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tv   CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield  CNN  February 3, 2018 11:00am-11:30am PST

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mar-a-lago florida home claiming that the memo claims his innocence, and says this. it totally vindicates me in the russian probe. and there is no collusion or obstruction and one year of looking endlessly and finding nothing, collusion is dead. this is an american disgrace. and so this is after a 3 1/2-page document went public despite strong objections from the fbi and the justice department calling it misleading. the public document suggests that the leaders of the fbi and the doj misused the surveillance laws to spy on foreign adviser carter page. and the democrats claim that the memo is incomplete and partisan. and some worries thy that they use it to discredit the russian
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invest are gags and use it to fire attorney general rod rosenstein. we have boris with us, and so, democrats are warning that we may face a constitutional crisis if the president uses that memo has a reason to fire deputy general rosenstein, and what is the white house saying from mare le lego? >> well, the president did por to fuel speculation are about the future of the deputy attorney general. he was asked by repotters if he had confidence in rod rosenstein , and the response was "you figure that one out." and he spoke about the nunes memo saying it is a disgrace and a lot of people should be ashamed of themselves, and that lent to questions of who the president was the speaking about, because rod rosenstein is mentioned in the memo by name. and now, deputy press secretary was on cnn asked about this, and whether the president was planning to fire rosenstein, and
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he walked back the president's comments. this is from raj shaw. >> i am saying it on behalf of the et white house that no chan changes are going to be made at the department of justice. we fully expect rod rosenstein to continue on as the deputy attorney general. >> now, fred, source s wis with president's thinking tellcnn at this time that there is no consideration of firing the deputy attorney general. we should note though that several time swres heard from this administration votes of n confidence in a number of officials only for them to be shown the door shortly after. and those sources close to thet president tell us that part of the reason that he is hesitant to fire rod rosenstein is that he fears that taking that step may prolong the russian investigation, and from what we have seen from the president's a actions previously whether it is firing james comey or the reported frustration about jeff sessions from recusing himself from the session, and reports that he would fire robert mueller before being talkedt out
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of it by the attorneys is that the president is frustrated by the inability to influence the russian investigation, and he wa wants it over immediately, and in part, because it is casting a shadow over everything that the administration does, and despite that, the president's approval numbers are tick upward and he tweet ed about that this mornin mentioning in part certain sacred cows, and i asked the white house official what he meant by the sacred cow's comment, and i have yet to hear back from him. thank you, boris sanchez. this public memo is critical of the leadership of the fbi and the justice department, and in an effort to boost the morale, leaders of both of the agencies are speaking out. christopher ray, acting director, is strongly against releasing the memo. and now that it is public, ray is telling the staff to be focus and not to be sway ed by the political fallout. crime and justice reporter
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shimon is following this. >> yes, for christopher ray, the fbi director has had a week of where he is fighting on behalf of the fbi both internally and external externally and yes yesterday after the memo was released a short time after that, the fbi director put together about an 8 8:00 video where he addressed the troops with where he address addressed the workforce of the fbi knowing full well what a week this has been for them. he told them to keep doing what they are doing, and keep moving forward. one of the things that he said, and let me read it to you in this video is that, quote, the american people read the newspapers and watch tv. but your work is all that matters. and then he said, actions speak louder than words. quite a week here for the fbi director issuing the statement against the white house, and against the president's choice
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to release, declassify this memo and release it. and then also, yesterday, during a scheduled event that had re really nothing to do with this, the attorney general jeff sessions speaking at a human trafficking symposium at the department of justice event also spoke about the effect that this is having for the department of justice and for rod rosenstein the deputy attorney general and questions of wh he is going to remain the deputy attorney general and also, the woman who would succeed him, rachel brand if he was fired and take a listen to this. >> rod has had 27 years in the department. rachel has had a number of years in the department previously, and so they both represent the kind of quality and leadership that we fwhant twe want in the
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department. >> and so he comes off of ohis own issue, but the big question is does rod rosenstein remain the deputy attorney general and the person who is overseeing the russian investigation. >> all right. thank you,shy moen. all right. straight ahead, the partisan divide is e growing bigger after the release of that memo, and what it means for the russian invests gags next.
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coming at you with my brand-new vlog.
