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tv   CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield  CNN  November 18, 2018 12:00pm-1:00pm PST

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a book that you're ready to share with the world? get published now, call for your free publisher kit today! . hello again, everyone. thanks for being with me. breaking right now, a war of words between president trump and the man who oversaw the raid that killed osama bin laden. in an interview on fox news, trump criticized the military for not having killed bin lad in
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sooner and dismissed them as a hillary clinton backer. >> navy s.e.a.l., 37 years and former head of -- >> hillary clinton fan. excuse me. hillary clinton fan. >> led and the operations and killed osama bin laden said your sentiment is the greatest threat to democracy. >> he's a hillary clinton backer. and an obama backer. frankly -- >> he's a navy s.e.a.l. >> wouldn't it be nice if we got osama bin laden a lot sooner than that. >> admiral william mccraven saying this. i i did not back hillary clinton or anyone else. i am a fan of president obama & i admire all president who is uphold the dignity of the office and use that office to bring
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"people" together. i stand by my comment that the president's attack on the media is the greatest threat to our democracy in our lifetime. when you undermine the people's right to a free press and freedom of speech and express, you threaten the constitution and all for which it stands. that from admiral mcraven in that interview. wide ranging interview on fox. let's discuss this with cnn military analyst. you served with mcraven in iraq and tweeted out saying having served with raven in iraq, he is one of the best leaders and selfless servants i have ever met. not a political bone in his body. what do you make of this back and forth? >> i'm going to reinforce what i said about bill mcravens. he is an unbelievable patriot and true servant not of a president, but the constitution of the united states.
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military people vowed to support and defend. he has been vocal about that when he has seen elements of the coconstitution being driven down and dismissed by the current president. we served about the same amount of time together. he came in probably either under president fort or president nixon and served multiple presidents in his time in service. he was a fan, as i am, of both president bush and president obama. we served under him under both of them in combat and saw that like any president, they have all sorts of really difficult requirements and decisions. we don't agree with everything they do and say, but if they uphold the office of the president and the constitution, that is most important. >> as a veteran, what comes across your mind when you hear a sitting president dismiss an
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admiral, retired admiral who oversaw these incredible operations, such risk taking operations and criticize him over politics. >> i would use one word and that's disgusting. bill mcraven is the guy who led the bin laden raid, but he was the joint special operations commander in iraq. there were multiple missions where this guy was involve and placed himself in danger and led soldiers in the joint force in some of the most challenging situations you can imagine. for having someone like the president of the united states, a man had to holds an office and represent all people who said he supports the military to just dismiss this great american hero as a guy who was a hillary clinton lover which is patently
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not true is disgusting and unfortunate. it's just another day in the life of the trump administration, i guess. >> and this comes a week after there were observations and a lot of criticism about the president's handling of veteran's day weekend. not going to an american cemetery an hour or so outside of paris. then when getting back and not going to arlington national cemeteries. the president was asked about that in the wide ranging interview and this is what he had to say. >> i should have done that. i was extremely busy on calls for the country. we did a lot of calling, as you know. >> but this is veterans day. >> probably in retrospect i should have and i did last year. i will virtually every year. we had come in very late at night and i had just left the
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american cemetery in paris and i assumed that was fine. i was extremely busy because of affairs of state, doing other things. >> your thoughts? >> he's a factor of leadership. leaders know what to do, where to be, what things to say. in all three of those things, the president is currently a failure. it's more than just saying i support our troops. you have to understand what a leader of the military has to do, what they have to show. sometimes that's goibeing in pls where you don't want to be and you have a lot of other things on your mind and your plate. there are times when you need to be different places to show your respect. last weekend was one of the occasions where the president received a failing grade in many military people's view.
