tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN February 17, 2018 11:00am-11:30am PST
hello, again. thank you for joining me in saturday, i'm fredricka whitfield. right now, we are watching an anti-gun rally in fort lauderdale, and survivors, teachers, parents, elected officials are there and they have passionate strong messages. let's lis are en in. >> we have to ensure this never happens again, but most of us are under the voting age of 18, and this is why we need your help. register to vote. become educated on your politicians, and vote and make sure that marjoy stoneman douglas do i want the to call my mom to say i am safe or texting
my friends and siblings to see if they made it out alive. i don't want to know about 17 people who lost their lives from something that could have been p prevented. one person should not take away the dreams and aspirations of bright people. and never again should parents send their children to school to never return home. never again should students fear going to school. never again should such a tragedy occur. on behalf of the entire stillman douglas chapter, we express our deepest condolences to the families of the victims and every student of our community. four of the 17 angels were part of our family. words can not describe how much we and the entire community will miss you, and to the our, both of our victims who are
recovering, ben and samantha, we hope that you have a very speedy recovery. all right. you were listening to people there spontaneously talking about, talking about the shooting that claimed 17 lives there in parkland, florida. our martin savidge is there in the crowd, and martin, these young people, teachers and elected officials have direct messaging to the pt resident of the united states and to politicians as a whole and they have pledged, these people here are pledging that they want to take matters into their own h d hands to prevent yet another school shooting from ever happening again. martin, what are you hearing and experiencing from the people there directly? all right. looks like we do not have our
connection with martin savidge there. it might just be that it is very loud, and he is in the crowd. oh, here we go. >> and where this tragedy took place, and the speaker after speaker hasp been electrifying the crowd and often bringing this tome tears talking emotionally about what they have been through, and obviously, very empowered and bringing about change, and the mantra over and over again is that if the politicians can not bring change and if the adults will not bring the change, then students will have bring change. there is a chance that calm from the crowd demanding the political leaders have action if they do not, overshouting them in one voice vote them out. it is a clearly very, very difficult day, but empowering for many of the young people here, and they are saying that they are committed to the cause,
because of what they witnessed through the traj d di at the school. -- because of the tragedy at the school. >> martin, many messages are standing out, but in particular emma gonzalez who singled out the president of the united states and his being a ben f benefactor of the national rifle association as well as other po politicians who have been benefactor, and let's listen to what she had to say. >> if you don't do anything to are prevent this from coming, from continuing to occur thax nu number of gunshot victims will go up, and the numb eber they are worth is going to go down, and we will be worthless to you. to every politician who is taking donations from the nra, shame on you. >> this has been billed as an anti-gun rally, but at the same time, martin, people here are fired up about all of the missed -- looks like we lost
martin, but people are also fired up about all of the missed opportunities that there were. that young lady emma gonzalez say th says that, you know, it is not just an issue of mental health, but she had strong memories of this young man, of this gunman, and she says as far back as middle school, and she singled out all of the people that she belie believes bear responsibility and not the issue of the victims who should bear the responsibility, but the people who were eyewitness to his behavior, to the signals that were sent, to those who took videotape of his erratic behavior and strong comments coming from the people there, and emma gonzalez and others. i want to bring in cnn political analyst and white house reporter for the washington post, josh dausey, and so, emma gonzalez among those who had pointed
positions to the president of the united states. he was at the hospital last night and at mar-a-lago which is roughly 40 miles away from this location. is there an indication that the president is able to hear or knows what is happening down the street and the passion that is, you know, it is really coming out of the pores of the people here? >> we know that the president is at the resort, and he is not golfing as he does in warm weather here, and they say it is out of respect of what is going on here, and a lot of times at the resort, he is watching television nonstop, and what we saw from the president last night, he visited a hospital in broward county about 45 minutes from palm beach and visited a sheriff's office. the white house said that he saw victims, and in the sheriff's office he greet and met with a number of first responders and police officers, but most of the comments were not about the 17 people killed or the victims, and most of the comments were
congratulating the first responders and the police officers for the work, and talking about what he cast as heroic response, and really not speaking nearly as much about the people who were killed. we did not see, you know, the emotional commemoration from the president last night and we did not see much of a remembrance for those who were killed, but it is more about the first are responders and though the white house did say that he met privately with the victims and the families. >> and does the white house, josh, feel that it is the actions of the president going to the hospital, you know, the pictures that we have seen of the president with some of the victims and the family members with the first responders, he and the first lady with, you know, smiling with the thumb's up, are they receiving any kind of reaction or is the audience in that community very receptive of the president's visit in the m manner in which it happened? >> well, it is really hard for us to know. it is certainly that we have
