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tv   Inside Politics  CNN  August 31, 2018 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ [ cheers and applause ]
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>> my, my, my, my, my. >> bringing people to their feet at the greater grace temple there, nashville's faith hill. all in celebration of aretha franklin. before faith hill, starting out her song saying this is for you, aretha. hello, everyone. i'm fredricka whitfield in detroit here, as we continue to watch this ceremony, just now getting under way. people on their feet, fired up, celebrating the life of the queen of soul. during this ceremony today, during this service today, it will be a star-powered celebration of life. only fitting for a queen. former president bill clinton we saw in the crowd earlier. hillary clinton along with him. ariana grande also, who will be singing during this tribute. you're looking at pictures right now live inside the greater grace temple church. family members, friends, and thousands of fans who were
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unexpectedly allowed into the private ceremony, are packed inside there. there were people who were standing outside as early as yesterday, lining up, hoping they'd get a chance to be inside. whoopi goldberg is also there. the list is long of amazing luminaries here to celebrate the impact of aretha franklin. in addition to the remarks expected from the former president bill clinton, these speakers will be talking about their personal experiences, how she's made an impact, not just on their lives but on so many throughout this world. reverend jesse jackson also among the dignitaries. smokey robinson, who's spoken the last couple weeks so beautifully about their relationship going back to their childhood years. jennifer hudson, stevie wonder. i spoke earlier to shirley
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caesar, who spoke about what it was like to grow up with aretha franklin and being invited to the white house. influential pastor bishop t.d. jakes was part of the opening remarks. let's listen in. >> from the palaces in england singli singing for the queen, to popping up in the backseat of a car in the middle of a commercial, aretha was everywhere. she was classy enough to sing on the most prominent stages in the world, but she was homegrown enough to make potato salad and fry some chicken. in a class all by herself. >> a funeral fit for a queen. aretha franklin's body was bought to this church in a
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24-karat gold plated casket. the legendary singer who transcended so many genres died earlier this month at the age of 76 after advanced pancreatic cancer. there have been thousands of people who have come out here at the church who celebrated her life. if you have been anywhere close to detroit in the last two weeks, you will see it. it is palpable that people have been touched by aretha franklin in so many different ways. last night, downtown detroit was awash in pink. at the general motors building, they had a big jumbotron spelling out r-e-s-p-e-c-t.
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ryan young joins me now. you've talked to the crowd. what's motivated them to come out here and pay their respects at the greater grace temple church? what have folks told you? >> absolutely. i went inside just a few minutes ago. i was walking around myself. people are in awe inside this church. one lady telling me, look, we knew this was going to start late. this may go all night because that's what we do sometimes. this may be like an easter service. you got to understand, sometimes you got to stretch it a little longer. they understand with some of the powerful pastors that have come here, they believe this could go longer than what's been put out there. on top of that, there's a lot of people who believe aretha had that voice that was unbelievable, in terms of the fact she was anointed by god. you hear that a lot. in terms of the passion, in terms of the spirit of people, they believe in the gospel. at the end of the day, we were talking to people who were standing in line. they said, if she could endure so much, why can't i stand in
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line a little longer? one woman was telling me she got here yesterday around 5:00 because she heard the rumor they were going to make it inside. there were so many people with walkers and canes. they wanted to be able to pay their respects. they believe this is the last time they'll be able to see someone from this generation so closely, the idea she would be close here, would never leave detroit. detroit has had some hard times. a lot of people are taking pride in how downtown is coming back. they want to see the rest of the city come back. but they believe aretha was there with them. the songs, you'll think about them. "respect," "bridge over troubled waters." that's the idea here, where they believe she was the gap sometimes that helped them get through life. we talked to one young man who said he was thinking about committing suicide, but it was her voice that was able to guide him through. so there's that passion here. there's that emotion that you cannot deny. a lot of this people have been doing with smiles because they just wanted to be together and talk about the culture and how things have changed. think about the idea of this. there were times aretha franklin
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would go on tour to raise money for the civil rights movement. people have never forgotten that. they've never forgotten the fact she also fed the homeless in this community. when you stitch all that together, you have a woman who had service but also had a lot of respect from the people in this community in a different way. she never got too hollywood for detroit, and that's something you see here today. but they're going all out, including with the shoes that everyone is talking about, all those costume changes. it's part of the diva. it's part of the queen of soul. that's what people enjoy so much. >> she was glamorous, and people enjoyed that. they enjoyed the fur coat wearing, even if it were 80 or 90 degrees, dropping it on the floor was quintessential aretha franklin. you really underscore how she touched so many lives. yesterday when i had the opportunity to go into the church, the first thing you're met with is the wafting beauty of lilies and roses. i read some of the cards coming from barbara streisand, from rod
