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tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  March 9, 2018 2:00pm-3:00pm PST

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a 17-year low. as more people entered the labor force, 2.6%, not as strong as expected. be sure to tune in for state of the union on sunday. that's sunday morning at 9:00 that's sunday morning at 9:00 a.m. -- captions by vitac -- happening now, new conditions. a day after the president's shocking announcement promising to meet kim jong-un. you've got mail. he said he was acting on his own but there's new proof the president's personal lawyer used trump organization e-mail to negotiate the payoff aimed at silencing the porn star stormy daniels. florida acts.
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florida's governor signs the first gun law enacted in the state since the parkland school massacre is that tightens gun controls allowing some teachers to be armed. and fwrarngs moscow as hundreds of british troops. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." there's breaking news hours after president trump's stunning declaration that he would meet face to face with the north korean dictator kim jong-un. the white house is saying not so fast. stressing there can be no talks until north korea takes, quote, concrete and verifiable steps toward denuclearization. also breaking, new evidence in the attempt to silence stormy daniels. showing the president's lawyer
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used a trump organization e-mail account to manage the hush money payment to the adult film actress. we have full coverage definitely the president accept north korea's offer of talks before anyone in his administration thought it through? let's go straight to our senior correspondent jeff zeleny. the white house now playing catch-up. >> reporter: no question here that any meeting of this magnitude is complicated, to say the least. the president clearly getting out in front of this yesterday evening announcing himself as we came on the air just 24 hours ago. now the complicating part begins on this. a white house official told me moments ago the invisitation has been extended and is still accepted. the complicating questions over whether will have they have the meeting regardless? do they believe north korea is those questions tonight are still unanswerable.
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>> the white house is scrambling to follow through with what could be the biggest diplomatic gamble in generations. face to face talks between president trump and north korean leader kim jong-un. one day after the president stunned the world by accepting kim's invitation, it became clear how complicated and confusing arranging it will be. >> the president will not have a meeting without seeing concrete steps and concrete actions take place by north korea. >> reporter: the white house press secretary sarah sanders tried delivering a clear message today. >> we're not letting up. this maximum pressure campaign and this process has been ongoing since the president first took office. the united states will continue that maximum pressure campaign. >> reporter: but left many questions unanswered about north korea's nuclear program. >> how the president be able to verify the denuclearization?
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>> that's something that will be determined through national security and intelligence community. >> the president has said his predecessors have mishandled this and misplayed this. why can't he be so confident when just in october he was saying it would be a waste of time. >> i think it is clear they've misplayed it or we wouldn't be in the position we're in. the president wouldn't be cleaning up the messes of the previous three administrations. the president is getting promises out of north korea haven't been made in any recent years. >> but delivering on those promises may be another story. by may of this year when the two leaders agreed to meet. when the invitation was delivered thursday evening, the national security adviser said only that kim is committed to denuclearization. not that he would take concrete steps prior to the meeting. sanders said this. >> i won't sit here and walk
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through every hypothetical that exists in the world but i can tell you that the president has accepted the invitation on the basis that we have concrete and verifiable steps. >> the look on the president's face spoke volume when's he zbukd the briefing troop tease the announcement. secretary of state tillerson had expressed skepticism. >> we're a long ways from negotiations. i think we just need to be very clear-eyed and realist bik it. >> reporter: the count down, should it go forward, comes after a roller coaster of red hot rhetoric. seven months ago the president sounded the alarm when he said this. >> north korea best not make any more threats to the united states. they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never
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seen. he has been very threatening beyond a normal state. and as i said, they will be met with fire, fury is that frankly, power. the likes which of this world has never seen before. >> reporter: a month later he belittled kim in a speech to the united nations. >> rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and his regime. >> reporter: then president admonished his secretary of state saying he was wasting his time trying negotiate with little rocket man. visiting south korea one month later, he had this to say. >> i say to the north. do not underestimate us. and do not try us. >> but recently his words have been far more diplomatic. >> i thought north korea was terrific. they came out, he this sbeemt the olympics, they went in with good spirits. they did well. let's see if we can carry it over. we may carry it over.
