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tv   CNN Newsroom With Ana Cabrera  CNN  December 9, 2017 12:00pm-1:00pm PST

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-- captions by vitac -- you're live in the cnn news room. hello on the saturday. a snowy new york. a snowy southeast and a red hot southwest. we'll get to all of the weather news in just a moment. president trump today honoring american civil rights heros of the past and being blasted by leaders of the present. two u.s. congressman, icons of the civil rights movement chose not to attend the ceremony. democrats john lewis and
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thompson say the president's policies are an insults to the people honored at the museum. >> these museums are labors of love, love for mississippi, love for your nation, love for god-given dignity, written into every human soul. >> i want to bring in cnn national correspondent athena jones in jackson. it's not just congressman lewis and thompson who are against the visits. we had board members of the naacp. so how did things go there today? >> reporter: hi. well the president spent about 40 minutes at the museum touring the facility. he saw an exhibit on the freedom riders, he also saw an exhibit
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on n medgar evers. and he delivered brief remarks to the group, the smaller group that was with him inside the billing. you just played some of it. in those remarks he talked about what he called american heros. the some of the various civil rights activists being honored about i this museum. he talked about james meredith, first brad student to enter the university of mississippi back in 1962. and spent a good deal of time talking about medgar evers whose widow was at the larger event in h the plaza behind me. but as you mentioned, those two couns counselmen. decided not to attend in protest at him being invited. it was mississippi governor who
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extended the invitation. key and central in the criticism is his record as a protector as defender of civil rights. a lot of his critics believe he doesn't have such a record. instead a record of racial insensitivity. some mentioned the fact he questioned the legitimacy of america's first black president. he was one of the most prominent. he also has endorsed an alabama senate candidate, roy moore, who when asked when america was last great talked about the era of safetiry. he said families were united even though we had slifravery. john lewis and benny thompson mentioned the fact he's been slamming mostly black nfl athletes kneeling. others have mentioned the voter integrity commission he has set up.
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they believe it's intending to suppress voting. >> all right. athena jones there in mississippi for us. the thanks. joining us now is clarence henderson. he took part in the famous greens boro sit-in. the i know you support the president, and his visit to this museum today. wh what stood out to you about his remarks? >> what stood out is that he's going there to serve and represent the president. i watch what he does. >> and do you think he has been somebody friendly to the african-american community? >> yes, he has. if you look at how the housing has been purchased by blacks and
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the poor and the fact that the job rates, unemployment is down in the black community. >> so you point to the economy, which of course was his message. he specifically pointed that out at his rally last night i know in pensacola florida, what you just mentioned the fact that more african-americans are able to buy homes now according to latest numbers. but civil rights icon john lewis boycotted today's event as athena just mentioned. here's what he wrote in a statement before this. he wrote president trump attendance and his hurtful policies are an insult to the people portrayed in h the civil rights museum. explain why you see it differently. the. >> the reason why i see it differently is that this museum has nothing to do with the president so much as -- except he is the president. the we -- john lewis as well as others went through all we went through to be able to come to
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the table and be integrated into the american system, the american society. it's unfortunate that he would not go there and represent what he has stood for in the past, and it doesn't mean that he agrees with the president, just simply means that they have come together in a one common bond saying that we need to unite. >> you belief john lewis was wrong? >> yes, i believe he was wrong not to go there because see, he paid a tremendous price to be able to go there and say i was a part of this. of course, his choice is his, but had it been me and i was invited i would have went there and been with the president. even took a picture with the president, and if i had any order against him or whatever i would have spoken to him in regards to that. it's just like when he wanted to meet with the black caucus, they wouldn't meet with him. they should have met with him and discussed anything they had dealing. that's how we do in a society that is a civil society.
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we sit down and we discuss things and see if we can come to an agreement. >> sure. i know there have been -- the black caucus would like to meet with the president. i'm not sure if they refused to meet with him or the other way around. there are opposing stories. the president attended this event just hours after he campaigned for alabama senate candidate roy moore, and i know you're familiar with that. let me remind you who has said the last time america was great was during slavery. listen to this. >> i think what's great at the time when families were united, even though we had slavery, we cared for one another. people were strong, families were strong. our country had a direction. and we correct many of the problems. >> are you okay with the president's sporting roy moore?
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>> h i certainly am, because, again, what we need people that serve -- people of the united states and government that will serve according to what our constitution says. i would see it as when you fire so many of us right now ought of the loop and not being taken care of, back to slavery time, if you want to talk about people were fed and housed and all these kind of things, that wasn't perfect but what we have right now is we have, in the last party, let democratic party we had so many blacks out of jobs, getting on welfare and all this kind of thing, so, it's -- it's a situation whereby you have to dissect exactly what roy moore said. >> could the president say anything that would change your opinion of him?
