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tv   CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield  CNN  October 22, 2017 11:00am-12:00pm PDT

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intervention. those who support the idea will do well to remember the military's last temporary intervention yielded two decades of rule from 1964 to 1985. thanks to all of you for being part of the program this year. see you next week. happening now in the news room -- >> i refuse to get diverted on the various comments that may be made at one time or another. >> mitch mcconnell on the civil war in the republican party and why trump's jabs aren't hurting. >> i think he's getting more done than he's giving everybody credit for. >> this, as the fight over what president trump said to a grieving widow continues today. >> stop tweeting and start leading. >> let's urge president trump to talk about the four soldiers. a little time on who they were, why they did what they did and all those like them. >> cnn news room starts right now.
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thank you so much for joining me. hello, it is sunday. i'm fredricka whitfield. it is yet another day of the feuding between president trump and a florida congresswoman over trump's call to the widow of a fallen u.s. soldier killed in nearby ger niger. trump tweeted wacky congresswoman wilson is the gift that keeps on giving for the republican party. watch her in action and vote "r." the latest attack comes a day after army sergeant johnson laid to rest at an emotional ceremony. the congresswoman responded to the president via tweet saying niger is the great donald trump's benghazi. he needs to own it. he was one of four killed in
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niger. an investigation into that continues. meantime, the white house has yet to respond to a report in the publication roll call. it shows the president had not contacted virtually every gold star family, contradicting what the president had claimed. of course, all of this as the president gears up for a push on tax reform and ponders a new chairperson for the federal reserve. let's bring in boris sanchez. a lot on the plate there. what is the president doing and saying today? >> reporter: hey there, fred. it is the 84th day of donald trump's presidency he spent his day at a property baring his name. he's at a trump golf course in sterling, virginia. he spent part of the day tweeting against congresswoman
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wilson. the family of johnson is standing by her. one family member confirmed her account of the phone call between the president and the widow of sergeant johnson was accurate. the white house has not commented on the set of exchanges between the president and the congresswoman. they are also declining to comment on the roll call report. their focus is on a big week ahead. you mentioned tax reform. tuesday, we may see drama, fireworks on capitol hill as they meet for republican senators for lunch, many of whom he is feuding with, including senators john mccain, bob corker and flake. the president had an op-ed out in usa today trying to encourage people to back tax reform. he writes, in part, quote, the optimism has returned. the sun is once again rising over america.
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but, our economy cannot take off like it should unless we transform our outdated, complex and burdensome tax code. that is exactly what we are proposing to do. one last note, fred, we may get, this week, the announcement of a new chairman or chairwoman of the federal reserve. earlier today on fox news, the president said none of the five candidates he met with have been ruled out. he did seem to focus on three of them, including the current fed governor jerome powell, as well as john taylor of stanford university. lastly, the current chairwoman of the federal reserve, janet yellin, who the president had words for on the campaign trail. today, he said he liked her very much. the president touted the success of the stock market. i would be curious to see despite the success, name a new
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fed chair and affects markets. fred? >> or not at all and stick with yellin so not to disrupt the markets. boris sanchez, thank you so much. nine months into his presidency and he's endured another tumultuous week. he continues his trend of attacks and arguments with not only democrats, but members of his own party. in an interview, the president dismissed critics who say the squabbling gets in the way of his agenda. >> our supporters say he's got fantastic policies, we want to see it through, but the bickering and feuding get in the way. obviously, the feuding with senator corker, i think there's a personal thing going on between you and senator mccain. do you worry this bickering and feuding gets in the way of your agenda? >> no. sometimes it helps, to be honest with you. we'll see what happens.
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sometimes it helps. sometimes it gets people to do what they are supposed to be doing. >> let's discuss this with the panel. tim is a cnn presidential his attorney and director of the nixon library and a cnn analyst and professor at princeton university. good to see you both this sunday. >> good afternoon. >> the president says his bickering and feuding is not getting in the way of his legislative agds. the republicans have yet to pass bills, including repeal and replace obamacare. what is the president talking about, if not about these legislative wins or lack there of? >> it does get in the way of the agenda. that's clear. the tweets, the controversy, the scandal continue to knock the knees out to get legislation through congress. the agenda is not about policy and regulation.
