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tv   CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield  CNN  December 17, 2017 1:00pm-2:00pm PST

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pauses between answers -- >> okay. i don't want to see that face. >> the full interview will air on december 27 when prince harry fills in as guest editor on bbc radio. we have so much more in the news room and it all starts right now. thank you for being with me this sunday. breaking news just in to cnn. we are learning that senator john mccain will be missing next week's vote on republican tax vote. dana bash joining me now on the phone. what more can you tell us? >> reporter: well, sources are telling us that john mccain left the washington, d.c. area this
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morning to go back in his home state of arizona. that does mean that he is planning to miss the tax vote next week and other votes for the rest of the year. i'm told by one source close to senator mccain is the plan is for him to be in arizona through the end of 2017. first and foremost the senator's health, he has been in the hospital for several days since early last week and it was the issue that he got sick from the aggressive cancer treatment that he has been going through, several rounds of chemotherapy and it just took a toll on his body. so that's why he was in the hospital. the good news is that he was well enough to get on a plane and go to arizona, that's according to one of the sources that i spoke with. the hope is that he can get
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there and rest and recuperate. the recuperation his doctors have been telling him is from the treatment for the brain cancer that he has which has been incredibly aggressive. he has done a handful of chemo treatments since the end of july when he was first diagnosed. then on just the pure political point here, the tax vote certainly was razor thin. it wasn't really clear if it was going to be able to pass or not until the end of the week when senator bob corker of tennessee announced that he would vote yes. that allowed for the republican leadership to feel confident and comfortable that they had the votes to pass this tax bill even without senator mccain. the fact that senator mccain is missing the tax vote doesn't make a difference for the end game here. it doesn't change the outcome for the tax bill because they
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were counting on him not being there inside the republican leadership. >> dana bash, thank you so much. all of our prayers going out to senator john mccain as he heads to arizona missing the vote this week. and tweet coming from his daughter saying thank you to everyone for their kind words. my father is doing well and we are all looking forward to spending christmas together in arizona. if you are feeling charitable this christmas she gives head for the cure to help find a cure for brain cancer is what i would recommend. passionate words coming from megan mccain. of course, everyone is hoping for the best for john mccain. we know a few days ago the president of the united states reaching out to cindy mccain offering well wishes. do we know anything more about how he is feeling as he makes
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his journey back to arizona? >> well, we don't know specifics, fred. we do know that he was really not well in the middle of last week towards the end of last week. again, from the treatment, it takes a toll on anybody's body particularly, you know, even if you are a young person and healthy. he is an 81-year-old healthy person until he got the cancer diagnosis. so that really made him feel unwell to the point where he obviously had to be in the hospital. the fact that the doctors felt he was well enough to get on a plane is a good sign. now, he is somebody who doesn't always follow doctors' orders. because he was in the hospital and he was under their care he
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from what i understand he wouldn't have gotten on a plane had he not felt well enough to do so. the hope is that once they get to the point where they don't have to be -- if they get to the point where they don't have to be as aggressive with the treatment then his body will recover. the thing that i have heard from lots of senator mccain's friends is because of the way that he is he was determined to keep working. he didn't miss any votes until last week. he showed up every day despite feeling pretty bad as one does if you have multiple rounds of chemotherapy. so the fact that he kind of has the forced relaxation a lot of friends are breathing a sigh of relief that he can go home to arizona and hopefully recouper e recuperate. >> on this tax reform vote had
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it not been clear whether he was on board with it and is there ever a case under circumstances like this in which someone is able to vote in abstenta? >> senator mccain voted yes for the first tax vote when the bill was in the senate. the feeling among people who i talk to is that if they needed him to vote regardless of his health he likely would have been there to do so. the fact that they don't gives him an out that he doesn't have to vote on it. but it's not an easy thing and wasn't a sure bet that senator mccain was going to vote on the house bill. he voted against bush tax cuts in 2001 because he was worried about what it would do. at the end of the day he was proven right because the deficit
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was sky high for lots of reasons. one of them even some republicans admit was because of the tax cuts. so he wasn't a sure bet in general but because he voted yes on the first rounds before the bill at the house, the understanding was that if he were able to vote if they needed his vote to get over the hump to get his victory then they would have been able to rely on him. at this point it's moot because he is on his way home if he is not already there in arizona and the republican leadership feels. >> so, tim, senator john mccain is a proven lion. he is a fighter in so many ways. it goes before being a prisoner of war for so many years in vietnam and of course his rise in politics.
