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tv   CNN Newsroom With Ana Cabrera  CNN  December 16, 2018 3:00pm-4:00pm PST

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when he talks about the role russia did or didn't play in his election. this is according to nation wide poll conducted by nbc news and the wall street journal. that survey just released today asked people about issues important to them and how they feel about the direction the country is heading. one question was about the president and whether they perceive him as telling the truth or lying about the russia investigation. 62% say they feel the president is not being honest. the president not mentioning this poll in a flurry of tweets today but he did break out a new word to describe his former attorney and fixer michael cohen. the man just sentenced to three years in prison for his role in a hush money scandal directly linked to president trump. this tweet from the president today. remember michael cohen only became a rat after the fbi did something which was absolutely unthinkable and unheard of until the witch hunt was illegally started.
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they broke into an attorney's office. why didn't they break into the dnc to get the server or cro crooked's office. crooked is the nickname he's given to hillary clinton. rudy giuliani is the president's current lawyer who went after cohen on tv in interviews this morning. >> the man is pathetic. that's a lawyer. he says he directed me to do it. oh, my goodness. he's a lawyer. he's the guy you depend onto determine whether or not you should do it this way or that way. whether you're donald trump or me or you. >> cnn white house correspondent is live with us now. boris, we have to mention some factual errors in the president's tweet. he's wrong about the special counsel investigation being illegal. he's wrong about the fbi breaking into michael cohen's office. they had an approved search warrant. putting that aside, what are we
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seeing here? >> reporter: yeah, the white house very clearly trying to discredit everything that michael cohen has become saying even in that tweet. cohen said they were respectful and courteous. the president mischaracterizing what happened when they went to visit his properties there. as you noticed in interviews, rudy giuliani is on the defensive. saying the only way to believe the claims he's made about president trump is to take him at his word. that is simply not the case because as you know the southern district of new york has corroborated much of what michael cohen has said with outside evidence. we know that ami, the company that owns the national enquirer, the paper that ended up not publishing those stories about stormy daniels and karen mcdoug mcdougal, they corroborated some of what michael clone was saying. beyond that, rudy giuliani is suggesting the payments were not
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campaign contributions. two of the charges that michael cohen plead guilty to were campaign finance violations based on those payments. we may have not heard the last of michael cohen. represent elijah krrz cummings said he wants michael cohen to testify again in congress. listen to this. >> i'm hoping that mr. cohen will come before the congress where he can tell the american public exactly what he has been saying to mueller and others without interfering with the mueller investigation. i think the american people just voted for transparency and integrity in our hearings. they want to hear from him. i certainly would like to see him come in the month of january before the congress and so the people's representatives will have an opportunity to ask him
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questions. >> reporter: the other big question is whether the president will sit down for an interview with robert mueller. cnn reported the special counsel was interested in an interview to questions. he sort of played coy in one interview. watch this. >> has his office reached out do you about sitting down for an in-person interview with the president? >> yes. there's several unpaid parking tickets back in 1986, '87 that haven't been explained. >> seriously. >> seriously. unpaid parking tickets. the proper fee. >> does he want to interview the president? >> good luck. the way they trapped flynn into perjury and no sentence for him. 14 days for papadopoulos. i did better on traffic violations. >> when you say good luck, you're saying no way. no interview. >> they're a joke.
