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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  April 19, 2017 12:00am-1:01am PDT

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welcome to our viewers all around the world, those of you in the united states join us this hour as we cover the results of a special congressional election in the state of georgia with national implications. democratic newcomer john ossoff just missed capturing enough vote to win the house seat outright. instead he will face republican karen handel in a june 20th runoff. also a district that's been republican for decades. whether it flips is seen as a test of president trump's support. cnn has more now from ossoff campaign headquarters in atlanta. >> john ossoff just falling short of the threshold he needed to win this race outright getting less than 50% in the vote of this republican heavy district. the district that actually no democrat has won in 37 years,
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getting close to that 50% number, but not close enough. now, going forward, this means that it is going to be a two-person race between him and karen handel, republican former secretary of state from georgia, someone who has run for statewide office twice, lost both times for governor and once for senator. now she has a chance at consolidating the support on the republican side that was fractured by 11 different candidates as they tried to get into this runoff with john ossoff. now, ossoff does have the support of the national democratic party. the infrastructure is energized behind him and last night when he talked to voters, he said that he shattered all expectations. >> there is no doubt that this is already a victory for the ages. we have defied the odds. we have shattered expectations.
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>> now, the question for republicans is the fact -- the trump factor and how much will it weigh in during the general election. donald trump himself tweeting several times last night also saying that this essentially was a victory for his party and criticizing outside money that was spent to help john ossoff. of course outside money spent on the republican side as well. the question is will he be a liability for karen handel or will he be an asset going forward. >> and it didn't take long for president trump to tweet about tuesday's results. he said, despite major outside money, fake media support, and 11 republican candidates, glad to be of help. well, joining me now to talk more about this is scott lucas, professor of international politics at the university of birmingham in england. thank you so much for being with us. so this georgia congressional
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seat has been a reliable republican strong hold for nearly four decades and yet we see a 30-year-old first time candidate give the established republicans a run for their money as well as a wakeup call for the trump administration. now that the vote goes to a runoff, how tough will this one on one race likely be, do you think? >> y'all are in for an interesting two months. the harder challenge for the democrats begins now. if all the republicans unite behind a single candidate, karen handel then they would have a narrow majority but there are so many factors to play in now. the first is and most important is whether the republicans do unite. it's not just the trump factor. there are some republicans who believe that they should vote that way because they support donald trump. there are others who see him as a liability. how do you pool all those people together? especially if the president is going to intervene in the race like he did in the last few
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days, that national intervention and local politics is something that's hard to predict. on the democratic side, they did rally around john ossoff. that was a major victory to start off with, but can they keep the momentum going? two months is still a long time in politics, so can they make sure that this isn't just a protest vote against trump, but it also seems a beneficial candidate for georgia. this is a very diverse congressional district. african americans voters, suburban whites, working class whites so it's hard to pull a coalition together. now we'll see the challenge begin. >> we certainly shall. and we also heard this called a victory for the ages while president trump claimed it as a victory for his republican party. who was the winner in this first round, do you think, and who needs to worry going forward? >> well, if you cut through the hyperbole, we have a long way to go. the democrats will take heart
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from last night. i mean, this was a seat that the outgoing congressman tom price won by about 25% last time around. now the democrats are on the verge of winning it. they'll see that coming off of their strong showing in kansas, so there's clearly a -- sort of a tide for the democrats fighting back against the trump -- unexpected trump factor. as for the president himself, donald trump basically could call drowning at sea a victory for walking on water. he would say that last night. more important questions whether the republicans as a whole can get the party together, because it is divided. that's the one thing that we keep seeing in washington and at local level. tea party republicans, establishment republicans and then this wild card factor after a president. >> and as we mentioned donald trump sent out a tweet tuesday night saying he was glad to have been of help. is that how the republican candidates would have viewed this and what role might mr. trump may in the weeks before this june 20th runoff given he
