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tv   CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield  CNN  March 11, 2018 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT

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segregate muslims found a surge of support. >> they said you should welcome a stranger, but they also see a critical mass and say, we don't know how much more we can do. >> the pope said recently, if you split up families because of immigration, you can't be pro-life. >> that's right. >> you agree with that? >> definitely. >> sister norma works on the texas-mexico border and says this is other motto for trying to improve it. >> his presence, his message, is a sense of peace for us. >> a world of closing borders may be the biggest faith project of all. bill weir, cnn, vatican city. >> "pope, the most powerful man in history" premieres tonight at
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10:00 p.m. only here on cnn. hello again, and thank you so much for joining me. i'm fredricka whitfield in new york today. president trump is sharpening attacks ahead of tuesday's all-important pennsylvania special election. at a campaign rally, trump's speech touched on everything from drug dealers to being presidential to oprah winfrey. but he did not mention the russia investigation. well, today that changed. on twitter trump blasting the russia case saying the only collusion was done by the democratic national committee and hillary clinton. but as those tweets came out just hours ago, trump's own cia director was contradicting the message on national tv. >> the russians attempted to interfere in the united states elections in 2016. >> when you say russians, russians with ties to the kremlin, russians with ties to putin's regime? >> yes. >> all right, let's bring in cnn white house correspondent boris sanchez.
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boris, the president is going against his own intelligence community yet again all while he shifts his focus again on 2020. >> reporter: that's right, fred. this isn't really something new. we've seen the president contradict his own intelligence community multiple times before, specifically when it comes to the issue of russian meddling. more recently, white house staffers have kind of pushed back on the idea that the president denied that russia had meddled in the election. they're trying to argue that when he calls the russian investigation a hoax that he's zeroing in on this idea that members of his campaign may have colluded with the russians. despite that, on his twitter account and through multiple things he said in public, even in the last two weeks, it's clear that the president still hesitates to say that it was solely russia who meddled in the 2016 election and not china or perhaps a 400-pound person on their bed as he has famously said. the president gave a speech last night in pennsylvania going on the attack, similar to the tweet
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we saw attacking a number of democrats: hillary clinton, barack obama, elizabeth warren. then he lampooned critics who say when he does that, he isn't acting presidentially. >> it's easy to be presidential, but you would be so bored. i'm very presidential. ladies and gentlemen, thank you for being here tonight. rick saccone will be a great, great congressman. and then you go, god bless you and god bless the united states of america. thank you very much. see, that's easy.
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that's much easier than doing what i have to do. >> the president also did something unexpected off script last night. he announced his slogan for 2020, keep america great, something i'm told by a white house official familiar with the remarks that were prepared for the president last night, was not part of the plan at all. i can tell you, though, that as far as the midterms go, we may see more of this from the president down the road, campaigning in districts that he won. this district that he's campaigning for, rick saccone, in pennsylvania district 18, he won by 20 points. we know that officials at the rnc and others within the administration have counseled the president about which races he could really help in and which he may have to stay in the background for when it comes to getting republicans elected in the house and senate later this year in november. the other question, and really the underlying question here, spifbly for rick saccone is
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whether transparency is the way to go. >> president trump spent the night talking about himself rather than endorsing the republican candidate. >> can you imagine pocahontas? and maxine waters, a very low i.q. individual. have you ever seen her? i could beat oprah, i know her weakness. sleepy eyes chuck todd. he's a sleeping son of a b tiit. that "washington post," you have evil there.
