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tv   Erin Burnett Out Front  CNN  February 27, 2018 4:00pm-5:00pm PST

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went into 911, investigators chose to do nothing. this one of two calls being investigated. >> they have to learn lessons make sure it does not happen again. thank you very much. that's it for me. for all of our viewers, thanks very much for watching. erin burnett outfront begins right now. ouft next breaking news, jared kushner security clear lance downgraded as we are learning firms in at least four countries reportedly discussed ways to manipulate curvenekushn. plus what does this say about the chief of staff? did kelly win yet? plus breaking news, 11 people sick out of washington. breaking news ahead, let's go outfront. good evening to all i'm erin burnett. outfront. president's son-in-law jared kushner without clearance that
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allowed him access to highest information in the united states. information he had access to daily more than the inauguration more than a year ago. and just moments ago our phil mattingly, he found him in the capital, followed him for four minutes, asking about the stunning develop. . kushner refusing to answer questions this is make your set back. he sees the nation's top secret information every day. been at the president's side since day one. responsibilities include but are not limited to brokers peace in the middle east. relations with china, mexico and canada, oveeeing office of, ending drug addiction, and the security clearance tonight as bob mueller special counsel investigates kushner's links to russia and china and middle east
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dictator ships. and tonight more breaking news on this. "washington post" is reporting at least four countries, united arab emirates, china, israel, privately discussed ways to talk to him. they did not chave contacts wit officials. set back t a man that trump constantly praises. >> jared is a very, very successful real estate man in new york. i'm proud of jared. jared is a very successful real estate person. but i actually think he likes politics more than he likes real estate. >> her husband jared very smart good guy. >> a lot to get to tonight on this breaking story. i want to go to jeff zeleny at the white house. what is the reaction to this
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tonight? >> reporter: erin, no question about it, people around the building walk on egg shells when jared kushner name is mentioned. senior adviser, but more importantly son-in-law. but today's bombshell reality he no longer has the top secret security clearance is raising questions what his clearance may be. he's going to continue doing his job. but the reality here is without the security clearance, that top secret security clearance, he will be unable to do the job he has been doing. now, he had ap ability to ask the president to intervene him. i'm told by white house official he did not want special treatment. and the president signalled it was up to white house staff john kelly to make decision on future. it appears it actually happened like that. that jared kushner did not ask
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for special treatment. but, erin, on a day like this, when jared kushner was on capitol hill and then holding a conversation about prison reform, it was clear that he did not necessarily expect this. but he is going to keep doing his job at least for now. but that is the question here tonight, erin, how longwill jared kushner and ivanka trump of course stay at this white house. will they stick it out? or does this change his interest here in working at the white house? >> erin. >> thank you very much, jeff. on that let's try to get some answers. outfront with the white house raj shaw. good to have you back with me tonight. a day of some sunning and very quick moving developments jared kushner stripped of access to nation's top secrets with the downgrade in his security clearance. were you shocked by this, raj? >> reporter: well, erin, good evening. thanks for having me on. the white house has been saying the same thing about this matter and related matters for rather a number of months now. we do not comment on security
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clearances. we don't address them. acknowledge, or refute any of the reporting you are referencing. and frankly we can't comment beyond that. >> so the question here though, and this is crucial when you talk about the white house and what all of you are doing, jared kushner is at the center of that. he's one of the top people in the white house, senior adviser, son-in-law, you heard the president among several of many comments, he has said glowingly of jared, tasked with peace in the middle east, working with china, mexico, one of the people who reads the top secret presidential brief every single day. jared kushner is at the center, raj, many sof some of the biggest decisions affecting americans right now. he can't do his job without the top security clearance sochlt what will happen to him now? >> again, i'm not going to address your speculation. what ile say you mentioned a number of statements. i'll tell you one more from over a week ago in which the chief of staff said pursuant to memo about interim and permanent security clearances, that he has
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full confidence in jared kushner's ability to do list job, address the issues of palestinian peace. and doing great job and continue in his role. >> so he can continue in his role if he can't be briefed on iran or terror attack ss? how can he continue? >> that is the policy of the white house, we do not comment. >> sighting u.s. officials in at least four countries, united arab em rights, china, israel, mexico, privately influence kushner by taking advance of financial difficulties and lack of for ten policy experience. do it is this concern you, this report? >> i'm certainly not going to address leaks of possibly classified information that form
