family members. >> it's appalling the way the congresswoman has politicized this issue. >> what is important is what the president says now, and it's up to him to try and move us forward. >> i am asking for a classified briefing about exactly what happened in niger. >> there are so many questions that have not been answered. >> this might wind up to be mr. trump's benghazi. >> nobody should be quiet about demanding answers. >> this is "new day" with chris cuomo and alisyn camerota. >> welcome to your "new day." it's thursday, october 19th, 8:00 in the east. up first, president trump denies he said anything offensive in that phone call.
now more gold star families are speaking out about their experiences with president trump, and one of those families is coming up to share their story. >> for all of the ugly politics coming out on this, the pressure of what happened in niger is getting positive results. james mattis is demanding to know what happened to johnson and three other americans who were killed two weeks ago in an ambush in niger. senator john mccain has his own concern saying he doesn't think the trump administration is not being up front about the investigation. joe johns is live. >> reporter: good morning. the question is where all of this is going in the war of words over the condolence call the president made with the family of the fallen u.s. soldier, and raised a question about whether or not the administration would be better off if they had not responded at all.
>> i did not say what that congresswoman said, didn't say it at all. >> trump defending his conversation with the family of fallen soldier. >> i heard him say i am sure he knew what he was signing up for, but it still hurts. she was crying. she broke down, and she said, he didn't even know his name. >> wilson standing firm with johnson's grieving mother backing of story, and the white house press secretary admitting the president did not record the call and stopping short of denying the president's words, and said the chief of staff, john kelly, was with the president when he called the widow. >> he thought the president did
the best job he could under those circumstances to offer condolences on behalf of the country. >> and it was president trump who falsely claimed president obama did not call the families of fallen soldiers and used the chief of staff's son to bolster the argument. >> mr. trump has a way of dealing with things that i see as inconsistent with what his predecessors have done. >> kelly did tell mr. trump, obama never called him about his son. the controversy growing after he insisted he called all of the families' soldiers killed. >> i don't like that i was told that i would receive a phone
call and then i never did. my husband died for our country, and i don't want that to have been in vain. >> others offering a positive account of the phone call from the president. >> he was genuine, and it didn't seem like it was something he had to do, and it was like talking to a friend. >> the "washington post" says a check was mailed on wednesday after the story was published. >> we have not gotten a lot from the white house on why it took so long for the president to issue a public statement about the deaths of those u.s. soldiers in niger in the first place skphrbgs a national security council statement was drafted but the white house
decided not to release it, opting instead for the white house press secretary to deliver remarks from the podium. >> thank you for that. defense secretary mattis is demanding to know what happened in the deadly ambush in niger, and senator mccain said the trump administration is not being up front about the investigation. and that barbara starr is at the pentagon for us. what you have learned? >> good morning, alisyn. the starting point is this is why the country has special operations forces, and these are the troops that go places dangerous and are risky, but in this case the question is was the risk understood. this green beret team walked into an isis ambush, and this was a place they had been before and this time isis was waiting for them. the intelligence was not accurate.
they had been under the direction they would be unlikely they would run into opposition, and of course they did. when that firefight broke out, this is a country, niger, it did not permit any air strikes in its country, so it was half an hour before troops came, and they had only their own rifles to defend themselves. the ultimate question, when the dust cleared why was lsergeant johnson left behind. they were one man short. sergeant johnson's body was not found for 48 hours. for a u.s. military that says they leave nobody behind on the
battlefield, this is emotional and a concerning question for the pen the gone, how did he get left behind? >> real questions. if nothing else the pressure on asking for answers is now getting action at the pentagon level where you are. let us know what you find out. joining us now is bill cassidy of louisiana. senator, this situation about how these americans were ambushed in niger, and why were they there and why was one left behind? it has been clouded over -- not here, but it has been clouded over by the politics of how the president treated the family of the fallen, and do you think that's the kind of battle the president should be engaging in right now? >> what a tragic situation. let's first say that. both for the death of the soldier and the misunderstanding between the president and the mother. i had a similar call with a family if louisiana, and it's incredibly emotional for
everybody involved. i was not part of the conversation so i can't comment on the president's comments, but if there was somebody left behind i agree we should find out why, and we should have those answers. >> you know, interesting question. why can't the president say what you just said? >> again, i can't get into the president's mind. we communicate differently. i am a doctor, so maybe i am more used to talking about emotions and bad things than other people are. that said, in a tough emotional situation, sometimes you just have to cut folks slack. it's difficult. when i was thinking to the family back home in louisiana, i am tearing and they are tearing and as a father you understand their loss, but not as they because it's their loss, and i
am not sure anybody looking from the outside in can understand that. >> it's a hard situation. if, god forbid, you have a situation like that, when that came out would the instinct to be that you are wrong, this is being done wrong, i can prove it, is that how you would respond? no is probably the answer, right, senator? >> well, it's better to meet somebody where they are than demand -- on the other hand, communication is the root of most conflict in humans, and whoever is right or wrong, i hope we leave it as poor communication and can do better. >> they can't help the way they feel if they were disrespected. that's the proof you need, isn't it? >> you are speaking of perceptions. if you go to marriage counseling they say to look at your perceptions.