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>> we have my panel in new york with me. paris, you first. the president really seemed to be enjoying this rally, even as he faces, you know, the headwinds, including the russia investigation, the stormy daniels saga. how important do you suppose this kind of validation from the crowd is for this president, particularly at a time like now? >> well, i would kind of push back on that. i don't know if it's all doom and groop. this has actually been a very good week for the president. >> but overall you still have the cloud of russia. the president knows these things, so i guess the question really is, does he get reenergized by a crowd like this, a setting like that in pennsylvania, knowing that those problems have not gone away. you do agree with that, right? >> sure. there are some issues that the immediateish sue to focus in on
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day in, day out 24/7. but there are some good things in this past week of the administrati administration. they agreed with his message, they agreed with his policies, and they want to make the country great again and they want to support this planet. this is all about turnout. this is a district where the president won 20 percentage points, so they could support the candidate who is running there and it was a great opportunity to hear from the president and be energized to go out and vote for the candidate come tuesday. >> i don't mean to interrupt you, but he spent a majority of his time talking about kind of himself, his campaign, looking ahead. and if this was a rally for that candidate, saccone, the president spent more time than
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sacco saccone. >> i don't know if you've ever been at a political rally or stood for hours on end to actually hear the person at the podium. they can hear him several times throughout the course of the campaign trail. but for president trump to arrive, they stood there for hours to hear from the president. it was about the president, about his agenda and a. he could get a lot of points, which is unprecedented, and that would transfer over to the candidate running, and talk about the things they want to hear from him. >> he talked about his slogan, keep america great, exclamation point, and the focus on how to
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deal with the opioid epidemic. he talked about how other countries deal with it. >> when i was in china and other places, by the way, i said, mr. president, do you have a drug problem? no, no, no, we do not. i said, huh. big country. 1.4 billion people, right? not much of a drug problem? i said, what do you attribute that to? well, the death penalty. so honestly, i don't know that the united states is ready for it. . >> this president is actually thi think. they were talking about how you might get killed.
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is this really the way they want to go? >> this is a terrible idea. the fact that the president of the united states would even entertain the examples of a totalitarian country like china or the philippines where their president is engaged in extra judicial killings as something that we should consider here in the u.s., a death penalty for drug dealers -- >> can you take him seriously is and this odd month fmd. actual i don't think i was alone watching that video last night, in fact, my stomach was in knots. america is watching these democratic norms and ideals and where common decency is no longer a currency anymore, no longer expected for the president of the united states, watching these people clapping
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for a president behaving that way, it concerns me. i think we as a country need to take a look at what's going on here. it is a rally. what's truthful. the economy is doing well, people have jobs, it's wonderful. but is it umbrella the stress on our dem these behaves and the way people accept it. this is. the economy is great and completely ignoring what this president is doing to the office of the presidency. >> you talked about. the president had this to say
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about support from women in the 2016 race. listen. >> didn't we surprise them with women during the election? remember, women won't like donald trump. i said, have i really had that kind of a problem? we got 52%, right? 52, right? >> but the numbers don't really back that up. a cnn exit poll from 2016 shows 52% of white women voted for trump, but overall hillary clinton actually won the women vote by 54%. so paris, what is your response to that? why does the president intentionally either spout half trut truths. he thinks he's telling the truth and he just doesn't have all the facts? what's going on there in an example like that. >> when i look at your graphic, the president said he got 52%. you said he got 52% among white
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women voters. >> white women over all women. >> so it's a factual statement. another factual statement is he got 80% americans. >> my numbers show 4% of the african-american vote, but go ahead. >> he did not get 4% of the african-american vote. >> that's according to our polling. . but at the end of the day, we can picksay that, but look at t women he's serving. you have women in senior positions, and every one of those voters can support. i saw tons of women cheering and. you want to but the voters and
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the american people outside of t the. i'm going to stand with the voters rather than stand with somebody who is coming on shows and trying to pick and choose on what. >> we're talking about 52% of the american people. we are talking about the overall american people. >> he won. get over it. he won. that's how we roll. >> this kind of petulant, get over it, he won. that attitude right there is why so many people that what donald trump created in this country is bigger than -- it doesn't have to do with that. this country, and again i will emphasize. tell the truth.
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expect the p paerm these are things that are. p you would be going off how unpresidential barack obama is. so the. you are condoning him acting like a child as president of the united states. we could have had the same policies if we had an actual republican out of many of the ones we had running that were qualified and understood how to run government that didn't have porn star scandals, weren't liars, weren't under investigation for colluding with russians. >> he's not under investigation. >> don't even try that things are going well with tax cuts that this makes it all worth it. is it really? >> i think you could try that rhetoric on him. >> we need acts like the
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president of the stefsh. this -- then the people in that ral difficult. about. >> and he's still the president of the united states. you win the electoral college vote. it worked for clinton, it worked for obama, it worked for bush and it worked for him. so get over it. >> what is this, get over what? i'm just supposed to be okay with the president of the united states being like that. >> he's cutting deals with north korea moving the embassy in jerusalem. he is doing positive things on an international stage, he's doing positive things on the domestic stachl you.
