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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  April 21, 2017 11:00pm-12:01am PDT

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that's it for us. thanks for watching. time to hand things over to don lemon and "cnn tonight." this is cnn breaking news. breaking news. new exclusive information on how russia tried to influence the 2016 election. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. the fbi gathered intelligence last summer suggesting russian operatives were trying to use trump advisers, including carter page to infiltrate the campaign. that investigation looming over president trump's first 100 days in office. a milestone the president now calls, quote, a ridiculous standard. he sure seems eager to have a very busy week. plus, britain's royals as you've never seen them before. kate, william and harry in a candid conversation about what
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it was like for the princes to lose their mother diana. >> i always thought to myself, what's the point in bringing up the past, something that's going to make you sad. when you start thinking like that, he said to me, you've got to sit down, think about those memories. for me, it was like, i don't want to think about it. >> we'll get right to our exclusive breaking news. cnn has learned that russia -- pamela brown has been following this from the very beginning. what can you tell us? >> we've learned that the fbi gathered intelligence last summer that suggested russian like carter use agents one factor in this was carter page's critical speech against russia in july 2016 at a prominent moscow university that is part of what raised concerns in the bureau that he may have been compromised by russian intelligence.
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the new information as to this emerging picture of how the russians try to influence the 2016 election, not only through the e-mail hacks and propaganda, sometimes referred to as fake news, but also by trying to infiltrate the trump orbit. this intelligence led to the broader fbi investigation into the coordination of trump's campaign associates and the russians were told, and what we've heard from james comey, but the officials we have spoken with made clear they don't know whether page or the other advisers were aware that the russians may have been using them because of the way russian spy services operate. page, for one, could have unknowingly talked with the russian agents. don? >> very interesting. what is carter page saying about this? >> well, he has this notion or idea and saying that at times he helped the u.s. intelligence committee. he told cnn that he had been
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going to russia and may share information with the russian government as i have similarly done with the cia, the fbi and other government agencies in the past. but don, u.s. officials say this intelligence suggests that russia tried to influence the campaign by using back-door communication. it's important to know within the trump campaign, page was viewed as little or no influence but he's one of several advisers whom u.s. and european intelligence detected in contact with russian officials during the campaign. don? >> pamela, where do we stand now with this investigation? >> well, it's ongoing and it's no telling how long it could take before it wraps up. intelligence analysts and investigators continue to analyze various strands from human sources to electronic intercepts, travel records. they found suggestions of possible collusion between the
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trump campaign and russian officials. but we're told by officials at this point that there's not enough evidence to prove to, show that crimes were actually committed. and part of the challenge for the investigators has been that they've lost their opportunity to conduct this investigation in secret after several leaks last year revealed the fbi was looking at people close to the trump campaign. after those reports, people that the u.s. was monitoring then changed their behavior making it more difficult for the fbi. don? >> pamela, thank you for your reporting. i appreciate that. now i want to bring in matthew murray. also, bob baer, cnn security analyst. thank you for coming on. matthew, i'll start with you. trump using carter page and others to infiltrate the trump campaign. >> i think the question is what
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were they using him for and i think there's a distinct possibility it was on the one hand to coordinate with the trump campaign in a way that might amount to collusion. but the other distinct possibility, don, is that sanctions were on the table. it is very clear that russia had a very strong and high incentive to find sympathetic voices and leaders in the united states that might be willing under circumstances where they acquired power to lift sanctions against russia, which are clearly very hurting their economy and have been effective as u.s. national security. so this -- the activity in question, how high did it reach? who were the other officials in the trump campaign that they were using page to get to? page is kind of a weak link here, actually. and there were other people who obviously had more influence over the way the candidate was thinking and how successful were
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the russians in getting to those other parties and, if so, did they get sanctions on the table as a point of discussion and is this what explains why president trump said in late december or early january of this year that he knew putin was a smart guy when putin did not respond to obama taking some punitive actions towards the russians. >> meaning he didn't have a high enough or big enough position within the trump campaign? >> absolutely. and that's really not the point. the russians probably appreciated the fact that he was a weak link and were using him to sort of have eyes and a filter on the critically material issues that were being discussed, including what the republican platform was going to say about ukraine and including the trump administration's policy towards sanctions would be. >> bob, would it be surprising -- shouldn't it be surprising if the russians
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didn't use spying techniques? how consistent is this with russia's spying techniques? >> absolutely, don. if i were at the headquarters and looking at this new president, unpredictable, he seems to be sympathetic to russia but you need to know that from the inside and carter page is put out there as an adviser to trump, you go and try to recruit him, either as a source of information or an agent of influence. either way, they would have gone after this guy. i think that's what the fbi stumbled about. and they were also looking at manafort who was effectively taking russian money in the ukraine and general flynn as well who did take russian money from the russian government. they had a lot of sources in the
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trump campaign and, you know, this doesn't surprise me at all and it doesn't surprise me at all that the fbi had to look into this as much as they regretted that they were put in this position and they are doing what they should be doing. >> bob, matthew said he referred to carter page as a weakling and i'm sure you have seen some of the interviews with carter page over the last couple of weeks. many of them, i'm sure. do you get any sense whether he was an active participant? again, they said page had little influence and never met with the president directly. >> well, you know, let's be fair here. he is sort of goofy and he wouldn't be an ideal agent of the fsb.