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it may not. a very tenuous situation. >> reporter: trump remained out of sight today after calling china's president xi jinping and japan's prime minister, shinzo abe. it became unclear where the meeting will be and who will attend. >> at the end of the day, the person to plead conversation will be the president. >> reporter: despite the magnitude of the talks, it didn't entirely sweep away the story of stormy daniels. unlike earlier in the week when she answered questions. >> i don't have anything elser to add. >> so the white house is not answering questions about the legal developments in the stormy daniels case as we end a busy chaotic week. those questions do remain even as the white house is looking for the north korean diplomatic
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talks. several controversies remain. the president has not weighed in on the stormy daniels controversy. new details about the pre election payoff to the porn star. stormy daniels. cnn has obtained an e-mail showing trump's personal attorney michael cohen used the e-mail at the time of the payment. sarah, the critics are suggesting that these are new questions about what the future president may know. >> they are. and stormy daniels' attorney spoke to that. as she continues, there's new potential evidence in her case. this message there a new york warning about showing donald trump's personal lawyer was using his trump organization
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e-mail account to arrange $130,000 payoff to keep daniels quiet. until now, michael cohen has maintained he facilitated the payment himself. and that the president or the trump organization were not involved. it is thought the payment was to keep stormy from talking in the days before the bleks allegations she had a sexual affair with trump. stormy daniels' attorney had this to say. >> we'll be able to obtain documents and testimony that will show i am highly confident, at all times plrgs trump knew exactly what was going on. >> reporter: the e-mail stream confirms money was transferred into a checking account, apparently by cohen, which then forwarded to the lawyer. >> in the pent house suite i met donald again. when we entered the room, he grabbed each of us tightly in a hug and kissed each one of us
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without asking permission. >> reporter: the scandal surrounding the hush money agreement by daniels has now bizarrely widened to include another porn star. just a month before the 2016 presidential election, jessica drake accused then candidate donald trump of sexual misconduct. she claimed trump harassed her in 2006 at the same lake tahoe resort golf tournament where trump and daniels met and took had infamous photo. at the same time, the spokesperson fired back saying mr. trump does not know this person. does not remember this person and would have no interest in ever knowing her. but drake has pictures of her and trump showing they at least met. and drake's legal name, angel ryan, is listed on the nondisparagement agreement trump's lawyer drafted to keep stormy daniels quiet saying she was one of the four beam confidential information about
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daniels and the alleged sexual relationship with dlump his team has denied. adult film actress alanna evans was also in tahoe in 2006. >> how do you know they met the 200 snooks. >> when i ran into stormy in tahoe and she joined my friend and i in the tattoo parlor, it was part of her story. >> i spoke to stormy on the phone. i asked her how it went and her response was he chased me around the room in his tighty whiteys. >> what does trump administration know about it? >> i would imagine jessica and stormy at the same time were under contract with the same company. girls talk. people in our industry talk. so i can only imagine the details that jessica would have known. >> now, evans made clear that stormy daniels and jessica drake were not friends. that they simply work together.
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she said stormy told her it was drake that was trying approach donald trump. not the other way around. as for those e-mails that you heard about, mr. cohen has responded saying he used the trump organization e-mail to sends e-mail to his friends and family as well and that he took out a home equity line of credit, transferred money from one account at the bank into the llc, and then wired those funds to miss clifford's attorney in beverly hills. he said he has said that before and it is not new. but earlier today, after the e-mails were reported, stormy's attorney said, well, he smelled smoke. cohen has responded and i quote, he should either evacuate the room he's standing many or immediately seek the attention of an ent doctor. the war of words going really strong at this point. >> those war of words
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intensified. thank you. let's bring this jeffrey toobin and josh campbell. cohen is fiercely loyal to donald trump as he has been for many years. did he make a mistake in the way he transferred the funds? he did so using the trump organization e-mail account. >> i think it's hard to blame michael cohen for a problem donald trump created. if you are going to transfer money and try to do night surreptitious way, you might do it in a more savvy way. not using your own name. not using your own e-mail address. perhaps using a nominee. the fact remains $130,000 was passed to this wol on the eve of
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the campaign. what was very explicitly hush money. and the idea that donald trump is unaware of that, or knew nothing about it at the time. strained credulity when we heard about and it as it comes out, only seems less plausible. >> this is what he says. >> i sent e-mails and i used it for everything. i'll certain most people can relate. >> he's opening himself up. there's debate about the trump organization is what we're going to hang our hat on here. a lawyer might say, aha, there's an investigation. what this gets me is probable cause to look into other things. the association with the trump