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>> the president is behaving like an authoritarian. i'm upset about the fact that the support more concerned about crowd size and performing for people than he is about gove governing about what's in the best interest of the country. that's what i'm upset about. >> that was a political rally. that is what the president needed to do. >> he behaves like a reality show joker. >> he's not doing that. i'm sorry you feel so passionate about the situation. get over it, he won. >> the united states is being disrespected every day while he performs as a big lounge act and the rule of law, the constitution doesn't seem to matter to the president of the united states as long as his own ego is fed. >> it matters to the people who voted for him as president. >> i appreciate both your points of view.
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>> thank you very much. more traces of a deadly nerve agent found in the u.k. could they be learning more about a brazen murder plot against a former russian spy? why robert mueller says the probe is n russian meddling probe is not a witch hunt. do. crowne plaza. we're all business, mostly.
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for your chance to win a free treatment. hello, everyone, welcome back. i'm fredricka whitfield in new york. president trump pushing back on a report in the "new york times" that claims he is looking to add an impeachment lawyer to the white house team. the newspaper says the president met with lawyer emmett flood in the oval office. he represented former president bill clinton during the impeachment process. trump reacting in a tweet, saying, i am very happy with my lawyers john dowd, ty cobb and jay sekulow. they are doing a great job and have shown conclusively that there was no collusion with russia, just excuse for losing.
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here to break it all down for us, cnn legal analyst page pate. he is a constitutional attorney. good to see you. so what do you believe that meeting in the white house between emmett flood has meant, if that meeting did indeed happen what that means? >> reporter: itthe meeting did happen, and it's not at all unusual that the president would be considering bringing on additional counsel as this investigation moves to another stage. we know that ty cobb was involved in producing documents to the special counsel's office, arranging for certain white house interviews, but now that the special counsel's office is getting indictments, getting guilty pleas and moving toward a considerable indictment within
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the people in the white house now, it certainly makes sense to consider a lawyer who has been through this process before, including an impeachment process. >> they met last year and emmett flood said, no, not interested in working with him. why would he this time, in your view? >> i don't know. it's easy to see why a lawyer would not be apprehensive representing the president. but it's the type of case if you do this work and you're involved in washington legal matters, and you want to have a potential impeachment case, you would have to jump at the chance to represent the president, as difficult of a client as he appears to be. >> so meantime, former trump aide sam nunberg is talking about his grand jury testimony.
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listen. >> there was nothing subjective. they didn't want to know my opinion, they didn't want to know what i think happened. >> for facts. >> what did i know, what was this, what was that, what did you see here, what didn't you see, and that was it. there was nothing there from what they wanted to know from me where they were looking once aga again, sam, what do you think? what do you think about this? >> did you refuse to answer any questions? >> absolutely not. they don't ask me anything about obstruction of justice because i wasn't in the white house and i wouldn't know anything about obstruction of justice. they didn't ask me, so i'm also saying this isn't a witch hunt. the taxpayers are getting their money's worth. >> so what's your reaction to that? >> well, i think it's been clear to most of us who are watching the special counsel's investigation that it is not a witch hunt. robert mueller has been very methodical about going through the evidence, gathering documents, taking testimony under oath. he's produced indictments, he's
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produced guilty pleas. i don't think there's ever been a realistic concern by people watching this investigation that it is a witch hunt. now, it's interesting how nunnberg's comments now are very different than what he was saying before, when he entered into the grand jury. >> now being part of that is what he gets now. if the facts lead to that there was collusion, robert mueller is going to pursue it. if the facts aren't there, he's not going to pursue it. he's not out there to. >> all right, page pate, thank you so much. all eyes on what has become a crucial presidential race in pennsylvania. why it hearts and what it could mean for the 2018 midterms, next. ending time with the grandkids... ♪ music
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i won this district by 22 points. that's a lot. that's why i'm here. look at all those red hats, rick. look at all those hats. that's a lot of hats. >> let's get more on this critical congressional race. cnn's jason carroll is covering this special election for us in pennsylvania. jason, the president easily won this district when he ran. is the gop confident that their candidate can win this time? >> reporter: well, if they were so confident, one might say that the president would not have paid the district not just one, but two visits. obviously the one last night. obviously there is some concern here. look, there's been some talk within gop circles that rick saccone has run a lackluster campaign, that despite some fundraising, he didn't do all he could do. he thought all he could do was ride the president's coattails onto a win. clearly that's not the case. the polls show this race is much closer than it should be given that you heard the president say he won this district by some 20
