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tv   CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto  CNN  September 23, 2019 7:00am-8:00am PDT

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ank you very much. a very good morning to you. i'm jim sciutto. >> and i'm poppy harlow. president trump says he did it and what are the democrats going to do about it? the president confirms he did talk to the president of ukraine and joe biden. this follows severity different talking points of the president over the past few days. first he denied it, denied bringing it up in the call at all saying on twitter, quote, another fake news story out there. it never ends. virtually any time i speak on the phone to a foreign leader, i understand that there may be many people listening from various u.s. agency, not to mention those from the other country itself. no problem. >> he later said he couldn't remember them and then said he
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couldn't -- then saying everyone read the whistleblower story, including him. >> it was largely a conversation that congratulatory, largely saying we don't want people like vice president biden and his son creating to the corruption in ukraine. >> there is no evidence to that charge the president leveled there. the president did find time to attack the whistleblower as a spy, all the while with no evidence, continuing to say again that biden acted inappropriately. boris sanchez is at the white house with the latest. four days ago the president is denying this as fake news and now by the weekend proudly copping to it, saying i have a
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right do it. is that where the white house position stands? >> reporter: that's right. the president saying his conversation with the ukrainian president was perfect. fox news was saying this whistleblower was nothing more than partisan trying to go after the president, even though the president has acknowledged they have no idea who this whistleblower is. trump said he wants the transcript of his call with the ukrainian prime minister released, despite some in his administration don't think it's a good idea. listen to mike pompeo and steven mnuchin talking on cable news over the weekend. >> we don't release transcripts very often. it's the rare case. those are private conversations between world leaders. it wouldn't be appropriate to do so except in the most extreme circumstances. there's no evidence that that would be appropriate here at this point. >> i think that would be a terrible precedent. conversations between world leaders are meant to be
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confidential. >> we should point out the white house put out a readout of the conversation between trump and the ukrainian president around the time that it took place. it made no mention of any talk of corruption, certainly no mention of joe biden or his son, hunter. we point out there is no evidence of any wrong doing by the bidens. this is really the trump play book, though, jim and poppy, the president launching accusations against a rival that are similar to the ones that he's facing he's suggesting biden tried to intervene in ukraine to try to earn favor for himself and for his son as he is openly acknowledging he tried to sway the ukrainians to go against one of his potential 2020 rivals and to investigate him, jim and poppy. >> let talk about what congress is saying and what they're maybe going to do about it. lauren fox joins us on capitol hill with more. we heard a significant shift in
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word choice and tone from speaker pelosi and house intel chair adam schiff over the weekend. but some democrats like elizabeth warren and alexandria ocasio-cortez want to see a lot more. >> that's right. over the weekend nancy pelosi sent a dear colleagues letter to democratic counterparts basically arguing if they do not get that complaint by the end of the week that the trump administration and president trump himself could face dire consequences. she wrote, quote, if the administration persists in blocking this whistleblower froms did closing to congress a serious possible breach of constitutional duties by the president, they will be entering a grave new chapter of lawlessness, which will take us into a whole new sage tage of investigation. and adam schiff basically arguing impeachment could be a potential avenue to deal with this latest whistleblower accusation. here's what he told our colleague jake tap erp yesterpe.
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>> we cannot afford to play rope a dope in courts for weeks on end. if there's a fire burning, it needs to be put out. we'll have to look at every remedy and if this is one issue and it relates to one issue, if it's a deplorable violation, then we'll have to consider impeachment as well a remedy peer. >> pelosi and schiff were in constant communication over the weekend, we're told. this is part of the broader debate within the democratic caucus about whether or not to move forward with impeachment. you've heard from people like alexandria ocasio-cortez that now is the time, we've waited too long. >> we'll watch very closely. lauren, appreciate the reporting. thanks so much. >> let's discuss with andrew mccabe, the former deputy director for the fbi. andr andrew, you spent 21 years in
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the fbi. did you ever see a political figure pressure a foreign government to investigate his or her political opponent? >> no, jim. it's absolutely unqualified no. this is not something i have ever seen before. in fact, it's remarkable to have an american political figure, much less the president of the united states, pushing a foreign government, especially one that we have concerns about corruption issues within their own criminal justice establishment, pushing that foreign government to begin investigation of a u.s. citizen. it's really incredibly dangerous and a questionable practice. it is true that while we have our own investigations going, there are times that we reach out to foreign governments for information that might be relevant to our investigations, but we do that through official channels, through the justice department and the fbi and we do it through those official channels for this exact reason. so there is no question that politics has played a role. >> so after initially denying