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there have been so many cross roads for john mccain. so in your view everyone is saying their prayers for him as he makes his way back to arizona. is there a way in which to kind of put whether his health and how his health kind of impacts the psyche of all those members of congress? his fellow senators, members of congress on the hill at this time particularly when this was to be a potentially pivotal week? >> fred, i would hope that his fragile health would impact the psyche of all americans in the sense that if you look at senator mccain's career he is a man of principle. he is a man who has represented the very best ideals in our country. we are living in a period right now when we don't see a lot of political courage. so i don't know how his
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health -- i can imagine on a personal level of course his health will effect his colleagues from either side of the aisle. i believe as he struggles and we want him to succeed, as he struggles we should keep in mind that he represents us at our very best. we have been through a period of time when we haven't seen us at our very best. i think the best way we can wish him better health is to admire how he makes us better as a people. >> he is admired by so many. thank you so much. we are wishing the mccain family the best as they journey to arizona spending the christmas holidays together. thank you so much tim and dana. we are following other breaking news. we have learned that president trump talked to russian president vladimir putin for the second time in the past three days, the latest call happening
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today when putin offered thanks for u.s. intelligence which he says helped prevent an isis-inspired attack on russia. the president's attorneys saying the russia probe will end soon. for more on all of this let's bring in nic robertson. what is being said there about this phone call between putin and trump and the tone of the ongoing relations? >> the tone apparently seems to say that the relations between the two men in the intelligence agencies is picking up and getting better. what we have heard from president putin is that stthey initiated the call to thank them for the assistance with russian intelligence services.
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the plot would have been potentially big and significant around a major cathedral which is close to a major subway station and big international hotel. the area is popular with russ n russians and with tourists. it was believed to have been taking place on saturday. the russians because of the information were able to arrest seven people, pick up explosives, pick up automatic weapons, ammunition and literature is the way the russians are describing it from this terror cell. this terror cell was being directed from outside of russia by isis leaders. so what you have here is the russians expressing gratitude but at the same time a common language that they are speaking. according to the white house both presidents have agreed that this shows how positively the
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relationship can develop if the two countries cooperate and president trump said according to the white house that he was very happy that the u.s. intelligence services have been able to help save russian lives. the narrative between the two men seems to be very close and tight. >> is bn remarking on how perhaps strange this might be that russia's president vladimir putin believed it embraces u.s. intelligence. the president of the united states has been very vocal about not trusting u.s. intelligence. >> reporter: here is the other thing that president putin said. he said to president trump according to the news services here in russia that if the united states was in a similar position russia intelligence services would immediately unconditionally provide intelligence to the united states if they thought there was a terror attack about to happen. no one here is sort of saying
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this just seems a little bod. if you look at it in a russian context president putin is going for presidential election in march. it favors him at this stage to have what seems to be a positive relationship with president trump for this all to be in the good atmosphere. he is expected to win. that is undoubted. to have this nagging situation with a criticism to the united states that drives on president putin. this relationship developing this way is a positive thing for president putin as he runs up towards the elections in three months time. >> nic robertson, thanks so much. the russia investigation in this country coming under attack from lawyers representing the trump presidential transition and several gop members after the special counsel obtained thousands of e-mails from the transition team. trump transition lawyers claim the e-mails were obtained illegally.
