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tv   New Day With Alisyn Camerota and John Berman  CNN  December 10, 2018 5:00am-6:01am PST

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good morning. it's a very busy monday, december 10th. the presidency in peril. for the first time since taking the oeth of office, president trump is directly implicated in the commission of federal crimes, crimes that the top democrat on the house judiciary committee calls, quote, impeachable offenses. it is all spelled out by federal prosecutors in the sentencing memo of mr. trump's former long-time attorney michael cohen. also revealed, new documents about lies allegedly told by former trump campaign chairman paul manafort. >> these are just a few of the new things we learned over the last few days. prosecutors say donald trump instructed michael cohen to pay hush money to two women who claimed they had affairs with donald trump. and synergy in 2015, although he did not take a meeting because he already had a connection with
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the russian government. and associates interacted with russians during the campaign and transition, according to analysis by "the washington post." >> michael cohen lied about negotiations to build that trump tower in moscow and claims he discussed the project with then candidate trump well into the 2016 campaign. prosecutors also allege paul manafort lied about his contacts with the white house. they have messages showing that manafort was talking to contacts in the white house even after he was indicted. >> it's the new stuff we've learned the last few days in addition to the 12 intelligence russian operatives, in addition to don junior's meeting at trump tower, promising dirt on hillary clinton, an invitation to which don junior replied i love it.
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and noods whatever obstruction investigation is going on. a mountain of controversy in turmoil at the very time the president is losing his chief of staff and having a hard time hiring a new one. chief of staff john kelly out by the end of the year. front-runner to row place him, vice president pence's chief of staff, nick ayers, now says he doesn't want the job. >> now that we've got all of that out of the way there's a lot to discuss. counterterrorism analyst philip mudd, shannon hennessy. phil mudd, from the criminal investigatory side, we've spelled out the different details. what's the big picture? >> we've only seen still, i would say, less than 20% of the picture. players we haven't seen come into focus yet, people like roger stone, the president's son and son-in-law. we don't know the extent yet of their relationships with russia. we know from the documents last
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week that there were relationships with manafort and cohen that we weren't aware of. we don't know the extent of their financial dealing. my point is, as they were talking about what to do, i would say slow your roll. the likelihood that the manafort team would come out is about 90%. >> susan hennessy, phil says this is 20%. that 20% includes now the president of the united states being implicated in a felony. >> yeah. i think that is one of the most significant new things we saw in friday's filings. that's that the southern district of new york actually said in their own filings that the president had directed michael cohen to make these payments in violation of finance law. michael cohen stood up and said
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that in his plea deal. it's important when prosecutors are saying that in their own voice, that they have corroborating evidence and actually believe it to be true. that say significant and pretty astounding that we now have federal prosecutors essentially accusing the president of being involved in a crime. now there is one missing element that we don't yet know, which is a violation has to be knowing and willful. there's a piece of the president's mental state that it's not yet sort of a slam dunk that they accused him of committing a crime but certainly have directly implicated him. if he was not the sitting president right now, i think it's clear that donald trump would, more likely than not, be facing imminent indictment based on those finances. >> directing hush money payments to the two women who allege that they had affairs with the president before he was president and he didn't want that coming out. i think we know that. he didn't want that coming out during the election. and then there's all of these other contacts with russians.
