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tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  May 3, 2017 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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may have changed things but said would he do it again. there will be a vote, white house vows action on the gop health care bill despite a razor thin margin. tonight, there's new momentum as two key republicans meet with president trump and flip their votes to yes. is it a much-needed victory for the president at hand? insufficient evidence. justice department announces it will not file federal charges against two white police officers involved in the controversial shooting death of alton sterling. but the case isn't over. louisiana launches its own investigation with state prosecutors reach a different conclusion. and we're gonna make a deal. president trump meets with the palestinian authority president and vows to work as a mediator to help achieve peace with israel. can this u.s. president succeed? where so many of his predecessors failed. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world.
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i'm wolf blitzer, you're in the situation room. >> this is cnn breaking news. >> we're following breaking news. fbi director james comey is defending his handling into the investigation into hillary clinton's e-mails. comey said it made him quote mildly nauseous to think that he swayed the outcome of the presidential race by announcing just days before the election that the clinton probe was being reopened. but he stood by his action and said would he do it again. we're also following the high stakes effort by the white house and the house gop leadership to pass their revised bill to repeal and replace obamacare. two key moderate republicans switched their votes to yes after president trump committed to support extra money to fund coverage for people with preexisting conditions. the president and the vice president are personally lobbying lawmakers right now but
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the timing of the vote and the outcome remain uncertain. and the justice department has announced no federal charges will be filed in the death of alton brown citing insufficient evidence. shot by baton rouge police while pinned to the ground by two white police officers. now a state investigation has begun into the case into alton sterling which sparked a wave of black lives matter protests. we're covering all of that. much more this hour with our guest including senator dianne feinstein, ranking member of the judiciary committee. analyst are also standing by. let's begin with the fbi director james comey's testimony to the senate judiciary committee. pamela brown has the very latest for us. pamela, comey was questioned by both democrats and republicans. >> that's right, wolf. senators on both side of the aisle wanted to get a lot off their chest with fbi director
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james comey during the animated hearing today comey revealed new details about his controversial handling of the two high profile probes involving the presidential candidates during the election. >> tonight, fbi director james comey in the hot seat before the senate judiciary committee telling lawmakers he has no regrets about his letter to congress announcing during the election that hillary clinton e-mail probe was reopened. even if it affected the outcome. >> look, this is terrible. it makes me mildly nauseous to think we might have had some impact on the election. but honestly, it wouldn't change the decision. everybody who disagrees with me has to wum back to october 28 with me and stair at this and tell me what you would do. would you speak or conceal? and i could be wrong but we honestly made a decision between those two choices that even in hindsight and this is one of the world's most painful experiences, i would make the same decision. i would not conceal that. on october 28 from congress. >> was there any conflict among
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your staff? people saying do it. people saying don't do it. as has been reported. >> no. it was a great debate. i have a fabulous staff at all lefs and one of my junior lawyers said should you consider that what you're about to do may help elect donald trump president. and i said, thank you for raising that. not for a moment. because down that path lies the death of the fbi as an independent institution in america. i can't consider for a second who's political fortunes will be affected in what way. we have to ask ourselves, what is the right thing do and then do that thing. >> kooem made tcomey made stunnt that he lacked confidence. and loretta lynch with bill clinton on the tarmac paved the way for his unprecedented statement last july that he wasn't recommending charges. >> they could not credibly --
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and that was hard statement to make, to say i'm calling a press conference and i can't tell what you i'm going to say. i was loving this. i knew this would be disastrous for me personally but it is the best way to take care of the institutions. >> then they fired back asking why he didn't publicly acknowledge the probe into russia's connection with campaign associate before the election. >> had there been public notice that there was renewed investigation into both campaigns. i think the impact would have been different. would you agree? >> no. i thought a lot about this and my judgment was, counter intelligence, we have to separate two things. i thought it was very important to call out what the russians were trying to do with our election. and offered in august myself to be a voice for that in public piece calling it out. obama administration didn't take advantage of that in august and
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did it in october. but i thought that was very important to call out. >> and director comey made it clear he does not plan on providing any more information until it is a closed matter and didn't commit to how he would let the public know when that happens. we will wait and see. wolf? >> pamela brown reporting. thank you. let's get more on all of this with democratic senator dianne feinstein with california. ranking member of the senate judiciary committee and member of the intelligence committee. senator, thanks for joining us. >> you're welcome, wolf. >> you have confidence in the fbi director, james comey? >> i do. in this case, it is really off the line. trs i re i read the department policy about announcing something very controversial shortly before an election. and the department's policy says not to do that. president clinton's assent into
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loretta lynch's plane i think was four months before. probably not at all relevant. should he have done it? probably not. but knowing him, it was on the spur of the moment and he just did it. with respect to this thing, here's the point. there was no new information in the weiner computer. what do i mean by that? there were 3,000 e-mails. 12 of which were classified. and all of which were part of the earlier investigation. so 11 days before the election, a real october surprise. the fbi director announces an investigation. why didn't he just go ahead and get a search warrant and find out what was in that computer before he did it? because a great injustice was done.