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error current administration or nonadministration officials are engaged in. again, we do take leaks of classified information very seriously. this appears to be another one just like that. we are simply not going to address it. >> right. i understand you are upset about the leak. but what about lt substance? >> well, what i'm saying is i don't know that to be true. that would be a matter that is classified as a result we won't be discussing it. >> "washington post" is also reporting hr mcmaster, that he didn't officially report them. do you have a comment on that and the accuracy of that report? >> i do know that the national security counc has addressed that a said jared kuser contacts with forei officials have and will continue to run through that. >> if there is truth to that,
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would that be acceptable, raj? >> i'll stop you right there. you are asking about hypotheticals i don't know to be true. based on classified information we wouldn't be able to address. >> that's a simple question. is it acceptable or not acceptable? >> again, all of any senior official's activities on policy matters or interactions with members of congress or foreign officials need to it be run through the appropriate offices and individuals within the white house. and within the agency throughout government. and that's being done and that will continue to be done. but i'm not going to address leaks from potentially classified information that is being speculated about in the press. >> right. of course i understand. you don't like leaks but of course our concern is when the leaks are a crucial nature, what would be the reaction of this white house to that? >> erin, you have a bunch of officials claiming certain things are true. i've seen all sorts of reports
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on cnn reports that are not true. i'll say we cannot comment on that. >> this follows on our reporting that robert mueller is looking at foreign investors, china and qatar, including that building 666 in new york, which is reeling from financial difficulties. the question for you raj is very simple one but important one, because of who jared kushner is and the central role that he holds. can you promise that he did not at any time use his role with president trump to try to bail out his own personal finances? >> well, i'll say that we have been cooperating with the special counsel, with their process. we have been providing information, witnesses, et cetera, ol tarly with them. we do not comment on specific individuals, witnesses or information with respect to the special counsel's process. and it just goes to what the president has been saying from day one. there is no collusion.
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there is no obstruction. there is going to be no finding of wrongdoing. >> if you are willing to say there is no collusion, can you say he did not use his role to benefit himself? >> what i'm saying and what the white house has consistently said our communications with the special counsel and investigative practices and the areas of concern that it's looking into it are going to be addressed with the special counsel and not with the media. >> the president has said, and been very clear, that the decision on jared kushner's security clearance is up to john kelly, his chief of staff. that he made it very clear, he'll make the right decision, whatever the implication of that decision would be. i want to play exactly what the president said for you, raj. here he is. >> i'll let general kelly make that decision. and he's going to do what's right for the country. and i have no doubt he'll make the right decision. >> raj, is the president happy
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with the decision? >> again, that's assuming information we'll are not commenting on. we do not comment on security clearances. and i can repeat myself over and over, but if we want to move on to something else i can answer we can do that as well. >> does the president stand behind any decision that john kelly made on that front today? >> again, as i have said over and over again, i'll continue to repeat t we are not going to be commenting on security clearances. >> all right. raj shaw, thank you very much. i appreciate your time as always. thajs for coming on. >> thank you. >> and next the scales of power may have tipped in the chief of staff's favor. he stood up dan what he wanted to do. did john kelly just win in the show down with jared kushner? plus the breaking news head of the nsa says he has given stunning admission. why not. and new details about the expensive furniture for the hud secretary ben carson's office you are paying for $31 table
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and power struggle with jared kushner. one source saying it is humiliating. looks like john kelly won this one. another one saying white house to the middle east and greatly reduces his influence. now up with me. tim, let me start with you, obviously raj shaw doesn't want to talk about security clearances. but this was a stunning blow to jared kushner and to the tight orbit around this president. >> this is stunning blow to president trump. it was a surprise when he basically delegated this decision to general kelly. after all, president trump like any president before him could have decided he put aside the concerns of the intelligence community and give his son-in-law security clearance. so he could have done this. decided not to. looked as if for a while jared