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this whole narrative here, the president is essentially copping to it and saying he's justified. we don't know yet whether we connected the delayed military assistance to ukraine, which we should note was delayed around the time of these discussions here. we don't know if he made that connection here, but independent of that, a sitting president pressuring, asking eight times according to "the wall street journal" a foreign government to investigate his political opponent, from a legal perspective does that amount to a violation of u.s. campaign laws? >> it certainly could. as you know, the campaign laws are very clear that you cannot seek the assistance or accept any assistance or anything of value from a foreign national or a foreign government. in this fact pattern, which of course we're don't have all the facts because we haven't seen the whistleblower complaint yet but it certainly seems just based on the president's own admissions and the other remarkable reporting that's come out on this issue, that the
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president addressed this issue, not just addressed the issue with the foreign leader but also sent his personal emissary to interact with agents of that foreign leader in third-party locations, which is, again, incredibly suspicious. if this were activity that was just normal foreign relations conducted within the president's very broad scope of the president's authority to do foreign relations, why is he sending his personal attorney overseas to do that, a person who has no official standing or authority whatsoever? it's all very, very suspicious. >> we noted last week the timing of this call, july 25th, to the ukrainian president, one day, 24 hours after robert mueller completed his testimony on the hill, which in the view of many republicans, even some democrats, signaled the end
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without some umph to the end of the mueller investigation. do you see it being that i'm going to pick up the phone here and see if i can get some help. >> that seems possible. i cannot tell you what the president was thinking, wouldn't try to put myself in his head for any moment. but if we look at the fact as we know, it seems like somebody who has finally escaped a two-year investigation over very similar allegations of conspiracy or collusion with a foreign government and the very next day after what may consider to be a sim bottic end to that investigation, the very next day pressuring a foreign leader for what would no doubtedly amount to assistance in his own campaign effort.
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it's confounding and remarkable. >> this came to light by a whistleblower inside the intelligence community who got a readout in effect on this call and was so concerned, it appears, made a complaint via the established and legally established whistleblower path within the office of the director of national intelligence. now, as you know, the justice department and the white house standing in the way of that report being reported to congress as is required by the whistleblower law saying that somehow this complaint doesn't fall under that law. you know the law decent live well. tell us if that excuse makes any sense to you. >> yeah, sure. so two things to point out here. i am not an expert in the law in question but i have taken a close look at it. quite frankly i cannot agree with the justice department's interpretation of the law in question. i would point out that the whistleblower statute here is very specific in that it grants
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to the i.g. only the ability and the authority to determine whether or not the complaint is credible and urgent. and then the dni simply has the ministerial role of handing that complaint over to congress. nowhere in the statute does it explicitly give the dni the authority to review or rescind the ig's determination of urgency and credibility. so it's an odd theory i think d.o.j. is pointing to here. the second thing i would point out, jim, is this person did exactly what we expect and hope whistleblowers to do, they stood up, raised their hand, used the systems and the laws that are in place exactly for this sort of a complaint and put themselves at great risk in doing so. and i certainly hope that they continue to receive the protection that all whistleblowers are entitled to under the statute.
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that is an open question right now. >> and the law was designed to give them that kind of protection. we'll see if that stand up. >> thanks, jim. >> world leaders are gathering for a major summit on the global climate crisis at the u.n. general assembly. there is one notable absence, the u.s. president. we're going to tell you what he's doing instead. >> meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of travelers are stranded after a major tour operator unexpectedly shuts down. >> and later, an interview with george clooney. what he's doing to step up efforts to stop corruption in south sudan. you think this is love? this is a billion years of tiger dna just ready to pounce. and if you have the wrong home insurance coverage,
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creating to the corruption already in the ukraine. >> biden says this is a clear case of abuse of power. he's calling on congress to investigate. to be clear, there is no evidence of wrong doing by joe biden or his son hunter. i'm joined now by representative gonzalez, he serves on the house foreign affairs committee. >> good to be here. >> you heard the president. that is the latest version he has of what happened. if it does turn out that the president indeed withheld aid to ukraine for any amount of time because he wanted ukraine to begin an investigation into biden and his son hunter, what should the reaction of congress be to that? >> well, i think it will be a pretty dramatic reaction. i think it's already happening now just on speculation of what may have been said. but i think we need to get to the bottom of it, get a full report from this whistleblower. and as of right now, they're not