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just making some ice in my freezer here. so check back for that follow-up vid. this is my cashew guy bruno. holler at 'em, brun. kicking it live and direct here at the fountain. should i go habanero or maui onion? should i buy a chinchilla? comment below. did i mention i save people $620 for switching? chinchilla update -- got that chinchilla after all. say what up, rocco. ♪ the controversial nunes memo is out, and president trump says it totally vindicates him in the russian probe, but many republicans are outrage and many democrats are dismayed worrying what the claims made by a few could do to undermine the entire russian investigation. here the discuss the former south regional director for president obama's 2012 campaign
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therrian johnson and republican rat gist kevin paul scott and cnn law enforcement analyst jay gagliano. and let's begin here in atlanta, and therrian, you first, does this promote clarity and the republicans say it is about transparency or does it offer more confusion? the democrats say that the complete picture is not unveiled. >> well, it is total confusion, and chaos, and the message leading up to the the memo is that it is not to muddy the waters around the mueller investigation and showing transparency that fisa followed the process, and then once it is released, it is donald trump saying that he is vindicate and trying to discredit one of the most trusted federal agencies in the fbi saying that they tamper with the evidence and illegal wiretap in the department of justice, and the democrats are i saying that we are dismay and the republicans are e saying, this is not what we want the
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american people to see. >> and so in the democratic memo if it is ever released hour, do you suppose it is going to be offering clarity or clear it up or won't it also be a cherry picking of the information in memo, and now it is up for the people to decide which one to give more credence to, the republican summation or the d democratic summation? >> going through the process, this is classified information declassified and yes, the democrats are going to release their version of their memo and be on the offense, and then donald trump is going to be on the defense trying to discredit this memo and what is happening, fred, it is really making the country retreat to their corners. if you are a democrat, you are going to be believing the democratic version of the memo and if you are a republican, you will believe the republican version, but the real loser is the american people, because they are saying, oh, my god, look at them battling each other as we are discussing this investigation that we know and there was some coordination and communication with russia and
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how much of it was collusion or was it obstruction, and that is yett to be determined, but it is really, really bad for us in a democracy. >> and kevin, what to that, in that russian said that we wanted to sow some distrust within the democratic process and look at people fighting with each other at the same time, and then at the same time the president is saying i am all about the law enfor enforcement and a big proponent of it, and then lately, he is saying a lot that is very disparaging of the law enforcement branch of the fbi, fbi is all about securing the borders and the president is also saying on the other side of his mouth, i'm about securing the border. so can you have it both ways, and i guess not even both ways, but a lot of ways here? >> i think that tharon is right on this, and it is a politization of the process, and people are going tointo the corners and earlier in the week, the the democrats were up in arm, and don't release it, and don't can release it and now that it is released, it is not that bad and proves this, and
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the republican s as are trying prove it counts. here is the challenge. this is one, very complicated and it is tough to talk about, and number two, we like the to talk about, and i think that most people in america when we discuss this they have kind of tuned out, and they are most interested in the fact that they got a little bit more money in the pay check this week, because the tax effects took effect february 1st, and even donald trump tweeting this morning that the approval rating is up not just because people like what he doing, but they are seeing the effects of the policies and almost saying, even if we don't like him, we like the results of what is happening, and i believe that outside of the people around here that are really into this process, most people are not paying attention the memo and that, and that nitty-gritty of the details. >> and so, also, it is being disputed the whole goal of this whole grop -- gop memo, and some believe it is the prelude to the removal of the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein, because he is in the memo, and pat of
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the fisa warrant renewal process as signing off on the fisa warrant as it pertained to carter page, but this is what congressman adam shif had to say about all of this. >> but his statements today are very concerning about rod rosenstein, and the fact that he is sort of dangling rod rosenstein's job, and the firing of rod rosenstein in my view would be an act of obstruction of justice just as firing bob mueller would be and it is further evidence that what happened with james comey was not an isolated act. to me, that is a very definite part of a pattern of obstruction of justice. >> and james, would you agree that there is a are removal of rod rosenstein by way of the president firing him, is that tantamount to obstruction of justice or constitutional crisis? >> fred, i'm a cautious skeptic in these thing, because for 25 yees i served in the fbi, and the thing that is paramount in the fbi is that it is not always