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but yet, the fsb needs any source it can get and probably susceptible to their whispering. he spent a lot of time there. they knew him. they had his rooms tapped when he went to moscow. he was naive and he's the kind of guy you try to recruit. the weak link. if he's a dud, you move on to the next one. i did this as a career and i know exactly what they're doing and the question is who else in the trump administration was involved with the russians and to what degree and we still go back to the hacking which was evidenced all over the board that there was collusion when they were predicting podesta's e-mail would be hacked and it was. that's a red flag for me, don. >> matthew, i have to run. do you think he's going to testify because he's offered to testify? if so, when do you think that will happen? >> i think they'll probably want him up very soon and to get him out of the way in a sense because they need to get on to the people who were making decisions. they need to get on to the jared kushners, the flynns, manaforts and people who were shaping the environment. >> matthew, bob, appreciate it. >> thank you. when we come back, a long
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president trump made a lot of promises during his campaign but now he's changing his tune somewhat. joining me is bill kristol, a former communications adviser to the trump campaign and political analysts, plural, kristin powers and april ryan. good evening to all of you. thank you for joining us. jason miller.
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this morning, on day 93 of his administration, president trump tweeted this. no matter how much i accomplish during the ridiculous standard of the first 100 days and it has been a lot including s.c., media will kill." but this is what he said on the campaign trail just three days before the election. watch this. >> just think about what we can accomplish in the first 100 days of a trump administration. we're going to have the biggest tax cut since ronald reagan, even bigger. she's going to raise your taxes. we will eliminate every unnecessary job killing regulation, such a big thing, such a big thing. cancel every illegal obama executive order. we are going to protect religious liberty and take care of our great veteran. we will provide school choice and put an end to common core. we bring our education local. we will support the men and
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women of law enforcement. we are going to save our second amendment. >> is he done? he set the standard there. how many things of that has he done? >> he also said at the very beginning that he will start putting these things in motion. are they all going to be done during the first 100 days? clearly they are not going to have all of them done but they've had great progress on them. he's started putting them in motion. there's some other things that he didn't mention there that i think are really worth mentioning. talk about our standing on the international stage, standing up to north korea, obviously with taking on the assad regime. these are things that he didn't
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talk about in a speech in gettysburg with very important things that we've seen. >> there are things that he's done but he is now saying that it's a ridiculous standard. he set the standard. if you look at this, this is his 100-day action plan to make america great again. now he's saying the 100-day standard is ridiculous but he actually used this as a standard himself. so what gives? >> well, again, when he gave those remarks, he said that we'll start putting these things in motion. also, there's a little bit of -- you know when you go to the carnival and you shoot it and it never goes in? the media is going to move the hoop no matter what happens here. >> i don't think the media is
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moving the hoop. i'm just being honest. he's moving the hoops. he said he's going to do all of those things. by holding him accountable, that's not holding the hoops. >> we have a great supreme court justice, neil gorsuch, pulled out a ttp and a number of regulations. when you combine the executive orders plus laws signed, the combined toll under president trump, you have to go back to president kennedy to get that number between the two. >> plus laws aside. >> i'm just reeling from this thing that he never makes baskets. look, i'm happy that a lot of things president trump said he was going to do and promised he was going to do. and suddenly the dreamers, they are fine. it's kind of a big story and i think it was yesterday that they were leaving those guys alone. in response to specifically what we're talking about here, the media is moving these stories, weren't these his promises? and jason is right, he's going in the right direction, if the economy gets stronger, he'll be fine. the big story, if you step back
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and say what's surprising, it's the most dramatic changes, the things that were not traditional republican policies, protectionism, isolationism, really tough immigration stuff, he's backed off either willingly or under pressure and it does look a little more, especially in foreign policy, like a traditional republican administration now. >> the president is setting big goals next week. >> we'll be having a big announcement on wednesday having to do with tax reform, the process has begun long ago and begins on wednesday. >> so is he feeling the pressure in the first 100 days, kirsten?
