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tv   CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield  CNN  February 25, 2018 12:00pm-1:00pm PST

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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 stricter gun legislation. the highest level in the last 25
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years. that's a big jump from a poll in october shortly after the mass shooting in las vegas, killing 58 people when 52% supported tighter gun laws. meanwhile, there are new questions surfacing about the multiple red flags missed about the shooter along with the immediate response. 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," but pressure is mounting on the florida governor to take action. in just the last hour, cnn has learned that 74 republican members of the florida house have asked governor rick sco scott to suspend sheriff israel. sheriff israel is fighting back,
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defending his leadership and the department. >> 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 the school was protected, to make sure you were keeping an eye on him. your deputy at the school failed. i don't see 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 -- the five years i've been sheriff, we've taken the broward county's sheriffs to a new level. i'm working with the bravest people i've ever met. 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 that we had a deputy that didn't go in. because i know if i was there, if i was on that wall, i would have been the first in along
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with so many other people. >> there are a lot of people, sir, who think there were a lot of mistakes other than that one deputy. let me ask you something else. a lot of people in the community have noted that the broward county school board entered into an agreement to pursue the least punitive means of discipline against students. this new policy included warnings, confrontations with parents instead of arresting students for crimes. were there not incidents committed by this shooter as a student, had this new policy not been in place, that otherwise he would have been arrested for and not able to legally buy a gun? >> what you're referring to is the promise program, and it's giving the school -- the school has the ability, under certain circumstances, not to call the police, not to get the police involved on misdemeanor offenses and take care of it within the school. it's an excellent program. it's helping many, many people.
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what this program does is not put a person at 14, 15, 16 years old into the criminal justice system so they can -- >> what if he does something violent to a student? what if he takes bullets to school? what if he takes knives to school? what if he threatens the lives of fellow students? >> then he goes to jail. >> that's not what happened with this shooter. >> you're telling me that the shooter took knives to school or bullets to school? >> yeah. >> and police knew about it? >> i don't know if police knew about it. i know the agreement you entered into with the school allowed the school to give this kid excuse after excuse after excuse, while obviously -- >> not for bullets, not for guns, not for knives, not for felonies, not for anything like that. these are infractions within the school, small amounts of marijuana, some misdemeanors. you're absolutely exacerbating
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it. >> their teachers at the school had been told, if you see cruz come on school with a backpack, let me know. does that not indicate that there is something seriously awry with the promise program if these teachers are being told, watch out for this kid, and you don't know about it? >> we don't know that has anything to do with the promise program. i didn't hear about this until after the fact. i have heard about this information about a week ago. i do know about it. i don't know who the teacher was. it has not been corroborated but it has nothing to do with the promise program. i can't, nor can any broward county deputy, react on something you don't know about it. there is no malfeasance if you don't know about something. >> he asked the question at the town hall of you, so you can find it if you want. representative hager asked the
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governor to remove you from service. he said, quote, an investigation by sheriff israel into the unfathomable inaction of these deputies will do nothing to before he back the 17 victims. the sheriff was fully aware of the threat this individual presented to his community and chose to ignore it. will you resign? >> i will not resign. he knows nothing about me. i wrote back to the governor and told him of the mistakes hager made in his letter. it was a shameful letter that had no facts, and of course i won't resign. >> let me bring in republican florida state representative bill hager who authored the letter the sheriff was making reference to, and in the letter you were calling for the governor to remove the broward county sheriff steve israel.