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what you know or what you think that you know, but it is what you can prove. and in this instance, ob are struck shun of justice is such a difficult, and there is a high bar for it, because you have to be able to prove intent. the president has the right to fire an fbi director, and the president has the right to fire an attorney general, and the if the president sees fitt to have the deputy attorney general fired, then he can do it. >> but it is problematic in an effort to obstruct justice where people in his orbit or himself are centerpieces in the investigation, and given that, then what? >> you have to make the tie, fred, and that is fair, but it is very difficult to prove and especially with somebody like donald trump and we sit back and look at and feel that you are in bizarre ro world, becau world, becau world, becau world, because -- bizarre world, because he says this, this,
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this, and then two days later, it is this, this, this, and so i believe two mutually exclusive things. the investigation of russia should continue unimpede and i also believe that there were some things done at the fbi, in my former agency, that should be investigate and both of the things should be left alone. if the president-elect ares to fire somebody like rod rosenstein which he can do, it would be a colossal mistake. >> and theron, and the inspector general would be the body to help investigate any potential wrongdoing, and the president interjecting the thoughts and opinions of the merit to the m memo, and vind case, and does it undermine that role? >> i think it does. look at the pattern here, and president trump has sent out the tweets criticizing a lot of the people in his cabinet, and started with the fbi director comey and then he is going to be coming back and the people say, no intent to fire this person, and then weeks later we see the person fired. so this is all about the public trust in the system that has
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been work ing fing for hundreds hundreds of years to the protect the american people, and so that when you start to meddling on whether someone should be fired and you are undermining the i.g.'s role to fully investigate this. this is the bottom line. if you want full transparency, then be fully transparent and rele release the mem moes and put it out there, but it is donald trump who is muddying the waters right now in not al olouing the transparency of the facts to play out, and therein lies the problems. >> cokevin, the pillars of democracy in trouble here? >> no, in reality, the people in the administration serve as the pleasure of the president. i agree with james that i hope that he does not fire rosenstein, because it would cast more doubt than is necessary on the investigation, but the reality is that they serve at his pleasure and it is his call, and this is what democracy is all about. >> and thank you, gentlemen, and theron, james and kevin, thank
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welcome back.
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health officials are warning that the flu epidemic in the u.s. is getting worse and deadlier, and it could be many more weeks before the worst of it is over. more than 126,000 people have been officially diagnosed with the infection so far, and it may be hitting kids especially hard. a dozen states have reported school closures because of the outbreaks and 53 children have died from the flu this season. cnn's medical correspondent elizabeth cohen has the story of one woman, a mom who died even after going to the hospital for treatment. >> reporter: a workplace in mourning after the sudden death of one of their own, tandy harmon. and so this is where she worked? >> yes, for the last four year, and she is an amazing gal, and we will miss her. >> reporter: her death shows how much we don't know about the flu and how much it is hurting us this year. the worst flu season in year, and the tents set up for extra
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patients, and schools closed across the country, and tandy was young and only 36. >> she posted on facebook, dang, i caught the flu, that darn flu. >> reporter: her boyfriend says that when her chest started h hurting she went to the emergency room where she was diagnosed with the flu and sent home. she got worse and went back hours later. do you remember the last thing that tandy said to you? >> i don't know what is going on but i am scared. in between all of the breaths she got it out. >> reporter: and they dtandy di the doctors mystified why she was not diagnosed the first time. and this young girl died hours after the paramedic said that she could stay home. >> who is to blame? god? the world? the doctors? >> flu, and it is sneaky and devilish. >> reporter: dr. william schaffner says when it comes to flu, we have no crystal ball.
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>> we have thousands and thousands of patients who are coming in and evaluate and sent home and do wonderfully well, and trying to pick out who among them is going to take a turn for the worse is something that we can't do. it is a gap in our knowledge. >> reporter: but could medicine be doing more? >> we need better dying niagnos tests to predict who is going to have a bad result. >> reporter: one of the ways that the flu kills the young and healthy is by turning their own immune systems against them. some researchers have been trying to stop the response and they have had some success with animal studies. >> there has to be something more that they can do, and i mean the flu is not going to go away. >> reporter: and now tandy's boss has lost a friend and waitress and the boyfriend, a woman he love and her two children a mother all because medicine was not advanced enough to save her. elizabeth cohen, cnn, portland, oregon. 9 out of 10 u.s. olympians
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all right. the countdown is on and tomorrow is super bowl sunday with the new england patriots taking on the philadelphia eagles, and cnn
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will have you covered top to bottom. >> this is a picture of super bowl coverage coming up. >> and the bleacher are report kickoff from the super bowl is straight ahead. thank for being with us, and more newsroom at the top of the hour. welcome to the special coverage of super bowl lii from are frigid minneapolis. i'm dave briggs alongside hines wa ward, former mvp and coy wire, and the bleacher report lead writer mike freeman and the temperatures are in the double zero digits, and the game is inside, so fellows, let's bring in it. >> reporter: super bowl lii in the bold north and die hard philly fans. >> we are not going to lose this game. >> and the patriots are back yet agai

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