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tv   New Day  CNN  October 20, 2017 2:59am-4:00am PDT

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disasters. well, it's great to join us and thank you for joining us. well, it's great to join you. i'm rene marsh. i'm dave briggs. have a great weekend, everybody. we'll see you monday. president trump on the attack again using congresswoman wilson of lying. >> he said i guess he knew what he was getting into. >> his way tried to express he's a brave man. he knew what he was getting himself into. >> he was trying to do damage repair. >> he called her an empty barrel. >> why are we trying to be cruel to each other? that's not who we are. >> if you have anything to say other than this is a tragedy get some duct tape out and shut up. >> had we anticipated this
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attack, we would have devoted more resources to it. >> there may be a reason for subpoenas. >> the u.s. military does not leave its post behind. >> this is "new day" with chris cuomo and alisyn camerota. >> welcome the our viewers in the united states and around the world. this is your "new day". the president just can't let it go, once again accusing the democratic congresswoman of lying about the content of his condolence call to the family of la david johnson even though the family confirms her account. federica wilson will be on the show this morning. accused her of wrongly listening in on the president's call. he also attacked what he called her empty barrel remarks that she gave at the opening of an fbi building. a story he may have gotten wrong. again, shelt be on the show.
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she will give her side in an exclusive interview coming up. the investigation continues in the attack in niger. all of this as former presidents bush and obama speak out against the politics of division without ever mentioning president trump by name. good morning, joe. >> reporter: good morning, alisyn. president trump continuing to attack democratic congresswoman over his condolence call to the family and the widow of sergeant la david johnson. this coming after the president's chief of staff gave a highly personal defense of the conversation earlier in the day. president trump refusing to put his war of words with
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congresswoman frederica wilson to rest n. a late night tweet calling her wacky and insisting that she lied about his call khat to the widow of sergeant la david wilson despite the fact that hours earlier the chief of staff essentially confirm canned the congresswoman's account. >> he said to the wife, well, i guess he knew what he was getting into. >> in his way, he tried to express that opinion that he is a brave man, a fallen hero. he knew what he was getting himself into because he enlisted. >> in a powerful defense of his boss he sphraeups the message that the president meant to convey was similar is to the words used by marine general joseph dup ford in 2010 when kelly's son died. he said, kel, he was doing exactly what he wanted to do when he was killed.
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he knew what he was getting into by joining the 1%. he knew what the possibilities are because we're at war. when he died he was surrounded by the best men on this earth, his friends. that's what the president tried to say to four families the other day. >> reporter: kelly lamenting that the deaths are being politicized while delving into politics themselves and ignore the president's role in the controversy. >> it stuns me that a member of congress would have listened in on that conversation, absolutely stuns me. and i thought at least that was safe. >> reporter: for wilson, this was personal. the congresswoman was riding with johnson's widow to pick up her husband's casket when the president reached out. the call was on speaker phone so the familiar could hear. wilson has known the johnson family for decades. sergeant johnsons and his brothers taking part in her miami mentoring program and taking a shot of the 2015 speech
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for a naming ceremony for an fbi building dedicated to two fallen agents. >> it is a long tradition of empty barrels making the most noise stood up there in all of that and talked about how she was instrumental in getting the funding for that building. even for someone that is that empty who was stunned. >> reporter: but the "miami herald" report that kelly got his facts wrong and wilson telling the newspaper he shouldn't be able to say that. that is terrible. this has become totally personal. this as new video gives rare insight into another condolence call president trump made to a gold star widow whose husband was killed in april. >> what a pore horrible thing, t that he's an unbelievable hero.
