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tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  August 22, 2019 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT

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on "the lead" our coverage on cnn continues right now. happening now, west wing whiplash, as the economy shows troubling new signs of slipping, president trump is flip flopping on taxes, guns and foreign aid. he insists the economy is doing really well, but is his erratic behavior signs that he's actually worried. the g-7 summit begins this weekend, but there will be no final communique. and after president trump pulled off a trip to denmark, calling the danish prime minister's comments nasty, can the state department smooth things over with that ally? dropping out with their next debate just weeks ago, democrats start dropping out of the 2020 presidential race.
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are republicans now ready to jump in and challenge president trump. and is the notorious drug kingpin el chapo still carrying out a reign of terror from a prison. new documents offering chilling details. wolf blitzer is off. i'm brianna keilar, you're in "the situation room." president trump insists the economy is doing really well. that's a quote, but there are new hints of trouble ahead. it turns out that half a million fewer jobs were created in the past year than previously thought. u.s. manufacturing is slowing with a key index at its lowest levels in decades. a bond indicator is raising a red flag. as the economic warnings mount, president trump has become more erratic after flip-flops on guns and taxes, source says he's dropped a bit to cancel $4
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billion in foreign aid. after a lengthy rant in which hef called himself the chosen one in the showdown with china, the president's daughter ivanka and jared korb ner, who shall jewish have kept a low profile. the white house on won't say if they have addressed those comments with the president. i'll be speaking with congressman eric swalwell, and full coverage of today's top satires. let's begin at the white house with kaitlan collins. >> reporter: as we're seeing these red flags start to pop up about what could be to come for the economy, we are learning that last year the job market was strong, just not as strong as we thought. the labor department announced today that employers added half a million fewer jobs to their payrolls than initially reported, something they noted today as they revised the data
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with more hard-line numbers. that calms as the president and his aides are trying to figure out how to keep the strong economy that they relied on the last two years, impact as he heads towards reelection. as economic warnings signs are flashing, tonight president trump is sending mixed messages. >> i'm not looking at a tax cut, we don't need it. >> reporter: part of the confusion, whether or not the president is considering a tax cut. >> president obama did that in order to artificially jack up the economy. >> thank you so much -- >> that's a reversal of what he said only days ago. >> payroll taxes, i've been thinking about it for a long time. >> reporter: the president's flip-flop coming as congressional budget forecasters says more red ink is to come. the congressional budget office not says the federal deficit will balloon to $960 billion
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this fiscal year, and average 1.2 trillion for the next decade. the most consistent economic message has a contradictory one. today he insisted the economy is doing really well, but he spent the week calling for a big federal rate cut, a move typically made when an economic dip is on the horizon. if he does it, you'll see a rocket ship. if he doesn't, we have a very strong economy. >> reporter: the whiplash in the west wing is widespread. >> i have an appear tide for background checks. >> reporter: now his he will push for back ground checks, saying that he never knoll the nra he wouldn't. >> it's a trump talking point. >> reporter: toe -- -- what the president will support and whether or not that support will
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waver remains to be seen. as trump bobs and weaving between controversies, two of his top advisers are noticeably missing in action. following a weekend vacation in wyoming, jared kushner and ivanka trump have remained under the radar this week, staying publicly silent as the president digs in on his accusation that jewish voters who support democrats are being disloyal to israel. >> you vote for a democrat you're being very disloyal to jewish people. >> reporter: to skiing in aspen to vacationing in florida during the christmas government shutdown, their absence in times of trouble has become a pattern of the trump presidency. now, brianna, the white house is not k0789ing on whether or not ivanka trump or jared kushner have discussed those comments about loyalty with the president. we should note in the past ivanka trump hasn't comment odd her private conversations with her father, but at times when
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they've disagreed there have been selective leaking about her advice to him. one is the family separation policy, but so far this has not been one of those instances, brianna. >> caitlyn collins, thank you so much. the g-7 summit begins this week went with president trump suggesting that russia should not reinstated and the french is that say there's likely to be discord. given what has happened preceding this g-7, how awkward might be this about be? >> he's repeating time and time against he would like to see russia back in the g7. that's something most of the allies wouldn't like to see until there is a demonstrable change, but the other thing to consider here is president macron has decided no joint communique coming out of this g7. that's the first time since this
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leaders meeting started happening almost 50 years ago they won't sign off on something together. macron said he was doing that, because it was a pointless exercise. that's all because president trump last year wouldn't sign off on the joint communique. he stunned his allies by not signing it. there was more focus on him not signing it than on what was actually accomplished. so macron is trying to avoid that. there's constantly been tension with trump. we remember that picture of him sitting with his hands crossed and german chancellor angela merkel point the all him, and president macron is doing everything he can to try to keep trump out of the spotlight this year. >> what's going on right now with separately denmark after the president snubbed the leader, and called her comments nasty. is he working to smooth things over? >> there has been a lot of on
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effort on secretary pompeo and the u.s. ambassador in denmark to smooth things over. first we saw excitement. she tweeted out a pictures around the time that president trump was cancelling the visit, saying they were excited, there was a photo that had trump billboards on a big building in denmark that she tweeted out. obviously things have changed since then. she's had to sit down with the foreign minister of denmark and try to smooth things over. secretary of state pompeo has made calls to his counterpart. heside in that phone call he reiterated to the u.s. is very thankful to have the deigns as an ally, but i also want to point out that they discussed strengthening cooperation with the kingdom of denmark, including greenland in the arctic. nothing in that readout about buying greenland. >> indeed there isn't. i almost laugh that it was a real probably.
