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tv   CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto  CNN  December 17, 2018 7:00am-8:00am PST

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has not condemned the prince. top of the hour. monday morning. i'm jim sciutto in new york. >> i'm poppy harlow. hope you had a nice weekend. we're glad you're with us. a few moments ago, we saw james comey arriving back on capitol hill. the former fbi chief is in for his second round of closed door testimony in ten days, just before house republicans give up their majority. over the weekend, comey had a very public response to a fresh attack from the president on those fbi searches that helped send his former lawyer, michael cohen, to prison. the president falsely called those searches break-ins. blamed them for supposedly turning michael cohen into a, quote, rat. of course, there was a warrant for the feds to do that. >> tomorrow, the president's first national security adviser finds out whether he will go to prison for lying to the fbi, as he pled guilty to. and the woes of michael flynn and michael cohen and several other former aides or allies have led the president's team to a decision. no interviews with robert
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mueller. no how, no way. >> good luck. good luck, after what they did to flynn, the way they trapped him into perjury, and no sentence for him. 14 days for papadopoulos. i did better on traffic violations than they did with papadopoulos. >> you're saying no interview. >> they're a joke. over my dead body. >> the president promised multiple times to sit down for an interview. that brings us to abby phillip at the white house. is he going to stick with it this time and never sit down with the special counsel? >> that remains to be seen. it's been interesting this weekend watching the white house. the president's aides and the president himself really go on an offensive against robert mueller. also against president trump's former personal attorney michael cohen, who last week pled guilty in recent weeks to charges that directly implicated the president. the president is revisiting a key issue here, which was that raid on michael cohen's office earlier this year that produced so much of what we have seen
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come out of the court documents. in his tweet this weekend, the president said michael cohen became a rat only after the fbi did something which was absolutely unthinkable and unheard of. he says the witch hunt was illegally started and he accused the fbi of breaking into an attorney's office and asked why they didn't do the same with the dnc. but the president is wrong about several facts here, including the first, which is that, you know, the raid on michael cohen's office was the execution of a lawful warrant. there was nothing illegal about it. and also, that the probe into russian interference in the election was also clearly not illegally started. but what it really shows you is some unease here from the president with where this is all going. you also saw his lawyer, rudy giuliani, over the weekend, as you heard in the previous clip, discussing this investigation. but also saying that the president's misstatements were implying that the president's
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misstatements were not as serious as they seem. listen to what he says about why the president's misstatements don't measure up to what he is saying are michael cohen's misstatements in the past about this investigation. >> pathetic. the man is pathetic. this man, you will never know what the truth is. he lies to fit the situation he's in. he will say whatever he has to say. he's changed his story four or five times. >> so has the president. >> the president is not under oath, and the president is trying to to the best he can to remember what happened back at a time when he was the busiest man in the world. >> so that is a new explanation here we're hearing from the president's lawyer, that he's not under oath and therefore it doesn't matter as much. we also heard from giuliani this weekend that in his view, collusion is not a crime. so it seems very much that the president's lawyers are trying to really shift the goalposts here as we are seeing more and more about the kind of legal jeopardy he could be facing, both from the michael cohen case
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and all these other cases that are breaking out all over the political sphere. federal cases, state cases. the president is clearly under a lot of legal pressure right now. and you can see from giuliani's comments on television over the weekend. >> you can. an investigation of one sort or another touching nearly every aspect of trump world. abby, thank you very much. let's jump to capitol hill. the former fbi director james comey is there for day two of his testimony. a few weeks ago, he was in there for hours and hours. today, he's back in frontf the republicans in two committees to answer more questions. what do you expect? >> yeah, that's right. republicans and democrats sitting down with james comey right now, after he sat down for six hours about a week and a half ago as part of this republican-led investigation into what the gop believes was mishandling of the fbi probe