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points. so that's why you see the president coming in not once, but twice. the vice president coming in as well, all in an attempt to remind voters here why they supported trump, and the hopes that some of that energy will transfer over to rick saccone and defeat the man who just wrapped up here a short time ago, connor lamm. connor lamm getting the endorsement of the miners. really a feather in his cap in terms of this part of the county. you'll recall this part of the county is very rural, there are a lot of trump democrats in this part of the county. you heard president trump on many occasions talk about the mining industry, so there was some thought that the mining community would be behind rick saccone. but not necessarily the case. a lot of folks that just came out that we spoke to said they liked connor lamm, had to say especially when it came to the idea of protecting their pensions. if connor lamm, frederica, has
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any shot of having an upset, he'll have to win over some of those trump democrats that fredricka? >> jason carroll, thanks so much for that. the state of california is locked in a bitter battle of words and will with the u.s. justice department over immigration. it started when the justice department sued the state of california over a series of laws that allows state officials to limit the information they share with federal immigration officials. u.s. attorney general jeff sessions blasted the law saying they undermine federal policies, even going as far as to caulll elected officials radical extremists. and last night the president took aim at the mayor in oakland, california to warn the citizens there that i.c.e. officials would be carrying out raids in their city. >> in oakland uyou have a mayor. and she -- [ booing ]
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>> -- and she told people that we're going to be captured in a big rig, that there's going to be a raid. can't do it. you can't do it, folks. we've got to get smart. my administration believes our city should be safe havens for american people, not for american criminals, okay? not for american criminals. >> all right, i want to talk more about this with kevin deleone, a democratic member of the california state senate who, we should note, is also running for u.s. senate against incumbent diane feinstein. good to see you. you sent out a statement saying in part, it has become abundantly clear that attorney general jeff sessions and the trump administration are basing their law enforcement policies on principles of white supremacy, not american values, end quote. strong words. so why do you feel like these policies are based on white supremacy? >> well, good afternoon, fredricka. let me say this, that last night
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was, again, proof positive that this president demonstrated to the nation and the world that he is disconnected from reality. if this was about rounding up hardened, violent criminals, if it was about rounding up ms-13 gang members, he wouldn't be deporting clerks working a third shift at 7-eleven. he wouldn't be worrying about farm workers toiling under the hot sun delivering food to america, abandoning their children voluntarily and being arrested at middle schools. he wouldn't be arresting a mother fleeing domestic violence. this isn't about going after hard and fast criminals, this is about going after immigrants around the world for ethnicity just because they look different than donald trump. he is stating his agenda on the
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principles of white supremacy. >> in recent days, i.c.e. agents carried out a series of operations and 42 people had criminal convictions and were filed for deportation or returned illegally. these people are simply seeing the consequences of breaking the laws. do you agree with that? >> let me say this. no one is ever going to argue that we should remove anyone who is a hard and violent criminal. it doesn't matter if you're from the united kingdom, mexico or elsewhere. jeff sessions as u.s. attorney general has been focusing on hardworking mothers and fathers. that's why they're very upset with the great state of california. the bottom line is that california is not going to lift a single finger or spend a cent
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by taking children away from their mothers or fathers. we'll remove these individuals and send them back to the city, representing fathers dropping off their daughters at elementary school or farmworkers toiling under the hot sun, you can count us out. >> the l.a. times is saying they received $18.2 million to criminal justice programs and 32 california counties received grant funding. do you think it's right if they pull more money? >> those dollars belong to the people of california, first and foremost. secondly, withholding those dollars by weapon nooizing federal funds. it's illegal. it's unconstitutional. we filed it under another title
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and when they attempt to weaponize these dollars from police officers, they're going after human traffickers, drug traffickers, international drug cartels as well as terrace cells. they're going out of their way to hurt americans and they're going out of their way to hurt californians. >> california senator kevin deleone, thank you so much. >> fredricka, thank you. restaurant customers in who may have been exposed to a nerve agent by a russian spy. tonight "cnn presencnn pres the most powerful man in history." . take a look.