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it's about appealing to elements of the republican party who like these kind of fights and who like these kind of tweets. i think, in his mind, he is winning saying what he wants to hear and frankly, legislation is a secondary concern. >> let's talk about this special club, you know, of former presidents. usually, there's deference to the sitting president and they reserve their comments. we have seen this week and including this weekend, the former presidents have all taken their own approach to speak about the sitting president, bush 43 and obama uttering the name trump and now former president carter found his way of expressing some concern. he says, as he told maureen dowd from "the new york times," you know, that he actually talked to lieutenant general hr mcmaster,
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trump's national security adviser who is a good friend and actually said, you know what, if you want to use me to help handle the north korea crisis, i am willing to do that. in your view, is it the former presidents, while they may not want to openly be critical of this president, they are most concerned about the legacy of the presidency and this might be what is spawning them to speak in the various ways they have chosen. >> well, fred, i think they are not only interested in the legacy of the presidency, they are interested in the country and both president obama and george w. bush gave speeches last week, while not attacking president trump directly, made it clear that they sense that the trump administration is taking the country in directions that were not helpful. both former presidents, one republican, one democrat, made
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the case that we should be moving beyond racism. they made the case that this country should not give up its legacy of internationalism. they were trying to remind americans of those common ideas and principles that actually were shared by republicans and democratic leaders before the current administration. i think their concerns are not simply the office of the president of the united states, their concern is the direction the country is going in. >> another way these presidents convey their concern about the welfare of the nation, we saw all five former presidents on stage in a show of unity, helping to raise money for hurricane victims, trump appearing in a taped message during the event. what do you believe this trump white house could be learning from this show of solidarity or even the nation as a whole? >> i think it would be great if
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the president heard some of the concern that is out there, not from partisan, but former presidents who have been through this experience, served in this office and who are trying to express both concerns tim talked about and last night, to remind the president and the nation that there is a role for governance and leadership in times of crisis. this is a choice that president trump will have to make about what direction to take his presidency, but i think it's been notable to hear the warnings and the criticism coming from both parties in the last few days from former presidents. >> you know, tim, just before inauguration, president obama let and reminded, you know, the new president, 45, to know he was there for him if ever he needed them. former president carter has just done the same. do you see, in any capacity this president might take up the
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offer coming from now two former presidents? >> i haven't seen recent attacks by president trump of president carter. we know what president trump tweeted about president obama. it's unlikely, given the tenor of his public comments that the current president would take advantage of the vast knowledge of the previous president. after all, one of the consistent themes of president trump's activities since coming to office is that he is trying to undermine president obama's achievements. so, it would be strange for him to then turn to president obama and ask for advice. it's a mistake on his part, but i don't see him doing that. >> tim and julian, we'll leave it there. >> thanks, fred. a remarkable sight. five former presidents on the stage last night to raise money for hurricane victims. we have this view.
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>> reporter: five former living presidents working together to praise the american spirit. >> all of us on this stage here tonight could not be prouder of the response of americans -- >> reporter: and asked for continued support for hurricane recovery. >> still needs in texas, florida, puerto rico and the american virgin islands. they have only begun to dig their way out of a disaster, but can be a new beginning. >> reporter: president's jimmy carter, bill clinton, george w. bush and barack obama joined george h.w. bush at texas a&m for a benefit concert. >> i speak for the folks right here when i say we really admire
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and love george h.w. bush. >> reporter: an evening planned to be the 20th anniversary celebration of bush 41's library, transformed for the former president's to help hurricane victims. s >> let's make america still a greater, volunteer nation. >> reporter: after hurricane harvey devastated texas, the five former presidents, led by the bushes, created a charity. as hurricane season continued, so did the campaign outreach to florida and the caribbean. to date, they have raised $30 million from 80,000 donors. the work of the former presidents was praised as tremendous by president trump in a two-minute video message welcomed with applause. >> in the aftermath of the storms, the american people have done what we do best. we came together, we helped one another and through it all, we remain resilient. >> reporter: it's unclear if the
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current president was invited to attend. trump was honored to be given an opportunity to participate in relief and recovery efforts. >> thank you so much for coming together and putting your differences aside. it is so incredible. >> reporter: among the musical guests lady gaga. she created mental health program. >> they must encompass their mental and emotional needs as well as their physical well being. ♪ i bow down -- >> reporter: an historic night in response to devastation and inspiration of historic proportions. in college station, texas, cnn. up next, the battle within the gop as top senate leader, mitch mcconnell plays down the fighting in the president's recent attacks on him. the party's agenda hangs in the balance. that's next. >> look, i'm not particularly concerned about all of this.