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and you know all the people that serve with him say how incredible he was, an amazing guy and i just wanted to call and tell you he's a great hero. >> reporter: that's obviously a very moving condolence call received very differently than the one johnson's widow received as described by congresswoman frederica wilson. the president's decision to continue this fight overshadowing a big win for the administration and the senate. the senate passing the budget resolution that moves the republican party one step closer to its top priority of passage of tax reform on capitol hill. chris and alisyn. >> thanks, joe. >> let's bring in our political panel. we have john avalon and a.b. stoddard. so, john, what an extraordinary briefing to hear john kelly come out and talk about the genesis really of that phone call that president trump made to sergeant
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johnson's family that the congresswoman overheard on speaker phone. he was talking about his own casualty officer and what that casualty officer said when his own son was lost. and it does sound like he shared that. president trump said what should these phone calls say and general kelly told him what his casualty officer said to him and president trump interpreted it in his own way, the family heard it in their own way. i thought it was fascinating. >> general kelly has complete moral authority on this issue the story about he lost his son while serving as a general himself in heart wrenching. that puts him in a place beyond poll tux, which is why he is so respected. not just in the military but washington. president trump used similar phrases but it was not heard that way by the family. comy gave the appearance of being put out by the president to defend him. that is not typically a chief of staff's role but he has more
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moral authority than most folks in the building. i think he pushed or crossed a line when he went after the congresswoman. because that diminished the moral authority that he was drawing on to make a broader point. >> you have good insight into how this kind of message can be miss communicated. it wasn't just a grievance officer. it was general to general. that's going to have is an understanding that is different than when a president is calling a widow's family. the problem, a.b., there is no, i don't think, the suggestion that the president wanted to insult these people. it is the call didn't go as expected and there doesn't seem to be any real debate on that point. it doesn't matter what the congresswoman says. it didn't get to the point i'm sure the president wanted it to. he hasn't been able to let it
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go, even though that means continuing to drag this family through a political battle with a congresswoman. that's is what kelly extended. what is the play here? why keep questioning something that the family echoes. >> right, chris, i agree with you. it startled president trump on monday trying to insult had his predecessors that they didn't go far enough to reach out to gold star families when he has called virtually all of them. he started to make this political. i think whatever he said to her on the phone call was fine. we understand from the description what president trump was trying to say. we all know he would on the phone with these families to be as sensitive and respectful as possible. if it came out a little bit differently, that's fine. i think congresswoman wilson had a very compelling message in her interview with alisyn but she
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made it political. she said this man as a brain disorder and this will be his benghazi. so she discredited the message herself. take time this weekend to listen to everything he said apart from his criticism of congresswoman will son. it is really a message about a singular sack is guys that everyone should hear. but in criticizing her the way that he did and name-calling, using the words empty barrel and getting, according to the "miami herald", his facts wrong, he continued to make it political. and president trump, even though general kelly confirmed that, yes, that's what he was pretty much saying, continues to lie about this and said she's making something up. she's a family intimate. she's not an interloper. she was in the car because she's known the family for years. and everyone seems to be making it worse. i think it needs to end as soon
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as possible. >> for anyone who might have missed it yesterday here's where germ kelly does give us kwreup sight into what these casualty officers do. >> general dunford called him up. >> he said it was his best friend. >> it wasn't someone who didn't know him. i think that matters. when you play the sound, you'll see if i know you and i'm talking to something that we have both done. we have both made the sacrifice. you're going to understand it differently than obviously this family. >> i think that's true. but i do think there is something really comfortable about saying, regardless of what your loved one did for a living, they were doing what they loved. that's the mental. >> as long as you deliver it. >> listen to how it was delivered to general kelly. >> he said, kel, he was doing exactly what he wanted to do when he was killed. he knew what he was getting into by joining that 1%. he knew what the possibilities
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were because we're at war. and when he died, in the four cases we're talking about in niger and my son's case in afghanistan, when he died he was surrounded by the best men on this earth, his friends. that's what the president tried to say to four families the other day. >> i'm sure that is what he tried to say. >> sure. >> but it didn't come across that way to him. >> sure. >> and that happens sometimes. the problem is now that he won't let the situation go. >> to that end, it is clearly eating at the president because he was tweeting late last night. this came through at 11:00 p.m. the fake news is going crazy with wacky congresswoman wilson who was secretly on a very personal call, and gave a total lie on content. either way he is very upset how all of this has been depicted, obviously. >> well, i suppose it shows a
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degree of self is awareness that he knows it hasn't gone very well. when you're in a hole, stop digging. >> he is capable of other calls who have gone well. i don't know why he needs to keep generating this negativity. >> that's my point. he doesn't. but he keeps doing it. he has a particular impulse sometimes to go after women and critics of color. that may be a factor here. we have to find out. after this terrible incident that happened in niger, there is a great delay. he takes credit for making all the calls s. and then this one seemed to have backfired from the family's prbgt. the question is, do they want -- they are trying to do tax reform. do they want day five of this story because the president keeps making it inevitable in unhinged ways. >> a.b., on the flip side, congresswoman wilson is also highly engaged in this.