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cnn international correspondent phil black joins me now, so phil, how concerned should people be who were in these areas? >> fredricka, the authorities here stress repeatedly that this is a precaution. they think that the risk is theoretical, and really, it's long term. what they're worried about is what they describe as trace contamination. they found it in the restaurant behind me, a pub around the corner, a trace contamination harming people by the russian spy and his daughter. people were in these two establishments last sunday when they were there as well. what they worry about is if they've got it on their clothes or possessions, and if they're coming into contact with it, even just a small amount, in a small period of time suggests
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that the nerve agent itself was not fast-acting. it paints a scenario of those facts alone whereby sergei and his daughter were exposed to this substance on a sunday, perhaps over the course of the afternoon. they were in the pub for some hours before making their way out to the bench behind me. that's where they were found to be stricken with the serious effects of the agent. that's when the alarm was raised. it points to a slow-acting nerve agent, not a fast-acting one. >> then russian intelligence saying russia is a leading suspect in all of this? >> yeah, and angry denials from russia, even though they haven't been formally accused of anything. but there's no doubt people in this country are talking about russia. in the media, politicians in parliament, but crucially not the government, not the investigators, not the police. they say they're in the process of building the information,
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continuing the investigation before they decide who they believe was responsible. but the shadow of russia hangs over all this because of their experience with chemical weapons like nerve agents and because of a similar case in london back in 2006 where another former russian agent was poisoned, but in that case the weapon of choice was a radioactive poison. russia insists it had nothing to do with that case and it's got nothing to do with this one as well, fred. >> phil black, thank you so much. and we'll be right back. that's confident. but it's not kayak confident. kayak searches hundreds of travel sites to help me plan the best trip. so i'm more than confident. forgot me goggles. kayak. search one and done.
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politics as legendary as kennedy. and while you know their name, you may not know their whole story. tonight, cnn's new original series, "american dynasties: the kennedys" sheds new light on the iconic family and the ways their personal relationships impacted public life on a global scale. cnn's dana bash recently sat down with kick kennedy, bobby kennedy's granddaughter, and kick interviewed dana about some of her memories covering the kennedy family. take a look. >> thank you, dana, for coming in today. i'm really excited to talk to you. >> my pleasure. it's so nice to meet you. >> so i heard a pretty incredible story, which is that my great grandfather played a role in helping your grandmother emigrate to the u.s. during world war ii. >> mm-hmm. >> how did that happen? >> not just that, kick, your great grandfather saved my grandmother's life. he personally did it. this is the lore of my family. and we went back and looked at some of my grandmother's notes.
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she was austrian. it was the throes of world war ii. she was jewish. her parents sent her to england to basically be a nanny, to work as a domestic, just to get her out. and while she was there, her parents somehow got to the united states. she was still in england, desperately trying to get a visa to the u.s. my grandmother went to the embassy where your great grandfather was ambassador. she was relentless and the story is that she finally got in to see your great grandfather and he approved it, he personally approved the visa. >> wow. >> the story she used to tell is that your great grandfather said, all right, little lady, you've got moxie, i'll let you go. >> so fast forward a few decades, and your grandma is covering joe's son, ted. you said you've learned a lot from that experience.
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what are some lasting lessons? >> i learned so much just by observing your uncle ted, ted kennedy. he was the master legislator. and what was so remarkable about him was that he was the most partisan of democrats, but he also was somebody who understand that you can't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. >> wow. all so fascinating. be sure to tune in, "american dynasties: the kennedys" appears tonight, 9:00 p.m., only on cnn. all right, coming up, president trump unscripted. was his 75-minute torrent of name calling and musings a preview of what the 2018 midterms may bring? details when we come back. people confuse nice and kind. but they're different. it's nice to remove artificial ingredients. kind never had to. we choose real ingredients like almonds, peanuts and a drizzle of dark chocolate. find your favorite
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hello and thanks for joining me on this sunday. i'm pamela brown in for fredricka whitfield. a lot going on today, despite five guilty pleas and more than a dozen indictments, including against russians, president trump tweeted his lawyers, quote, have shown conclusively, there was no collusion with russia. well, it's just the latest inaccuracy that he's been hurling after his nearly 90-minute vent session on the stump. he not only cited some fake news, fake facts, could we call it, but also delivered some really insight on what his 2018 campaign trail may look like as republicans face midterm elections. the president unleashed, improvising


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