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tv   CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield  CNN  February 25, 2018 11:00am-12:00pm PST

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that's 168 letters in 21 words. the locals don't use the official name much, of course, but only foreigners call the city bangkok. thais usuallily call it cruntae which means the city of angels. from the american city of angels this week, i will see you next week. hello, everyone. thanks so much for joining me. i'm fredricka whitfield in new york today. it's been nearly two weeks since the mass shooting in parkland, florida and since more questions than answers as pressure mounts on washington to do something to prevent another tragedy like this from happening. congress will get back to work tomorrow on capitol hill, and students of marjory stoneman douglas high school also set to return this week as classes resume on wednesday. meanwhile, a brand new cnn poll showing president trump's approval rating matching the
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lowest level of his presidency. the same poll also reveals a dramatic rise in support for tighter gun laws following the parkland, florida massacre. support for stricter gun laws now stands at 70%. that is the highest level in 25 years. next hour stone mman douglas hi school hosts an open house for students and parents. also, new questions surfacing over the multiple red flags missed along with the immediate response in florida. coral springs sources say that when their city's police officers arrived, they found not just the school resource officer but three other broward county sheriff's deputies who had not yet entered the school. broward county sheriff scott israel denied those reports today on cnn's state of the union. >> i'm also told by sources in coral springs that coral springs police who arrived at the scene
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saw that three other broward deputies were standing behind cars, not having gone into the building. what can you tell me about that? >> well, let me be perfectly clear. our investigation to this point shows that during this horrific attack while this killer was inside the school, there was only one law enforcement person, period, and that was our former deputy scott peterson. coral springs arrived, a group of coral springs officers went in within i think about four minutes, we're projecting, after the killer left the campus. i understand that they're going to give statements to us regarding the other three, four, five deputies. at this point we have no reason to believe that anyone acted incorrectly or correctly. that's what an investigation is is. everybody is entitled to their own opinion, but nobody is entitled to their own set of facts. we do know, jake, that deputy
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peterson at the time uttered -- he disseminated information over the police radio. we don't know why those -- what those deputies heard. perhaps they did something by what they heard from peterson, and that will be, you know, outlined in interviews. we'll get to the truth. but at this point one deputy was remiss, dereliction of duty, and he's now no longer with this agency. >> you say that because during the time this shooter was in the school, peterson was the only one there. but you know that because of security cameras, this is after the fact. when did your deputies, not peterson or the others, when did they arrive on the scene? because coral springs police say when coral springs arrived, there were broward deputies there in addition to peterson. >> i don't dispute that, but that is an active investigation.
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we have not taken statements yet from the coral springs officers. we found out, i believe, five or six days ago from their police chief that he told one of our colonels about the information. we're going to be taking statements from those coral springs police officers, then we're going to be speaking with our deputies if any deputies are alleged to have dereliction of duty, we'll look into that. we don't know what deputies heard on the radio. coral springs and the broward sheriff's office, we have different radio systems. we don't know what one was hearing vis-a-vis what the other was hearing. all i can tell you is we will investigate every action of our deputies, of their supervisors, and if they did things right, we'll move forward. if they did things wrong, i will take care of business in a disciplinary manner like i did peterson. >> just so people watching at home understand, even after the shooter left the school, there was a period of time where nobody was going into the
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school, no law enforcement officers, people were bleeding out. nobody knew that the shooter had left the school, so officers needed to go in. one of the things that we've heard, and i don't know if this is true or not, i hope you can shed some light on it, is that there might have been a stand-down order. somebody on the radio telling broward deputies not to enter the school until a swat team arrived. what can you tell us about that? >> i can't tell you anything about that. i haven't heard that. as i said, we feverishly are dissecting. it's a voluminous investigation. by the way, jake, the focus of this agency is on the successful prosecution of the killer. so we're doing that. our detectives have worked tirelessly. we will investigate all aspects of this case. we will look at all the actions or inactions of every single deputy and leader on our agency. sergeants, lieutenants, captains