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u.s. senate majority leader, mitch mcconnell is brushing off the harsh criticism from president trump and addressing the fighting from within the republican party. here is what mcconnell said earlier on cnn's "state of the union." >> at the end of the day, there is open tension between you and your fellow republicans on capitol hill and the president. the president, himself, was asked about his own attacks on fellow republicans. he says he thinks those attacks are helpful because they get people to do what they are supposed to be doing. you have been on the receiving end of those attacks. do they help you get legislation through the senate, sir? >> look, i'm not particularly concerned about all of this.
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what we are interested in is achieving an agenda for the american people. the president's and ours is one in the same. we are thrilled to have somebody in the white house support what this house and senate has been wanting an opportunity to do for a long time. i refuse to get diverted on the various comments made at one time or another. let's try to accomplish these things for the american people. we think we can do that and are in the process of it. >> do you trust the president in these negotiations? do you trust the president as a partner in getting these things done? >> i do. >> okay. let's talk about former trump adviser, steve bannon. he declared war on you and the rest of the republican establishment this week. take a listen. >> mitch, i don't know if you are watching today, i don't know if you are watching. i have been getting calls. it's like before the ides of march, right? the only question, this is an
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analogy or metaphor, whatever you want to call it. they want to know who is going to be brutus to your julius cesar. >> what do you think of bannon recruiting candidates with the goal of taking you out as leader? >> you know, this element has been out there for a while. they cost us five senate seats in 2010 and 2012 by nominating people who couldn't win in november. in order for the president's agenda to advance, we have to be able to elect people who support the agenda. so, these inner party squirmishes are whether or not we can elect a candidate to win in november. in 2014 and 2016, we nominated candidates who can actually win elections and we took the senate in 2014 and kept it in 2016. these are inner party squirmishes and actually winning elections. >> they are inner party squirmishes, but now a brutus
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who doesn't necessarily care about keeping the seat, they want to defeat incumbent republicans who support you. >> i think most republicans want to see us win elections. i always remind people, the winners of elections make policy and the losers go home and into another line of work. we are trying to maintain this majority to achieve the goals that the president and ourselves share. so, these squirmishes will occur in the primaries. they have happened in recent years. the years in which we have nominated people who can win. we took the majorities and years which we didn't, we lost. it's about whether or not we can maintain control and achieve the things it president and ourselves want to achieve for the american people. >> despite the infighting amongst republicans and the president, mcconnell adding that he trusts trump as a negotiating partner. here are the jabs trump threw at republicans this week.
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monday, president trump refused to take the blame for legislative failures saying he is not going blame himself. to be honest, they are not getting the job done. on friday, trump suggested his personal feud with republican lawmakers are an asset, not a liability because sometimes it gets people to do what they are supposed to be doing, end quote. let me bring in my panel to discuss this. cnn commentator allis and michael. good to see both of you. >> hi, fred. >> alice, you first. the president threw a gop punch this week. what is the president referring to when he says, you know, he is getting things done, even though there are no big legislative wins in the column? >> that's the great question. if you look at the big picture, the main things everyone wanted to get done haven't gotten done yet. specifically repealing and
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replacing obamacare and tax reform, which is in the works. look, i was encouraged by the interview this morning. i was encouraged to see he trusts the negotiating power and trusts negotiating with the president and also the fact that he's not going to let the bickering and name calling and the back and forth get in the way of what he has to do. it was positive he encouraged the president and praised the president for executive appointments and judicial appointments, specifically. >> why is he doing that? >> there's so much tension out there. it's good to let people realize, we are all on the same page, support the same agenda. we saw the president from the rose garden saying he and mcconnell have never been closer. that's a good thing. there's so much bickering people need to see they support the same agenda. they need to see accomplishments. they are willing to work together. the trick is, they need to work together to make it happen. hopefully, the bad blood and
