tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN April 18, 2017 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT
that's all the time we have. thanks for watching. cnn tonight starts right now. see you tomorrow. this is cnn breaking news. >> breaking news tonight. a fierce battle is underway in georgia. and it could have major i implications for president trump and the republicans. results are coming in. who will win and what does it mean for the trump presidency? there it is right there on your screen. the house seat has been in republican hands for decades, but a young democrat is leading in early returns. if he wins and he needs to get over 50% in order to win. it is a major upset for republicans and could mean the gop's house majority is in jeopardy in 2018 midterms.
is this really a referendum on president trump? let's put them up. democrat john osa has 51% up on the screen. he needs 50% to avoid a run off and win out right. the next person behind him 18.1%. we have been watching the returns all night and the race has been tightening. i want to begin with the congressional reporter. he's following this for us. jim acosta is following this for us as well. you're at democrat osa's head quarters right now. what is the mood like right now? >> pretty innerjtic here. there's lot of anxiety in the room as the crowd waits for those results. there's been a shift on the republican side as more results have come in from cob county
where republicans had hoped that they could keep mr. osa below the vote. and 90% of the votes coming in, in that county about 42%. there are still a lot of votes outstanding, particularly in fulton county where there are just 19 of 100. 1,01015 precincts. and karen handel, republican candidate, number two expected to make significant end rows. but the feeling right now -- >> i hate to cut you off. i just want to tell you we have new totals up. john osa is at 50.1%. 69% of the tallies are in. continue on. >> yeah. the feeling right now is that's
going to be tough to maintain the 50 plus thresh hold that he neesds to avoid a run out. that is something that both republicans and democrats right now are skeptical that he can reach at this point unless something significant changes in the numbers. the chances are high we're going to end up in a two person run off on june 20th. a lot of votes still outstanding. it's going to be close to that 50% number, even if mr. ossoff's falls. >> very happy behind you. i have to ask you. let's go to jim first. why is the president so invested in this congressional race? he sent six tweets, he's done robo calls. >> he doesn't like to lose, don. and the sense we're getting from
over at the white house is that if john ossoff wins, the president is going to feel like this is some sort of loss on his part. a white house official indicated there's some hammering going on inside the white house. they feel if jon ossoff wins tonight, there's going to be a bad news cycle. if jon ossoff wins, there's going to be lot of unpleasant questions for sean spicer to deal with. and that's why he recorded that robo call, why he was sending out those tweets. the feeling if they had not done that, they would have been slammed. so in either scenario they were going to receive criticism. but in the event jon ossoff does
not clear this 50% thresh hold, there is some confidence that if it's between jon osoff and the leading republican, there is confidence they could hold this off and have some victory. i was talking to republican sources just this evening who were saying wait a minute, reince priebus is the white house chief of staff. there's a feeling of some republican operatives that the white house should have seen this coming, they should have done more to prevent this, perhaps have the president endorse one of these candidates. he got in jon ossoff's face but he did not get behind a particular candidate. in the event that he does not clear that 50%, does not win the run off, you can expect a tweet we saw a couple of days ago. he tweeted the recent election
was a big media event. and so the republicans won. now they play the same game with georgia, bad. i think you can expect crowing out of the oval office he feels he was right once again, don. >> going to be a long night. i want to bring in my political panel. good evening to you. wow, election night all over again. so, gloria, let's talk about this georgia congressional seat. it's a ruby red district. crowded field. 18 kacandidates. explain why this one race has taken on such significance. >> because it's precisely the kind of districts that democrats salivate over when they think about potentially taking back the house or gaining a number of seats in 2018. as you know well because you
lived in atlanta. this is a suburban district that is diverse, highly educated. it is wealthier. and it's younger. so it's just the kind of districts democrats believe they could potentially flip. so when this comes up for grabs and you see a large group of republicans forming a circular firing squad and you see a young candidate out there who is unexceptional by the way but has some appeal and you put nine or ten million dollars behind them, they think it's an opportunity to build momentum and embear this is president. >> i was in atlanta a couple of weeks ago for a wedding and i got tuned into this election and i said there's a democrat that stands a chance?