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we keep putting up this graphic of the 14 people -- we now know, that's more than we knew before friday. people who the russians reached out to. these people may not have known they were being duped or that they were being manipulated but it certainly paints the picture that russia was looking for inroads to the trump campaign. as david gregory has said so often, they were open for business. >> that's right. and for the sake of those 14 and others, i hope that they haven't lied to investigators about those contacts. but clearly between the recent manafort filing, cohen filing and the flynn filing, there is apparently a lot of cooperation going on about the campaign's contacts with russia and with russians. i think phil is right, we just know a fraction of it at this point. i have to believe that much more detail is about to come. >> it's interesting. jerry nadler, who will be the house chair of the judiciary
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committee is talking about this in terms that we haven't heard before. i want to play it again. we heard it already this morning. it's so important. it moves the football in a significant way. let's listen. >> well, they would be impeachable offenses, whether they are important enough to justify impeachment is a different question. certainly they would be impeachable offenses. even though they were committed before the president became president, they were committed in the service of fraudulently obtaining the office. that would be an impeachable offense. >> look, he's saying if he wanted to, he could open hearings. the political calculation of whether he would or should is a separate matter. i want to go back to what alisyn was saying earlier, the david gregory point that these 14 people connected with the trump campaign or transition, no one said no or no, thank you, to the russians or went to the fbi and said there's a problem here. as someone who has been inside the fbi and someone who has
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investigated situations like this, when you see the willingness to accept this information, what alarm bells does it send off for you? >> a couple of things. one of the most difficult things to assess in any case, national security or you deal with this national security angle, which is people dealing with a hostile foreign power, assessing intent is tough. you look at a dozen plus people who showed the intent to have some level of contact with a hostile foreign power, clearly we know what they were thinking. the second question, which is more difficult -- let me give you insight into it -- is what they actually did. i think the mueller team knows this already. if you look at roger stone, for example, his contacts with the russians and his subordinates contacts with the russians, presumably the mueller team has access to everybody with interviews to harder information. his travel calendar, his phone information, e-mail information. so we see the intent in what we've seen visibly from mueller, people who wanted to talk to
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russia. i suspect that mueller already knows whether the team, including roger stone, did talk to russia and whether they took something of value. >> susan, despite all of this, james comey was just interviewed over the weekend. and he said that he does not -- well, he does not want president trump to be impeached. here is his reason. >> i hope donald trump is not removed from office by impeachment because it would let the country off the hook. and it would drive into the fabric of our nation a third of the people believing there was a coup. we need a moment of inflection where we all get off the couch and say that is not who we are and in a landslide rid ourselves of this attack on our values.3 and if, in a way, we short circuited that with an important legitimate process to the constitution i worry that we would be letting ourselves off the hook in a way and we wouldn't have the moment of
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clarity that we need in this country. that said, if the facts are there and the legislative houses of congress think it's appropriate, that's fine. >> what about his point? this is what elections are for, is what he's saying. >> the ideal scenario is that a president serves out his term of office and the american people decide every four years. what impeachment is there for is an emergency release valve, whenever you have a president who is not competent to serve in the office. and i think it is important that we understand that we not over politicize impeachment. even though it is obviously a political remedy. this is one of congress' most important powers, not unlike the power to declare war. it is something that really does rip at the fabric of the nation and should only be employed when it is absolutely necessary to remove someone from office. one thing we haven't seen, certainly from congressional republicans, is the things you would expect in advance of
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impeachment, putting congre congressional constraints on the president. engaging in serious fact finding. what those filings show from friday is that things will get worse for the president from here by every indication. congressional republicans looking around deciding where does this evolve to over the next six or eight months, is this going to wind up in a crisis point that actually does bring a lot of other people down with it? that is certainly -- it was bad news what they saw friday afternoon. >> it is interesting, though, jerry nadler, chairman of the house judicial committee, which is where it would all begin, basically told jake yesterday we are not there yet. it is not happening now. you would need to see more to trigger, in jerry nadler's mind, maybe the one that matters here. greg, i want to put up the tweet reflecting on james comey's comments saying he wants to wait
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till 2021. george conway says i am increasingly optimistic that we can do better than this. he, of course, is married to kellyanne conway. he is saying that the evidence is mounting. how much evidence do you think there would need to be? >> another fascinating tweet by george conway. i agree with jim comey's point. if the evidence becomes overwhelming, then the constitution does contemplate impeachment as a remedy, i would submit that the house democrats would be well advised that impeachment proceedings should only really commence in a bip t bipartisan way. if the facts and evidence are such that the house majority can get republicans on board, with conducting hearings and it's truly a bipartisan effort with some assurance that the senate would, in a bipartisan way
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carefully consider the evidence in a trial that would commence in the senate, i think the american people would support impeachment. anything short of that, i agree with jim comey, may look too political and too partisan to the american people. >> happening in a much more rapid-fire way are disclosures that are big are coming out for all of us to see. any way for you to tell what robert mueller has? >> nochlt going back some three years or more telling me interviews where people were lying and mounds of data where you're getting financial information, travel information, phone information are piling up. i would have thought this would have shut down last summer. that said, i don't know how many more interviews you have to conduct. from a few weeks ago, documentation from the president that answers questions. that, to me, suggests we're getting into end game. you don't go to the key player in the investigation until you
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look at all the peripheral players. if we're not shut down this spring i'm going to give up predicting. i would have predicted, for example, just to tell john that the new england patriots would have won yesterday but they really mailed it in. >> that's gratuitous. i'm throwing in the flag on that. after that, phil doesn't deserve the last word. you look at, for instance, a plea deal written out to negotiate with his lawyers, with the special counsel's office. do you think we'll ultimately see him charged? would he have gone that far if they weren't going to charge him? and where is roger stone? will we see this before christmas? >> yes. i think we'll see a few more indictments before this comes to a conclusion. i think mueller is getting to the end of his investigation. whether that's a timeframe of several weeks or several months, nobody knows, but the end of the investigation is the start of something else.