it's easy to cast a stone when we are not there. we hope that grieving mother and family be comforted and we find out what happened with this hero, and avoid it from happening again. >> let's go to that part. that is what matters most. that's how you respect the families of the fallen and the fallen themselves is by getting accountability on what happened, knowing especially if something went wrong so it can be avoided next time. what do you make of not having heard about the ambush for this many days? >> i don't know normal operating procedure, and so again i hesitate to make a judgment until i get the facts. it was part of an operation that could endanger american troops in the area, i would have an understanding that is different and that, i think, will come out. >> let's talk taxes. this was sold by the president initially as a plan that would
be for the middle class. there are things in the punch points, and the meat is not on the bones yet, but there are points that go to the middle class but it does seem to be overweighted to the top tier, not the middle class. how do you see it? >> we don't have a distribution table yet, and yesterday i was taking notes and over and over the president would say he wants this to work for the middle class, he doesn't think we need to increase the wealth of the wealthiest but the wealth of the middle class. at some point i would say dt, middle class, and that meant he was saying it over and over. he also emphasized the bill is not yet written and he invited democrats and republicans to come together and make sure the bill does benefit the middle class. >> this is a statement against interest. the estate tax helps bigger
earners, and that god i am in that class. how is that weighted towards the middle class? >> if you look at that tax rate going from 39 to 35, and an ae anyplacelation of the loopholes decreases the tax rate. even though your marginal rate is 39 -- >> i feel like it's 50 between federal and state, i feel like it's 50. continue. >> when you add federal, state, local, it is up there. if you speak of federal, your effective tax rate rises and it increases the effective tax rate. >> in terms of helping businesses and small businesses, that's the engine of the economy, as you know. why don't they get equal
benefits to the big corporations? >> if you look at the c corpse, the people moving overseas because our rates are higher than ireland -- >> which is true and not true, there's a gap there because of the loopholes you are talking about on the individual level they are really made manifest on the corporate level? >> their effective rate, they are spending so much money to avoid taxes, so the idea if you lower the true tax rate and make the true tax rate the effective tax rate, then it's more economically efficient, and your pass through the small businesses will follow, and if we get the c-corp., and the
s-corp. to 5%, i think it will be -- >> let me ask you about health care. looked like you had a good thing going there. you were going to return the cost-sharing revenues, which as you know are fundamental to the pricing for the low income people, and now it seems like the president was for it and now he's not. what happened and where are you? >> i am told there was need by the administration for stronger language this would not be a windfall for the insurance companies. the insurance companies had to pledge in strong language the rate would go down, and it's not that they raise the rates and get the cost-sharing reduction payments and the consumer pays the higher rate, and there had to be language the premiums would come down, and we are looking for the stronger language. >> what are the companies telling you about whether or not they want to commit to cutting their profits? >> they said they would -- put it this way, i am told they said
they would commit. there's a difference between a verbal commitment and there's language that demands it. >> thank you for coming on "new day." not all families of the fallen have received a phone call from president trump. up next we will speak with the parents of one soldier who say they have not been contacted after their son made the ultimate sacrifice. you do all this research
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president trump says he believes he has called every family of the service members who have been killed during his presidency. here's what he said this week. >> i write letters and i also call. now sometimes, you know, if you had a tragic event, it's very difficult to be able to do that. but i have called, i believe everybody, but certainly i will use the word virtually everybody. >> our next guest says that's not true. her son was killed during a vehicle rollover this past may in syria and they have yet to hear from the white house. they join us now. mr. and mrs. murphy, we are so -- oh, mrs. murphy, we are so sorry that you are reliving all of this. has this week been particularly
