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tv   CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield  CNN  January 27, 2018 10:00am-11:00am PST

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hello, again, everyone, thanks so much for being with me. democrats are reviving efforts to protect special counsel robert mueller from the white house. the move follows the bombshell reports from several news outlets including cnn that president trump tried to fire mueller last june. while the president is calling the stories fake news, some lawmakers are taking the let its to the special counsel very seriously. senate democrats are now pushing legislation to prevent any official from undermining the russia investigation.
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and protect mueller from being fired by the president. let's go now to cnn white house correspondent boris sanchez. boris, is it likely that the republicans will support the plan to protect mueller and team? >> hey there, fred, yes, i actually just heard from a republican operative close to the leadership who told me the chances of them taking up these two bills are low and, in part, because it could lead to a debate that would split party. on one hand, you have the two co-sponsors of these bills, lindsey graham, as well as tom tillis, and on the other, you have people like mitch mcconnell who back in august when these bills were first introduced said it simply wasn't a priority for republicans. and back then, rumors were swirling that robert mueller was going to be fired by president trump. when there was assurances made by the white house and others in the administration there was no such plan in place, the push died down. in light of this new "new york times" reporting, democrats are picking up the push yet again. here's senator mark warner, the
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highest ranking democrat on the senate intelligence committee, making the case. >> i think if the president had gone through with this or tried to go through with it on a ongoing basis, we're into a real question of the fundamentals of our democracy. are we still going to be a don't whe a country where rule of law pervades and no one, even the president, is above the law. my hope will become next week the congress will take up bipartisan legislation that was around last year that will protect the special prosecutor from these kinds of arbitrary actions. >> we should note, fred, a spokesperson for tom tillis told cnn on friday that talks about these bills came to a halt in congress. they simply don't believe they have the support necessary to get it passed. it's not something that republicans are likely going to want to include in any kind of budget negotiations, especially with the potential second
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government shutdown looming on february 8th, fred. >> all right, boris sanchez, thanks so much. at the white house. all right, so months after his reported effort to fire special counsel bob mueller, sources say president trump is fuming over the russia investigation and he's aiming his frustrations at deputy attorney general rod rosenstein. sources tell cnn that in recent week, the president has been venting about rosenstein who overseas mueller and the special counsel investigation. at time, the president even griping about wanting the deputy ag removed. cnn's kara scannell is one of the reporters who broke that story. >> that's right, what we've learned, we have four sources who told us in recent weeks, the president's frustration and ire toward the russia investigation has turned towards rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, who was put in place to oversee the investigation when attorney general jeff sessions had to recuse himself last year. now, two sources tell us that
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the president has become very frustrated in recent weeks. at times has voiced that he would like to see rosenstein removed. others say that that is just some bluster and airing of his frustrations. it seems clear the weight of this russia investigation is weighing on the president and that wasn't helped with reports this week by the"the new york times" which cnn confirmed that he wanted special counsel mul irfired in june. the white house is not saying much. we do have ty cobb referring to these stories as false and says they will continue to cooperate with special counsel robert mueller. we're expecting a decision in the next couple weeks of what that cooperation will look like. will the president provide an interview with the special counsel or will they end up in court. >> all right, kara scannell, thank you so much, in d.c. today there are calls for republicans to return cash given by major donor and casino magnate steve wynn who also happens to be the finance chair
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of the republican national committee. this following a report by "the wall street journal" detailing decades of sexual misconduct allegations from women who worked at wynn's casinos. and it was just one week ago that president trump was singing wynn's praises during a fund-raising event. and now democrats are insisting that the republicans return wynn's cash. wynn is calling the allegations, quote, preposterous. cnn's miguel marquez has the latest. >> reporter: preprosperous says steve win, the vegas hotel billionaire, to charges he ever assaulted any woman. the blistering statement from the wynn himself after a bombshell "wall street journal" report that a manicurist in 2005 was forced to lie on a massage table naked and then have sex with wynn against her will. the journal also reporting wynn paid the manicurist $7.5 million in a settlement.