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>> no. he could do something that would change my opinion but not say anything because see, i heard former presidents say so many things but he did nothing in reference to the situation back in chicago and detroit. so now, we have plans working through the bureaucracy is slow. i have been in constant conversation with some people that are connected to the white house, working with some programs that will bring jobs to the inner city and change some of the dynamics of america. >> who have you been talking to? >> um, the person i was talking to, trying to think of his name now. i can't think of his name off hand right now. one of the persons i just met with who is a liaison, a female, down in at the gop headquarters. we just discussed. black business men and also with the political party of the gop. >> also, clearance hen der son
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thank you for being here. >> you're quite welcome. >> we have a lot more to parse through. with us senior adviser to the trump campaign jack kingston and host of bet news, mark lamont. mark, you first, did the president help or hurt his relationship with the african-american community today? >> i think it's -- i don't think people have any expectation. certainly didn't make -- boiler plate. knowing donald trump, he could have said anything. so to that extent i say he didn't make it worse. but donald trump is about his record about what he's done, but what he has not done, about the movements he's supported an not supported. him showing up to this march was an affront to the legacy of civil rights. to that extent it has angered some people. because the bar was so low, i don't think it made it worse.
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i'm not sure things could get worse between donald trump and the civil rights community. >> i want to ask you a follow-up but we're having a little bit of audio problems with your connection. let me talk to jack for a moment. i want to follow up with you on a question i asked clarence there in the last segment. he comes out to this visit at the museum today just hours after that campaign event essentially for roy moore, even though he was in florida and it was the alabama tv market. again, roy moore has said some things that are controversial to say the least, but including this comment about slavery, saying that was the last time when america was great. during the time when we had slifry. how do you square this. >> number one i don't know the full context of that. number 2, we do know roy moore has said a lot of strange and some what whacky things over the years. the i don't think anyone would ever accuse him of being the
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candidate. i think the president's big concern is that he's got a solid red state that may go blue, and a candidate like roy moore who is still a wild card for all of us is a better than a sure bet candidate that's going to be against everything trump is trying to do in doug jones. i think he's just being a pragmatist on it. as somebody who authored the bill with john lewis on the african history museum in washington, d.c., the one that sits on the mall right now, i think that the president did the right thing by going there. the there's an opportunity for education, there's an opportunity for communication. and john lewis is a friend of mine. i think the world of him. he wanted to make a statement, and i think he made a good statement. but however, we'll never know what could have happened if the two of them were in a room together sitting down, rubbing elbows, shaking hands, one-on-one. we'll never see that picture of them coming out of there and
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saying you know what? >> good. >> common ground. i know that in washington, there can be some huge political enemies, but you go on a trip together, you serve on a committee together and lo and behold you find out you've got common ground. that's why i think it's always good to talk and intermingle. >> mark? >> i strongly disagree. last thing we need is more photo ops. at the beginning of the trump administration we saw a string of black so called leaders in trump tower taking pictures with the president which grave him cover for some of the most divisive policies. i think it's important for policy to match the rherhetoric. and to be quite honest his rhetoric has been divisive and dangerous. let me finish this point. so to me, the best thing he could have done today was stay away from this, honor the legacy who those who did not want him. the legacy of those who fought
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for civil rights. he could have sent a statement that affirmed the value of civil rights but stay far away. >> but, mark, let me just ask you this. to play devil's advocate. how do you think it would have been perceived if he had been invited to the museum and then chose not to attend? >> well, he's been invited to the cbc dinners, invited to meet the naacp, he's been invited to meet with many people who he fails to meet with. he's always having a political calculus that does one thing over the other, so i don't think it would lower people's opinion of him. i think he could have made a decision today to send a message i respect the wishes by not going but i'm still going to affirm the value. i think ethic is important. donald trump in h many ways is in a can't-win situation here. if he goes he makes people mad.
