally fire mueller. so i think you have a process where the president is unhappy. he calls rosenstein and says "fire him." rosenstein says the statute doesn't let me fire him unless
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there's cause and there's no cause. he says i'm ordering to you fire him anyway. rosenstein says there's no legal basis. i order to you do it. "i quit" and goes down the succession line, then to the associate attorney general, have to have the same calculus are they going to fire him on trumped up reasons or are they going to let him stay his course? i don't see that playing out well for the president under any circumstance so i can't see it happening. >> tim, to you. from an historical perspective what does it tell you we're this far into the trump administration and the majority of the conversation has to do with whether or not he's going to fire the people investigating him? >> it says a lot about the trump administration, because the president has shown himself already more than prepared to say "you're fired" to people around him that he's not happy with, and don't forget, this started with the acting attorney general, sally yates, and then we had jim comey.
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it was natural to assume that perhaps he would do the same thing to another person whose activities were hurting him specially. everybody publicly who is speaking on record, close to him, is saying don't do this, don't fire mueller. i believe these are ways are sending signals to him because i suspect, pure speculation, he would very much like to get rid of robert mueller. >> when i said the majority of the conversation is geared that way it's by the president's design. he continues tweeting about the russia investigation, though we've heard from several aides and sources they've tried to get him to avoid doing that. >> it would be a disaster, it would be an absolute disaster if he attempted indirectly to force mueller out. it took richard nixon a longer time to force out the special prosecutor in 1973. this entire story is on caffeine. it's going much faster -- it may not have the same result and may
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not have the same basis but in many ways, this is a speeded up version of a political scandal we visited and experienced a long time ago. >> tim, page and michael, thank you again for joining us this sunday. have a happy father's day. we may see some of you again later on tonight. thank you. still ahead, sounding the alarm. democratic and republican governors warning the senate over its health care bill. senator bernie sanders weighs in. plus seven sailors killed. questions are swirling around what happened moments before a navy destroyer collided with a japanese merchant ship. that and more ahead. not back. it's looking up, not down. it's being in motion. in body, in spirit, in the now. boost® high protein it's intelligent nutrition with 15 grams of protein
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the ship suffered significant damage but the "heroic efforts of the crew prevented the destroyer from sinking." alex fields is in japan which serves as the home base of the "fitzgerald." >> reporter: the "uss fitzgerald is back in port. the damage described severe, the worst of it can't be seen above the water line. the compartments below the ship flooded. investigations ordered into what went wrong and the bodies of the missing servicemen aboard that u.s. destroyer have been found. divers went down there finding the bodies of those sailors inside two different sleeping compartments. we're told now the sleeping compartments can hold about 116 crew members. the entire ship holds more than 300 crew members. the collision happened in the early morning hours on saturday at a time when most of the crew were told would have been asleep. the impact is described as a
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severe blow to the side of the ship, water pouring in at a fast rate, according to authorities here representing the 7th fleet. they say it isn't clear how much warning the crew would have had, how much time they would have had to get out. we're also learning more about the survivors of this collision. we know that three people on board were medevaced to hospitals, taken off the boat after that collision. one of them, the ship's commander. we're told his cabin was destroyed during the collision. the manneder of the 7th fleet saying that the commander of that ship is lucky to be alive. he has not yet been able to speak to investigators about what went wrong on board. alexandra field yokusuka. >> admiral john curry is a former spokesmanman for the state department and pentagon, joins me from washington. sir, thank you for spending your time with us. let's start with the investigation. what exactly is happening right now, and how closely are they looking at the ship's commander?