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good to see you. so make your case on why the governor should be exercising, in your letter you say the constitutional right, to remove him because of neglect of duty and incompetence. >> fred, first of all, good afternoon and good to be with you. in my letter i cite three foundations, three groundings for my proposal that the governor remove the sheriff. those are as follows. number one, the deputy embedded within the school at the time of the shooting, instead of confronting the killer, instead of carrying out his obligations and responsibilities in the most pivotal of times, apparently cowered and did not confront the killer. number two, by the coral springs
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police department said three deputies shortly after the killers were physically present at the school and were behind their vehicles with pistols drawn instead of moving immediately into the school. third, the third foundation -- again, all of this is in the release and grounded in the release, grounded in reports, is the 23 calls that have come into the sheriff's office, most disturbly. including late last year of 2017, the sheriff sum rooizmisu follows, that he was the school shooter. in my opinion, that's ground for the governor to consider removal. >> in the interview that jake
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tapper did with hager. he is disputing there were three other broward county sheriffs there. to his knowledge there was one. he also disputes that the majority of the calls made by the shooter, the suspect, that his officers carried that out in an amazing -- and he used the word "amazing" -- way. have you heard from the governor responding to your letter requesting the removal of mr. israel? >> no, i only authored it in the last 24 hours. >> and let me also ask, you know that only 74 of your office asked for the same thing. the florida constitution gives you, the governor, the power to suspend a sheriff for
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malfeasance, and the request is being made that the governor immediately recognized this power and suspended this sheriff. would that be enough for you if he's not removed, suspension instead? >> i'm actually a signatory to that letter as well, and one of those 74 signatories, and pleased to be -- when i say pleased to be, i mean given the horrific set of circumstances. i would be supportive of the sheriff stepping aside so we can get an objective analysis of all the facts. i think it's important, fred, right now the key operative facts are in control of the sheriff. i'm talking about live video, live audio, electronic tracking, the time frames, radio transmissions, the directions given from the sheriff to his
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deputies. it's critical that get aired, get public and let's find out what the facts are. i'm happy to help the facts unfold as they do, and i'm happy for the state of florida to take that action that's driven by the facts. >> it seems that there are a calamity of errors based on the reporting prior to this shooting, based on reports coming from fellow students, parents, teachers about this individual. what most troubles you about the sequence of events that either went unnoticed or dismissed or just simply not addressed? >> there was clearly a series of failures at multiple levels. i've identified the sheriff's office probably the most grie grievous of facts. one of the things we know is we had a series of data-based silos
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and that is dcf school board had a database, fbi had a database. none of these databases were integrated, as far as i could tell. we have communication among these silos. we need to identify things quickly as they surface, as soon as they arrive. and we need to have more awareness of these dangerous individuals walking among us. right now students and teachers are facing an impossible task. they're returning to stoneman douglas high school for a voluntary staging today. the open house is under way. this ahead of classes resuming later on in the week. what are you sensing from people
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there? >> reporter: well, fred, for nearly an hour now people have been streaming back into stoneman douglas. for students this is the first time they've been allowed back on campus since february 14. many of them needing to recover. robert runsie told us, today is the day to alleviate parents' concerns, how there will be more law enforcement personnel. . they want to accommodate to each individual's. there could even be opportunities for stress reduction examiner. there was one teacher and one student who shared their perspective with me at this
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time. >> we'll be meeting monday and tuesday to try to plan how are we going to handle what we're going to do with our classes. at this point academics will not be something we'll be touching on next week, it's just trying to get everybody back in and make sure everybody is okay. >> emotionalwise, kind of nervous and anxious, because i had friends that were in my class. it's going to be filled with lots of people. we mostly just want security cameras to feel safe. >> students will be given new schedules. they will not be able to enter. yet another adjustment that these students will have to make as they head fwook class on
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wednesday. >> and then, caylee, sheriff. what do you have? >> governor rick scott called for the florida department to investigate, and the sheriff has responded saying, bso will fully cooperate with fdle as we believe in full transparency and accountability. an interesting statement to give in light of what we heard from the sheriff this morning with jake on "state of the union" and as frustration mounts for the wich wichlt. >> parents and students make their way into that school ahead of classroom pre senting so we
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can get re-acclimated to a terrible tragedy nearly two weeks ago now. president trump is in the middle of three. people call him a total phony. plus, a testy phone call between mexico and the u.s. president in terms of who will pay for that border wall. apparently that didn't go well. now the president at the white house. -i've seen lots of homes helping new customers
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bundle and save big, but now it's time to find my dream abode. -right away, i could tell his priorities were a little unorthodox. -keep going. stop. a little bit down. stop. back up again. is this adequate sunlight for a komodo dragon? -yeah. -sure, i want that discount on car insurance just for owning a home, but i'm not compromising. -you're taking a shower? -water pressure's crucial, scott!
