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tv   CNN Newsroom With Ana Cabrera  CNN  March 3, 2018 5:00pm-6:00pm PST

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s cynacism. >> for more of my conversation, visit itunes.com/axefile. it's 8:00 eastern, 5:00 in the evening out west. you are live in the "cnn newsroom." glad you're with us. to call it chaos an understatement. to call it crisis simply doesn't cover it. it is a west wing adrift, embroiled in resignation, sandals and feuds. but even for this administration led by a man who has embraced chaos as a way of life, the havoc in the white house is taking its toll. what i am about to tell you would have been much for a year of my presidency, but this all happened in one week.
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monday trump meets with governors to talk guns saying he would have run into the high school to help even without a weapon. the same day his daughter ivanka reprimanded a reporter for asking her about her father's accusers, calling it pretty inappropriate. and then hope hicks is interviewed by robert mueller admitting she's told white lies for trump. jared kushner, after weeks of questions after his security clearance downgraded and federal charges against former trump campaign official rick gates dropped after he agreed to a plea deal. on wednesday, trump campaign official hope hicks calls it quits. ben carson apologizes after his agency spends $31,000 on a dining set and we learned the mueller probe is looking into president's business dealings pre-2016. now, thursday despite advice from his own party and close aids, president trump announces
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an increase on medal tears. john kelly is asked by the president to push javanka back to new york and president trump defends his tariff plan and the white house revolving door deeps spinning as h.r. mcmaster is resigning soon. and the bizarre bipartisan meeting on guns. now, president trump is back in washington tonight after a brief one-day trip to south florida. tonight he is joining reporters and politicians at the historic grid iron club where he and the first lady are attending the annual dinner. but the president did speak at a fundraiser earlier today when he was in florida. he talked about a few things pressing on his administration, perhaps on his mind right now. ryan nobles is at the club. tell us what the president said. >> yeah. the president not expected to
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speak here at the dinner for another hour and 45 minutes, but it is comments he made at this fundraiser at his resort in florida that is already starting to get quite a bit of attention. the president spoke on a number of different topics. this was a speech that was not given on the teleprompter. so he got on the topic of the chinese president xi ping. he basically suspended the term limits that were in place for the chinese leader. and the president spoke kindly of that and suggested that it was a good idea that president xi made that move. take a listen to this audio obtained by cnn from that fundraiser. >> sxi is a great gentleman. he is now president for life.
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look, he was able to do that. i think it's great. i would like to give that a shot some day. he's the most powerful president in 100 years. you know, he treated us tremendously well when i went over there. >> of course, the president has spoke glowingly about president xi in the past. they have had a very good rehaitian ship in the early days of the trump administration. this despite the fact that during the campaign the president was very critical of china. in particular their trade practices. this certainly an about face from that position. but ana, even though it did seem as though these comments came in somewhat of a sarcastic or jokey tone, the president talking glowingly about an authoritarian move and suggesting that
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perhaps's something he would want to practice here in the united states is certainly going to raise eyebrows, especially because this is not the first time we have heard president trump talk glowingly about an au au autocrat. >> joining us to discuss -- >> michael, i have to ask you first about those comments from the president. he made today in florida at a republican fundraiser. president trump was talking about china's president consolidating power. i want to read you the quote again because it was difficult to hear. he says he's now president for life, president for life. no, he's great. and, look, he was able to do that. i think it's great. maybe we'll give that a shot some day. he is the most powerful president in 100 years. you know, person in 100 years.
