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tv   CNN Newsroom With Ana Cabrera  CNN  October 21, 2017 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT

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s. you are live in the "cnn newsroom." i'm pamela brown in for ana coulda on this saturday. we first turn to southern california, that's where the family of a soldier killed overseas this morning laid their loved one to rest. >> that is an emotional gripping scene is hi widow, johnson's
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widow kissing his casket. he was one of the four american troops killed in the west after nation of niger. and it's happening at the same time that new information is emerges as to what happened to him and his unit that day. michelle kosinski is following that. michelle, the flow of information from the pentagon is not pleasing a lot of people. he says it's not sufficient, it's too slow. what have we learned about the niger attack? >> i think some officials have been cnn -- or to try to show the areas that are still unclear and why t what officials are say, on this night, u.s. and a a
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nigerian troops were -- and at that point it's believe the u.s. troops got back intoed unarmored vehicles. even that isn't 100% established. whether they had even be able to get back into their vehicles. again, those vehicles were unarmored. and here's what they said about this. sorry, we don't have that sound. >> there are still big questions that remain, but what we're told is africa command is leading it. the fbi is now involved.
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they have people on the ground going over this evidence, and it's going to incorporate all four branches of the mill tears. there's also been clarity that why french planes that tried to stop the fire fight didn't drop any bombs. initially there was reporting or speculation it was because they didn't have thor in nyji niger. let's listen to senator lindsey graham. he says an uptick does not surprise him. the war is headed to africa. they're going to move. they're not going to quit. >> so what is there a pattern of these attacks, or activity to --
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>> this has been a real risk, something that's been growing. there was a study by james saying they kinds of attacks by isis and others have quadrupled in africa in the last six years. boko haram aligned itself with isis. there's been competition between isis and other groups and the the resill gens -- it was in march that president trump allowed greater authority for africa command to not just target al shabaab when u.s. troops there -- and there were fewer than 100 of them coming under attack, but to offensively target al shabaab. the u.s. has recognized this is a risk and more should be done now before the threat grows even bigger. we have seen thinks kinds of air strikes especially over the
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summer. there were offensive strikes in somalia, and in august, u.s. troops there came under attacks. so what it tells you, even if they places which are advise and assist missions, the u.s. troops helping they other countries, you know ward over these threads, they're ville at the dangerous. they do come under attack. >> it's a huge risk. michelle kosinski, great reporting. thank you so much for that. the military has released few details, including two green berets and two support soldiers in nijer. how it happened remains a mystery. i'm joined by cnn military and diplomatic analyst, former state
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department spokesman rear admiral john kirby in washington. at the admiral, senator lindsey graham responded to a reporter's question about niger and whether the military is overextended represents in most countries the u.s. has never heard of. >> i think most americans want to do the following. where there are threats, they want us to deal with it. we don't want the next 9/11 to come from niger. >> he certainly does, and michelle did a good job laying it out in materials of the growing threat this is something quite frankly that the pentagon has been tracking for several years now. we knew that as we squeezed isis in iraq and syria, as we took away what they claimed was a
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caliphate, that they would me taz advertise it, we've seen them go to libya annual and that's what these troops are doing down there, trying to help partnered local forces deal with this threat better on their own using their own intrinsic capabilities, but you know back earlier this year, general walthauser, the african command commander, talked about the stretch on his resources. i mean, he's got 53 nations in his area of responsibility alone, and troops in most or many of them. he said that he's got -- that only 20% to 30% of his intelligence reconnaissance and surveillance are being met by actual resources. initial to figuring out what happened here in this ambush, and they will. it's also time for a very serious conversation about how africa command is being resourced and being supported. >> right. in this case they were in
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unarmored vehicles, there was not overhead cover at the time of the ambush, so it does raise questions about resources. there have been comparisons draw, admiral kirby, of benghazi, that this is president trump's benghazi. is that fair or too premature? >> i think it's way too premature. i get the similarities here, you have a speed issue, and a resourcing issue, and could they have gotten help fast enough. i get that. it's a completely different situation, and i think we really all need to be careful before we jump to conclusions about what happened. there is an active investigation going on. that's the appropriate course of action. secretary mattis has been spot on in saying, hey, look, we're not going to get out there and comment or speculate until we know the facts. i think we need to let that happen first. >> do you think we should know more at this stage? do you think the public deserves
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to know more? you've had senators such as senator mccain of the armed services committee say, look, information has been bay to slow on them. >> i think it was good to go up there and explain, i think, you know, 12 days ago, it took way too long, and this one happened on the 4th of october. it took a couple days before they realized what ham to sergeant johnson, but i think it could very good to come out with a general context about the mission without violating operation allege security or the investigation, this echave done a better job with what those troops are doing there.