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>> i think he is. and the fact that he's trying to downplay the first 100 days, saying that it's not that big of a deal and sort of painting it as though the press is going to make him look bad and it doesn't really matter even though he was just saying he had the best 90 days ever, so i think he's now trying to actually show that he's going to maybe get some things done is not particularly realistic that tax reform would be done in the first 100 days, you know, considering they haven't really started the process. same thing with repealing obamacare. it seems unlikely that it would get done in the first 100 days. but all that said, even if he has had a sort of underwhelming first 100 days, which i think he has, doesn't mean that he won't be successful.
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>> people say who really cares that much. april, it's not just tax reform. listen to the president. >> how are you going to accomplish that? >> it's going to happen. it will happen. we'll see what happens. no particular rush, but we'll see what happens. but health care is coming along well. government is coming along really well. a lot of good things are happening. >> it doesn't matter if it's next week. next week doesn't matter. >> he says it doesn't matter. 100-day mark is looming. the government shutdown is looming as well. i'm sure he would like to get these things done within the first 100 days. i'm sure already he's looking at legacy because that's the kind of guy he is. do you think it matters in the next week for him? >> it does matter, but he's also again dialing it back because he knows realistically, let's take health care, for instance, don, the freedom caucus is saying, okay, yes, we've got this
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working out but then you have the other part of the republican party. that's not necessarily happy about the fiscal piece of it. so that's going to be a hard piece to put together before the first 100 days. and then when you talk about tax reform and all these other issues, tax reform is going to be a high price tag yet again and this is something that is going to roll out over time. he's talking about cutting taxes, cutting tax rates, individually and for businesses. and there is going to be a high price tag. >> good. >> and he's banking on the economy to help push this through and we just don't know about the economy as of yet. >> okay. so what do mark cuban and president obama have in common? we're going to talk about both of them in our next block. he ofl of the nfl and i, want to remind you that no one's the same without the game. like jimmy b, who writes, s
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i'm ricardo, a sales and service consultant here at the xfinity store in bellevue, washington. here at the store, we offer internet, tv, phone, customer service, home security. every situation is a little different. it could be about billing, simple questions like changing the phone number. sometimes, they want to upgrade, downgrade, but at the end of the day, you want to take care of the customer. one of the great things about comcast, there's always room to move up. of course, it depends on you, how hard you work. ♪ one of the presidents billionaire friends is speaking out -- i guess we can call him a friend, right? what he says is not exactly complementary. back now with my panel. would you call mark cuban a friend? >> probably not.
