tv CNN Newsroom With Ana Cabrera CNN July 15, 2017 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
fomy doctor recommended ibgard. abdominal pain and bloating. now i'm in control of my ibs. nonprescription ibgard- calms the angry gut. you're in the cnn news room in new york. great to have you with us this weekend. russian lawyer meeting at trump tower last year when the president's son tried to get some election dirt on hillary clinton. the group of people who were in that room is growing with every new detail that comes out. the early reports it was the president's son, campaign manager and one of his closest advisors. now we know at least eight people were in that room. everybody's reason for being there, why they were invited, it's still not crystal clear. cnn is in new jersey where president trump is also spending the weekend.
boris, another wrinkle to this story today. the white house has brought in an additional attorney. tell us more. >> reporter: that's right. his name is ty cobb. he is a power attorney in washington, d.c. who has defended high profile cases, including where he defended two former clinton white house officials. aside from that, he has defended major corporations, an ex-cia officer. and a former federal prosecutor. he's expected to oversee not only the legal response to the russia investigation but also how the white house responds to these consistent press reports that have leaked out that have been damaging to the white house's agenda. >> we now know there were more people in that room at that meeting that had not been disclosed previously. what is the white house saying
about this latest development? >> not much at all, ana. there has not been an official statement from the white house about these additional developments. the most we've gotten is part of a tweet sent by the president earlier today where he referred to the russia hoax. but he didn't get into the specifics of these new revelations about who specifically was in that meeting with donald trump jr., with paul manafort and with jared kushner as well. we will continue to wait and watch. but as of right now, the white house is forwarding all of our questions to the president's legal team. >> boris sanchez, thank you. i want to show you that list once again of people we now know were at that trump tower meeting last june. and one of those names that has just entered this conversation, that's him under others, is rinat akhmetshin.
elise, this man has been around washington we know for decades, at least one u.s. senator really wants to know more information about him and what his motivations are. what can you tell us? >> well, that's right. he's been a well known figure in washington circles. he's been a u.s. citizen since 2009. born in russia. and he's been a lobbyist for an organization of this lawyer, this russian lawyer who was originally the subject of that meeting with donald trump jr. and jared kushner and now we're learning that there were actually eight people in the room. in addition to being a lobbyist, he also was working in the russia in the soviet army, and he has said in the past to colleagues and friends that he was working on behalf of russian military intelligence. since then in lots of press interviews, he has denied those
charges saying that the unit that he worked for did some work on law enforcement and intelligence but denied being part of the gru, so to speak, the russian military intelligence unit. now, he did get the interest of senator chuck grassly, who is the chairman of the senate judiciary committee earlier this year because of the lobbying work that he's done. senator glassy was wondering whether he registered properly for the work he had done, whether he registered as a foreign agent because there was some concern about his ties to intelligence. so why was he in the meeting? obviously it turns out that natalia was talking about the magnitski act. that's why she was talking in the meeting after the kind of issue of talking about dirt on hillary clinton. she also brought up that
magnitski act. that was the topic that this gentleman was the lobbyist on behalf. so obviously his former life in the soviet army is raising a lot of questions as to why he was there. >> do we know if moscow is saying anything about him? he's the former soviet officer. certainly his history there would be documented. >> they say they don't know anything about him. they say that he's not come across their interest. of course, we have reached out to him and he has not gotten back to cnn with any comment. >> all right. elise reporting. thank you very much. let's talk more about this themmening plot with the white house correspondent and cnn intelligence and security analyst and former cia operative bob bear. let's take a look at this again. a russian lawyer, a russian lobbyist who has admitted to being an ex-soviet officer. a translator was in the room and a still unidentified person. now, as a former cia operative,
does this seem like a russian intelligence operation to you? >> absolutely. i know exactly what they were doing. they were probing the trump campaign. they wanted to vig your out would they accept this information. it is what we call in the intelligence area is soft pitch. if donald junior turned it down at that point, they would have walked away. it gives them plausible deniability. you have all these people represent the kremlin, russia's interest. they weren't there without some knowledge of moscow. >> jared kushner's attorney started strategizing back in mid-june how to disclose these e-mails. you report on this white house daily. how likely is it that the president just found out about this meeting this past weekend? >> well, i think it's very likely because all of the
lawyers involved, all of the aids involved would have known that it was very important to keep president trump isolated from this situation until the last possibly moment. that's why so many lawyers are involved with the white house now, to make decisions like that. it's important to keep president trump as far away from the situation as possible. and one of the reasons why this particular disclosure has been more damaging than previous revelations is because the people involved are not expendable. they're not like manafort that could have been easily discarded when questionable past behavior came to light. they are family. president trump is famously loyal to family, and these are people that even if he severed professional ties with him, they would still be close in his ear every day. so this situation had to be handled with extreme care, and i think the legal team sought to keep president trump isolated from this information until they had no other choice but to tell him about the meeting.