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into the clinton e-mail matter, as well as the russia investigation. republicans entering this today believe that james comey has not been fully truthful with the committee. they believe that he didn't disclose properly his knowledge about the role that the clinton campaign and the democratic national committee had in funding that opposition research, the research that eventually led to part of the steele dossier, and they want to press him further on that. mark meadows, just moments ago, told me this when i asked him if he believes comey misled the committee. >> would he mislead the committee? >> well, i'm going to give him a chance to clarify that. i can tell you that when you look at his public statements and also the testimony that he's given, those don't seem to reconcile. we'll give him a chance to hopefully clarify those remarks, and help us better understand what he knew, when he knew, and at what point it became a factor
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in their decisions. >> now, democrats say the republicans are essentially grasping at straws, don't believe they had a lot of success in the investigation as a whole as well as the first round of question. we'll see if they have any luck going forward today. we expect comey probably to address the mikes later this afternoon. we'll see if he has any light to shed on what happened last time this time, because last time, he criticized republicans for focusing again on the clinton investigation. >> manu raju, thanks very much. joining us now, former fbi supervisory special agent josh campbell, and cnn legal analyst and former federal prosecutor, renato mariotti. josh, hard to keep track of the revelations in the last week, but let's try to do that. in just the last week, we have learned the discussions between russians tied to the kremlin and the trump campaign about the trump tower project didn't end in january. now rudy giuliani said it went
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as far as november. i asked director clapper, former director of national intelligence whether russia does this kind of thing to influence folks in the u.s., including a presidential candidate. i want to play you jim clapper's answer and get your reaction. >> any way that the russians can ingratiate themselves, seek access, seek leverage, seek influence, they'll do it. and of course, the way ahead for this particular asset, i'll use the term advisedly in air quotes, is through ego and financial inducement. >> clapper was referring there to then-candidate trump, not accusing him of being a knowing asset, but russia was treating him as an ased. do you agree? >> i agree, and it shows this multi-prong wave of effort from
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the russians when you look at 2014, 2015, and 2016. there was the cyber aspect, the hacking, the intrusions. that was an effort to influence the election. they also took it a step further and trying to determine, okay, who was in the best interest of russia to sit inside the white house. they determined it was donald trump, not hillary clinton. >> now we know from two separate reports going to the senate intel committee today that those efforts not only continued but stepped up in the six months after the election. let me get your take on the significance or maybe insignificance in your view of rudy giuliani saying in this interview yesterday with george stephanopoulos that the conversation between michael cohen and the president about a potential trump tower in moscow may have extended as far as or into november 2016, the election, of course, was then. our dana bash got on the phone with giuliani, trying to clarify the statements, and he said look, essentially, the conversations continued between the president and cohen. he doesn't remember exactly how long, so you know, it could have been into november. legally, how concerning should
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that be for team trump? >> well, look. it's certainly yet another instance in which the president made a false statement, right? he has indicated in the past that the discussions weren't ongoing during the election. he said many times during the election that russia didn't have business dealings with him, he had no involvement with russia. that would certainly be used against him in any legal proceeding. in and of itself, having business deals with russia isn't a crime. the issue might be if, for example, they were giving that penthouse to vladimir putin, there might be a foreign corrupt practices act there. that's really the devil in the details and it doesn't necessarily have to do with the timing. i will say that one issue from a kournlt intelligence perspective and this is something i imagine josh could weigh in on as well, is if the president was lying to the public about his dealings with russia, potentially russians could blackmail him if