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there was nothing new in that computer. and yet it impacted the election. i think everybody agrees to that in one way or another. it impacted the election. so you know, mildly nauseous doesn't sound like he was too nauseated by it. but i think it was bad thing to do and really for me a very disappointing thing for him to do. >> having said that senator you still have confidence in him as the fbi director. tell us why. >> i think overall he is a straight shooter. he always has been with me. i think he's very -- he's not influenced by much other than his purpose and his job. and i think that's good. this, something happened that i don't know about. why didn't he bring the russian information up? one of the things he said to us, well, one of the reasons for
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bringing the clinton or holding the clinton press conference 11 days before the election, was there was such great interest in this. well, let me tell you, when russia hacks into our election systems, there's exceptional interest in that too. so that argument doesn't hold up. but he is so sure that he did the right thing and maybe i would say it wasn't the right thing if there was new information. >> he did say -- >> he did say that if he hadn't done 11 days before election, what he did, it would have been in his word the death of the fbi as independent institution in america and he also said he didn't know that there were only 12 classified documents on anthony weiner computer that had been apparently put there by huma abedin, hillary clinton's long time assistant. that was revealed to him at the end of that investigation or a
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couple three days before the investigation. >> they could have searched the computer and they could have done the comparison i would think rather quickly. electronically. and found that there was nothing new there. >> are you troubled, senator, that there were 12 classified documents on former congressman anthony weiner's computer? >> well, yeah. i don't know if they were documents. classified is all different -- i would have to see the actual e-mails to answer that question. they are all different ranks and sometimes things aren't really very classified. other times they are very classified. and it all depend upon the markings, on the header, and bottom of the e-mail. so i would have to see those before i could comment. >> are you going to check that? >> am i going to check that? >> is your committee going to look into it. >> i haven't thought about it, but might be a good idea. >> let's talk about some of the other issues that came up during
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the course of this hearing. does hillary clinton also own responsibility for her handling of the e-mail situation that private server she used during her four years as secretary of state? does she have some of the responsibility for this entire investigation even beginning? >> well, i'll tell you. nobody here has informed me of how to use the blackberry when we a we add blahad a blackberry. we now do not have a blackberry. there were no rules. state department, i think, should have a protocol whereby every new person coming into that department has a specific instruction and i don't believe that existed. was it the smartest thing she could do? no. no question about that. but i don't think -- i don't think she had the intent,
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candidly, to do harm or to be illegal in any way. when we looked at some of the e-mails during the benghazi report, there was nothing there. >> the reason comey says he did what he did, he called it the capper for him. then attorney general loretta lynch's meeting with former bill clinton on that plane a few months earlier, he said that caused him to go public with that october 28 letter to congress. do you think that meeting between loretta lynch and bill clinton justified what he did? >> the meeting on the plane, as i understand it, was either late june or early july. that a long time before october 11. so i don't quite know, it wasn't october 11. >> i have october 28. >> october 28. that's a long time. that's several months. >> so that's hard for me to reconcile what he even meant by
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that. >> 11 days before the election he came out with the letter that hillary clinton only yesterday said was partially to blame for her defeat in the election. he said he never publicly disclosed the criminal investigation under way until looking into trump associate ties with russia. that investigation earlier started at the end of july. he said he never released that information because it was a matter of timing. do you accept that explanation? >> no, i don't. because i think that is really important. and we have all of the american intelligence agencies who did a joint report. who made a finding which made a finding with high confidence. that there was a covert influence campaign going on headed by two russian intelligence agencies. and most people that know those agencies do not plef that that