>> and we just don't know at this point. that is one of the big questions, is when did the president find out, what was he told. jared kushner, we have learned through cnn's reporting sources telling some of our colleagues, sara murray and evan perez, that apparently jared kushner told his legal team he wanted to sit down with the president and talk to him about these e-mails before they came out with some kind of response. again, we don't know when and if that happened. but donald trump jr. has released these statements and he released his e-mail saying he wanted to be transparent. he gave an interview to his friends in fox news to be transparent as well. i want to play some of that portion of the interview for you. >> did you ever meet with any other person from russia that you know? >> i don't even know. i have probably met with other people from russia. not in the context of actual formalized meeting. >> as far as you know, this is all of it? >> this is everything. this is everything. >> four days later we now know
he was not transparent. does donald trump jr. seem like he has nothing to hide? >> he has a lot to hide, ana. first of all, "the new york times" called him up and said we're about ready to release these e-mails and that's when he released them. he had no choice. his hand was forced. and, you know, he didn't admit the other russian there or what the information was about when this first came out on saturday last week. also, i don't believe they didn't tell trump. you know, you're approached by a government like russia and all these people and they didn't inform the candidate, donald trump? this is just gross negligence. none of this story makes sense. and i can't wait until mueller gets to the bottom of it, and he will, because he's going to get their phone calls before, after any contacts made, the metadata and a good investigator properly motivated will get to the bottom
of this story. >> do you think mueller will be interviewing people on the russian side of the meeting as well? >> i don't think we'll ever see them again. they have a lot to say. i don't think they're going to show up in the united states. this clearly -- i'll go back again and say with almost 100% certainty, this was a russian intelligence operation run out of the kremlin. it has all the hallmarks. you know, can i prove it right now? no. but it certainly looks that way. >> again, you have that experience of a cia cop ratiope. what you just said is what we heard earlier. so you guys are saying the same thing. there is a lot of focus on donald trump jr. specifically because he is the one who was the connector in this meeting. but jared kushner was at that meeting, too. he actually works in the white house as we speak. do we need to hear from kushner himself? >> jared kushner's presence at this meeting makes it more problematic for the white house
because now he is becoming a political target. democrats in dock are already angling to have him stripped of his security clearance. it's not clear that would be successful. but that adds another layer of political complication for the white house. jared kushner is someone who very rarely appears or speaks publically. he operates behind the scenes. but now congressional democrats have a reason to haul him before congress and there is not much republicans or the white house can do to justify withholding that testimony. so at some point jared kushner may have to step forward and explain his presence at that meeting, explain why there were so many omissions on his first crack at the fs-86. again, because he's so close to the president, it is not easy for the white house to just isolate him when he's becoming such a liability for the white house. >> it was earlier this spring when jared kushner amended that security clearance form. he added about 100 foreign contacts is what his attorney
said. but he still left off this meeting. it was only added a few weeks ago after his form was amended yet again, as you point out. bob, you have filled out these forms before. do you think that it could just be a mistake to leave this off? >> no. you know, with russians come in and propose giving dirt on your father-in-l father-in-law's opponent, it is not something you forget. russians don't approach campaigns every day. this is the first time i know of when it's been so blatant. they tried this in the '90s. i watched it in the '90s and the clintons turned it down at the time and so did the dnc. they said this is off limits. but it is something they didn't forget. i just can't believe that he forgot this meeting when everybody was there. and, you know, this should be a bar to having a security clearance. and certainly a top secret security clearance. if this was a normal federal official, they would have lost their federal clearance by now. >> would he have a polygraph
test taken as part of the operations to get the security clearance? is that part of the -- i know cia operatives have to have a polygraph to be in the cia. >> cia, fbi, national security agency, dni, the rest of them, yes. but for white house official, no. they would only get one if there was a criminal investigation and they agreed to it. and, frankly, they don't work. but anyhow, with a proper investigation, i'll go back, mueller, he will get to the bottom of this, and i hope -- we need to get to the bottom of it was the legitimacy of the presidency is in question at this point. >> sara, republican congressman made a stunning statement this week as a republican. he says president trump should remove all of his children from the white house. it seems like we're starting to see more republicans now distancing themselves from the administration. >> absolutely. i think that this is the kind of silence we saw after the "access
hollywood" tape emerged, when fbi james comey was fired for an unclear reason. and now we're seeing republicans on capitol hill try to avoid speaking in public on this topic at all costs because they're not sure if their defenses of the president will be rendered invalid by another revelation a few days later. it is the kind of thing that's gotten some lawmakers in trouble. a few of them defended this jared kushner meeting as a nothing burger before the e-mails emerged and then were forced to more or less retract their defense of the white house in light of the continue tents of these e-mails. i feel like this has had a chilling effect. and that's only going to continue as long as the administration is not forthcoming about these types of situations. >> bob, do you think this was the last meeting? >> no. i mean, you know, what i think is that somebody picked up the thread after this meeting.
