tv CNN Newsroom With Ana Cabrera CNN October 21, 2017 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
isis. >> a powerful emotional image of the six-month pregnant wife kissing the casket there. the his funeral happening the same time new information is emerging about what happened to him and his unit that day. we're going to have more about that in just a minute. but first cnn's rosa fluoresore hollywood florida. they buried the 25-year-old son, loved one just a short time ago. rosa, clearly a very somber day there. >>reporter: you know hearts are
broken, hearts are reeling right now for u.s. army sergeant la david johnson, as you might imagine, a ve emotional and somber moment here for this family. le he was surrounded by family members, by friends, we've learned he's also a mentor to many, so hearts are very, very heavy. we know of course he is survived by his wife and childhood sweetheart, myesha johnson, they have two young children and another one on the way, and pam, one of the very emission nal moment the wsz when soldiers gave each one of them an american flag. his widow, two children, and of course the widow approached the casket and in an emotional way kissed the casket good-bye. we're also learning more from the obituary about his playful nature. we learned he had a nickname. wheelie king because he used to
go to his former job at wal-mart on one wheel. raised here in south florida, he loved football and of course he loved this country, the country that he served. the country that he died for. and today, he was honored here with full military color, with full mill carry honors, as family and his wife of course, children, surrounded him and said good-bye. >> heart breaking. i want to turn now to cnn's diplomatic correspondent michelle kosinski. this stage in the investigation, it seems like basic facts are hard to come by, but one investigator said so far about that day when those four u.s. troops were killed? h. >> they were a few things that have been emerging that gives at least somewhat of a picture of how this started. u.s. officials are telling cnn that the u.s. team of 12 was working with nigerien troops, they had stopped in a village to
the nigeriens could get supplies and then there was a meeting with local elders. after that, it appears that the u.s. troops went back to their unarmored vehicles and they were ambushed by around 50 isis fighters. but even some of that is still -- still trying to clear it up as to whether they were in the vehicles or outside of the vehicles. there's still unsure if sergeant la david johnson, who was found 48 hours later, if he had a tracking device on him that was emits a signal or if that signal might have been coming from vehicles. so, because there are these gaps, even in the very basics at this point, whether they were in the vehicles or not and even though now, according to investigators, every member of the team who survived has been interviewed, that's why there's been frustration among some people like senator john mccain who's a chairman of the senate
armed services committee. why aren't more of these details available? so the pentagon has done its share of pushing back, explaining that just because people want to know more information doesn't mean that the pentagon doesn't have some more information that they might not be releasing right now. but they're saying in a immediately after this fight, there was a search for sergeant johnson, and that more u.s. troops in fact were moved to the capital in niger and some then went out into the field. but obviously, pamela, there are big questions that could stick around for some time over the intelligence, over whether there was enough support for these troops, even to begin with in niger. >> very valid questions there. i want to bring in boris sanchez because boris, president trump has not tweeted today about that soldier laid to rest, la david johnson. but instead, he chose to tweet about the congresswoman, congresswoman wilson who was
close to the family and been sort of the part of this back and forth controversy with the white house this week. also, a conversation with sergeant johnson's mother is an issue that continues to grow. what does he say in this tweet about it? >> the president is continuing that back and forth with congresswoman frederica wilson of south florida, white writing in a tweet this morning that he hopes in his words the fake news media will continue following whacky wilson because, again, in his words that is correct means that she will make the democrat party lose. as you said, there's been a back and forth this week between the congresswoman and the president, and it has continued. last night he was on fox business news speaking about the situation. le here's more of what he said. >> he was so offended because he was in h the room when i made the call, and so were other people. and the call was a very nice call.