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>> here's what he said on "new day" this morning. >> i call it political chemo their peechlt one of my friends who i always thought was really smart, he had a different viewpoint on president trump. he said, mark, i've voted for politicians my entire life. he's in his 50s. doing the same thing over and over expecting different results and so i voted for donald trump. is he poisonous in a lot of respects? yeah. this is our chemotherapy. we hope he's going to change the political system. >> so mark cuban is saying basically he's poison to the political system but you hope he kills the bad cells only. >> well, at a surface level, throwing out this political chemotherapy line is really disrespectful and falls fat. i don't think it's really good. here's the thing. ladies and gentlemen, there's a new face of the democratic party and it's mark cuban. nobody knows who the chair of the dnc is. folks will be begging for hillary clinton to come back. >> i think cuban is interested
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in running possibly. he's one of several billionaires who said i have a better business grid than donald trump. why is he nominee and president of the united states and not me. i think he was a serious political guy. he knows quite a lot about politics and i think jason's right, that he's saying things that if you're a democrat, yeah, he's saying it like it is. >> he's looking forward to 2020. >> yep. >> i want to move on now to the former president. we heard a political speech from hillary clinton last night. on monday, president obama will give his first public speech since he left office. that timing is pretty interesting. the former government is going to emerge from his jet set vacations from around the world. what do you think of that? >> it has nothing to do with the president's first 100-day mark. in looking back in history, when former president bill clinton left office, his first paid speech was in that february right after he left office. then, when you look back at former president george w. bush,
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his first paid speech was in march after the naug immigration and then when you look at this president, he's doing something in late april. i'm going back to something and thinking about something that former first lady michelle obama said, when they go low, we go high. i don't believe they are looking in their rear-view mirror. it's a different dynamic for president obama. he's doing something that he said he was going to do in his post-presidency. he wanted to focus in on building and growing the new crop of young leaders and focusing in on young people, particularly in his home town of chicago. >> kirsten, what do you think we'll hear from the former president and how do you think this former president will react? >> i'd be very surprised if he said anything to donald trump. he's an extremely classy person and i don't think that these
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speeches have anything to do with donald trump. i think april's exactly right. this is him starting his post-presidency sort of term of, you know, moving on to issues that he cares about and that he wants to focus on. i just don't think that this is in any way about donald trump. >> it certainly was a great vacation, though, if you look at the pictures. >> yeah. >> were you on it? >> no. but i was very jealous of it. i've been sitting here at this anchor desk. thank you all. have a great weekend. appreciate it. when we come back, my next guest won pulitzer prize. what that can tell us about how he'll govern in the white house. you'll be surprised. starts a chain reaction... ...that's heard throughout the connected business world. at&t network security helps protect business, from the largest financial markets to the smallest transactions, by sensing cyber-attacks in near real time and automatically deploying countermeasures.
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president trump's 100th day in office is just around the corner and the pressure is on to live up to the big promises that he made. here to discuss now is presidential historian douglas brinkley and a reporter from "the washington post," david, first off, congratulations. you won the pulitzer prize last week for your excellent reporting on president trump. he's beaming. and whether he was following
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through on his promises to donate to charity over the years. the answer was typically no, right? >> that's right. i spent a lot of time trying to find any evidence, trying to prove trump right when he said he had been giving millions and millions of dollars away and i couldn't. i called 450 charities trying to find some proof that money was out there. i found one gift out of trump's own gift for less than $10,000. >> in terms of how and went president trump gave money when he didn't, you're seeing similar patterns in his decision-making now and how he's going to be in the white house, right? how so. >> a couple of ways. one is that he often relied on the idea that if you've made a promise, people would never
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follow up on the promise because they would assume no one would make a public promise and then forget about it. so he would say, i'm going to give the proceeds of trump university away and "celebrity apprentice" and rely on the fact that people would believe that those promises were kept and in many cases he didn't. we see that repeating in the white house where he says next week i'll give you more information on russian hacking, i'll give you my tax plan, promise to cyberplan 90 days. they assume a president would not say that and not follow up and then he doesn't follow up. he tries to exploit that gap. the problem is that now he's president and there's a lot more scrutiny on him than when i was a private citizen. >> douglas brinkley points out that president trump's decisions guided by personal relationships, short-term goals, not long-term strategy. if you look at health care, he backed off his promise to take care of everybody and says he wants a policy win.
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do you think this strategy works in the white house? >> no. i think it's very fickle. he says one thing one day and does something the next. the only advantage for donald trump is he's the only one who knows what he's going to be doing. fdr says i only let my left hand know what my right hand is doing. with donald trump, he seems to be misleading the american citizens about what he's going to do. there were going to be a repeal and replace of obamacare. he tried it and it didn't happen. we're going to do the wall and may have a shutdown now because they are not paying for the wall. so i think it's a problem for him. >> david, here's how you make the comparison for donald trump the businessman. you put it this way. a man who loves putting his name on things wound up with almost no physical evidence of his charitable giving.
