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tv   CNN Newsroom With Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul  CNN  February 17, 2018 7:00am-8:00am PST

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good morning. i'm victor blackwell. >> and i'm renee marsh in for christi paul. a top white house official says there is now undeniable proof that russians meddled in the 2016 election. the comments come from national security adviser h.r. mcmaster. they come just hours after 13 russians were indicted in the russia investigation. despite all of this, president
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trump claims he's been vindicated in the probe. >> also this morning, a cnn exclusive report reveals disturbing new details about the florida school shooter including racist, homophobic and anti-semitic messages sent. the fbi is also admitting it received a tip last month that the teenage her a desire to kill people but the bureau failed to act on it. we'll have more on the latest developments from florida in moments. we start with new charges, allegations and denials in the russia investigation. cnn's matthew chance is live in moscow. but first, to cnn white house correspondent abby phillips. we got spl new reaction from the trump administration this morning? >> that's right. this morning h.r. mcmafltester e out about the 13 indictments that prove, he says, that russia interfeared in the election. take a listen. >> as you can see with the fbi indictment, the evidence is now
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really incontrovertible and available in the public domain. whereas in the past, it was difficult to attribute for a couple of reasons. first, technically it was difficult. but then also you didn't want to divulge your intelligence capabilities. now that this is in the arena of a law enforcement investigation, it's going to be very apparent to everyone. >> now that is a sea change from what we have normally heard from president trump who inthe past called this investigation a hoax and an excuse by democrats to justify losing of the election in 2016. however, in the wake of these 13 indictments, president trump is now acknowledging that there was russian interference. here's what he wrote on twitter yesterday. russia started their anti-u.s. campaign in 2014 long before i announced i was run for president. the results of the election were not impacted. the trump campaign did nothing wrong. no collusion, the president says. part of that is accurate.
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the 2014 start date is right for when russians began this operation. but around 2016 the indictment says that they changed their objective making it very clear that they were going to boost president trump and hurt hillary clinton in that election. now yesterday when the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein talked about this he said that this particular indictment does not say anything about americans colluding knowingly with the russians or that this interference had a direct impact on the outcome of the election. however, we do know that robert mule eastern the special counsel investigators continue to work. we don't know where that investigation is going to go next. >> all right. abby philip, thank you so much. now let's talk more about the indictment that came down. 13 russians, one of them a key putin ally, have been indicted for meddling in the 2016 elections. here's how they did it. the internet search agency, this is a kremlin linked organization, that he set up fake groups on social media.
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focusing on a number of issues, race, religion, immigration, the presidential elections, trying to entice people. or rather i should say insight people. >> this the regulation oligarch who is believed to have funded the group. he is a key ally of russian president putin. take a look at this. here is one fake social media page on the black panthers. and the k.k.k. and another one that has the same satan saying if i win, clinton wins. let's go to cnn's senior international correspondent matthew chance. he's live in moscow this morning. what is the reaction in russia to this indictment? >> well, whatever they're faced with allegations here in russia about intervening or meddling in the u.s. political system or the u.s. presidential elections, they always fall back to this position of denial. and that's been no different on this occasion. we've heard in the past few
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hours the russian foreign minister say, look, i looked at these indictments and it's, you know, paraphrasing him, but it's all just blather is the word he used. again, other officials saying that this is just absurd. so they're categorically rejecting yet again this idea that russia in any way intervened in the u.s. presidential election, tried to distort the political process in the united states. that, despite the fact that this indictment identifies 13 russian individuals, russian nationals involved in this. it identifies three companies as well including the one you mentioned the internet research agency which is based in the russian city of st. petersburg. and according to the indictments, was, you know, set up with the main objective to sow chaos and discord in the united states. take a look. in may 2016, a small group of anti-islamic protesters gathered
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outside a muslim community center. in the u.s. city of houston. across the street came to rally formed and the two sides held a a. bus in a stark illustration of american division and discord. the organizers were thousands of miles away in st. petersburg, russia, working for a secretive organization which according to a recent u.s. indictment had a strategic goal to sew discord in the u.s. political system. it's name, the internet research agency, dubbed the kremlin troll factory by former employees who smuggled out these rare cell phone images. in 2016, cnn sfoek a russian journalist that went undercover as an internet troll there. >> translator: the u.s. elections are the key issue for the kremlin and russia invested a lot of effort into them.