hard for you? >> every day is hard. every day it gets worse. it doesn't get better, it gets worse because i am looking for my child to come through the door. >> of course. >> every day. >> of course. we understand the grief that all of the gold star families are racked with. can you tell us what happened on may 26th with your son? >> the night before we were having a conversation with him, and he said he was all right, and don't worry, mom. then the next day our daughter-in-law, his wife, tells us -- asked us if we were at home, and i was, like, no i am at work and my wife is on the beauty salon. she tells us to go home. why do we have to go home? she said to go home, and she
hung up. my wife made her tell us why she wanted us to go home and we found out that our son had passed, so we went home and sure enough, five minutes after we walked through that door, they knocked on the door and notified us that our son was gone. >> we're looking at pictures of how handsome your son was and how vital he looks there with you guys. he was 22 years old. so do you understand what happened? you have gotten enough information about what happened to your son? >> no, we know what america knows. he was in an armored vehicle, and they had a rollover. we don't know why it rolled over. we don't know if there was another vehicle involved or anything like that. they are still putting the investigation together. that's what they tell us. we are just waiting to see what information they come up with.
he's special forces, so we don't know what we will really get. >> mrs. murphy, did you hear from the white house? you have heard from the white house at all? >> no, i haven't. i haven't, but it's okay. it doesn't matter if i hear from the white house or not because it's not really about -- like i said, it's not about a call or letter. i just want people to remember my son and all the other gold star moms, mrs. johnson, all those who are grieving, trust me, none of us want to be in the position and the worst thing i ever have been called is a gold star mom. >> yeah. >> i know, mrs. murphy, you wrote a letter to the white house, i think -- >> i did. >> what did you want the president to know about your son? >> i just wanted him to not forget my son. i actually thanked president trump for ordering the air strike in syria, but it was not
enough to save my child. i have no hard feelings toward anybody, because it's not about me, it's about my child and all the other countless fallen heroes and those still over there now and the families that are here grieving, like i am and my husband is. that's what it's all about. i don't want it to be about me or about a letter, i want it to be about my child and what he stood for and what they are fighting over there right now as i speak. >> mrs. murphy, i read that you said that you hate the sunrise -- >> i do. >> you pray for the sunset. >> that's correct. >> and you hate every day when the sun rises because you are in so much pain. how can we help you? >> just give me my son back. right now there's nothing that
could help me. i take it one second at a time sometimes, just to get to breathe, i have to tell my seth to breathe because the pain is undescribable. it's un-get-throughable. that's my new word. we are permanent residents in the twilight zone because i still believe it's a dream, i'm still in shock and i am still looking for him to ring the doorbell. it's hard to move forward. i am still on may 26th. >> i understand. the mind plays tricks, and it's so impossible to get your mind around this loss that your mind just refuses to accept it. >> i am so sorry. sorry. >> yeah, i guess it's trying to protect us, but the body just -- the body knows -- you are just
in constant pain. we have our own plumbing company and it's just hard to run it on a day-to-day basis with this on your mind. i have no choice but to push through. i feel bad sometimes doing that, like i am putting my son on the back burner. >> yeah, that's the thing about grief, you almost feel guilty any day you are not devastated and grieving, but of course your son doesn't want you to be devastating and grieving. can you talk about him? is there something you want the public to know about him? >> i wrote a statement, if i could please read it, about my child. >> please do. >> as far as whether or not my family receives a call or letter from the president is not the issue, my concern is that my son's contribution to this
country not be overlooked or forgotten. his beautiful life came to an abrupt end when he chose to heed the calling of joining the army, and after completing training he was an infantry man in georgia and decided to volunteer to become an army ranger, and he was an army ranger the 75th regiment and was assigned to bravo company. he loved his country to the point of death, however his family is now left behind to grapple with the fact that he left behind a devastated mom, dad, wife, children, sister-in-laws and cousins. i want everybody to know that his role in the fight against terrorism is the epitome of what this country should stand for, for liberty and justice for all.