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trump wanting mexico to publicly state it would pay for the wall. cnn's global affairs correspondent elise lavitt joining us now. put us in the room of that phone call. >> reporter: well, fred, this was kind of cementing the visit for the mexican president. the foreign minister was here a couple weeks ago meeting with jared kushner who is in charge of managing the relationship between u.s. and mexico, and they kind of laid out the possible agenda for the president to visit as early as next week. and this call was about two leaders trying to set the agenda and agree to everything for this visit, and this point of contention, president nieto's desire for the u.s. to state that mexico would not pay for the wall, and president trump's insistence that mexico would pay
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for the border wall has been and continues to be the point of contention. the u.s. and mexico is about to start a very important round of talks on the nafta agreement. they have a lot of other agreements that the two leaders were supposed to be inking if the president came. so this is really the issue that is causing a lot of tension between these two leaders. >> oh, boy. to be a fly on the wall during that phone conversation. or at least to see the transcript. would we ever see the transcript of that conversation, elise? >> i mean, if it leaks out it's possible that it was. you remember a transcript that leaked out between the two leaders earlier when president nieto was supposed to come right when president trump took office. that caused the president of mexico to scrap his visit at that time. you remember when president trump went there as a candidate in mexico. that border wall still a very
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real important issue. so this is really the thing that's causing the tension between these two men, president trump insisting mexico pay for the wall and the mexicans saying, we're not paying. >> and many of us remember seeing quotes from the fiery conversation between president trump and the australian prime minister. there was a lot of color there, too. all right, elise lavitt, thank you so much. a total phony. i'm quoting now. president trump escalates his attacks on a democratic congressman at the center of the russia investigation, even accusing him of acting illegally. details straight ahead. with blue eyes. just like you. begin your journey at ♪ i'm walkin♪ wow! nshine ♪ i'm walking on sunshine ♪ wow!
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welcome back. i'm fredricka whitfield in new york. president trump fighting back over the release of a memo over the russia investigation. it fights back against devin nunes' memo being released earlier. now president trump not holding back about its contents or the author. >> all you do is you see this adam schiff, he has a meeting, 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 leak all sorts of information. he's a bad guy. but certainly the memo was a
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nothing. >> here with me now, cnn white house correspondent boris sanchez. so boris, what exactly is in adam schiff's memo? what is detailed there? >> reporter: the schiff memo in some parts directly contradicts the republican counterpart, the nunes memo. for one is states that the steele dossier was not the sole basis for surveillance of carter page, that there was a lot more broad information that ultimately led to the full-blown russia investigation. it also states that when the steele dossier was mentioned in the application for a fisa warrant that the judge was made aware of its political nature, that it was opposition research gathered during the 2016 campaign. the republicans have argued that the judge wasn't aware that hillary clinton and democrats funded that dossier, the collection of the information within that dossier, something that the president seized upon yesterday, not only on fox news but also on twitter. the president attacking adam
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schiff, at one point misquoting fox news. before then saying some of the actions taken by the intelligence community are illegal, and then attacking former president barack obama allegedly for not doing anything on russia. now, some republicans, including devin nunes and peter king, would argue that some of the actions taken by the intelligence committee, alleging that it was certainly inaccurate, and he's done something president trump had not done which is confront vladimir putin face to face telling him to stop meddling in future elections. as you may recall, president trump said he believed vladimir putin when he said he had nothing to do with meddling when the two leaders met last year,
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fred. >> adam schiff come to go his own defense this morning, speaking to jake tapper on "state of the union." >> proud to be one of the bad ombres, i guess. i think what the president is referring to, what really aggravated him, when his son testified before our committee, i asked him about conversations he had with the president, whether the president was on this aircraft, and they concocted a false statement about that meeting at the trump tower with the russians. he refused to answer the questions, claiming attorney-client privilege which clearly doesn't apply to a situation where neither he nor his father are a returning client. our position is, if a witness refuses to answer questions and make bogus claims of privilege as he did, as steve bannon did, we call them out on it. the president doesn't like that, but that's not a leak, that's a fact, and it didn't disclose testimony he gave, it disclosed a privilege he asserted that does not apply. i'm not surprised the president doesn't like it.