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didn't ever endorse one of the 11 republican candidates going into this vote. how might the strategy change, do you think? >> well, i suspect karen handel and her folks would like the president to take a deep breath and hold off twitter at least for a few days, because you know, my family are from georgia and there's always a question when an outsider comes in, even if it's a donald trump, whether he knows what he's talking about about local politics and if this goes to the issues in georgia like the economy, questions of jobs, the president firing off 140 characters may not help karen handel. it may hurt her. >> and what might this signal for the 2018 midterms and do you think this referendum on the trump administration suggested or was it also a referendum on the democrats? >> it's a referendum in a sense. we're seeing the initial shock waves, you know, coming in threes after the inauguration
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and we've got a long way to go before 2018. i think it's going to turn on two things. never underestimate the power of local issues and there are many changing districts in america and keep an eye on what's happen in full ton and cobb counties. but the trump administration needs a win. it fails to repeal obamacare. it's failed to put forth a tax plan so far and the longer it goes on the longer it appears an administration that doesn't have direction and that can mean that the next referendum is one that goes against the republicans. >> and still just as you say, your family is from georgia so you understand all of this. when you've got a 30-year-old first time candidate running up against a republican and she's very well credentialed, isn't she, are you surprised he got the support that he did? >> no, i mean, john ossoff is very charismatic candidate. he came across extremely well. that's why the democrats rallied
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around him. that's why they didn't feel the love in candidates like they did last night. there was a young guy named barack obama who suddenly emerged a few years ago. to ossoff's youth doesn't count against him. i think the question is john ossoff from the area, tied in with roots, you know, the question about where he goes with his personal life has occupied some of the media. most important thing is, georgia is a rapidly changing state. in a lot of ways the atlanta, the supposed boom city of the south, but that's come with challenges itself. can ossoff speak to these people as one of them? when karen handel has questions about her failed candidacies in the past and conversely, can she recover from that failed governor's race in 2013 and questions over her place as secretary of state. >> it's going to be interesting.
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thanks so much. well, the american vice president is in japan to show that the united states is determined to act against north korea. earlier mike pence told american troops how the u.s. plans to address pyongyang's you clenucl threats. >> we will meet any conventional or nuclear weapons with an overwhelming and effective american response. [ cheers ] >> the united states of america will always seek peace, but under president trump, the shield stands guard. and the sword stands ready. >> another story that's attracting a lot of attention. this photo posted on the u.s. navy website shows the white house was misleading when it
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initially said warships were on their way to the korean peninsula. the photo showed strike group was actually sailing away from the peninsula. it also participated in exercises with australian forces. it's now expected to arrive in the region by the end of the month. u.s. officials are blaming miscommunication between the white house and the pentagon. we're joined now from tokyo and the optics don't look good when the president of the united states announces he's sending a naval armada to the waters off the korean peninsula and then we learn those very same ships are heading in the other direction. what's been the reaction in the region to what's being described as a miscommunication? >> well, i think people are positively startled by it. you had the declaration that the "uss carl vinson" was being sent
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to be a deterrent, a flexing of muscle, a show of force and now you've got this bizarre explanation that there was miscommunication not only between the pentagon and the white house but also the explanation that there was a failure to follow up with the commanders of that u u.s. aircraft carrier which it now seems to have headed south when the world was being told it would head north. but beyond the fact this people are surprised that the warships supposedly headed toward those waters were nowhere near those waters they were believed to be in, it's set off a bit of a chairng cha chain reaction. we know that while these warships were meant to be there as a deterrent, the fact of their presence or the reported fact of their presence more accurately had enraged pyongyang. they had said that the presence of strategic nuclear assets in
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the region was threatening global security. disturbing global peace and could bring the region to the brirng of thermonuclear war. we do know that pyongyang did not stop with the provocations even after they were told that these warships were being sent into their region. instead, the leader decided to try and test launch a missile just as the u.s. vice president was arriving in south korea. >> so how embarrassing has this been as pence visits tokyo and what more has he been saying about the north korea nuclear threat and how the u.s. might respond? >> look, whether or not the administration considers this to be embarrassing in any way is not at all clear. what we do know is that mike pence has delivered a similar message in both south korea and his visit to japan. and while he did not talk about this missed communication when he addressed service members today he did try to reflect on
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what he considers to be the successes of the administration showing that the u.s. has shown its resolve under president trump in conducting its strikes on syria and also the dropping of that m.o.a.b. in afghanistan. >> all right. thank you for that live report from tokyo where it is 4:13 in the afternoon. many thanks. back now to u.s. politics and new reporting on the fbi investigation into russian meddling in last year's election and possible connections to trump associates. justice corps respondent evan perez broke the story. evan is with us now from washington with the details. so what can you tell us? >> well, u.s. officials tell cnn that last year the fbi used a dossier of allegations to russian ties to donald trump's campaign as part of the justification to get approval to secretly monitor carter page. the dossier in some of the