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joining mess is eric swalwell, a members of the judiciary and intelligence committees. thanks for joining us. >> thanks for having me. let's talk about guns. the president reversing himself yet again on background checks. president obama was not able to pass any legislation on guns, even when he had the chance to do it, you can't argue with full control of congress, it was obviously a tougher political landscape after sandy hook, but there was certainly a big push for it. if a democrat is able to beat president trump in part because of in, on guns, do they absolutely have to make good on their promises to do something, even in the face of political odds? >> yes, absolutely, and too many families are counting on the next president to do something. parents are sending their kids back to school this month, and
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the anxiety begins to build. most families feel safer in the summer considering hour vulnerable we are to school shootings. and so what we can do is to put or foot on the gas and not to relent. we have the nra on the ropes of. we beat 18 nra-endorsed to congress on -- and i think the crossroads is do we ban future sales and future production of high-capacity magazines, or do we want to ban them all together now. i think the moment actual is with us, and we can ban them now. >> even in 2013 after the sandy hook massacre, when you had first graders killed, there were four democrats that voted against a bipartisan bill to expand background checks, the very thing being discussed now. how are things different now in
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2019 than they were in 2013? >> before, i think there was a fear of the nra, and today you should fear the moms. i had a town hall last night in san ramon, california, the moms show up now, you see the t-shirts moms demand action. they show up with other groups as well, but they're a force. more money was spent by gun safety groups who realize that's the only way to compete with the nra for sensible gun laws. they'll continue to hold republicans and didn'ts accountable. >> we are seeing some warning signs flashing. is there anything that the president can do to avert a recession, keeping in mind that the federal budget deficit is expected to hit $1 trillion next year? >> first, if he sent ten fewer tweets a day and invested that time in working with mitch mcconnell and speaker pelosi on an infrastructure bill, that would certainly help the
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economy. he walked away from the last opportunity to do that. second, stop being so child-ish with china and end this trade policy issue, and third, i'm going to give him credit. yesterday he took an important step on student loan dead. he prioritized disabled veterans and wiped out their debt, put them first. he's recognized this is an issue. he should work with congress to bring the interest rate down to zero, allow more money into more pockets every month so, this generation can buy homes, be entrepreneurs and start families. if a recession hits, should congress spent even more money to stimulated economy, when we're seeing deficits rising? >> well, we should repeat the tax cuts where 73 went, who did
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not invests those tax cuts, what can you do is reward companies and give them a lower tax rates, but if it's going to be more giveaways to the wealthiest while two thirds of americans have less than $1,000 in their savings account and only 50% are invested in the stock market, that won't help is the people feeling the biggest pain from this economy. >> knowin that those tax reforms under president trump, or the tax plan that congress passed, knowing that there's no chance of repealing that for 2021 at the earliest, because republicans are currently in control, what can be done? right now you have a third of economists say a recession is coming next year, another saying 2021, so you have two thirds of economists being surveyed who are saying it's going to come in the next two years, meaning something would need to be done
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before then. >> we're not helpless. there's an opportunity to investment in rural infrastructure, rural broadband, modern schools in every school district, but also, brianna, there's a real opportunity i think in health care. you know, that is the biggest caught of death for most families in america other than their home loan, their health care costs. so to work constructively to bring down health care costs, so american versus more purchases power. >> i want to ask you about the g7. the president is heading to france after several days of stirring up controversy on the international stage before he even arrives. what impact will that have on the president's ability to work with global leaders during what are really high-stakes meetings? >> we need friends in the world, brianna. today, if there was to be an attack on america or one of the
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america's interesting, i'm not sure we would have the same friends across the world lining up to go to conflict or to help defend the united states. the danish, for example, they went with us into the last two conflicts. whether you agreed with the conflicts or not, in iraq and afghanistan, they served side by side with american soldiers. we continue to alienate our friends. also, as you look at the programs in europe, where they take care of people through health care, education, access to skills, they don't spend as much on defense. i think it's an opportunity for us to realize we can have strength through partnerships, spend less on defense at home. but if he's going to alienate us, we'll have to spend more on our national defense, and that's at the cost of education and health care. >> congressman swalwell, thank you for joining us. >> thank you, brianna. president trump is his erratic behavior a sign he's