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stewart, from the ray charles foundation, blessings and condolences. also from the rock and roll hall of fame, on behalf of your family and rock and roll hall of fame, we send our deepest sympathies. so many people touched in so many different ways. and her legacy is being celebrated today. ryan young, we'll check back with you. thank you so much. as the program inside continues, coming up, the nation honors an american hero and a political legend and giant, senator john mccain, now lying in state at the u.s. capitol. house speaker paul ryan calling mccain, quote, one of the bravest souls our nation has ever produced. stay with us as we celebrate the lives of two american titans. you wouldn't accept an incomplete job from any one else. why accept it from your allergy pills? flonase sensimist relieves all your worst symptoms,
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honoring a hero. today we have been watching capitol hill. we've been watching the ceremony there for john mccain, lying in state in the capitol rotunda right now. you see from earlier, senate majority leader mitch mcconnell and minority leader chuck schumer both presenting the wreath. it's a break in protocol at the behest of john mccain himself, who wanted one final act of bipartisanship in his honor. dignitaries and family members gathering to remember the inspirational senator and passionate statesman with kind words, fond memories, and hopes for honoring his legacy. later today, the doors will open for the public to allow all americans who wish to come and pay their final respects to a war hero and dedicated public servant, a true patriot. here with me to share their reporting and insights, michael warren of the weekly standard, cnn's abby philip, and julie pace of the associated press.
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thank you so much for being here. i just got a text that cindy mccain is still on capitol hill, and she's about to go with lindsey graham, john mccain's best friend in the senate, to address snavenator mccain's sta. then they're going to go on to the senate floor. cindy mccain is going to visit the desk of her husband, where he spent so much time, participated in so many debates, gave so many impassioned speeches, but is now draped with a black cloth and white flowers. a very, very moving day, to say the least. >> well, in the image you just showed of chuck schumer and mitch mcconnell walking together, i think what has been so nice in this really difficult week for so many people in washington and around the country is to see that those moments are still possible. sometimes it takes something like the death of senator mccain to put them back on the table, but we've just been in such a fractured environment here in
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washington. i think that is sort of mccain's final wish for washington, that we can get back to a place -- it will take a lot, but to see those simple moments, that's a wonderful legacy he's left us with. >> and i've also been thinking a lot about the mccain family and how difficult this whole week must be for them. even for cindy mccain to at every moment always be honoring what she knew her husband would want, honoring his memory, honoring his staff, honoring the things that he loved, and doing it in ways that have got to be difficult for her. earlier this week, she tweeted out a photo of his desk and used a tearful emoticon because it was heartbreaking. as much as that place meant a lot to john mccain, it must be very difficult to see it draped in black and for her to go through these, day after day, to touch his coffin every day. it really is something i think this family is obviously
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sacrificing even more now in these final moments for the man that they loved. >> you have to wonder, the people here today listening to this memorial, if anybody is taking this to heart right now, with washington being such a bitterly divided partisan city with the ongoing -- the president attacking special counsel robert mueller, the midterm elections coming up, republicans not pushing back on their president even though a lot of them disagree with him, democrats corralling in their own corner, becoming further and further to the left. you have to wonder if anybody is stopping and saying, okay, mccain was the best of bipartisanship. what can we learn from him? are we going to take this forward? i think that's what a lot of people are wondering. i don't know if it changes anything here on dpcapitol hill. at least for a day we have that solidarity. >> i think for a moment we can put cynicism aside. i know that you all have talked to members of congress of both parties who right now are genuinely reflecting on what you just said, genuinely saying we
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have to try to do better. whether they can achieve that is a different story. there are so many outside forces that have grown even more powerful over the years that even john mccain faced in a big way when he had to run for re-election against a fellow republican. it was the toughest race of his life a few years ago for re-election in the senate. but i think at least there is a sense for now that they want to try. >> right. and i think this is -- you're seeing this in the bipartisan laying of the wreath. a lot of focus obviously because senator mccain is lying on state in the capitol on his role and his life and career in washington. but i was struck watching this. many of the veterans in the cabinet or in congress who stopped by the casket and saluted. just another aspect of this incredible man's life that has been commemorated throughout this week and will obviously be commemorated when his body is laid to rest in annapolis.