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kushner was back stopping the president. he was reading the materials the president didn't want to read. now he can't read. >> daily briefing and all of these top secret things. >> so this means that the president who generally is uncomfortable with people outside of his family orbit is now going to rely on people that are not related to him or married to members of his family. this is a big deal and striking to me that the president has said nothing. he must be fuming. >> i just want to play again the way the president played this. he said john kelly it's up to you. and i know you'll make the right decision. now whether that was a wink wink nod nod or pressure. let me play again what the president said to john kelly about this crucial security decision. >> i'll let general kelly make that decision. and he's going to do what's right for the country. and i have no doubt he'll make the right decision. >> now, you first broke the story about jared kushner losing top security clearance late
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today. what are you hearing at this hour? >> you know, erin, my understanding was the president was hesitant to intervene in the security clearance process because he was aware of the blow back that he would suffer if he simply granted kushner a waiver and gave him a permanent clearance. and it's so interesting because he wasn't conscious of the blow back that he suffered for bringing his daughter and son-in-law into the white house for the first place. nonetheless, it's north worry that general kelly downgraded everybody in the white house who was operating on a top secret security clearance. and made them operate on a secret security clearance, including jared kushner. so he's trying to address the fallout from the scandal surrounding staff secretary rob porter that occurred a couple of weeks ago and is not paying any attention to the fact that this is impacting jared kushner. what security officials told me is that jared kushner now does not have access to the sort of
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intelligence that a normal person in his role would have access to. so he is now really operating with his hands tied his his back. >> richard, that's the crucial question. as jeff zeleny raised and raj shaw weighed in, can he stay in the white house and do his job with his portfolio at this point? >> well, his portfolio shouldn't have been foreign policy to begin with. he doesn't know anything about foreign policy perhaps luxury travel, but he's not a foreign policy expert he should not have been entrusted with the middle east and not been in the arena at all. i don't know what his job portfolio should be in the white house. i really don't think he ought to be there. but this is no great loss because i don't think he was a useful foreign policy adviser. this president needs to get some foreign policy experts in this white house.
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because there aren't any. or there are very few except in the national security counsel has a handful of people. he really needs some foreign policy advice. he's not getting it. and the state department is losing people right and left. and we are in serious trouble. >> yet this is a guy, tim, jared kushner, who reportedly was hanging out with people of saudi arabia until 4:00 in the morning f fancied himself to become their friend, he could become the peace broker, 40-year-old rage. we know he left out contacts with foreigners including the crucial trump meeting with natalia and forced to revise his security form because things were left out. and "washington post" is reporting he did not report it
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like he should have. what is the significance of all this? whatever you want to call them, omissions, lies, we do not know what the right word is at this point. >> there are two things. one, presidents can use people without tss clearance to send messages. presidents have done that in the past. sew can it into carry messages. it's how foreigners will view him that matters now. they know he's been brought down a notch. this is very humiliating. he is, therefore, less interesting in one respect to them because he won't know what he used to know. on the other hand they can manipulate him, because if he still wants to be a player despite the fact he doesn't have clearances. >> they can dangle things out there. >> they can build him up. so he is i think in a much more vulnerable position now. and i wonder how long he's going to stay in the white house. >> do you have any reporting on that, that crucial question of what next for jared kushner and ivanka trump? >> i don't have any reporting on
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what their future is in the white house. but i'll say that today's news not only of his downgraded security clearance, but of his extensive contacts with foreign governments and what foreign governments are trying to, how they are trying to leverage him has pronlted a rash of speculation just how long they'll be around. today was truly, you know, i was terming it, jared kushner's no good very bad day. because on top of those pieces of news, we had a report he potentially violated campaign laws by weighing in with an official statement on political campaign. and it just seemed that every piece of news coming out today adversely implicated him. and on top of that, his most trusted confident in the white house, or one of them, josh ra feel, news emerged he is leaving the white house incoming months. so it does say jared kushner and ivanka trump are losing con if i