there's a democrat at 50% on election night. what message does this send to the president and republicans, david? >> the message that it sends is this is not not ewt gingrich's district. and the leading republican is a ski example of that. a much more mainstream, mitt romney style republican who won in 2012, don. what i think you will see here. you have -- credit to the republicans they understood mission one here was to get enough turnout of their voters in this reliably republican district to keep him below 50. because this is not going to get any less competitive.
but the money that gloria was just talking about, that's going to keep flooding in. the energy with the democrats is going to keep coming into the district. >> margaret is going to hit me if i don't let her in right now. >> money. i just want to point out we're talking about a lot of money on the table. there's lot of outside money a a lot of hard dollars on this race. this $7.2 millions in outside republican money flooded into this base. and it's 11 republican candidates and just one democrat. it's actually quite shocking that karen handel has emerged as the strong second contender. i think that's what is noteworthy and another data point. the median income is $72,000 for a household.
that is significant higher. this is not trump republican country but these are mainstream republicans. >> let me ask you this. go ahead, david. was it david? >> no. >> i'm hoping you'll call on me, don. >> go ahead, hillary. we'll get to you, jack. >> here's why this election tonight matters is because jon ossoff is not running against those 11 republicans, he's running against donald trump sw being very aggressive about it. and the president is engaged against him. so for all the republicans in the house that have won their districts by less than 10 points they're all wondering is donald trump going to help me in 2018 or is he going to hurt me? because if jon ossoff does well, people are going to wurby maybe this president is a liability in their district and not a help. >> it's a run off and it's other
people here. 18%, 10%, 10%. that's 38%. it still doesn't add up to the 50% jon ossoff has. >> he is not going to get over 50%. i saw karen handel. she's a savvy politician. but she's going to be in a run off and he's going to get in the run off what he gets tonight. it will be below 50%. probably 44 to 46%. he has had $18.3 million. the dnc, the aflcio and the sierra club on the ground and this is the best he can do. he is running against donald trump and he's losing. i want to disagree with my friend david. the it race ends tonight for mr. ossoff. he's a basic candidate.
>> i got new number and then you can put it in. i think it's 50.4%. the last one was 50.1. >> jack, jack, let me just respond to what you said. just so you know a senior republican campaign source said they think that both sides are going to be spending money through june and this is going to be competitive. this is from your own party. i think it is going to be a targeted race. >> i don't know what he did with $8.3 million. because you reach critical mass add about 3 million in a district like that. he's probably spent every dime of it like a true democrat would. and you can have a good time in any district in the nation except maybe new york and l.a. >> i know you're from georgia.
i live there had for almost 10 years. it is a ruby red district. and georgia is a red state. someone who's not political. i was surprised to see a democrat getting this far. >> one other thing and you know i love jack but he's spinning his top off here. hillary clinton only lost this district by 1 1/2 points. that's hillary clinton in georgia. so this is a swing district. this is not -- that's why democrats are invested here. so this will be close all along and it will be continue to be a referendum on donald trump. >> karen handel is going to eat him alive. she has run state wide two different times. >> and lost. >> but she lost. >> no. she won as secretary of state.