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tweet storms and rants on everything, president trump is preparing to head overseas to immediate with leaders of the world's economic powers. let's talk to our experts to see what they're expecting here. first off, let's talk a bit about the economy t. abby, and where the president is on that. we're seeing some alarming numbers. manufacturing is slowing down, the jobs numbers for last year were revised downward. the bond market is again having this inversion. what you really need to know about that is it's a predictor of a recession. is the president rattled? >> he's been concerned for some time about whether the economy will stay strong, particularly as it relates to her political prospects. that's one of the reasons he's been lashing out at the fed chairman, jerome powell. he thinking the 23rd is jeopardizing the economy by not juicing it by lowering interest rates the way he would want it,
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but these economic indicators seem to be catching up with all the chaos that's been happening over the last severity mo months, and now president trump is faces is real predicament. does he do something to step in and potentially rattle markets even more by doing that? or does he continue to say everything is going great and see what happens down the road? >> there's a strategy besides that? right now, it's nothing to see he here. >> right now the strategy is rage tweeting the federal reserve, which is not really a strategy and beyond that had he's floating ideas. another tax country? can he work to weaken the u.s. currency? the problem is the president doesn't recognize you can
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basically draw a direct line between his trade policy, his trade war and the uncertainty in the business community and a lot of the angst that's driving a fear of a recession. it's unlikely the president would admit that his trade policy is not working, and in fact detrimental in ways. that's one of the steps he could take to help, but he wouldn't admit he was wrong. >> rage tweeting -- >> that's an "incredible hulk" vibe to it. >> are they worried it's the economy that's fueling what's erratic behavior? >> there's a times piece by peter baker and maggie
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habiterman thhabit e have written, that he's complaining about everything else and that, you know, that this has put him in a rage. you can understand that. i think this is a position who always believed i'm the negotiator, i'm the successful businessman. i'm the person who can dig us out of any hole and by the way any hole we are in was created by barack obama, and if he loses that and people begin to feel the pinch and the farmers say, you know what? the trade war is hurting us though you're supplementing us to the tune of $14 billion, that this will hurt in the reelection, and of course that would drive him crazy. >> the problem, just to add to gloria's point, when you refer
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to yourself as a chosen with this is you do what donald trump has done his whole life in politics. you put yourself in a situation where you're the only one that can fix these things. if they go wrong, it's also hard to blame jay powell at the fed or the world markets or china. he has put himself in a place where he is uniquely suited, he understands the markets in a way that no one else does. he knows how to juice the economy and look at the results. if the look at the results piece fades, you can kiss his reelection good-bye. i don't think it's fading yell, but that's the one thing people fall back on. if the economy starts being less good, that argument loses its steam. >> the question is when it cross
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its threshold. >> and who do you blame? powell or the democrats? >> i think his's set it up so the -- >> the president suffers from telling stories to himself. he's claiming this is the greatest economy in the history of the country, when in reality, the jobs he's created do not exceed what president obama created in the same period of time. the gdp numbers are a bit better, but they're more or less in line with what gdp has been in recent years. his expectations are so high that now they're coming back down to earth, he's having trouble dealing with that. i think his eighths are having trouble explaining why this isn't a rosier picture than he would have expected. >> you cover him day in and day out. would you say he's in denial a bit? >> i think he probably is. he's still say every day, this is 9 greatest economy in the history of the united states of
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america. that has never been true, really, so i think he's trying to create a positive picture. we see him doing this a lot when behind the scenes he's more worried and more concerned. the context around this is back when the russia investigation was the big thing on his mind, we used to see these period where the president seemed to be lashing out. russia is on the back burner now and i the economy is on the front burner. stand by. the president is heading to the g7. of course, when you're going to a party, you definitely try to create trouble with all the people at the party, right? actually, no, you don't. so we're going to discuss what to expect with the g7 summit ahead. (vo) that's why verizon lets everyone mix and match different unlimited plans. sebastian's the gamer. sebastian. this is my office. (vo) and now with more plans, everyone gets what they need without paying for things they don't.