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influence campaign covertly would have been conducted without either the knowledge or the direction of the head of government. so this is a very major thing. and to think that it may be going on in europe now and may still be going on in this country in other ways, i think is a major problem before this country, in terms of dealing with russia and its hacking and the destruction that brings about. >> yeah. comey saying it is still going on, there is still hacking and they are still trying to interfere with american politics as we speak, he is referring to the russians. grassley pressed director comey about the so-called trump dossier saying the fbi and
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justice department provided him with material adjustments. do you believe the fbi and department of justice have provided what senator grassley called materially inconsistent answers when it comes to the dossier and auj of thauthor of dossier, christopher steel? >> i can't really answer that question. i know that the differences that i know of were minor. this they are classified so i can't talk to you about it. but i don't think that was the intent and i -- the director of the fbi has briefed in a classified way and chair and ranking which is grassley and me of judiciary. so we have a good classified analysis of what is going on. >> i know that you and some of cower colleagues from senate intelligence committee drove over to langley virginia yesterday to cia headquarters and you were briefed. here's the question. and you don't have to provide us
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with any classified information, senator. but do you believe, do you have evidence that there was in fact collusion between trump associates and russia during the campaign? >> not at this time. >> that's pretty precise answer. i know the investigation is continuing. senator, thanks so much for joining us. >> thank you. >> senator dianne feinstein joining us, a member of the judiciary committee, ranking member and member of the intelligence committee. let's take a quick break and we'll be right back. build attendance for an event. help people find their way. fastsigns designed new directional signage. and got them back on track. get started at fastsigns.com.
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and got them back on track. usaa gives me the and the security just like the marines did. the process through usaa is so effortless, that you feel like you're a part of the family. i love that i can pass the membership to my children. we're the williams family, and we're usaa members for life. fmy doctor recommended ibgard. abdominal pain and bloating. now i'm in control of my ibs. nonprescription ibgard - calms the angry gut. fbi director james comey strongly defending his handling of the investigation into hillary clinton's e-mails. he testified before a senators
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that he is troubled to think his announcement that the probe was being reopened just days before the election impacted the outcome. but he says he would do it again. let's get more from our analyst and specialists and dana bash, first your reaction to what we heard from senator dianne feinstein where i asked her specifically, have you seen efd that there was collusion between trump associates and russia during the campaign leading to all this meddling. and she said, not at this time. >> not at this time. which is significant for several reasons. but first and foremost because she and her colleagues on the senate intelligence committee spent hours at langley at cia headquarters looking at documents about their pertaining to their investigation. to try to answer that very question. whether or not there was cougs, cooperation, anything. people related to the trump campaign and russia and the fact that she is not divulging anything classified, she is very
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careful but that she can comfortably say not yet of that never mind other trips to langley is significant. >> and i specifically told her, don't share any classified information. >> and she didn't have to. >> she received as top member of the intelligence committee, ranking member, judiciary committee, former vice chair, she received a lot of classified information. she said she has not seen at least not yet any evidence of collusion. >> she said that, but you know, the fbi director today wouldn't go there and in any way shape or form on the russia investigation that he is looking into. so you know, she said no evidence we have heard other people say that they've seen no evidence of collusion. but it significant coming from her. she was pretty critical. >> what do you think? >> the cia is looking at information about russian involvement in the american election. the fbi is conducting interviews