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>> michael, how do you interpret this comment? >> it is an example of donald trump going through his greatest hits routine. he has just added this little bit about xi to a long list of greatest hits that he played for that same audience. so it's almost like watching a comedian coddle out on stage, say all these outrageous things. he uses words like, i got to tell you folks and like you wouldn't believe. this is all ripping and i think he's happy doing it. we all know that he has affection for authoritarian regimes around the world. v vladimir putin is the object of his admiration. the president of the philippines seems to be a great guy in the president's estimation. so this jealousy that he's expressing where xi is concerned
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is something that comes naturally to him. i think he's frustrated to imagine it's not possible to get the same thing here. but, you know, this was playing to the hometown crowd of trump loyalists, and you could hear them whooping it up. they loved it. >> they loved it. and, yet, it's just kind of surprising to me to hear them cheering as he is saying, maybe i'll give that a try, consolidate power in the u.s. how would you expect republican lawmakers to react to this? >> not well. look, republicans have spent the latter part of the last two years trying to explain trump's controversial comments or sort of try to say he didn't really mean that. he's just speaking out of turn. they would do the same thing here. what a way to end a crazy week here for the white house. the white house has always been full of drama. but this week in particular was totally crazy, even by the white
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house's standards, right? you have the president talking about wanting to do away with term limits, one of the central parts of the u.s. constitution and what makes america very special, something that george washington specifically put in place when he first became president. and this just comes after him attacking his attorney general because he doesn't like the way he's handling the russia investigation and not going after his former democratic opponent hillary clinton. there has also been a bunch of rumors about people leaving the white house in the next coming days. and that's after totally changing gop orthodoxsy or going after orthodoxy on guns this week. >> i want to play another sound bite from this republican fundraiser earlier in florida. listen. >> that was bush, another
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genius. no, that was bush. let's go into the middle east. they have weapons of mass destruction. well, that turned out to be wonderful intelligence. great intelligence agency there, too. >> why go there? >> because he loves hating on the republican establishment. he loves hating on the bushes who, you know, quite openly did not support him when he secured the republican nomination for president, when he was among the field of many running for the nomination. look, this president, you know, he just like blows my mind day after day with the norms that he decides to just explode. >> and he's going after members of his own team. >> of his own team. >> not just the party, but he's
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talking about the intel agencies, too. >> this is all a piece of taking plays out of the want to be tyrants play book, right? >> he wants the military parade, he's going after the independent of the judiciary. he's going after the independence of an independent press. basically, everything that he can do to cut back on agencies and organizations that could have any sort of check on him, provide any source of independent accountability, he is trying to destroy. i just think it is astonishing that a few years ago, like half of america was losing its mind over obama being a tyrant. and then we have now our sitting president openly using about wanting to become a dictator. and not only that, but sort of not stepping in and trying to promote democratic values around the world by saying anything negative or even neutral for
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that matter about the fact that we have this authoritarian regime that is consolidating power. in a different administration, he would see something different. you would see an attack, an american president standing up for american values. >> it is interesting, michael, because you talked about how this president operates. these comments don't surprise you. we also heard from some of the president's supporters earlier tonight saying the president is just not politically correct. that was before he made these comments. but they come on the heels of what's been a very chaotic week. cnn chief political analyst reports that trump allies are quite worried about this president. they are scared that he may be unraveling. one even quoted as saying, something is very wrong. are you concerned that something has changed? >> well, it is true that something is very wrong, but something has been very wrong with this person for at least 30
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years. you know, people who have followed him throughout his career saw that this was a guy who was often unhinged, who denied norms at every turn. he ripped off the people who lent him money, ripped off investors who bought bonds and stock in trump companies, ripped off subcontractors on his projec projects. everything he's done throughout his life has been bizarre and disruptive. so we elected this person or the electoral college elected him and now we're dealing with the weakest presidency we've had in over a century. he's not able to manage the white house. he's at war with his own party in the so-called deep state. this may be the end result of all the effort that began in the '90s to delegitimize the regular republican party and move it to
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an extreme. so now we have this extreme wing of the republican party that's really ineffective. and i do think he's unraveling, but, you know, maybe we were wrong to think he even had it together in the first place. >> yeah. i mean, i think to be unraveling you have to have once been ravels. and then that's the issue here. when was he together? when was he coherent? when have we seen him in any recent month, week, year where he has had like clear policy positions, where he has stood for anything other than what's good for donald trump. >> now we hear that some of the members of his team who may be stabilizing forces within the white house are on the way out. when we look at the road ahead, we know hope hicks is resigning, so she will be leaving soon. the president is trying to have jared and ivanka pushed out. so, rachel, who does the
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president have in his corner right now as he shapes policy. >> it sounds like he's hunkering down, right? we have seen a lot of reports. there was a great story friday talking about how the president felt like he was being attacked and that's why he in part rolled out this huge tariff push, this whole thing about going back to the campaign. he promised that he was going to slap tariffs on a bunch of goods coming from other countries and he was feeling there was an attack on his white house and an attack on himself. he hunkered down and returned to the fundamentals of how he feels. even though tariffs go 100% against gop orthodoxy and free trade and things that republicans stand for. we talk about donald trump changing his mind and saying these controversial things off the cuff. i feel like republicans in a way while they're concerned about his comments and it might undercut them keeping his majorities in congress, they
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have almost become immune about this. when they talked about gun control earlier this week, we were hearing from republican sources saying even though they were outraged and disagreed with what he was saying they weren't worried about it because they thought they could get him to change his mind. so even though a lot of people are agasped by what they hear, people have become immune to it over the past year. >> michael, i have to read you something one of the close acquaintances of donald trump said. he made this prediction this week telling the financial times if the democrats win the house, trump might find more of his inner democrat. there is a lot he agrees with them about. could you see president trump running as a democrat in 2020? he's so unpredictable, right? it doesn't seem out of the realm of possibility. >> we do live in bizarre world.