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it could have been done two weeks ago. >> i think the senator has a point. admiral kirby, thank you. >> you bet. while american soldier in niger was laid to rest, president trump was tweeting about something else. details on that. you're live in the c"cnn newsroo newsroom". or discomfortain and diarrhea. i tried lifestyle changes and over-the-counter treatments, but my symptoms keep coming back. it turns out i have irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea, or ibs-d. a condition that's really frustrating. that's why i talked to my doctor about viberzi... ...a different way to treat ibs-d. viberzi is a prescription medication you take every day that helps proactively manage both abdominal pain and diarrhea at the same time. so i can stay ahead of my symptoms. viberzi can cause new or worsening abdominal pain. do not take viberzi if you have no gallbladder,
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the congresswoman. i hope the fake news media keeps talking about wacky congresswoman wilson in that she, as a representative, is killing the democratic party. we should know he's not tweeted about the fallen soldier la david johnson who has been laid to rest in florida today. i want to bridge in boris sanchez. as he said anything, in the broader context beyond the congresswoman? or mr. la david johnson. he has -- you mentioned some of the tweets about representative wilson from south florida. he did tweet about the fake news media multiple times.
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he's tweeted about the famed dossier. he's lewded to russian-bought ads on facebook. he's tweeted about the stock market he even tweeted this -- i will be allows as president. the long-bald to decide whether or not to retreat two former -- and it is kind of a curious theme, right to tweet about today? he tweeted that his -- >> i have friends that say, don't use social media, see, i
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don't call it tweets. tweeting is like a typewriter. when i put it out, you put it immediately on your show. the other day pit something out. they're well crafted. i was always a good student. i doubt i would be here if it weren't to social meaia. the other way i would never be able to get the word out. with sterling, virginia, it is the 83rd day he has spend as president on a property that bears his name, pam. >> boris, thank you very much. he's vetted north korea recently and -- so we certainly
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have a lot of bases to dover here, nicholas. thanks for coming on. we were talking about the president attacking a the president says his tweets are well crafted, some say he's a pro at distraction, what do you think is the case? >> i enjoy tweeting myself, but it's like any toad. with a gun you can shoot a target at 100 yards or shoot yourself in a foot. it seem that president trump has a remarkable capacity to aim downward. this whole week has somehow ended up being about him and these battles he has, and
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unfortunately have dragged in his chief of staff who until now had pretty much been above politics in ways that distract from so many other challenges the country faces. from 9 million kids losing health insurance. >> it just makes you wonder if it's purposeful deflection. you mentioned general kelly, he chief of staff, who came out and defended the president this week, and during that defense he attacked congresswoman wilson, told a story about a speech from her back in 2015, and the video surfaced, showing what he accused her didn't exactly happen. a reporter asked the white house about kelly's false claims. i want to play that clip. >> i think he's addressed that pretty thoroughly. >> he was wrong about getting it yesterday. >> if you want to go after
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general kelly, that's up to you -- if you want to it is into a debate with a four-star marine general, i think that's something highly inappropriate. >> so, nicholas, in the wake of that, you wrote about this moment. you said, quote, i have reported in depottic countries where commanders ease assertions -- we mocked those nations, now we have become one. can you expand on that? >> you know, general kelly is a smart guy, but smart people sometimes say stupid thing. he said something that i don't think he intended to lie, but he said something based on his recollections that proved to be very firably, completely untrue. when that happens you are apologize and walk back. instead, the white house doubled down, said that general kelly 1250d by his remarks.