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in compliance with federal law. you go the to remember that rule was created to promote for exactly what the purpose is occurring now for whistleblowers to feel comfortable to call out discrepancies such as this. they have. the inspector general classified it as urgent and credible. he had 14 days to investigate it under the rules, under federal law. then the director of intelligence has a week to turn it over to the intelligence committee and he has not. >> it's exceeded that and that law is so explicitly laid out. >> it couldn't be clearer. >> let me ask you this. you have also been clear, sir, at least up until now that you are not supportive of impeachment against the president. you said just in june the best way to impeach trump is to defeat him in 2020. but in "the wall street journal" reporting bears out and we have no reason to believe it won't that the president eight times demanded this investigation by ukraine and if there was any
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quid pro quo for u.s. aid to ukraine, do you then support impeachment of the president? >> i don't think we have a choice under the constitution, we must move forward with impeachment proceedings. i don't think we'll have much of a choice. it seems like the president is really pushing us for impeachment proceedings. i don't know if he's baiting us, that he has a personal agenda that he thinks this is helpful for him. clearly the inspector general says i'm not going to jail for you, informed the committee that in fact this investigation was ongoing, that he thought it was credible and urgent and he clcl wanted the committee to have notice of it. that's how chair schiff found out about it in the first place. >> that's a significant change for you, your position. you've been incredibly cautious on this. >> yes. i think it should be a significant change for republicans, for every patriot in america, any thought that you would have the leader of your country negotiating with foreign leaders for his personal
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political benefit i think is a huge issue that everyone in the country should be concerned with. >> and we saw what mitt romney tweeted over the weekend. but there are not republicans speaking out on this. you have endorsed the former vice president joe biden for president in the democratic primary. and again, let me preface this question by saying there is no evidence of any wrong doing by biden, by joe biden or by hunter biden. but listen to this when joe biden was asked by a reporter about his son hunter biden and his position on the board of that ukrainian gas company. listen to this. >> mr. vice president, how many times have you ever spoken to your son about his overseas business dealings? >> i've never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings. >> he says never and the new yorker piece in july quotes hunter biden as saying his father and he did discuss that
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company and dad said, quote, i hope you know what you're doing. i said i do. does it raise any questions for you? >> clearly something neeld to b cleared up. of course. i would want an explanation on that. i hold whoever i support responsible, regardless what party we're in, i think we should be americans first and take care of our country and our secrets and the integrity of this institution. >> adam schiff has suggested a number of avenues that democrats have at this point in type. one that he has floated is to withhold some amount of funding from the odni. are you supportive of that or do you believe that would raise national security concerns? >> well, that's an option but we certainly need to look at the other side of it. what risk that would a move like that put us. i don't think that should be necessary. i think the director should come and testify on thursday and bring a full report of the whistleblower's report. he's bringing it to the
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intelligence community. he can bring it behind closed doors, everyone has top security clearance there. i don't think he should have an issue of sharing what's known with the committee. i think that's his responsibility in fact. >> final question on guns and gun legislation. you have been supportive of universal background checks. i'd like to know where you are stand on what is gaining momentum within your party, which is a potential mandatory buyback program for assault weapons. it's something that as you know, your former fellow congressman from the state of congress, beto o'rourke, advocated passionately on the debate stage. is that a bridge too far for you or do you support a mandatory buyback? >> i have great respect for beto and his opinions. i don't know if we need to go that far to cure the issue but certainly doing intense background checks, cutting loopholes. i recently bought a shot gun at a gun show, the lady just looked at my driver's license and
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handed me the gun. certainly something's wrong with that. we need to limit magazine capacity and do so many other issues before we start going into the idea of buying people's guns back. if you think back in the 70s and 80s, many of these guns were as available as they are now but we be weren't having the mass shootings we are today. we need to ask what has socially brought us to this point in history and what can we do differently to change society. that's certainly a question that needs to be continued to ask. i don't know that taking everyone's guns is going to cure the national massacres we had in recent history. >> but would it save lives? >> i'm not sure. we don't know. it may be a social issue that need to be addressed, maybe an intense social study of what's happened in america in the last two decades where we're having
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mass shootings almost every single month. clearly i think buying guns back should be the last resort. we need to start with a path of least resistance and see what changes can be made that would cure the problem that we're having in this country. >> congressman gonzalez, we'll have you back and spend a lot more time on the gun issues. it matters a lot to jim and i and all our viewers. thank you for being here. >> thank you. >> no clarity about israel's political future. israel's president is stepping in hoping to end the stalemate. ancestry provided me the opportunity to bring all of these stories that i've heard to life. i wanted to keep digging, keep learning... this journey has just begun. bring your family history to life like never before. get started for free at behr presents: tough as walls. that's some great paint. ♪ that's some great paint. behr ultra, ranked #1