he was so offended that a woman would be -- that somebody would be listening to that call. he was -- he actually couldn't believe it. actually, he said to me, sir, this is not acceptable. this is really not -- and he knew. i was so nice. i was -- look i called many people. and i would think that everyone of them appreciated it. i was very surprised to see this to be honest with you. >> the president of course speaking about his chief of staff, john kelly himself, a gold star parent who said that he a advised the president before he called the family of sergeant la david johnson, despite the fact that representative wilson is at the funeral for sergeant johnson and that family members have confirmed to cnn that her description, her account of the conversation between sergeant johnson's widow and the president were accurate, the president is still pushing on with his attacks on the
congresswoman. >> he certainly is. thank you so much. i'm going to stalk more about what u.s. troops are doing in western africa and the very real threat they face there. our military analyst, retired lieutenant general joins us. also with us, cnn national security analyst and co-author of this book. gentlemen, thank you for coming on. i want to start with you, general. is it unusual that we don't have a clearer picture by now of some of the most basic details of what happened that day? >> no not at all. this is going to take a while. trulifully, i'm really sur friesed that about getting more details the level people are talking about. africom was been conducting these for about 15 years. there are over 1200 to 1400
missions a year within the continent of africa by these kinds of special operations or special forces a-teams. they go around and ten to 12 person groups and they conduct what's called training eequipment missions in the layman's terms with a variety of countries, there are 54 countries in africa. we have service members conducting these kind of missions in most of them. they're always conducted in small groups. i think gt investigation is going to show quite a few things, that africa, since its inception has repeatedly claimed they don't have enough resources to do the kinds of missions they're asked to do on a continent three times the size of the united states but also going to probably show other things, no the just potentially intelligence challenges, but also command and control issues, koord nagsz with local government, coordination with allies n this particular mission, it probably was a combination of niger, maybe
chad, depending on whether it was falling under the chad basin initiative or the niger mali fight. i think we're going to see a lot more in terms of the details in how challenging these kinds of missions are throughout specially the western part of africa. >> we'll wait and see. i want to you to listen to a republican senator lindsay gram graham and what he said about the wars, particularly what's going on in africa. >> the war is headed to africa. it's beginning to morph. as we sub press the enemy in the mid east they're going to move. >> is he right there? is the u.s. war being fought more on african soil? >> i think it's being fact simultaneous simultaneously. remember a few years ago they pledged allegiance to isis. once that happened. isis gained an affiliate with control of something like 20,000
square miles of terrain in h west africa. several thousand operations per year. the fact that it's been reported, according to defense officials from neej skbreer this might v. been not just an ambush but a raid across border into mali. it just goes to show how fluid and porous these are. jihadis dismantling the berms. >> sow wouldn't be surprised if it the u.s. sends more troops there if we bulk up our presence there. >> yeah, but in h a different kind of way. special operations, train and equip. this is sort of what we're doing in iraq and syria. >> that's what springs to mind. >> indeed. in iraq and syria, american forces have been killed and it doesn't call it combat missions but certainly these are combat-like roles.
lindsay graham is quite right. isis is met tas ta sizing. the capital of raqqah just fell this week. they've spreading to providences all around the world. we see it in africa, see it in the sinai peninsula in egypt and in yemen. and afghanistan. >> it's just good perspective because we focus so much on iraq and afghanistan. it's important to keep in mind the global problem. details emerged there wasn't overhead protection for these troops and the soldiers were in h an unarmored vehicle. is that unusual? and why didn't they have more protection? >> not awlt all. i keep hearing that. these are different kinds of forces. this is not active combat where it's continuous combat, that is. i think what you're going to see is most of these special forces
detachment, not special operating forces, but the ones that do the train and equip will want to be among the people. they don't want the armor between them and the soldiers they're advising. 12 soldiers coordinating with battalions of africans, they literally have battalions of niger soldiers. that up armored approach we've seen in iraq and afghanistan doesn't work in these environment environments. when you're talking about comparing this to iraq and afghanistan. you've got to remember there are 54 different countries in africa and each one has a different terrorism challenge. and there are a variety of other challenges throughout in terms of human traffick, aids
conflict. these are doing much more than coordinating with forces to fight. they are working the entire s c spectrum of power. as michael said, there are no boundaries in africa. it is just like the syrian iraqi board er where there's no check points. >> very important perspective. thank you so much. coming up, on this saturday, an explosive report about former "fox news" host bill o'reilly, and a $32 million sexual harassment september. details up next. t-mobile's unlimited now includes netflix on us.