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so whenever we think about what might be in that mueller report, what he might be handing over to congress, what other indictments might be coming down the pipeline, i think we're seeing more and more the conclusion or end of the special counsel's probe might be bad news for the president and not good news. >> greg, susan and even phil, thank you this morning. we appreciate it. >> thank you, guys. colorado governor john hickenlooper is stacking up for a possible presidential run. what does he think it would take to beat president trump? r you d. [grunting noise] i'll take that. 30 grams of protein and 1 gram of sugar. ensure max protein. in two great flavors. -we're in a small room. what?! -welcome. -[ gasps ] a bigger room?! -how many of you use car insurance? -oh. -well, what if i showed you this?
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this came to light in court documents connected to the sentencing of his long-time personal attorney michael cohen. joining us now is colorado's democratic governor, john hickenlooper. a potential presidential opponent in 2020. i know you're staffing up, as far as we can tell, considering a presidential run. when you see those details that came out friday does that move the needle for you? >> no, i don't think that's the part we're looking at. it does make me raise my eyebrow. every time i think, well, it can't take a different turn, but
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he certainly -- president trump has focused us keeping our eye balls on him. >> i'm not sure he wants xant finance law violation to be one of the ways he's garnering attention. it came out in these documents that individual one, known as president trump, directed michael cohen to pay these women hush money who alleged affairs. is that an impeachable offense to you? >> at least as i interpret the legal definitions -- i have to caution you, i'm not a lawyer. i know about what you know. i've talked to lawyers and read the newspapers. he certainly will have to, at some point, come clean himself. and i think that's what the process of what's beginning to take shape is going to get some clarity. >> what does that look like? >> i think it looks like his tax
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returns. it's an interesting thing to see, judge and assess his relationship with russia, what is motivation for some of those things that historically almost every presidential candidate or every president discloses to the american people. he, for whatever reason, hasn't. it would be nice to know why. >> you're not a lawyer. i'm not a lawyer. let's talk about the politics in which you are. do you think the democrats, come january, is that what the judiciary committee, et cetera, should start pushing for, to impeach the president? >> i think the fact patterns as they evolve is going to direct that direction. but i think, you know, congressman nadler really was correct in saying we're a long way from here to there. let's see where it takes us. i would argue that independent of impeachment proceedings, we're seeing all kinds of evidence that the trump presidency isn't succeeding. it's not taking america where it needs to go. it certainly isn't fulfilling his promises to the rural parts
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of america, the trade embargos. that is directly hurting farmers and ranchers all over this country. >> as you just said, president trump has an uncanny ability to keep all eyes on him. he certainly can command a rally. he is a big presence in a room. how do you win against that? >> oh, you know, it's funny. he's a big presence in the room but it's all based around a bluster and, really, in basic ways he's kind of a bully. you step back and look at him. you grow up a skinny kid with thick glasses with a name like hickenlooper, i grow up with bullies on the playground. a, you don't give them the attention. you ignore them. you say something that's antagonistic, you twist it so they become the butt of their own attack, use humor to marginalize them. people don't pay attention to a bully, they get frustrated and
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go away. >> the lessons you learned on the playground. there's a book in there. a list of potential democratic candidates for 2020. it's long already. i can go through it. beto o beto o'rourke, you, michael bloomberg, vice president biden, elizabeth warren. is it time to have somebody younger, someone of color, a woman, or someone of establishment? >> i think the democrats across the country will help decide that. i'm not sure it's clear exactly what's needed. there are a lot of strong opinions and that list shows the strength of the democratic party. people from all walks of life. >> as a white guy, are you trying to calculate whether or not this is the right time for you? >> this is the time it's worked out. i've finished my term as governor. i finish in one month and i have an opportunity to take what we've done in colorado -- we
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went from 40th in job creation to number one in economy in the country, one of the top rural economies in the country. i think there's a point where someone like me -- i'm an entrepreneur. i'm a problem solver. i've been good at bringing people together that historically have been antagonistic. maybe the country, someone that can bring the divided parts of the country and divided constituencies back together. >> on a scale of one to ten after friday's discoveries, ten being you're running, how close are you? >> i would say we're past 50/50. we're probably 63, 64%. >> you're at a 7? >> maybe not quite but getting there. it's an interesting time with so many candidates. i look at things from a different filter than most other candidates out there. people say colorado is a fly-over state, never was a cow town. we changed dramatically in the
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last couple of decades. and those changes and how we did it, how we worked together, it's a message that people should here even if they decide they want the first african-american woman as president. lessons from colorado still have value. >> it sounds like you're leaning toward running. any announcement you would like to make here? >> just how much i love my wife. >> that's a good start. >> always a good start. >> governor hickenlooper, thank you. >> he's a 10 on that one. 6.4 on the president thing. 20 years after president bill clinton's impeachment, there are key parallels to the robert mueller's investigation. a member of ken starr's team joins us next. is like... we're gonna match that rate and give you an extra 25% off. what would travel sites do if you found a better price? that's not my problem, it's your problem.