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addressing the united nations general assembly here in new york tomorrow. if it is the president's third general assembly and with tensions rising between the u.s. and iran, the stakes are again very high. the president will almost certainly mention iran when he addresses the u.n. but says he will not meet with iran's president. nic robertson joins us from the united nations. i think we know the president is going to bring up iran. the question is what do the saudis want to hear from the president and will he deliver? >> reporter: they believe that what president trump says and does is absolutely critical to
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how iran respond in the coming days and weeks. they believe that there's a real possibility if president trump doesn't remain tough on iran, diplomatically, not militarily but diplomatically, there's a real concern that the hardliners will feel they have the space for another strike on saudi arabia. saudi arabia is not public lily blaming it on the iranians but that is the understanding behind the scenes. they made the weapons and there's a long chain of evidence that's being shown to international investigators, particularly the europeans, the united states part of that to being a broader political support behind the saudis to essentially isolate iran. so watching president trump on this is critical, to see if he e equivocates, all that falls apart. >> and, nic, all the world
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leaders getting together to discuss climate change. trump won't be there. why? >> reporter: he always believes -- well, he always avoids getting that in the conclusions from the g-7 and the g-20 from all these global meetings. he doesn't seem to buy into it. he doesn't want to put the united states in a position of supporting the paris climate agreement because he believes it disadvantages the united states. you don't have president xi or president putin here either. it's apocalyptic. no doubt climate change is on the agenda here. critically, it important and with the young it's resonating, too. >> even the administration's national bureau of economic research came out with a study that talks about the dramatic impact of climate chang on chick
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growth and snteven mnuchin said yesterday to jake he doesn't feel it's a real report. nic robertson, thank you. you'll be there tomorrow. >> i will indeed. >> hundreds of thousands of travelers are stranded around the world after a major british travel company completely collapsed. thomas cook says it has 600,000 customers on vacation there. the british chartering planes to help get its citizens home. >> thomas cook had been in business for 180 years. the company is blaming its collapse on a series of problems including, this is important, the uncertainty surrounding brexit. >> that is interesting. there's a lot of going on today. here's some of what to watch. >> businesses that spend more time picking the right partner
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will reap the rewards. >> when we come back, a heart breaking story. a couple's romantic story comes to an end. what we are learning about a louisiana man who died right after he did this to propose to his girl friend. wow!
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the president of israel is meeting today with benjamin netanyahu and bennie gantz, hoping to end the political deadlock after this do-over election. >> we are in jerusalem following the election. there's this remarkable dynamic where the arab party is recommending for the first time since 1992 but the trouble is the math doesn't add up yet, does it? >> reporter: it doesn't add up for anybody, not for benjamin netanyahu or bennie gantz. a way out of this mess doesn't seem apparent for benjamin
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netanyahu or bennie gantz or the entire country. he's invited them both tonight to see if there's something he can work out, figure out because in his words, israel doesn't want a third elections and the country clearly voted for a unity government but it doesn't see any obvious way out of this one. the trump administration's peace team is in jerusalem and they met for the first time with bennie gantz, their first time meeting with someone other than netanyahu and perhaps it signals the trump administration realizes they have to look at working with someone other than netanyahu. the joint list of people throwing their way behind netanyahu, which hasn't been done since '92. that think endorsed gantz is significant. what was their reasoning for doing so? they say first they want to oust
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netanyahu but it signals that the arab parties and arabs in israel are looking to have a much greater part of the civic discourse here and be a part of the political processes that guide the country. netanyahu's likud party blasted the arab party, keeping up the same anti-arab rhetoric we heard throughout the campaign. >> oren, good to have you on the ground there. >> a man down after proposing to his girl friend in tanzania. >> they were staying in a wooden cabin wi cabin and weber swam underwater, asking her to marry him. weber's sister said he was so in love and wanted to use this trip to propose.
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>> obviously the trip has been planned for almost a year and they were very much looking forward to it. we knew that he wanted to propose to her and he decided that this was the most wonderful time to do it, the trip of a lifetime and really wanted to surprise kenesha with this proposal. >> poor guy and poor girl. just so sad to see those smiling face there is. the resort where they are staying says that local police are now investigating weber's death. >> the actor george clooney and his business partner are fighting for what they call the looting of south sudan. they sat down to talk about the new campaign to fight that corruption there. a live report from london next. >> woman: what's my safelite story? >> vo: my car is more than four wheels. it's my after-work decompression zone. so when my windshield broke... >> woman: what?! >> vo: ...i searched for someone who really knew my car. i found the experts at safelite autoglass. >> woman: hi! >> vo: with their exclusive technology, they fixed my windshield...