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of people like carter page for example to determine what they say and whether that koer corresponds. she is seeing foreign intelligence picture that's different than what fbi sees. >> remember what joaquinn castro said on this very show, he told you after the information that he had seen, it's his belief that somebody from the trump organization would in fact be going to prison. so that was a pretty damning words and statements from joaquinn castro as well. >> yeah. he is on the house intelligence committee. i don't know what he was referring to but i do remember that. we is very, very precise on that. gloria, i want you to listen to what the fbi director james comey said today in justifying his decision to announce he was reopening the investigation into hoipt hillary clinton's e-mail server 11 days before the election. snrs. >> this is just terrible. it makes me mildly nauseous to
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think we might have had some impact on the election. honestly, it wouldn't change the decision. everybody who disagrees with me has to come back to october 28 with me and stair at this and tell me what you would do. would you speak or conceal and i could be wrong but we honestly made a decision between those two choices that even in hindsight and this is one of the world's most painful decisions, i would make the same decision. i would not conceal that on october 28 from congress. >> he has a choice to make either speak for conceal. >> speak or conceal. and look, it is very correspondent shl. obviously, you know, he had an investigation going on into donald trump that time. he did not speak. he concealed, objeckay? and as dianne feinstein was saying a few minutes go, the justice department rules are don't announce anything or let anyone know about anything close to an election.
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he sail he didn't announce it. that he just notified members of congressional committees. i would have to tell you that is tan announcement. >> when he ended the investigation, end of june, early july, he notified members of congress if that changes, i will let you know. he said 11 days before, in that letter, it has changeed. we are reopening the investigation. he felt it was his responsibility to notify the relevant committees. >> and it is understandable that he felt it was his responsibility. because he did explicitly say that he was going to get back to him. but that doesn't answer the question that dianne feinstein who was not a partisan hack. she is somebody who really does see both sides of every story. and other democrats, who may be more partisan all agree, it just doesn't make any sense why he was so forth coming with that
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information and said nothing about the ongoing investigation when it is still ongoing now with the current president's former campaign officials. and russia. and that was in july. >> go ahead. >> he also made the suggestion with hillary clinton suggesting they do not see any information she should be indicted for but at the same time gave his own opinion as to how she acted and how he thought she was careless. that is something he did not have to do. >> did he makes a point at october 28, that the investigation was being reopened? >> sort of. zero sympathy, wolf. zero crocodile tears. that's right. he made the decision in july to do what he could have gotten out of. every fbi director could say, i'm not talking about an investigation. he talked about it. as he just discussed, he offered his personal opinion. we aren't going to prosecute but she was extremely uncautious.
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once he did that he almost had to speak in october. but don't tell me it is the fault of the american people for putting pressure on him to speak about whether or not they were reopening. he said the trap in july and he today close the trap in october. >> the most amazing thing i thought he said today is that after loretta lynch went on the airplane and met with bill clinton that he felt he had to speak. that he didn't tell her what he was going to do about the e-mail investigation. he just told her he add decision. then went out there and said something. but i think that may have had something to do with this whole mind-set because it seem to me from listening to him today that thought the reputation of the justice department and fbi was kind of, sitting on his shoulders. >> major mistake. >> with all of those decisions, snap decisions, huma abedin sending e-mails to her husband to printout. loretta lynch -- or excuse me, bill clinton getting on the plane with loretta lynch, a terrible idea. things that happened in the moment were so consequential.
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>> sure were. everybody stand by. fast-moving developments as republicans scrambling to get enough votes to pass their health care bill tomorrow. plus, no federal charges in the controversial police shooting but tonight the case is entering a critical new phase. let's see, there are the wildcats 'til we die weekenders. the watch me let if fly. this i gotta try weekenders. then we've got the bendy... ... spendy weekenders. the tranquility awaits. hanging with our mates weekenders and the it's been quite a day... ...so glad we got away weekenders. whatever kind of weekender you are, there's a hilton for you. book your weekend break direct at hilton.com and join the weekenders.