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and we are back now with our political experts. there is a big test on foreign relations for president trump this weekend. he's going to the g7. he, abby, is headed there after insulting denmark but pulling out of a state visit, keeping in mind that denmark is a key intel and military ally of the u.s. what is the mood going into this forum? >> hoffly it's always dread. >> who is dreading it? the other countries? >> the other countries. >> and the white house staff.
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virtually every g7 he's attended is preceded by this sense of drama. president macron is trying to get ahead of that. we're not even going to try to sign something that president trump will have to then pull out of. that's one way to resolve the tensions, but note the president has rage tweeting at germany for certain days now. so he is going into this already kind of worked up with individual members about different things, and it's really not a very good sign. >> you go in there like a bull in a china shop and you say, okay, i'm elbowing you about, because i don't like what you're doing in germany.
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denmark, you couldn't give me the real estate i wanted so something is rotten in denmark -- [ laughter ] >> love it. >> so presidents normally, normally go to these summits with achievements that they believe can be done in advance they work it out, they try and cut some deals. they try and see where their agreements are, their staffs work together. they get there and papers get signed and things work out i think in this sense, this president -- and it's purposeful. this is not donald trump doing it without a purpose in mind. he is out to prove people have been taking advantage of us, and we have let them do it, here we are with barack obama again, and we have let them do it for years and years, and i'm going to be
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different. >> but what are the deliverables to bring home if he's going in like that. what is it? >> i don't think that there's necessarily -- i don't believe he thinking that there should be deliverables coming out of something like this. for him it's largely optics, some as gloria mentioned, you want us to all get along? remember the line -- i was elected to be the leader of the united states, not be popular in the salons of paris. that's who he is. it's not just, as abby said, about germany and their interest rates. it's not just about denmark and she said the worst word you can't say on television -- absurd about me, right? he also threatened yet before he took off to go to kentucky, we have a lot of isis fighters in our prisons. we might have to release them back into france and germany. it's not just like -- >> which is illegal, but
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incendiary. >> it's meant to provoke. >> reporters eat this up, by the way. i think this is the point you're making. political president trump sees an incentive to act this way on the international stage. he doesn't care about the reception he's getting from these foreign leaders or what this does to the united states' relationship abroad. he's doing this for his base. they love this. >> but this is not a setting he is comfortable in. i traveled with him to the g20. it's a bigger group of world leaders some of who they feel -- it's a larger group that where he can go to his corners, where he is received better. but when he's with some of these european leaders in particular, which he has some serious problems with, whether it's the paris climate accord or trade, or just a general sense he is under siege, nato, he's less comfortable. it's one of the main reasons
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why, at the g7 in particular he has issues going into this. sometimes he just really doesn't want to go, doesn't want to deal with it. >> it reads like self-sabotage going in. >> absolutely. well, it depends on your motivations and what your goals are. if your goals are to further the united states relationships and partnerships with these companies, strengthen our alliances, then yeah, it does seem like self-sabotage. if your motivations are president trump's motivations, which are generally to blow everything up, then mission accomplished. rebecca, abby, gloria and chris, thank you so much all of you. coming up, they started the month as democratic presidential candidates, as of today they're running for other jobs. stand by for the latest on the 2020 race. cident. usaa took care of her car rental, and getting her car towed.
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tonight the democratic field narrows. >> it's clear i'm not going to be carrying the ball. >> jay inly will now instead seen a third term after struggling to gain tracks hundred in the massive field. he's not the only one. >> i notice changing washington is hard, but i want to give it a shot. >> former colorado governor john hickenlooper announced plans to run for senate against cory gardner. the democratic field could shrink even further as at least a dozen candidates have yet to qualify for the third primary debate next month. while the democratic field may downsize, there are signs the republican field may grow. president trump already facing a primary challenge from former governor of massachusetts bill weld, but two former gop members of congress are also eyeing a run. south carolina's mark sanford and joe walsh of illinois, who signaled his plans this morning on cnn's "new day."