you know, there is so many pieces of this that where we can't put together. roger stone, the campaign advisor being in touch with the hackers. that hasn't been explained and on and on and on. and this kind of investigation, i'll say, will take another year at least before we get a full picture of what happened, especially since the white house and the rest of the family are not coming clean on this story. >> thank you both. >> thank you. coming up, live in the cnn news room, new details emerging about who exactly met with campaign officials and donald trump jr. now former republican congressman says the team is doing much more damage to themselves, trump team, that is, but not being transparent about their interactions. new chilling details emerging in the four gruesome pennsylvania murders. what police say led up to these
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so when you look at the way russian intelligence services operate, they want to find somebody that has access they're looking for, access to people with information they're interested in that probably are not trained intelligence officials that wouldn't know they're getting solicited in some way. and if you look at all of the profiles, certainly this case fits that to a tee. and now you have this notion there are other members in there who also had tied to the russian
government. they made clear in the e-mail there was some russian government involvement. that was the dangle to me, i wonder if they'll come to this meeting if we disclose this came from the russian government. it doesn't mean anything illegal happened or that they went out there to sell out their country. this appears to me to be that kind of operational appeal on behalf of the russian intelligence service. >> the bigger picture is that donald trump jr., those that were at the meeting haven't been totally transparent. this is another revelation after they put out multiple statements with additional information each time. >> you know, clearly, as i have said all along, a, the president should just stop talking about it. he should be a character witness for his son and go about the business of being president of the united states. secondly, they should be transparent, open up to what they did and when they did it. again, it doesn't appear they did anything illegal. so they should talk about it and say, maybe next i wouldn't do it that way.
but the way they keep doing this, they're doing themselves their own damage here. they're cutting themselves 1,000 times to get to that depth. a full review of this up front by themselves and then disclosing the information would have been a far better approach to this. again, now you don't know, are they hiding other things and other meetings and other communications that will likely come out during the course of this investigation? that's why they either should stop talking or try to get out in front of it in a real and transparent way. >> we learned specifically that this russian lawyer was believed to be peddling dirt on hillary clinton. in terms of where this story goes next, what do you see as the most important questions that need to be answered? >> well, from my old fbi days, you have to look at it this way. were there any contacts subsequent to that meeting? this meeting was probably a get to know you, feel them out a little bit, see if there is any
possibility if you are the russian intelligence service or if they're operating as cut outs, was there a second meeting? does d did they get another meeting out of this or a phone call or recommend they talk to a certain individual, they being the campaign, that would be able to provide that information. all of that you don't know. so now what investigators are looking at is, okay, we know that this was likely a dangle operation. now we're going to have to figure out what steps did the russians take next. did they try to contact them? again, did they say, hey, why don't you go talk to person x in new york city about these things, they can help you out on that particular issue. all of that has to be dissected. and again it's going to come out. and what they don't want to do if they're under investigation and going under oath and talking to either an investigator committee in the senate or the fbi, they're going to need to be completely truthful or they're going to find themselves in violation of federal law by lying to an fbi agent. i'm not sure exactly what
they're doing going on tv and doing that. i know what the investigators are doing. they're trying to figure out what happened next. >> one thing that has been pointed out is jared kushner's lawyers stumbled upon this e-mail as they were going back over his e-mails and other documents pertaining to testimony that's upcoming for him in these different intelligence committees and the other congress committees investigating russia ties in the election meddling. one of the things that really stands out here, though, is that jared kushner had to update his security clearance forms multiple times. this was one of those updates that happened in mid-june. there are growing calls for his security clearance to be revoked. should it? >> it's probably too early to tell. i think that they should go through the security process, the security clearance process like everyone else. there should be no exceptions here. and i think what's going to happen, if there is -- if they are updating under the requirements of security clearances, and by the way,