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wynn, in his statement, said the instigation of these accusations is the continued work of my ex-wife elaine wynn, with whom i'm involved in a terrible and nasty lawsuit in which she's seeking a revised divorce settlement. elaine wynn's attorney told "the journal" that's just not true. wynn, the latest high-profile politically connected man accused of sexual misconduct. the vegas imperisio, a competitor, their vegas hotels just a few blocks from each other. wynn co-hosted a fund-raiser for the president just last week in m mor mara logo. >> an unlikely person became president. perhaps most unlikely of all since abe linken. trump became 45th president of the united states to the
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chagrin, to the hiysterical chagrin of the other side. he was their worst nightmare. >> reporter: "the wall street journal" says it spoke to more than 150 employees and dozens of reported a pattern of sexual abuse by wynn. wynn in his statement said we find ourselves in a world where people can make allegations regardless of the truth and a person is left with a choice. of weathering insulting publicity or engaging in multiyear lawsuits. it's deplorable for anyone to find themselves in this situation. the allegations now reverberating in politics. where despite a history of supporting both parties. >> i'm friendly with bill and hillary and i'm a friend of donald trump's. i haven't given a dime to either one of them. i haven't decided who i'm going to vote for. >> reporter: wynn is now closely tied to president trump. as finance chairman of the republican national committee. democrats are demanding the rnc return any campaign contributions from wynn, much
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the way republicans did with harvey weinstein. allegations against wynn are being used to put pressure on the republican party. the democratic national committee saying the rnc have helped fund the campaign of an alleged child molester, blindly supported the gop's attacks on women's health. supported a president who has been accused of sexual misconduct by over a dozen women. and now they remain silent amid sexual a salt allegations involving steve wynn, one of their party's most senior officials. to give you another sense of just how close these two men are, steve wynn has been to the trump white house multiple times. and just last week, president trump was supposed to be in mara logo for a fund-raiser, victory fund, rnc fund-raiser down there. he couldn't make it because of the shutdown. the co-host, you guessed it, steve wynn, sort of made the speech for the president down there. the president sent a video down mentioning steve wynn in that video as well.
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so they are very close. coincidentally, today is also steve wynn's 76th birthday, back to you. >> all right, miguel marquez, thank you so much. from vegas. joining me, cnn contributor selena seto and patrick healy. welcome to you both. return all donations made by disgraced producer harvey weinstein last year. should the rnc be returning money donated by wynn? >> absolutely. i mean, it's been a common practice in american politics. even when there's -- even before the me too movement, you know, started to unfold in the past year. where if there's a hint of scandal with anyone to demand that you return the money back, you know, from the opposing party and/or you're just like them. so, you know, it appears from this reporting that it's pretty well documented. this isn't just, you know,
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flighty allegations. these are serious allegations. and there are a lot of them. give their money back and any other, you know, that has accepted, he has donated to. something you didn't see with sort of the weinstein event. so i don't know if that becomes part of it as well. but, you know, i would be surprised if the rnc did not return the money. >> all right, and patrick, turning to the russia investigation, amid reports that trump tried to fire bob mueller last june but didn't. once the white house counsel, you know, refused or at least said, you know, he would quit. did this case for potential obstruction of justice just get stronger? >> well, it's very serious, fred. i mean, based on what "the
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times" has revealed is that president trump was giving orders, giving directions to his white house counsel to fire bob mueller. and what bob mueller and his investigators have been looking at now for months of what actions and what intent did president trump have and order and set up in order to impede the investigation into russia. president trump likes to talk a lot about collusion and how there is no evidence of him or his campaign colluding with russia. but what we've learned is that the special prosecutor is working very much at obstruction of justice. and every instance of an order that the president has given or an intent that he has, put those into that case file. the fact that mcgahn, the white house counsel, threatened to quit over this, just gives you a sense of how grave this was seen
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in the white house as a possible, you know, some could say, you know, possible obstruction to that investigation. >> earlier i spoke with republican congressman charlie dent and this is how he saw it. >> if the president, as he has stated, that he has done nothing wrong, i don't understand why he seems to want to interfere with this, with this process. i thought it was a mistake to fire director comey the way -- at least the way it was done was terrible. >> so, selenselena, do you see might be more republicans on board who are curious as to why the president has gone to so many lengths on so many occasions in which to end, stop or disrupt this investigation? >> right. i'm not sure. i mean, charlie dent, he's from my state, he's an exception in that there is no political capital he loses by making a statement like that because he's