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and we'll make some decisions. but right now all i can tell you is, during the killing, there was -- while the killer was on campus with this horrific killing, there was one deputy, one armed person within the proximity of that school, and that was peterson. >> 18 calls were made to the broward county sheriff's office related to the shooter prior to the shooting. let's talk about them. in february 2016, your office received a call that the shooter made a threat on instagram to shoot up a school. one of your deputies responded, and according to your records released, the information was forwarded to deputy peterson at the school. what, if anything, was done with that information? >> i'm not sure if anything was done with that information. i do know as far as notifying the person or notifying either palm beach sheriff's office or one of the local jurisdictions, depending on where the killer was living at the time. but peterson did, i think,
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report cruz to dcf, if i'm not mistaken. he did receive medicine, he did get medical treatment. and as i said, of those 18 calls, two of those calls are being -- 16 of them, we believe, were handled exactly the way they should. two of them we're not sure if our deputies did everything they could have or should have. that's not to say they didn't, that's not to say they did. >> are you really not taking any responsibility for the multiple red flags that were brought to the attention of the broward sheriff's office about this shooter before the incident, whether it was people near him, close to him, calling the police on him -- >> jake, i can only take responsibility for what i knew about. i exercised my due diligence, i've given amazing leadership to this agency -- >> amazing leadership? >> yes, jake. there is a lot of things we've done throughout. you don't measure a person's
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leadership by a deputy not going into -- these deputies received the training they needed -- >> maybe you measure somebody's leadership by whether or not they protect the community. in this case you've listed 23 incidents before the shooting involving the shooter and still nothing was done to keep guns out of his hands, to make sure that the school was protected to make sure you were keeping an eye on him. your deputy failed. i don't know how you can sit there and claim amazing leadership. >> jake, on 16 of those cases, our deputies did everything right. our deputies have done amazing things. we've taken this -- five years i've been sheriff, we've taken the broward sheriff's office to a new level. i work with some of the bravest people i've ever met. one person -- at this point one person didn't do what he should have done. it's horrific. the victims here, the families, i pray for them every night. it makes me sick to my stomach
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that we had a deputy that didn't go in. i know if i was there, if i was on that wall, i would have been the first in, along with so many of the other people. >> we have florida state representative boca sent a letter asking them to remove you for incompetence and negligence of duty. d an investigation by sheriff israel into the unfathomable inaction of these deputies will do nothing to bring back the 17 victims. the sheriff was fully aware of the threat this individual presented to his community and chose to ignore it? are you going to resign? >> i will not be resigning. his letter was full of misinformation. i talked about all the mistakes that hager made in his letter. it was a shamefully, politically motivated letter that had no facts and, of course, i won't
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resign. >> the last question, sir. do you think that if the broward sheriff's office had done things differently, this shooting might not have happened? >> listen, if ifs and butts were candy and nuts, o.j. simpson would still be in the record books. >> i don't know what that means. there's 17 dead people and a whole long list of things your department could have done differently. >> that's after action reports. that's what lessons learned reports are for. i have entered information of chuck wechsler of the research forum. they will be coming to town to do an independent after-action lessons-learned report. we understand everything wasn't done perfectly. if it happened in los angeles, chicago, every other city, every person wouldn't have performed perfectly. do i believe that if scott peterson went into that building there was a chance he could have neutralized the killer and saved
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lives? yes, i believe that. but as far as anything else done at this point, i can't say that. >> all right, that interview of scott israel, the sheriff of broward county this morning with jake althoutapper. lots to talk about here. james guliano is with me now. james, let's talk about the police response to this shooting. israel says as far as he knew, there was one officer there. unclear why he said in his interview with jake that he didn't know why that officer didn't go in. what strikes you with this interview? >> first of aushlll, fred, kudo jake tapper. i watched that full interview this morning and jake tested power. i understand that jake runs a large department, and to say that the inactivity or inaction of one person -- it goes back to the culture, the leadership
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culture. and i'm sorry, the book of proverbs, pride goeth before the fall. i listened to the sheriff deflect all those questions and not take responsibility for this. it was one deputy there that did not enter and go to the sound of the guns. fred, what we have learned post columbine, april of 1999, in the tactile resolution business of which i was a member for 25 years, you go to the sound of the guns. you don't wait any longer for a homogeneous group of folks to get there. you put together whoever you have and you go and try to interrupt the killing. that didn't happen here. >> he says as far as he knows, there was not a stand-down type of order that might have come. if there were a stand-down order and that would explain why officers didn't go in, who would that come from? >> it depends. at that level -- again, the sheriff is elected, okay, so it's one of the few law enforcement positions you're actually elected, you're not appointed. in this instance it could have