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i'm not surprised, frankly, that the white house tried to bury this memo response as long as they could, but it's important for the public to see the facts, that the president acted inappropriately with carter page. they are not members of some deep state like the president would like people to believe. >> let's bring in our panel. steve lonegan is currently running as congressman of the fifth district. you heard adam schiff there. this really tries to clear up any disputes about political motivation or bias, the democratic memo. does it do that? >> i think so. it was pretty clear given what the democrats used to substantiate their claims, they actually quoted from parts of the fisa application, and the idea that that fisa court was
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misled in some way, which is what the republican memo tried to assert -- >> that information was withheld. >> -- that information was withheld from the judge and they were unaware of political notions behind the steele dossier. that's just not true. it's pretty clear that they mentioned that the dossier source came from someone that was paid for possibly by a campaign that wanted to undercut the credibility of the trump campaign. i mean, anyone who worked there that reads these applications understands they don't unmask people just to unmask them for no reason, you have to be under investigation. they followed proper procedure, which is completely against what the republican memo asserts here. it's absurd to say otherwise given they even cited exactly what was in the fisa memo. >> it's for political purposes and political purposes only. i can't believe he just called
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himself a bad ombre. that democrat memo is a weak and pathetic effort to cover up for the failures of the democrat party to come out honestly on this. the steele document was the driving force hipd tbehind the court awarding those warrants. without those, there would be no case whatsoever. they did not tell the judge it was funded by the administration, it was buried in the footnote that was hard to understand. >> i would assume the fisa judge reads the footnotes. >> i read that thing five times, and try to understand what it says. >> it's pretty clear what the document says. does it mean that these memos really have no impact on the mueller investigation? it could be just a side show of
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how republicans want people to see or dispute the fbi or the purpose of the findings? what's the route here, shimon? >> this has no impact on the mueller investigation. what this does is maybe help, perhaps, with the fbi. when you think about the first memo that went out, and this is what the fbi complained about, that it would omit key facts. now with the democratic memo, we have a full picture knowing full well now that the fbi's investigation into carter page started well before christopher steele came to them. other issues concerning carter page started well before the dossier came to the fbi. this was the complaint that the fbi had initially in the republican memo, that they were not painting a full picture of their information and what they were dealing with. >> it also mentions that there were other members of the trump campaign affiliated --
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trump-linked folks that were under investigation as well at the time, which i think is new information. that part the number was redacted but it says individuals. so it's disingenuous to say this is a hoax, someone made it up, we're trying to undermine the election results. that's not what's going on here. the russians meddled in our election. there are separate investigations going on here. this is about russian meddling. >> it was established already, steve, that the russians had been looking at carter page for a very long time. the dossier was just another layer that came very much later. so in terms of the sequence of events in which to present the case to the fisa court, it had to show the whole picture. >> they looked at carter page and found what? no. no evidence whatsoever of collusion with the trump administration in any way, fashe
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or form. >> the american people don't care about this anymore. they want to get past this nonsense and focus on jobs and the economy. >> the overall investigation, because it is still ongoing -- >> is going nowhere. >> so you think there is no reason for our intelligence committee to be investigating carter page, george papadopoulos for any russian interaction? >> under the obama administration, both the fbi and the doj were weaponized against conservative groups like tea parties, why not weaponize them against the trump administration? >> do you think they had a concern of carter page trying to be recruited as a foreign agent
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and kohl lecolluding are russia get information on hillary clinton. and michael flynn taking russian money. and none of this should have been -- that does not mean that the information was not credible. >> this is following an election by the clinton people. phony allegations about russian collusion, which does not exist. >> we don't know that yet so wee leave it there. >> you don't think -- your answer was. >> you believe they should not be investigated, steve. false and phony alarm bells by the of a school, big deal. >> when you have people like this that are dismissing the
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importance of. history will look back on this as the biggest political scam in america. >> i suggest that they will characterize it completely differently. >> the investigation is still ongoing. not over yet. thanks to all of you, appreciate it. we'll be right back. ♪
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(vo) do not go gentle into that good night, old age should burn and rave at close of day; rage, rage against the dying of the light. do not go gentle into that good night. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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i think most members agree with me this is logical. i'm sure there are going to be some that disagree. i'm a dad. i'm a granddad and i'm a governor. i want my state to be safe. i want every child to be in a safe environment when they're trying to be educated. >> joining me now, former governor martin o'malley. good to see you, governor. >> good to see you. >> your state, maryland, took big steps right after sandy hook and is a state that's now considered to have script gun laws, and among those things, banning sales or transfer of assault weapons including ar-15, banning the manufacture of detachable magazines. is it your feeling that it will be up to states to take the lead as it pertains to making changes with gun control. >> i sure do. in our own state we passed a gun
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safety measure. it went all the way to the supreme court and it was affirmed by the supreme court. i think that's what you're going to see happening right now. the young people that are organizing with the march for our lives movement is going to take this action front and center across the 50 states. just as states led on marriage equality, just as states can lead on climate action, i think you'll see states stepping up and leading on gun action. in fact, our neighbor, the governor of delaware, said delaware was going to seek cutting the sale on automatic weapons. i think you'll see more states doing it. >> florida governor marco rubio taking the lead and saying they will raise the age, even though the nra is not behind him on that. the president is behind it as