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not running for re-election, he's resigning at the end of this year. i'm a little murky on this, maybe because it's not my area of expertise but, you know, i look at this as, like, look, he almost did it, but then he didn't do it. and cooler heads prevailed. i don't know -- >> except this is like, you know, a broken record, you know, this has become so many occasions that people are now analyzing or explaining away or, i mean, it's very curious. it's just not -- >> right, i understand that -- >> go ahead. >> i often wonder how many other presidents or leaders have gotten to the point where they've like internally fired someone and then walked it back because they're, like, okay, this is really wrong. i can't do this. so, i mean, there's other things that obviously bring things into question. maybe i'm just not seeing it with this one. again, i'm not a lawyer. i don't understand all these things. >> so patrick -- go ahead,
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patrick. >> yes, a little bit of history. can you imagine, fred if bill clinton had ordered the white house lawyer or janet reno to fire ken starr at the height of the monica lewinsky investigation. >> no, nobody would buy it, no -- >> yes, you're getting into richard nixon territory of note here. now, the president, you know, bob muller may not have been fired, but we do know from "the times" reporting is president trump directed the white house counsel to fire him. that was an action. a direction. and gave it. it was only because the counsel stopped him that, you know, that mueller survived. >> okay. we're going to leave it right there. it just -- the beat goes on, yes. all right, selena, patrick healy, thank you. all right two decades and more than 150 victims.
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the fallout from the disgraced olympic doctor is far from over. members from the house and senate are working together to get answers. we'll speak with one of the main drivers behind that effort after this. and a sea of support flooding the streets at michigan state last night to stand in solidarity with the young women targeted by larry nassar. stay with us. join t-mobile, and when you buy one of the latest samsung galaxy phones get a samsung galaxy s8 free. yahoooo! ahoooo! plus, unlimited family plans come with netflix included. spectacular! so, you can watch all your netflix favorites on your new samsung phones. whoa! join the un-carrier and get a samsung galaxy s8 free. all on america's best unlimited network. these are the specialists we're proud to call our own. experts from all over the world, working closely
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last hour, michigan's attorney general said he had opened an investigation into who knew what and when with regards to the sexual abuse scandal surrounding olympic doctor larry nasser. and he isn't the only one. days after nassar was sentenced up to 175 years in prison, bipartisan committees in both the house and senate are looking for answers about sexual abuse in organized sports. including nassar and the u.s. olympic committee and usa
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gymnastics. democratic congressman frank pallone of new jersey is one of those leaders leading that investigation right now. congressman, good to see you. what have you discovered or what have you done thus far? >> we're basically asking the various agencies, whether it's usa gymnastics or michigan state or the olympics to respond to our questions if we're going to have a house hearing on this matter. i think it's outrageous these young women were subject to sexual abuse for so long without it being reported to any law enforcement agency. we have to have some kind of process where this is reported and law enforcement finds out about it. this is criminal activity that's taking place and these young girls, you know, need to be protected from it. >> you'll have house hearings. you're hoping to hear from these organizations. why do you feel confident that you will hear directly from them some explanations in the house
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hearing when apparently these explanations have not been forth right in the past, that these abuses have been going on for so many years, even though there were people who went to authorities? >> well, we have subpoena power, so we have the ability to compel people to testify if they're not willing to do so voluntarily. you know, it just is amazing to me. i think part of it is probably the culture of what went on here. but there has to be some process, whether it's, you know, the university or it's with the usa olympics. so that this doesn't happen again. it's just incredible that it went on for 30 years. and it was only within the last few years that any law enforcement agency knew anything about it. obviously what they did internally wasn't good enough. >> do you think it's specific to gymnastics or do you worry about other organized sports? >> no, no, our investigation also includes tae kwon do and
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also swimmers too. we've had incidents reported in the last couple years from those other federations as well that deal with tae kwon do as well as swimmers. >> the house majority leader, you know, is calling for a vote next week on a bill that will require the governing bodies of amateur athletics to promptly report incidents of sexual abuse to authorities. is it your feeling, you know, this bill would pass? >> i think it will pass overwhelmingly and it's long overdue. it's been out there for a couple years. and the question is should we have something similar which i think we should for colleges as well. in other words, why shouldn't -- if someone reports an incident to their coach or to their teacher, i think there should be a requirement that they -- that be reported to law enforcement as well. it may be the case in some states, including michigan, but we need to make sure that it's for the whole country. >> what do you think michigan state university should be doing at this juncture?