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it's just unfortunate. >> lieutenant general, thanks so much. >> thank you, fredricka. >> more breaking news, this time in the senate race in florida. bill nelson conceded to republican rick scott last hour. nelson has been a u.s. senator for nearly 18 years and he released this statement just moments ago. >> things worked out a little differently than grace and i had hoped, but i by no measure feel defeated because i had the privilege of serving the people of florida and our country for most of my life. i don't think anybody could have been as blessed. it's been a rewarding journey and humbling experience. i was not victorious in this race, but i wish to strongly reaffirm the cause for which we fought. a public office is a public trust.
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>> this happening after florida's recount ended today, showing governor rick scott leading by a little more than 10,000 votes. in tallahassee, ryan, after this concession, now what? >> in many ways this recount was dramatic in the early days. it ends with a wimper instead of a bang. a taped statement where he can officially concede the race and now we know that rick scott will be the next senator from florida. the numbers did change dramatically, but there was never any hope that there were enough votes out there for bill nelson to overcome rick scott's margin of victory. two exhaustive recounts for the votes cast here in florida. it went down to 10,000 votes,
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but not enough. rick scott will be the next senator. in terms of formality, the elections board here in florida will meet on tuesday to certify the results. that's just a formality. from the state of florida, what does this mean for florida going forward? this is still a 50-50 state. democrats had high hopes for bill nelson to hang on. they thought that andrew gillum who was an up and coming democratic star and had the potential to make history as the 50 governor, it didn't turn out that way. it was so, so close. it has been a while since democrats were able to win state-wide. the question is, are they competitive in 2020? this will be a very important state in the upcoming presidential election. >> the president is weighing in on this via twitter. from day one -- i'm quoting his
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tweet. rick scott never wavered. he was a great governor and will be a greater senator in representing the people of float. congratulations on having waged such a courageous and successful campaign. let's bring in our senior political reporter. the count is over and nelson conceded. any surprise here? it was going to be tough to try to find 14,000 votes and now there is a 10,000 vote difference between the winner and the who doesn't win. >> right. the relief here is he is not going to contest the election. this is finally over. some spotlight needs to be recast if it didn't cost bill nelson the election, it greatly cost him. he is down 10,033 votes in the
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final count, but if you do analysis on what the senate race would likely receive, nelson would have lot of by only 287 votes or if they performed like neighboring counties, he would have won by 627 votes. it's unfixable, but the broward county election supervisor's days are numbered. she signalled she might quit. we reported last week that either the governor-elect or rick scott after the recount willy is spend her from office and a lot of democrats support that idea. >> people voted for her. >> they did. the florida constitution gives the right to suspend the officer for incompetence as well as other things.
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the election supervisor was suspended for botching the 2002 democratic gubernatorial primary. there is both history in election supervisors in broward of botching election results and getting removed. incidentally, yesterday broward admitted we can't find 2000 ballots in the vote tally. and then the supervisor said the ballots are in the building. elections and election supervising are about tracking ballots. >> this doesn't help instill a lot of confidence in the voting public that wants to believe that they can count on the vote to be counted. quickly, there will be a lot of reflection on the election, but also on nelson who has been in office. he will be reflecting on what possibly went wrong.