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>> what will happen now is the 7th fleet commander will order what we call a jag manual investigation, a fact-finding investigation, most likely put another admiral in charge of that because of the severity of the incident and the team will talk to every witness, every recorded data and certainly look at all the operation of all the equipment, including the radar system during this and try to find out exactly what happened. they will probably create a time line minute by minute in 15, 20, 30 minutes or so whatever it was from the time the first two ships saw each other out there to the moment they collided with the attempt to try to figure out exactly what happened and what decisions were made or not made that led to this horrible tragedy. >> as you heard alexandra field say the bodies of the sailors were found in flooded compartments below the water level where the majority of the damage is. what does that tell you about
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the amount of warning time they got that there was a collision that was impending? >> well, i don't know. i think that's a great question that the investigators are going to try to uncover. i'm in no position to know that. it wouldn't surprise me, shouldn't surprise anybody that time of night where you have watch standards operating and driving the ship but most of the crew you could expect would be asleep at that time of day. how much time they had really is going to depend on whether that, how much time they knew right before the collision and could sound the alarm and then also how significant the blow was to the side of the ship. now, again, this containership was very large. looked to me from the images it was heavily laden, it had a lot of momentum, a lot of gross tonnage so even at a slow speed, you could expect it would do quite a bit of taj. it does look like there was quite a bit of flooding below the water line, and those spaces. they could flood pretty quickly because they're open sort of
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berthing bays with lots of bunk beds in them. it could have flooded very, very quickly. >> we heard the heroic efforts made to keep the ship from sinking. how did it not sink? >> the crew, in a word, the crew. i think when all is said and done, and the investigation is over, and all the stories can be told, i think you are going to hear dozens of stories of sailors, individually and as teams, working incredibly bravely and with unbelievable skill to save that ship. damage control, fighting floods at sea is one of the things that every sailor learns from almost the day you join the navy. i certainly went through that training and you go through it time and time again because it's serious and every sailor aboard a warship is a fireman and every sailor is also trained to fight floods and i think in a word, honestly it's the crew that saved that ship and i think it's important to point out our japanese allies and partners who also were on the scene very, very quickly, japanese coast
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guard who no doubt also helped save "fitzgerald." >> heroic commendable efforts as well as we wish the best for those families that are mourning their losses. >> i think it's really important we need to remember that those families, there are some families and some unbelievable unspeakable grief right now and our thoughts and prayers need to be with them as well as quite frankly the rest of the crew and families of "fitzgerald" because those who perished, they were also friends of so many of their shipmates. in a navy crew is very much like a family and i can guarantee you they are all surgeon today. >> we're profoundly grateful for their service. thank you so much. >> my pleasure, thank you. next t will not be business as usual on capitol hill this week if senate democrats have anything to say about it. their plan to bring the gop's efforts to a halt over in the name of health care. >> i am in favor of the american
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a bit of good news. congressman steve scalise is continuing to improve days after being shot at baseball practice. med star washington hospital upgraded the house majority whip's condition from critical to serious after he had another surgery yesterday and last night a tweet came from scalise's account "steve is watching lsu baseball, rooting hard for a big tigers win tonight and lsu came through beating florida state 5-4. staying in congress, business in the senate could come to a screeching halt this week. democrats are considering a dramatic shutdown to pressure republicans to open up the process surrounding the health care bill. they're upset the gop is crafting the bill behind closed
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doors and shrouded in secrecy. senate chuck schumer sent a letter to mitch mcconnell calling for an all senators meeting this week. ryan noble joins us from washington. how would the democrats go about shutting down the senate? >> yes, boris, not a complete shutdown but threatening to use one of the few weapons left in their arsenal, employing parliamentary maneuvers to grind senate business to a halt unless they get a fair and open vetting of this new version of the health care reform bill. among the techniques, preventing committees from conducting routine business, stopping committees meeting for extended hearings when the senate is in session and that could make it hard for republicans to schedule votes on bills considered non-controversial, and it could keep nominees from the trump administration from getting confirmed. that would create a glacial pace of work in the senate in a body that is actually already pretty slow.
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the goal would be to force republicans to open debate on the health care bill which at this point has been done behind closed doors. all democrats, even some republicans have yet to see what is in this new bill, despite the fact that republican leadership is promised to vote before the july 4th holiday. this morning on "state of the union" senator bernie sanders, an independent but caucuses with the testimodemocrats endorsed t move. take a listen. >> we have an insane process, insane. here you have legislation which deals with one-sixth of the american economy, that's the health care situation, and there are republicans who haven't even seen this legislation, and certainly no member in the democratic caucus has. what kind of process is it that when you deal with an issue that impacts tens of millions of people in this country, republicans don't even have the guts to allow it to go to a committee, where we can have an open hearing, where questions could be asked. >> this is by no means a done keel though.