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but it is almost as if john mccain were president in the full life he led that is bringing all these people to commemorate that complete life before washington and now here. >> he is getting the sendoff of a president. there's no question. he tried twice. he failed twice. he was the first to remind everybody of that. but he had such an impact without reaching that highest office in the land. you're right. i should say, i'm not sure we're going to get a picture of it because the rules of television cameras in the senate chamber are very strict and limited, but i just got a text as you were speaking that senator lindsey graham and cindy mccain are making their way in a matter of seconds to the desk of john mccain on the senate floor. we're going to be watching that and monitoring it. we're going to take a quick break. stay with us.
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♪ ♪ ♪ before the day i met you my life was so unkind ♪ ♪ but you're the key to my peace of mind ♪ ♪ you make me feel you make me feel ♪ ♪ you make me feel like a natural woman ♪ ♪ when my soul was in the lost and found ♪ ♪ you came along to claim it ♪
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♪ i didn't know just what was wrong with me ♪ ♪ until your kiss helped me name it ♪ ♪ now i'm no longer doubtful of what i'm living for ♪ ♪ and if i make you happy i don't need to do more ♪ ♪ you make me feel you make me feel ♪ ♪ you make me feel like a natural woman ♪ ♪ oh, baby, look what you've done to me ♪ ♪ you make me feel
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so good inside ♪ ♪ and i just want to be close to you ♪ ♪ you make me feel so alive ♪ ♪ you make me feel you make me feel ♪ ♪ you make me feel like a natural woman, woman ♪ ♪ you make me feel you make me feel ♪ ♪ you make me feel like a natural woman, woman ♪ ♪ you make me feel you make me feel ♪ ♪ you make me feel like a natural woman ♪
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>> a moving rendition of "natural woman" from ariana grande. she was a late add. oh, let's listen in right now. >> i have to brush up. my 28-year-old daughter tells me, you're old at 60. when i saw ariana grande on the program, i thought that was a new something at taco bell. girl, let me give you all your respect. did y'all enjoy this icon? she's an icon herself. come on, make her feel loved at greater grace temple. >> we love you, aretha. >> please receive one of the greatest voices. >> all right. pastor ellis there, the pastor of this greater grace temple. a little humor there at the end
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of ariana grande's performance. she was a late add to this program, this star-studded program, this tribute to aretha franklin, particularly after her rendition of "natural woman" went viral after being on jimmy fallon's show shortly after aretha franklin's death. let's talk about how aretha franklin, the woman, the music symbolizes her in so many ways. the woman, her music, what she brought to the american culture as a whole. i want to bring in a couple experts here. aretha franklin biographer and friend, david ritz as well as reporter with the detroit news. let's talk about how important it is that you've got talent representing so many different types of music paying tribute to aretha franklin through song and through their personal accounts of how it she made an impression on them.