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what are floater vote voters saying by sending rick nelson to the u.s. senate? >> what's wrong with the democratic party's pace? tend to under perform relative to their numbers compared to republicans. we heard the excuse there is not a true progressive. we had a true progressive in andrew gillum and a boring white guy in bill nelson and they still lost. they didn't come out in force compared to republicans. the democratic party needs to do some soul searching on how to motivate the base or how to change the base? right now it's not working. >> mark caputo, good to see you. thank you so much. straight ahead, devastation in california. 80 killed and 1300 missing. families of searching for
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quickbooks. backing you. the calamity from those massive wildfires in california is growing. 79 people are dead in wildfires across the state. 1300 people are missing. the deadliest fire now in state history is the so-called camp fire in northern california. thousands of people are now homeless, living in tents after the fire burned through more than 149,000 acres. it's only 60% contained. cnn is in chico, california talking to e vac yaues and what are they dealing with right now? >> we have a fluid situation where people in the parking lot of a wal-mart in chico are shifting. this is going very orderly and a larger tale can be told by a
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small picture. if you look, she set up a makeshift pet store. people could get the food they wanted and what's going on is the people in this wal-mart parking lot are going to move to some nearby grass. the sheriff said it was okay for them to stay on the grass. the grass is where the tent city is and a lot of people said they are going to stay and try to ride this out. real quick, i would like to clarify something. listening to the sheriff, he asked reporters as we told you to give context to this unaccounted for list. he was very, very firm in not saying they are miss and presumed dead and how many call or someone saying they saw someone down the street and there were duplicate names on it. we don't want to be alarmist in indicating there were a vast number of people missing and presumed dead. there were a bus with 22 children and two teachers and a
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bus driver. they were wondering what happened to this bus and at one point filled up with smoke. there were flame all around and the bus driver gave the shirt off his back. he had another, but her to one up and what he did was made makeshift respirator because children were starting to get tired and he was worried about them passing out. i will let him pick up the rest of the story. >> we started with doing this and said let's get a bunch of them. we have a finite amount of water and we were able to get the kids each a cover. that seemed to help. his quick thinking helped to get all these children to safety. those were the children whose parents could not get to the school, ponderosa elementary to pick them up in time. everybody is thrilled to hear how the bus made it out.
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>> i'm sure they can't thank him enough. incredible. lots of heroic moments just like that. thank you so much. thousands of californians are focussed on one thing. finding loved ones who are still missing. joining me via skype, she is still looking for her uncle missing in the camp fire. how are you doing? >> i'm doing good. how are you? >> i'm good. talk to me about how it is you go about trying to look for your uncle. what are you going through? >> so we just really right now it's facebook. there is a few groups on there, the camp fire information updates the missing persons groups. we go on both of the groups every day. every day really. we check the missing persons list to see if our uncle is on there and he keeps falling off. he has been off of it for about three days now. and i know that it's happened to
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a few other people. we are not really getting any information about how they are going through the process of finding people. we do know that his house has burned down and his car was in his garage. he is 66 and he has respiratory issues. also has back issues. we're just thinking there is no way he would have been able to make it out by himself. we have talked to his landlord since the fire and i know that some of the residents in that neighborhood were asking about my uncle and they had not seen him. we don't know if anyone got him out of there. we obviously haven't heart from him since the fire. so most of the information that we're getting is through facebook and everybody on facebook is really supportive.
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we are not the only family that still has family members who are missing. it's hard to get frustrated -- i mean we are frustrated at this point because he was on the missing persons list and me and my niece and other niece have gone physically to talk to the sheriffs department in butte county and they said they are going to put him back on the list and we also went to a fema site and we were told he was not on the list. they tried to put him on the list. >> me how agonizings tha s that. you are searching and doing everything you can think of from social media to going physically to the sheriff's office. me what your heart is feeling and what your head is telling you as you go through all of
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this to look for your uncle. >> my heart and my family's heart is telling us since he was not in the best of health he might not have made it through the fire, but just to have that 1% in those houses, we still have that 1% of hope that maybe he is in one of the shelters or maybe in a hospital and the hospital just hasn't told us yet. we have called all the hospitals and went to a shelter and called shelters. we haven't received any information. we are just hoping we get a call very soon from the sheriffs department just letting us know what is going on. was he in the house or not in the house? then we can start focusing on not being dead. that's what our perception is right now. he might be dead in his house.
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we are not getting any information. we are seeing the death toll rise and the missing people number rise and the list is just -- >> it's agonizing. we are hoping and praying for you, too, and your uncle. thank you so much. >> thank you. >> coming up next. lawmakers are fighting to protect robert mueller's investigation today. president trump promises not to get involved as his acting attorney general matthew whis kerr oversees that. a once-in-five hundred year storm should happen every five hundred years, right? fact is, there have been twenty-six in the last decade. allstate is adapting. with drones to assess home damage sooner. and if a flying object damages your car, you can snap a photo and get your claim processed in hours, not days. plus, allstate can pay your claim in minutes. now that you know the truth...