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they knew -- obviously, they knew about the discussions and the american people did not. >> that was sally yates' concern, was it not, when she alerted the white house about michael flynn, that he had lied about contacts post-election during the transition, between him and the russian ambassador, michael flynn talking about sanctions. so that lying is a potential form of pressure. >> it is, and that was, if you think about what the fbi was doing at that time, the fbi was trying to protect american national security from foreign threats, from these counterintelligence threats, and they noticed there were different avenues here that the russians potentially had vectors into this campaign. as we mentioned the trump tower meetings, you had michael flynn, sally yates, her hair was on fire, going to the white house saying this is a big deal. problem is, it's the lies. it's the shifting, evolving narrative where suddenly sarah sanders says, well, the president wasn't involved in dictating the statement. his lawyers now say he is. i was thinking over the weekend, looking back on all the shifting narrative, you remember michael
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caputo, one of the campine people who suddenly remembered after speaking to the house of representatives that he and roger stone set up this meeting with this mysterious russian down in florida. it's this constant shifting new pieces of information that come to light. if you're sitting in moscow and know what's going on, these are areas of blackmail if the people on the other end continue to lie. >> big picture, there are so many investigations going on now. as i mentioned earlier, really touching every aspect of trump world, trump organization under investigation, trump inaugural committ committee, trump campaign, trump transition, trump administration, trump foundation. of all of those, which one poses this most significant potential legal peril for the president directly? >> if i represented the president, i would be the most concerned about the southern district of new york investigation because they are really just a step away from the president. here, they have already indicted michael cohen. they're building a case on other
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members of the trump organization. there's an individual labeled executive two in the cohen charges who appears to be a very high-ranking member of the trump organization, perhaps a trump family member, that would be who they're bidding a case against. they have already got the cooperation of allen wisal brg, the cfo, at people at american media. so i would be very concerned because they look like they're ready to strike. some of this other stuff is not in as far along of a stage. >> that's the sdny looking into the trump org, and the inaugural committee, and the reason for the inaugural committee is some of the documents from the cohen raid. >> someone has gone to jail for that already. not a putative crime, not a theoretical one. someone is going to jail. >> think it's too early to talk 2020? think again. a new poll of iowa republicans, crucial first state, already giving president trump the edge.
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plus, a new report suggests some of the country's largest social media giants did the bare minimum to help the russia investigation. why were they holding back and what were they holding back? >> an unprecedented act of bipartisanship on capitol hill. lawmakers today on the verge of passing comprehensive criminal justice reform. this matters, folks. we'll explain it ahead.
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trump, they would vote yes. about two thirds saying they would. 19% consider someone else. 10%, definitely vote for someone else. political analyst david gergen, former president to just presidents nixon, ford, and clinton. these numbers are interesting because i don't want to underestimate. this is 67% of iowa republicans, two thirds, a big number. still want to vote for trump enthusiastically, but it struck me as interesting because when you look at approval rating for president trump nationally among republicans, it's been in the 80s. should the president be concerned that it's down in the 60s in iowa for republicans? or is there not much in that? >> no, i think there's been some erosion. it hasn't yet been deep erosion, but it's enough that it should send up warning flags to the white house. particularly because we're still in the front edges of what appears to be a big, big storm that's coming. and he may be beaten up in all sorts of ways in the reports
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issues not only by mueller and others but now by the house over time. so this is a time of some peril for the president. and you know, he's trying to rearrange his forces so he can defend himself. >> it is interesting, too, in polling that the iowa republicans do, you know, even though he has 81% approval rating, about 60 something that would vote for him, they welcome other republican contenders. one thing i found so striking, david gergen, from this read in this polling in iowa, key state, is how much democrats do not want to hear from hillary clinton. 72% of democrats think she would detract more than she would add to the race. why? >> well, the whole country has hillary fatigue. i actually think that both clintons are being treated -- they're going through a bad patch in terms of their public reputation.