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been a sergeant or lieutenant. they're going to get to the bottom of that. and i think that's a distraction because that school resource officer -- listen, school resource officers, i'm certainly not going to malign all of them. generally speaking, those aren't your most aggressive -- those aren't folks out there making arrests on the street. those are folks who are generally speaking, generally speaking, toward the end of their career or close to retirement or want a job that's 8:00 to 3:00 where there's not a lot of action. i don't know this school resource officer. the fact he had a bullet-proof vest on and, the fact that he was loaded with a sidearm, and i don't care if that didn't equate to an ar-15. he should have gone in there when he heard the shots and that's dereliction of duty. >> and that's what the sheriff said, dereliction of duty, that's why he's not here. but there are a lot of gaps based on what we heard from the sheriff. what's interesting or what's peculiar about the sequence he unraveled there that strikes you as, you know, troubling about
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the events of response to what was happening there? >> everyone is entitled to due process. in our system of justice, this deputy is entitled to due process. the sheriff has already come out on record, though, and said this individual did not do what he was supposed to do. the sheriff appeared last week at a cnn town hall which was widely watched. all of us watched it. and the pious sanctimony there when some of his deputies failed to do their duty. >> he said he didn't have the full picture and it would be following the town hall he would make that public. you don't buy that? would that have been the forum in which to reveal that? >> his argument was he didn't get a chance to reach out to all the family members. then you don't take the pio pious sanctimonious position
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that he did. and as a former law enforcement professional, i call b.s. on that. that's a point where you step back and don't stick your neck out in a pious, sanctimonious way. they came out and said, we made some mistakes, we need to get to the bottom of this. but call it what it is, sheriff. don't get out there when you know your office didn't do what they were supposed to do. >> what would you do if your sergeant israel? >> if i were him, i would resign tomorrow. but if the people speak and elect for him not to resign, he gets to stay.
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>> this was outlined in a letter of incompetence. was he incompetent? >> he said if i was the sheriff there, i would have gone in. i'm not questioning his bravery, i'm not questioning his service. and the deputies at the broward county sheriff's department are brave folks. what that one deputy did was unconscionable. unfortunately, when you are the face, you are the culture, he established a culture in that investigation, and you don't do anything to protect 17 lost souls, children. i'm sorry, the buck stops here, harry truman. >> we'll leave it right here. thanks very much. still ahead, accountability in parkland. sheriff israel says he's not stepping down. this after a florida representative is calling on his governor to remove the broward county sheriff. i'll speak with that state representative next hour.
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after weeks of back and forth, the house intelligence committee finally releases a memo refuting claims of the fbi overreaching. the newly redacted memo was penned by the committee's top democrat, adam schiff. it disputes claims by the chairman republican devin nunes. specifically it lays out how the fbi did not hide known political ties to the infamous steele dossier of then-candidate donald trump and russia. the nunes memo sought to undermine the legitimacy of a fisa warrant that the fbi obtained to spy on former trump campaign adviser carter page and claimed political bias by the fbi. that was in the nunes memo. this morning congressman adam schiff denied that assertion. >> the information that was used in part in the fisa application came from a trusted source, christopher steele, someone who
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is a respected member of british intelligence, and it was part of a full package that was presented to the fisa court and it would have been negligent, frankly, given what the fbi knew about carter page, the history that he had, the fact he had been a target of russian recruitment even prior to this, the fact they went out and interviewed him in march, even before christopher steele produced any part of the so-called dossier that they were acting in good faith and disclosed to the fisa court that those who were funding christopher steele's work likely had a political motivation. >> all right, in an interview last night, president trump seemed to downplay this new democratic response and then took aim at its author. >> well, all you do is you see this adam schiff. he has a meeting and he leaves the meeting and he calls up reporters, and then all of a sudden they have news and you're not supposed to do that. it's probably illegal to do it, he'll have a committee meeting and he'll leak all sorts of information. you know, he's a bad guy.
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but certainly the memo was a nothing. >> joining me now to unravel all of this, if possible, cnn political analyst amy porens and political reporter shimon prokupecz. is it a big deal? >> it is a big deal. we get a look at the process the fbi went to get this fisa. it's incredibly secret. so they would have been opposed to any of this coming out. with the democratic memo we learned there is a lot more information despite the dossier the fbi had when they went to the fisa court.