heard a lot of people in the school call for more gun control laws, and the local politicians call for that, but his appearances were scripted and controlled. in the hospital only meeting with the doctors and when he met with the victims the media did not see him and met with the police officers and no general interaction with the people directly, and there were people on the roadsides who were with him and against him, and so we simply saw a hospital visit with some doctors and police an officers, and it is hard for us to know how the people on the scene felt towards the president. >> yes, and in addition to the meeting at the hospital, this is a brief statement that the president made during the visit. >> they have todone an incredib job. the doctor is amazing. he saw numerous people, and
incredible recovery. incredible. and the first are responders and everybody, the job they have done is incredible, and i want to congratulate them. >> so that is a little bit of the president's sentiment, and again, you have not been able to hear from anyone on how his visit was received. >> right. and fredricka, what is different about this visit and the previous visits is that president obama and others have seen their role as consoler in chief and talked about the victims, but this president, when he has gone to texas for the hurricanes, and when he has gone to, you know, other natural crises and disasters and las vegas for the mass shootings, he has met with the police officers and the victims, but not appeared at the funerals or the big events to deliver emotional responses to the community and it is different foor this
president. >> and the president did tweet that melania and i met such incredible people in broward ko county, florida, and we will never forget them or the evening. you know, it is difficult to predict, you know, this president. and anyone for ta mattehat matt this kind of rally and passion and pain coming from people. and even challenges coming from the people who have taken to the microphone there. there is the mayor of parkland talking right now, but you heard from teachers, parents, students who really are challenging the president directly. challenging congress, elected officials to do something. how will we know how that messaging is being received by t the president there, just miles away from this location of the rally. >> frankly, i don't know. i nknow that after every shootig there have been the cries to do
more and the protests and the rallies, and this does seem a little bit different. the "new york post," the president's first newspaper to read, the conservative leaning newspaper is going to ask him to do something and cast him as the absentee president friday and the people said that may make a difference and a lot of the president's response is what he is seeing on tv and how is it going politically. >> and speaking of television, we know that he watches. sorry, josh, but television, we know that he watches. and sometimes we may have a discussion with someone, and nearly immediately, he is going to tweet about it in a comment in that form, and we have not seen it thus far, and the rally, but, you nknow, similar to the white house, does he have monitors throughout where it is hard to escape the comments coming from people today? >> right. right. and fredricka, we know that the president is driven by emotion. we were told earlier this year that the reason he sent 59 missiles in syria is that he saw the pictures of the young
children and the atrocities done to them. so he is driven by the imagery, and the crowd sizes matter to the him. we remember at the inauguration that it bothered him how the crowd size was compared to president obama and the women's march the next day bothered him. so it is hard to know how this is going to affect him, and if anything precipitous as far as legislation comes out of this, but i can guess that the president is paying attention closely to what people are saying and phoning the friends and trying to get a sense of where this is heading. >> and correction, speaking right now is the superintendent of broward county schools. we have heard a number of comments coming from parents, other elected officials and students. we are going to continue to monitor anti-gun rally. it is still underway right now out of fort lauderdale, florida. josh dawsey, thank you. we will be right back.
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major developments in the russian investigation and today the white house mcmaster said that there is evidence of russian meddling and that it is incontrovertible. so we go to palm springs, florida, and what are you hearing from the white house today? >> yes, hey, fred, the white house putting out a statement in response to the indictment red by attorney general rod rosenstein, and the president tweeting about the indictment, and the first time that president trump has directly addressed the russian meddling without calling it a hoax or a witch hunt by the democrats and without a caveat. you will see that the furtest they the president had gone
previously talking about the russian meddling and that it could have been the russians or the china or the 400-pound person sitting on the bed. so this is the first time that the president has come out to fully acknowledge that russia meddled. but the white house adviser said in the security conference in munich that it is not the first time that we have heard it from the white house or others in the international intelligence commu community essentially saying that there should be no doubt that russian meddling is real, and not a hoax or a witch hunt. listen to more from h.r. mcmaster now. >> as you can see with the fbi indictment, the evidence is now really incontrovertible and avoid able avoidable 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 did not want to divulge your intelligence capabilities, but now that this is in the arena of
the law enforcement investigatio investigation, it is going to be very apparent to everyone. >> now, fred, i mentioned the president's dweet, and the statement that was put out by the whitet house, and two quick notes on the tweet that the president wrote that the trump campaign did nothing wrong, and there is no collusion, and that is not exactly what the deputy attorney general said yesterday if you recall. he said that in this indictment, there were no americans named that wittingly colluded with russian, but he did say that the special council investigation is still ongoing and decline ed d say whether there would be perhaps more indictments in the future, and secondly, nooeter in the statement nor in the tweet does the president say that he is going to aggressively go after russia for meddling in the e l election or protect the u.s. from further election meddling and possibly as soon as this november in the midterms, fred. >> thank you, boris sanchez. we will be right back. eleven.