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>> well, she's a -- she's epic. you know, this is an epic moment in american history. it's the end of an era. she was born out of the golden age of soul. it's like this golden age is never going to end. my feeling generally about being in detroit is she's alive. she's alive in everybody's heart. she's alive in everybody's t-shirts. she's alive in the pink cadillac. she's alive, she's alive, she's alive. and so there's joy. that's what i'm kind of feeling in everybody's heart, that she's alive. >> and you can probably depict just how alive aretha franklin is in this town. you wrote an article about the ten places, you know, that are defined by aretha franklin, starting with her family home. i got a chance to see it yesterday. i wasn't the only one with that idea because there were a lot of other folks who came out just to see the home she lived in and was shaped by.
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but you can drive around so many parts of detroit, and you can better explain it, how her impressions are so deep on so much of detroit, that this really is a heartfelt outpouring. >> i've never seen such an outburst of emotion city wide for anything, really. i went to the dentist yesterday. i went to my favorite mexican place. people are talking about it. you hear aretha franklin songs, just bits of her life beyond the music. so it really is a joyous week of people having the chance to celebrate and the feedback they're getting from the national response, the international response, i think is also very positive. just a reminder of how important she was in american life. the ten places i thought was great just to document the history. the house we referred to, the
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people who brought it from her didn't even know she lived there. >> i happened to talk to one of the women who lives there. she said when we first bought this home five years ago, we didn't even know it was the franklin house. not at first, but we finally got hip to it. what a national treasure, that piece of real estate. and that it would be sold and purchased, and the purchaser wouldn't even know. >> i just thought it was important to document. also, it really does show the relationship she has with the city and the deep relationship she had with her father. she was a child prodigy. the church of her father, she started to sing when she was 5 or 6. >> yeah, it's extraordinary. th >> they recorded her at 14. all the brilliance is are there. >> the new bethel baptist church was one of those locations. you also mentioned the co-host
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center. i-94, i-75. i kid you not when i was driving on 94, it made me want to start singing "riding on a freeway." you just can't help it. you feel her presence. >> yeah, i mean, it was nice to -- detroit is going through a comeback, but it was nice, some of the places she lived and touched are now part of that comeback. so it was nicetodocumentthe important history of those neighborhoods, especially to the black middle class. her house you mentioned was a salon of musical luminaries. sam cook. the list went on and on of the people who would visit her and her father, who was a very national figure in the black panthers church. >> and she spoke o eloquently over the years talking about how much joy she had in being in
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that home to see all of these people she idolized, who would come by. david, you were a ghostwriter of her first biography. you heard this account firsthand. >> the other i think i would emphasize, and i think it's part of why everybody is so happy this week and joyful, she was confident. she was not an insecure woman. she was not an insecure vocalist. i don't know if we have time for this really short anecdote. >> which is why that song "natural woman" really seems to be so authentic. >> exactly. but you know, the story i want to tell, she goes to the grammys. she's learned the song, but it's a different key. she has ten minutes to learn the new arrangement in a different
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key. she goes out into an international audience. she crushes it. >> which surprised so many because they didn't realize the range. >> and i asked her afterwards, i said, how did you do that? she said, i closed my eyes, and i remembered what it was like to be in my father's church when i was 12 years old. so that confidence that she got as a child kept her strong her whole life. >> i remember seeing one of her quote where is she talked about -- the question was asked, how do you do that? she says her music is coming from deep within. she is emoting her own personal experience through song, through everything. and what about, you know, her philanthropy? there have been so many people
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who have talked about how much she would give, not just in music and song, but how she would mentor, how she would invite people into her home. among the places you talked about, the ten places, were the towers, the riverside towers, her last residence. she almost had an open-door policy, from what i understand. >> it was interesting, too, how many people, even though it was an open secret and how many people still guarded her privacy, even though many people knew she lived there, but they always seemed to have some sort of reverence. they didn't want anyone to come in and bother her, but they knew if they wanted assistance, especially a musical one, that she seemed pretty open to it. >> louis, david, we're going to take a short break. we're going to continue to monitor the service inside. you can see people are moved.