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dants and access by the day. >> and also reporting that, let me show you, you may remember last may, kushner sister, in china reportedly went to chooip to get $150 million financing for family development, and as part of the project she touted the family ties and jared role in the white house. we seehe name on the screen. richard, when you put all this together, do you think jared kushner tried to use his role to benefit himself financially? >> i don't know what he tried to do. but other than the fact that he doesn't know anything about foreign policy, another reason why he shouldn't be in foreign policy is he has financially arrangements all over the world, going all over the world begging for money from the chinese, and
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deals with russians, has investments in israel and financial ties there. and he has too many financial conflicts of interest. and if he participated in government matter that has a direct predictable effect on his financial interest, that's a crime under united states code 208 and he better not do that or he'll end up in big trouble. so he ought to stay out of foreign policy with that type of investment portfolio and look seriously getting out of the white house. >> stunning development tonight. thank you all. and next, why isn't the u.s. disrupting russian hacking of elections? so today, the nsa chief testified and said donald trump the president of the united states has not given him the order to do so. and more breaking news, the latest on sus spish husband letter ill at a united states
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this is cord toga report in "washington post" which says china and israel and uae how they could take a look at financial difficulties and lack of foreign policy experience. this development comes as we are also learning jared kushner has lost top secret security clearance major develop. . kathleen collins outfront. what are white house officialing doing right now to ease the tension that is here between jared kushner and johkelly chief of staff who is the one who me thisecision to strip top secret clearance? >> certainly a significant amount of tension between these two. erin chblt and we know the white house worked over the last few weeks to try to identify a way that jared kushner could stay on in the role he has now with the portfolio he has now without personally appealing to the president for some kind of waiver so he can continue to access that highly classified that information. but with our reporting today, we show that jared kushner was
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downgraded from a top secret interim security clearance to secret security clearance just like the rest of the people who were also operating under a similar one. and although the white house is stressing that jared kushner is fine and still operating in the same as he has for the past 13 months and dealing with middle east and mexico, only white house saying that jared kushner daily life in the west wing will look a lot different. because we know he was one of the top officials who requested more access to information than anyone else. also had pdb, presidential daily brief, that has pressing information around the world for the president. he read it reads it regularly. we know that as well. so he will not have access to either of those. and he also won't be able to sit in on the same meetings that he has been so far. we know the president is aware of the tension between jared kushner and john kelly but erin it's hard to see how life will not be different in the west
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wing from now on. >> a lot different. a lot of things you point out biggest consumer, biggest requester of top secret information. someone who used it and read it voraciously. thank you so much. now outfront james clapper. great to have you with me. general, i appreciate your time as always. look, jared kushner had top security clearance and he used it. he was the top requester of information in the white house t he had the access to the presidential daily brief. and now that access is stripped. downgraded. what's your reaction, general? >> well, first, i think the chief of staff john kelly did the right thing. and i gather that kushner's clearance was one of perhaps 120 or 130 or so that at least that's whan been reported that were in a similar status that did not have access to tssia highest level of clearance
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access. so my impression is that john kelly made a decision across the board with everyone that was effect today include jared kushner which is the right judgment. now, as has been stated earlier, the president ultimately is the ultimate clearance granter, and so if he wants to make an exception, and still give his son-in-law access, he can do that. >> now, "the washington post" is reporting a couple of crucial things, general, one of them that the officials from four countries, at least discuss manipulating jared kushner in part because of financial troubles and in experience on foreign policy. how significant is that? and we understand that includes countries like china and middle east? >> it's potentially very concerting. i'm not in a position to confirm that reporting but i'll assume it is valid. >> yes. >> and that is precisely, i
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think, one of the complexities in doing a background investigation on kushner, because of the potential financial complications or dealin that he may have with these countes who in turn could use that as leverage to influence policy outcomes by the united states. now, i'm given to understand that the actual background investigation phase of this, will be done relatively soon within the month. >> yes. >> and if that's true, then it will still be up to the white house, some senior official, presumably john kelly, to then adjudicate what background investigation has turned up and actually make the ultimate decision as to whether or not he would be granted cloearance basd on that investigation.