>> do you expect karen handel to invite donald trump in the run off? >> absolutely and i'll recommend it to her that she does. looks like the tweeting works, doesn't it? >> i want you to remember a couple of things from a source who's been working with handel. one is that they believe what helped in the end for them is that donald trump's favorable/unfavorable numbers started going up towards the homestretch and in this district he's over 50% favorable. that certainly helps a republican and they believe if he doesn't get over 50%, they believe he may have miscalculated a bit and this source says he made himself too much of a partisan and should have presented himself to be more like sam nun who is a
former democratic senator known to work across party lines. and so from the republican camp they thought he was presenting himself as somebody who was too liberal. >> i've got question for margaret. >> a 30-year old analysis of a democrat. if you have moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, isn't it time to let the real you shine through? introducing otezla, apremilast. otezla is not an injection or a cream. it's a pill that treats plaque psoriasis differently. some people who took otezla saw 75% clearer skin after 4 months. and otezla's prescribing information
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we're watching results come in for the georgia special election that the country is watching that means so much to the white house and republicans. i promise you first does president trump deserve credit if there is a win tonight. does he deserve credit because this is formerly newt gingrich's district. >> trump won this district by 1%. it was a district that's been held since 1976 by republicans and by much larger margins by every republican presidential candidate and every prior four years. it shouldn't have been this close for trump for hillary clinton and everything about the data and the demographic data is
these are not trump republicans. so i don't think donald trump deserves credit. while he has tweeted frequently, he has not once mentioned any of the republican candidates. republican -- mainstream republicans have hoped that handel is the one that emerges. she represents a candidate that this district will likely rally around and elect in a run off. he has become this candidate of the left wing that has this back lash against trump that doesn't represent that district in georgia either. >> should this district even be in play? >> when you think that tom price who's now the hhs secretary wonner with over 60% of the vote
in the last election, you would think this would not be in play but the democrats see an opportunity because of precisely what you guys were just talking about which is that the 1% margin for trump in this district and they see an oopeni because of the demographics. i think that in the general election if this goes to a run off i think the republicans are very likely to coalesce around the republican nominee if it's karen handle and, even though and i've been told this by a republican source just now that texted me that she has run for office and lost a couple of times before. she's a known quantity and what she is known as is somebody who doesn't win frequently. so there may be republicans who decide to sit home because they don't like either of these candidates. it really depends on
mobilization. that's one interpretation and it's too early to talk about the dynamics of that. >> i want to point out this was also johnny iverson's seat and he won state wide three times and lost three times. that is not something that's going to hold karen back. and she's not a moderate. she's a very tough, very savvy fiscal conservative and social conservative republican. it was a tough field. judson hill, a very popular state senator. moody, member of the transportation commissions. you had a lot of really good people in this race. bob gray who was on the city counsel. so when we talk about donald trump not endorsing a particular person it was because the family of republicans really had a lot to choose from and we were divided but it was also a tame primary. there wasn't a lot of cut throat
politic s going on within the republican party which is very important when you're in a difficult field like this. >> you just reminded me that bruce luvel said i should have endorsed him. that wouldn't have helped you. >> this district went for marco rubio during the primary. to margaret's point this is more establishment republicans, not natural donald trump territory by any stretch. >> the rough start and the drip, drip, drip, this russia controversy may be taking its toll. let's talk about these new poll numbers from gallop. only 45% say he is keeping his promises. down from 62% in february. >> that's a big 17-point drop on a key thing. for a candidate who promises to upend washington.
and hasn't really been able to do so. i think what you see there in those numbers and why you see him sort of flat lined around 40% overall approval is because some of his key promises have been stuck like the travel ban in the court or repeal and replace obamacare. unable to get that through calm congress. he hasn't been able to take the checklist out and check off all of things he's accomplished. i think he looks more like typical politician than voters perhaps expected. and they were like i don't like hillary and i really want change. i think what you see is you don't get what you bargained for in february. >> i think you're going to -- depending on where you stand ideologically, some people might be happy that he's not keeping his promises because he ran on
this popular message. but he may gain some support among a group he didn't get support from. he may lose his base and gain other people. no? >> i think it's important to note that unlike maybe typical washington politicians like george w. bush and barack obama whose approval ratings went up in their first year of the presidency, they made an effort to reach out across the aisle to reach all americans, to come up with something that others would like. so whether it was infrastructure or tax cuts or something that they did actually have some improvements in their approval rating and i think what we've seen from this president is he's been as divisive in governing as he was in campaigning and they thought they were beyond that. people wanted things to be
shaken up but not torn apart so viciously. and i think that's reflected in these ratings. >> they also found president trump is down 7 points with people thinking he's a strong leader and this is again after the strikes in afghanistan and syria, which usually president's poll numbers go up. it's going to be a long night. we may see some of you back here later depending on the results. we'll continue to follow this special election down in georgia. bring you the results up later. there's a 50.4% the democrat. and he needs 50% or more to avoid a run off. and details into russia's influence in the presidential election and that steady drip, drip, drip we were just talking about. micromanage them. make sure they're producing.