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20 years ago this month, bill clinton became only the second president in american history to be impeached. now another presidency is in peril. it's hard not to think about some similarities between the ken starr investigation and robert mueller's investigation. joining me to discuss, a former associate independent counsel in the investigation of whitewater
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and president clinton. thank you so much for being with us. ken starr, your boss, has said there were a lot of eerie echoes here. do you see it like that? >> yeah, well, that's true. you see it generally for two basic reasons. number one is you see basic similarities in any criminal investigation. people lie about their conduct. people often obstruct justice in the investigation and people often do crime with people they know and trust like their friends or associates. but also in particular in a presidential inquiry, you have the special counsel, you have a very public defens and a very public -- great public attention. you have the prospect of impeachment and you have the prospect of pardons. baked into the equation, you're going to get a lot of similarity before you even start. but even here, there are some similarities that go beyond that, that are quite interesting. >> right. and another one of the similarities here, we always say, in journalism, unfortunately, it's not illegal to lie to the press, but you
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have presidents who have said things that are dishonest to the american people. i want to play some of the things that bill clinton said and some of the things that president trump has said in their various investigations. >> i did not have sexual relations with that woman. >> mr. president, did you know about the $130,000 payment to stormy daniels? >> no, no. >> both of those things we know are not true. they're statements that were made in public. you look at whether statements in public could be impeachable or in some ways an obstruction of justice, correct? >> yes. and this is an area of law that is highly contested. remember, with regard to impeachment, impeachment is what the senate and house say it is. if it's an impeachment offense they can charge them. with typical criminal case, it's different. in a criminal case you really have to do something to impact
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the investigation and you have to do it with corrupt intent. so what you have in a criminal case is you can say things publicly, if you say them in order to influence what people say in the grand jury or if you tell people to lie in the grand jury or if you do things to have a corrupt impact on the investigation. it's a little harder in a criminal case, but there are cases where people say things in public and they turn out to be obstruction of justice. >> ken starr, you were working as an independent counsel, which is a different thing than a special counsel. what's the impact of those differences here? >> very different things and very important difference. remember under the special counsel act, ken starr was essentially the attorney general for the united states for all matters clinton. he did not have to answer back to the justice department. robert mueller does answer back to the justice department. he's more like a united states attorney for matters trump. so in the first instance is that anything that mueller wants to
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do, ultimately, bringing an indictment or any major event, he has to go back to the justice department and he's going to have to get permission. ken starr didn't have to do that. the special counsel act said he should, in all instances, act with accord. right now it's the teaching of the legal counsel and policy of the department of justice that a sitting president can't be indicted. that was more of a guideline for ken starr, that he could decide, as the boss, to pass up, less likely that robert mueller would do that. >> do you think a sitting president can be indicted? >> i think as a practical matter, a president can be indicted. can a grand jury return indictment of the president? yes. they can vote indictment and indictment be returned. what can the president do? he can pardon himself immediately, fire the prosecutor. he could tell the marshalls, you
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can't arrest me. he could tell the bureau of prisons, you can't hold me, because he runs the executive branch. these are all things that the president could do. naturally, the question isn't can the president be indicted, the question is more seriously, can the president be impeached for interfering with the indictment in the first place or interfering once it happens? technically and mechanically, yes, i think a president can clearly be indicted. a grand jury can clearly return an indictment on a sitting president. >> having been through this 20 years ago and watching what's unfolding before our eyes now, impeachment wasn't your decision. you did the report and the house went ahead and impeached the president. what lessons did you learn then and what advice would you give? >> it's important to remember the different scenarios. we were under the special counsel act, which required that when the special counsel had
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evidence of an impeachable offense, he was required to send that to congress. mr. mueller does not have that requirement. so there's a big difference there. but i think at the end of the day originally the congress got it right in the clinton investigation. i think they impeached him. they made a record of his criminal conduct. he committed a felony. and then there was a political decision during the trial that that was wasn't enough to remove him as president. so i think that it's okay to have the house return articles of impeachment if the president commits a felony, to record that activity. i still think it's okay if the senate doesn't remove because there's a record of it and there's political accountability. if the senate removes then you would have a new president. >> low bar for political impeachment there, which is
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different from what a lot of people hope but great perspective. >> thanks for having me. sacrifice and survival continue to emerge from what's left of paradise, california, after those deadly wildfires. cnn's bill weir has been there and has a live report next.