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president trump now says he probably won't sit are innage interview with special counsel, robert mueller. he finished writing answers to the questions about possible collusion and saying the answers would be commsubmitted before thanksgiving. in a new interview, the president said he has no plans to respond to questions in writing or in person. for more now, let's bring in boris sanchez. what else was said? >> president trump giving insight into his thoughts on the russia investigation at this point. notably going back on something he had been saying a few months ago. he was looking forward to sitting down on one for in person testimony. now the president is saying that is unlikely. it appears he listened to his attorney who is sources said suggested that would be aed about idea. the president instead suggesting
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he will hand over written answers within the next week or so. the president opening up about his new acting attorney general, matt whitaker. he put him into place after jeff sessions was forced out of the role. whitaker has been critical of the russia investigation going as far as to say it could be stifled by limiting funding for it. the president in this interview said he was not aware that whitaker had such strong stances, though he didn't answer when he learned of whitaker's positions. we learned when he was asked whether he believed that whitaker or whether he would intervene in the decisions on the russia probe. he said he would not. listen to this exchange. the president with chris wallace. >> if whitaker decides in any way to limit or curtail the mueller investigation, are you okay with that? >> it's up to him. i think he is very well aware
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politically. he's astute politically. he's a very smart person. a very respected person. i really believe he's going to do what's right. >> you won't overrule him? >> i would get get involved. all the people who say i'm going to end the investigation. they have been saying for how long has this witch hunt gone on? for what? >> the president adding he believed that the administration had wasted enough time on this witch hunt. i wanted to point something out. questions about matt whit ter to the president. philipp was asking himular questions. at the time the president attacked abby, suggesting her questions were stupid. fred? >> we remember. boris sanchez. thank you so much. president trump leaving the door open for new staff changes. we will talk about that with our panel, next.
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>> in a new interview with fox news, president trump hinted that more staff and cabinet members could be leaving the administration soon and gave warm reviews for chief of staff john kelly. the president's half hearted
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appraisal of the two keeps speculation alive that a white house shake-up could be in the works. >> i'm very happy with my cabinet other than a couple of exceptions and even they are not unhappy. >> back in july you said chief of staff john kelly will be here through 2020. can you still say that? >> i wouldn't -- look. we get along well. there are certain things i love what he does and certain things i don't like that he does. that aren't his strength. it's not that he works so hard. he is doing an excellent job in many ways. there are a couple of things that are not his strength. it's not his fault. it's not his strength. >> such as? >> i haven't thought of john in terms of this, but john will move on. >> with me now is jack kingston, a former republican congressman
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and strategist. good to see you both. that was not exactly a reigning endorsement. it left the door open for a lot there. what do you suppose will happen. >> you have to remember in these interviews president trump's whole philosophy on politics is not about being right or wrong, it's entertaining the crowd. whether it's mueller or talking about the cabinet, he is trying to distract us from what's going on within the administration. >> that are doesn't make you feel good, does it? >> it probably doesn't, but you know who it does make feel good is mike pence. he is waiting in the wings and waiting for the big shake-up if muler is allowed to do his job as it's intended. >> is the president kind of getting signals that there is going to be a significant shake-up and that would involve his chief of staff? >> i think he is because i think he phrases it right.
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it was a lukewarm endorsement. he did say on secretary nielsen, he wished she was tougher and the border as you know is very frustrating to all parties. to all presidents. dealing with it is difficult, but he wants her to be tougher and you got that caravan pending down, there is a clear signal there. what john kelly has done is great in terms of bringing an order to the white house. i know these are burn out jobs. they are really for what their responsibilities are, they are very low paying jobs and 70 hour a week gruelling work schedules. i think it's sort of natural for people to maybe mutually agree to move on after a two-year mark. >> the president was not specific about the qualities and the attributes other than he works hard. he was struggling with answering the question. how did you see it?