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briefings to members of congress in recent weeks as one of the sources of information that the fbi has used to support its investigation. now, this includes approval from the secret court that oversees the foreign intelligence surveillance act to monitor page's communications. to obtain that court permission, the fbi and the justice department would have to present probable cause that he was acting as an agent of a foreign power including possibly engaging in clandestine behavior. though they have since said that he had limited interactions with the campaign as a volunteer. >> so how surprising is it that this was done? >> it's actually quite surprising. comby's briefings to lawmakers stand in contrast to efforts in recent months by the fbi and by u.s. intelligence agencies to try to distance themselves from
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this dossier. law enforcement and intelligence officials have told us repeatedly that u.s. investigators did their own work separate from the dossier to support their findings that russia tried to meddle in the 2016 presidential elections in favor of donald trump. comey has not mentioned the dossier here in congress in his briefings. >> so would carter page be aware this was even happening? >> he probably would not. but you'll recall that page has been scrutinized before by the fbi. there was a 2013 investigation of a russian spy ring that included descriptions of interactions that he had with alleged russian spies. now, russians -- i'm sorry, carter page has denied that he knew that these people were russian agents. he also gave a speech in russia last summer that drew the attention of the fbi. page says that he took the trip independently. he says he expressed his own views and overall he has disputed that anything was illegal in his interactions with
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russians. he did give us a statement that reads in part, quote, i look forward to the privacy act of 1974 lawsuit that i plan to file in response to civil rights violations by the obama administration appointees last year. the discovery process will be of great value to the united states as our nation hears testimony from them under oath and rereceive disclosure of the documents which show what exactly was done in 2016. the bottom line here is that carter page says that this entire russia story is being driven by former democratic officials in the obama administration. he says none of it is true. >> unbelievable. and fascinating as well. thank you so much for your reporting on this. >> thanks. a fierce race to fill a congressional spot in the state of georgia. more of that continuing coverage of this special election and its national implications. that's coming up in just a moment. plus, a surprise decision uk prime minister calls for snap
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♪ we are bringing you live coverage of the hotly contested u.s. congressional race in georgia. democrat john ossoff fell short of the outright majority he needed to claim a seat in the house. he'll face republican karen handel in a runoff in june.
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democrats pumped more than $8 million into the ossoff campaign. the vote in the long time republican district is viewed as a test of president trump's support a predictor of next year's midterm elections. cnn political commentator jack kingston is a former congressman from georgia. he says all that out of state money going into ossoff's campaign won't win him the election against handel. take a listen. >> 90% of his money came from out of state. most of his volunteers and campaign apparatus was propped up by out of state consultants. you can't beat somebody with nobody. john ossoff is a guy who's 30 years old, has very little to show for his 30 years on earth in terms of achievement or career or anything like that. karen handel is an accomplished businesswoman. she's been a successful elected
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official. and she's going to i think very comfortably take this seat with about 54% of the vote. >> and earlier i spoke with democratic political strategist about the race in georgia. >> these are the types of nights that you live for in democratic politics and politics as a whole, when someone up ends the system and really shocks the world and what we're seeing right now, many democrats like myself are hoping are the seeds of a wave. in 2008 there were three special elections in state red states and which they took them from the republican party and these were sort of the early beginnings of what turned out to be a 2008 electoral wave and i think that's a good sign that that enthusiasm is coming about this cycle. >> so does it put the gop house majority in jeopardy for the 2018 midterms? >> it's too early to say.
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one of the big differences in a special election compared to a 2018 general election is that a lot fewer people will have voted today than will vote in the midterms. which means that if you have an enthusiastic base it's a lot easier to overperform a hostile district in a general election. these are among the earliest that we see that determine whether we're going to see a wave like this and the fact that democrats poured in millions of dollars, over $10 million in smoul contributions show that people are ready to fight and they're ready to try to win back the house. >> would you agree with some that this is a referendum on a donald trump? do you think a political test for the trump administration? >> absolutely. there is no way that a democrat gets to 50% in this district unless you have a monoyou mentally unpopular republican president in office.