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you heard general kelly say he was so stunned and hurt by her comments he felt he had -- in terms of gathering his own thoughts, he had to walk among the gravestones for an hour and a half at arlington national cemetery. so neither side has diffused this. >> that was my point. i think general kelly intended to come out and teach americans about this experience that so few of us understand because he knows that so few of us are gold star families or even close with them. he talks about the 1% who serve. but in winding it in to sort of this really really angry criticism of the president, calling her an empty barrel, he in the end made it political. i think she made it political. even though she has a heartfelt concern for this family who she
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is very close to and the sergeant who she knew very well and mentored. so everyone, you know, is coming from the right place a little bit. but making it political really erases all of the sincere emotion behind this. >> it is also, once again, a distraction from finding out what happened in that ambush. >> yeah. >> and now the moral we're seeing about asking questions, as negative as this has been, the pressure made a difference. they are obviously looking for answers in a way that the military was doing in its own pro forma way before, now you have a lot of lawmakers wanting to know what happened. >> this should be fact-finding not fault finding. sometimes pressure is needed to bring the necessary scrutiny when american lives are in danger. let's keep the focus on the soldiers, on the family, beyond politics and prost this inquest
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with fact-finding not fault finding. >> thank you very much. coming up on "new day", we will have an exclusive interview with congresswoman frederica wilson. we will get her reaction to president trump and general kelly's comments yesterday and talk about how the john son family is doing, straight ahead. all right. so what happened on that tragic day in niger? remember, that's the way you have to show respect for loss of life here. sure you make your condolence call. what happened to them? where is the accountability? why is john mccain saying it may take a subpoena to get the information he says is required. we have the latest on the look. when i received the diagnoses,
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all right. let's remember how we all got to this point, what happened in tphaoeupblg or. our fighting men were out in front and ambushed there. a place that many of you may not be aware that the u.s. has men in harm's way. we didn't hear anything about the four service members being killed for day. the pentagon only now briefing those behind closed doors into what they know this far as to how they lost their lives. to hear john mccain say i only know what i read in the paper feels different than the way it usually works with coordination, with lawmakers about these type of military exercises
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>> reporter: this is a case that is a situation that is getting attention really around the world at this point. the pentagon is making it clear, chris, they do have a much better understanding of what happened. but they are keeping those details classified until the investigation is over. the most important thing is for them to know how their loved ones died. green berets were leading the 12-man team on a visit to village elders. they had done 29 patrols over the last six months with no problems. team members had gone back to their vehicles and they walked into an ambush. >> a firefight is unlike any other human endeavor. it is confusing. it's loud. it's terrifying. there's blood, screams, danger all around. >> reporter: a military investigation is under way. but what is known is disturbing. the troops had been told it was
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unlikely there would be opposition in the area. now the u.s. believes it was 50 isis fighters with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades that attacked. the americans had their rifles. 30 minutes later, french jets flew over the battle field trying to scare off the isis fighters. they had no authority to fire. it was close to an hour before french military helicopters and u.s. contractor aircraft came in to evacuate the dead and the wounded amid the battle cop fusion. >> did they know what was going on in the area? were they sharing it with the right people? did the african countries know something that the u.s. advisers did not know and they didn't share? >> reporter: tough questions now face the pentagon and the president. what happened during the firefight? what does the white house know? and especially how did sergeant la david johnson get separated from his fellow soldiers when the evacuation aircraft took off
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they were one man short? >> the u.s. military does not leave its troops behind. and i would just ask that you would not question the action of the troops who were caught in the firefight and question whether or not they did everything they could in order to bring everyone out at once. >> reporter: that last piece of sound from secretary mattis is really very vital right now. what he is saying is the troops tried to find sergeant johnson, that they did everything they could and not able for some reason to find him and retrieve him. and in fact, in that first 48 hours until his body was found, there were secret plans for a navy s.e.a.l. rescue mission to go in to try to find him because they could not be be certain whether he was dead or alive at that point. chris, alisyn? >> barbara, thank you very much for updating us with all that new reporting. let's discuss what we know, what we don't know about this attack in this investigation.