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>> well, i think first of all, they have to review their procedures to see how it is this was reported. either to -- either at the health center or to coaches or teachers and never got to the law enforcement authorities. and what process did they have? i mean, i hope that there's some kind of internal process as well. i do want this to be promptly reported to the law enforcement authorities because it is criminal and needs to be investigated at that level. >> what does it say to you in the state of affairs that there would be people in the position of stopping these abuses, but instead they turned a blind eye and now people are going to be counting on legislation that would propel those of authority to do the right thing, to take someone's complaint seriously? >> well, you know, i don't -- i think one of the things we have to find out is this whole culture that surrounds these young people's sports. you certainly get the impression
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that the coaches and those involved were, you know, sort of in -- i'm not saying they necessarily knew about what was going on in every case, but this culture where the kids are intimidated and they're frightened by the coaches and their parents are afraid and put so much trust in, you know, the coaches and the medical professionals that they don't even know what's going on. so i think part of it is something has to be done so this culture of sort of covering up everything is opened up in a way that we don't have these cover-ups. it's certainly a question of reporting these incidents to authorities, but it's also a question of not having this culture of cover-up that seems to exist. >> congressman frank pallone, thanks for your time, i appreciate it. all right, coming up, president trump says he is willing to testify under oath to the special counsel in the russia investigation but his
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attorneys appear to be saying not so fast. the legal implications of talking to mueller and the kinds of questions trump might face. next. (vo) dogs have evolved, but their nutritional needs remain instinctual. that's why there's purina one true instinct. nutrient-dense, protein-rich, real meat number one. this is a different breed of natural nutrition. purina one, true instinct.
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start winning today. i use herpecin l.re, it penetrates deep to treat. it soothes, moisturizes, and creates an spf 30 barrier, to protect against flare-ups caused by the sun. herpecin l. all right, welcome back. president trump could be getting close to that interview with special counsel robert mueller. on wednesday, the president said he looks forward to speaking with mueller and would be willing to do so under oath. >> are you going to talk to mueller? >> i'm looking forward to it, actually.