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i search for any items that a charity had named in trump's honor and came up with a theater seat in new jersey. a seat in florida. trump's list of presidential achievements so fares looks like the policy equivalent of two theater seats and a park bench. so, i mean, if that's how he operated as a private citizen, it doesn't seem like that's going to change how he operates now. >> it's possible. it's possibly true. one thing i saw when looking at his donations, when the spotlight wasn't on him, where did he actually give his money? it wasn't like a lot of wealthy people that choose a cancer charity or hospital and devote enough money to that particular cause that he would help it in a material way but also they would honor him by naming something after him. friends being honored by some charity, he'll give a little money. he buys a table for $10,000. he spreads the money so widely, there's not much impact in a philanthropic sense and no monument to what he's done. it's not money, it's time that is scarce now and there's no evidence of an obvious sort of big, unifying goal that he's always working for. >> douglas, you used a couple of words to describe the president's first 100 days.
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why to you, the successes he's had, neil gorsuch, air strike in syria which many people supported, you said that why don't they do enough to redeem them? >> because it started day one when he lied about the crowd size and said he had a bigger crowd than obama. then he embarrassed himself at the cia. then, you know, he had a keystone going with sean spicer. but he's under criminal investigation by the fbi right now. his big legislative push, which should have been doing a bipartisan bill for infrastructure, bridges and roads, instead was repeal and replace. his national security adviser general flynn caputz. he's had a dark cloud over him. it's not just me.
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65% of the american public, maybe 60%, say he's doing a bad job. he's got to figure something out the second 100 days because it hasn't been good so far. >> there's a criminal investigation into possible collusion but he himself is not? >> no. but his administration has been under the heat of it. >> douglas, thank you. david, congratulations again. very nice. when we come right back, a rare glimpse into royal life. william, kate and harry in a candid conversation. what they said about the death of princess diana. at red lobster's lobsterfest any of these 9 lobster dishes could be yours. so don't resist delicious new lobster mix and match or lobsterfest surf and turf because you won't have this chance for long.
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britain's young royals speak in a very candid conversation. william and harry talking to kate about their struggles after the death of their mother diana. >> over the years our mother -- >> never enough. >> doing this campaign has made you realize that? >> yeah, i think so. i always thought to myself,
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what's the point of bringing up the past and it's going to make you sad and it ain't going to change it and it can be damaging. for me it was like i don't want to think about it. >> but it's -- what happened with us must happen with others, tough prioritize your mental health. you have to say to yourself at some point because it's easy to run away from it and avoid it. someone has to lead. has to be brave enough to force that conversation. >> that videotaped at kensington palace is encouraging everyone to speak freely about mental health. joining me is victoria arbitrar, expert on traumatic loss and author of courageous aging, your best years reimagined. i need to read that. thank you both for coming on. vicky, i've never seen anything
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like this with a royal family, stiff upper lip and you don't do those things. it's very intimate. what's your reaction? >> very intimate. for generations, the royal motto has been never complain, never explain. really, this is such an important conversation and over the last few weeks william, kate and harry had sports stars, movie stars, television stars all sharing their personal struggles with their own mental health issues as well as regular folk. by having everyone else do that, they stepped up to the plate and shared their own personal experiences and this is going to blow the conversation wide open. >> i want to bring you into the conversation because william and harry say that they never talked about their mother's death. what would that loss have on them at 15 and at 12 years old? what does that do to you emotionally? >> they lost their mother a year after i lost my mother. i've been on the same timeline.