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we will bring in major general james spider marks. from where you sit, is there something unusual about how this investigation is unfolding? >> i think there is a lot that is unknown, alisyn. thanks for including me in this discussion. the actions on the ground -- we have to view this through multiple levels. you have the secretary of defense and his investigation that's taking place. let's be frank, i think the secretary at this point is at a loss for some of the information that took place. you have the unified command, africa command that approved the mission in niger. then you have the intelligence community at across all of those commands and supports everybody which has stretched resources. so what were the intelligence assets available for the africa command to approve this
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engagement? and i would never second-guess those decisions. when you do your forensics on all of this, there are higher priority targets someplace else that were taking intelligence collection assets away, that the folks on the ground had been given a good snapshot that this was a permissive environment, alisyn, and in the blink of an eye it became contested, heavily con sefted, it became an ambush and firefight. so the teamworked desperately. you can only imagine they were fighting for each other. there is incredible confusion. they haven't seen anything like this in the previous 29 patrols they have connected in the area. they are not fighting for their lives. they are outgunned, outmanned by isis fighters. they don't know what's going on. at the moment of the engagement, they don't know what is taking place other than they are being shot at and they have to consolidatings fight back, and bring even back.
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what was the purpose, what was the objective of engagement. at the end of all of these, every time there is a death, you know, alisyn, there is an investigation. >> right. look, i mean, general, your last part of the point is what deserves the most attention in the news coverage which is why are they there, what are they into. we hear advise and assist. they're just there to help the locals fight their own wars. then they get ambushed and they die. with see u.s. service members getting picked off all over the world in a way that many of us aren't even aware they are. that raises the suspicion, the president not discussing it at all for so many days. what do you make of that? >> well, these are two questions, the fact that it wasn't discussed in a very open way immediately. i mean, immediately after this
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incident. the kimono should have been opened. they should have been like, yes, we are presence in niger. yes, we are doing advise and assist. we have missions all over the globe. we have soldiers, marines, service members in 136 countries at any one time. we have that type of coverage. we have that type of engagement. so there is an expectation that there should be an explanation as to our mission at large without getting into the details of what might be taking place in country a or b. what we have in tphaoeupblger and mniger and we are the ones that draw the lines. we talk about niger when we are talking a regional challenge.
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we are in the middle of it and it immediately becomes contested because there is a firefight. >> people want to know, the senators want to know, the families want to know what happened and why their loved ones were lost. this is of course deeply personal to you. not only did you serve but your wife is a gold star daughter. what is it like for you to watch all of this play out? >> i have immense respect for john kelly talking about this immensely personal tragedy. i can't even describe it. i look at my phoefrpmother-in-l. she has a jewel in her crown in heaven. she is an absolute saint when gets the word that her husband was killed in his fourth tour
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and she has seven kids. you have to drive on and make all of this happen. on multiple levels we have to embrace this. they are and to your point and we're absolutely spot on to be doing this is we need to scratch at this, uncover it and say let's talk about purpose of what we are trying to achieve here. we can disagree on purpose. when we put the young men and women there from top to bottom, who is doing his or her job to make sure the right resources are there and we have walked down the path of every contingency to uncover what the pitfalls might be. the military does it well. in this particular case we were caught unaware that there was this huge intelligence gap between what with knew and why we put the soldiers without this additional help of gunfire, lift, evacuation capability. what was your feeling about the sources we had, was the niger
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government complete ly squaring with us. these are challenges we have to uncover. and senator mccain is spot on to say, come on, guys, talk to the armed is services committee and tell us what happens. >> you have four u.s. service members get taken out by isis affiliated factors. coming up on "new day", we have an exclusive interview with congresswoman fredricerica wils. her reaction to president trump and general kelly's comments about her and how the johnson family is doing. the last two presidents of the united states blasting the divisive state of american politics. they didn't mention president trump by name, but they were talking about him. what they said, next. 100% natural daily fiber... that's clinically proven to help me feel fuller longer. benefiber® healthy shape. this i can do!