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this was a dossier approved by four judges. the fbi had important information outside the dossier they supplied to the court. and i thought this was a pretty big deal, that the fbi opened sub-inquiries to a number of trump campaign associates. so while all this was going on, the fbi was also looking at other trump associates in this collusion investigation. >> after the memo was released, president trump lashed out on twitter, calling the democrats' memo a, quote, total political and legal bust and saying, it's, quote, so illegal. so shimon, is this an issue of legality? >> if you talk to anyone at the fbi who has been looking at this, has been dealing with this, they'll tell you this is all about politics. it's why the republican memo was put out there. certainly people there at the fbi, investigators, people in the intelligence community felt it was out there to discredit some of the work that the fbi was doing on the russia
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investigation, which is now in the hands of bob mueller and his team and the fbi agents that are working there. whether it's a legality issue or not, everyone sees this for what it is, and it's all political. >> so we've heard congressman schiff defend the release of the memo. but the president in one tweet calling the congressman a, quote, total phony, to which the congressman responded, wait a minute, mr. president. am iphonei phony, sleazy, a monr little? surely you know the key to a good playground nickname is consistency. i thought you were supposed to be good at this. the fight on twitter doesn't interrupt the mueller probe, because that's the big backdrop in all of this, isn't it? >> it really is. what's interesting about this is people are kind of taking sides here, either you're on this side or that side. but the mueller probe, that train is going and it's gone.
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mueller keeps chipping away, chip, chip, chip, at various elements. you have rick gates now coming out and how that will play out, if he will actually help turn paul manafort. if he will lead to other officials. he was in touch with campaign officials all along the entire campaign, so what he knows is valuable to the mueller team, and something is brewing there. i think we'll find out pretty soon what it is. >> when the president lashes out about this to the memo after all of this time in contrast to the immediate release of the republican memo is an indicator, perhaps, that the president is a bit worried? >> i think so. the white house keeps saying, we're not worried, there is no collusion here, there's nothing to see here. but i think the fact that mueller does, you know, keep finding these things and bringing gates on board and -- every day there is something else, there's another drop in the water. so i think that has to be worrisome to a lot of trump
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campaign officials and white house officials right now, you know, as this kind of dark cloud looms over them and they're not able to push through it. >> amy, thank you so much. appreciate it. coming up, more than a dozen companies are cutting ties with the nra in the wake of the school shooting. what effect will this have on the gun lobby? lawmakers heading back to congress this week. mvo: you're not doing work to help somebody, you're gaining something from meeting mr. adderley.
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stoneman douglas high school will now open to parents. they are forcing the gun control debate to take center stage and president trump is breaking from the national rifle association on a key value. >> perhaps we'll do something, you know, on age, because it doesn't seem to make sense that you have to wait until you're 21 years old to get a pistol, but to get a gun like this maniac used in the school, you get that at 18. that doesn't make sense. >> so raising the age limit. now listen to nra spokeswoman dana loche's response to those comments this morning. >> he wants to raise that minimum age. will the nra back that? >> the nra has made their position incredibly clear, the 500 members have made their position incredibly clear. >> that's a no. >> i want to caution because i know people are trying to find
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daylight between president trump and 5 million gun-owning law abiders in the united states. i think it's great as president he had all these individuals, all these constituents come into the white house. he's really looking for solutions. he wanted to hear what they had to say and that's what he's doing. so far nothing has been proposed yet, the nra has made their position clear. >> let's make it clear you do not want to raise the age? >> that's correct. >> and now the nra is defending themselves against pushback by north america. many companies are cutting ties with the nra saying in part, some corporations have decided to punish nra membership in a shameful display of political and civic cowardice. the loss of a discount will neither scare nor distract one single nra member from our
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mission to stand and defend the individual freedoms that have always made america the greatest nation in the world, end quote. joining me now, writer of the "new york times." will people withdrawing their membership have any impact on the nr snarks. >> i think it will show harder for these companies to be associated with the nra since the nra said these are discounts a lot of companies have give forngiven for lower prices on things. these are things that will not be available anymore. it's not going to affect the nra's own finances because most contributions the nra gets are from gun manufacturers and they're not quite at the stage where they're baling out on this organization quite yet.