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harassment, the "new york times" is reporting bill o'reilly settled a harassment claim to the tune of $32 million. they went on to sign him a month later. before eventually firing him. here's what o'reilly told nbc news about the sexual allegations against him this last month. >> my conscience is clear. what i have done is organized a legal team to get the truth to the american people. but i can go to sleep at night very well. knowing that i never mistreated anyone on my watch in 42 years. >> i want to bring in cnn senior need ya correspondent bryan
zelizer. did they know he made this saemt settlement. >> the company said they knew about it but not the price tag. the that's the difference. here's part of the statement which was received from fox. rupert mer dock's company. it said when the company renew the the contract in february it knew a sexual harassment lawsuit had been threatened against him but was informed mr. o'reilly had settled the matter personally. they have agreed on confidential terms. >> added protection to the company specifically aimed at harassment, including mr. o'reilly can be dismissed if the company was made aware of other allegations or additional information was obtained. the company subsequently aekted based on the terms of this contract. what fox is saying, when we let
him go in april three months after signing that deal, it's because we added this clause in the contract that allowed us and out in case of something like this. but what's. >> in case there were more sexual harassment claims. >> right. because april is when the "new york times" reported on these other settlements. those were much smaller than $32 million. talking about hundreds of thousands or small millions, no the a $32 million sum of money. that is a staggering amount, it makes you wonder what was she alleging happened between she and o'reilly that he was willing to pay off $32 million. >> how -- unprecedented is that? in this sort of situation? >> we're in the middle of this harvey weinstein. we've learned details about him. he was typically paying $50 or $100,000 to accusers, we know
gretchen carlson received $20 million which was at the time an eye popping. >> i remember. >> this is an even bigger sum of money. the mystery here is why didn't fox no more if it didn't know, why was it willing to renew the contract at all given there was this brand new allegation. the other big picture, fox is under a federal investigation now in the roger ailes case. you wonder if this is going to have an effect on the department of justice. >> do you know where that stands? >> it's something of a mystery, it's been going on for the better part of a year. looking into whether fox tried to cover up its payments to ailes's accusers. then had bill o'reilly having to pay women accusing him of harassment as well. neither with the company anymore. but you wonder if he's going to hurt o'reilly's chances of
getting a new job. >> its a i amazing they were aware of the settlement, perhaps not the amount, but that's basically put that aside if there are anymore that come to surface we have an out for the contract. >> keep doing the job. he was the number one. there's a parallel to weinstein here. i don't want to be unfair here. because the allegations are much more severe by more women but there's a parallel about power. powerful men against women. roger ailes running the most powerful cha channel. in you will a of those cases men who have this power and as a result because the money is flowing in and success continues to go on and on that seems some people look the other way. that's the issue for the murdochs here. the did they look the other way? >> seems there's sort of the this movement. the given what we saw with
weinstein, it seems like now it's just a different landscape i guess. >> sun light is the best disinfectant and we're seeing a lot of sun light all of a sudden on these dark corners. >> all right. brian stelter. very important report. coming up on saturday, steve bannon delivers a blistering attack on former president george w. bush, what he said and why when we come back. - my family and i did a fundraiser walk, in honor of my dad, willie davis, who has alzheimer's. i decided to make shirts for the walk with custom ink. the shirts were so easy to design on a site. the custom ink team was super helpful. and they just came out perfect. seeing my family wearing my shirts was such an amazing reminder of all the love and support that everyone has for my dad. - [narrator] check out our huge selection of custom t-shirts and more, for teams, businesses, and every occasion. save 10% now on your first order. get started at customink.com. save 10% now on your first order. i'about thinking.g. i mean, think of all the things that think these days.