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connection. now you can look at other sxhoils other communication facilities. bank records and other contacts. i think if you look at robert mueller and his investigation, i think he may have a bigger role. if you look at the time line for when the payments were made and when the bank filed the suspicious activity report, a year had gone by. what would cause a financial institution to go back and look at records and then flag something as suspicious? i don't think that's something that would happen as a likely occurrence. if mueller's team went to the bank and gathered information, it wouldn't be unusual for the bank to go back and look through their own records. you have investigators looking at a client. i would stay tuned. >> are you suggesting that mueller's investigators are
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looking into this whole stormy daniels matter? >> i don't know that they are but as i look at the time line, it starts to add up. it was filed a 84 after the payment was made and that would have been the same time mueller's people would have been actively investigating. >> this whole idea that mike cohen has to go into his home equity line. he doesn't have $130,000 lying around. he has to take a home equity loan to pay stormy daniels to keep her quiet for an affair. lawyers don't do that. they don't do that with their own money. it's not ethical. it's not proper to do that without talking to the client and it doesn't make any sense. it is one thing if he was such a billionaire, he had $130,000 sit
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go around. the idea that he goes into a home equity line and then writes the check and does it out of the goodness of his heart. it is unbelievable. >> the argument he makes is for years, at least a decade or so, he's been a personal lawyer to the, to donald trump and he is fiercely loyal to him. he thought something would come out, he wanted to take care of it. >> i understand what he's saying. i don't think a lot of people will buy it when you look at the totality of the situation. if you're running for high office, the people around you have to be hyper sensitive to the fact anything they do on your behalf torsion include any payments, they'll be looked at. at the department of justice. i think we can at leaf question
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his judgment. someone in his position, a candidate for high office, it looks like incredibly terrible judgment. >> let's remember, donald trump won the election. and michael cohen kept the story quiet until here we are in march of 2018. so maybe he didn't do the savviest job, but he got job done against hillary clinton. that was pretty important. >> that was days before the actual election when that transfer was made. there's more coming up. stand by. there's other important news we're following. great risks and potentially great rewards for president trump and kim jong-un. we'll look at the extraordinarily high stakes for the proposed one-on-one meeting. and as britain steps up its urgent investigation into a nerve agent attack on a russian spy, did russia carry out the attack as a warning to others?
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breaking news, the president seeps to be struggling to catch up with the announcement. there will be no talks until north korea takes concrete steps toward denuclearization. the white house says the invitation has been extended and it stands. there are great risks but potentially great rewards as well.
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>> this is fufl amazing possibilities and fraught with danger. tonight officials in pyongyang are beginning official process of are deciding where it will be held. switzerland is a possibility. and determining what they want out of the meeting. tonight many washington and seoul, a mix of genuine optimism over the possibility of a ground breaking summit and real concern over what could go wrong. this has been happ hazardly prepared. >> an lists say so much of it depends on the personalities of two very unpredictable leaders. >> you have the two most unusual leaders on the face of the planett. walking in together to meet for the first time. what could go wrong?
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>> tonight and u.s. north korean officials are press go their intelligence agencies and diplomats. for more information on what the other side is after in a possible meeting. president trump wants north korea to commit to drawing down its nuclear arsenal. the white house officials say. and won't even meet until that happens. what does kim want to get out of the summit and does he win by having trump show up? >> he wants the legitimacy that comes with the meeting with the president of the united states. his reign and rule and status of the world. something his father and grandfather were never able to achieve. if the american president goes through with this, he will have given that important gift to the north koreans for virtually nothing. >> tonight veteran officials are worried that kim jong-un could be playing president trump and that trump could be sboouk a trap. they say kim will never give up his nuclear weapons. even if he promises he will freeze his program for a while,
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he could still build in it secret. >> north korea has cheated over diplomatic deal with tuesday, the u.n., south korea, china, the six-party talks. they have a perfect track record of cheating. so even with a significantly large amount of pressure, i'm very skeptical. and most people who have dealt with them are very skeptical. >> we're hearing if the meeting is canceled, there will be few topg options. >> and something may not necessarily happen. what's going on? >> one diplomat has negotiated with north korea says before the summit, a senior u.s. envoy has to travel to pyongyang. has to look kim in the eye. take his measure. ask the tough questions that need to be asked to prevent
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president trump from walking into a trap. the problem is the trump administration has no senior envoy no, ambassador to south korea. the senior envoy for north korea quit a week ago. who will they get to go to pyongyang? >> all right. we'll stay on top of that story. and why are the russians now offering to help investigators when they're suspected of being behind the attack? plus, more on the revelations that president trump's personal attorney used the trump organization e-mail october to help set up the payment to a porn star? bye grandpa. and if you have heart failure, entrusting your heart to entresto may help. entresto is a heart failure medicine that helps improve your heart's ability to pump blood to the body. in the largest heart failure study ever,
