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tv   CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield  CNN  January 28, 2018 1:00pm-2:00pm PST

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hello, again. i'm freddie mac. in two days, president trump will deliver his first state of the union address in what could be a pivotal moment of his presidency. let's get to boris fran chez at the white house. what are the expectations of this speech? >> white house official telling cnn to expect an optimistic speech coming from president trump. the theme of the state of the union address on tuesday will be building a safer, stronger and prouder america. we're told the president is going to attempt to reach people outside of his own base and
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appeal to them on several different levels. one of them will be his touting of a booming economy. the president expected to cite the growing stock market and dwindling unemployment numbers before shifting to ab outlook of the future. specifically, he's set to ask congress nearly a trillion dollars to fund his infrastructure plan. but the biggest driver of this speech, the thing to watch for is the president's mess alk on immigration at a crucial time. the president is going to try to sell his vision of immigration reform in exchange for creating a pathway for citizenship for undocumented immigrants the president is going to ask for $25 billion to biuild his borde wall. aside from that, he's going to be asking for changes to legal immigration and that's where the biggest divide is right now between the two parties. there's not a tremendous amount of support for the president's proposal right now on capitol hill. but the white house is sticking
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by this plan. you have the director of legislative affairs for the white house on the sunday morning talk shows saying that lawmakers should follow the president's lead. here's more of what he had to say. >> congress will have a are reason to do something later opposed to fixing a problem today. this president is trying to solve a problem that's been perplexing the country for decades. he's offering a rational compromise to get it done. this is born out o of many conversations with republicans to get to this point. it's going to help us get it done. we don't have this problem several years from now. >> also took aim at democrats saying that the president has made concessions with that pathway to citizenship and now it's time for democrats to make concessions on legal immigration. many democrats have said that the white house's stance on changing things like chain migration that is the sponsorship of family members for people who have become naturalized citizens is inhumane and a non-starter when it comes
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to debate to a deal on immigration. ultimately, this is what's on paper. as we have seen so often with this president, he has a tendency to get off the teleprompter. we'll see if that happens on tuesday and potentially we may see some distractions yet again circling this white house's agenda. >> boris, thank you so much. as the president prepares for his state of the union address in two days, his attention is also focused on jay-z and comments the music mogul made on van jones' new show, which premiered last night on cnn. trump tweeting this morning inform jay-z because of my policies black unemployment has been reported to be the lowest rate recorded. what set off the president? take a look. >> he is somebody who is now saying, look, i'm dropping black unemployment. black people are doing well under my administration.
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does he have a point that maybe the democrats have been giving good lip service and no jobs and is going to say material things. does that make him a good leader? >> no because it's not about money. money doesn't equate to happiness. that's missing the whole point. you treat people like human beings and then that's the main point. you can't treat someone -- it goes back to the whole thing. treat me bad and pay me well. it's not going to lead to happiness. it's going to lead to, again, the same thing. everyone is going to be sick. >> i spoke to van jones last hour about that interview. here's what he had to say. >> do you feel like as a result of the president's tweet he misses the point of what was central to the conversation? >> yeah, i thought it was good to get. attention for the show, but really he totally missed the
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point. jay-z last night was stunning. he was confessional. usually hip hop you think brag doeshs, but he talked about the struggles with his marriage and his children. he really set the kind of example i wish the president would set. the president is now the guy who is accusatory and never confesses to anything and never shows public growth. jay-z is growing in front of the public eye. part of what he talked about which really set donald trump off, he talked about the racism in the country. and he talked about how in an interesting way he talked about how we keep pushing it under the rug when somebody says something rayist and we smack them down. it's making things worse. it but then he said that we now pushed it under the rug so much it's now come back as a super
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bug of racism. so he called donald trump a super bug of racism and i challenged him, isn't he doing something good? just having a little bit more money in the economy doesn't count if you're treating people badly. it was a profound interview. it was thoughtful. it was substantiative. for the president, who apparently didn't even watch it, for him to fire off something, i think was disrespectful of an icon in this community. >> you got a feeling that the president did not watch the show in its entirety or see the message that perhaps he got a snippet of it elsewhere seized upon that misses the whole point about numbers versus quality in which you make reference to people, in which you treat people and that was the underlying message. that was the nucleus of the message he was making. >> what's so interest iing abou this president is he could actually it sounds crazy to say