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convention last night and he walked into a standing ovation. he then went on to deliver a brutal scathing attack on former president george w. bush. >> president bush to me embarrassed himself. speech writer wrote a speech. it's clear he didn't understand anything he was talking about. he has no idea whether he's coming or going. just like it was me he was president of the united states, there has not been a more destructive presidency than george bush's. well ban non was prompted by a speech that bush gave earlier in which he attacked the national agenda that president trump and bannon supported. i'm going to bring in white house correspondent for the washington examiner, sara westwood. thank you 0 for coming on. josh, to you first, i don't know if you could hear on the tape but our reporter says that the crowd began booing bush.
what's that say about the state of the republican party when steve bannon gets a standing ovation and former president george w. bush gets pulled. >> clearly the republican party is going through a struggle to find its identity. and george w. bush stantszs on opposite sides of that struggle. that was a troud that favored the steve bannon view of the word but there are plenty of republicans who believe that bannon's message is not as good as the bush sort of mccain call it reagan, paul ryan, mitch mcconnell idea of a traditional republican policy built on an america that promoting a liberal world order, droppiemocracy and things republican party has stood for since world war ii. the it's easy to say given the election of president trump that
the ban non side is winning. they certainly won the most recent battle, but this fight not just inside the republican party but around the country and the world, let's remember, is very much ongoing. what we saw the speeches of john mccain and george bush last week and whatever you think of their records, and for sure, both of their records are mixed on these issues, but their message was clear, that this about thele of ideas for not just the identity of the republican party but the identity of america, that that battle needs to be fought and that battle is just beginning. >> and it raises the question there why a state's republican party would give a platform to someone who has declared war on their very party. >> well bannon's mission has been to eject all of the bush era establishment republicans from the party and bring in this new wave of pop list conservatives, so it's not surprising to hear him use that kind of language. president trump's attacks of
bush remind you go all the way back to the campaign. he said things like 9/11, the towers came down on bush's watch. he launched attacks against the bush family that many people thought would sink his campaign yet people responded favorably to that. right now, bannon and his ilk represent this wing of the republican party a that blames obstruction from establishment types like john mccain for the stagnation of trump's agenda. there's an establishment wing that blames the populism, nativism of the trump wing of the party for clogging the wheels by always getting caught up in these cultural fights. it will be really interesting in 2018 to see which side republican voters blame for the tag nation of trump's agenda. >> given all the divisions within the party. the california gop's former political director is quoted in a local paper as saying quote, i think the republican party is going through a moral crisis when we hold up joe arpaio, the
controversial sheriff in arizona, as leaders. what do you think? is the gop going through a moral crisis. >> well, yes. i also think that the country in fact the world, because i travel around and listen to what foreign countries are seeing as they view our current state of politics. i think the moral crisis is pervasive throughout the world. it's interesting and catchy to hear steve ban non criticize george w. bush but he's not addressing the core of the issue. within the party and world, there are two exclusive visions for how we're going to chart our future, you one more globalist and one nationalist, and while the nationalists, globalism as a matter of fact is going to happen. how you reconcile that will determine the fate. the suffering and/or alleviation of suffering of millions if not
billions of people around the world. what i would look for is for lots of a focus on the odious nature of joe ar ppaio or the mental competency of george w. bush but let's have a debate about the actual path we're going down and whether or not what we're seeing in the beginning of this administration in terms of a more nationalist policy more rooted in american interest and not americn values, is that working? is that delivering results? i think when voters come up with the next round of voting they're going to look at those results and make a decision whether or not the bad end view is really producing for them. >> clearly, as you point out, there are two schools are thought. nationalism versus globalism. does someone, sara, like steve bannon shrink or grow the republican party in your view? >> well, that really depends on a couple of things, one is if president trump is able to notch any actual accomplishments