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and then the white house had the gall to say it's inappropriate to question the chief of staff, general kelly, on this issue because he was a four-star marine general. you know, that's what -- that's exactly what these sort of tinpot dictatorships say when they cover them, and it's embarrassing to have that happen in the u.s. to be clear, after she was questioned about that comment, she klain she didn't say he couldn't be questioned, but that he put himself out there to make that statement, and that, you know, he believed it was credible. that aside, you know, speak of despottic countries you went to north korea recently. a new poll says that 62%, six in ten think the way that president trump has responded is reckless,
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based being on the ground there, nicholas, are americans right to be worried? >> i think they are. in fact, if anything we may be too complacent about the risk of a war. john brent ensays at least a 20%, to 25% chance of erupting, and i think that's about right. what i saw north korea on the ground was mobilizing for war. everywhere you go shows missiles hitting the u.s. capitol, destroying the u.s. flag. everybody noises about president trump's comments about north korea, because they fit into the kim jong-un of propaganda line that america is threatening north korea, so kim jong-un needs nuclear weapons to defend the country. both countries are on a hair
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trigge tryi trigger. hare trigger. i don't think the political process or the american public has fully absorbed that fact, that we could be in a catastrophic war in the coming month. >> no, that's on certainly just frightening to say the least. you say they're on the ground mobilizing for the war is really petrifying. i want to talk about something else that's really important. i know you have spent a lot of type investigating this, you have written a number of pieces on this topic. president trump says the next week he will formally declare the opioid epidemic a national emergency. what are the first steps that need to happen to help solve this crisis, in your view? >> well, i mean, i think the one
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thing we need to recognize that is until now, the narrative has often been about personal irresponsibility and weak individuals. and i think we also have to acknowledge that pharmaceutical companies helped create this crisis. and began with prescription drugs. these days it's a stanch at majority, the routine is to go from prescription painkillers or heroin or similar drugs that end up killing people. i must say that the country that has done a far better job than any other in trying to address this is portugal. they have responded by treating this not as a criminal justice issue, finding people with addictions to arrest, but rather
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as a public health issue, and reaching out and trying to get people treatment. in the u.s. only 10% of people with addictions get treatment. that should be a national disgrace and embarrassment. port natural has managed to reduce the number of deaths to the lower numbers in western europe, whereas in this country, overdoses claimed 64,000 lives and it will be higher this year. >> that is truly eye-opening. nicholas kristof, thank you for bringing your very important perspective. >> good to be with you. you too. a shocking development about bill o'reilly. word of a $32 million settlement and sexual harass hadn't lawsuit. we'll be right back. i don't want to sound paranoid, but d'ya think our recent online sales success seems a little... strange? na. ever since we switched to fedex ground
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well, cnn has learned that former fox news host bill oy riley settled a sexual harassment claimed to the tune of $32 million. it was with a longtime fox news legal analyst. "new york times" reports fox news went on to re-sign o'reilly a month later for a $25 million a year contract before eventually firing him in april. we just heard from bill o'reilly through a spokesman. he says -- in its latest diatribe against o'reilly, the "new york times" provided leaked information that is out of context, false, defamatory and obviously designed to embarrass bill o'reilly and keep him from
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competing in the marketplace. jean casarez joins me now to discuss. >> first of all, they say they were aware of the threat of a lawsuit. and they also said that bill o'reilly had handle it -- he new contract typical for renewals added protections for the company, specifically aimed at harassment, including that mr. o'reilly could be dismiss if the company was made aware of other allegations or if additional relevant information was obtained in a company investigation.
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pam, you know they always have moral clauses, but it appears with the knowledge they have went on to re-sign him and included more language than the very bait imgeneral morals context within the contract, and that is what they used to let him go earlier this year. >> basically any thew about the past sexual harassment -- >> to a point the and what's interesting to me from the spokesman's statement is basically he's saying this a salacious claim, anonymous sources, but it seems like the company is confirming that it's true, that there was a $32 million settle mement.