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presidential reputations go in cycles. you know, arthur schlesinger jr., great historian, pointed that out. they're in a down part of that cycle now. i think they will come back. in order oo do that, they have to stay out of politics, per se, they have to talk about what's good for the country and solving problems. hillary had a high approval rating when she was at the state department. it was when she stepped into the political arena her numbers dropped rapidly. and i think she has to be seen as a nonpolitical sort of wise woman of her generation. >> remember when george w. bush left office, his approval ratings were very low, including among republicans. since then, he's had a resurgence based in part as his activity as a former president. >> yeah. >> i want to ask you about this, because it is striking. and it is part of a long-term effort by this president to undermine confidence iplaw enforcement. justice department, fbi. his comment this weekend calling michael cohen a rat, set that
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aside for a little bit, kind of hollywood language there, but going after the fbi, calling a warrant, a search with a warrant of a suspect under investigation, calling that a break-in. what is the damage that that does, as it continues? coming from the president's mouth. >> i think two of the most dangerous things that we're seeing with this president is the continuous attack on law enforcement, when he doesn't agree with it. undermining the integrity of it, undermining the reputation for fairness, which is so essential to a rule of law. once you have, you know, law by cronyism or put your rivals in jail or that sort of thing, the respect for the rule of law crumbles and it's hard to run a country. the second thing is going after the press in much the same way. the fake news, those kind of arguments. the press is -- we have our faults, there's no question about that. but he's been driving down the ratings. what's really interesting, cow know this from your
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international experience, is country after country that had moved in more authoritarian directions, the two most striking things is the leadership attacks the press and they attack law enforcement. the president said it in so many words to leslie stall after the election first interview, saying he attacks the press so when the press puts out negative stories, the public won't believe them. >> absolutely right. but it is -- >> go ahead. >> i was going to say, this may continue beyond trump. we don't know. that's one of the big questions. if it erodes too quickly, it will go beyond. >> david, thanks. >> a new study set to give a whole lot more information on just how far russia went to interfere in the u.s. election and since the election crucially and tell us how little information that social media giants shared with investigators.
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i'm trying... ♪ yippiekiyay. ♪ mom. ♪ happening today, the senate intelligence committee is set to release two reports that will detail the russian social media campaign to sow discord in the 2016 election and after. one shows the russian was active on every social media platform
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and sought to help candidate trump win. also, facebook, twitter, and google held back in their probe to russian meddling and there are likely more russian accounts that the companies have yet to identify. joining me now, the director of research for new knowledge, that's the firm that put together that report on the participation of social media companies. rene, thanks for joining us this morning. >> thanks for having me. >> so first question, just so folks at home understand because this is a process to get a sense of how broad russian influence is, and investigators need the help of the social media ka companies to identify some of the bad actors. what did they not share or not share quickly enough so folks at home understand. >> sure, what they provided was a collection of content they attributed to the internet research agency. for facebook, that looked like posts and memes. for instagram, the images. for google, it provided ads and youtube content.
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each provided something different. with twitter, we had probably the most complete picture. they had metadata, information about the account. so using that metadata, we can see that russian trolls registered twitter handles that pretended to be american, even having american news property names like baltimore news, to russian ip addresses with russian device ids. you could see using that metadata, information that's not typically public, how the companies identified what accounts were russian and what weren't. with some of the social platforms like facebook and instagram. we had information about the engagement, so we could see how many people liked it or shared it or reacted to it. we could see there were thousands of comments, 4 million, i think, comments across the entire data set. we couldn't see what people were saying. when we get at what impact did this have, which is the question people wanted the answer to, that's where we still have gaps. >> you want to know how many people reacted, how far the
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influence went. did the companies give you any explanation when they weren't supplying what would seem to be fairly simple information? >> well, the reason i think they didn't supply it was probably user privacy. if you're sharing comment data, you would have to anonmize it. that said, i think they responded to the senate's request for information, not to mine. the senate was who provided the researchers with the data set. so my understanding is the senate reached out and said can you provide us with information about influence operations on your platform, starting around 2015, some of the companies really sort of stuck to the letter of the request, and others like twitter provided a much more broad collection of content. >> so we're more than two years out, obviously, since the election took place. but it struck me that your company said there are still more russian accounts, or likely that there are more russian accounts, that the social media companies have yet to identify. how many more do you believe and why? >> i think it's really hard to put a number on it because as
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you'll see, if you look in the report, one of the things we show is nobody likes looking at graphs, but unfortunately, graphs are the best way to show this, graphs of where they turned their accounts on. you actually see them creating accounts over the three-year operation. they didn't just stop. after the 2016 election, if anything, on instagram in particular, they ramped up. if you look at some of the instagram content, there's still some residual stuff on the platform. some of it is dorm nlt. some of it appears to potentially be related to other accounts that are still active. one of the challenges is, i don't think that we can expect that russia is going to give this up anytime soon. what we saw in the indictment from eastern division back in i believe it was late october is they had actually increased their budget. you don't increase your budget if you're planning on shutting down operations. so this is going to be -- >> as intel officials have said to me frequently, if it works from russia's point of shoe, they're going to stick with it. thanks very much for helping. it makes sense to us.