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that's why the troll factories are working. i have no doubt. >> reporter: it was during the russian backed rebellion in ukraine in 2014 that evidence first emerged of pro kremlin troll factories filled with bloggers paid to spread false information online about the conflict. and this is the russian oligarch who according to the u.s. indictment bang rolled the troll factory operation. he is known as putin's chef because one of his companies provides catering services to the kremlin has denied any guilt. americans are very impressionable people he told russian state media. they see what they want to see. i have great respect for them. i'm not at all upset i'm on this list. if they want to see the devil, let them see one. but it is the devilish work of russia's internet trolls and the social divisions they have
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insighted that the u.s. has now moved firmly against. so far today the kremlin itself with putin as president has not officially issued an response to indictments. we're expecting something from them in the days ahead. in the past, they called these allegations a witchunt. we're expecting to hear the same kind of language in a few days. >> matthew chance live for us in moscow, thank you. let's bring in a cnn political analyst, amanda turkil, washington bureau chief of "the washington post" and steve hall, retired cia chief of russia operations. >> steve, first out to you. this was obviously an elaborate, meticulous plan to involve russia to involve itself in u.s. politics. do you think they can use that same playbook now that it's been
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exposed in these 37 pages? >> yeah, sure, absolutely they can. it's one of the things about intelligence operations especially how the russians run them which is to say that even though you might know exactly how they did it, they can repeat this. there is no reason that you can't get other russians, russians who have not been named in this indictment, into the united states if need be. to do very similar types of operations as these particular russians did. you can also do quite a bit, of course, remotely from st. petersburg or wherever it is in russia that you're actually managing some of the cyber operations. it will allow the united states if we choose to do so, i don't think that we have really gone very far down this road yet at least as far as i can tell, it does give us a better idea as to how to defend against it. but that's a very difficult thing when you don't know exactly where, you know, the next attack is going to come from, what form it's going to take and chf the multiple tools in the russian toolbox will be used.
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at least we know, at least we have a much better idea as to how this came about. >> so ryan, to you. there are two narratives when it comes to the russian investigation. there is a republican or some republicans who say this is a witch hunt including the president. and then on the democrat side, they essentially say, you know, they believe that there was some collusion. what does this indictment do to both of those narratives? does it disrupt any one of the narratives? >> that's a great question. because one thing it does very, very clearly is it puts forward the most detailed fact oriented case about what the russian propaganda came on social media was like in 2016. and that's one element of what's been alleged by what russia did in 2016. this does not deal with the hacking and dumping of the dnc or of hillary clinton's campaign chairman's e-mail account, john
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podesta. it deals with the kone discreet issue. republicans say oh, there is no russian interference in the election and most republicans have accepted that there was interference except with a very, very big exception the president of the united states. and, look, we've known that since 2016. the intelligence community put out a statement in the fall of 2016 that vladimir putin was launched a cyber and propaganda campaign in january of 2017. the intelligence community put out an unclassified report that laid out a lot of the general facts that we saw in the indictment yesterday. so we've known about this for a long time. what the indictment does not allege is that this specific social media propaganda campaign had any help by donald trump or his campaign. so the collusion element was abscent from this indictment. >> the president says that this has vindicated him through twitter. this is now shows that the trump campaign had no involvement, no
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collusion. at least that's his framing of what he read. >> well this is just one piece of a very large sprawling investigation by the special counsel. look, we have such little visibility into this investigation. there wasn't a single reporter that knew this indictment was coming yesterday. so mueller is -- he has a very tightly controlled team where information doesn't leak out. and so this is just one small piece of a big investigation. there is nothing to do with the obstruction of justice that he's reportedly looking at concerning donald trump. this has nothing to do with the hacking and dumping element of the russian campaign. so we should expect that there is more coming and this issue of collusion is not yet settled. >> yeah. amanda, let me talk to you about sanctions. the question is now what will be the deterent and the punishment for russia? congress voted almost unanimously. i mean overwhelmingly to impact, to levy the sanctions against
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russia. the president signed them but have not been implemented. will this clarity from this indictment change that? >> it might bring some more pressure from congress. but, i mean, as ryan is saying the president himself doesn't seem that willing to accept what's going on as serious. he says there is no collusion. this vinld indicatdicates him. he admitted that russia meddled in the election. he's drawn back on. this we heard reports that he regrets saying that. sow continues to be, you know, he once said that despite the intelligence community saying that they believe russia interfeared in the election, he said he talked to putin. putin denied it. he believes him. he believes him over the intelligence agencies. so i don't think these will necessarily increase pressure on trump because trump is trying to do everything he can to discredit the mueller investigation as it gets closer to his inner circle. >> we have some sound from the head of the fbi, christopher ray. he was on capitol hill this week. let's play that and talk about it on the other side.