because for all the bluster about president trump's policies being too radical, too extreme, too right wing, president trump hasn't actually accomplished anything that's really out of the realm of possibility that you might have expected any other republican president to achieve with the possibility exception of the travel ban. a lot of his big policies, his big plans have been tied up in the courts, tied up in congress. he hasn't been able to get them through. president trump is able to push those policies threw, then votering might have a clear view of whether they're successful or not seeing results from america. if president trump is not able to accomplish anything, then the trump wing of the party is set up to be able to play the blame game about establishment republicans preventing that from happening. that might give the trump movement a little more life than it would otherwise have. >> all right. that's exactly how i can see this playing out. thanks so much. and coming up, right here on the saturday, the russians who met
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well new details are emerging from that now infamous meeting at the trump tower in 2016. the senator tells cnn that investigators have interviewed russian figures present at the meeting. exactly who has been questioned has not been revealed but that has not kept the president in calling this probe into collusion quote bad for the country in a recent fox business interview. i want to discuss this now with el bert toe gonzalez, former attorney general under president george w. bush. i just mentioned there, the president has said this investigation is bad for the country. how do you see it? >> you know, sometimes there is a history of some of of these
investigations by special counsel getting out of control. i can understand some of that concern, but if in fact the investigation relates in any way to russian interference with our presidential election, that, to me, is vitally important many we need to know exactly how that happened. because they're going to come back and most government officials in positions of authority and knowledge recognize as a serious threat going forward. so to the extent this is an investigation to what extent they interfered i would respectfully say that is important and we need to continue to make sure we know the answers. >> i guess you could see sort of both sides where on one hand it's important to get those answers to know how involved they were. and on the other hand the white house has a point of view this sort of is a shadow hanging over foreign affairs, dealing with foreign leaders. you can see both sides you about this is on going on capitol hill. senate judiciary investigators
met privately about donald trump jr. last month. he could face a public hearing before the end of october. what facts are you most interested in coming to light? >> obviously, we need to know exactly the motivation, because there's -- there's a lot of information that's out there, but i'm sure they'll want to question very carefully the motivation behind the meeting, exactly what was said in the meeting, and what action items occurred afterwards. because these are the kinds of things that they simply want to don firm. they may have the information. the but you always want to hear it directly from the potential witness. and so that's one of the things i think they'll be interested in learning. >> you want to always cross-reference. this summer, switching gears here, president trump met with a candidate for u.s. attorney before she was selected, and now it's been revealed that trump personally interviewed candidates for u.s. attorney positions in new york. is it appropriate for a
president to be so involved in the selection of a u.s. attorney? >> it would have been unusual. the in fact it never happened in the bush administration. i was white house counsel for four years. to my knowledge president bush never met with a toengs nominee as a u.s. attorney. as a matter of whether it's appropriate, it's not inappropriate per se because in fact these are appointees in the executive branch and the president's making the appointment, however, meeting with select future u.s. attorneys does raise these kinds of questions, why are you meeting with these individuals and not u.s. attorneys from other states jurisdictions. that's sort of the danger of these kinds of meetings. i was reassured to know the white house counsel was president at the meetings because the it's important that the president of the united states not put any undue pressure upon these u.s. attorneys with respect to future prosecutions and investigations. >> i want to ask you while we have you here, as you know, a
couple days ago, president bush made a speech, in which he sort of made veiled criticisms of president trump. he didn't name him by name but it was clear he was talking about his administration. he was really breaking his silence on the matter. what do you make of that? >> i think president bush was simply repeating what he views as important for america's place in the world. the importance of american values, the importance of american leadership, and, like all of us, we have recognized these are challenging times, and in these challenging times we need our leaders to step up and we need america to step up. i think the president was trying to remind the american people about our place in the world, the pim importance of continued american leadership. >> it was clear he was talking about president, right? to you? >> well, again, to me, i think what he was expressing was concern about the direction of the country, and perhaps some