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they are clapping. they're on their feet. they are feeling it. they are feeling aretha franklin. they are feeling the love that is coming from this ceremony today. and you see former president bill clinton. he'll be coming up. this is just the introduction to so much more that we'll all be experiencing here. we'll be right back after this. chair, new laptop, 24/7 tech support. yep, thanks guys. i think he might need some support. yes. start them off right, with the school supplies they need at low prices all summer long. now save $150 on this dell notebook at office depot officemax. grandma, why were you not ready for thei was.re? you look like you're frowning. no, i'm not. see my jheri curl? ancestry now has over 300,000 yearbooks from all across the country.
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dear friends and family of aretha, michelle and i extend our heartfelt sympathies to all of those who gathered in detroit, and we join you in remembering and celebrating the life of the queen of soul. from a young age, aretha franklin rocked the world of anyone who had the pleasure of hearing her voice, whether bringing people together through thrilling intersections of genres or advancing important causes through the power of song, aretha's work reflected the very best of the american story. in all of its hope and heart, its boldness and its unmistakable beauty. in the example she set both as an artist and a citizen, aretha embodied those most revered virtues of forgiveness and
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reconciliation. while the music she made captured some of our deepest human desires, namely affection and respect, and through her voice, her own voice, aretha lifted those of millions, empowering and inspiring the vulnerable, the downtrodden, and everyone who may have just needed a little love. aretha truly was one of a kind, and as you pay tribute, know we'll be saying a little prayer for you scene we'll be thinking of all of aretha's loved ones in the days and weeks to come. sincerely, barack obama. >> please receive mo town great, detroit's own, smokey robinson.
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>> celebrated by presidents who are there and a president who's not there. you saw reverend al sharpton reading a letter from president obama. now smokey robinson, good friend of aretha franklin. >> i kept looking at them and looking at smokey, and i said, i want what you eating and drinking. give smokey robinson a hand. he'll be followed by the clark sisters. >> i didn't know where you were going to go with that. so i'm about 8 years old, and i'm outside and playing with my
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neighborhood friends. we're shooting marbles because it was in a time where kids were able to play outside. i don't know if boys know what that is anymore. richard ross, another one of our friends, came around. there's a new guy with him. he said this is cecil. so we all, you know, like boys do, started playing. after a while, we went around to see cecil's new house because they had just moved to detroit from buffalo. and we go in and we're walking around the house looking. i'm seeing stuff i had never seen. wasn't anything like my house. somebody broke into my house, they better be bringing something. anyway, we're walking around the house, and i hear music, the piano being played.
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and this voice sounds like a little girl singing. i go and look in that room, and i see you. you're there and you're singing. that was my first meeting, my first sight of you. from that moment on, almost, we have been so, so close. and so tight. i didn't know especially this soon that i was going to be having to say good-bye to you or farewell or whatever we've seen, everybody, all the people i mentioned earlier pass on an go. we talked about it many times, how we were the two who were left out of all our neighborhood friends. we were the longest ones. we weren't the only two left, but we were the longest ones. so now my longest friend has
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gone home, and you went to be with our father like we all have to do one of these days. i know you're up there and you're celebrating with your family and with all of our neighborhood friends who have gone, and you're going to be one of the featured voices in the choir of angels because, you know, you'd have to be. [ applause ] you know, i've been on the road, and i've been watching the celebration of your life from everywhere. i've been doing interviews from everywhere, from all over the world. in fact, the last one i did was from brazil. the station that i was talking on covered all of south america. so the world is celebrating you, and the world is mourning you
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and the world is going to miss you. i know that i'm going to misyou so much because i miss our talks. and we would talk for hours sometimes, just talking about really anything we wanted to talk about or nothing. the last conversation we had, you were telling me you were getting ready to do your movie, and you wanted to know who i wanted to play me. so i told you i was going to leave that up to you. you're so special. a while back we did a mini series on the temptations. for that movie, i did the score, and i had to write a song for
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melvin franklin, another one of our close people. i'm sure he won't mind if i sing a little bit of it for you because it fits you so perfectly in my life. ♪ really going to miss you it's really going to be different without you ♪ ♪ for the rest of my life going to be thinking about you ♪ ♪ i'll miss you my buddy ♪ ♪ i'll miss you my friend ♪ ♪ i know that my love for you will never end ♪
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♪ will never end i'm going to love you forever. [ applause ] >> an improvised tribute to his childhood friend. that from smokey robinson to aretha franklin. we continue with this beautiful celebration of the life of the queen of soul from detroit. we'll be right back. (vo) when bandits stole the lockbox from the wells fargo stagecoach, agent beekman was one step ahead of them. because he hid his customers' gold in a different box. and the bandits, well, they got rocks. we protected your money then and we're dedicated to helping protect it today. like alerting you to certain card activity we find suspicious. if it's not your purchase, we'll help you resolve it. it's a new day at wells fargo. but it's a lot like our first day.