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>> how big of a deal is that? when you think about this senior adviser to the president, portfolio dealing with china, peace in the middle east, dinners with dictators, all of the access he has, to suddenly lose this clearance? is this unprecedented moment? >> it is. and it really puts him in a position, if this sticks, of dealing with way less than a full deck in all these sensitive portfolios. just take mideast as a case in point, having some familiarity with the situation there, i just think it would be very difficult to do anything meaningful without having access to the classified intelligence at the highest levels. to understand the nuances what's going on out there. not to mention dealing with another portfolio of china. and also been indicated, it isn't just a question of access
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to classified information and what he can read or not, another complexity is attending any kind of meetings. white house situation room is typically set at the tseii level. so if he were to attend a meeting and he's only cleared for secret, that really in ibits t inhibits the conduct of business. >> i want to ask you about mike rogers today on capitol hill testifying about u.s. efforts to stop russian interference in elections at the origin of the attack. right. to bring it to the russians. he said he has not received authority from the president of the united states to do this. and i just wanted to play for you, i'm sorry, what he said, and also the white house press secretary trying to muddy the water and almost deny what he said. here's what he said and here's sarah sanders. >> the mission teams, particularly at the origin of these attacks have the authority
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to do so. >> if granted, the authority. and i don't have the day-to-day authority to do that. if granted the authority. >> so you would need basically to be directed by the president through the secretary of defense. >> yes, sir, in fact i mentioned that in my statement. >> have you been directed to do so, given this strategic threat that faces the united states and the significant consequences you recognize already? >> no, i have not. >> he's in charge of cyber command. >> nobody is denying him the authority. >> of course, the reality of it is she's trying to punt the issue and muddy the issue rksz general, by saying he isn't denying it. but the white house has to give him the authority to say you have the authority to do this. how big of a deal the president is not giving mike rogers this authority? >> well, it's both stunning and emblematic. this is consistent with the president's singular indifference to the threat posed by russia. and that started when mike
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rogers was one of the four of us as a group who briefed then president elect trump on january 6 of last year about this. and he, for whatever reason, just can't accept it. and what's required here is a whole of gofvernment, in not whole of society approach here, and that can only be led by the white house. so good on mike rogers telling truth to power here. and he is not in a position to free lance, particularly when it involves active measures. he has, you know, nsa has a passage collection mission which continues through 365, but to actually go out and do an attack at the origin, as he put it, at the source, he has to have authority for that. and i would be -- i wouldn't be surprised if he hasn't been
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asked for options. as far as president secretary, well she ought to get the again der rogers award for tap dancing. that was a real artful dodge. because after 13 months into this administration, this should have been-dhsh is a no brainer, should have been authorized a year ago. >> thank you very much, general clapper. as always, i appreciate your time. >> thanks, erin. >> and next breaking news, investigation under wayty hour. suspicious letter made 11 people ill at a u.s. military base. three of them in the hospital tonight chblt breaking details this hour. and new details about the florida school shooting breaking tonight gunman may have had plans for a bigger massacre. whoooo.
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it's especially so when it's a customer that's doing such good and important work for the environment. together, we're building a better california. breaking news at this hour, a just outside washington d.c. t 11 people ill, three transported to hospital. opened a suspicious letter. barbara outfront. with people in the hospital, concerning? >> it is. we do have updated good news information at this point. a law enforcement is saying the initial field tests have determined this was not a hazardous substance. now, tontd the fbi transporting it all to their lab in quantico in southern virginia, very nearby, for further tests.
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but the initial field tests it was not a hazardous substance. this was aleletter that was ope at this base near washington d.c. earlier today. 11 people falling ill. 3 taken to the hospital. we are told it was a lertter to the base commander, ranting, not clear if they had a relationship with the base commander or it was just some perhaps disturbed unhappy individual sending the letter. but the good news is right now it does not appear that a hazardous substance was involved. nonetheless, erin, as it is, you see a rapid resons from law enforcement, military and emergency personnel responding trying to make sure everyone is okay. >> and, barbara, again, as you point out, 11 people impacting. three people at a local hospital. if they are saying there is no test for something negative, do they yet understand why they are
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in the hospital? or what's happening there? >> well, you know, what happens is mail is screened and treated to kill off any hazardous substance or at least try and defect it. if there was something in this letter that was not hazardous, it may be that screening didn't pick up. people opened t it still could have been something with a smell or odor that caused irritation on skin contact. we don't really know. we haven't had a full briefing on this yet. some of these can be substances that have a lot of irritant to the body but are not hazardous. and we have seen this time and again. so they are just making sure everyone is in good shape. >> barbara, thank you very on that breaking story tonight. next florida high school shooting had 180 rounds left, remaining. and that's not haul. we'll talk about some stunning new details local lawmakers whose daughter is going to be going to stoneman douglas high school tomorrow.