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unusual set of circumstances. you have former presidents barack obama and george w. bush both taking a rare step and speaking out about the divisive state of american politics. they didn't mention president trump by name, but they were talking about him. take a listen. >> the american dream of upward mobility feels out of reach by some left behind in a changing economy. discontent deepened and
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sharpened. partisan conflicts. bigotry seemed emboldened. poll tux seems to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication. >> instead of working together and getting things done together in a practical way, folks are deliberately trying to make folks angry. to demonize people who have different ideas, to get the base all riled up. >> all right. let's bring back john avalon and cnn presidential historian douglas brinkley. professor, let's start with the idea of when has this happened before. you have the last three gop standard barriers. you had romney, mccain, and george w. bush talking about this president in a way that doesn't show complete embrace or acceptance. you have president obama and bush coming out talking like
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this. srufr heard of anything like this before? >> well, no. it is is sort of the calf kade of criticism of trumpism and the idea that nativism is replacing nationalism. george w. bush gave a growing speech yesterday, the finest of the positive post presidency. he invoked god awe number of times. we closed it with we shall overcome. he is deeply concerned about what's going on in america. and i think charlottesville was a turning point aches pivot point for george w. bush. built a memoir. he is not hungering to be in the political fray. but he felt if his voice wasn't added to the choru is s of concern, he would be muting history. john mccain led the way with that amazing speech a couple of days ago. then it was followed by bush and now barack obama. and the three of them together have quite a bit of really moral
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and in some ways they are all folk heroes to boom. their moral authority and their kind of cache does mart. and people are listening to them. >> because, as you said, president bush has kwrously avoided the limelight since getting out of the presidency, it was really interesting to listen to him yesterday. let's just play another portion. here he is talking about martin luther king jr. >> we have become the heirs of martin luther king jr., recognizing one another not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. this means that people of every race, religion, ethnicity can be fully and equally american. it means that bigotry or white supremacy in any form is blasphemy against the american creed. >> john? >> i agree that this is a powerful and historic speech
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from george w. bush. take a big step back. you rarely have presidents criticizing their successors, implicitly explicitly, let alone john mccain, george w. bush and barack obama all singing from the same hymn book. when bush said bigotry seems emboldened, that is a direct result. what they see in the white house seems to be a departure from our better traditions. there is a collective moral authority that comes from the figures all saying it at the same time. so this is the kind of thing that becomes a chapter in a future history book about our era. it is unpress didn'ted to see it happen this way, this stage, from the same velocity from so many figures. >> let's play barack obama that went to this point directly, calling out what has gotten us
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to this point. >> if you have to win a campaign by dividing people, you're not going to be able to govern them. you won't be able to unite them later if that's how you start. >> professor, your take on that? >> barack obama could have won a third term. he is an incredible aurator. he didn't talk the bravery of what bush did. obama is there trying to get democrats elected in new jersey and virginia. and he got back on the campaign trail. we remember when you hear his voice how he pulled it off two previous times. he also, though, is one to stay on the sidelines. he has a big book advance for a memoir. you want to wait until your book comes out before you really go after trump and go do the news psych will. but i think the politics, november elections are looming and he tplt he needed to got in.