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>> i'm strongly, strongly considering it. i'm not trying to be cute or coy. i've told you before, if somebody will go in there and go after them, john, it's got to be done soon. >> reporter: it would be a tall climb, with the president holden an 84% approval rating among republicans in the latest cnn poll. >> we need bold and aggressive action. >> also tine a major policy proposal. bernie sanders unveiling a comprehensive plan to combat the climate crisis. it calls for 100% renewable energy for transportation eliminated fog the fuel by 2050, with the goal of creating 20 million new jobs, but it won't be cheap. a price tag of more than $16 trial yoon, a cost sanders vowed would pay for itself over time. we talked about how difficult it's going to be for these republican candidates to challenge president trump in the primary. well, brianna, one of them is
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not making it easy on himself. mark sanford tweeting that he's heading to iowa. look what he wrote. he can't wait to see voters in the buckeye state. of course, that's ohio. >> that's not the buckeye state, mark sanford. >> it's the hawkeye state. >> that's the worst. >> and they are preproprietary. >> he may know, but just throws it out there. >> it's always good to have somebody check your tweets. >> run it by a friend who is informed. ryan, thank you. even though he's in a u.s. prison, is one of the world's most notorious drug issues orders? that helps her heart so she can keep on doing what she loves. in the largest heart failure study ever, entresto was proven superior at helping people stay alive
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the notorious drug lord el chapo may be locked up in the toughest prison but the reign of terror may be continuing behind bars. what have you been learning, brian? >> reporter: the tentacles of power of the convicted drug kingpin with a horrifying record of violence on his own could still be targeting potential witnesses even with el chapo being held in a supermax prison. he is locked behind bars, convicted of multiple counts of drug trafficking. tonight cnn learned the world's
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most dangerous drug lord may stilling lording over his empire. a trusted lieutenant of his offered $25,000 to take out a hit on another former lieutenant while they were both in jail. the target, a former associate of el chap o's cartel. the order was to split his head. >> how they can still use people in their network, whoever it may be, to send messages to rivals. i think not since the mafia, the real mob, that we heard of this stuff going on. >> court documents don't say the name of the target. he learned gang members offered $25,000 to beat him while he was being held at a secure facility in chicago. the hit was not carried out. cerano was moved to another facility for his safety. lopez cerano has been a key
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witness against members of the cartel even though he was once among their top lieutenants and a godson of el chapo. >> i think he is a big threat to the cartel knowing about the sons, knowing as much as he does about chapo himself. chapo has been sentenced but that does not mean he doesn't know tons about his circle. >> he is jailed in america's only supermax prison in florence, colorado. experts say likely in a 7 x 12 cell at least 23 hours a day. former dea agents say it is important that el chapo be kept there so he can't continue to run the organization. >> corruption first, if they can't do that they will turn to intimidation. if they can't do that they will inflict brute violence. we have taken all of those things away from him.
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you know, right now he can't manage the cartel. that is the position he needs to stay in. >> at his trial a former associate testified his former beauty queen wife played a key role in one of his legendary prison escapes although she was never charged. could they get help in running the cartel and running hits from cornel? >> she has never shown any willing tons get involved in the ordering and facilitating of violence. that is an old fashioned cartel rule. the women do not generally get involved in that. >> as for the target of the alleged prison hit, analysts say that it is likely he will be called to testify at the trials of other drug traffickers. prison officials could be under pressure to keep him safe as he
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is incarcerated. >> the former cartel member has his own record of extreme violence? >> he is no choir boy. he has had a hand in more than a dozen murders and more than two dozen kidnappings and is said to be close to el chap oochapo's s. coming up, the hunt is on for a sniper that ambushed a sheriff deputy in southern california. what is behind the attack. the ceo of resigned after revealing a sexual agent with an accused russian agent. fisher investments tailors portfolios to your goals and needs. some only call when they have something to sell. fisher calls regularly so you stay informed. and while some advisors are happy to earn commissions whether you do well or not. fisher investments fees are structured so we do better when you do better.
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happening now, denying a downturn as reliable warning sign of recession flashes again. president trump is insisting the economy is doing really well. is he exposing his private fears through erratic rants and policy reversals. the plot thickens in the case of an accused russian agent as she remains behind bars. the ceo of
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resigned after revealing they had a sexual relationship. the manhunt continues after an l.a. county sheriff's deputy was shot by someone in an apartment building across the street. cnn is on the scene. and thwarting a mass shooting plot in a california hotel where a disgruntled cook was ready to gun down guests and his co-workers. wolf blitzer is off today. you are in the the situation room. tonight there is more reason for americans to be concerned about a possible recession as new indicators suggest a downturn could be on the horizon. job growth and u.s. manufacturing growth is slowing. a warning signal from the bond


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