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we're following breaking news up on capitol hill where house republicans are huddling
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right now trying to come up with enough votes to pass the revised health care bill before members leave on recess. our congressional correspondent phil mattingly is joining us with the very latest. phil, pressure right now, enormous on the speaker, paul ryan. >> no question at all, wolf. this is a make or break moment for house republicans and the white house senior gop aide told me earlier today there is no going back to the drawing board. they add spark of momentum. this morning in the shape of an amendment. changes to the bill they had been considering that would add $8 billion to this legislation to try and calm concerns about what it would actually do to those with preexisting conditions. now how did this actually all happen? let fred upton, congressman from michigan, lay it out. >> the president was seeking our opinion on probably a lot of my colleagues over the last number of weeks. again when he called me yesterday, i told him i was a no. and i told him that i was a no
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because of the provision on preexisting illnesses. and he said he wanted it covered. trs. >> and the result of that was this deal, fred upton, now a firm yes on this bill. also willie long, who helped work on that amendment is a yes as well. i'm told from aides interest this process, a full on blitz is behind the scene on the hill. president trump making phone calls. house republican leaders making every individual member they can to try and get them on board that they are cautiously optimistic that they could get there. what does get there mean? it would mean, wolf, a vote as soon as tomorrow. before they leave for that recess. but the question remains, is the amendment, is the addition of that $8 billion enough to get members comfortable with essentially the idea they would be touching a third rail? this idea of conditions, and giving state the opportunity to opt out of the price protections included in obamacare. this is something they
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campaigned against doing repeatedly over the course of the last couple of years. that on the table in order to bring conservative on line. they are are worried about what they have been hearing from constituent the last couple of days on board as we move forward. wolf, as you noted, house republicans leaders are meeting now if things go well they are are expected to kick off the process tonight. go to rules committee as soon as this evening to set up the vote for tomorrow. they will do nothing until they know they have the votes and at least until this moment they haven't announced they have the vote. >> president trump personally lobbying to back the bill. jim acosta is joining us. jim, issue of coverage for preexisting conditions that will make or break this effort. >> absolutely, wolf. the white house is feeling a bit more optimistic about the gop chances in the house to repeal
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and replace obamacare. aides to the president are are confidence. phil mattingly was just talking about, a big problem originally. those consumers have those protections under obamacare but it is more complicated under trump care which allow estates as fill was saying to opt out of provisions. white house press secretary sean spicer showing reporters earlier today there will be no fallout for those consumers under trump care. here is what he had to say. >> why change preexisting conditions? >> we're not. no. we're strengthening. we have done everything to not only strengthen but guarantee -- >> they can say, here's my waiver -- >> sure you can. i think the fundamental point that seems to be getting lost is that if you have baim care right now, in case after case, you're losing it. so if you have a preexisting condition, and you have a card that says obamacare but no one will sees you or you can't afford it, then you don't have
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coverage. >> how do you fix that? >> we are. we gauarantee it. >> why alter -- >> the president made it very clear that preexisting conditions are covered under the bill under every scenario. i don't know how much more clear we can state it. >> under trump care, they will be fine? >> yes. >> so mark that piece of tape or video, wolf. sean spicer saying those americans with preexisting conditions will be quote fine under trump care of course if it doesn't turn out that way that video could come back to haunt this white house. president trump just said spent the last 24 hours meeting with and calling roughly a dozen lawmakers but the white house is not offering any assurances to those lawmakers at this point, wolf. this bill won't be changed in the senate spicer earlier at the briefing said that is hart of the lejs lacive process. >> even if it does get to 216
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votes, there will be a huge huge battle in the u.s. senate. thanks very much. so what do you think the $8 billion they included in this new amendment to pay for preexisting conditions over five years, nancy pelosi says that is certainly not enough. >> no. look, at the end of the day it is $8 billion for the high risk pools. one of the main reasons why the proponent of the obamacare wanted this ban is because the high risk pools that existed before obamacare were kind of a joke. because they were never funded properly and people got insurance. but they couldn't pay for it. that why people like fred and billy long who come from districts, that's really necessary, got it. the question is, why others who are in the freedom caucus and elsewhere aren't more insistent on more money because a lot of those districts are rural districts.