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congressional testimony by justice department official bruce ohr. i want to bring in cnn's justice department correspondent evan perez. what more can you tell us about this? >> reporter: well, bruce ohr went in for an interview with the house earlier this week, dana, and in that interview is when he described what happened in this breakfast in july of 2016. obviously this is right at the beginning of when this russia investigation was being -- was started by the fbi. he met in london with christopher steele, according to his testimony to the house members, and he described that christopher steele essentially said that the russians -- he had information that the russians, at least the russian intelligence services, believed they had, quote, donald trump over a barrel. now, we don't know much more about this breakfast, whether christopher steele provided any evidence of this, but we also
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know that over the period of months that followed this meeting in london that christopher steele put together what we now know as the dossier, this series of memos describing different connections between donald trump, people with the trump campaign, and russians close to the kremlin. so it is the beginning, it appears of these allegations becoming part of what became -- or now what is the russia investigation looming over the presidency of donald trump. >> evan, thank you so much for that reporting. appreciate it. back here with our panel, julie, i want to start with you. your organization, the associated press, first broke the story. evan has confirmed it as well. also should say that christopher steele is about as controversial a figure in this whole saga as they come. that says a lot because there are a lot of controversial figures. but describe the significance of what bruce ohr said under oath about what christopher steele
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told him that the russians thought of donald trump. >> sure. this is important because bruce ohr did say this under oath. it's also notable because both christopher steele and bruce ohr are becoming the targets for president donald trump. steele obviously has been a target of republicans and the white house for some time, but now they're trying to make bruce ohr someone else who they're trying to deem as not credible, as someone who's politically motivated. it's important to note what we don't know about this. we don't know why christopher steele said this. we don't know if russian intelligence told him this directly. we don't know if he learned this from another source, but he was pretty plain spoken based on what our sources have told us in telling bruce ohr that russian intelligence believed they had donald trump over a barrel. that was the assessment of russian intelligence at the time. given the context of this whole investigation, it is quite a significant assessment. >> real quick, abby, this goes to the heart of what was the initial reason for this investigation. the question of not just collusion but whether or not there was something deeper going
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on that we don't know the answer to. there's no evidence the answer to that is yes. yet we have this testimony. >> i think at the time what the fbi was dealing with was someone in christopher steele who while he's controversial now was at that time someone who they believed was a fairly reliable source of intelligence for them on other matters, coming to them with this information that they probably rightfully found to be alarming, and it kicked off this, you know, month-long investigation that we're now facing, but the president is going back and looking at that and saying he had a vendetta against me. >> okay. thank you so much. sorry for this abbreviated program. a lot going on. wolf blitzer picks up right after a break. kenmore at sears.e 4 benefits fm up to fifty percent off appliances with your sears card. like this washer and dryer for $539.99 each. and this refrigerator for $899.99.
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♪ ♪ the clark sisters paying tribute to aretha franklin. hello. i'm wolf blitzer. it's 1:00 p.m. here in washington. wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks very much for joining us. it's truly a

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