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tension will be a thing of the past. tax reform is huge. that's something everyone is committed to doing. eventually, i would like to think we can make progress on obamacare. >> is the bottom line these two trying to say, let's patch things up for the good of the party and maybe everybody else will forget the animosity and the feuding? >> i think so. i agree with everything alice said. to keep things in perspective, republicans won more political power in 2016 than any time since 1928 when herbert hoover was president. this is a good thing for republicans. the issue is the mandate given to voters have not passed in the senate. i give credit to speaker ryan on the house side of things. they were able to pass things, but it died in the senate. mcconnell recognizes when midterm elections approach, there are republican senator that is could be at risk if the
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senate does not accomplish something. remember, the president doesn't write legislation, that takes place in the senate. >> so, trying to get something done. the president already said, before christmas he wants to get tax reform done. so, alice, already, as people await details of the plan that the president is pushing, cnn poll is showing that more than 50% of americans polled actually oppose this tax plan. so, what's going on here? why does the president feel so confident that this is going to get done? >> because they are fully committed. this works, the ideas they have on paper and the ideas within this tax reform plan work in practice and principle. they have very, very intelligent economic experts at the white house that crunched the numbers and have seen it work. it works in other countries when they use these policies, jobs
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are created, wages increased, businesses grow. the overall theme, i don't know how anyone polled could not support the plan. the number one focus is providing it for middle class americans. providing tax relief for them. i don't see how anyone could be opposed to that. that is the goal of the tax reform plan, to simplify the taxes we have and also provide relief for the middle class americans. that is a big goal and something he knows. those hard working people that have higher wages and want a better job, they are the people that elected donald trump. he knows that and is going to do everything he can to appreciate what they do in the white house on tax reform. >> before tax reform, there might be another stature, michael, health care. this is senate majority leader, chuck schumer today.
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>> look, this is a good compromise. it took months to work out. it has the majority, 60 senators supporting it. 48 democrats, 12 republicans. i urge senator mcconnell to put it on the floor immediately this week. it will pass. it will pass by a large number of votes. that will put pressure on the house. the bill prevents premiums from going up 20% or more in some states. that falls on everyone's back. if republicans think if premiums go up, they will avoid the blame. if senator mcconnell believes that, he is wrong. >> is this a bipartisan plan that might allow the president to put a win in his column before, potentially, tax reform. >> possibly. but the issue isn't just premiums increasing. we need to figure out ways to reduce premiums. some states only have one
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insurer. many providers opted out of providing coverage for the states because of the expense. tough increase competition. i'm not sure this is going to do that. while i want the president to be successful, i want something to benefit the american people. i think the president recognizes that. i'm not certain that this legislation does just that. >> michael singleton, alice stewart, thank you. >> thank you, fred. coming up, next, republicans face a war within their own party. democrats have an up hill climb of their own. details to fund raise and build an infrastructure ahead of next year's midterms. perfect, but, ugh. oh well, all hope is lost! oh thanks! clearly my whitening toothpaste is not cutting it. time for whitestrips. crest glamorous white whitestrips are the only ada-accepted whitening strips proven to be safe and effective. they work below the enamel surface to whiten 25x better than a leading whitening toothpaste.
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welcome back. democratic megadonor and billionaire is known for spending millions of dollars on democratic campaigns. now the biggest donor is spending again, but this time to a national tv ad calling for president trump's impeachment. take a look. >> a republican congress once impeached a president for far less. today, people in congress and his own administration know this president is a clear and present danger, who is mentally unstable and armed with nuclear weapons. >> tom steyer is a hedge fund founder and manager who poured $91 million of his own money into democratic campaigns last year alone. he is joining us now, live. good to see you, tom. >> hey, fredricka, how are you?