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>> george w. bush has been a folk painter the last decade. bushes really do try to talk a step back. when they feel compelled to come off the sidelines and speak in this way, it is is about something much bigger. and folks forget because it was so tarred by the legacy of the iraq war. both campaigned not only as compassionate conservative and as a uniter, not a divider. >> that didn't always work. i'm sorry to have to address that. let's not get too sentimental here. it isn't like always about uniting. >> you specifically said the successful republican candidates have been uniting not dividing. folks play to that rhetoric. how sincere they are we can debad debarack obama was a polarizing figure. it wasn't true with husband
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fundamental campaign appeals. george w. bush, and barack obama, no red states, no blue states. the united states. you see a mainstream of politics a little bit cal leadership who truce to unite people. what donald trump has tried to do is disregard that by intentionally doing poll texas by division. >> and one thing to be said, it worked. these are grand statement pweus man of significant mettle and impact. will it change the minds of anybody who supports the president? you have to believe the answer is no. last night we saw a very different take on the politics of today and how it should be regarded by speaker paul ryan who has been certainly quiet in critical moments. not last night. it was the al smith dinner. he was getting his jokes on. >> i know last year that donald trump offended some people.
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i know his comments, according to chris, went too far. some said it was unbecoming of a public figure. and they said that his comments were offensive. well, thank god he's learned his lesson. every morning i wake up and troll twitter to see what tweets i will are have is to pretend i didn't see later on. at one point the president described me as a boy scout who was boring to talk to. that hurt my feelings. that didn't hurt my feelings. what hurt my feelings is when my wife agreed with him. >> he was funny. in contrast, you have the presidents come out and talking. the men and women in leadership largely silent. but what is the effect of going out? the president was not in the audience of the al smith dinner.
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>> al smith dinner is a wonderful tradition. t it is a way to bring levity to national politics. laughing like we all just were listening to paul ryan reminds us how donald trump's humor is just off because it's always about praising himself. just yesterday he said america was a 10 out of 10 in puerto rico. with he did perfectly there. we all know he didn't do perfectly there. i think he finds it funny when he does that. paul ryan went back to a roast style fun request humor and it was nice to hear. >> it is nice to hear some levity. it is so off tone from what everything else is it seems startling. >> is and refreshing. self deposit indicating humor is a aoup verse than where donald
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trump lives. >> and president trump wasn't joking when he gave himself a 10 out of 10 even though it is a laughable assertion. it is laughable given the crisis in puerto rico. it would be nice to hear paul ryan talk like that when he's not joking, a little leadership. >> coming up on "new day", an exclusive enter is view with congresswoman frederica wilson. her reaction to president trump and general kelly's comments about her and how the johnsons are doing today. you may be be be familiar with the despacito video. that neighborhood where it was shot is in ruins. is it a 10 out of 10? we'll take you there. this picture gives you your answer.
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u.s.-backed syrian forces delayering raqqa, isis's former capital in syria, liberating from the terrorists.
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how do you live there? how do you make so this population doesn't fall prey to extreme ump again? cnn's arwa damon is live in raqqa at a stadium where isis fight, made their last stand. arwa? >> reporter: huh or chris. that's exactly why the ceremony is taking place here with the u.s. co hraeugz-backed syrian democratic forces handing over control of the city of raqqa to the raqqa civilian council. these people to under take the enormous task of trying to rebuild this utterly devastated city. you can see right across the field the sandbags that lead down into the lower levels of this stadium. this is where isis bunched through the walls between the various rooms creating one for themselves. they have a fairly complex
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tunnel system that may still have mines. no one has gone down there yet. and it's where isis handled a number of prisoners. it is believed to be the largest prison in raqqa. surrounding this stadium is what you were talking about. ensuring not just is the city rebuilt but also the fab rubbing of the society here that also has been utterly destroyed, alisyn. >> it is incredible to have you on the ground with all of that reporting. it is impossible to get our minds around how the city is and the fabric of that culture can ever be rebuilt. thank you so much for being in raqqa with us. one month after hurricane maria hit, puerto rico is also in ruins. a live report next. don't get too comfortable.