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where people have trouble getting access to health care and assistance and potentially need it. whether it is enough is a question in terms of the policy, big question is whether it's enough to get the votes and they seem to be right on the edge of the razor right now. >> seems like the momentum gloria over the past past 24 hours -- >> sure, upton who said this bill that was tore paid yoes suddenly changed his mind but the questions that i have is what makes think that $8 billion is going to cover the risk, high risk pools? and by the way, this is money that goes to the insurance companies. i would also add that you know conservative think tanks have done estimates about this, wolf. they say that it is more like 15 to $20 billion or something like that over a year. so how much money will be committed to these high risk pools if it turns out that it is
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not actually working and it is not covering these people. and if i were in a district where my, you know, my constituents were concerned about paying more for their insurance and preexisting conditions or losing their insurance, i would be questioning whether this is enough money. if you're a conservative, you're like, we don't want to put any more money into it. >> if there was a vote tomorrow, we don't know, members won't have the advantage after congressional report fully showing how revisions will play out. >> yeah, it hasn't been scored yet. and yet they pushing for a vote and sean spicer said it is impossible to determine the impact of the health care bill. i think there's a lot of question as to why push this right now. you have crucial votes coming up in 2018. you're going to are have congressmen put themselves on the line voting for something that they don't know the
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consequences of. it is like buying a new car without testing the brakes first. >> what happens if it does pass and gets through senate? who knows what will happen there. >> of course we will be talking about an entirely different bill when it gets to the senate, if it does pass. but obviously this administration and this president is looking for any sort of win, any sort of positive momentum that he can get and it does look like as of today he got good news. >> i just -- just quickly, add that she is right. it is like buying a car without testing the brakes but house members know that car will be in the garage for a very long time. because they are passing something potentially and then they will wait to see what senate does. the senate is no way going to do anything that looks much like -- >> if it does pass, gloria, the president of the united states, he will be out there claiming a huge victory. >> oh, they all are. >> but he will also own it. and that's important. if people start feeling this, he
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is going to own it. democrats will be on the air with ads about how this will take away the most, one of the most important things that people wanted and liked in obama care. >> think about how much time and momentum this is taking away from his other project and that's tax reform as well. the longer he spends on health care and reform the longer it takes way from what he wants to keep going. >> all right, guys, stand by. two white police officers escaping federal charges after a fatally shooting an african-american man. derate 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.
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following breaking news on race and justice in america. justice department announcing that no federal charges are filed against two white police officers in baton rouge, louisiana. in the fatal shooting of an african-american man while he was pinned to the ground. the confrontation caught on video. let's talk about the alton sterling case, trump
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administration's handling of it, what comes next. we are joined by legal analyst former federal prosecutors laura coats and cnn justice reporter laura jarrett. two lauras, laura jarrett, let me start with you. >> this investigation has been ondwog for almost year wolf since july 2016. federal investigators revealed today that after watching dozens of tapes and interviewing a number of witnesses, they same pli couldnsimply couldn't suppo civil rights charge because officers say he had a gun on him. that changed the whole evasioncation for the best. >> alton sterling did have a gun, in his pocket, is that right? >> that's what they say. >> let's show video to our viewers, laura coats. and then we will discuss. watch this.