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>> i'm good. this ad campaign according to an aide cost more than $10 million. given the republican controlled congress, why do you feel this is money well spent? >> well, what we are trying to do is trying to give a voice to the american people because i think democrats and republicans alike know that this president is, in fact, a clear and present danger to their health and safety. we are trying to give them a chance to go to their representatives and make this case. the american people, still, their voice is the most powerful thing in our country. if they speak up then elected officials have to listen. >> but, on what grounds do you believe trump should be impeached? it has to be more than a belief of clear and present danger or -- >> that's right. >> -- access to nuclear weapons. >> he violated his trust of the constitution with the american people. firing james comey, he clearly
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obstructed justice. the clause has been broken. the fact of the matter is, he has clearly broken his trust with the constitution. the reason we are calling for it is it's urgent that it happen now. the fact of the matter is, he is putting us at risk on a daily basis. he has clearly met the standard for impeachment. we have to have it. that's why we are going to the american people and asking them to raise their voices and say, we need a change. >> but, there are per am trogra the president has the authority to hire and fire the fbi director. >> obstructing justice is not one of them. if you look at the historical impeachments, what he has done publicly. >> looking into obstruction of justice, among the congressional
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investigations looking into the special counsel robert mueller with his investigations, why not wait until those investigations are complete? >> because it is urgent. because, in fact, we are giving this president a new parameter that he not only has to meet the old parameters for being impeached, now there's a lower standard that he is allowed to do thing that is no one else has been allowed to do before. we should not be breaking the constitution to keep in office, a president putting at risk the safety and health of americans on a daily basis. i don't understand why we are delays. we are asking the american people to stand-up and speak. >> as the dnc, democratic national committee gathers for a fall meeting, amid concerns it party lacks resources to win midterm elections, do you plan to put money into other 2018 campaigns? >> well, what we really do,
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fredricka is we are a grass roots organization. we make it possible for local groups to go door-to-door to phone bank to talk citizen to citizen about the issues of the day. that's what we did in 2016 and, of course, we are going to keep doing that in 2017. we are already doing it in 2018. our whole push is the old fashioned idea that american citizens talking to each other about the most important issues of the day, is the way we have a vibrant and just democracy and we will continue doing that, just the way we have for the last few years. >> quickly, might this be a prelude to your own campaign, a piece in the l.a. times suggesting you may be trying to build your own political brand and eyeing diane finestein's seat? >> i have said i'm willing to do anything, including running for office to push forward a
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positive agenda for california and for america. that's true. i haven't taken that off the table. this move for impeachment stands by itself. it is its own campaign. i think everything in america knows this is true. all of those elected officials in d.c., republicans and democrats know it's true, but no one wants to say it. what we are trying to do is say we are willing to say it and asking the american people to say it. it's true. it's important. it's got to happen. we have to give it a voice. >> all right. tom sseyer thank you. >> thanks for having me. >> we'll be right back. ♪ one lou and i can't disguise ♪ ♪ i've got hungry eyes ♪ applebee's 2 for $20. now that's eatin' good in the neighborhood. applebee's 2 for $20. so, verizon and google have teamed up on the pixel 2. it's a match made in tech heaven. it's like verizon is the oil and google is the balsamic. no, actually they separate into a suspension.
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ask your doctor about toujeo®. ♪ share the spice of life. yeah, i got some financialbody guidance a while ago. how'd that go? he kept spelling my name with an 'i' but it's bryan with a 'y.' yeah, since birth. that drives me crazy. yes. it's on all your email. yes. they should know this? yeah. the guy was my brother-in-law. that's ridiculous. well, i happen to know some people. do they listen? what? they're amazing listeners. nice. guidance from professionals who take their time to get to know you. former fox news host, gretchen carlson, who settled a sexual harass mat claim with fox news is speaking out that bill o'reilly paid $32 million in a sexual harassment claim prior to
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signing new multimillion dollar contract with fox news. carlson spoke to brian earlier. >> brian, i think it's horrifying and outrageous that any company after dismissing somebody for allegations such as that would not only resign a contract, but allow that person to come back on the air. it's outrageous and one of the reasons i wanted to make sure i chronicled so many other women's stories in my book. now, we are on a movement. we are on a movement to speak up and be heard. there's no turning back for women in the workplace. why should women have the american dream taken away from them? we work just as hard as anyone else. it's time that it stops. >> fox said it cleaned up the culture after your lawsuit. they said they made changes, yet, o'reilly was renewed after this settlement. were they lying about that? >> this is the corporate culture
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we were dealing with before july 26 in 2016. look at harvey weinstein. he had a pay a fine if there was a case. this is covering up. this is enablers. this is shutting up the victims. i think it's absolutely horrifying that we have allowed this to go on for so long in corporate culture. it's a reason i ask people to join the be fierce movement to stand-up and speak up and say enough is enough. >> you accepted a big settlement from fox. another accepted a $32 million settlement from o'reilly. should women accept this? >> there's two ways to settle it, settlements. that shuts up the victims. also, forced arbitration clauses. that's a secret chamber. that also shuts up the victims.