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crews in hazmat suits are starting to clear out the debris and rubble from california's deadly wildfire, 240 square miles of charred homes and melted cars are all that's left in the town of paradise. that monumental clean-up effort is expected to take at least a year but despite all of that, it could have been worse. cnn's bill weir is live in paradise, california, with more. oh, my gosh. the moonscape behind you, it looks like an apocalypse, bill. >> reporter: yeah. this is what's left of a convenience store that literally melted down to the dirt, alisyn. it's been just over a month since what they suspect was a power line that touched this thing off, igniting this just
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bone dry chaparchapaparelle her. hotter, more intense fires, more flammable world. a month ago, it was paradise. but after the deadliest american wildfire in 100 years, it is now mostly ash and rubble and melted metal. with 85 souls lost, this is the costliest wildfire in california history. if not for the heroes, like this
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gentleman who activated his body camera. not sure he would even survive. >> can i get in? >> he honestly believed he was recording the last moments of his life. in his mind he thought perhaps the video would survive. >> reporter: but somehow all first responders survived. >> i found an elderly woman standing on the side of the road. i only found her because i got tangled in some power lines that i had to cut. >> reporter: somehow they helped the city of 27,000 evacuate or she shelter in place, surrounded by blowing flames, on gridlocked roads and thanks to melting pipes, no water. >> as i opened my door, the embers are blowing inside my truck, thinking my truck is going to catch on fire. shut the door. run to the screaming i hear, an elderly couple, cuddling each
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other. >> reporter: thousands of stories like this, making paradise a symbol of community sacrifice and survival. the biggest clean-up in state history is under way. when the lines are up and safe, neighbors will be back, helping neighbors sift through what's left. those who study fire and water, wind and climate say paradise should be a warning. in fact, on black friday, while this fire was still burning, the trump administration put out the most frightening climate forecast in american history. over 300 scientists from nasa, noaa, the pentagon, all agreeing that unless things change this is just the beginning. but when asked about the report -- >> it's fine. >> reporter: -- and it's prediction of economic devastation. >> i don't believe it. no, no, i don't believe it. >> climate change doesn't care if you believe in it or not, right? it's reality. we have gravity. we have climate change. >> reporter: a scientist at the university of california.