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>> we're taking a lot of specific efforts to blunt this. not as specifically directed by the president. >> so the president at this point has not directed the fbi. however, i'm sure intelligence community is doing what they need to do. all of that said, i mean, the president is the president and has not verbalized his desire for this to be, you know, top of mind for the intelligence community. what does that mean? we're in the middle of 2018, what does that mean to you? >> he doesn't view it as a priority. it's the president's job to set priorities for law enforcement, the general priorities for what the fbi should be doing. and the fact that he's never had this conversation with his fbi director just says that it's not a priority for him. you have to wonder if mueller looking at the fact that white house doesn't really prioritize
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russian meddling decided to put forward this indictment against 13 people who are never going to be tried in an american courtroom because he wanted to make a statement and fill the vacuum that exists at the top of the leadership. >> steve, does the president's denial or refusal to offer the full throated endorsement of what he is seeing from the intelligence community of russia's meddling, does that impact their ability to combat it going into 2018 and 2020? >> i think what's happening is that the russians are watching very carefully what the reactions of the various parts of the u.s. government are and specifically the white house's reaction. matthew chance was talking about russian foreign minister's comments about this all being blathering and that sort of thing. another thing interestingly that he also said was this is all ridiculousness. it is typically american. and even the vice president
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himself casts doubt on this. so the russians have a -- have no lack of hand wills in the u.s. government to be able to say, yeah, but look, the american president is downplaying it. the vice president is downplaying it. they're looking at this and saying, you know, we have lots of different ammunition where we can fire back and simply say the americans themselves aren't taking these ridiculous things very seriously. the indictment is obviously important and combat tlag line of argument. but the russians will simply continue to deny it and i think this administration is giving them ammunition which makes the denials that much stronger. >> all right. ryan, amanda, steve, thank you all. this morning we're getting a clear picture of the warning signs in the florida school massacre, the shooter's social media rants would make most people stop and ask what is this person capable of. tragically, we all know the answer. more on that next. dial your binge-watching up to eleven. join the un-carrier right now,
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as we continue to report, we're finding that there were red flags and warning signs everywhere and there were alarms as well but authorities still could not stop the shooter in florida from murdering 17 people. cnn has learned that florida school shooter was part of a private instagram group and posted racist, homophobic, anti-semitic views. will he is showed an obsession with guns and violence. >> someone tipped off the fbi in early january about cruz's social media post and warned the bureau about what his erratic behavior was all about. the bureau admits the proper protocols were not followed and that the miami office was never notified of what could happen in nearby parkland. cruz is back in court on monday and the public defender says he expect cruz to plead guilty. joining us now from parkland is
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cnn law enforcement office. he is a special agent at the fbi. james, apparently everything that we tell people to do if you see something, say something. people actually did that. so how did the fbi drop the ball here? >> well, i got to tell you, renee, it was a stunning revelation yesterday. and listen, the fbi's motto is fidelity, bravery and integrity. they xbted transparency by saying it clearly was an institutional failure on our part. now here's the thing. with what we know thus far, we can't do a deep dive into determining exactly where the failure occurred. was this a failure of processes and protocols or was this a mistake at the agent level? we know that the telephone call came in on january 5th to the public access line which is an fbi line that then would route an actionable lead which is clearly would have been after it had been looked at by an agent to the appropriate field office and for broward county that
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would have been miami. it was a colossal collapse of our processes and protocols, a colossal plis take. it doesn't make it any easier of the parents of the 17 slain children down here. i've seen it. i'm experiencing being around it. it's a very visceral emotion down here. the fbi is just doing what they need to do right now, find out what happened, find out if there is any blame to be laid at a particular person or people and fix this so this terrible tragedy never happens again. >> james, i'm sure you agree the worst long term result of this mistake, we know what the short term result of it is. but the long term result will be that people who see suspicious activity will think it's not worth calling it in because they probably won't do anything anyway. >> yeah, victor, i've got to knock that down right now on its face and say this. mistakes happen everywhere. every agency, every company, every organization is foulable. they're made up of people. we're fallible creatures.