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he could run as a democrat. he could start his own party. he could decide he's not going to run after all. i think it is a lifetime between now and this time next week. i think imaging what could happen in a couple of years is pretty much impossible. i also think, although chris is right that there are many things that trump is at heart a democrat on, you know, this issue of guns is something he was concerned about 15 years ago, and he thought there should be tighter restrictions on gun purchases and the types of guns that civilians could carry. he's so ineffectual, though. i think that it is hard to imagine him getting it together with anybody. you know, the republicans carried him over the line on the tax cut plan. i don't think that they're going to tolerate him working with the democrats on their agenda. so we could be in for gridlock
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with a democratic house investigating him with subpoena power and even more intense sense of chaos for the country. >> michael, rachel and catherine thank you all. coming up, blurred line. did jared kushner's company lend mega loans after wheeling and dealing at the white house? cnn digs into this controversy. take a look at this aircraft. we'll show you what happens. you're in the "cnn newsroom." stay with us. join the un-carrier right now, and get four unlimited lines for only thirty-five bucks each. woah. plus, netflix for the whole family. on us. prrrrrrr... so, they get their shows... let's go, girl! you're gonna love this bit! and you get yours. watch however you want. on your phone, tablet, or tv. for a limited time, get 4 lines for just thirty-five bucks per line, with no extra charges.
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get the full security clearance she needs as a full security adviser to the president. all of this comes as the white house defends her husband after it was revealed his family businesses scored $500 million in loans after kushner personally met with lenders at the white house. cnn reports. >> this chicago skyscraper is majority owned by jared kushner and his family. mortgage documents show a link to new york city private equity powerhouse apollo global management provided them with $184 million fort gaj fmortgage the building. months earlier that same executive was in talks with the white house about an advisory role, according to a source with knowledge of the discussions. jared stepped down as ceo of his family's business since going to washington. but questions of conflicts still persist. also at the white house, jared
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met with city bank ceo last year. around the same time city bank made a $325 million loan to kushner companies and its partners. spokes people for both apollo and city bank said their executives were not involved in granting those loans. >> you also have to worry about whether he has an incentive to use his official power, to use the power of the white house to help people that he has business relations with. >> there was nothing inappropriate and stories like these attempt to make insinuating connections that do not exist. so disparage the financial institutions and the companies involved. just last week cnn reported that robert mueller is inquiring about kushner approaching foreign investors during the transition, including a chinese insurance company and investor for 666 fifth avenue. the building hasn't generated
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enough profit to cover its debts. >> $1.8 billion is a record price. it is a highly leveraged deal, which means the income in the building wasn't even close to covering what they would have to pay in interest. so it was a deal a lot of people say it was doomed from the start. >> about $1.2 billion in debt on the tower comes due next year. but negotiations with lenders and new sources of capital need to start soon. kushner companies confirmed it is in talks to buy out its partner, but the question remains how will they pay for it. when asked by cnn, they designed to comment. >> they are always looking for loans and development loans and acquisition loans. i would say it is an active business. >> they also need to find investors for a development in jersey city. the company scuttled the plan to use a government program that would help foreigners get u.s. visas in exchange for investment