i would do everything in my power to see my son will be always remembered that laid down his country that is so divided in turmoil right now, and it just breaks my heart. it's time for this nation to see the aftermath of those that don't make it home, we're the aftermath. mrs. johnson, so many gold star families, we are the aftermaths of our loved ones not making it home. it's an honor so great to know my child and so many other countless others were willing to sacrifice. yes, they knew what they were getting into, and their love for the country and the love of the protection for family and friends outweighed the risks. i want everybody to know all of these soldiers out here are doing it for us, and we should thank them for the most gratitude and respect them as
best we can. as his mom, i am in pain, and the definition of pain today -- i have to remind myself to breathe. i sit looking at the door waiting for him to walk in. i beg god all day to give me my son back. in closing i just want everybody to know that daily i see the pain my husband, sons and daughter-in-laws go to, and it's an internal pain so great it has reached the core of their souls and has taken up residence. think about the soldiers and their families. say a prayer for us and continue to support them, because we need support right now. >> we hear you. we hear you, mrs. murphy, and mr. murphy. you could not have communicated better the heartbreak that families like you experience after the loss of your son, and obviously we do want to help you remember his legacy. we will put up more pictures of
him and just please let us know how we can help you. we understand how great your pain is and how great the pain is of the johnson family today. we celebrate you guys and we thank you. thank you so much. the u.s. needs to develop more renewable and clean energy resources because there are limits to the amount of fossil fuels that we can burn.
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attorney general jeff sessions facing a grilling in a senate hearing. sessions refused to discuss his conversations with trump about the james comey firing. >> i can neither assert executive privilege nor can i disclose today the content of my confidential conversations with the president, and that calls for a communication that i have had with the president and i believe it remains confidential. i do not confirm nor deny the existence of any communication between the president that i consider to be confidential. >> joining us now is senator
dick durbin. was that a satisfying experience of interviewing sessions, and did you get what you wanted? >> of course not. if i thought sessions was sitting there instead of attorney general sessions. i asked the attorney general, did you have any conversation with the attorney general of the state of texas before you made the decision to repeal the daca program. that was not an executive privilege issue, but he refused to answer. he said that was part of my work product. what is he talking about? everything we are discussing was part of his work product as attorney general. he really dodged a lot of questions yesterday. >> what do you do about that? >> nothing can you do. let the american people be the judge, and if he is concealing what people think they should
know -- and this was his first visit as attorney general. >> one of the things he did disclose interestingly was when asked whether or not the u.s. is doing enough to stop russian meddling, and he did not call it a hoax as his boss sometimes does, he said, no, he doesn't think the u.s. has its arms around this problem because it's so complicated. what do you take away from that? >> i take the evidence accumulated about the involvement of the russians in the last campaign makes it a point now that nobody is debating. there was a moment, i guess, that certain people, including the president were in full denial that the russians had anything to do with the last election, and finally it reaches a point where you can't ignore the evidence. they are actively engaged in trying to undermine the election procedures, and what they did in the last campaign can be minor league compared to what they can do in the future.