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>> disturbing video. difficult for all of us to watch but explain the department of justice position, laura. the bar that they need in order to file these kinds of charges. >> you know, when you talk about a federal civil rights charge, not talking about simply homicide, talking about whether or not you can prove that the officer had the intent to act under the color of law, using a uniform or a police officer to exploit or take away someone's life to libber any this case. the fact he add gun in his pocket, not whether he used it against him, officer saying, listen we believe we actually had the self preservation or self-defense right to act in this case. we have not been able to clearly see from the video whether he took the gun out of his pocket but the fact he was there with what changed the equation. but the misconception is that if
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you don't have a federal charge, you can't have a state charge. it's very, very it's very, very different. a state homicide charge, which i think is coming up next, it's something people are more accustomed to seeing. >> family attorneys say they have enhanced audio saying one of the police officers threaten to kill sterling. what's the justice department's reaction? >> that's one of the new things we actually learned today. in addition to the enhanced aud audio, we learned that one of the police officers pointed a gun at his head. we asked the department of justice about that enhanced audio. their position is this is now up to the states. we've turned the investigation over to the state attorney general's office so we can't comment on it. >> what, if anything, does this
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tell us about the new department under jeff sessions, if anything. >> he was very critical about the high bar and you had to prove civil rights violations. the supreme court has said we're going to defer to the officer. they have a split second to make the decision. the that bar is an a very high bar for police officers. this is the first case where you're going to have the race-based conflict of the police versus the community under jeff sessions. you may have a hostile department of justice towards these sorts of cases. >> we'll see what the state of louisiana does in this case. laung, ladies and gentlemen, very much. laura and laura. >> over the the white house,
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underestimating one of the world's most complicated problems. >> it's something i think is frankly not as difficult as people have thought over the years but we need two willing parties. we believe israel is willing, we believe you're willing and if you're both willing, we're going to make a deal. (flourish spray noise) the joy of real cream in 15 calories per serving. enough said. reddi-wip. (flourish spray noise) share the joy.
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. tonight president trump says there's a good chance he can broker a middle east peace deal after meeting with the leader of the palestinian authority, the president suggests that the diplomatic challenge that has stumped so many presidents isn't as difficult as it seems.
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elise, the president says he's going to "get it done." >> reporter: that's right, wolf. he said he was ready to be a mediator, ash trader or facilitator between the iranians and palestinians. he committed himself to pulling off what he has called "the toughest deal in the world." >> it's a great honor to have the president with us. >> president trump warmly welcomed mahmoud abbas to the white house vowing to do "whatever is necessary to help broker a middle east peace deal." >> i've always heard that perhaps the toughest deal to make is the deal between the israelis and the palestinians. let's see if we can prove them wrong, ok? >> reporter: trump hailing cooperation between israeli and palestinian security forces. he called on abbas and his
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government to renounce terrorism. >> there can be no lasting peace unless the palestinian leaders speak in a unified voice against incitement to violate and violence and hate. there's such haith brid hopefully there won't be such haitd red for very long. >> abbas pitched himself to trump as a partner and praised the president as a master deal maker whose leadership offered a historic opportunity for peace. >> mr. president -- >> trump campaigned as a pro-israel candidate who promised to move the u.s. embassy-to-from tell asleeve to jerusalem. >> we will move the american embassy to the eternal capital of the jewish people, jerusalem. >> and standing next to israeli prime minister in february broke with decades of u.s. policy, backing away from the two-state
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solution that would give the palestinians a state. >> i'm looking at two-state and one-state and i like the one that both parties like. i'm very happy with the one that both parties like. i can live with either one. >> trump hasn't shied away from those pledges. >> it's something that i think is frankly maybe not as difficult as people have thought over the years, but we need two willing parties. we believe israel is willing, we believe you're willing and if you both are willing, we'll make a deal. >> officials say the president is planning a trip to israel later this month where he'll meet with israeli prime minister netanyahu and president abbas. if president trump goes to the
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region and talks about moving the embassy, it could tretten talks. >> that's it for me. thanks very much for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." erin burnett "out front" starts right now. >> up next, breaking news, susan rights takes the stand, refusing a request to testify about russian medaling in the election. why? plus james comey said he's mildly nauseous that he may have impacted the election. stunning new video tonight, the devastating after mathd from the mother of all bombs dropped on isis. you'll see it here. let's go "out front." good evening, i'm erin burnett. "out front," the breaking news, cnn learning tonight that susan rice is refusing a request to testify at a

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