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we give you 75 mbps for $59.95. that's more speed than at&t's comparable bundle, for less. call today. we're following multiple breaking stories including new revelation that's one of the president's personal attorneys used a trump organization e-mail account while setting up the payout to stormy daniels who says the payment was to buy her sbils an aalleged affair with the future president. >> you've been covering this a long time. in january we first heard about this payment by the long time personal attorney of the president to stormy daniels. since then the story has
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escalated. >> it certainly has. and we're seeing it get closer and closer to the president himself. initially he said he made that payment of $130,000 out of the goodness of his own heart and that the president was unaware of it. now we're hearing that he was complaining to people he couldn't get in touch with the president the last few days leading up to the election and he was complaining he had not been reimbursed yet. today we find out that he was using his trump organization e-mail which makes it seem that he was operating in an official capacity when he made at the same time and was in those conversations with stormy daniels is that her attorney about that payment. so it seems like it's drawing it closer and closer to the president itself. the white house is trying to maintain the distance. especially after sarah sanders admitted during the fwreefg other day that there had been arbitration which she said the president had won the first time the first time he was directly tied to this payment. today they're refusing to answer
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any more questions. >> he said he used the trump organization e-mail account for a lot of personal business. he says, tell cnn i sent e-mails to family and friends. i used it for everything. i'm sure most people can relate. he is someone known to be fiercely loyal. he called him a fixer. michael cohen tweeted. this thank you, brian todd, cnn for your accurate depiction of me for our potus. >> it is true that he is incredibly loyal to donald trump and always has been. in part because of the closeness of that relationship, it is just not plausible that he would have made this payment of his own
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volition and not notified trump. first of all, that's not what you do. you don't not notify your client, in part to protect him. special will i when he is running for the highest office of the land. and trump would have had to sign it. either it is void because trump didn't sign it or potentially, it is a finance violation because he would have had to disclose that payment during the course of the campaign. >> we should also point pout michael cohen was in mar-a-lago over the weekend when the president was there. which is incredibly unusual. he is not a member and he is not spotted there very often. so it is very unusual for him to be there. especially in the middle of it. >> in palm beach. not west palm beach. >> a distinction between palm beach and west palm beach.
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>> i want my $130,000 for not having an affair with the president. if he's a fixer, what is he fixing? the white house is saying there's nothing to fix. there's only one question here. it's not whether something happened between a porn star and the president. it is whether something happened that violates federal election laws. i think that's where it comes into play. we should not be debating whether something inappropriate happened. attorneys don't write checks for nothing. >> this is the real problem. ones there's actual litigation, it is out of the control of michael cohen or anyone affiliated with trump. there will be a judge who can order discovery, depositions. and just ask bill clinton about what happens when the paula jones story started percolating
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through courts. these tea a life of their own. the problem is there is an inherent unbelievability. the idea that michael cohen played this money of his own volition without telling his sclinlt something very hard to sustain. especially if he who is the show wire documents, e-mails. and he who is the testify under oath. >> the white house said flat i in the next two months before may, the president of the united states would sit down with kim jong-un. they would meet because there was a suspension of the nuclearization perhaps. today they walked it back saying there will be this meeting the there are concrete steps toward that. >> she raised a lot of questions during that briefing.
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she did say that. they agreed to the may time line for this meeting. it certainly raised a lot of questions with her seeming to give hit the pre condition. and she said north korea committed to denuclearizing for this meeting which is go not what the south korean adviser said on the lawn of the white house. he said they committed to denuclearization overall. not that it was a pre condition. but a lot of people say sarah sanders is walking back the agreement. that it wouldn't have happened unless there were concrete actions. yesterday they never said what concrete actions they would like of the so we reached out to the white house. they said the invitation still
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stands. no more missile testing and they would not agree -- >> will this meeting take place? should it take place? >> i think it should. the white house gained themselves a lot of room to maneuver. >> we've committed to a concrete stoppage for 180 days. if i'm the white house, i'll saying that's a victory. i don't see the problem talking to them. >> stick around. there's more to discuss. an important programming note as well. stormy daniels' attorney will talk to cnn at 8:00 p.m. eastern. and an apparent attempt to assassinate a russian spy living in england. why are the russians who are suspected of being behind the attack now offering to help investigators? also, more breaking news in florida. where new gun restrictions sparked by the school massacre became law this afternoon.