there are methods to do this, then that's one thing. if they are running into problems by not being truthful in their security clearance process, that is a whole another set of issues. and they should deal with it, again, not like, you know, a special person should not be handled, but like everyone else. and if they're doing that, i feel comfortable they'll come to right conclusion on should they or should they not have the security kreerclearance. >> who makes that decision? >> so there is a system of doing all this. there is a way to go through your clearance. you have sponsors who told your clearance meeting. maybe the fbi holds your clearance or the cia or another government agency sponsors you in holding that clearance. meaning, they are responsible for you holding that clearance. in the case of the white house, that sponsoring entity is really the white house. and the president can make the determination to give classified material to anyone that the president wants at any time.
he can also declassify information at any time he wants. so it's an interesting process. the folks who do this for a living i'm sure are trying to go through a process. the president will have that final determination if he says i don't care what they find, i want this person to have a clearance, that person is going to get a clearance. >> mike rogers, thank you. up next, missing men found buried 12 feet underground. details on the cousins who have just confessed to a role in four killings that rocked a quiet pennsylvania communcommunity. you are live in the cnn news room. it's just that your friend daryl here is supposed to be live streaming the wedding and he's not getting any service. i missed, like, the whole thing. what? and i just got an unlimited plan. it's the right plan, wrong network. you see, verizon has the largest, most reliable 4g lte network in america. it's built to work better in cities. tell you what, just use mine. thanks. no problem. all right, let's go live. say hi to everybody who wasn't invited!
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minutes on thursday night. one victim's burns have been described as life changing. a second person has been involved. police are asking for the public for any information that could help with the investigation. police say they know what happened to four men who disappeared last week. their bodies for found in pennsylvania and two cousins are now charged. a judge has entered not guilty pleas on their behalf. but one of the suspects made a stunning confession. >> reporter: both 20 years old and cousins are behind bars on no bond after admitting to the killings of four men who disappeared from this area in pennsylvania last week. in addition, they're each facing more than a dozen charges each in the case. and we got a look at court documents which detail a horrific confession from both of those men. and in those papers, we learned that he admitted to luring one of those men to his family's
property with the intent to sell him drugs. instead he shot that man and buried his body on the property. then he joined up with his cousin and they lured three of the men to the same property with the intent to rob them. but again we're told by those papers they shot all three of those men, burying their bodies in a separate grave and also trying to burn the bodies, tried to conceal that evidence. we have learned from the district attorney in this case they have been able to recover all four bodies from the property. that was one of his hopes to bring the boys home to their families. we also know they recovered evidence such as the guns used in this case. now, we know that denardo gave a full confession to authorities in exchange for the death penalty being taken off of the table. but according to the district attorney, that's not the case for shawn kratz, and it is possible he could face the death penalty in this case. >> so disturbing. a sink hole swallowed two
homes near tampa, florida in a matter of hours. this is incredible video. this began friday morning. first it was a depression the size of a small pool, but it quickly grew to more than 200 feet wide and 50 feet deep. people who lost their homes watched helplessly. they couldn't even save any of their belongings it happened so quickly. authorities say the sink hole now seems to have stop expanding so repair operations can begin. three people are dead after a fire at a honolulu high rise. the fire started yesterday in a unit without sprinklers. chunks of this building tell more than 20 stories as this fire burned upward. a resident describes the chaos. >> you couldn't see the steps in front of you. >> the fire chief says a sprinkler system would have
contained this fire to just one unit, but no sprinklers were inside the building. five people including a firefighter were hospitalized. coming up, the stakes are high for the new senate health care plan. but republicans can't afford to lose even one vote. next. only tylenol® rapid release gels have laser drilled holes. they release medicine fast, for fast pain relief. tylenol® so we know how to cover almost almoanything.hing even a swing set standoff.