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if he doesn't he makes people mad. it's because he has made a bed that he must now lie in. what he's done, what he said, moverments he's aligned himself with and put him in a position where he can't please the civil rights community. he wants to change the way we lee late to him he must show this in his deeds and begin saying things that are more reasonable and in line with the civil rights spirit. >> the president talked directly to alabama voters at his rally. he said vote roy moore. is it dangerous to give his support to the candidate? he also said homosexual assault should be a crime, 9/11 happened because of a lack of favorite in god? >> i think it's always tricky and those of us who have been in elected office have been asked to endorse candidates that are
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flawed, i'm not going to do a television ad. you sort of find a halfway measure. which is what the president is doing. he's going to mississippi, florida, so he's not quite there. but from a practical stand point i think his message is we don't want alabama to go blue. i need the votes. you need the votes for supreme court judges, tax cuts, for gun control, abortion, immigration. we know mr. jones is going to be on the schumer pelosi side. even if he's a place holder because maybe there are ethics issues that the senate actually removes his seat or changes his eligibility for down the road, but we know he is a place holder. >> but jack, but jack, but jack, still, you're backing up the president saying it's better to vote for somebody who is it a republican than the alternative, regardless of who that republican is and what they represent, what they have said, what they have done. >> what i'm saying is i think
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there's a pragmatic decision that both parties often make that, okay, a shoe with a stone in it is better than going barefoot. i think nk the case of what happened last night he talked about the good things that have been accomplished. le many have benefited african-americans. >> we heard that from clarence. >> and i want to say -- but to say that the civil rights community has a checklist that the president hasn't been able to be helpful on is not accurate at all. i think a lot of times there's certain gatekeepers that say unless you go through me then you're not one of us. as somebody who authored the african-american history museum legislation i want those museums to be a forum for people to come together. i i'm glad he went and disappointed john lewis did not. but he also boycotted president bush's inauguration.
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>> i'm going to -- >> i want to say that i felt strongly about the point, donna. >> got to run there. thank you so much. mark do you want to say something real fast? >> just a bizarre ethical position to compare voting for a racist pedophile. we have to have a moral compass that's bigger than the next election. we have to send a deeper message. if you don't do that you're not honoring the spirit of civil rights. >> thank you both, gentlemen. coming up snow covering the deep south. wildfires are still rafr vangag california. with the greatest risk still lies next. live in the cnn news room. ♪ ♪ it feels good to be back.
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facing and residents are fleeing. extremely dangerous and now deadly fires are still racing across the region. and the strong hot santa ana winds are expected to increase over the next few days, already the fires have burned over 175,000 acres this week. lilac fire swept through an equestrian training center. trainers had to set hundreds of these elite racing horses free so they could escape the flames, but not all of them got to safety. more than 20 horses were killed in the fire. the thomas fire mean time has burned at least 148,000 acres alone. this is the one in ventura county making it one of the biggest and most destructive wildfires in california state history. that's where our kyung lah is joining us live. >>reporter: we're seeing the winds start to pick up and the winds are a major factor in all the fires and the growth,
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exponential growth we've seen throughout california. because the winds pick up the embers, land on houses and then this is what it does. the anna, take a look at this. this was someone's home. all that's left. you can see some of the brick. see bar schootools, some piping. it's just one home. i want you to take a spin around. there are six houses just in our frame of view here that are almost completely destroyed. that home looks like the wreath survived but not much else. this is just one snap shot of this fire, the largest of the six fires burning in southern california. 148,000 acres. it is still a very dangerous fire. it is only 15% contained, but firefighters say don't look at the containment numbers. you have to look at what's happening with the weather and
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whether or not it's still burning. the winds are picking up, but this doesn't even get to what's going to happen tomorrow. the weather conditions tomorrow expecting to deteriorate even further, so firefighters who are dealing with the front of the fire, further into those hills, hoping to get a better handle on it, they're still 15,000 structures that are threatened right now. ana? >> wow. kyung lah. take a look on the right side of your screen. that's the southeast now shoveling out from a surprisingly strong winter storm. it's now headed north. meteorologist, is there any help? >> ana, unfortunately, no. although you saw some wind out there in the shot. it's going to get worse. the containment only 15% for the
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thomas fire. there are about six of them going down to just north of san diego. the problem will be those winds tomorrow. today about a 30 miles an hour to 40 miles an hour range. tomorrow almost doubling to 60 american miles an hour in many places. then they'll even get a little bit weaker. there is a little bit of good news as we head into the beginning of the week but tomorrow the small window before things get bad. on the east coast, opposite story. snow in the ohio river valley and on the east coast. part of the same system that impacted the southeast yesterday and the deep south. snow and rain right now in recall be -- it continues on into the big apple in boston. in fact weeg have a live picture to show you here from new york city times square. you can see it's snowing there.
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24 hours ago. what a difference a day makes. we had this picture completely covered with snow. the now the old light bulb in the sky is doing its thing. but you're getting a good birth right. >> when i walked outside my house today i was feeling like i was back in colorado forea moment. i couldn't help have that tune in my head ♪ it's beginning to feel a lot like christmas ♪ >> embrace it. thank you so much. coming up, the president making his support for roy moore clear, saying republicans can't afford to lose a seat in alabama to democrats. but today, dems are bringing in their star power to try to support doug jones, will it be enough to sway the raise ahead on tuesday, we'll discuss live in the cnn news room. chile, what's going on? i'm at the el tatio geysers. geezer.