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a representative for robert mueller fighting back saying we secured either account owner's consent. all of this as some republicans casting doubt on the credibility of the mueller investigation and democrats questioning the motives behind these attacks on mueller. >> i think republicans should end their concerted effort to undermine the credibility of the mueller investigation. the question is what are they afraid of? what is the white house afraid of? let's let them finish the job and get the facts. >> this all coming on what could be a critical week in the russia investigation. mueller is prepared to meet with president trump's private attorneys about russia interference in the 2016 election. >> i think there is nothing there. it should be over quickly and people want to focus on other things. >> earlier i spoke with democratic congressman ted lou to get his reaction to special counsel mueller obtains the
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e-mails. he believes the law is on mueller's side. >> i'm a former government lawyer and a former prosecutor. these were government e-mail addresses. courts have not found a right of privacy to government e-mails. those are the property of the government and the taxpayer. in addition, media reports show that the gsa gave notice to the transition team officials that their government devices and government e-mails may also be monitored. this claim is completely ridiculous and shows how desperate the trump transition team lawyers are. >> for more on this looming legal battle let's bring in boris sanchez at the white house. you are also talking to transition team members. what do they have to say? >> reporter: well, for the head of the trump transition team making the case that robert mueller obtained the e-mails unlawfully. we have a dispute over who owns
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these e-mails. on one hand you have general services administration which provided e-mail support for the transition team making the case that these e-mails are public record as one gsa spokesperson told buzz feed news. we should note that e-mails between the trump transition team were using a dot-gov domain. despite that the executive director of the trump transition team is refuting that idea all together saying during the transition there was an understanding between the trump team and gsa that those the gsa was providing the domains and the servers to allow these e-mail contacts, the e-mails were still owned by the trump transition team. meaning ultimately they had discretion over who they could and could not be shared with. went further to try to put distance between the transition
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team and the white house saying that he doesn't really have an official relationship with the white house. he told me i don't talk to the white house. he is of course responding to claims from democrats that are saying that this is part of a ploy to get rid of the special counsel and to fire robert mueller. he told me that the reason this letter was sent by the trump transition team to several committees on congress to reveal that robert mueller obtained the e-mails was in order to protect integrity of future transitions. he told me the transition team was exploring different options to try to figure out how to respond to these revelations. we may hear of an official response from them before the end of today. >> that's because the president soon to be on his way to the white house from camp david? >> the transition team is trying to stress separation between them and the white house. in reality what we are hearing from the transition team is that
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the president in no way would weigh in on how the mueller investigation obtained these e-mails. i reached out to the white house for comment and they declined to weigh in on this. it comes down to a question of who you believe. if you believe republicans who suggest that because of this news that robert mueller obtained the e-mails this way and because of the text messages revealed to have been exchanged between a former top fbi official on the special counsel that were critical of the president that the special investigation is tainted you can take the route that many democrats are taking like adam schiff and jackie spear that made the case that the revelations are part of a ploy to fire robert mueller. it makes for a very interesting week because we understand as early as before the end of the week the white house legal team is set to meet with robert mueller. all eyes and ears will be
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pressed against that meeting trying to glean any information that we can from that. >> operative word, interesting week ahead. boris sanchez, thank you so much from the white house. what do these new developments mean for the overall russia investigation? my panel will be weighing in next. let's see if they use the word "interesting." our daughter home,ght that was it. now i have nicoderm cq. the nicoderm cq patch with unique extended release technology helps prevent your urge to smoke all day. it's the best thing that ever happened to me. every great why needs a great how. (train whistle blowing) i want a rabbit. what about you? well, i want an iphone. make sure you get that on verizon. it's the most awarded network ever. and if anyone asks, i want a bigger train next year. (vo) give the gift of iphone 8 and get one on us. [and her new business: i do, to jeanetgo. jeanette was excellent at marrying people. but had trouble getting paid. not a good time, jeanette.
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developments with my panel right now. back with me a cnn historian and former director of the nixon presidential museum. i am joined by a former white house ethics lawyer and a cnn legal analyst. good to see all of you. richa richard, let me begin with you. eric holder saying if mueller were to be fired it would be an absolute red line. would that be a potentially dangerous political and legal line for the president to cross if this were the case? >> i think it would create a constitutional crisis in this country. there is some talk about the president trying to fire robert mueller at the end of the week. we will have to have the house and senate committees meeting on christmas eve, christmas and through new year's and i think president trump will have to be removed very quickly. we cannot tolerate that in this country. we have an independent special
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prosecutor appointed by republican deputy general. we cannot have the president remove the special prosecutor and the arguments about muger getmueller getting e-mails. >> transition team said it was illegal. >> they're just wrong. they are flat out wrong. these are e-mails on a government server and they belong to the united states government. and robert mueller can have them. we have a congress that spent millions of dollars going through hillary clinton's e-mails. that's my taxpayer money. they are arguing that robert mueller can't take a look at e-mails from the trump transition team. that argument makes absolutely no sense. and what he is investigating is collaboration with the russians. this is critically important to our national security. robert mueller stays in place or donald trump is going to have to go.