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the public has to know we take threats like this seriously. at the federal level, in an incident like this where we get a call where there is decent specific -- there is specificity related to it, it should have been run down. and at a minute minimum, there should have been agents dispatched or law enforcement officers dispatched to conduct a knock and talk, to go out and visit this person and try to determine whether or not it could reasonably be determined that this person could possibly do something. we now know that this person did. >> so even if, you know, the law enforcement got all this information, would they have been able to prevent this individual from getting the guns that he got there in the state of florida? because the truth of the matter is, florida has some very le lenient gun laws. would law enforcement have been able to stop that purchase? >> well, right now he was a 19-year-old. and nothing prohibited on its
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face from him being able to purchase a weapon. listen, i'm being called an apostate on this because i'm evolving on looking at the second amendment and trying to figure out ways we can attempt to mitigate this type of terrible tragedy. but it's not something we can look at in a vacuum. we also have to look at privacy laws. we have to look at ferpa and hippa and the things that disallowmental disallow mental health officials from sharing this with government and law enforcement. and we also need to look at the first amendment. yes, you have the right to say whatever you want. but if you log on to facebook or you log on to social media, you guys are aware of it. the amount of garbage and trash and bile that is spewed in those places, the difficult part for us in law enforcement, sorting out what is something someone is saying in haste or with impulsivity and what really is an actionable lead that somebody might act on what they're
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saying? >> james, you know, you called this a colossal collapse of the fbi and protocol. florida governor rick scott is saying that fbi director chris ray should resign because of this mistake. do you think that politicians are now using the fbi as an excuse to not take legislative action? >> victor, i think it's fair to criticize senior leadership when it's appropriate. i think people are savvy enough to recognize there is a difference between criticizing the actions or inactions of -- or the decisions of particular people, particular senior leaders. in this instance, i believe it was a reflexive knee jerk politicized response. and again, i understand the visceral emotion that the governor is going through right now. i certainly do. i see it and i sense it down here. it is palpable.
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but to call for director ray's firing over this before all the facts are in, i think we need to take a step back, take a deep breath and let's wait until this deep dive and this transparent report comes out afterwards that basically says, you know, where the mistakes happened, can we fix them and a particular person or people to blame for them. >> right. james gagliano live for us in pa parkland, florida. thank you. this morning, five people are still hospitalized following this shooting. the president and the first lady visited a hospital in broward county last night where many victims of wednesday's shooting are being treated. they also dropped by the sheriff's office to praise the law enforcement officials who responded to the incident. >> our cnn correspondent dianne gallagher is in deer field beach, florida. what can you tell us about those still in hospitals and about the president's visit? >> victor, renee, the good news is that only five in the hospital this morning. that means that since we first
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spoke earlier, somebody has been discharged. still one in critical condition. broward north behind me is where the president and first lady visited. they spent time with two patients, one of whom was 18-year-old maddie willford. >> i just got back from the hospital. a young woman was shot, four bullets. two in her lungs and they got her over to the hospital in less than 21 minutes. she had no chance and between the first responders, your people who got her, you know who i'm talking about, they got her there, scott. what a job you're doing. i hope you're getting credit for it. believe me, you deserve it. the job you've done is unparallel. >> thank you. >> give limbhim a raise. give everybody a raise. >> now as far as we know, the president didn't meet withive in the familiar lives the deceased. of course the funerals began yesterday. they continue throughout today
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in the week. this afternoon what keen oliver, they'll have a memorial for him and his friend. >> dianne gallagher, thank you so much. ncht the students from that florida school shooting are grappling with how to cope after this tragedy, after this loss. you're going to hear their thoughts on gun control and dealing with mental health problems in this country. what they want from their leaders in their own words. >> plus, a geography teacher who lost his life being hailed as a hero, credited for saving the lives of so many while laying down his own when the gunman opened fire. his mother speaks to cnn. that interview is next.