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this, but he could actually learn from jay-z. he's very rich person, he's a business person. a fellow new yorker. but he's had one marriage. and he's fought for that marriage. he was just unbelievable last night talking about this is my soul mate. i'm fighting for this marriage. donald trump has three marriages. i have never heard donald trump refer to the first lady as his soul mate. also donald trump loves to pick fights with people. like black rappers, like football players, like fbi agents, like journalists. but he's yet to pick a fight with the russians who messed up our election. he's yet to pick a fight with these white supremacist terrorist organization that are killing people in america. and so why do you continue to pick on certain kinds of people if you want to be. a tough guy and leave others alone. i would say that if i were a father, and i am, i would rather
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have my kid follow the example of jay-z, mistakes he's made that he's confessed to and improved his life than to base his life on someone like donald trump who makes the same mistake and never improves. >> my conversation with van jones. let's talk about the president's twitter war with jay-z and his state of the union with my panel. also with me is ryan liz is a lizza. really it's only been a one-way street. it's the president who sent out his tweet as far as we know jay-z has not responded via tweet. two days away before the first state of the union for this president. and this took top priority for him. why? >> well, there's the trump of prepared speeches that we'll see on tuesday that are sort of
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written by the people around pim and are often in the business of protecting from himself and then there's the trump of his interviews and tweets, where he has no unventilated thoughts. so i think he's doing what trump always does. he sees an interview. it personally offends him. and had e reacts. it's only one way so far. jay-z is being the bigger person and i thought his comments were fairly nuanced to be honest. the criticism from trump was inaccurate. i think what he criticized the interview for was that conversation happened between van and jay-z. they talked about whether trump deserved some credit for african-american unemployment. he took a conversation ask
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launched an attack that didn't reflect what happened in the interview itself. >> so then the president presumably will have a state of the union script speech and we know the president sometimes likes to deviate or inject a couple personal thoughts even when he does have a speech. so the state of the union, what is likely to be his primary focus? immigration, infrastructure or might he even make some references similar to how he did via tweet? >> the answer is, fred, all of the above. so you'll have the state of the union and the state of the twitter union. it may come a little before or preempt whatever he says, but there is no rb why today instead of having this segment on policy matters about the state of our nation, we're talking about
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jay-z. and it's an important conversation to have. any time that trump brings up race, we could have talked about what the presidency is going to do looking ahead. i think you'll see a lot of programs. i u have gotten some briefings on the white house from immigration. you kind of have to listen as to what's new. trump gave a pretty straight forward speech in february 201. a month after he was inaugurate ed. he got through davos in a standard speech. . i just think when we look at this as the first draft of history tuesday it may not matter as much as other speeches and tweets. we are just in a new era. so i'm not thinking this might be one for the history books because other things the president does may matter more. >> so ryan, it's cob feint versus self-restraint.
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>> absolutely. the thing i will be look for is does he lay out, as the white house has started to do, a comprehensive deal that democrats might be interested in on immigration reform. it's bedevilled barack obama and gloria borger a george wush. the two parties have is not been able to get it done. you have an interesting die mallic where you have three moving parts with immigration. you have the chamber of commerce business wing. you had the democrats who largely wanted to take care of undocumented immigrants who were here and wanted a pathway to citizenship for them and you had the hard core restrictionists on the right, who basically have always scuttled the deal, but
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have never been the principle players at the table. now in the white house, that faction is represented by. the president so we'll see if that makes the thing r more difficult or the key to unlocking a big comprehensive deal. that's what i'll be watching for if he lays something out that gets both parties there. >> there will be a global audience, but we also understand in the audience of the chambers will be absent many members of congress. and i understand you have done some reporting and uncovered at least one more name adding to the list of those who will not be there. >> a democrat from the north side of chicago and the northern suburbs told me that she is going to boycott the speech. she doesn't want to normalize the presidency of donald trump.