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>> i want to turn to the battle over your health care. president and the vice president are trying to drum up support. the white house can't afford even one more republican no vote on the bill already. two have said they will not vote for it. that's susan collins of maine and rand paul of kentucky. and at least 12 other republican senators they are still undecided. ryan nobles has the very latest on this health care show down. >> reporter: the white house and senate leaders are making an aggressive push to convince republican members to vote yes on their latest version of health care reform. >> we are very, very close to ending this health care nightmare. we are so close. >> reporter: 52 republican senators have now had more than 24 hours to digest the bill. as it stands right now two members remain opposed to the plan. >> it does not make sense to do
a major rewrite of a vital entitlement program without having any hearings or consideration of the implications. >> reporter: mitch mcconnell cannot lose any more votes if he hopes to get the bill through. the president who has let mcconnell take to lead in the day-to-day negotiations is stepping up his public push to get the bill passed. he tweeted four times about health care friday morning writing republican senators are working hard to get their failed obamacare bill approved. i will be at my desk pen in hand. >> president donald trump is going to lead this congress to rescue the american people from the collapsing policies of obamacare. >> reporter: trump is also working behind the scenes, spending part of his time in paris making phone calls to gop senators, including senator rand paul, whose position has not
changed. many rank and file republicans who remain undecided are waiting to hear from stakeholders back home before making up their minds. >> they wait and speak with their state leaders over the weekend and wait until they see the cbo score, which doesn't come out until next week. >> reporter: this bill rolls back federal funding for the expansion. rob portman of ohio and dean heller are both dealing with gop governors unhappy with the plan. that was ryan nobles reporting for us. the bill includes the version of an amendment proposed by texas senator ted cruz that would allow insurers to also offer cheaper bare bones policies. this amendment may bolster support for some conservatives. let's talk about it with the texas public policy foundation.
chip, i want to read you a strongly worded letter by two big insurance trade groups, blue cross blue shield association and americans health insurance plans and they say this cruz provision would mean, quote, skyrocketing premiums for people with pre-existing conditions and millions of more individuals will become uninsured they say. chip, this doesn't sound good. >> reporter: well, good evening. thanks for having me on. let's first remember the position we find ourselves in where premiums have doubled over the last seven years and in a third of american counties you can only get one insurer if you're lucky, sometimes zero. that's what people are trying to deal with and that's what republicans are trying to solve. they're trying to drive premiums down. with respect to senator cruz's amendment, what he and senator lee were trying to do was provide a safe haven where americans can do to get a competitively priced plan. you would think in the united states that wouldn't be a difficult thing, but
unfortunately the way the bill is crafted and the way the law under obama dlts care is crafted, it puts everybody into a single pool which means premiums will not go down. >> this is not the answer either. >> well, if you talk about that insurance company letter, listening to the insurance company guys complain about this is listening to the captain of the titanic complain about why you are putting the lifeboats up. take that with a grain of salt. >> the obama administrator? i'm not sure if that's the truth. but if you want to talk about a different group, let's talk about what the kaiser foundation said about the cruz plan. this is a quote from their vice president saying this would be the perfect recipe for destabilizing the market and turning it into high risk pools. so it isn't just the insurance companying saying this. i hear what you're saying about
the goal of the cruz amendment, add more competition and to drive down premiums. and people will say that that could happen for those who are healthier, who are younger, who don't need these comprehensive packages, but everything i've heard from the experts say that people with pre-existing conditions are going to lose. their premiums are going to skyrocket. >> well, as you and i have talked about before, i am somebody with a pre-existing condition. i was a cancer survivor. we want to make sure people with pre-existing conditions are covered. but if you don't break down the way that the obamacare model is structured and if you don't break it out of a single risk pool, you cannot possible drive the prices down. what happened was senator cruz's amendment and what senator lee and he were working on was creating an environment where you could get folks in a high risk pool but then break it down so people could have competitive plans. but the senator leadership left
those guys hanging and they restructured it and put everybody back into a single pool and frankly aalso threw $182 billion at the insurance companies in what amounts to tarp for the insurance companies. so the problem is republicans find themselves kind of in a catch-22. they're not really putting forward a free market solution that would drive down prices and senator cruz and senator lee are the ones holding the bag trying to fight for the last ves tajs of freedom. >> i believe people agree with you there are problems with obamacare and there are people who want it to work better for them. but for governors in both republican and democrat-led states that are slamming this revised bill. here's what virginia governor, a democrat, terry mccall live, tells cnn. >> we're willing to work with anybody. that has been done in secret. i wish the governors had been at the table. it needs to be done in a
bipartisan way. we ought to go to regular order in the senate, have hearings, amendments, bills ought to be introduced and we ought to work together. >> and then there is this from ohio governor, john kasich, a republican. he says this is unacceptable what these senators have proposed. he calls the shortcomings flow from the fact they commit the same error as obamacare. it is not bipartisan and fails to bring solutions from both sides of the table that can ensure we are not simply replacing one divisive plan with another. if governors on both sides of the aisle say no, where does that leave us? >> i think it leaves senator republican leadership with a tough quandary. they've got to look at this and decide how they're going to hand it it this next week. they ought to go back and go to what we talked about before on the show with full repeal. the reason i say that is repeal it now and repeal it at a date in the future in the certain and everybody is going to have to get to the table.