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the community of parkland, florida, is just at the beginning of the process to heal after that horrific school shooting earlier this week. i went to parkland and i spoke with a group of students from stoneman douglas high school and listened to stories about what they saw on wednesday, how they feel about it now. they're shocked, obviously. angry. though describe numbness but they all talk about the fear. the fear that school is no longer safe for them. here is part of our conversation. >> it's a slew of emotions. and one of the most daunting things is that they all kind of neutralize each other to the point where i feel desensitized. >> you asked us how we're feeling. i feel like a better question is what we're not feeling. i catch myself almost being mad at myself for not feeling more. >> i feel almost numb. >> there's been a lot of
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survivor guilt. there are a lot of people saying, why wasn't it me? >> we can't take life for granted anymore because every single day you just don't know what's going to happen. and we don't feel secure and safe in our own school, like a place we called home. >> the only thing that separates us from them is just luck. they were freshmen. they were little girls that didn't come home because of what happened. >> i had so many friends in the school that i wasn't in the room with that i wanted to make sure were safe and i -- it was hard to reach everyone. it was just such a -- such a scary feeling of helplessness. >> let me ask about, you know, the category now that this echelon that your school is in unfortunately. i can say post nightclub and you no he what i'm talking about, sandy hook, virginia tech. i can now say stoneman douglas wlachlt does that feel like now? >> whether we were in that closet all together, i was just
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thinking we're going to be that school. we're going to be the ones that everyone talks about. we're going to be the school that got shot up. >> with this title now that everyone knows the name of the school, we can use that and use it to make change. >> the way we can do that is being unapologetic and not by sugar-coating it. >> have you prepared yourself for what it will be like to walk back into that building? >> i had a class with one of the girls that passed away, unfortunately. i don't know how i'm going to step foot back in that class. >> i'm excited to go back to school. it's going to be hard. i have a class in the building where everything happened. but i want to be with everybody and everybody's been so strong together. i want to see everybody. if we didn't have the leadership at our school that we did, there is a very good chance that this could be abysmal, more so than it already is. >> how can you not be scared after something like that happens? people i know, people i pass in the hall every day just gone. and, yeah, i'm scared. >> insightful conversation
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there. and scott biegle is the teacher responsible for saving many lives. he pulled students into his classroom just moments before he was shot dead. >> cnn's randi kaye sat down with a teacher's mother to talk about how much his students meant to him. >> tell me about your son. what was he like? >> my son was probably the most humble person you ever met in your life. he was caring. he was really kind. if you asked him to do something for you, there is no doubt he would get it done. >> what did he love about teaching? he taught geography. did he love these kids? and love teaching? >> he loved to be able to get through to kid. he loved to be able to explain something and have them engage.
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he was their teacher. he was mr. beagle. but i think he was more like a friend. you know? i think the children learn to respect him. he was tough. he was tough. he had his rules and his ways. and i think after a while they understood that and they came to love him and respect him. >> and he was also a camp counsellor. >> that was his passion. >> being in camp was scott's passion. he started when he was 7. he loved camp. he lived for camp. he went to school and tend of the school year he would count the days until he could go to camp. and -- he's a kid at heart for real. and then when he got to be a cit, a counsellor in training, then he got to be a counsellor and then he was a group leader. and he just went up the ranks. and when he had to pick a profession, we joked about it. if you want to keep going to camp, you know, until you're old and gray, you better be a teacher.
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>> i spoke with students who say that your son was a hero. that he saved their lives. do you believe he was a hero? do you see him that way? >> scott believed things should be a certain way. and his responsibility to others always came first. he would do whatever he had to do to keep those that he cared about and especially those he loved safe. and that i'm sure he didn't think twice. there is no doubt in my mind that that was -- that is what he was going to do. and he didn't think about it. that's just what should be done. that's the right thing to do. >> the students told me that they look at your son as a hero. that he died a hero. do you believe that? do you feel that way? >> oh, scott is a hero to his students. i think scott is a hero to so many people. he touched everybody's life.