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to purchase a fire frarm 18 years old to 21 years old and require a three-day waiting period. would it ban bump stocks. it would give police more power to seize weapons and ammunition from those dmeenldly unfit or otherwise a threat. would it provide additional funding for armed officers and mental health services. it would allow some school staff to be armed. before signing the bill, the governor talked about the compromise that's were necessary to get the legislation to his desk just three weeks after tt issuing at marjory stoneman douglas high school. >> at the beginning of the process, i said we should all have to give a little and make compromises. that includes me. i know many wanted more gun control than what is in this sgil many feel this bill has too
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much gun control. i respect the sincety of both. to the students, you made your voices heard. you didn't let up. and you fought until it was changed. you helped change our state. you made a difference. you should be proud. >> and i should mention the students governor spoke about, many of them wanted an assault weapons ban included. it was not included. and. of the students did not want to see school staff be armed. be allowed to be armed which is included. that is the most contentious provision in this bill by far. when governor himself has been a vocal point of. and the florida association which represents more than 140,000 teachers and other school staff have been urging the governor to use his line item veto power to use the
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funding set aside. he chose not to do that. he said instead, he is glad the program isn't mandatory and he wants to talk to the legislature but making sure any of that $67 million isn't used to arm school staff is set aside and redirected to be able to be used to increase presence on campuses. meanwhile, the nra has said it is not pleased. it is disfoinld governor sign this bill because of the gun restrictions. several of the families who spoke after the signing said this is an important first step along the journey to making excuse will safer. and they want other states to follow florida's lead to prevent eschool shootings. coming up, hundreds of british troops deployed. did russia carry out the poisoning as warning to others? ♪ [upbeat music]
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close to 200 british troops have been deployed to aid in the nerve agent attack. russian intelligence service suspect russia is behind the attack. russia is offering help. let's go to fred who is joining us from moscow. what are you learning?
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>> reporter: there's some questions as to how insesincere russians are. he called it with rumors of election meddling in the election. the russians would be very happy to help. they say they aren't getting any information from the brits as to how they could help or what happened there. he said a lot of what the russians are getting are anti-russian propaganda. interesting with this man who was poisoned, the former russian agents. the russians are not referring to him as a former russian agent. they are referring to him as an m.i. 6 agent. they believe he was working for the brits but they believe he
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might have still been active. unclear exactly how. it's interesting because i spoke to an expert earlier today and he said that if indeed if the russians were behind this that potentially the poisoning of sergei of this could be a signal to other russian who is might be keen on helping the mueller investigation or others seeking any evidence of russian election meddling. the message clear you can't be protected. >> thanks very much for that update. coming up, a day after the president shocking announcement promising to meet north korea's leader kim jong-un. the white house struggles to define the terms for the meeting and defends the chaotic way it was rolled out. nd home insuranc. with liberty, we could afford a real babysitter instead of your brother. hey! oh, that's my robe. is it? when you switch to liberty mutual, you could save $782 on auto and home insurance.
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to to me he's, well, dad.son pro golfer. so when his joint pain from psoriatic arthritis got really bad, it scared me. and what could that pain mean? joint pain could mean joint damage. enbrel helps relieve joint pain, and helps stop further damage enbrel may lower your ability to fight infections. serious sometimes fatal events including infections, tuberculosis, lymphoma other cancers, nervous system and blood disorders and allergic reactions have occurred.
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tell your doctor if you've been someplace where fungal infections are common. or if you're prone to infections, have cuts or sores, have had hepatitis b, have been treated for heart failure or if you have persistent fever, bruising, bleeding or paleness. don't start enbrel if you have an infection like the flu. since enbrel, dad's back to being dad. visit and use the joint damage simulator to see how your joint damage could be progressing. ask about enbrel. enbrel. fda approved for over 14 years.
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if you'd have told me three years ago that we'd be downloading in seconds what used to take minutes. that guests would compliment our wifi. that we could video conference and do it like that (snaps). if you'd have told me that i could afford a gig-speed. a gig-speed network. it's like 20 times faster than what most people have. i'd of said... i'd of said you're dreaming. dreaming! definitely dreaming. then again, dreaming is how i got this far. now more businesses in more places can afford to dream gig. comcast, building america's largest gig-speed network.
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happening,000, breaking news, concrete actions. day after president trump shocked the world by agreeing to talk to kim jong-un. the white house suggests north korea must meet some conditions first and then tries to walk it back. will the promise of a historic face-to-face meeting pan out. kim's calculation. what is the dictator hope to get out of this offer. he's mocked and threatened with nuclear attack. cnn is live on the korean peninsula with new insights into what kim wants. the president's lawyer keeps insisting mr. trump had nothing to do with the hush money payment to the porn star stormy daniels. why did michael cohn arrange the payoff using trump organization
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e-mail. we have a new explanation from michael cohn himself this hour. after a bizarre and defiant round of tv interview, sam no nonberg face add federal grand jury here in washington. what did he reveal in the russia probe? we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." we're following breaking news on the hard realities that could derail president trump's stunning agreement to meet with kim jong-un. the white house insisting the talks are on after the white house press secretary sarah sanders said the united states wanted to see quote concrete and verifiable actions first. also breaking, the president's personal lawyer is


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