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>> from an outside standpoint, com papaired to reince prub ieb general kelly brought a lot of stability and maturity and graph tus to the white house and part of the process is to move on to another version and that is very possible. i know the name nick ayers who is the vice president's chief of staff, his name gets batted around and he's a capable young guy. he puts in an 80-hour workweek and i'm not saying general kelly hasn't, but he earned that right after such a long distinguished career. >> a week after veterans day and the president skipping a visit to arlington when he came back from paris, he actually made a very rare expression of regret in that interview on fox news. listen. >> i should have done that. i was extremely busy on calls
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for the country. we did a lot of calling, as you know. >> but this is veterans day. >> i probably in retrospect, i should have. i did last year and i will virtually every year. we had come in very late at night. i had just left literally the american cemetery in paris and i really probably assumed that was fine. i was extremely busy because of affairs of state. doing other things. >> kevin, how would that explanation sit with vets? >> i think it's amazing that the congressman put the words maturity and white house in regards to this white house in the same sentence. on the veterans thing, you played that sound byte and he went after admiral mcraven in a vicious incorrect fault. >> killing osama bin laden. yes. go ahead. >> correct. and in donald trump's mind, he has done more for the military
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than anyone ever. dwight eisenhower and george washington. i'm sure other examples they can think of. this is another example of him not self reflecting. he has no self reflection. he is trying to entertain the crowd and distract away. he pivoted to an inappropriate attack on a former navy s.e.a.l., someone who led the charge to kill osama bin laden. >> but kevin, accept his apology. every now and then admit the president sincerely apologized if are it. i agree he should have gone there on veterans day. i was in office for 22 years and represented five military installations. i always did it and it's fundamental for politicians. i was visiting troops in kosovo with president clinton before thanksgiving and i asked him why we did not stay for thanksgiving and he said the american president should be home on
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thanksgiving. >> accepting his apology, but the president professes to be all about the military, all about the vets and these are now at least three examples in which he has received criticism as it pertains to vets in one week. >> but when you think about what he -- and i do disagree with kevin, his veteran reform bills have been incredible. i have never seen anythig like it. the decades i have been in washington and they had huge bipartisan support. the veterans have more health care options than they ever had in terms of military and spending. it was hollowed out under president obama. >> that's not true. >> that's the not for those of us who served on the committee. >> we will leave it there for now. thanks to both of you. >> thanks, fred. >> first be sure to check out the episode of this is life with lisa ling .
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>> to evolve myself and give myself more confidence. he gets a lot of attention. boons has game. >> he's popular with the ladies? >> yes. it could be the accent and could be the dreads. >> shawn has taken boons to comic book conventions and tested out his persona online. the feedback has been overwhelming. >> what's it like to inhabit this other persona that is confident and fearless? >> it's like going on vacation. everything that i carry with me and all of the issues that i can steep from. >> ptsd? >> yeah. it gets toned down. boons is one of the major coping mechanisms i have come up with. >> catch a new episode of this
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is with lisa ling at 10:00 eastern specific here on cnn. ♪ ♪ applebee's bigger bolder grill combos are back. now that's eatin good in the neighborhood. the riskiest job. the consequences underwater can escalate quickly. the next thing i know, she swam off with the camera. it's like, hey, thats mine! i want to keep doing what i love. that's the retirement plan. with my annuity i know there's a guarantee. annuities can provide protected income for life. learn more at retireyourrisk.org
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all right. welcome back. the department of education wants to change how it deals with sexual assault and harassment on college campuses by strengthening the rights of the alleged perpetrators. new proposed rules would narrow the definition of sexual misconduct in an effort to prevent false accusations from going to court. education secretary betsy devos says, and i'm quoting now, every survivor of sexual violence must