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democrat would prefer not to have to go this route, especially in the wake of unity displayed at the congressional baseball game after that shooting at a republican baseball practice. as you mentioned, boris, chuck schumer calling for an all senators meeting, but at the end of the day, republicans have the votes. this is really a public relations battle, and republicans are facing some pressure not just from their democratic colleagues, but a group of seven governors, three of them republicans, have sent a letter to senate republicans asking them to open up the process and make it a bipartisan one. their fear is that if this bill gets rammed through without any democratic support, it will essentially just become another political football, and we'll be right back where we are if we get to a point where democrats get in office. boris, this debate has been under the radar over the past few weeks with everything happening with russia and then in the wake of the shooting last week. it's going to be front and center, starting on monday for sure. boreis? >> quite a bit flying under the
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radar with everything that's going on. ryan nobles, thank you so much. let's bring back the panel to discuss, tim neftali, former director of the nixon presidential library, also with me is zachary wolfe, managing editor of cnnpolitics.com. tim, let's start with you. the democrats weighing the possibility of slowing down senate business. isn't that a bit of a dramatic move? >> well, i think part of this is signaling. as yet, i haven't heard that the republicans have reached consensus on what this bill will look like. part of the reason i suspect, again speculating here, that we haven't seen a bill the republicans themselves haven't decided what kind of bill they want. by doing what the democrats are doing right now, they're signaling to the gop we are going to make it hard for you. we're going to make you own this piece of legislation. be sure you want to do that. so the democrats haven't done anything except signal. it's the gop we should be
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watching, because we have to see whether they have a consensus yet on the new bill. >> we've heard that mitch mcconnell told the president we have a vote by july 4th. be interesting to see if that happens. zach, as ryan correctly pointed out it's not just democrats criticizing the gop for holding talks behind closed doors. alaska republican senator lisa murkowski spoke up about this. listen to what she said. >> yes, i got a problem with it. if i'm not going to see a bill before we have a vote on it, that's just not a good way to handle something that is as significant and important as health care. >> so if republican senators are complain being how closed this process has been, zach, what is the likelihood that we see a more open discussion? >> probably not very. the reason i think republicans are doing this so quietly is they're trying to all get on the same page without a lot of you know, outside people complaining about this part or that part or
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making this part a nonstarter or that one. there is some sense i think if you want the republicans to come up with a plan that they can all rally around, doing it quietly, the problem is that's not the way it's supposed to work. you think about the obama cair health law to begin with, it was republicans when they passed it who were complaining that democrats were doing it very quietly. so if this feels a little bit familiar, there's a good reason for that. i just don't see the dynamic changing any time soon. the clock is certainly ticking, if they have any vote before july 4th you'd think we would have seen some kind of legislative text at this point but we haven't. >> yes, zach is absolutely right, this is like deja vu. tim, now it's the democrats acting almost as obstructionists. >> the big question is why the rush? why does this have to be done before the july 4th break? >> the president did say that on day one he was going to repeal and replace obamacare. >> it hasn't happened day one and didn't happen by the 100th day and the 144th day. this is the interesting
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question. why do it this way? because it's clear that the cbo number, that's the congressional budget office number, may not be ready in time for this vote. there are all kinds of things that will make it harder for the republicans to sell this bill this summer. why the haste? i still don't understand. >> and zach, republicans aren't exactly getting a ton of help from the president in forming and going through this bill, especially when it comes to public support, right? there's a report out there he told them to make it less mean than the house version or rather the house version of a repeal and replacement of obamacare was mean. how does he help this process instead of hurting it? >> well, i mean, you know, that's an excellent question. i'm not sure how he can help this process. he never really had a fully formed health care plan, so it's not like he had a bunch of proposals, or requirements to go up there.