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well. how long do you think it will be when some of these restrictions are not what they want to see? >> i think we should welcome movement wherever we see the movement. i recall very well rick scott once saying that he passed more pro-gun laws in one term than any other governor in florida. let's hope in the wake of this tragedy, he's changed his mind and is willing to accept some reasonable limitations. so the nra is a strong force, but it's not stronger than the vast majority of americans who believe that we need to show that we love our kids more than our guns. they organized big time here in maryland when i put in gun legislation. they filled the halls of annapolis. but we also filled the halls of annapolis with people that wanted common sense, gun restrictions, better and tighter school security, better sharing of information when it comes to mental health and prohibitions on people buying weapons, and
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also licensing for the purchase of all new weapons. this isn't about feeling, it's about fact. and the fact, fredricka, states that make it tougher to buy automatic assault weapons have fewer gun deaths. you'll see this movement take place across all the states in months ahead. >> in fact, they are meeting tomorrow and states on a federal level have reacted to openness of some serious reform. how hopeful are you about this meeting or about the governor's meeting with the president? >> look, i'm hopeful because i see that young people are having an effect on older americans who sometimes accept that we just can't make progress on the gun issue. the truth is we actually can. we don't need to accept the nra stranglehold on our congress or our state legislators as if it's
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some inevitable, immovable force. the truth is i think you're going to see a lot of governors moving, i think you're going to see a lot of state legislators moving. and this year across america, there are 36 governors' races up, there are 36 state legislators that are going to the voters, and i think you're going to see people demanding action. i think moms demanding actions, students demanding action, dads demanding action, that's what it's going to take. and i'm hopeful that we are going to see some greater action now in the wake of these tragedies. we account for 91% of all of the children and the developed nations of this world that are struck by gunfire are struck here in the united states. it's outrageous and we shouldn't accept it. there are things that can be done. >> former maryland governor martin o'malley, thank you so much for your time. and we'll be right back. that on the iphone with verizon. the best streaming network. how long have you been here?
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all right. cnn is bringing you the final episode of the radical story of patty hearst, a story that has gripped the nation. the young heiress who went from being a kidnap victim to a terrorist more than 40 years ago. >> some point, i think, in that year, if not sooner, patty hearst, put on tanya and liked it better than anything she'd had before. >> i truly believe that she was, to some extent, indoctrinated into those beliefs and now regrets it, denies it by saying she was truly a victim the whole time. because once you take on those
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beliefs, those radical beliefs, you have to take a certain amount of responsibility for them. >> journalist carol pogash joins me right now. she was a reporter for the san francisco examiner when the publisher's daughter, patty hearst, was kidnapped. so carol, you were assigned to this story. take us back to, you know, patty's arrest, after 19 months on the run. >> it was pretty remarkable. i mean, with the whole country, the whole world saw, you know, that she was in handcuffs, but she raised her fists up and had a big smile, you know. the fbi captured her, but they didn't get patty hearst back. what they got, initially, was tanya, which was the name that she had the given herself when she joined the sla. it was a very dramatic moment. not quite the end of the story, though, as you see in the series, because then there was the trial and everything else that transpired.
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>> wow. and so, what was it like, this experience of, you know, being a journalist, you're covering it, but the same time, you're also experiencing the reaction from the public, the confusion from everyone, you know, from, is she a victim was she complicit or what? that must have been a very difficult thing to balance in your reporting. >> it wasn't so much difficult -- it wasn't difficult because we were just reporting what was going on. what was difficult was in our heads and in the heads of the public, people trying to figure out what was actually going on. and over time, i think of her now as, she was a survivor. and she adapted. and she started out in a closet and was told, you know, her family had abandoned her and the fbi was against her. and she came to believe what the sla believed and their idealism. and unfortunately, also, in their terrorism. but she converted. so it was an incredible saga for
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all of us, both those writing as well as those who were reading our stories. >> and as a journalist, we always have lots of curiosity. so what's a curiosity that you still have about her? >> you know, there's still so many unanswered questions. you -- it's a fascinating series, i have to say. as a reporter who covered it, i lender a lot. but i still don't completely understand how she went through this transformation and i'm pretty sure that what happened in the end is she became the person that she was going to become, before all of this happened. so there's still a lot of mystery there. even though there are a lot of questions there answered. >> all right. well, carol pogash, what a pleasure to talk to you and thanks for sharing your memories of what it was to be a journalist at that time. an an all-new episode of "the radical story of patty hearst"
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welcome this sunday. i'm fredricka whitfield here in new york. it's been nearly two weeks since the mass shooting in parkland, florida, and still more questions than answers as pressure mounts on washington to do something to prevent another tragedy from happening. congress will get back to work tomorrow on capitol hill. meantime, students of stoneman douglas high school also set to return, as classes resume on wednesday. right now, the school is hosting an open house. meanwhile, a brand-new cnn poll reveals a dramatic rise in support for tighter gun laws following this massacre. support for stricter gun laws now stands at 70%. that is the highest level in 25 years. also, new questions surfacing over the multiple red flags missed along with the immediate response to that shooting. broward county sheriff, scott israel, is denying reports that when coral springs police officers arrived, they found


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