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the push is on down to the wire, three days left in the campaign in the alabama senate race. president trump is now all in for the republican in the race. man accused of child molestation, roy moore. trump addressed the packed house last night at his rally in nearby pensacola florida. he told the crowd this. >> we can't afford to have a liberal democrat who is completely controlled by nancy pelosi and chuck schumer. we can't do it. [ cheers ] >> his name is jones, and he's their total puppet. and everybody knows it. he will never, ever vote for us.
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so get out and vote for roy moore. [ cheers ] >> let's head to senior national correspondent alex marquardt joining us from montgomery alabama. what is the impact of the president's message? >> reporter: if you believe the moore campaign, ever since the president endorse the roy moore last monday and continued to over the course of the week culminating with the comments last night, they say it has ignited their base, put wind in their sails. they're very excited about this. we have to understand he's been around for so long, such a well known quantity that the people who are going to come out and vote for him are very much a part of his passionate base. so any impact that the president's going to have among roy moore supporters is on the margins, perhaps people who are disturbed by the allegations of sexual misconduct ant child abuse but are being convinced or assuaged to then come out and
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vote for him because the president is essentially telling them to. it might calm their nerves. on the other hand, it could have a significant impact on the democratic side as well as for do you go jone doug jones. then the president gets involved and suddenly to some extent it becomes a referendum on donald trump. you could see a lot of people turning out to essentially vote against him and roy moore at the same time. remember, this is a special election. this is taking place in an off-year in mid december right before christmas. politics is the farthest thing from many people's minds. this does ignite a lot more interest in the race on both sides. we'll have some sort of impact on the margins, as i said, and likely on both sides. >> do you know, are moore's accusers on the minds of voters there in alabama? >> reporter: absolutely, but to the question is to what extent.
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this has completely upended this race. and so you will see a number of people who would have gone out and voted for roy moore who are going to begin to question that or who have begun to. who will stay home. some might be completely flipped and go vote for doug jones. we have met people like that. you're going to see people not terribly passionate about this race who will come out and vote because they find these allegations to be so troubling. but, at the same time, when you talk to roy moore's voters, his supporters, who have known him for so long, i would say the vast majority simply do not believe these claims. whether they're men or women. they will tell you why now, why are these women coming out now? they must have an agenda. if they've known this and it happened 40 years ago why didn't they come out then? there's a lot of distrust.
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one of the episode, one of these accusers, beverly nelson, coming out yesterday saying that inscription that she had actually written part of it. now speaking with supporters all day saying we can't believe her. it's a forgery. the that reaffirms what they believed and that they don't trust these women. regardless of what side the people of alabama are on, whether it's doug jones or roy moore, there's no doubt these allegations are hanging like a dark cloud over the race. thank you. coming up, new court filing reveals robert mueller's team and the russian probe has documents related to the paul manafort as case, along with electronic devices, why that matters, what it means for the investigation next in the cnn "newsroom." pens it. give ancestrydna, the only dna test that can trace your origins to over 150 ethnic regions.
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we are getting a clearer picture today of how russia tried to cozy up to the new administration. according to the "new york times," russian operatives repeatedly try to core respond with hope hicks. she was a top adviser at the time. now she's the white house communications director. the paper says these e-mails alarmed the fbi and agents met with hicks to tell her the russian officials trying to contact her were quote not who they claim to be. the "new york times" notes there is no evidence hicks did anything wrong, but the report comes as we learn that she was interviewed by special counsel robert mueller the past couple of days, both thursday and friday of this past week. this makes her the latest person in the president's latest circle to be questioned by
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investigators. with us to discuss cnn legal analyst who has worked closely with robert mueller and cnn political analyst congress nal correspondent for "the washington post". fbi agents actually warn the hope hicks they were trying to contact her. the what do you see as significant? >> it's interesting because they attempted to reach out to hope hicks during the transition. so we see here a continuum of efforts between the trump campaign and the russians or if you want to put it most benignly, russians reaching out to trump campaign officials from pre election through the transition. and so you ask what is up about that in a sense, and if you want to look at it in conspiratorial terms, you think that this is maybe just another effort by the russians to try to impact policy, and that is perhaps born
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out by the fact that at the same time they're e-mailing her, hope hicks, that's when also the national foreign policy team is coordinating with flynn to reach out to the russian ambassador. so those things are going on side by side. reaching out from the trump campaign to the russians and russians reaching back. whether it's criminal, remains to be determined by mueller, but this effort to communicate with the trumps is a long-standing effort that is going to determine whether or not the trump campaign violated law or not. >> right. but on the other hand, as the "new york times" also points out, the fact that this russian outreach to hicks happened during the transition, does that in any way undercut this idea that the russian government had established some kind of a deep foot hold or tie with the trump campaign? >> no. in it just reflects they don't have a deep food hold or tie with hope hicks. they did have it with flynn. they did have it with