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it didn't matter. he was there to help people. he was there to better people. and he just -- i think he wanted to treat people the way he wanted to be treated. >> you said he called you every day on the way home from school. >> monday through friday, every day on the way home from school i got a call from scott the hey mom, how you doing? hey scott, how is school today? whether it was a 30 second conversation just to make sure mom is okay and i knew then that scott was okay or it could be a 20 minute conversation. scott was -- he was just the most amazing child somebody could want to have. don't get me wrong, he had flaws, okay. we all do. but scott was my rock. scott was a confidante. scott was just the son everybody would ever want to have. and he was mine. >> i know you're going to miss him a lot. >> i don't know how i'm going to do this. right now i still go to sleep
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thinking that when i get up in the morning just a nightmare. just a bad dream. >> yeah. >> and i see his picture on the tv and i'm so proud of him. but i know that is all i'm going to be able to do is look at pictures because i'm never going to be able to hug my son again. i need those hugs. i need those calls on the way home from school. i need to know that scott's okay. i'm sorry. >> it's okay. how you would like your son to be remembered? what do you want the world to remember about him? >> scott was just -- scott was a regular guy. who wanted -- who is happy with what he had, who chose to live his life the way he thought it was the way it should be lived. and i just want everybody to
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remember scott really as a hero. scott is a hero in life not just in school. but in life. >> a hero and incredibly selfless. our thanks to randi kaye for that. scott's burial ceremony is tomorrow. condolences to his family. before we go to break, here are pictures from around the country of candlelight vigils held for the victims and the victims' families. we'll be right back. i'm mark and i quit smoking with chantix. i was a heavy smoker for 26 years. i smoked a pack and a half a day and i was able to quit with chantix. i never thought that i could quit, but i did. along with support, chantix (varenicline) is proven to help people quit smoking. without a doubt, chantix reduced my urge to smoke. when you try to quit smoking, with or without chantix,
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you may have nicotine withdrawal symptoms. some people had changes in behavior or thinking, aggression, hostility, agitation, depressed mood, or suicidal thoughts or actions with chantix. serious side effects may include seizures, new or worse heart or blood vessel problems, sleepwalking or allergic and skin reactions which can be life-threatening. stop chantix and get help right away if you have any of these. tell your healthcare provider if you've had depression or other mental health problems. decrease alcohol use while taking chantix. use caution when driving or operating machinery. the most common side effect is nausea. my older smoker-self would be so surprised. ask your doctor if chantix is right for you. my older smoker-self would be so surprised. if these packs have the same number of bladder leak pads, i bet you think bigger is better. actually, it's bulkier. always discreet quickly turns liquid to gel, for drier protection that's a lot less bulky. always discreet. alright, i brought in high protein to help get us moving. ...and help you feel more strength and energy in just two weeks!
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and i take trulicity once a week to activate my body to release it, like it's supposed to. trulicity is not insulin. it comes in a once-weekly, truly easy-to-use pen. the pen where you don't have to see or handle a needle. and it works 24/7. trulicity is a once-weekly injectable medicine to improve blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes when used with diet and exercise. it should not be the first medicine to treat diabetes, or for people with type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis. do not take trulicity if you have a personal or family history of medullary thyroid cancer, if you have multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2, or if you're allergic to trulicity. stop trulicity and call your doctor right away if you have a lump or swelling in your neck, severe stomach pain, or symptoms like itching, rash, or trouble breathing. serious side effects may include pancreatitis. taking trulicity with a sulfonylurea or insulin
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increases your risk for low blood sugar. common side effects include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, decreased appetite, and indigestion. some side effects can lead to dehydration, which may worsen kidney problems. to help lower my a1c i choose trulicity to activate my within. ask your doctor if once-weekly trulicity is right for you. ♪ ♪ this was an easy story to miss coming on the same day that robert mueller announced russia indictments and the fbi said they missed the tip warning them about the florida school shooter. the white house is now fighting another story of an extramarital affair by the president, again, dating back to
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shortly after the first lady gave birth to their son. here is tom foreman. >> reporter: heading to florida, the president walked alone to marine one. his wife milana traveling separately amid humiliating headlines, including word that billionaire businessman's lawyer paid off an adult film star following an alleged affair and a new claim about another extramarital merger. ♪ that story dates to 2006, when the apprentice was shooting and having a party at the "playboy" mansion in los angeles. married star of the show donald trump was there and according to the new yorker, so was former play ma playmate of the year karen mcdougal. it was the start of a nine month whirl wind of hotel room romps, fancy trips, a visit to trump tower where he pointed out his wife's bedroom and the launch of trump vodka and the miss
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universe pageant. mcdougal told the magazine she paid for everything and was reimbursed to prevent a paper trail leading to trump. the white house says this is an old story that is just more fake news. the president says he never had a relationship with mcdougal. so how did the new yorker come up with this sorted tale? a friend of mcdougal's supposedly gave the magazine eight handwritten pages. >> she wrote a detailed chronical of the affair in the course of selling the story. >> reporter: the story did sell to the company that owns the "national enquirer" for $150,000, days before the election. according to "the wall street journal" and the new yorker. so why didn't you read it? because the enquirer which is run by a friend of trump's did not publish mcdougal's story. by paying for it legally blocked anyone else including her from coming out with details. the enquirer has made no comment on that part of the story. tom foreman, cnn, washington.