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the race could have major implications for president trump p p . he's very invested. let's discuss senior political commentary axelrod is here. first test. what does the outcome tell you so far? >> we had one special in kansas so far and what it showed was republicans hung on there but not nearly by the margins they had before. jon ossoff is a political unknown, 30-year-old guy that doesn't really have political roots in the district. he grew up there. and he's giving the republicans all they can handle. that said -- no pun intended -- that said president trump's tweets were just the cherry on the cake of what has been a pummelling over the last couple
of weeks. >> by the way karen handel is the republican candidate. that's why you said all you can handle. >> i didn't mean it that way. but i'm always willing to take credit for a pun. i think it's interesting that a guy who essentially is a generic democratic candidate is in a position where the republicans are huffing puffing to keep him from getting over the goal line in the first race. i don't think -- i wouldn't read too much into it. we tend to view each thing as a kind of decisive event. and i think ossoff will have a tough race come june when they can focus all their attention and get behind one candidate. he'll have a target which he hasn't had here and i expect it will be a very competitive race.
>> when you said you don't think it will be definitive or a test. so what happens if republican wins one in kansas and they hang on to it by a small margin, does that give the republican and president some breathing room? >> maybe some breathing room but they have to say this isn't particularly great. remember these are seats that were created by cabinet appointment by the president. they're replacing cabinet members that the president chose. you would think there would be a little bit of a tail wind behind these republican candidates. this is a different administration in that donald trump'sn numbers are not where you would expect a new president's numbers to be and that's why they've gone to extraordinary lengths to stop a candidate who on the face of it shouldn't have been as
threatening as he is. >> it's gallop. only 45% say president trump keeps his promises. that's from 62% in february. and down when it comes to being a strong and decisive leader on being honest and trustworthy and caring and managing government effectively. how do you read these declining numbers? don't they usually go up? >> barack obama pfs numbers were stratospheric when he got elected a elect elected and they slowly came down. measures of strength, effectiveness. he didn't run on being honest and trustworthy. but what he did say was i know how to get things done. i can make washington work.
i'll kick them in the but. we're going to start winning and you're going to get so tired of winning you're going to be exhausted from winning so much. he's lost several big fights since he's gotten there and no legislative accomplishments. there seems to be a lot of tur moil and he doesn't look like the world beater he advertised himself to be. and so you see the strength numbers, effectiveness numbers coming down. he can live with not being viewed as honest and trustworthy. he can't live with not being seen as strong and effective. >> i wanted to ask you if the luster is wearing off. there are people who supported him who are saying when is the winning going to start? and today big, huge, all of these changes. everything pfs going to be great
and so far no legislative accomplishments. one has to start wondering when are these things going to start happening? >> and governing is complicated and you have to be able to work with people. you have to have a clear world view of what you want to accomplish and then you have to go after it and we haven't seen any of that. he obviously ran a very successful camcampaign. he hate base that came out for him in numbers. that's a lot different than being president of the united states with all the complicated matrixes you have to deal with. and he is finding it very difficult in the early going to produce. and he's set himself up on a number of issues like health care, like the travel ban.