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it's that simple. >> two things, then, on the issue of mueller being removed. that would be a really big problem. there are lots of rumors floating around. and then the e-mails. richard says it's not illegal and that it's not private property as the transition team alleges. you do see a problem in which it may have been obtained. >> i am critical of how the special counsel handled getting the e-mails. i think the gsa, government owns the e-mails. i don't think there is an expectation of privacy. >> the transition team says there was an understanding. >> that doesn't give the transition team a legal argument that those e-mails should not have been produced. what it does do is creates a perception that the special counsel's office is going to ride rough shot just to get what they want.
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there is no reason in my mind and i don't know the inner workings but why couldn't they have gone to the transition team and said we know these e-mails exist. we are going to go and get them. if you have a legal objection make it now. >> the lawyers might give that courtesy but investigators might say we like the element of surprise and retrieve what we think is pertinent to the investigation. >> they were preserved. if anyone tried to destroy them that would be a separate crime of obstruction of justice. with this investigation you have to do it better than just by the book. crow you do not want to create the argument that the special counsel's office is not objective or not crediblism. >> then the other argument is if the white house feels so confident, transition team, campaign, whichever as it relates to trump and russia, if they feel so confident that there is nothing there then why work so hard to undermine the
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special counsel investigation? doesn't that only now make the appearance of there is something to hide glean brighter? >> that has been the question all along. why has the president in the period when he was president-elect, why has he worked so hard to undermine people and institutions that have been worried about russian intervention in the election? why doesn't he back off and let the process work its way? he didn't have to have a special prosecutor. that didn't have to happen. he fired combey. a lot of things occurred that were a product of president trump's overreaching. that's been very troubling. it is very hard to explain unless he is trying to hide something. i wanted to raise one quick point about transition materials. i leave it to the lawyers to decide whether there was permission granted or not. i do know that transition materials are considered private
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property. whether that changes when you begin to use government structures and government server i wouldn't know. i do know that under our system transition materials are considered the property of the president. now, i suspect mueller -- i know he would know that. i suspect they proceeded in a way that was legal. i wanted people to understand that it's not new. >> if you have already in transition been afforded to national security, swearing ins, et cetera, how is it you can argue that that is private material when you are now talking about national security at stake? >> because they own the e-mail servers and they own the e-mail addresses doesn't mean they own the content of the conversations. i have a g mail account. all of that goes through g mail servers. they may produce that but i may have an expectation of privacy
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from a fourth amendment standpoint in what i'm saying in the e-mails. this is why i think the special counsel should have given the transition team the opportunity to raise that objection and have it decided by a court so we wouldn't be having this discussion. >> we talk about bob mueller. there are rumors that if he were to be removed how is that not tantamount to the saturday night massacre nixon years? is that what this would have the appearance of? >> it certainly would. robert mueller interviewed the white house staff who weren't thinking about whatever they may have sent in the e-mails. now they know he has the e-mails. if they lied to robert mueller they are in deep trouble. giving the heads up they might have said something different in the interviews. if we see the special counsel get fired it will be like
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saturday night massacre. the water gate thing is really mild compared with this. that was a break in spying on democrats. president nixon didn't use the kgb to use the job. he didn't collaborate with a foreign power. we have somebody collaborating with russians at some point. we have to find out who and the collaboration was illegal. our national security is at stake. robert mueller gets fired president trump is out the door. that's the only option. >> and democracy. tim, if the issue of documents whether the transition team saying this is private material, when bob mueller's team said to the campaign that we are now collecting, retrieving, going after all documents, why would anyone not think that these e-mails during the transition would not be part of documents? >> listen, i don't know what the arrangement is.
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in the digital world there are certain perhaps new regulations and new documents that have to be signed when a transition team begins to use u.s. servers. there are two issues. one is the survival of mr. mueller as the head of the investigation. and two is the integrity of the investigation. if mr. mueller should be fired for whatever reason and i share with richard the sense that that would be a constitutional crisis, the question is what happens to the investigation? there is no reason under our law that the president would have the right to shut down the investigation. during the water gate period there was a couple of days when there was a real fear that richard nixon not only wanted to get rid of arch ibald cox. one is the strength of mr. mueller's position and the integrity of the investigation.