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that's a decision that she made not to be there. what's interesting is that democrats in the house and senate are divided on this. so one of the things we'll be watching for tuesday is who comes, who doesn't, who is going to bring guests, and what will they symbolize. who will be wearing black. one other quick point to make. this is an issue to a lot of bugd hard liners. if trump comes in and says he wants $25 billion, it's for the wall and other border security measures. when a proposal is made, does he want -- if he's asking congress for that one appropriation, one year, he's going to get trouble on the right flank. st usually not done that way. >> it's interesting that the rebuttal and i guess the logic behind that choice. the kennedys noticeably known as baa ram ters of morality and
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might that be the infremperence going on here. >> the person who gives the response, that job is sort of like the drummer in spinal tap. it seems like a great job at the time but it's just an impossible thing to do. no politician has really pulled off a response to the state of the union in a way that truly enhanced them. just because your going up against the president at the peek of his powers speaking before congress. >> it can really sink. i wish them the best of luck. >> hopefully he doesn't have the reaching for the glass of water. >> there will be a rubio moment. thank you so much to both of
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you. cnn will have live coverage of president's first state of the yun op. it kicks off at 5:00 p.m. eastern.
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another shutdown showdown looming. a spending deal to keep can the government funded before the dead line. . members of both parties are emphasizing a need to compromise ahead of a meeting by the so-called common sense coalition. we have the wall. we need to repair the wall. we need to do whatever we can to secure the borders. we had $42 billion of expepdtures to secure america with that piece of legislation in 2013. but also there was a pathway to citizenship for 11 million people. now if you want to go big,
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that's big. if you're beginning it go medium or small, we have to decide. you can't have big on one end of it and then also medium or small in the other. i think that's what we're trying to figure out. and i'll work with susan collins, our common sense coalition is going to be the grounding, if if you will, of what will pass or what can move through the senate. we're going to meet monday night and start over again trying to find that commonality and there's no way anyone should be considering anymore of a shutdown, even talking the nonses of a shutdown. let's get down to business and fix it. we can do it. >> we're going to be meeting this week. our common sense coalition to take a look at the four pillars that the white house has put out there. i think all of us realize that it's going to take a compromise on this issue for us to get something done and to protect the dreamer population, which is certainly a goal of mine. i think the president is right about borders security. that we do need to beef up our
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border security. >> let's bring in cnn lit mr. call commentator and adviser for the trump campaign jack kingston and a democratic strategist and former consultant for the department of homeland security. good to see you both. >> good to be here. >> so sounds like this common sense coalition will put everything on the table to try to avoid a shutdown. but you also heard the operative word compromise. do you see that happening? >> i see it happening and i think that there have been these small coalitions like the graham-durbin that have never gotten more than ten people on board. particularly when you look at the prospects in the house, it's necessary to have a come ppromi. and the president on thursday laid it out there in terms of border security. and address 1.8 million dreamers and end in a lottery. i think some of that is going to be easy.
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i think the border security, there's a lot of common ground. people can get to. it's going to be difficult. what kind of documentation would you use. because as you know, daca recipients are a small bracket of the dreamers and it does have a dead line. you had to qualify it a certain date. that's where the big debate is going to lie. >> so we have seen the president t torpedo immigration reform before. what do you anticipate this go around? >> you never know with donald trump. one thing to remind ourselves, we're a nation of immigrants built on religious freedom. a friend of mine wrote this great book called there goes the neighborhood. he said immigration is not just a political issue, it's a cultural issue. there are people that are afraid of this. i want to remind all of us that where i'm from became a minority state in 2004. almost 14 years ago.