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>> yes, we are seeing larger fires. >> reporter: and don haskins teaches the geography of fire at cal state chico. they both agree that california is also paying for the sin of building into the wilderness with no regard for natural cycles. >> i suppose the lesson is, if you don't have a lot of little fires throughout the seasons, you're going to have some really big ones. >> that's right. that's right. and the little fires, if you can imagine checkerboarding the landescape with a lot of little fires, could really do a lot to minimize those bigger fires later. >> reporter: there are around 130 million dead trees in california, controlled burning or cutting them would cost billions. but the risk of leaving them to burn wild is anyone's guess. >> one of the problems with human nature is, one, we rely upon our past experiences to predict how things will go forward. i talked to a lot of citizens who said yeah, we were aware of
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fires but they were always able to stop them on the ridge before they got there. i think it engenders this false sense of security. >> a lot has been viewed that way sort of through the lens of history and now it's much more like, uh, we can't really rely on history as a guide anymore. >> i believe that from when i started, the fires that we see on a regular basis are much more -- they're larger. they're more destructive. and the future generation moving forward, they have a very dangerous job ahead of them. >> much the way nervous flyers check the exits when boarding a plane, i've heard from california residents now checking the mountains of their towns, alisyn. scary new normal up here. >> smart thing to do, bill, i have to say. given the circumstances and where we're headed, you need to know. >> absolutely. >> bill, thank you very much for all that reporting. get a dose of inspiration from a doctor who takes care to
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you're not gonna say it are you? ladies and gentlemen, the 2018 cnn hero of the world is -- dr. ricardo punjam. >> it was a big moment last night for dr. punjam, who provides free housing, meals and support for sick children and their families while they undergo treatment in peru. >> thank you for my volunteers that help this teen years at our shelter. thank you for all the people
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that knock on the door and give us rice or beans. >> joining us right now is dr. ricardo pun-chong. >> thank you so much. >> what was that moment like last night? what did this mean for you? >> i was so excited. i don't have words to explain what i feel really. first, i think i'm going to fall down. >> fall over? >> yeah but then i saw the people, saw my friend there and he said you did it. you did it. >> tell us about this shelter. the work you're doing is such a great need in peru. >> yeah. well, you know, the government gives the patients the treatment
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free. cancer, leukemia, for example, the first cancer in kids, the first step of treatment is about six months. so there might be there in lima almost six months without moving. >> oh, my gosh. >> so they slept on the floor or in the church or near the parks so we decided to rent a house to help them. and that's it. >> some of them come from, obviously, very rural areas, very poor areas. they make the journey to lima to get the treatment. it's wonderful, of course, that the government provides the treatment. but then what about the food and the shelter? that's when you guys come in. you said it can't just be a place that provides food and shelter but it also has to provide healing. what do you do in your shelter
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that's special for the families? >> really, we play, have fun. we don't have a tv because we want the children to be creative, yeah, to play, to jump, to laugh. and that's it. once they used my car as a blackboard. >> what did you think when you came out and saw your car? >> it was wonderful. i love it. >> one thing that was so inspiring to me last night was one of the first things you talked about wasn't that you won but what you're going to do now that you have the cnn hero of the year, with the money. >> yeah. two years ago, the major of our district, they gave us land. 6800 meters to build a new
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shelter. so, we are going to use this $100,000 to start it and we can triple our support. >> and how did you get like this? how did you become selfless? why aren't you just wanting to make as much money and become as successful as you, in your own life? why did you want to open your arms like this? >> i asked god 11 years ago, i was -- i used to go every day to chur church, always. and 11 years ago i asked god to explain to me what i have to do, because i didn't know my mission here in this world. so i asked do you want me to be a priest, to be a missionary or what? what do you want to do? >> got the answer. wow! >> so, i'm doing what i feel.
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and i think it's okay. >> dr. ricardo pun-chong, it was so inspiring to see you surrounded by so many other people doing so many wonderful things and the admiration you had for each other, it was inspiring. >> thank you. >> great to have you here, doctor. >> and continue your dreams. please dream, always dream. believe in you. you know you can do it. >> that's a wonderful message. >> you're proof. >> i have a present for you. >> good. let's see that. you're not supposed to bring us presents. what is it? >> it's a scarf. >> the name of the shelter. >> yes. >> thank you. >> inspira in peru, made of recycled bottles. >> thank you so much. thank you for all that you do. >> thank you so much.
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>> one of our other favorite moments from last night's events, pair of canine heroes posed for that close-up. >> we'll explain. ♪
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it's time now for "the good stuff." cnn heroes also honored a pair of dogs helping our nation's veterans. you remember sully, president george h.w. bush's service dog until the end of his life. sully met tom last night on the red carpet. tom is a service dog for cnn hero chris stout. couple of snapshots of their encounter. these dogs were so adorable. john, this was your highlight, i feel, of the night. there were also celebrities there, but you were more excited about sully. >> totally. he was sitting in the crowd for much of the event. what do you do when you see a celebrity? >> you grab a selfie. a sully selfie. >> there's me, with sully in the background there. >> he seemed embarrassed to be in your selfie. >> he was totally psyched to mooes meet me. >> was he? >> yes. >> we should note that sully was there because george h.w. bush's
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granddaughter, lauren, was there to present for us. >> cnn "newsroom" begins right now. good morning. i'm jim sciuto in new york. poppy is off today. the mueller files coming in. are the walls closing in? the president is now directly tied to alleged federal crime. here is what we know. the prosecutors say that president trump directed his former fixer, michael cohen, to make illegal hush money payments to two women, claiming they had affairs with then candidate trump. we also know in 2015 cohen spoke with russian national who offered him political synergy, a quote. he turned that meeting down because he already had another russian contact under way. he also lied a

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