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>> so often money the bottom line makes an impact. but as you said, members would not be able to benefit from a discount from any number of those companies by virtue of being an nra member. so how do you see these corporations making an impact, then? >> i think in the past a lot of these corporations have made the calculation that it's worth having access to nra members in the same way that some hotels would give discounts for being auto club members or being members of aarp. they get a relationship with these members. it doesn't cost them much, usually a minor discount. but i think now a lot of companies are seeing that maybe it's more socially unacceptable to be associated with the national rifle association than it used to be, and it's just not worth the trouble to have that association, so they're withdrawing these discounts, they're asking that their names be removed from the nra
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membership, come-ons from the nra website and they're going their own way. i think that really indicates that the nra's standing among the public seems to be declining. >> but the nra says they'll just replace it with companies that are willing to associate themselves with the nra. how easy will that be? >> well, it's hard to say. i think we're seeing a lot of pushback on social media against companies that have these relationships or that are keeping these relationships while their competitors are removing them. res we see a lot of comments on twitter and other social media. federal express, for example, is getting a lot of criticism for not ending its relationship with the nra, while ups and other mail companies are pulling away. so i think every one of these companies is going to look at this and say, is it really worth
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the candle to maintain this relationship that's coming under fire, so to speak, from the public? >> martin hilsik, thank you very much. appreciate your time. coming up, south korea says the u.s. and north korea should hold talks soon. this is both a north and south signal. their willingness to build a better relationship. what the trump administration has to say about all of that, next. and prevent the recurrence of the original disease. i never felt i was going to die. we know so much about transplantation. and we're living longer. you cannot help but be inspired by the opportunities that a transplant would offer. my donor's mom says "you were meant to carry his story".
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at the state capitol building in charleston, a reference to the state's 55 counties taking part in the strike. cnn's polo sandoval joining us from charleston, west virginia. polo, this is a massive statewide strike. bring us up to speed on it. >> reporter: fred, this has been mounting pressure that teachers have been trying to put on state legislators and governor jim justice as well. so far the main argument here is that the state's teachers want better pay, they want better benefits and also they've been protesting against what they believe is harmful legislation here. so far the governor has responded, recognizing in a statement that, yes, teachers are underpaid, particularly here in west virginia that ranks 48 out of 50 when it comes to the salary of teachers. and so far his response has been a pay increase that he signed last wednesday, which was about 4% over the next three years. but you hear from the the teachers in their united call,
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and they say that is simply just not enough. some teachers we've heard from have had to take up a second job just to try to make ends meet here. that is simply a concern here. they've been out of class already for the last two school days and they're already planning, as you said, to be out of the classroom yet again tomorrow instead of planning to come here to the steps of the capitol in charleston or perhaps protest in their communities. so what does this mean for the state's roughly 277,000 students? well, they get to stay home so far. yes, there have been preparations here, the unions have spoken out saying they even sent some of the kids home with food to be able to last out -- to be able to actually endure this protest that's picketing. for the most part we have seen some support from parents for these teachers. this is simply an issue that both sides can agree on, that yes, it is a problem. the concern here or at least debate is about the solution, right? teachers want to see that increase in salary that has not
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happened since 2014, and they say unless they see that increase in their salary, then they just may not go back to class, at least not anymore soon. last bit of information, fred, the last time this happened was back in 1990. this picketing lasted close to two weeks. the school board planned to take this up tomorrow and we could find out, will the teachers go back to class or could they even face any legal action? tomorrow we expect some answers. >> that's a lot. polo sandoval, thank you so much in charleston. so much straight ahead in the newsroom. first we're eating our way to a healthy heart. in today's heartbeat, lisa cohen lists the top way to lower blood pressure. >> avoid eating in the processed food aisle if you want a healthy heart. >> consider starting in the produce section where you'll find plenty of fruits and evangelicvegetable
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vegetables. >> leafy greens, okra, plants, pairs and citrus fruits, high in fiber which can lower cholester cholesterol. so are beans and lentils, and of course oatmeal. add oily fish such as salmon, trout, albacore tuna into your diet. >> salmon is not only delicious but it's full of omega-3's which is really good for a healthy heart. >> and of course limit your salt intake. >> consider using herbs and spices as well as fresh lemon and vinegar to your meals. >> announcer: "heartbeat" brought to you by famous idaho potatoes. idaho potato truck. but not any more. i am done with that.