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we have had the best economy, created the most jobs dmt last 14 years and if we build this wall and make sure that nobody ever gets in to cut off all immigration, by 2044, they will tell you that this country will look like texas. so this fear monogerg is going to cost a great deal in the election. >> you talk about the four pillars and the president already laying those things out. and the president also intimating there will be a pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million many within his base have already balked at that and been very critical. might that also be kind of a spring board who the president may change his mind at the last minute on that. >> the president said at the bipartisan meeting he will sign what congress sends to them. so i actually think that the
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president has a lot of flexibility in it. you can say that critically that you don't know what he wants, but i think the fact that he's not approaching it in a rigid manner i think that's an indication to congress he wants both parties to sit down and hammer something out. i want to emphasize that you're not talking about 1.8 million people because you allow the nuclear family to migrate in and so you really talk about 3 million people, even more than that perhaps. and that's where the debate is going to be. how do you define who that's going to be and how will it play with the base groups. the democrats might not feel like it's enough. and it is something with 3 million people is a lot of folks. we all have to admit that's why the democrats are pushing this to begin with. >> so some democrats are still very angry, very salty that
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there wasn't something that could be cemented in for dreamers the last go around. and are a little nervous about the february 8th dead line. it really may come down to the march dead line. what do you believe? >> it's an artificial dead line the president set up for march 5th. the president also said in that meeting he's willing to take the heat. he would take the heat from both sides if a compromise were put together. so if the senators are looking to put a country back together, are looking for a stronger economy, one way is to do a comprehensive immigration reform. i think some compromise can put together in the senate. when you get to the house, it's not going to go anywhere. so this 2018 election should serve as a reminder a lot of the members of congress that are in the house that they need to do something. they are going to need to step up and work with democrats to
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pass some kind of a compromise. the voters will remember this. >> good to see you both. thank you so much. coming up, a renewed interest to protect special counsel robert mueller after it came to light the president w t wanted to fire him last year. >> it certainly wouldn't hurt to put that extra safeguard in place given the latest stories. >> the idea lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are proposing to shield mueller from the president, next. so we sent that sample i doff to ancestry. i was from ethnically. my ancestry dna results are that i am 26% nigerian. i am just trying to learn as much as i can about my culture. i put the gele on my head and i looked into the mirror and i was trying not to cry. because it's a hat, but it's like the most important hat i've ever owned. discover the story only your dna can tell.
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sources tell cnn democrats will try to protect robert mueller from being fired by the president. the news follows reports that the president attempted to fire him last june. a congressional aid says democrats will seek to attach protections from mueller to the upcoming spending negotiations. some key republicans and democrats seemed open to the idea. >> it probably wouldn't hurt for us to pass one of those bills. there are some constitutional issues with those bills, but it wouldn't hurt to put that extra safeguard in place given the latest stories. but again, i have told the deputy attorney general he would do what ie i-told him to do. >> there's a process he would have to go through. he would be the first person that i would think if there's going to be some movement if that direction where they are going to go first and i think
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that would give us time to move and act if we need to. i hope it doesn't come to that. >> i will do whatever it takes to make sure that mr. mueller can do his job. we're a rule of law nation. we're going to be a rule of law nation after trump. i haven't yet seen evidence of collusion between president trump and the russians, but the investigation needs to go forth without dplit political interference. we're not going to stop looking at the president because he claim "the new york times" was fake news. we're not going to convict him based on a news article. i u think mr. mueller is the perfect guy to get to the bottom of all this and he will. i think my job among others is to give him the space to do it. i intend to do that. i have legislation protecting mr. mueller and i'll be glad to pass it tomorrow. >> the panel is joining me. good to see you all.