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there's been no collusion whatsoever. there's no obstruction whatsoever. and i'm looking forward to it. >> you would do it under oath? >> i would do it under oath, absolutely. >> all this after we learned attorney general jeff sessions was questioneded by m ed bed by team about russia meddling in the 2016 election. the president says he's not at all concerned but should he be? joining us to discuss, avery friedman and criminal defense attorney and law professor richard herman. good to see you both. >> good to see you, fredricka. >> excuse me. avery, you first, the president says if he wants to testify, the president, rather, has said he wants to testify, but one of his attorneys, john dowd, told cnn that he will decide if the president should talk. what does that mean to you? >> well, it means that the decision's already been made. an american constitutional history, fredricka, there's never been a president who has
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voluntarily appeared before a body which has the power to get an viindictment. it's not going to happen. he's not going to self-incriminate himself. john dowd and all the other counsel will never permit this president to do it. i got to tell you that's what's so impressive if it is credible that donald mcgahn convinced the president not to fire robert mueller. if that is true, he is a constitutional hero. he avoided a national -- he avoided a national crisis. so the idea of donald trump ever appearing with all this motive and intent, evidence, would certainly result in some adverse action to the president. it's not going to happen. >> so richard what would it look like if the president doesn't, you know, testify in terms of speaking voice as opposed to in a written format after he says p he's willing to do so under
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oath? >> this is political gamesmanship right now. the president can sit there and try to fool everybody by saying how much he wants to testify, but that's absolutely ridiculous. there's no way his lawyers would allow him to testify. i think it goes beyond that. i think it's political suicide and potentially legal malpractice to allow him not only to testify but even to testify at a grand jury. he has to avoid himself of his fifth amendment privilege and of executive privilege. that's what's going to happen here, fred. he's goinging to get subpoenae before a grand jury and going to be compelled to appear before a grand jury and answer questions under oath. when he does that, he must take the fifth amendment or executive privilege and then we'll have a dungsal c aal constitutional cr and we'll see where that goes, because the courts are not clear on the end game there. if he testifies, fred, mueller is so loaded for bear, they have done so much investigation on him. they have interviewed.
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they have documents. they have texts. they have e-mails. they have trump's own statements. and there's going to be teams of people asking questions. and there's going to be trump, who does no preparation, who doesn't listen to his lawyers, who thinks he can shoot from the hip, who doesn't know what the law is, he's going to destroy himself. he is a criminal target. he must not testify anyway, any shape, any form, before anybody. >> avery if it already is appearing to look like he has something to hide by all of these reports of trying to remove people from their positions, et cetera, wouldn't that be even worse? >> to not testify? >> yes. >> oh, my goodness, look at the jeopardy that he would face. it's clear there's substantial motive or intent evidence, fredricka. there's to doubt. what i think, weighing and balancing it, you've got lawyers who are very serious about protecting this individual. while the president may make
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some kind of "gas-baggy" remark about "i'm love to appear before the mueller" -- yes, but it's not going to happen. the most ardent trump supporter would never believe he'll testify before mueller, never going to happen. >> okay, richard, say it does happen and there's an opportunity for mueller to ask questions. what would be the questions if you were mueller to ask? >> you know, fred, did you fire -- did you direct mueller to be fired? that's question number one. if he says yes to that, that's obstruction. if he says no to that, that's perjury. he can't do it, fred. it's a catch-22. there's no way he can testify. and we know presidents are not above the law. we learned that from usd nixon. we know all of that. the president has constitutional authority to fire people and to end investigations. here, it's going to be a constitutional crisis, fred.
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he's never going to testify. he's going to get subpoenaed to the grand jury. they're not going to allow him written questions. he's not going to appear on an informal sit-down. and he shouldn't. it's going to force mueller to subpoena him to a grand jury. and that's when you're going to see all the law schools in the country are going to go crazy here. we are going to see things for the first time. we don't know how it's going to end, fred, nobody knows yet. >> all right, avery. >> i absolutely think this is a magnificent final exam question at law school. you know what, there is a constitutional crisis. it's very serious. you have, you know, trying to get mr. mcgann convincing jeff sessions not to recuse himself. firing -- >> that goes to intent. >> if you put it all together, it is substantial evidence. the last place you're going to see donald trump is in front of robert mueller, never going to happen. >> fred, fred, last thing, fred.
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number one, can you indict a sitting president? that's a question up in the air. number two -- >> i think you can. >> number two, just remember, fred, just remember, in order to draft articles of impeachment in the house, you need a majority vote to do that. and in order to convict in the senate, you need a two-thirds vote. >> two thirds, right. >> they're never going to get that. >> but, fred -- >> and they fear trump will tweet against them so they're spineless in conduct and they won't stand up to this president and that's where we're at. it's very sad. >> okay, all right, we're going to leave it right there. richard herman, avery freeman. >> we missed you, fred. >> you never know what you're going to get but always shooting from the hip and always telling it like you see it. all right, thanks very much. appreciate it. all right, coming up, a cnn exclusive, an increasing number of state department employees hiring lawyers, claiming they're victims of political retribution. we'll explain why after the break.