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papadopoulos, they did have it with don junior and others. this is just another entry point, and hope hicks, remembe , sits at a very important position in the administration. she was at the president's side pre campaign, campaign, in the transition, and now in the white house. so, that's why it would make sense to me that anyone who's trying to interfere with or impact policy, would make an effort to speak to her. that's why i think mueller took two days to talk to her thursday and friday, because of the significance of what information she potentially has to report to him. >> we haven't talked a whole lot about hicks but remind our viewers how she fits into the bigger picture, what she could know that mueller would be interested in. >> well, as michael just pointed out, hope hicks is close to the president. she has the president's ear, with him when -- when he was
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traveling, there's been profiles of her at various junctures, yes, she's an adviser but trump trusts her a lot more and she is somebody moving in and out of his physical inner circle as well as all of the members of his team. so if there's a non-family member of the trump operation, that is somebody that can kind of have his ear at any point, she is really that person, a lot of people to get to the president, you talk to hope. that can be an innocuous thing if it's just in terms of various american politicians trying to get to the president, but if that's something russian operatives realized as well, it makes sense to reach out through her. she can at least communicate a message she's somebody that can be won over. so, in that sense, that is a lodge i gical point of entry. but there are still many open questions as to what exactly the
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motivation was to reach out to her and what the response was back. just because you reach out doesn't necessarily mean they're closing the circle but those are the open questions to be probed at this point. >> to that point, what we did learn from that "new york times" article is that after the fbi briefed hope hicks, she went straight to the white house counsel don mcgann to fill him in. good for her. >> we also learned through don junior's testimony that hope hicks played some kind of role after the revelation came out there had been the trump tower meeting in 2016 and trying to come up with some kind of statement apparently at least a conduit. but let's move to something that's going to happen this week. we know manafort and gates are going to go back before a judge in court. some interesting revelationing coming out. court documents revealing
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mueller's team has collected 400,000 documents, 46 laptops, thumb drives, all of this evidence collected against manafort and gates. mueller has appeared to be a step ahead of everyone. are people in capitol hill questioning whether these investigations are needed at this point? >> well, i mean look, you cannot convince members of congress to stand down when doing an investigation. congress is very much aware and asserts its own right to do an investigation separate and apart to whatever is being done to the side of the executives and administration. i don't think you're going to see anybody standing down. what you're going to see is the three different congressional probes have different focuses, two intelligence committees looking at these questions of collusion, judiciary committee in the senate looking at questions of foreign agents and other issues about how the fbi conducted its operations and doing oversight of everything that has to do with the justice department that's connected to these russia questions, you are
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seeing partisan infighting. you may see more of that. remember, also, it is striking how much mueller has done with manafort, 400,000 of those -- of those, 200,000 are hot documents. certainly mueller has more access to things than the congressional probes do. but again, manafort is somebody that republicans and democrats are split over to an extent because a lot of what he's already been dragged into court over has to do with the foreign lobbying charges that kind of predated his work for the trump team. democrats clearly feel those go to establish what his mind set was and are pointing to others in manafort's activities editing of this op ed. but in h general, you're going to have the congressional probes go along even if they can't keep pace. >> okay. speaking of pace, that seems like an awful lot of evidence or
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is that just normal in a case like this? >> this is a complex financial crimes case and it is a lot of evidence for sure, and not only it reflects the seriousness of the evidence against him, and the quantity of it, but the purpose that mueller is bringing to this investigation. i think he wants a conviction because i think that he believes that he and/or gates have information to give to him. we learned today or yesterday that gates' lawyer has indicated mueller has reflected to him a possibility that there may be secondary charges filed. that's right. so you're struck sort of with the line from jaws of you're going to need a bigger boat. this is a lot of evidence against these guys and it's a lot of pressure, and i think they're going to be probably a plea worked out between them and mueller, because this amount of evidence seems pretty overwhelming to me. >> all right. thank you both.
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download the xfinity my account app or go online today. you are in the "cnn newsroo newsroom". president trump today on hallowed ground very important to people connected to the civil rights movement. jackson, mississippi, the president trump attending the opening of the mississippi civil rights museum and his presence there ways definitely not welcome by everybody. the head of the naacp called it a photo opportunity for the president and two sitting u.s.


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