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inv visit this church. >> we'll do that later. >> reporter: sir, are you concerned about impeachment, sir? >> what? i don't know what you're saying. >> reporter: how seriously are you taking the impeachment talk? >> not at all seriously. we had a perfect phone call with the president of ukraine. everybody knows it's just a democrat witch hunt. here we go again. they failed with russia, they failed with recession and now they're bringing this up. the one who has the problem is biden. biden did what they would like to have me do except one problem, i didn't do it. what biden did is a disgrace. what his son did is a disgrace.
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the son took money from ukraine and from china. a lot of money from china. china would like to see biden get in because they would take this great deal we're about to make and really have themselves a deal for themselves. let me just tell you, let me just tell you, what biden did was wrong. >> reporter: [ inaudible ]. >> well, you're going to see because what we are doing is we want honesty and we deal with a country, we want honesty. i think with a new president, you're going to see much more honesty in the ukraine. and that's what we're looking for. we're supporting a country. we want to make sure that country is honest. it's very important to talk about corruption. if you don't talk about corruption, why would you give money to a country that you think is corrupt. one of the reasons the new president got elected is he was going to stop corruption. it's very important that on occasion you speak to somebody about corruption.
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very important. >> reporter: >> go ahead. >> the president taking a few questions there. he was again saying he did nothing wrong in his conversation with the ukrainian president. and then accusing joe biden and his son, hunter, of making inappropriate moves while asking zero evidence. >> to be clear, the president repeating a claim about a possible opponent in the 2020 election repeating claims and charges without evence, we should make that clear and the president using a very lofty pulpit there as it were at the united nations. that appears to be the
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president's tack on that. he said everybody does it when asked about that ukraine call, it's a witch hunt, they're doing it again. the president arriving at the u.n. there as the general assembly gets under way here in new york. we'll be right back. woman: what gives me confidence about investment decisions? rigorous fundamental research. with portfolio managers focused on the long term. who look beyond the spreadsheets to understand companies, from breakroom to boardroom. who know the only way to get a 360 view
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television biggest stars were out last night for the 71st primetime emy awards. >> patricia arquette calling for trans rights for her gay sister and billy porter became. first openly gay black man for lead actor in his role in identify pose." >> and last night's big winner, "game of thrones," i'm not supposed to say this, you looked beautiful last night. >> you can say that. >> reporter: you saw a woman wearing a very beautiful purple dress and that was alex
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bornstein. these are some of the moments from the show. she is the actress who won supporting actress in a comedy for "the marvelous mrs. miazel." listen to what she had to say. >> to my mother, where are you? to my grandmother, she was a holocaust disaster. she said to the guard in line to be shot and she said what happens if i step out of line? he said i don't have the heart to shoot you about somebody will. she stepped out of line. step out of line, people. >> one actor kept saying he
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could win this category, playing the child and adult version of one of the exonerated five. >> in is for the men we know as the exonerated five. >> and you see that right there on the left in the black-and-white jacket, that's cory wise, the man he portrayed. he had tears coming down his face. this category, mahershelvel wasn
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his feet. >> and a lot of momentum between fleabag and phoebe. they walked away with four emmys for that show. >> that is a great show, by the way. >> you keep telling me. i've got to watch it. >> i have a lot to watch. someone else can put my kids to bed and i'm just going to watch netflix tonight. quickly before you go tonight, no host. i think what's interesting about that is that allows so much of the focus to be on those impassioned speeches. >> the whole moment is like let it breathe. we saw the oscars and it worked for them. i think some people were feeling it didn't work so well for the emmys last night. a really funny bit with ben stiller and bob newhart, an
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american treasure. then steven colbert talking about you know who has a host? applebee's has a host. they were hilarious together. so those were some funny moments. the emmy commentator up there and giving himself -- he called himself the sherpa between commercials and stuff, seems like people didn't like that so. >> that's a tough job. >> not a bad assignment. >> so prince harry, his wife, megan, and their 5-year-old son archie are on their first overseas trip. >> this morning they are met with singing and dancing. prince harry will visit four african countries, including angola, with princess diana famously walked to bring
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attention to land mines. >> thank you so much for joining us. we'll see you back here tomorrow morning. >> at this hour with kate bouldan starts right now. >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. hello, everyone. i'm kate bouldan. thank you so much for joining me. president trump has just arrived at the united nations headquarters here in new york. the annual gather, bringing together more than 90 heads of state to tackle the world's most immediate problems. but right now president trump has some problems of his own, name live the whistleblower complaint against him and the growing questions after -- that he is now facing after admitting yesterday that he did in fact talk to the president of you've crane in a july phone call about the former vice president joe biden. and sources tell cnn that during the call the president pressured


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