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in afghanistan, 95 people are dead after an attacker drove an ambulance packed with explosives to a government building before it detonated. this was the scene right after police identified the attacker but were unable to stop him before he detonated. the injured have been taken to hospitals across the city and the taliban has claimed responsibility. now to a cnn exclusive. a growing number of state department, u.s. state department employees are hiring lawyers over what they say is punishment for past assignments. specifically work that was
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associated with the obama administration. cnn global affairs correspondent elise labbot has been doing the reporting on this. what exactly is driving them to hire attorneys? >> this all kind of centers around secretary of state tillerson's redesign of the state department. he inherited about 70 special envoys offices. a lot of them created during the obama administration. and as he kind of folds those offices into other bureaus at the state department and also closes them, a lot of these people are left in limbo. he inherited a backlog of 30,000 requests of freedom of information act documents. a lot of those had to do with secretary of state hillary clinton's e-mails. while a lot of these employees are left in limbo, they don't have a next post, they're assigning them to this office.
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a lot of them are saying they're doing data entry, clerical work, that is way below their pay grade and there are some people that are doing weightier matters but some of these people with very high pay grades some -- very high grades in the civil say listen this is not really what my expertise is. i have to wonder whether it has to do whether i worked in the climate change office or whether i worked in the sanctions office or the office to close guantanamo. all, you know, offices that president trump have said are not a priority for him. some of them have contacted attorneys. they want to see if they can, you know, address the situation. >> and so what, if anything, is being said by the state department? >> well, the state department denied that there's any political retribution going on. this is an all departmentwide effort that secretary tillerson made a priority of clearing this backlog and it's not glamorous work but it's important work that need to be done. i think a lot of these people
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being assigned to what they called foia office, say they don't mind doing the work but they do mind sitting along interns or people who have just been at the state department for one year, where i have a law degree, i've been here 15 years, i should be doing something commensurate with my experience. so seems to be very ad hoc where these people are being placed. so give me something i can really do. don't make me waste away in what a lot of people are calling siberia, fred. >> all right, elise, thank you so much. still more questions than answers surrounding this week's school shooting that left two dead and a kentucky community reeling. we're live on the ground after this. how do you win at business? stay at la quinta. where we're changing with stylish make-overs. then at your next meeting, set your seat height to its maximum level. bravo, tall meeting man. start winning today.
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book now at lq.com tens of millions of people have switched to unlimited on america's most awarded network. verizon? whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. vince, not yet. it's the network rated number one in the nation by rootmetrics eight times running. it's totally verizon. vince! n-n-no, j-j-j... we can see the sign. it's see-through. i think they can definitely read it. still could be anything. vince, pull the thing up. w-wait, hold it! heh heh. look at that. (vo) unlimited is only as good as the network it's on. so switch to the best unlimited on the most awarded network. now buy select smartphones like the google pixel 2 and get one free. you can do it. we can do this. at fidelity, our online planning tools are clear and straightforward so you can plan for retirement while saving for the things you want to do today. -whoo!