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after jared's sister was referencing him during a presentation in china. "the new york times" reported that kushner companies received $30 million from one of israel's largest financial institutions just before jared's first diplomatic trip to the country. last week the washington post reported officials from at least four companies, mexico, israel, china and the united arab emirates discussed ways to manipulate jared because of his families finances. the constant search for capital, which is normally for any real estate firm casts a cloud of jared's white house role because like his father-in-law he has refused to fully divest from his holdings. >> i want to talk about ethics. norm eisen, former white house special counsel for ethics under president obama and also u.s. former ambassador. he said kushner hasn't had any business dealings or role in the
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company since he joined the government. isn't it possible this could all just be a coincidence. >> thanks for having me back. and i think it's a lot for us to be asked to accept the assertions of kushner's spokes people when you have these very troubling effects where kushner is talking to apollo, talking to citi. he's talking -- for heaven's sakes, he's talking to the apollo ceo about a job, about giving him something and then the kushner businesses get half a billion dollars in exchange and we're just going to say, oh, the spokesman says there is no there there. move along. absolutely not. for one thing there is a rule of ethics. no appearance of conflict. and from the beginning, on both sides of the aisle, this is not partisan. both democrat and republican ethics experts have said kushner
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can't be dealing with these companies and dealing with these countries when he is getting these flows of money and he's maintained ties to many of his businesses, so, no, it is not all right. >> ivanka trump's security clearance held up as well and apparently it is because the fbi is looking into her international business ties, specifically the trump tower in vancouv vancouver. there is all these different investigations into trump family members finances. fair game? >> ana, this saddens me as an american, as somebody that worked in the white house and as an ethicist. but it is fair game. the trump family, starting with the president himself, needed to make a clean break with all their businesses to get away from these questions and these appearances of conflict.
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you know, an appearance isn't just a bad thing, whether it's ivanka, jared, mr. trump himself. an appearance is the yellow light. you've -- that is what tells you stop here. when they see that light, they are putting the pedal to the metal and going through the intersection. now we are seeing that there may be some collisions with the ethics rules. it gets even worse than that. this, the investigation of ivanka is a counter intelligence investigation. who is she doing business with? what are the risks to our country by this enterprise she's been involved with in vancouver. it is totally fair game and the country shouldn't have been put in this situation. >> what i hear you saying is they put themselves in the cross hair of investigations by being
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in the situation that they're in as members of this administration. i want to ask you also about comments the president just made today at a fundraiser that he held at mar-a-lago, the president talking about china's president consolidating power. and listen to this. >> xi is great. and xi is a great gentleman. he is now president for life. president for life. oh, he's great. look, i think it's great. i may want to give that a shot some day. [ applause ] >> he's the most powerful president in 100 years. you know, person in 100 years in china. and he treated us tremendously well when i went over there. >> for those who may be home and didn't catch all of that because it was hard to hear, he says
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that china's president is now president for life. and he goes on to say, maybe i'll give that a shot some day. is this a president who values democracy? >> ana, he's not a president who cherishes our most precious american ideals. i don't know what was more sickening, the president's declaration musing that he might like to be a dictator for life, his admiration. this is a chinese communist tyrant who he is admiring here, or the cheers of his friends behind closed doors, the crowd not realizing they were on tape. i had the privilege of serving our country in central europe where the communist dictators held sway for decades. that is the opposite of our american values. and it's deeply, deeply disturbing that the president
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shows so little awareness of history and indeed of the crushing human rights abuses of the chinese regime. that is nothing to admire. >> ambassador, good to see you. thank you for being here. >> always. thanks for having me. >> up next, a self-described seductress linking trump to the kremlin. but the secrets come with a price. more after the break. whoooo.