and fravg i agree with what was there ought to be an open and transparent process. there ought to be a full debate on the floor of the senate, instead of trying to cook this behind closed doors. i fully agree with that. but at the end of the day, if you don't get to a close where you repeal obamacare at a date certain so you can actually sit down with people and decide how to create a health care system that will work for all americans, people with pre-existing conditions included. keep in mind that's 1% to 2% of the population. we are fully capable of coming up with a solution for people with pre-existing conditions without totally restructuring the health care system from a to z. >> there are a lot of people with pre-existing conditions. they matter, too. thank you, thank you for joining us. we really appreciate. >> coming up a stunning gesture from the first living medal of honor recipient. we'll have a very moving moment next. this scarf all that's left to rememb...
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go beyond brushing with act®. guin . the first living medal of honor recipient has refused to keep the highest award for valor. instead this humble soldier gave it to the people he thought deserved it the most, his unit. starr has you his story. >> the whole time frame lasted anywhere between two minutes, three minutes, and five or six lifetimes. i don't know. >> in 2007, salvatore guinta went on night patrol in the mountains of eastern afghanistan and stepped into history. >> the soldier as humble as he is heroic, staff sergeant salvatore guinta, in 2010 receiving the highest award for valor, the first living medal
recipient since vietnam. >> he'll tell you he didn't do anything special, that he was doing his job. >> now a decade after that patrol, guinta has taken another extraordinary step giving his medal of honor to his unit, the 173rd airborne brigade where he thought it belonged. >> i'm not here because i'm a great soldier. i am here because i served with great soldiers. >> the brigade's current surgery major frank very well les says his action left him speechless. >> the first thing that came to mind was are you sure you want to do that? and he said, yes, i think it belongs who serve every day. >> the brigade posted video, capturing a moment of humble strength amid years of grief. >> i want this to stay here in vicenza, to the men and women who earn this every single day through their sacrifice. >> there was a huge grasp and
folks going, wow, that is incredible. >> cnn first talked to guinta in 2010 about the battle. >> i think about it and it hurts. but say it out loud makes it that much more real. >> sal and his platoon were several days into a mission in the valley, the most dangerous valley in northeast afghanistan. >> suddenly ambushed, there was gunfire from all directions. his friend, saturday night joshua brennan in peril. begin ta, 22 years old, charged into a wall of zblults there he saw a chilling sight. two ininsurgents carrying a wounded soldier away. >> this where it gets rough for
me. every time -- i can try to explain it, and i can try to put it into terms so people can understand it, and the more i do that -- talking about it doesn't help me. >> a decade on, the medal will be on display with the troops, exactly where salvatore guinta wants it to be. barbara starr, cnn, the pentagon. you're not taking those. whoa, whoa! you're not taking that. come with me. you're not taking that. you're not taking that. you're not taking that. mom, i'm taking the subaru. don't be late. even when we're not there to keep them safe, our subaru outback will be. (vo) love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. wheyou wantve somto protect it.e, at legalzoom, our network of attorneys can help you every step of the way.
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