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>> if you were to remove the head of the investigation does that mean the investigation goes away? >> not necessarily. there needs to be another special council appointed to continue the investigation. >> i would say so. there zd to be a special counsel. congress would investigate and i believe the new york attorney general may have a lot of knowledge about what is going on with this investigation. this thing is going to continue. >> okay. thanks to all of you. appreciate it. coming up, a ground stop at atlanta's airport, the world's busiest all because of a power outage. we will talk to one of the people sitting on the tarmac next. ♪ ♪ give a little bit
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welcome back. breaking news out of atlanta. we are hearing powser partially back on at america's busiest airport after a massive power outage. a ground stop is in place and there are no international flights arriving at the atlanta airport. cnn learned one of the terminals has been evacuated and southwest airlines cancelled all operations at atlanta's airport. betsy cline is on a delta plane at the airport there. betsy, what's happening? how long have you been sitting on the tarmac as we look at a wide view of a lot of planes on the stand still on the tarmac. >> i was on a flight from
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washington. we landed at about 2:15. we have been on this plane almost 2 1/2 hours. the pilot comes on loud speaker with occasional updates mostly saying there is not really an update. you can see the video i sent into cnn they are resuming beverage service and passing out snacks. they paused the beverage service because there is a medical emergency on a plane behind us. i'm on between 80 and 100 planes just waiting because there is no power we can't get into the gate and no flights could get out. we are one of the 80 to 100 planes. we were one of the last planes to land. we are all the way at the end of the line. >> people really have to be very patient. 2 1/2 hours on a plane on the tarmac. what are you hearing from passengers? it's great the pilot was trying to give you some information.
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>> the pilot just came on the speaker and said that some of the planes that are further up in line are going to start to be taken to open gates and unloaded on staircases. we think there is an end in sight for us. he said it could be at least at the very least an hour and now we are going to the back of the line anyway. who knows. so far we have our in flight entertainment. people have moved around a little bit. we don't know how long we are going to be here. >> i hope you will all have packed your patience. we are looking at the video that you took inside the plane where everyone is sitting and waiting. we see the flight attendants trying to serve the passengers. 2 1/2 hours is a long time and not knowing how much longer it might be. we are hoping the best for the medical emergency in the plane
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behind you. we are going to let you go for now. we'll check back with you. thank you so much. so much more straight ahead. first this time of year it's all about giving back. the cnn heroes all star tribute salutes ten people who put others first all year long. here is your preview. ♪ >> these are every day heroes. they inspire and change lives every day. >> we want to make sure they make better choice whz it comes to violence. >> when you lose your child the love doesn't go away. you have to find a place. so lucky i found a place to put that love. >> they are truly what it means to be a hero. >> it is people helping people the best way we know how. >> when they see me they always
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in just a few hours the cnn heroes all star tribute gets started. we will be saluting ten people who put others first all year long. the gala airs live coming up at 8:00 p.m. eastern time. ready to show us how everybody else is getting ready for the show to begin. what's happening? >> reporter: some of the preps here, the red carpet already rolled out. the stage is beautiful. it is set. there is definitely a great vibe here in new york city here at the american natural history museum as we prepare to not only welcome but to honor these incredible human beings, the top ten heroes for 2017. out of those you have voted. the people around the world have voted to award that one hero of the year. this is the night that we begin to really get to know the stories of some of these
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individuals. a tremendous line. the main objective here is to honor these incredible people not just from around the country but around the world. people who are making that positive difference in the little tiny pockets that perhaps may go unnoticed. i had a chance to speak to one of the top ten heroes telling me that their organization that helps some of the young adults that are fighting cancer to really this organization has only grown after becoming one of the top ten heroes. it is going to be interesting to hear some of the stories and meeting some of the people very big night lined up here on cnn. we know many people will be watching tonight at 8 p.m. >> so inspirational and have that hanky because it is also incredibly emotional, too. such passion filling the room. you looking very handsome and dapper. thanks so much. be sure to tune in just three hours from now for cnn heroes
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tribute special. 8:00 p.m. eastern here on cnn. we'll be right back. this holiday, the real gift isn't what's inside the box. it's what's inside the person who opens it. ♪ give ancestrydna, the only dna test that can trace your origins to over 150 ethnic regions... ♪ ...and open up a world of possibilities. ♪ save 20% for the holidays at ancestrydna.com. our recent online sales success seems a little... strange?nk na. ever since we switched to fedex ground business has been great. they're affordable and fast... maybe "too affordable and fast." what if... "people" aren't buying these books online, but "they" are buying them to protect their secrets?!?! hi bill. if that is your real name. it's william actually.