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>> thank you. really interesting stuff. so the senate trying to squeeze in a vote on criminal justice reform by the end of the year. it's headed to the floor today. this is hugely significant. administrations have been trying for years to get this done to no avail. that changes today. van jones with us next. ♪ ♪ acqua di giò. absolu. the new sensuality. giorgio armani.
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today. the first step act focuses on rehabilitation and release opportunities for current inmates. the fact that this is coming up for a vote and widely expected to pass the senate is no small feat. it's being done by both republicans and democrats. they have been trying to get this done, something like this, for years to no avail. host of the van jones show and co-founder of the cut 50 initiative, van jones is with me. good morning, my friend. how did you do it? because mitch mcconnell, who it's up to him to bring this thing to the floor in the waning days here of this congress, has called this bill in his words, extremely divisive. and now he's bringing it to the floor. take us behind the scenes. >> well, i think he misread his caucus. i think he misread the country. this is not divisive. this issue that we have too many people behind bars, serving too much time for stuff that really they should not be serving time for, has united the country. republicans and democrats.
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republican governors have been passing bills for years shrinking the prison population and bringing the crime rate down in georgia, in texas, in mississippi. in ohio. so mitch mcconnell just misread the moment, but what happened was people refused to give up. mike lee, rand paul, frankly, jared kushner and so many other republicans said, hey, listen, this is a no-brainer. let's get something done. and hakeem jeffries held in there as well. >> sure. and look, this changed from the first version that made it through the house, and it changed to get some of those wary senators, even democrat, senators like dick durbin, on board. let's talk about jared kushner. when you were on the show with us november sdwaen 15ths, the dr the president supported this, you said jared kushner deserves a lot of credit. this is personal for him. his father was in prison. this is something he has been fighting for.
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how much did jared kushner do to push mcconnell's hand to get to where we are? >> jared left it all on the field. he called everybody. he was working around the clock. but what's interesting is jared kushner is just one person who had a personal stake in this. the secret behind this whole thing, the secret sauce, there was no super pac, there was no highly paid lobbying effort. there was no big billionaire donor. it was formerly incarcerated people and people like jared kushner and jessica jackson from cut 50, whose families have gone to prison, and both sides said we're not going to give up. jared is the most visible example, but you had a lot of people, either formerly incarcerated or family members in jail who would not quit. >> you're right, because where is the big money donor for incarcerated folks. it's not out there. i am glad you mentioned jessica jones -- >> jackson. >> jackson, excuse me. we don't see her face as much as yours but she's a real power in le leazing with the white house. tom cotton, vocal critic.