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hurricane maria hit puerto rico. president trump is giving his administration a 10 out of 10 for his response so far, but the island is still desperate for the basics, especially water and power. cnn's bill weir is live in san juan for us. he's right in the neighborhood that was made famous by the song despacito. how are they doing today, bill? >> reporter: they are not doing well. it is another example of living hour by hour, day by day here. the word is from the man in charge of puerto rico that they might have powerback by christmas. imagine that. it has been out for a month. the people who deserve a 10 out of 10 are the people who live here with the grace, dignity and passion for one another. the power is the story of the day. we went looking for answers and it took taos a neighborhood you might just recognize. ♪ it is is the most popular music
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video ever. despacito. over 4 billion. but most of that massive audience probably didn't realize the video was shot in one of the most notorious neighborhood the in all of puerto rico. for years this place was written off as being drug and gang infested. community organizers fought against the stigma. there hasn't been a murder in six years. then suddenly came despacito and it became a tourist destination. the economy started to blow up. people felt good about them. then came maria. now you have an outbreak of conjunctivitis among children. tourists wanted to come here. they came from africa, china, south america. but after maria, nobody comes. it's like a ghost town.
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so the doctors will see people in the dark here? the doctor shows me around the hospital where cardio grams and electronic medical records are worthless. is it true that luis fonsi donated a generator? five generator the. they are trying to get it installed but they have to go to the mayor's office and fill out paperwork, she tells me. you need permission? oh, my gosh. the excited scramble for a single bag of ice is proof that potable water and power are still elusive luxuries a month after maria. it puts enormous pressure on the men paid to electrify puerto rico. there are countless hospitals, centers, homes depending on power that runs through that. the lines, that's the artery, the main spinal column of the power system. maria devastated it, crushed it.
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so how do you pucks it? these guys who aren't afraid of heights. you you send them up to heal the lines. they are journeymen linemen of whitefish energy out of some the empty. they were given a $300 million contract without any input from the army corps of engineers. you know the headline down here for a couple days is how the hell did you get this contract? you're a brand-new company, right? >> we have been around for a few years. you know, we specialize in difficult and mountainous terrain projects. all i can say is we took the call and we're here. >> they called you? >> we called each other. >> he struck a deal with the publicly owned utility known for
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high prices, rolling blackouts. >> is it a risk for you to take? >> it's a risk. but when you come down here and you see what i have seen and you have that skill set that can have an immediate impact on the people here, it becomes a mission. >> not just a job? >> it's not a job, no. it became a mission. >> how long before juice is flowing through here? >> that's a good question. we hope to have this line up in the next three to four days. >> the government is saying 90% power back by christmas? >> it will take a lot of people to reach that deadline. a lot more than we have here today. >> yeah. whitefish say they have 300 linemen on the island with another 700 on the way while they wait for 100 bucket trucks and bulldozers still stuck in florida ports. >> thank you. >> you're welcome. >> so as anyone's guess as to when they will have the lights
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back on. until then, there is little to do but to take care of each other. kids with no school, the elderly with no hospital, and they clean up just in cause the tour uis t ever decide to come back. whitefish is not 9 only power game in town. another multimillion dollar contract was given to a more established company yesterday. but senator marco rubio said they are still coming up with a plan, power restoration plan, more than a month out. alisyn, chris. >> the president, as you you heard gave himself a 10 out of 10 for husband response there. the reality on the ground very different. thanks for your reporting. president trump lashing out at frederica wilson again calling her a liar for the way she characterized his phone call with the widow of a fallen soldier. the congresswoman will respond here this morning in an exclusive live interview. that is next. it keeps your insights from prying eyes,
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president trump again accusing wilson of lying about husband call with the widow of a fallen soldier. >> when general kelly made that statement he did not deny those were the words that the president used. >> it stuns me that a member of congre congress. >> there is a big difference between supporting these families and exploiting them. >> we have seep our discourse by casual

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