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. new tonight, shocking details revealing the shootings at stoneman douglas high school could have been worse. shooter had 180 rounds when he stopped shooting. he was stopped, thank god by hurricane proof glass. the broward commissioner his daughter and niece were both students there at the day of the shooting. commissioner, i appreciate your time. thank you so much. i want to start with that. this is going to be an emotional moment for you, for your daughter, four your niece. how do you feel about your daughter going back to school tomorrow? >> it is a difficult moment for the entire community. the stoneman douglas high school community is a close knit group
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of parkland residents. and we are like a big family. we went back with the orientation this sunday. it was a little bit healing. i am sure people are apprehensive about tomorrow but i think the students want to get back. the teachers want to teach and the students want to learn. and i think they want to get back to some normalcy after this tragedy. >> we will be rooting for them and for everyone else that wants to go back. we are learning tonight from investigators that the shooter had planned to do much even bigger of a massacre. that he had all of this ammunition, we said 180 rounds still remaining and officials telling us there were swastikas etched on to his magazine. what is your reaction? >> every day it is more and more shocking information coming out about this whole situation. and we had our count commission
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meeting today and the commission, i called for a, i want a complete investigation on this by somebody with national gravitas and stature that can come down here and look into the evidence leading up to the incident, the incident itself and the response to the shooting to get our arms around what the actual facts and evidence is. what was missed, what could be changed so it doesn't hap again in the future andhi mmunity needs that kind of understanding so we can move forward from this. >> i want to ask you from this, we all know there were missed signs, there were calls made, warnings given and they were not heeded. shocking discrepancies by for example the number of calls that law enforcement received relating to the shooter. the broward county sheriff's office saying there were 23
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calls. and putting out a statement. stop reporting 39, its simply not true. we at cnn have records showing at least 45. you emphasized you wanted a third party national investigation. do you not trust the sheriff's department? >> it is not aus of trust or not crus trust. so many agencies that may have dropped the ball. every different agency leading up to this seem to have a different piece of the puzzle but no one was talking or communicating. so many warning signs that seemed to be missed. the fbi missed something. you had dcf out there. information to the school. information called into local
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law enforcement. at some point somebody has to say enough is enough and there needs to be a comprehensive look at this. the information should be released and acted upon. only then will we know what happened. the clues seem to go there. we seem to have had enough clues. but not acted on this. >> some of the calls came into sheriff scott israel's office. he himself describes his leadership as amazing. do you think he should stay or go? >> in my mind, this whole thing is so much bigger than scott israel, so much better than the sheriff of broward county. let's get a full complete
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investigation by somebody who understands these mass casualty type of events. let get the facts and if change has to be made, let's make the changes. i am concerned and working on coming up with solutions so these kids can go back to school and the community can heal. anything besides that is noise. all of these things will sort themselves later as these investigations come in. the key is to get the facts out. >> commissioner, thank you very much. good luck tomorrow for that emotionally difficult but important day for your daughter. the official who blew the whi whistle. speaking out exclusively to us. it's a lot easier to make decisions when you know what comes next. if you move your old 401(k) to a fidelity ira,
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breaking news a whistle blower from the department of housing and urban development saying she was demoted. this is stunning. you got to hear it for yourself. and rene marsh has the exclusive. >> there is so much that we are going to be able to accomplish. >> reporter: as ben carson was assuming his responsibilities as the new secretary of housing and urban develop, a battle over office decor was brewing. >> i had a bucket in my car because i would throw up on my way to work every day out of anxiety. >> reporter: helen foster says she was demoted and retaliated against for refusing to spend more than was legally allowed
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for ben carson decoration. cnn obtained foster's november 2017 sworn complaint. in it she states quote taken out of my position as chief administrators office. she suddenly found herself in a role with no responsibilities. she tracks it down in part over the dispute with the office decor. >> coming from mrs. carson's desire to have the ability to redecorate the suite. >> excited about working -- well i am excited just because you are doing it. >> reporter: joined her husband on official tours and events at the agency.
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did not respond to cnn's request for comment. after reports last month his son who is not a federal employee helped organize an official listening tour in baltimore last summer. could violate ethics rules. the agency did not surpass the $5,000 limit and provide receipts totaling nearly $3,400. the agency said the only money spent was to put up new binds in carson's and his deputy secretary's office. the agency spent more than $31,000 to replace a dining room set. hud shared these photos.
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well, a spokesperson said the carson's were not aware of the $31,000 purchase. saying a car rear staffer decided to make the purchase on their own. >> all right. thank you so much. incredible report. thank you. and thanks for joining us. anderson is next. >> very busy night. two big breaking items. on jared kushner his security clearance was downgraded. then came an item in the "washington post." dove tailing some of our own reporting. people familiar with the mueller investigation telling us th


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