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obama did in 2010. bill clinton did in 1994. even ronald reagan did, but donald trump is far more unpopular than any of them were in this point of the presidency. he's the most unpopular president that he eve seen in the history of polling and this is going to have big reverberations all across the country. >> i have to ask you this. why would the republicans put up 11 candidates and effectively split their vote and why didn't president endorse one of them at least? >> republicans had so many candidates running because they thought they were going to win the seat. every election without fail, few republicans likely considered it a possibility that they wouldn't hold on to the seat. meanwhile, only one substantial democrat got recruited into the race. you often see this in red states with only one meaningful democrat will get in because
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most democrat who is are viable who are state senators or who can raise money don't think the seat is winnable to begin with. >> and that was democratic political strategist joining me a little earlier. well, u.s. president donald trump is pushing for tougher rules on skilled foreign workers trying to get u.s. jobs. mr. trump signed a buy american, hire american executive order at a tool factor in wisconsin. he says it will benefit american goods and american workers. >> this historic action declares that the policy of our government is to aggressively promote and use american made goods, and to ensure that american labor is hired to do the job. it's america first. you better believe it. >> under the new order, federal agencies will review and
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recommend changes to the h 1b visa program. another story we're watching closely, malaysian airlines wants to keep a closer eye on its flights. it's the first airline that will track every minute of a flight's journey with satellites. the airline has been haunted by mh-370, the flight that disappeared more than three years ago with 239 people on board. it remains one of the world's biggest aviation mysteries and the exact crash site is still unknown. the new satellite system is expected to come online next year. well, up next, big political news out of the u.k. teresa may is taking britain to the polls again. what changed her mind after months of promises to the contrary? plus, in a cnn exclusive turkey's president speaks to cnn. next, what he said when we brought up claims that new
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welcome back, everyone. we are continuing our coverage of a u.s. congressional race in georgia where democrats hope to flip a long held republican district. democrat john ossoff will face republican karen handel in a runoff june 20th. the closely watched race is seen as a possible predictor of next year's midterm elections. though ossoff fell short of the majority for a win tuesday he says he's ready for a fight. >> there is no amount of dark money, super pac, negative advertising that can overcome real grass roots energy like this. [ cheers ] >> so bring it on. because we are courageous, we are humble, and we know how to
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fight. >> now, we're also following another big election to come. this one in britain. prime minister theresa may is calling for a snap election in early june. she had spent months saying there would be no early election, but she says opposition parties are trying to block her brexit plans and that the country needs unity for a smooth transition out of the e.u. >> every vote for the conservatives will make me stronger when i negotiate for britain with the prime ministers, presidents and chancellors of the european union. every vote for the conservatives will mean we can stick to our plan for a stronger britain and take the right long-term decisions for a more secure future. >> the latest poll suggests that may is playing a strong hand. a survey last week showed 44% of voters would support her conservatives. almost double that of the
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opposition labor party, but scottish first minister says this only helps her case for another vote on scotland's independen independence. >> you know, clearly she sees the opportunity given the total ranks in the party to get rid of people that disagree with her and to give herself a free hand to take the country in the direction she wants to take it in. >> europe editor is live with us. so nina, many were surprised by the british prime minister's call for an early election but it doesn't appear to be a gamble if the polls are any guide. how is this expected to play out and will it strengthen theresa may's hand as she suggested? >> reporter: well, majority of just 17 seats in the house of commons. it's always going to be to an issue after the 2015 election and if she capitalizes on some
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of the polling information where she could grab up to 200 seats. that would strengthen her hand and also some members of her own party who don't espouse her own view as how these brexit negotiations should be led. and she will be able to as a result of make better negotiations with brussels it's hoepd. she'll have a strong hand at the negotiating table. that is what she says but the reality is, this is a significant u-turn. up to about a month or so ago she was saying the next general election should be when it's due at the end of this decade. the problem with that is if brex it negotiations are coming up to their finale that will also overshadow that election and allow the europeans to have some sort of leverage over these talks. so going back to the polls, conservative party leading by more than 20 points at this time. 44 to the 23%.