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i was much older. for kids, developmentally, it hits them over time. they are able to really absorb, she's not coming back, this really happened. they begin to come out of that shock and denial and avoidance and reality sets in and that's when they need help. that's when they need time and support to process everything they're going through and they are doing that now. >> vicky, prince harry told the newspapers that at royal engagements he felt himself battling fight or flight impulses, he said. did anyone know how much pain he was in? >> certainly not publicly. and i think actually when you look back now at those years where he was labeled the party prince, the wild child, it's heartbreaking because now in
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hindsight we know that was the time he was experiencing what we call total chaos. it was only in talking to friends and with encouragement from his brother that he finally sought help. 16 years after the event. so you can't imagine what must have been going on in his head at that point. but by him admitting what he went through and seeking help, he can say, well, you're a prince. lady gaga talked about it this week. well, that means it's okay for me as well. >> let's listen to another part of this extraordinary video. >> the pressure is on children nowaday is more than it ever was for us. >> huge. >> each generation can say that. you've got so many things to worry about, whether struggling with exams, home life, and the social media angle. you can understand why that coupled with the fact that you don't get out of the house -- >> and it's always as though everybody else's life is perfect.
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>> yes. >> that's the problem. >> and therefore you think if everyone else's life is perfect, there must be something wrong with me. if you can talk openly about your issues, that makes for a better family and doing better at school and da, da, da. it goes on and on. >> i think this is great that they are doing this. i have to ask you, prince harry says ever since his mother's death, he buried his feelings. at 28, he felt like punching someone. how common is that reaction? >> it's very common and it's not only punching. it's lashing out. it's saying, i'm tired of sitting with my hands and legs folded and repressing, hiding, denying everything that is going on inside. i'm thinking about my mom. i miss my mom. i feel like i'm still standing in the ashes of plan "a." plan "a" was that i was supposed to grow up with my mom and now i'm in plan "b" and the grief illiterate culture really turns away from loss and grief, whether it's the life loss of a mom or a child or whether it's a
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living loss, a living loss is a divorce that we've gone through, a loss of a job, aging, the fact that we've lost our younger self. so the fact that these gentlemen, these princes are talking about, making it safe for us to open up and to process these things to create conversations with the people we care about means everything. >> this, i'm sure a big part >> this i'm sure is a natural mat you aration process in this, vicky. but how are people -- because, you know, we're across the pond. >> yeah. >> how are people over there reacting to this? is it being received well? >> there's a dramatic response. there will be some negativity. some people said can we please stop talking about mental health now. heads together their charity is the chief charity partner that is taking place on sunday. but this conversation has to continue. and people are going to get the help that they need because of the bravery. >> we have to take the stigma off of it. let's hope that people in the u.s. and around the world are listening. >> don? >> quickly. >> there are five honorings.
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the way we honor a loss in our life, taking care of ourself, doing something good in the name of the person we've lost, by developing a spiritual relationship with that person so it continues, and the last thing, the most important thing is to summon the courage to write new chapters in our lives and to do something good in their name which these beautiful young men are doing and so many people are going to benefit now. >> thank you both. i appreciate it. very well said. now i want to turn to cnn heroes. we need you to help us find them. to nominate people doing extraordinary work to change the world. meet some of the nominators who got a chance to make their heroes cnn heroes. >> i met my hero when we were volunteering. he's making a big difference for kids in our area. >> there you go. >> she is my second mom, my mentor. >> i felt like it was very important for people to know
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about sister thiessen. >> i feel honored that i was able to honor her in such a significant way. >> i was so proud of myself. >> oh, my goodness, for everything that she's done for me, i did something for her, you know? >> if you know someone who should be a cnn hero, nominate them today at cnn when we come right back, new developments in the aaron hernandez case. the family of his victim now asking the patriots to pay them any money still owed to hernandez. could they get millions? yeah, at first i thought it was just the stress of moving. [ sighs ] hey, i was using that. what, you think we own stock in the electric company? i will turn this car around right now! there's nobody back there. i was becoming my father. [ clears throat ] it's...been an adjustment, but we're making it work. you know, makes it easy for us to get the right home insurance.
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[ snoring ] progressive can't protect you from becoming your parents, but we can protect your home and auto. [ chuckles ] all right. briathe customer app willw if be live monday. can we at least analyze customer traffic? can we push the offer online? brian, i just had a quick question. brian? brian... legacy technology can handcuff any company. but "yes" is here. you're saying the new app will go live monday?! yeah. with help from hpe, we can finally work the way we want to. with the right mix of hybrid it, everything computes. [heroine] happy to be here. [ceo] so when you take the job, all these benefits are yours. the world's 2nd most decorated sushi chef... i'm trying to get the first. over here we have quiet spaces for deep thoughts. the latest smart technology. and of course, personal mobility solutions... functional and pragmatic.