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he has a host of amendments you're fighting. let me read you some of what he's said. the first step act allows felons and sex offenders to be released early. i don't think the senate should vote to let carjackers and bank robbers out of prison. what do you say to him? >> i say, you know, he should go to hollywood and write scripts because that's a hollywood skrift. it has nothin to do with the bill. the bill helps 100% of everybody who is in prison if they do a good job, they can earn good time credit and come home earlier. half of the people, though, if they take classes and really get ready to come home, job ready and transformed, can come home earlier. but that excludes all the people he's talking about, so he's making stuff up. the worst part about that kind of hysteria is it forgets the most important thing. 95% of the people who are in prison are coming home at some point. the only question is, are they going to come home job ready and transformed or not? what this bill does is puts in the classes and incentives for
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people to work hard, earn their way home earlier, and when they come home, they're coming home better and not bitter. we have been paying to have people come home bitter and not better, then we're surprised when people don't do a good job. so the reason that democrats and republicans are coming together, the reason donald trump and pelosi are supporting the same bill, the reason sean hannity is speaking for the same bill that people at msnbc like, is because it's so commonsensical, yet you have tom cotton trying to scare people, but people are not going to pay attention to that. >> to your point, it was interesting. i was having a conversation earlier this morning here with democratic senator chris coons, who said to me, and i quote, when the faith community from the evangelical and the progressive come together, this is what can happen. interesting take. finally, before you go, though, this is the first step act. it's called that for a reason. you want to see much more prison reform down the road. if the president's pick for attorney general, william barr, becomes attorney general, i wonder how much pushback you'll
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face. he wrote this letter in 2015 to mitch mcconnell saying, quote, mandatory minimums and proactive law enforcement measures have caused a dramatic reduction in crime. are you concerned that if he does become attorney general the president may say, okay, i'm not going further than the first step act? >> well, listen. we would pick somebody else for attorney general. and he may have a negative influence, but i tell you what. he's going to have a negative influence standing in front of a tidal wave of public opinion moving this direction. i believe the 2020 campaign will be the first time you see both parties running to say how much they can do for criminal justice, not running the old play book of fear and smear and that kind of stuff, but saying listen, let's get this done. this is becoming common ground. i have to tell you, i got 99 conflicts with the trump administration, but prisons are not one. i want to fight them everywhere they're wrong which i think they're wrong most of the time, but on this issue they're right and i'm feg to fight with them and everyone else. >> appreciate the jay-z
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reference there, van jones, thanks, my friend. >> got to get it in there. roc nation. >> quite a statement from van jones. no question. >> another story we're following. a new study finds vaping among teens, including just eighth graders, is dramatically spiking. how one e-cigarette company used social media to do just that, to target kids. that's next. ...i just got my ancestrydna results: 74% italian. ...and i found out that i'm from the big toe of that sexy italian boot! so this holiday season it's ancestrydna per tutti! order your kit now at ancestry.com
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breaking news. this just in to cnn. former business associates of michael flynn, have just been indicted. kara scannell is standing by. this goes to an attempt to
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extradite a turkish cleric living here in the u.s. under the demands really of turkish leadership. tell us what you know. >> that's right, jim. we just learned today that the man who is michael flynn's business partner at the flynn intel group was indicted on conspiracy charges and also is not registering as a foreign agent, for not registering as a lobbyist, essentially, articulating and arguing for the release of this turkish cleric, who is living in the u.s. and he also was charged today along with camille alpatakin who is a dutch turkish businessman who hired the flynn business group to make this cause and lobby on its behalf. this was three charged indictments with the men charged with both conspiracy and not registering as foreign ageance, and the turkish dutch businessman was also charged with giving false statements to the fbi when he spoke with the
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fbi, he did not inform them that some of these payments he had received, you know, he had received payments from the flynn intel group and he was also really working on behalf of the turkish government. so that's the new developments. the man was released today on bail. we have not had an appearance from the turk dutch businessman. and you know, that's the latest. there's still more information we expect to come out as this day progresses, from some court filings, but for now, that's the latest. >> just before you go, we know that michael flynn had admitted to prosecutors he had repeatedly violated these laws requiring him to list out point by point all of the work he had done for foreign governments. right? turkey being one that hired him and those associates you named to do lobbying work on their behalf. how significant is this tied to flynn given his sentencing tomorrow? >> well, you know, we also saw in the sentencing memoranda that went back and forth between the government and flynn's lawyers
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that flynn was helping the special counsel's office on at least three criminal investigations. it now seems clear this is probably one of those. >> good point. thank you, kara. we'll be right back. boom.