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that is the widest margin between these parties since another female prime minister was the occupant. margaret thatcher's landslide victory. but of course, as we know polls have been unreliable recently and there's only six weeks to get ready for this general election. so it's going to be difficult to call. >> and we will be watching it very closely. it is just after 8:30 in the morning there. many thanks. the opposition in turkey is challenging the results of the constitutional referendum that gives the president new and mostly unchecked powers. an election observer says up to two and a half million votes may have been manipulated. protesters are furious, because that's almost double the margin of victory. the reforms will end turkey's parlimentary democracy and the
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biggest political change of the modern republic. we spoke with erdogan in his first interview and becky joins us now. good to see you. so what all did turkey's president have so say about the outcome and how did he answer his many critics? >> well, i asked him straight up for his response to his critics. he say this new turkish style presidency and these sweeping powers that gifts him is a slow march to dictatorship here in turkey. he is insistent that one, he says this was a democratic exercise and the result is the will of the people and that two, the tectonic shift and the way this country will be run going forward has some specific checks and balances to make sure it is more than about one man's role. take a listen.
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>> translator: there's something that i say over and over again. this is not a system belonging to erdogan. i am a mortal being. i can die at any time. therefore, to have a system for immort immort immort immortal -- a mortal being who can die at any moment, does that make sense? the system which contains a transformation, that's the purpose of it. we are now removing a dual head system. at the moment, the prime minister is head of the executive -- or of the government but al as well as being the leader of the political party. what we're saying is let's get rid of this duality and have a system that we have one
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president and the -- and we have a much stronger executive position. >> and with the deepest of respect, your great es critics will say that this is the march toward dictatorship. what's your response? >> dictatorship? to exist you don't have to necessarily have a -- if you say a ballot box produces any paper that will be unjust and unfair and to these who cast their ballots in that box. and you alluded to what was a big defeat for the opposition here from all my conversations with people, the opposition actually run one of their best
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campaigns for this referendum but they still lost. they insist not only were there voting irregularities, stuffing ballots, if you will, but that even before the first ballot was cast, they say this deck was stacked against them given the crackdown on dissent here since the military coup back in july last year and the ongoing state of emergency saying they were effectively muzzled. just now i'm seeing reports that the head of the turkish election board will evaluate complaints. will that change the outcome? probably not. we discussed the oppositions, complaints and the president was supremely confident. he suggested to me that any self-respecting party leader who'd lost as many elections as chp had here in turkey said he should step down.
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how can they effectively challenge a president, but now he has more power than before. >> and if it does represent a defeat for the opposition, what lies ahead for them and what about protesters? what are they planning to do? do they feel they still have a voice there? >> well, it's interesting because there were protests in istanbul. istanbul is one of the three main cities. all of which actually voted no in this election. there were interesting parallels by the way, between what happened here and what happened with the vote in the u.s. and in the u.k. in so far as what's happened here was that the urban elite voted against the ruling party. it was the rural heart lands who voted for the changes to the -- the system here. but there were some protests in istanbul there.
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more called. i was talking to our producer just yesterday who did say that there was very little evidence of security and police on the streets. if that is to suggest that having one, the president and the security forces here quite frankly feel they can get on with things and they don't care whether people protest or not, that remains to be seen but there's an awful lot of anger behind the scenes here. >> many thanks to becky anderson joining us live from ankara where it is 10:40 in the morning and just this reminder to our viewers. in less than two hours from now we will be airing becky's full exclusive interview with the turk irk pish president. let's take a short break here, but coming up, u.s. authorities find an accused murderer after a nationwide man hunt. how their search ended. that's just ahead.
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we are following breaking news in the special election for a u.s. congressional seat.
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democrat john ossoff says he's got no doubt his showing is quote, a victory for the ages. he fell short of an outright majority but his support in a solidly republican district viewed as a referendum of president trump's popularity ossoff faces karen handel in a june runoff. steve stephens had been on the run after police say he brutally gunned down a man and posted video of the murder online. cnn has the details. >> the search for steve stephens has ended. >> the nationwide search of the man is over. >> pennsylvania state police officers received a tip that the vehicle that we were looking for, the white ford fusion was in a mcdonald's parking lot.