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new details tonight about aaron hernandez's final moments in prison. the ex-new england patriots star who was convicted of murder made sure prison guards could not get into his cell the night he committed suicide. here to discuss cnn contributor susan candiotti and legal analyst mark o'meara. good evening to both of you. wish it was for a better story. just awful. >> horrible. >> susan u have new information about aaron hernandez's final moments and what he did to make sure there would be no way to revive him. what did you tell us about that? >> this is really disturbing. it seems the more information we get, the more we seem to get a better picture that aaron hernandez apparently took several steps and gave a lot of
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thought before he apparently took his own life by hanging himself with that bedsheet. for one thing, we're hearing that he left messages and notes. the one message we told you about, the one that he had scrawled across his forehead using a red substance. a biblical verse. john 3:16, which more or less says that, if you believe in god, then you will be given eternal life. i'm paraphrasing that. but we also learn that he also scrawled that message on one of his prison walls. and in addition to that, he used cardboard to try to jam up his cell door so that if the guards should come back and notice him and thought they still had time to revive him, that they would have a tougher time getting to him. in addition to that, don, he also left three notes behind, and they include one to his fiancee, shayana jenkins and one to his daughter, his 4-year-old daughter avielle.
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we haven't been able to confirm the contents of those notes, but again all of these things are indications that he was thinking about this, but what's particularly disturbing here is what prison officials have told us, and that is that he was not checked on for several hours from 8:00 in the evening when all the cells are -- when people are locked into their cells for the night. he was in general population. he was not on a suicide watch. and he was in a cell by himself. but a guard didn't come by and look at him again until 3:00 in the morning. now, don, that obviously gave him a lot of time to put everything together and then tie that -- hang himself with a bedsheet from the window. >> that's obviously going to be a source of one of the lawsuits here because mark, an attorney for aaron hernandez family expects to sue officials for
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negligence surrounding his suicide. they're upset that no one checked on him in those hours mentioned by susan candiotti and they learned everything about his death through the media. do you think they have a strong case? >> i don't think they have a strong case for this reason. jails do not have a great deal of responsibility for constant care over nonsuicide watch people. so quite honestly, once it's lights out or the cell's closed up at 8:00, not checking on him for seven hours is not going to be found to be that negligent. now, if they had concerns about suicide, great, but they didn't. it is frustrating, but it's the way the world we live in today that media finds out almost quicker than family members. and that's sad, but it's going to be very difficult to hold the jail responsible for someone who obviously planned well to end their own life. >> and aaron hernandez, mark, was serving a life sentence for killing odin lloyd when he hanged himself in prison earlier this week. odin's mother asking the patriots to voluntarily give her whatever money he may still be owed. under massachusetts law, this is
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a possibility? how is that? >> well, it's strange, but under massachusetts law, because he had an appeal pending for the criminal act, the murder. it sort of goes back to the first day he was arrested. the appeal is over, but he's virtually under one circumstance legally innocent. if he's legally innocent, then the nfl or the patriots may owe him the signing bonus and pension, which means it's now available to the hernandez family. but of course odin lloyd's family already has a lawsuit and a judgment against hernandez and his estate, so the question then becomes what should happen to the money. obviously, if there is money, one would think it's going to go to odin's family. i don't see the nfl coughing up money -- as insensitive as this sounds, coughing up money because if they do it for this case they'll have to do it for every car accident. >> end of the show, thank you very much.
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susan, looking forward to your documentary on this. susan has been covering this story since day one. >> thank you, don. >> thank you all. have a great weekend. that's it for tonight. cnn special report, downward spiral: aaron hernandez, starts right now. the following is a cnn special report. an astonishing talent. >> he was projected to be one of the best tight ends of his generation. >> he's a very good player. >> turned american tragedy. >> what say you, madam foreperson? >> guilty of murder in first degree. >> superstardom on the field overshadowed by violence and the victims he left behind. >> my god, my son was shot and killed. >> now, the latest turn in this twisted story. >> killed himself in prison. >> the suicide that ended this


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