still bares the scars of those things. his relations with congress seem a little dicey. he's got the ongoing probe that hangs over him. it has not been a triumphant inaugural three months for donald trump. and he's going to run into problems down the line. i wouldn't say that the results in georgia, the close race is a big red flashing light but it's certainly a yellow light and should be of concern to him. he's not a real liability to republicans around the country. not a real asset i should say. >> i appreciate it. as we continue on, we're going to watch the returns in georgia, the returns. jon ossoff 50.4% with 72% of the vote in. we have new reporting tonight
that we need to tell you about. the fbi investigation into russian medaling in the 2016 election possible connection to trump associates. you heard david axelrod say this continues to hang over the president and this administration. eper evan perez broke the story. what have you learned? >> reporter: u.s. officials tell cnn last year the fbi used a dos yare of russian ties as part of the justification to get approval to monitor trump associates. he's sited it as one of the sources that the fbi has used to support its investigation. this includes approval from the secret court that over sees fisa to monitor page's communications. to obtain court commission to
target page, the fbi and justice department would have to present probable cause he was acting as an agent as a foreign power and possibly engaging in clandestine engagements. comey and others would have had to have signed off on this. though they have since said he had limited interactions with the campaign as a volunteer. >> how surprising is it that this was done? >> reporter: it's actually quite surprising because comey's briefings to law makers stand in contrast to recent efforts to distance themselves from the dau dossier. they told us they did their own work to support the findings that russia medaled in favor of donald trump.
comey has not mentioned the dossier in all of his law maker briefings. >> so page would not be aware this was happening, correct? >> correct. there was a 2013 investigation of russian spy ring that include descriptions of interactions he had with one of the alleged spies. page denies he knew these guys were russian agents. but he gave a speech last summer in russia that drew the attention of the fbi. he says he expressed his own viewed and overall he's disputed anything was illegal in his interactions with russians. quote i look forward to the privacy act of 1974 lawsuit i plan to file in response to the civil rights violations by baum administration appointees.
we reseechb disclosure of the documents which will show exactly what was done in 2017. and on the bottom line blaming the obama administration for pushing the russia story which he says has no validity whatsoever. >> we shall see. when we come back more on the special election. and what does this mean for president trump? plus, is bill o'reilly done at fox news? pressure mounting for fox to fire its main attraction. a daily struggle, even if you're trying your best. along with diet and exercise, once-daily toujeo® may help you control your blood sugar. get into a daily groove. ♪ let's groove tonight. ♪ share the spice of life. ♪ baby, slice it right. from the makers of lantus®, ♪ we're gonna groove tonight. toujeo® provides blood sugar-lowering activity
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here's our breaking news tonight. these numbers are just in for the georgia special election. democrat jon ossoff is hanging on to a very slim margin. he needs 50% to stay above. he needs stay above 50% to avoid a run off. so we're going to keep an eye on that again. 50.3%. as long as he stays at that 50% no run off and a democrat takes
this seat. it hasn't happened for quite some time and more breaking news in the wake of allegations of sexual harassment. i'm talking about bill o'reilly. on his way out at fox news maybe. a senior reporter for media and politics. are you getting some breaking news, bryan? >> i apologize. in the past few minutes the wall street journal has the boldest headline of all. it says fox preparing to cut ties with bill o'reilly saying this is imminent. this lines up with our reporting this evening that there's a decision about to be made by the murdock family that they're leaning towards letting o'reilly go. that would be a stunning turn of events. >> and thats -- put that headline up on the wall street
journal and i'll ask my colleague, dillen buyers this. at this point considering what has happened, the advertisers so many had dropped out -- at least from the o'reilly show. i think they said they reallocated. there's been protests. someone else has come forward. >> i think we should call a spaed a spaed. f the new york times is reporting that fox is preparing to cut ties with bill o'reilly, then they're preparing to cut ties with bill o'reilly. sources toclose to o'reilly said he would be coming back april 24th and they stood by that up until today. now all the sudden it appears he's going to be cut from fox news and it's hard to over state