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so there are two bipartisan senate bills out there that would make it more difficult perhaps for the president to fire robert mueller. so ryan, do either of these bills really have a chance into making it into law. >> i mean, maybe. there are budget negotiations required democratic votes to pass the senate and perhaps even the house. so the democrats do have some leverage. i think one thing we have learned from both trump's inability to fire mueller, he apparently tried to do it and he backed off because his white house counsel threatened to quit. and the tact that several leading republicans have said that doing that would be a serious red line. there aren't that many constraints on donald trump. we have seen him do things that other presidents wouldn't do. in this case with mueller, it does seem like the politics of firing mueller have led to
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constraining him. he understood that it would be so damaged to his presidency, so damaging to the republican party it's a red line he justen won't cross. a lot of democrats are going to say there's never been a red line that donald trump didn't cross. we need this legislative fix. but i think this is a rare case he's political constrained in doing something he wanted to do. >> so at the core here is trust, or lack thereof, but how is congress saying that it doesn't trust him l on the investigation, but it might trust him on advancing his agenda or getting behind certain components of his agenda? >> that's because congress is one of three partners that have to advance government budgets and agendaing. when you ask when we're trying to handicap this, it depends when in the sequence this it would come up. so would democrats trade this tr dreamer protections, no. could it be part of an
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infrastructure bill, yes. and it would have to come to the republicans control everything. first you'd have to get tremendous buy in from the leadership to even know if this thing had any point to passage at all. and that depends on the behavior of the president and the people around him. >> if you're bob mueller or a member of the team, what kind of protections are you putting in place not waiting for congress to perhaps put protections in place, but what are you doing to protect the investigation just in case the president were to try to behead the investigation. >> first and foremost, there's been a great deal of operational security around the mueller investigation. there's been very little information that's come out. they know about what he's doing. that's a good place to start in terms of protection but we were talking about rule of law and that's the greatest single protection. in this country, we take rule of law for granted. but in a place like russia,
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which are the ones that started this whole thing. the rule of law is meaningless and the president can do whatever he wants. that's something that in our system is needs to be protected against which is why we're having this conversation. >> so two day was from the state of the union, we know that immigration is going to be to of mind. but might this be an opportunity where the president says for the first time publicly in a very big way that he would be behind a probe that would help protect democracy against russia or any other adversarial kocountry potentially interfering in elections come 2018. >> i don't think he would say it that way because i u don't think it's in his dna. then he would have to explain what he meant, which is i'm saying this but everybody knows i'm not a target or whatever the language we have heard him say. he would go.
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off into some deep pit of rabbit hole of explaining no matter what was written for him. what he could do, now that you brought it up, they say that he's going to work for election security in 2018. he could maybe call for a renewal of the election commission he created that had to be disbanded because of the super partisan way that they went about their work. so he could find a pack door way of bring iing up what they are talking about. >> it could be an opportunity for the president to look less like he's trying to hide something instead of saying it's fake news or there's no corroboration. might this be an opportunity for the president? >> it would be an opportunity, but there's just nothing in the list of how he's dealt with this issue that suggests that he wants any action on this. i think it's a tragedy because the house investigation and the house intelligence committee has descended into partisanship. i don't think the final report
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is going to be what the country e deserves in the senate some of the committees looking into this are a little more promising and the mueller investigation frankly is a criminal probe. it's not his job to come up with a comprehensive take on what would happen in 2016. and frankly i think the american people is going to be left with none of the final answers of what happened in 2016 and going forward what the government needs to do to make sure there's no meddling, collusion in the future. and to look to donald trump to suddenly take the lead on this issue, that would be incredibly news worthy and would be the opposite of everything e we know about him and his view on this issue so far. >> what's the law enforcement community and fbi need to hear from this president? >> did we lose audio with steve?
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it happens. frozen in time there. thank you so much. i proesappreciate it. today marks an official day of prayer in the kentucky community that's been reeling since last week's deadly school shooting. details on the investigation and what we're learning about the shooter, next. how can you make your hair even stronger?
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marshal county is in mourning z at funerals for the victims of the deadly school shoot rg held today. the community is observing an official day of prayer declared gi the governor in honor of the two young victims. we are live in benton, kentucky. this has to be an extremely hard day for so many there. >> reporter: it is, fred. we just saw a caravan of jeeps and suvs heading to the high
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school where they will be escorting people to the burial site. i spoke to the father of one of preston's pal bearers as he explained the emotions his son is feeling. a baseball teammate of preston's, a neighbor of his where his son feels tremendous guilt that his friend's life was taken and his was spared. those e emotions that many students of the high school are grappling with at this time. last night at the high school, it was an opportunity to celebrate the lives of preston and bailey holt. hundreds if not thousands of people filled that gym and the line poured out into the parking lot of the gym as people waited hours to pay their respects to the families. the scene inside that gymnasium, a stark contrast to the basketball games and pep rallies that students are accustomed to seeing there. there was two kochbss with the
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families standing against them. pictures of the students and as well as standing floral sprays surrounding the gym floor. as these two families lay their 15-year-old children to rest today, we're learning more about the life of bailey holt and the way that these families are finding strength and comfort through this difficult time as bailey's aunt told us. >> when the shots began, she made a call to her mom. of course, we assumed she intended to tell her mother the catastrophic events unfolding. unfortunately, it was too late for she was taken tr this earth. by the time her mother answered the phone, bailey was gone. >> bailey's family finding comfort in the final moments because they have since learned that bailey did not suffer. her aunt also told us more of the simple girl who loved to live in jeans and is sweatshirts
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and converse sneakers ask grew up in a family full of university of louisville fans. she was buried earlier today she was laid to rest wearing a louisville sweatshirt. >> heartbreaking. caylee, thank you so much. we'll be right back. [man] woah. ugh, i don't have my wallet, so -
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a mother and daughter are suing a school district for promoting prayer and christianity in schools. it's a case that is dividing the small religious community in the heart of trump country. here's cnn's nick valencia.