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>> but the company is ait was personal he he he did it himself. he said it was confidential, which could have even been the monetary matter. if you look at the facts bill o'reilly himself personally settled. >> and he claims they allegations are just false, that they're not true. >> maliciously smearing. >> but $32 million is a lot of money i mean, you wonder. >> that's why thee not included in trials, right? it's a huge amount. we don't know what other confidentable settlements have been throughout history, because they're confidential. >> so it's hard to put it in perspective. >> we know it's huge, but how huge compared to others -- an interesting aspect in the light of harvey weinstein and the
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investigations going on on both coasts right know, and then obviously other people and the head of fox news, bill cosby is the only one -- correct me if i'm wrong -- that has outstanding criminal charges, and we're right in the midst of a retrial that's going to happen in april where he could be sent away for years to prison, but at this point he's the on one that's been charged criminally. >> but as we no with harvey weinstein, there are several investigations it appears in relation to that. what about the fox news legal analyst, has she been speaking out about it? >> her nay is lis wiehl. she sways so respected,
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throughout my career, i was a big fan of hers, still am, and she's come out with books, best-selling books. so accomplished. thank you so much. >> thank you. a revelation from a e-mail exchange contradicts the president's claims he had contacted virtually every military family who had lost a -- we'll talk with the "roll call" reporter who broke the story. cnn heroes versus gone more than a million books into the hands of little kids. >> per child the library can be a magical place. >> i'm officially the most awesome girl in the world. >> it did transform you academically, but also nurture you emotionally. >> what people don't realize is school libraries are sometimes
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when i feel controlled by frequent, unpredictable abdominal pain or discomfort and diarrhea. i tried lifestyle changes and over-the-counter treatments, but my symptoms keep coming back. it turns out i have irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea, or ibs-d. a condition that's really frustrating. that's why i talked to my doctor about viberzi... ...a different way to treat ibs-d. viberzi is a prescription medication you take every day that helps proactively manage both abdominal pain and diarrhea at the same time. so i can stay ahead of my symptoms. viberzi can cause new or worsening abdominal pain. do not take viberzi if you have no gallbladder, have pancreas or severe liver problems, problems with alcohol abuse, long-lasting or severe constipation, or a bowel or gallbladder blockage. pancreatitis may occur and can lead to hospitalization and death. if you are taking viberzi, you should not take medicines that cause constipation. the most common side effects of viberzi include constipation, nausea, and abdominal pain. stay ahead of ibs-d with viberzi.
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well, the fallout continues from claims made tuesday by the president and senior members of the white house that mr. trump has contacted nearly every gold star family. this after a pentagon document has surfaced that contradicts those claims. the congressional quarterly roll
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call has uncovered an exclusive e-mail exchange it between the white house and the pentagon that showed not only had the president not contacted virtu virtually all the families, but the white house did not even have an up-to-date list, and only recently scram abled for a list of names and family contacts. hoar is the reporter to wrote the store, john donnelly. so john, tell us more about what these pentagon documents reveal. >> well, you summarized it quite nicely. it was tuesday morning that the president made the statement that villiumly all the gold stair families have been contacted. later that day there was a back and forth between the white house and the pentagon to obtain the names and the contact numbers of the survivors of those killed in the line of duty this year. what it shows is that even as the president was making the statement, his staff was aware
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that it was not -- that it was probably not accurate, and there is a suggestion in the e-mails that the reason they needed to gather this information was that so the president could start making some calls presumably to make what was an untrue statement on tuesday morning a true statement as soon as possible. that seems to be the implication from it. i would add -- the only reason that this matters is because the president claimed that he had made contact with virtually all the families. it wouldn't be a big deal if the president had simply said he has made contact with some of the families. if he had said, as my predecessors have done. instead he acted as if he had contacted virtually all of them, and he tried to make it appear as if he was far better at this than anybody who had come before him. this is sort of his classic mod us operandi. >> let's listen to what he said
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and told fox radio earlier 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'll use the word virtually everybody. >> so on the one hand he's saying he writes letters and calls, and then he says he thinking he reaching out. it seems like he didn't know what the truth was. >> it sounds like he knew it wasn't 100%. >> right. >> i guess you could say it wasn't necessarily a false statement. if you're very generous with what the word "virtually" means. the news organizations have contacted numerous gold star families who have not been reached by the president so this shows what he says on tuesday was not right by any sort of
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common-sense definition of the terms. again, this is not a requirement for the president to call every family of the fallen, but he made the claim. so -- and then he made the suggestion that his predecessor, specifically president obama, was not very good at it. furse, he just can't seem to acknowledge if he says something that's wrong -- same with general kelly, it would be simple to say, i got it wrong. people would brush it off, but he kind of like -- it's a self-inflected wound. >> he sort of doubles down on it. there's no backtracking no apologies here. is there anything else that stood out to you, looking at these documents, anything else you learned? >> you know, it's just -- to me it's not only -- well, it illustrates something that i'm sure is happening over and over again virtually every day, which is a staff that is scurrying to try to fix what has come out of
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the president's mouth. you know, with all due respect to him, he's demonstrably has repeatedly made false statements. so they have to sort of backfill and react and scramble, and so this is how things are happening in the white house right now. >> like you said, make an untruth a truth. this is the reporting this week about the father of a fallen soldier who had been promised $25,000 by the president earlier this summer. it was reported by the media, the white house said a check had been seven. it was only send that day after "the washington post" reporting. soo it's sort of this pattern making an untruth a truth. john donnelly, thank you for that important information. >> thank you for having me on. well, tonight the five living former presidents of the united states are coming together to help the americans devastated by recent deadly hurricanes, up next to hard-hit po rico. but first fit nation catches
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up with the older bmf racer in the united states. dr. sanjay gupta has the story. >> i love a challenge. >> kitty has been riding bmx bikes for nearly 30 years. >> at 69, i'm the oldest bmx racer in the world. you talk about fun, hitting a turn at 20 miles an hour, can you imagine that? that's where the exhilarate comes. >> reporter: in the world of bmx biking, she's done more than break down age barriers. >> when i started racing, there were no women. not that they didn't want to race. they were not encouraged. i said, hey, ladies, we can make an impact. >> reporter: she work with sanctioning bodies to give adult women their own racing class. >> we went from two women, now there are over 1,000 adult women who are out there racing.