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hmph! affordable, fast fedex ground. america's small business owners. and here's to the heroes behind the heroes, who use their expertise to keep those businesses covered. and here's to the heroes behind the heroes behind the heroes, who brought us delicious gyros. actually, the gyro hero owns vero's gyros, so he should have been with those first heroes. ha ha! that's better. so, to recap -- small business owners are heroes, and our heroes help heroes be heroes when they're not eating gyros delivered by -- ah, you know what i mean. 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
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and pe blood clots from happening again. in clinical studies, almost 98% of patients on xarelto® did not experience another dvt or pe. here's how xarelto works. xarelto® works differently. warfarin interferes with at least six blood-clotting factors. xarelto® is selective... ...targeting just one critical factor, interacting with less of your body's natural blood-clotting function. don't stop taking xarelto® without talking to your doctor as this may increase risk of blood clots. while taking, you may bruise more easily, or take longer for bleeding to stop. it may increase your risk of bleeding if you take certain medicines. xarelto® can cause serious, and in rare cases, fatal bleeding. get help right away for unexpected bleeding, unusual bruising, or tingling. if you've had spinal anesthesia, watch for back pain or any nerve or muscle-related signs or symptoms. do not take xarelto® if you have an artificial heart valve or abnormal bleeding. tell your doctor before all planned medical or dental procedures and before starting xarelto® about any conditions, such as kidney, liver, or bleeding problems. you've got to learn all you can... ...to help protect yourself from dvt and pe blood clots. talk to your doctor about xarelto®.
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there's more to know.
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you're fired, that phrase in the flick of the wrist that made businessman donald trump a national sensation. he hasn't stopped using all of that in the white house. that is this week's state of the cartoon. >> omarosa got fired. >> i resigned. >> i suppose we should have known the man known for specific signature phrase would go
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through white house and administration personnel as speedily as congress goes through sexual harassment settlement fines. not just firing of james comey but the long, long list. national security adviser mike flynn. >> you're fired. >> and press secretary sean spicer. >> fired. >> and chief of staff reince priebus. >> you're fired. >> and hhs secretary tom price. >> you're fired. >> and communications director and senior strategist steve bannon. >> you're fired. >> and whatever it was that sebastian gorka did. >> the list goes on and on and on. i'm not listing anyone anymore. >> you're fired. >> the president might want to
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think twice before going after special counsel robert mueller. firing him might create more of a constitutional crisis than firing of comey might ultimately cause. you might want to think twice about that one, sir. >> all right. always funny and educational. thanks for joining me this sunday. in the next hour of the newsroom starts right after this. honey? can we do this tomorrow? (grunts of effort) can we do this tomorrow? if you have heart failure symptoms, your risk of hospitalization could increase, making tomorrow uncertain. but entresto is a medicine that was proven, in the largest heart failure study ever, to help more people stay alive and out of the hospital than a leading heart failure medicine. women who are pregnant must not take entresto. it can cause harm or death to an unborn baby. don't take entresto with an ace inhibitor or aliskiren. if you've had angioedema
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while taking an ace or arb medicine, don't take entresto. the most serious side effects are angioedema, low blood pressure, kidney problems, or high potassium in your blood. ♪ tomorrow, tomorrow... ♪ when can we do this again, grandpa? well, how about tomorrow? ask your doctor about entresto and help make tomorrow possible.
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you're in the cnn news room. thank you for being here. breaking news. the president moments ago
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landing at joint base andrews. he was immediately greeted with questions of the russia investigation and what he plans to do regarding special counsel mueller. listen. >> not looking good. it's quite sad to see that. my people were very upset about it. i can't imagine there is anything -- as we have said there is no collusion whatsoever. a lot of lawyers thought that was pretty sad. >> [ inaudible ]. >> go ahead. >> [ inaudible ]

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