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>> even though i walk through the darkest valley, i fear no evil. for you are with me because the lord is is my shepard. wow, that's straight from heaven to you. that's what the lord is saying today. it's good stuff. >> reporter: greg lee grew up in louisiana. he's a banker by profession, but like most in the parish, he sees himself more as a servant of god. >> it's the foundation of who we are. that's why we live in this area and why we are here. it's because it's at the foundation of who i want to be. >> the imprint is is undenial. just look at its downtown which rests at the intersection of seven churches. god in prayer is a fundamental part of the community. even in that means it shows up in the halls of public schools. just like any other school here in webster parish, the students start with the pledge of allegiance.
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it's whey what they afterwards. resite krooe reciting christian prayers. after christmas break, that stopped. >> whenever i sat down for the players, i could just feel every pair of eyes on me. >> reporter: this 17-year-old grew up a christian but says years of being pressured to pray in class has made her lose fa h faith. in the school district she says there's no getting away. god is everywhere. >> football games they have prayers. our pep rallies, they have prayers in them. any sort of ceremony. >> reporter: last month she was pushed by her mom to sue the school over religious indoctrination. the aclu is representing them. the district declined to comment, but in the court response, they deny some claims and admit to others saying, quote, a voluntary student-led prayer was delivered in the morning at lakeside. the school denies actions were unlawful or unconstitutional.
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>> for somebody like me and some of my friends i know, it just kind of feels like it does feel like a church. >> when you walk into a classroom and you see what a change, pray. read the bible, doesn't it feel like that? >> reporter: she's an agnostic living in the heart of america's bible belt, president trump's base. he's worked hard to show evangelicals he's in their corner. to explaining first amendment rights on the heels of the lawsuit, the louisiana state attorney general co-authored a document here in district eyesight of a painting of moses flanked by the scales of justice and a christian bible. >> god has a place in everyone's hearts. >> even in public school? >> in everyone's hearts. >> at the core of webster parish are the long standing christian believes. believes he's willing to fight for, not just for the soul of webster parish, but for the soul
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of america. >> if you begin to tell me that my children do not have the right to pray in school, that's an attack upon the relationship that i have with my god. they dare anyone to break. nick valencia, louisiana. >> thank you for being with me today. up next is anna cabrera after this. directv has been rated number one in customer satisfaction over cable for 17 years running. but some people still like cable. just like some people like pre-shaken sodas. having their seat kicked on an airplane. being rammed by a shopping cart. sitting in gum. and walking into a glass door. but for everyone else, there's directv. for #1 rated customer satisfaction over cable, switch to directv and get a $200 reward card.
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i'm ana cabrera in new york. president trump in a fresh battle of words this weekend. not with the political rival.
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he is today's beef is one of the best selling musician of all time. it's with jay-z. he appeared on cnn lst night. the first guest on the new van jones show. . he was critical of president trump's opinion of african countries. he talked about why black americans usually vote for democrats and discussed ub employment in the black community. the president responded. first here's jay-z. >> it's not about money at the end of the day. money is not e equating to happiness. that's missing the whole point. you treat people like human beings. and then that's the main point. you can't treat someone -- it goes back to the whole thing. treat me bad and pay me well. it's not going to lead to happiness. it's going to lead to, again, the same thing. everyone is going to be sick. >> the

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