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she claims to be the missing link between russia and
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president trump. she describes herself as a seductress says she will provide evidence of connections and collusion to anyone who can help her get out of a prison in thailand. cnn senior international correspondent has more. >> this is an extraordinary story which offering us a rare glimpse into the secret world of russian politics and business and how the two meet and it also may shed light on to the allegations of collusion. it also happens to involve a young russian woman who describes herself as a sex coach and who is now promising to reveal information that she says is relevant to the mueller investigation. we're a bit skeptical, but take a look. she promotes herself endlessly on social media. she is the kind of self-styled russian sex guru to teach you
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the art of seduction. >> even if we are interacting with famous men, very few of these men when they interact with a woman discuss high brow topics with them. >> amid snaps and titillating videos of herr frolics on yacht, she brags of billionaires. these are the images that have thrust her into the spotlight she didn't expect. it shows her relaxing on a boat with two men. one of them is russia's richest men. the other a senior russian official, deputy prime minister. russia's main opposition leader seized on the images as evidence of official corruption, also suggesting the two men could be
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heard discussing u.s.-russia relations may have served as a link between the kremlin and the trump campaign. they refused to comment on the allegation. in a statement to cnn, his spokesperson said he's suing ripka and her business partner because they maliciously made his private photos and personal information public. it's not the first time the russia oligarch known to be close to the kremlin has fended off allegations of collusion. c nrks nrknn confronted him las after trump's campaign manager who once worked there offered him private briefings. >> did he give you millions of dollars? >> but it was after the promise of more detail, more information
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from her, who was holding one of her sex and seduction classes in this beach that this extraordinary story appears to have taken a spy novel turn. she was arrested by thai police for violating the terms of her tourist video managing to record this message as he was driven away. >> is'm ready to give you all the missing pieces of the puzzle. i know a lot. i'm waiting for your offers in a thai prison. >> they're probably just the words of a desperate woman hoping to avoid deportation to russia, but her promise with no evidence so far to unlock the mysteries of the trump-russia scandal have certainly gotten her the attention she so often
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craved. as she awaits her fate in thailand, cnn has managed to make contact with her. she says she has 18 hours of audio recordings that could be useful to the mueller investigation. she also says she has a photograph of an up named american businesswoman who met with her and asked her to delete the image. nothing substantial as such as the moment. but this case is generating a lot of interest in russia and it's worth keeping a close eye on what else she may reveal. >> we know you will keep watching for us. thank you, matthew. this week a judge ruled that construction on trump's border wall can begin. i travelled to the border to ask those living there how they see it. of green mountain coffee roasters sumatra reserve.
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so we're going to build it. who's going to pay for the wall? 100%. >> that was candidate trump's rallying cry, build a wall between the u.s. and mexico and force mexico to pay for it. now one year into his presidency, mexico refuses to build that wall and they are seeking billions from congress for construction. i went to texas and brought together a group of residents and i wanted to ask them about the wall. >> well, look, the wall is going who is going to pay for the wall? >> probably the same people that paid for the $8 trillion under obama that he spent that he didn't have.
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we are so far in debt, that's a whole other topic of discussion. >> that's connected, right? >> they spend more than drunken sailors. >> the president promised mexico would pay for it. we know that's not going to happen. >> how can the president of the united states force mexico to pay? it is ridiculous. >> are you okay paying? because i know the wall is something that you support. are you okay paying for that wall? >> yes. and increase overall security. >> conny, should there be a trade of the wall for dreamer protection? >> you're not -- they're totally two different things. dreamer protection is something else and the wall is something else. >> but if it is a negotiation to make sure dreamers end up protected, should those who want dreamers to be protected agree to building a border wall which would appease some of the people
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on the other side? >> you know, we want protection as well. you know, we don't want the drug lords of mexico to come here, do you? >> no, of course not. >> no. so we, of course, we want the fence to protect us. you know, but the wall is something. you know, it is so ridiculous. what are you going to do? in the middle of the river you are going to put a huge wall, like the china wall? >> we as a sovereign nation have a right to put up a wall and say who can and cannot come into this country. >> we understand that. we don't dispute that whatsoever. >> so i'm not against mexicans. my wife is mexican, okay. don't come off with that we don't want people from mexico or that i'm afraid of mexicans. no. mexicans will stay in their houses and live their lives. but there are criminal elements that are going to come over. >> trump says we need to build a wall. it will block people from mexico coming in.