certainly no impact on actual votes casts. >> what about the fact that the attorney general doesn't know what to do about it, and thinks it's such a complicated issue and doesn't know how to prevent it in the future? >> when the number one law enforcement person in america throws his hands up and says i am not sure which way to turn, that's a cause for concern. starting with the intelligence agencies and the department of justice start coming forward with initiatives that will deal with it. for example, this is a small but important thing. john mccain has joined others in this effort to try and make sure there's a disclosure when people buy ads online as to the course of the ads. we do it when it comes to radio, tv, print, and why wouldn't we do it on social media. if the russians are buying ads, the american people have a right to know it. >> there are federal funds and
whether or not they should go to chicago, say, to fight crime in chicago. as you know, there's a push by the trump white house to keep federal funds to going from cities like chicago that declare themselves sanctuary cities. let me play a moment of this for the viewers. >> you want to cut off federal funds for the city and come here and criticize the murder rate. >> i have increased the number of atf agents to prosecute gun crimes in chicago by 12, which is more than any other city, i believe. i do not want to not have grants go to chicago, but we need their support. when somebody is arrested in the jail that's due to be deported we ask that they call us. >> what about his argument there, senator? he's saying that when somebody is already in jail, an undocumented immigrant, why wouldn't local law enforcement be able to call i.c.e. or the feds to be able to deport the
person in jail? >> there's nothing stopping the immigration authorities from coming forward and working with law enforcement authorities in chicago with the proper legal approach. the fear we have and the concern we have is they are trying to take this responsibility of immigration policing and giving it to the chicago police. our superintendent said this is not the result of undocumented immigrants. when it comes to the issue i am afraid the attorney general thinks every issue is about undocumented people in the country. this is not. this is an issue where he is cutting off federal funds that we need in chicago to fight the murders and gun violence taking place on the streets, and we need his cooperation and not his efforts to stop us. >> just on the one specific point that he was making about once somebody is in jail for committing a crime of some kind, can the locals turn them over to
i.c.e.? on that, you are -- he seems to be saying that they are not doing that right now, and so you are saying you would not disagree with them, the chicago locals being able to do that? >> the i.c.e. officers know what the legal options are. they can't just generally say tell us everybody with a hispanic surname so we can run a background check and see if somebody is undocumented. if they have the legal documents to prove that this individual has violated our immigration laws, so be it. we will comply with it. this notion we are going to turn the chicago police department into a branch of the immigration services, it's not going to happen. and leaders say it will have a reverse effect. people will be reluctant to work with the police department in the solution of solving crime. >> what will happen with the funds? >> i don't know. the attorney general is trying
to stop us and we are in court fighting him. we qualify for the funds but need them to fight gun violence and the attorney general should not stand in the way. >> dick durbin, thank you for bg on "new day." the university of florida is bracing for protests today ahead of a speech by white supremacists richard spencer. a state of emergency has been declared in the county over security concerns. spencer credited with popularizing the term alt white. here is richard spencer in some of his own words. >> what do you love about white privilege? >> it looks great. the people are good-looking and nice suits and great literature. i just want to bathe in white privilege. we were not meant to beg for moral validation from some of
the most despicable creatures to every popular the planet. hail trump. hail our people. hail victory. this does belong to white people, everything we defined what america is. >> there's a good chance, i hope, that you find what this man is saying as disgusting, however he has a right to say it in america. joining us now is the president of the university of florida, kent fox. sir, a tough position. >> good morning, chris. >> we see institutions in this position from time to time. take us through the thinking of letting spencer speak? >> the constitution and the supreme court interpretation of the constitution has been real crystal clear that public universities are actors of the governor and we cannot sensor speech at public universities, therefore he has the right to come on the campus and say the
things you just heard on your show, chris. >> sometimes it is not as simple as that, sometimes that right can be balanced out with other competing rights and interests, such as? >> absolutely. he was scheduled to come to our campus on september 12th and we stopped it after charlottesville. charlottesville changed everything after we saw the violence and we had specific direct threats from his followers on social media about a flobloodbath, and then after negotiations we are allowing him to come with the appropriate security to keep our campus safe, to come and speak, his horrific values and language that we all now know about. >> what do you think the value is to your students? >> i think in reality his words have absolute no value. they are not based on education or scholarship, and they are
contrary to everything this university and all of the great public research universities have at the core, which is that we welcome people from all races, allet nationalities and skin colors. we understand now, even more clearly, what he is about, which is an anti-american message of having the white race be separate from all other races, and have his religion be separate from all other religions. >> universities have come under fire recently. we had janet napolitano on, and now the president of the university of the california. do you think that there is a
liberal influence in these university -- the answer is yes. but do you think that influence is chilling speech from the political right? >> i believe it's for the marketplace of ideas. ideas on the right and left that should be debated and understood and our students come to an understanding of the differeing views, and the issue of racism which our nation has dealt with and now needs to move forward with inclusion and support for all religions and races, and that's not something worthy of debating or worthy of stating except to understand those that are causing harm to the nation and harm to our university by him being here. >> do you think you can keep people safe when spencer comes? >> we invested over $600,000.