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my ci can worry about it,ine. or do something about it. garlique® helps maintain healthy cholesterol naturally. and it's odor free. and pharmacist recommended. garlique.® north korea signalling it is willing to hold talks with the u.s. the announcement coming today from south korea's president as the winter olympic games come to a close. the north korean delegation was sitting a row behind president trump's daughter ivanka who was leading the u.n. delegation at the closing ceremony. she stood and clapped for the korean teams, both north and south korea, unlike vice president pence at the opening ceremony, but the two delegations did not appear to interact. the white house a short time ago issuing a statement saying, quote, we will see if pyongyang's message today that it is willing to hold talks
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represents the first steps along the path to denuclearization. in the meantime, the united states and the world must continue to make clear that north korea's nuclear and missile programs are a dead end. cnn senior international correspondent ivan watson joining us now from the south korean capital of seoul. ivan, what can you tell us about this overture from the north koreans? >> reporter: we're hearing about it, fredricka, from the south korean government, because south korea hosting the olympics and hosting this north korean delegation, they met in the olympic city or town, village, rather, of pyeongchang hours before the closing ceremony. it's such a small town, you have to wonder where you could have had a south korean president and a north korean official delegation holding these quite serious talks. the north korean leader is a man named kim yong chol who has the
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position of being the vice chairman of the party central committee. previously he was essentially north korea's spy chief accused of being involved in deadly attacks against south korea. they had this meeting, and the south korean government then put out a statement saying the north koreans would be willing to pursue better engagement with south korea and possibly develop some kind of engagement with the rest as well. so we're hearing this from the south koreans, and we do know that at the beginning of the winter games when the u.s. vice president mike pence was leading the u.s. delegation, he had indicated that the u.s. was essentially open for some kind of meeting, and the north koreans called it off at the last minute because they didn't like pence's criticism of north korea's human rights record. so we don't know yet, is it possible that the u.s. and north korean delegations could have, in fact, met already or may be meeting in the hours ahead here
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alongside this closing ceremony? fredricka. >> then, ivan, this happening just as the president imposed the strongest sanctions yet on north korea. is there a direct correlation there? >> reporter: not clear. again, there seems to have been a missed opportunity just a few weeks ago at the beginning of the olympic games. but yes, we've now since heard that the trump administration has described this as the largest sanctions package ever against north korea. what it's really done is singled out dozens of companies and ships, one individual based in taiwan, and there seems to be an effort on cracking down on ship-to-ship transfers of, in particular, coal or oil energy supplies, and it was also published images of what were allegedly ship-to-ship transfers. what the u.s. government is alleging is that north korea has been trying to circumvent united
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nations sanction by transferring things at sea, and it published images of this, and it is trying to crack down further on that. what hasn't been made clear is whether or not military assets could be used to try to, for instance, stop some of these ships in the act, board some of these ships checked raise real issues if they happen to be russian vessels or chinese vessels or vessels from any other flag country. that's something that the u.s. trade secretary doesn't seem to be clear on yet, whether military assets could be used on a crackdown of possible further sanction i sanctioning. fredricka? >> ivan, thank you so much. we'll be right back. ie. the new serta icomfort hybrid mattress. not just sorta comfortable,
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tonight don't miss an all-new episode of the cnn series "the radical disappearance of patty hearst." >> there's no doubt that that's where they were targeting. the by-product of those bombs were other people would be killed, too. completely innocent people. but what separated them from other groups is the violence against people. they also did bombings, but they were aimed at property, not people. >> this group was not done. they had further intent to kill individuals and just create havoc. >> an all-new episode of "the
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radical story of patty hearst" airs tonight at 9:00 p.m. "cnn newsroom" starts right now. hello, everyone, and thanks so much for being with me this sunday. i'm fredricka whitfield. as of now, doors are open for teachers, parents, students and sto stoneman douglas high school. school resuming this week following that deadly shooting nearly two weeks ago claiming 17 lives. a special open house under way as students prepare for classes on wednesday. calls for action echoing across the country for congress to do something when it goes back to work tomorrow. all of this as a brand new cnn poll reveals a dramatic rise in support for tighter gun laws. 70% now say they back stric


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