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>> a signal from stephens' cell phone on sunday. >> we were in the process today of going back and doing a more thorough search of that area when this transpired. >> but it was today's tip from a mcdonald's drive through employee that led police to stephens. the 37-year-old took off leading police on a two-mile chase ending when police forced him to lose control of his car. >> as the officers approached that vehicle, steve stephens took his own life. >> his death ends a nationwide man hunt that started when police say he killed robert godwin easter sunday on a cleveland street. >> oh, my god have mercy. >> godwin's murder posted to facebook. on the video stephens says he is a monster who snapped and did it
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because he was angry with his girlfriend. godwin apparently targeted at random. >> he was definitely a people person. there's nobody that didn't love my dad. >> his family mourning his loss, but forgiving stephens. >> each one of us forgive the killer, the murderer. >> you do? >> we want to wrap our arms around him. >> we do. we absolutely do. i can honestly say i hold no animosity in my heart against this man. >> another family member had a sharper tone today after stephens' death. all i can say is i wish he would have gone down in a hail of 100 bullets. court records show stephens had financial troubles declaring bankruptcy in 2015 and having wages garnished as recently as this month. he had a history of gambling at two casinos including one in erie. tip from as far away as texas.
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>> and this is where the man hunt ended not long ago. his car was towed from the scene but much of the day was spent, investigators going through it, coping for evidence, trying to answer questions as to what he's been doing, where he's been these last 48 hours but investigators believe they don't believe he had any accomplices. and we will have more "cnn newsroom" after this short break. do stay with us. he's a nascar champion who's she's a world-class swimmer who's stared down the best in her sport. but for both of them, the most challenging opponent was... pe blood clots in my lung. it was really scary. a dvt in my leg. i had to learn all i could to help protect myself. my doctor and i choose xarelto® xarelto®... to help keep me protected. xarelto® is a latest-generation blood thinner... ...that's proven to treat and reduce the risk of dvt and pe blood clots from happening again. in clinical studies, almost 98% of patients on xarelto®
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there is no doubt that this is already a victory for the ages. we have defied the odds. we have shattered expectations. >> breaking news on the battle for a u.s. congressional seat in georgia. the election now moves to a runoff in june where democrat john ossoff you just saw there will face republican karen handel. it's viewed as a possible predictor of u.s. midterm elections next year. well, the deadline for
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americans to file their taxes has come and gone, but president trump's tax returns are still nowhere to be seen. hard to imagine, but not even all the encouragement in the world has convinced the president to change his mind. >> why won't president trump release his taxes? his critics goad him by calling him chicken, using chicken masks, even a chicken dance. as tax day comes and goes, what isn't going away is all the poking at the president. >> show us your taxes. >> stephen colbert threw mardi gras beads because they're often thrown to get women to reveal their assets. see president trump, it's not that hard.
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he's even being goaded business imperson nay tors. >> release the taxes. there we go. >> the president's least favorite impersonator once taunted the president, release your tax returns and i'll stop impersonating you. even easter was used to egg on the president. >> apparently it's still going on because trump hid those easter eggs as well as he hides his tax returns. >> and sean spicer reading to kids. sur sonic ears. >> was photo shopped into spicer reading a book called my taxes by donald t. i paid them. but what do critics most like to use against the president? his own words. >> he would reveal them after that. >> if i decide to run for office i'll produce my tax returns, absolutely. >> i have certainly no objection. >> i'm thinking about it. >> at the appropriate time you'll be very satisfied.
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>> i'm under a routine audit and it will be released and as soon as the audit is finished it will be released. >> that audit line has become taxing. >> as far as i'm aware the president says he's still on it. >> cnn, new york. >> and we'll see what happens. thanks. remember to connect with me any time on twitter, love to hear from you. early start is next for our viewers here in the united states. for everyone else, stay tuned for more news in london. have yourselves a great day. ♪ ♪
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breaking this morning, no decisive winner in georgia's special election. why are all sides claiming victory and what is the white house saying? good morning and welcome to "early start". i'm alison kosik. >> i'm dave briggs.


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