we will have more police on the campus today than anytime in the history of our university. it's not going to feel like a research university for 50,000 students. the whole purpose of that is to keep people safe. >> do you think it's fair that you have to bear the burden of this kind of costs and preparations to have somebody come with this kind of speech? >> it was in 1992 that the supreme court decided, and justice blackmon wrote the speaker cannot bear the burden of the financial costs of security, and therefore somebody has to bear that burden. i think it's unfair for berkeley and the university of virginia and now the university of florida to have to spend this amount of resources and this kind of a cost to actually subsidize hate speech. we're taking the equivalent of 1,000 tuitions and investing it in security because of his
followers and also those that will protest against him. i don't believe that's fair, that the taxpayer is subsidizing through these kinds of events the security and having to subsidize his hate speech. >> it's a frustrating and interesting of how far this society will go to protect speech. mr. president, thank you very much for joining us. good luck with the events down there. >> thank you. chris, we have an update now. the security guard that encountered the las vegas killer is now detailing what he lived through, next. first, a little off topic for you but important nonetheless. you rinse off your vegetables? >> uh-huh. >> that means they are pesticide free, right? >> not necessarily so. >> even after being washed some vegetables contain high levels of pesticides.
the environmental working group puts out a list every year of the most contaminated produce. spinach was the highest ranking veggie, followed by celery, tomatoes, sweat bell peppers, potatoes and cucumbers. if you eat a lot of hot peppers or collar greens, they recommend you buy organic versions of those because they were frequently found to be contaminated with pesticides that are toxic to humans.
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concertgoers. the man is breaking his silence. his name is jesus compos. >> recounting to talk show host, ellen degeneres, how he became the first victim of the las vegas gunman. >> i heard rapid fire and at first i took cover. i felt a burning sensation. i went to go lift my pant leg up and i saw the blood. that's when i called it in on my radio that thoughts had been fired. >> the shots came through the door through the gunman's 32nd floor suite. he executed a plan aimed at killing concertgoers before.
but campos surprised him. he checked on a door. >> it's heavy, it will slam. i was walking down this way and i believe that's what caught the shooter's attention. >> as he began walking away, gunfire. >> call the police. somebody is firing a rifle on the 32nd floor. >> that's an engineer walking down the floor. >> that's when he leaned out and he said take cover, take cover. he yelled at me, and within milliseconds if he did not say that i would have got hit. >> there was a female that came out and i told her to go back inside, it was not safe. shortly after, that's when steven was approaching and i told him to stay back and get cover, and that's when more rounds were dispersed. >> get out of here. there are gunshots coming from over there. go that way.
>> police began running towards the gunfire, and the gunman end the his own life ten minutes after shooting cam compos. his motive still a mystery left trying to heal with other victims from the rampage. >> what an incredible story. never having seen him, not laying eyes on him, the deadly attack coming through a wall and through a door. haunting. >> he did amazing things in that moment, and his account is really important in terms of understanding what happened and when. >> all right. now to sports. the chicago cubs avoid elimination, all thanks to an unexpect t unexpected hero. >> this bleacher report brought to you by the ford f-150. baez, the 24-year-old from puerto rico broke the slump just in time to save the cub's season. two home runs in front of the
home crowd, rallying to help his team as he rallied to help his home island. eighth inning, davis strikes out a dodger's batter, and so everybody thought. the umpire said it was a foul ball, and cubs' manager, joe maddon was furious, and thankfully the batter would strike out on the next pitch. the umpire admitted he blew the call and joe maddon admitted he was still furious. >> that can't happen. the process was horrible. to have that change and if granderson hits the next pitch out, i may come running out of the clubhouse in my jock strap. it was really that bad. >> and tbs, we will see if joe maddon comes outwearing his jock strap. >> yankees won, by the way.
>> one game away to make it to the world series. >> should have been the headline. >> everybody thinks so. on that note, cnn "newsroom" with poppy harlow and john berman next. see you tomorrow. i want ycome on mom!t easy. go slow. ♪ let's go! ♪ mom! slow down! for the ones who keep pushing. always unstoppable. how much money do you think you'll need in retirement?
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good morning, everybody. i am john berman. >> i am poppy harlow. this has become the center of the major controversy for the white house. president trump continues to fight back against claims from family members his call to the widow of sergeant johnson lacked empathy. johnson is one of the four u.s. army troops killed by isis fires in niger two weeks ago. it was not until