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well, what he fails to understand is even with having fences and high security, people are still managing to get through that. >> true. >> so with the wall you don't think there is a way to get through that wall? you don't think -- and i just think it is like -- he's just picturing a wall just to separate us. >> you may say the wall is not going to work and other people will come in. but politically if they passed a bill that had increased border security with daca, what is wrong with that? because then trump could say, hey, i put up the wall. i met my promise, right? and we get daca, we get something we want. >> why is it tied to the wall? >> why not compromise? >> i don't feel like we should be in that position. if he feels he wants to use it as a bargaining chips, what he's doing is wrong. >> he's using you as a bargaining chip. i think that's pretty obvious.
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but congress, you know, if congress doesn't want that, they can pass a clean dream act, but they're not going to do that. i don't think there is the political will right now to do that. >> would you support it if they were to do that? >> yeah. yeah. i would support it if they were to have a clean dream act. but i think in reality they are going to have to compromise and give trump something he wants. >> i think he is playing the devil's advocate. i really think trump is playing the devils advocate to propel us to do something. >> yes, yes. that's what he's doing. >> the more outrageous he gets with the comments, the more anger and maybe the democrats will agree and the hard core republicans will do something about it. >> i agree with you. i don't want to blame the democrats or the republicans. i think they're all failings because they have not passed any law in 20 years so clear up this situation to help the people
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that needed it. >> as daca members, as americans, we have to demand congress to do something about it. >> exactly. >> bottom line. different opinions coming together and thinking about this issue. coming up, an incredible rescue of a snow border buried alive by an avalanche all caught on camera. stay with us. thou hast the patchy beard of a pre-pubescent squire! thy armor was forged by a feeble-fingered peasant woman... your mom! as long as hecklers love to heckle, you can count on geico saving folks money. boring! fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. dial your binge-watching up to eleven. join the un-carrier right now, and get four unlimited lines for only thirty-five bucks each. woah. plus, netflix for the whole family. on us.
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together, we're building a better california. still without power in the wake of a deadly storm. the ferocious nor'easter developed into a bomb cyclone, killing at least five people. all killed by falling trees.
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the winds along the massachusetts coast whipped up to more than 90 miles an hour. now, the hurricane-force gusts forced a lot of flights to be cancelled. you can see this plane attempts to land at reagan national airport. the pilot had to abort landing at the last minute because of the wind. another frightening moment here after an avalanche hit a california ski resort. watch this, rerescuers using their bare hands to help dig out a man in the snow. the only clue of his location, the tip of his snowboard poking through. a first responder says the man's lips were blue when they uncovered his face. >> he's looking right at me and he says, where's my wife? >> amazing story of survival. police say five people were hit, leaving one seriously injured. the man's wife was unharmed. a fund for the victims of the las vegas shooting now exceeds $31 million. the distribution of this money will begin on monday.
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the fund, which was set up in the wake of that october 1st shooting, will benefit the families of the 58 people killed and hundreds of injured survivors. a $275,000 pay-out will go to the families of hiss killed, paralyzed or suffering permanent brain damage. i'm ana cabrera in new york. thanks for joining me tonight. i'll be back tomorrow night at 5:00 eastern in "cnn newsroom." meantime, a "history of comedy" marathon starts right after this. good night. melts into hair to intensely nourish and strengthen, in just one minute. 98% naturally derived ingredients. bursting with super fruit. no silicones. no weigh down. just super silky, soft, shiny hair. super fast. new fructis treats 1 minute hair masks. super fruit. super hair. find yours. garnier.
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we need to be ready for my name's scott strenfel and r i'm a meteorologist at pg&e. we make sure that our crews as well as our customers are prepared to how weather may impact their energy. so every single day we're monitoring the weather, and when storm events arise our forecast get crews out ahead of the storm to minimize any outages. during storm season we want our customers to be ready and stay safe. learn how you can be prepared at pge.com/beprepared. together, we're building a better california.
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-- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com it's amazing there was a time when what you said could get you locked up in prison. >> i accrued a reputation for being irreverent. >> sticky wicket. >> i cuss gratuitously. but subject matter is another story.

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