concern about the leadership, because in the end, we look to our leaders in terms of guidance and direction, and i think president bush was probably reminding all of us about the importance of exercising leadership. particularly those people who are in positions of power. >> all right mr. attorney general. thank you so much. thanks for having me. >> absolutely. and right now around 3 million americans are living in the dark without power in puerto rico. 1 million without running water. imagine that. up next a live report from puerto rico. details when we come back. if he'd taken tylenol, he'd be stopping for more pills right now. only aleve has the strength to stop tough pain for up to 12 hours with just one pill. aleve. all day strong. when i feel controlled by frequent, unpredictable abdominal pain or discomfort and diarrhea. i tried lifestyle changes
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well, it has been a month since hurricane maria devastated puerto rico, yet many of the struggling residents say it still feels like it was yesterday. according to the government, right now more than 80% of the island is still without power. medical teams tell cnn there's a dire need for safe drinking water. they're concerned about the spread of deadly water-borne diseases. these are just basic needs. one doctor told us the reality? po rico is, quote, post apocalyptic. polo, we understand there's a growing concern about schools there in puerto rico. >> reporter: pamela, concerns about schools and students. keep in mind they have not been back to class since mid september before maria, as many
people here in san juan have described for me, these students are essentially the soul of this island. since they get back in a classroom, the sooner they begin healing from the emotional wounds. as we say firsthand, it may be a while before some of these schools are open again. this school yard should be bustling. not today, not since hurricane maria threatened and later devastated puerto rico. the doors to this high school have been closed since september 18th. today the only signs of life are on the other end of the campus. room 204 serves as margarita fuentes' temporary home. this 52-year-old grandmother of 11 tells me, from one moment to oog she lost her house and
everything in it. her grandson led us up the mountainside to show us what's left of the family's home. there isn't much else. a return to class may provide a welcome escape from reality. he says the first thing he'll do when he gets back to classes hug his friends. he doesn't know when that would be, as long as displaced families like his are using schools as shelters, classes can't resume. department of education announced friday that some schools on the i'd would reopen. that some say that won't happen here. we have a lot of work to do says roxanna, a drama teacher anxious to welcome her students back to class. while there's optimist, there's no real timeline when the students will walk down the
halls again. there are still plenty of obstacles. s on classrooms in disrepair, roads are nearly impassable because of the misdemeanorslides and there's no running water in town. margarita says she is staying strong and wants to see her grandchildren back in a classroom, just not this with you. there are a total of 74 public schools throughout puerto rico serves as some of the shelters. you can imagine the tremendous undertaking for officials to try to figure out where to put some of these families so they can finally open some of these schools, pamela, but there is some hope. come tuesday as we just mentioned, there are many schools in san juan, also maya west, a city on the western coast of the island that will hopefully open their doors up to some of these students, especially for some of those students in some of those neighboring communities. it just gives you a look at the
long road to recovery, not just for parents, but also for some of their -- for some of the students on this island as well. >> just to think, it's been a month. so much more work to do. president trump is giving his administration a 10 out of 10 for its storm response. how would puerto ricans that you have been speaking to, grade this response? >> reporter: i have seen a wide variety of answers when it comes to that question. right after the comments on thursday, there were many people here in san juan, gave them an "f" a zero. however, margarita, the woman you just heard from right now felt he deserved either a 9 or 8, which was quite a bit of credit. she said the reason for that is she has actually seen the national guard, already met with fema and asked for help. so mixed responses from some of the people here, but everybody seems to agree, they certainly want to see at least more done
both at the federal and local level. polo sandoval, thank you so much. heartbreaking video from hollywood, florida, where sergeant la david johnson was laid to rest moments ago. a live report when we come back. for a child the library can be. >> i'm officially the most awesome girl in the world. it can also nurture you emotionally. what people don't realize is that school libraries are sometimes not funded at all. we provide libraries for underserved communities and schools. our whole goal is to spread literacy, and the benefits of literacy. oh, you brought butch.
you are live in the "cnn newsroom" on this saturday. i'm pamela brown in for ana cabrera. great to have you along with us. eyes are on texas. we will soon glimpse a rare sight, all five former presidents in the same room. president trump noticeably will not be there. you'll recalli only been a few days since george w. bush and barack obama delivered thinly vail attacks against the commander in chief. and last night steve bannon, trump's defend are on the outside, fired