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daniels' scandal hit the headlines, president trump is facing new allegations of infidelity. fo former playmate and model karen mcdougal is telling the "new yorker" magazine that she had an affair with trump for nearly a year in 2006. it bears the remarkable similar events of former porn star stephanie clifford, and both involved private dinners at the the hilton and traveled to trump's properties and promises of real estate and ended in nondisclosure agreements, and shall we call it hush money, and the white house denies all of the accusations surrounding daniels and mcdougal. some of calling it hush money and some are calling it simply payment for agreement. so let's bring in the legal are guy, the civil rights attorney and professor avery freeman and criminal defense attorney richard herman.
good to see you both. >> good afternoon, fred. >> in is interest, because sit s not a story just about affairs, relationships and what is going on, but it gets to the heart of financial transactions, the pattern of such. and contracts that follow or maybe just agreements because of the money exchanged. so, when we talk about this case, karen mcdougal and this financial transaction that came from the publisher of the american media incorporated which is the publisher by the way happens to be a good friend of donald trump. >> right. >> this is payment to mcdougal as far as we can tell from the reporting from the "new yorker" and payment of her story that would never really be published. so avery, you first. does this end up being a contract with mcdougal to silence her? you are not telling the story to anybody else, and just us. is this a protection against any
potential blackmail? how do you see this arrangement? >> well, actually, i thought that it was going to be a very exciting freedom of the press case where mr. pecker, and that is his name, and he is the publisher of the "national enquirer" and he bought the story from karen mcdougal for $150,000 according to the "new yorker" and the idea is and the glorious work of journalists here you go. you pay for the story and a great publication, and except that this is what is called the "catch and kill" meaning that what the publisher did was to take the story and gave the money and never published anything, because mr. peck ser a friend of mr. trump and the question is can you do something like that and one of the constitutional rights, fredricka is the right to contract. and in other words, did karen mcdougal give up her right to tell this extraordinary story about donald trump for $150,000
and can mr. pecker now bring a suit against ms.cdougal because it has come out in the new yorker. so that is the question, can anybody do anything about enforcing the rights of this contract between ms. mcdougal and the national enquirer. >> and richard a contract because of the financial exchange and what if there is not a written agreement of i won't disclose this story to anybody else or the exclusivity rights or how do you see it? >> right. >> and well, i disagree with avery, because it is not extraordinary, and it is kind of nauseate, but in any event, if there is a written agreement here, fredricka, and apparently an extensive written agreement, and she is bound to the terms and it is $150,000 and represented by kocounsel when s signed that agreement, and if she wasn't, maybe she has an argument, but if she was represented by counsel, and she
got $150,000, and look, let's face it, cats don't chase dogs. we know what that $150 was. and so trump's buddy, you know, he gave it to her. and then hid the story, but, you know f if if you are looking ate right now, the "enquirer" now they have blackmail material on trump and they can threaten him down the road if he does not do something that he wants, they will release the story. so it is not good for him, and you think that you are slick, and oh, what a wicked web we oui! when trying to deceive, and you think that you are going to try to hide it, but in the end, it comes out and exposed so many times, and the american people are numb, and anesthetized to him right now, and nothing that he can do is going to phase him, and the 40% cult is with him no m matter what. it is nauseating actually.
>> and gentlemen, this is not an issue of illegal agreement, i mean, you make a contractual agreement and might be payment, and you know, when you talk about the freedom of the press, there are variations of the publications, and most of mainstream and news organizations would not exchange payment for a story, but this is a different kind of the for-profit tabloid organization where the exchange of money is, you know, is customary or it is not out of the ordinary. >> that is right. >> now, has there been a breach of a contract you know, avery, because the information has gotten out that there was a payment coming from the publisher, and similar to michael cohen who admitted to making a payment to stormy daniels? >> yeah, that is kind of goofy, but in both of the instances, both in the stormy daniels' breach and then also the breach here with karen mcdougal, the question is really, is the national enquirer actually going to enforce this?
i don't think they will, because if there is a question of the breach, does donald trump become a critical witness in this? >> yeah, okay. >> it is a contract, but is it going to be enforce and i really doubt it. >> we will leave it right there. richard, we have to get you next time, because we are out of time, and we have a special coming up. okay. thank you, guys, for hanging with us. the cnn bleacher report all access at the nba all-star game is next. i'm fredricka whitfield. welcome into cnn special coverage of the nba all-star game. >> i'm ali la fourche. >> i'm andre iguodola here at the all-star show. >> the stars coming together with a global celebration of the games. >> welcome to hollywood, you have arrived. >> this year in los angeles,