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>> all right. next, the olympics. an update on the medal count. corey wire joins us to talk about gus kentworthy who has his eyes on gold tonight. late checkout... ...down-alternative pillows... ...and of course, price. tripadvisor helps you book a... ...hotel without breaking a sweat. because we now instantly... ...search over 200 booking sites ...to find you the lowest price... ...on the hotel you want. don't sweat your booking. tripadvisor. the latest reviews. the lowest prices.
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i've always wanted to share a special moment with my mom. i think surprising her with a night ski trip would just be the biggest gift i could give her. let's make that happen. she's gonna be so excited. ♪ take me where i want to be. ♪ ♪ let me dream, oh, let me dream... ♪ the u.s. is struggling to bring hoenl the medals at the winter olympics. gus kentworthy will have his eye
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on gold tonight. >> he has the outcome of a lot. he has overcome a lot, i should say. but both on and off the slopes, right? >> absolutely. this difference maker is presented by the 2018 ford f-150. team usa skier gus kentworthy took silver in the last winter games and took headlines rescuing stray dogs in sochi. but concealing his sexuality had become so difficult, gus nearly took his own life. now he's free. he and figure skater adam rapone are the first ever openly gay men to compete in a winter games. he is hoping his journey will inspire others who are struggling with tlheir sexualit too. ♪ >> anyone in the closet or anyone waiting for something that's out of their control, i don't know, you think about the worst possible scenario, worst case scenario and i had kind of like made myself believe that
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was what i was going to be dealing with. and then i actually came out and it was so much support. i got calls and texts. i had people in my sport call me and apologize for things they had said and they didn't realize and that meant a lot to me. >> there are some youngsters out there that may be struggling with sexuality, what do you hope they see in you when they watch you? >> i just hope to be that person that kid can see sort of reflection of themselves in and give them hope to know that they can come out too and that it's all good and that they'll be better off for it. >> why are you so nervous? >> i know you travel so much. >> yeah. >> it's tough for you to have a pet. but you're still well connected with dogs and you're helping a lot, right? >> back home i do animal adoption events with petco and humane society and different, i don't know, animal nonprofits and definitely an animal lover. >> you can catch gus's debut in
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pyeongchang later tonight in men's slope style east coast time. >> thanks so much for joining us. that's going to do it for us. >> yes. thank you for watching. there is more ahead in the next hour of cnn newsroom after a quick break. my day starts well before i'm in the kitchen. i need my blood sugar to stay in control. i need to shave my a1c i'm always on call. an insulin that fits my schedule is key. ♪ tresiba® ready ♪ (announcer) tresiba® is used to control high blood sugar in adults with diabetes. don't use tresiba® to treat diabetic ketoacidosis, during episodes of low blood sugar, or if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. don't share needles or insulin pens. don't reuse needles. the most common side effect is low blood sugar, which may cause dizziness, swtiting, confusion, and headache. check your blood sugar.
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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. hello, everyone. it's 11:00 on the east coast. welcome this saturday. we're following major developments on two huge stories today. first the latest in the russia investigation. white house national security adviser h.r. mcmaster saying today evidence of russian interference in the 2016 election is now indisputable. >> as can you see with the fbi indictment, the evidence is

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