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so, if you're a parent, listen up. a stunning new report finds teenage vaping is spiking. with vaping now second only to alcohol as the most frequently used substance by teens. nearly 18% of eighth graders, just 14 years old, 32% of tenth graders. 37% of 12th graders say they have vaped in the last year. >> in the u.s., one company dominates the e-cigarette
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market. social media helped them get there. dr. sanjay gupta has this report. >> no question the fda has been cracking down hard on these e-cigarette manufacturers of which jule is the biggest one. their concern, could these e-cigarettes be increasing among youth, as you just pointed out there. jule for their point said they never intended to focus on youth, and that most of their social media actually comes about as a result of third-party influencers. but what our investigation found was that in fact jule was paying certain influencers to promote their product, and some of that promotion was to youth. >> we captured some photos. >> this is christina at work. >> some lifestyle. >> for the last ten years she's made her lifestyle as a blogger and social media influencer. one of her reesest jobs, post positive content about the e-cigarette jule. >> they wanted to appeal to the
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younger market, and they did. >> jule hired an influencer market firm which reached out to the 35-year-old christina in 2017. hoping to target her 57,000 followers. christina shared that 5% of her followers are in the 13 to 17 age range. they're especially susceptible to being influenced, according to robert jackler, who has been following jule since early marketing campaigns. >> they advertised exactly where young people live. young people today are obsocial media. they're on their phones continuously throughout the day looking at social media channels. >> juul's team reached out to me to work together, one blog post and one instagram post. their budget was we can offer you $1,000. >> juul declined an on-camera interview, but conceded it paid ten influencers and collectively paid less than $10,000.
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>> i think it's incumbent upon companies marketing the products to take steps to try to crack down on youth use. >> scott gottlieb's concern is teens are not aware that many e-cigs contain high levels of nick tear that is addictive, and more likely can lead to traditional nicotine use. >> they seized thousands of documents from juul. >> since the fda cracked down on juul, the company said it ended its social media campaign in the united states. dr. jackler said too little too late. >> turning off juul's own contribution to this at this point doesn't matter because it's become a fab and taken on a live of its own. >> for her part, christina has stopped using juul, and while her instagram post and blog reached more than 5,000 people, she wonders whether it was worth it. >> stepping back, when i saw all these kids smoking it at this
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festival during the summer turned me off to it, and i'm considering writing a blog post on why i quit. >> i think the most important is this. while these e-cigarettes could help people quit smoking, used as a smoking cessation device, if they also increase the usage among young people, that's a problem. take a look at these numbers over here. young people who use these e-cigarettes, 30.7% will start smoking combustible tobacco products in six months. 30.7%. non-users, 8.1%. those numbers, i think, really tell the story of what's happening here. >> wow. dr. sanjay gupta, so important. >> imagine that they're not a health concern because they're not pumping burning tobacco into your lungs, but as the doctor said there, it goes right to the brain. >> nicotine adversely affecting the young brains of these people, and by the way, it's big tobacco companies that own the biggest, most prominent e-cigarette makers.
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>> and a good gateway to going on to traditional cigarettes as well. a lot of reasons to be worried about it. >> thanks for being with us. we'll see you back here tomorrow. i'm poppy harlow. >> i'm jim sciutto. "at this hour" with pamela brown sitting in today starts right now. >> hello, i'm pamela brown, in for kate bolduan on this monday. we begin this hour with breaking news. federal prosecutors have filed charges against a former business partner of michael flynn. president trump's former national security adviser. the charges include conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government, announced just before flynn's scheduled sentencing tomorrow. i'm going to bring in kara scannell. she joins us now. explain the charges to us. >> that's right. these charges were announced today although they were filed under seal on december 12th. we learned michael flynn's former business partner has been charged with conspiring to act as a foreign agent in the u.s., lobbying for the ex

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