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all right. kentucky's governor is declaring this sunday the official day of oprayer for marshall county in honor of the students who were killed after a shooter opened fire at marshall county high school. visitations and funerals will be held for the two are victims this weekend. cnn's kaylee hartung is live por us in kentucky. kayleigh? >> fred, emotions are still emotion ally raw in this small and close-knit community, but yesterday, there was an effort to return to a sense of normalcy and three days after the students and the fac ul the i ti -- faculty had witnessed such horr horror, the school's doors were opened. there was an assembly held and one student told me she estimated 25% of the student
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body was there as they tried to emphasize the are resources available to them as they are dealing with this incredibly difficult time with grief counselors on hand. the students were then told that they could return to the commons area, and the site of tuesday's horrific scene. many students ha had dropped or left behind their belongings as they had fled for their lives that day. they were then able to reclaim them. one student told me that as she walk ed into the familiar commos area, she was struck at how clean it was and so clean in a way that made her feel so unsettled. today, many students will be back on the campus for the visitation for both preston cope and bailey pope. they say that they feel mixed emotions returning to campus for that event and preston's funeral tomorrow, because the event is in the gymnasium and the place they soebt with the carefree and
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wonderful moments of basketball games and pep rallies, but of course they want to honor the lives lost, it is hard to process the idea of doing nit that gym. you mentioned, fred, that the governor matt bevan declared sunday as a day of prayer, and yesterday, with state officials he reaffirmed the support of the county and many others. >> the marshall county though reeling from the atrocity has come together to comfort one another and relying on the love for each other, their school, their community and their faith, awe all of kentucky stands with the residents of marshall county. >> reporter: both the holt and cope families have voiced their appreciation for the support that they have felt far and wide. this afternoon, before visitation, for their 15-year-old son and daughter
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respectively, we will hear from memb members of the holt and cope families. thank you, fred. >> kaylee hartung, thank you so much. we is have so much more ahead in "newsroom" stay with us. there's a vacation at the end of every week with hilton. whatever type of weekender you are, don't let another weekend pass you by. get the lowest price when you book at hilton.com new year, new phones for the family. join t-mobile, and when you buy one of the latest samsung galaxy phones get a samsung galaxy s8 free. yahoooo! ahoooo! plus, unlimited family plans come with netflix included. spectacular! so, you can watch all your netflix favorites on your new samsung phones. whoa! join the un-carrier and get a samsung galaxy s8 free. all on america's best unlimited network.
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mus music's biggest night is back in the big apple after a long hiatus. the grammy awards descent on new york's madison square garden tomorrow, and many are wondering how the music industry is going to respond to the me too movement. chloe sets the stage for the big night. ♪ in new york >> reporter: new york, the city that jay-z famously played homage to is now hosting the grammys for the first time in 15 years. it is fitting that the rapper leads the grammys in nominations. he is up for eight including the album of the year. kendrick lamar and brew nar mars are second and third as the most nominated artists. both are slate ed d to perform the show which is going to be hosted again by "lagt night's" james cordons. but the music's biggest night comes at a complicated moment for the entertainment history, a
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sexual harassment reckoning has dominated the shows. expect white roses on the red c carpet and messages of female empowerment. >> there are going to be some self-aware musicians. you have ke$ha, pink, lorde, miley cyrus, and so we will be seeing some wonderful strong mome moments. >> the musicians tend to be unpredictable crowd, but here there is a sense at madison square garden anything can happen on grammy night, and that is probably including some jabs at president trump. >> historically the grammies have not been as politically charged as the awards show, but given that we are a year past the election, and the mood in this country is very fired up and still very divided, i would be very surprised if no a artist spoke about politics at a all at the grammys this year. >> the topic of race may come up in light of the controversial
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comments of african countries, but either way, the grammys are sending a strong message of diversity, and this year the seven most nominated artists are all people of color. and des poe see toe, the latin sensation could make history. it could become the first spanish language song ever to win song of the year. chloe millass, cnn, new york we so much still ahead in the newsroom and it all starts the newsroom and it all starts right now. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com hello. i'm fredricka whitfield. there is a bombshell report from news outlets, including are cnn that president trump tried to fire robert mueller. while the president is calling it fake news, some are takeing
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the threats to the special counsel seriously. there is to be a ledge are slags to go in to stop people from undermining the russian investigation and prevent mueller from being fired. we go to white house where we find our correspondent boris sanchez. is the president or the white house respond fing to the the n efforts to prevent him from firing the special counsel? >> we have reached out to the ask about the democrats pushing for these bills to be in talks as some democrats have indicated they may do, but no response from the white house. these bills were introduced in august, and there are two separate bills and both of them cospore cospore -- cosponsored for the republicans in this legislation in the past summer and fall when there were assurances are from the white house, prand the administration ta that there was no plan in place to fire robert mueller, and the push for these bills subsided and in light of the recent reporting that cnn has

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