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>> reporter: still, racing at 69 doesn't come without his challenges. she's had both hips and knees replace. she also has severe arthritis in her hands. >> age is nothing but a number on me. as long as i can keep the two wheels on the ground, i will be riding that bike. >> reporter: the next race is in texas. it's her first race back since breaking her ankle in june. >> i'm just excited i'm back on the track. i'm too old to be nerve otherwise. -- nervous. >> reporter: since no one in her classes here, she raced against women nearly two decades younger than her. >> am i competitive? you better believe i am. i'm going to give it my all. >> reporter: she finished in third place, since she is won her age group. >> mr. kitty weston-nauer. >> it's always about finishing,
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well members of a very exclusive club will be making a rare joint appearance in just a couple of hours from now. all five living former u.s. presidents will attend a benefit concert tonight in texas, to raise money for hurricane relief. meanwhile, president trump gives his administration a 10 out of
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10 on recovery efforts in puerto rico. one month after hurricane maria ravaged the island. but many of the struggling residents say puerto rico looks and feels like it was hit yesterday. with more than 80% of the island still without power. cnn's polo sandoval is in san juan. and polo, we understand there's a growing concern about schools in puerto rico. what can you tell us? >> absolutely. parents here in puerto rico have been struggling to is your viv and feed their families. and make sure they're safe. for perhaps the youngest people on the island, the students, it's been very difficult here. many haven't been back to school since september 18th. that's children. many u.s. citizens haven't set foot in a classroom for over a month. it may take a while before some get back to class. this school yard should be bustling with activity at the height of the fall semestic. not today, not since hurricane
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maria threatened and devastated puerto rico. like the island's over 1100 schools, the doors to this high school have been closed since september 18th. today the sinls of life are on the other end of the campus. room 2004 as soon as as margari margarita's temporary home. this 52-year-old grandmother of 11 tells me one woman to another, she lost her house and everything in it. her grandson led us up the mountain to show us what's left of his family's home. like most of the students on the e island, a return to class may signal a return to normalcy. he said he doesn't know when that will be, as long as
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displaced families are using schools as shelters, classes can't resume. some schools on the island will reopen on tuesday, teachers at this school say that won't happen here. >> we have a lot of work to do, says roxanne, a drama teacher anxious to welcome high schoolers back to class. while there's optimism, there's no timeline for when students will walk down these halls again. even if displaced families are restred, there's still plenty of obstacles. >> classrooms are in diggs repair, roads are nearly impassable because of the mudslides and there's still no running water in the town. >> she says she is staying strong and wants to see her grandchildren back in the classroom. just not this one. >> the governor saying the situation does look promising
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for schools on the west of the island, and here in san juan, classes are scheduled to resume come tuesday. but that lingering question what about the rest of the island. >> absolutely. paulo sand val, thank you so much and i'm pamela brown in new york, i'll see you an hour from now. smerkonish is next.
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> i'm michael smerkonish in philadelphia. we welcome viewers in the united states and around the world. the president up and tweeting. quote i hope the fake news media keeps talking about wacky congresswoman wilson in that she as a representative is killing the democratic party. you're going to get your wish, mr. president. so deep is america's political divide that we are now arguing over comforting gold star families.


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