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be taken seriously, and every student accused of sexual misconduct must know that guilt is not predetermined, end quote. under the obama administration, the definition of sexual harassment was, i'm quoting now, unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. under the proposed changes, it would read, unwelcome conduct on the basis of sex that is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offense that it denies a person access to the school's education program or activity. lots of questions here. jess davidson yojoining me now, the interim executive director for the organization to end rape on campus, and she is a sexual assault survivor herself. good to see you, jess. >> thank you so much for having me on, fredricka. >> so how do you read that new definition? what does it mean to you, the proposal coming from the new education department secretary? >> you know, we have an unquestionable crisis of sexual
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violence in education in this country. one in every five women, one in every 16 men, and far higher rates of queer, transgender, students of color experience sexual assault in education. that's contact sexual assault, not even sexual harassment, which as you mentioned, the definition is more limited here. meanwhile, all of those people who experience sexual violence, the millions of students who experience sexual harassment and violence every single year, are not being protected by this proposal. this proposal is going to make it harder for survivors to report, easier for schools to take action, and -- >> how, in your view? you know, because it is unclear what defines severe, pervasive? what about this definition, in your view, changes the dynamics? >> there are a couple of key things. the first is this definition of sexual harassment, which in my view is unlawful, is so high that students will have already had to lose access to their
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education before they can seek help. i'm thinking about, you know, young girls of color who experience high rates of school pushout for sexual harassment in the classroom. they will have had to already have lost equal access to education, which title nine, the law that this regulation is about, is set to protect. they'll have already had to lose that access before they can receive any assistance from the school. there's also so many other ways in which this regulation is set out to keep students from reporting sexual assault at all. this isn't about making the process more fair. they're trying to prevent access to the process itself. one example of this is how the rule prevents schools from investigating events that take place in many off-campus settings where sexual assault takes place, like bars or off-campus party, the way it handles mediation, who you can report to. under this rule, students who experience sexual assault at michigan state and reported to coaches, the school would have no obligation to investigate the actions of larry nassar under this rule because of how limited and narrowing these definitions
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from the department are. >> are you exploring ways in which to try to help influence the department of education before this proposal actually becomes, you know, the rule? >> absolutely. we have the next 60 days from once this is introduced in the federal register. it's not quite in the register yet. we've just seen the rule so far. in the coming days, it will be on regulations.gov. we actually have the ability under the administrative procedure act to stop this from becoming law. we're encouraging people to go to handsoff 9.org. they've spent the last year building tools so anybody can submit a comment. that comment will count under the law. if that comment counts, it matches the requirements of the apa, then the department of education is legally required to take it into consideration. so you better bet we're going to be making young people's voices heard. >> all right. jess davidson, thanks so much for being with us. >> thank you for having me. still ahead for us, the destruction unimaginable.
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so i could've taken the bus? yeah. bring your phone. switch your carrier. save hundreds a year with xfinity mobile. call, click or visit a store today. hello again, everyone. thanks so much for being with me this sunday. i'm fredricka whitfield. the calamity of the california wildfires and the numbers are simply staggering. across the state, 79 people are dead, 1300 missing. the so-called camp fire in northern california now the dead deadliest and most destructive
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in state history. rescue crews are painstakingly sifting through ashes as those forced out of their home wonder what's next for them. >> my house burned down, lost everything. it's the pictures, like of your kids growing up, the report card, the first pictures they drew and all that. that you can't replace. >> president trump witnessing the devastation firsthand this weekend when he visited the towns of paradise and malibu with the state's governor and governor-elect. >> to see what's happened here, nobody would have ever thought this could have happened. so the federal government is behind you. we're all behind each other. as far as the lives are concerned, nobody knows quite yet. we're up to a certain number, but we have a lot of people that are unaccounted for. this is the kind of destruction -- i mean, this is even not as bad as some areas. some areas are beyond this, just charred. >> survivo

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