how drastric a development this is. bill riley brings in over $100 million in revenue for that company. this is -- especially in the wake of roger ails oust last year. >> this whole thing started with your client, with wendy walsh, along with other women who spoke about their experiences with sexual harassment and in fact $13 million have been settled in what is it? five settlements, right? >> and we had a new client who came out today. our reaction is it's about time. this man needs to be fired. i came out as i said with a new accuser today and told her story. he needs to go. it's absolutely appalling that a man who has sexually harassed so
many women allegedly, including two who have recordings and he would still be there after all these years hurting women. i talked to women who are crying, upset, shaking that damage he's done to them emotionally, to their careers. it's such an absolute affront and to all of those women i say good for you for speaking up because we're never going to get anywhere until we do. >> we had a woman of color. >> he called her chocolate. not asking for any money but we called into the infamous hotline they said nobody called. wendy called and now this new woman called. yr she called in her complaint that bill o'reilly would walk by her
desk and say uh-huh good morning hot chocolate. but she was a low level clerical employee. this was bill o'reilly. and she was terrified if she ever said anything she'd be and she's decided to come forward and i assume they will investigate that as well. >> in the interest of fairness i wanted to point out the lawyer for bill o'reilly is pushing back very hard against this new accusation saying an anonymo no accusation should not be taken as fact. >> i was going to read the response. >> please go ahead. >> it says this is from mark e castle bill o'reilly's attorney, this is a statement he said by nbc news today. he says it is outrageous that an allegations from an anonymous person that reportedly happened almost a decade ago is treated
as fact especially where there is orchestrated campaign to destroy bill o'reilly and enrich themselves through public listity rich donations. >> i find it hard to believe attorney accusing me when i'm not be paid. it's not orchestrated at all. i will say that i spoke to three witnesses who say that my accuser from today told them in 2008 about bill o'reilly semifinal you'lly harassing her sister and roommate and boyfriend. >> stand by more after the break. and roommate and boyfrien >> stand by more after the break.
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tight race for special election for open house seat in georgia we're waiting for final results. democrat at 50.3% needs to stay above 50% margin to avoid a run off. other breaking news tonight, bill o'reilly may be on his way out at fox news, back now with my panel. matter of fact the wall street journal according to brian stelter is more emphatic about it looks like they're negotiating something. >> and it's getting bigger as the day went on this afternoon said are inclined to drop him and this evening exit fautalks under way and now the journal saying fox is on the verge of doing it.
>> what can you tell us about the atmosphere at fox particularly among female employees. >> i should say among all employees. everyone was waited with baited breath to see what would happen here. i've spoke with sources throughout the organization at high levels, at mid level and they're interested to see how the company reacts because for them it's not just about bill o'reilly it's a measure of the company, a measure of 21st se century fox moving into the 21st century putting the culture and climate of sexual harassment behind them my guess based off this wall street journal report they will find some level of solis in the decision to cut ties with bill o'reilly. they thought they found that sole ace more than nine months ago when got right of ail. >> given the fact they recently
re-signed him right after the roger ales controversy do you think they knead to do something to -- they need to do something to let viewers know they don't condone sexual harassment. >> when they renewed the deal had language to make it easier to cut ties so that might make sense. further more there's a board meeting with the murdochs on monday. and at that point we might hear more about the decision after the settlement against roger ailes there was a public apology. >> this is not done i have more women coming to me about mr. bill o'reilly and i suggest the
murdochs end this before we come out with more and more stories. >> thank you both so much. when we come back can a democrat win the republic house seat in georgia and idea trump is personally invest in the election. could save money on car insurance.nce you know, the kind of driver who always buckles up... comes to a complete stop... and looks both ways, no matter what. because esurance believes that's the kind of driver who deserves to save money on car insurance. in fact, safe drivers who switch from geico to esurance could save hundreds.