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we are fooling society thinking we don't have a problem with this anymore. why? because we don't hear about these cases. why, brian? because women are shut up in silence. that is what's so heartening over the last few weeks seeing the weinstein story and women saying we are not going to be silenced. we are going to be fierce. it's the mission for our young people to make sure it doesn't happen for your daughter, my two kids and anyone else watching out there. up next, as the investigation into the deadliest mass shooting in modern u.s. history carries on, law enforcement officials are coming up with more questions than answers. why all the roadblocks? details, next. building a website in under an hour is easy with gocentral...
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it's been three weeks since a gunman's deadly rampage at a concert in las vegas. grieving families want to know why they were robbed of their loved ones. investigators, so far, have not offered much of an explanation. >> she just went up to her room. being around her, you wanted to be around her as much as possible. it's the kind of person she was. >> sisters celebrating her 28th birthday when a gunman, indiscriminantly fired from above. >> next thing i know, i hear her say, sis, duck. like stay down. all of a sudden, i look down and i hear her making weird noises and i realize she had been shot.
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>> reporter: her sister and friends would carry her out. she died from a gunshot wound to her head. what is the biggest question to you? >> why. why all this happened. my daughter goes to a concert to have a good time, now she's not here. >> reporter: weeks later, the family and investigators still, no answer. >> what law enforcement has to do is go back and reconstruction this person's life. 64 years of this person's life to try to figure out why this individual would have committed this heinous crime. >> all that ammunition and fire power was being brought in right in front of our house and down our street. >> reporter: neighbors in the senior living community where the gunman lived remember him as reclusive. when he bought the home, he paid the $370,000 asking price in cash. the gunman and his girlfriend
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enjoyed cruises, traveling to ports in europe and the middle east. he paid for this lifestyle from gambling. he frequented las vegas casinos and unsuccessfully sued a hotel after he slipped and fell. he called himself the biggest video poker player in the world, gambling 1 million dlarls in a single night, overnight, sleeping during the day. for easy access, he paid a yearly retainer fee to nevada internist stephen winkler who prescribed him valium. why? for anxiousness. the other focus? weapons. >> every regulation that was in place, he passed. he passed through them with no problems. >> reporter: the gunman traveled to utah to buy a shotgun last january. a law enforcement source says in 2016, he bought 33 firearms, mainly rifles. he checked into the mandalay bay
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hotel a week before the shooting, bringing in two dozen guns in ten suitcases. hotel employees unknowingly help him with the cases. he gambled before the shooting, plotting, undetected until the stairwell door shut triggered an alarm. >> i heard rapid-fire and, at first, i took cover. i felt a burning sensation. i went to go lift my pant leg up and saw the blood. call the police. rifle on the 32nd floor down the hallway. >> reporter: law enforcement believe he surprised the gunman. he turned on the innocent crowd below. the gunman left no note, just calculations scribbled on the
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note pad from the suite to the people below. an investigation continuing to seek answers. >> the only thing we hope for is to prevent this from happening again and, you know, spread the message that, you know, she didn't deserve to go that night. >> reporter: the family filed a lawsuit to make public what the hotel knew about the gunman as well as their security plan. as far as this investigation, we don't know what else the gunman was planning. his car was found in the parking garage of the mandalay bay. it was packed with explosives. he also used bullet that is were fired at the airport's fuel tanks that did not ignite. cnn, los angeles. >> we'll have much more from the newsroom after this. thing to wo? well at safelite, we know sooner or later
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hello, thank you for joining me this sunday. i'm fredricka whitfield. president trump making his pitch for tax reform in an op-ed in usa today. but, it's his feud with the florida congresswoman that continues to make headlines. the florida congresswoman, wilson, bickering over trump's call to a widow whose husband died in niger. trump tweeting,


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