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that bill that he says is mean by the way, there was a huge fan fair when they finally were able to pass it on their second try. i think he really just wants a win and that's perhaps part of the problem. he's not really concerned with the details. he has no investment in what exactly this bill does. he just wants it to happen, which is probably not how good policy is going to get made at the end of the day. i'm not sure he's going to help them. he could try to sell it, but his, you know, his approval rating is not such that i'm sure it would do much help if he went on a barnstorming tour around the country to sell a bill but we haven't seen the bill yet so we're not sure what he would sell. >> tim does he help the process more by staying out of the way? >> you mean does he help the process by not tweeting? that may be the answer for a lot of issues facing the president. at this point, good policy is tough to do. it's sausage making. haste is a bad thing, and the president should let the process
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work naturally. so he shouldn't push it. >> tim naftali thank you again, zachary wolf we appreciate your time on this sunday. check out cnn.com/politics for the latest on all of this and more. 12 jurors, 52 hours of deliberations, and no decision. so what's next for bill cosby and the cases against him? his lawyer sits down with cnn for an exclusive interview you will not want to miss. >> do you believe, though, that bill cosby drugged and assaulted women for decades? at country. my last wish is for you to do it for me, as a family. love, grandpa. ♪ let us be lovers, we'll marry our fortunes together ♪ older grandaughter: it'll be alright. i know. grandson: how did you meet grandpa? grandmother: actually on a blind date. [ laughter ] i wish he was on the trip with us.
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...where certain fungal infections are common and if you've had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have flulike symptoms or sores. don't start humira if you have an infection. talk to your doctor and visit humira.com this is humira at work. bill cosby's attorney is worried for his clients health as they deal with the aftermath of mistrial and possible retrial in his sexual offense. in an exclusive interview with cnn the attorney called the trial unfair because the accusations were years old and his client once known as america's dad still swears he is
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innocent. jean casarez has a one on one interview. >> the judges declared a mistrial. is that a win for you? is that a loss for you? >> any time you start a trial and end a trial with your client being presumed innocent it can't be a loss. having said that, there are no winners here. we tried a case for a week. the jury deliberated for 50-some hours without a verdict. but as i've said many times before, as long as you can leave that courtroom with your client presumed innocent then i'm satisfied. >> this was a drug-facilitated sexual assault case. did you pause at all? >> i never pause when i have the opportunity to defend someone like him, who maintains his
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innocence who from the beginning has assured me that i'll be able to represent him and do so with dignity, and i'm a trial lawyer. my bob is to go in and defend people who are accused of a crime and require that the prosecution be put to the test. no matter what's written, no matter is what is said outside of a courtroom i require people who are going to make accusat n accusations to be put to the test and i welcome that opportunity here. i will say to you, though, that i was always a big bill cosby fan. i'm from philadelphia. i was born there and bill cosby means a lot to a lot of us in that area so when i got that call, i said yes. >> had you ever met him before? >> never. never met him, never seen him before, but i probably watched him on tv more than i care to admit. i go back to "i spy" so i go way back but i've been a fan of mr. cosby's forever and now i get
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the opportunity to call him my client and my friend. >> do you believe, though, that bill cosby drugged and assaulted women for decades? >> i don't, because he swears to me he didn't. >> that was jean casarez with an exclusive interview. the prosecution vowed to retry bill cosby within the next few months. a school teacher, a farmer and a math whiz all running for office in france. could the new party led by french president emmanuel macron be starting a revolution? we'll discuss. step one: point decisively with the arm of your glasses. abracadabra. the stage is yours. step two: choose la quinta. the only hotel where you can redeem loyalty points for a free night-instantly and win at business.
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we're getting a stunning look at what fort geese officials are calling the greatest wildfire tragedy of recent years. take a look. at least 61 people were killed as this massive fire raced through central portugal. it spread so quickly some victims were burned to death in
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their cars as they tried to get away. the area's mayor says many villages were completely surrounded by the fire and there was simply not enough firefighters to fight these flames. it is election day again in france, and president emmanuel macron is hoping a big win will give him what he needs to push his agenda forward. turnout was lower than expected as french voters cast ballots in the second round of parliamentary elections. still macron's centrist party is expected to take a majority in the lower house, clearing the way for mr. macron to push his political revolution ahead. senior international correspondent jim bittermann joins us from paris to discuss. jim, nearly half of macron's party has never been involved in politics before, similar to some would say the trump administration. what would a big win here mean for france? >> reporter: well, i think it's going to be a real renewal politically. lot of these people were new faces, half never held political office. macron himself never had run for
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election before running for president and there's a lot of new faces in the national assembly, if it goes the way we think it's going and estimations out now we'll have a very clear majority, as much as 64% of the assembly will be people of his camp. there's two parties involved there, but they will be people who will vote along for his programs and the kind of reforms he's talking about. so it's going to be a landslide. he'll be able to govern quite easily as far as getting bills through the parliament. the question is, how much pushback from the streets because already some of the left wing parties here are opposing the kind of economic reforms that he's talking about. boris? >> jim, in the past few years here in the u.s., divisions in congress partisanship has made it extremely difficult to get things done. do you think france might be on track for the same kind of gridlock? >> reporter: no, i don't think so.
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this majority emmanuel macron has won tonight will easily allow him to pass the kind of reforms he's talking about. there will be no gridlock in the parliament. what there will be however, that's always sort of the third or fourth force here in french politics is what happens out on the streets, kind of pushback one sees, strikes and demonstrations that are pretty common here, sometimes they have defeated in the past, and in fact, the last three presidential administrations have been defeated in their attempts at reform by street demonstrations and strikes, which have represented opposing force. the parliament, however, is going to go along with macron as far as we can tell, if he gets this, the kind of majority that people are talking about and estimating this evening. it will be a clear majority so he'll be able to pass whatever he wants to pass. boreis? >> jim bittermann reporting live from paris, thank you. still plenty to get to. we'll be right back. you're live in the "cnn newsroom."
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we're following breaking news right now. shots have v been fired at a resort in the capital of mali. robyn, what do we know about this attack? >> what i can tell you is gunmen we understand have somehow laid siege to le compremond, beautiful pools and mountainous area east of bamako, the capital of mali. we know little what is happening at the resort.
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we can tell you the united nations has put out messages there is this attack going on. the eu training mission has also put out information this attack is going on. the u.s. embassy informed u.s. citizens of possible increased threat of attacks a few weeks ago on june 9th, to avoid locations with poor security measures including hotels and restaurants. >> robin there have been attacks like this not far from this area in mali before, one in 2015. >> yes, november 2015, 22 people including the attackers died in that attack and that was at the rad ison blue, western as western you can get as an american owned group in the capital bamako, 22 people killed. islamist militants stormed the hotel when people were having breakfast, gunned down a number of people and keeping people hostage, the hostage situation
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was quite brutal. number of people killed in that. that was a tribute to an offshoot of the al qaeda and islamic maghreb group. this stemmed from march in 2012 essentially islamic rebels took advantage of a chaotic situation in the north of the country after a military coup, they carved out a northern section of mali and called it until their own and wasn't until france and u.n. peacekeepers went into that part of the country and took control of it that they were able to establish what normally again. you've seen a number of attacks like, this mostly directed at foreigners, oftentimes directed specifically at french nationals. >> and do we have any indication this offshoot of al qaeda may have played a role in this attack. >> we have no idea. as far as we know gunshots rang out at the upstale resort to the east of bamako, the capital of
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mali, it's not the first time this happened. there's been a number of kidnappings, boris n this region and other hotel and cafe attacks contributed but at this stage we do not have any idea who is behind this attack which group is behind this attack or if it is a group and not just a robbery gone who ahorribly wron. journalists say there is smoke coming from the venue. >> robin, thank you for the expertise. much more ahead "the newsroom" and it starts right now. i'm boris sanchez. fredricka whitfield is off today. thank you for joining us. it is confusing at best, a reversal from the president's legal team one of his attorneys saying donald trump is not under investigation for obstruction of
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justice though the president himself tweeted that he is under investigation. here is that friday tweet "i am being investigated for firing the fbi director by the man who told me to fire the fbi director. witch hunt." but today jay sekulow private attorney hired by the president disputed that statement. i'll show you part of his interview with cnn's jake tapper on "state of the union." >> let me be clear the president is not under investigation as james comey said in his testimony the president was not the target of investigation on three different occasions. the president is not a subject or target of an investigation. that tweet was in response to a "washington post" story that ran with five unnamed sources without identifying the agencies they represented saying that the special counsel had broadened out his investigation to include the president. we've had no indication of that. the president was responding to that particular statement from

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