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over my dead body but i could be dead. >> reporter: he didn't make any jokes about parking tickets in another interview. he said he couldn't comment on that specifically. he did leave a slight opening saying that in an agreement between the president's attorneys and the special counsel, there is a possibility for there to be more time for them to continue discussion about the special counsel's further questions for the president. >> all right. thank you. while rudy giuliani tries to argue there's no there there and this investigation needs to end, a reminder that most americans don't agree. 62% say they think trump hasn't been truthful when it comes to the investigation into russia's election interference. that same poll found that more people want the investigation to continue than those who want it to end. joining us now to discuss,
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senior ed titor for the atlanti. do president trump's claims that this is all a witch hunt now ring hallow given as we just saw the majority of americans aren't buying it? >> absolutely. i was struck by the sheer disdain that rudy giuliani projected for the investigative process and that is kind of posture they want to take within the close circle of consolidating and mobilizing their base. as we saw in the election and as this poll underscores, everybody else is listening too. they are reaching a different verdict. not only do 62% of the poll say the president is not being truthful with regard to the russia investigation but by a double digit margin they wanted the investigation to continue than end. 55%, a very solid majority want to see more oversight from the house and in one other finding that i thought was striking, the share of people who said all of these guilty pleas and judgments
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against people around trump indicate that he, as well, has done something wrong is growing and has reached nearly half the country. the country is paying attention to this. as the investigation grinds on and produces these results, the dismissals become more hallowed. >> the president goes on twitter. he's never just allowed his attorneys to do the attacking. he does this as well tweeting this that michael cohen was a rat only after the fbi broke into his office and that the fbi shouldn't have done that because he was an attorney. we put this tweet beside a fact check just to make sure what is clear. james comey responding by tweeting this is from the president of our country lying about the lawful execution of a search warrant issued by a federal judge. shame on republicans who don't speak up at this moment for the fbi, the rule of law and the truth. margaret, why aren't republicans speaking up? if defending the rule of law is
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seen as not supporting the president, isn't there something wrong with that? >> well, i think heading into the midterms you could understand the strategy which is that the only thing politically more dangerous than sticking close to the president was to cut the president loose. i think we're in a new era for some of the reasons that ron mentioned because of public sentiment and the obvious fact that democrats have won the house of representatives. they are going to want to replicate what mueller is starting on their own stage so they can have that moment and to some extent kind of fill in those gaps also. we're seeing now these early calls to have cohen come back to testify before congress again. now that the mueller portion of this probe is perhaps done on his front. i think we're seeing some changing dynamics. i don't know whether that will extend to whether the republicans will kind of join
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democrats but i do think you have a different dynamic, a different political dynamic. in a lot of questions including about roger stone and the connections to wikipedia that mr. mueller's team still wants answers. it makes sense for the president to try to discredit michael cohen but it becomes a little bit harder to do.wikipedia. i think you meant wikileaks. >> i'm sorry. >> easy to do. it's not just mueller investigating trump. we have the sdny, new york attorney general. possibly other jurisdictions. don't forget about congress as margaret just mentioned. democrats are about to take control. with it subpoena power. is this trump's worst nightmare? >> the subpoena power certainly. the defining gamble of the republican congress was to abandon any kind of meaningful oversight of the administration in the hope of locking arms to advance their policy goals.
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they paid for that. i think it was very clear in the election that the voters were looking for more of a independent posture and more checks and constraints. 90% of the people who disapprove voted democratic for the house. that was the highest percentage of the people who disapprove since 1982. there's been no indication since the election of republicans changing their calculation in any meaningful way. i'm struck over the last week are the utter unwillingness of republicans in the senate to grapple with the implications of thes southern district of new york which is part of president's own justice department. labeling him as an unindicted co-conspirat co-conspirator, they not only argued it was cohen saying that the president directed him to undertake these illegal acts. they said it on their own dime, in their own language and said
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cohen admitted to it. the question of how this proceeds is a ticking time bomb. what will be the legal rami ramifications of southern district of new york reaching this determination about the president's conduct in the hush money payments during 2016. i don't think we have heard the last word on this and hearings involving michael cohen could be the beginning of a much further discussion about what are the imply kications of the remaindef this presidency. stand by. much more to discuss. the father of a 7-year-old girl who died in the custody of customs and border patrol said he has no complaints about how he and his daughter treated but an attorney for his family says the man doesn't speak english and he only speaks spanish as a second language suggesting he didn't understand what he was saying when he stiigned paper wk stating the girl was in good lelt health at the border. attorneys are looking into an investigation. we continue to follow this
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story. family lawyers say the girl was not suffering from lack of food or water when shef was taken ino u.s. custody and yet she died more than 48 hours later. what are you learning? >> reporter: this is one of the issues in dispute that the father has with some of the initial accounting described the situation with this young girl who died a little more than a week ago. initially dhs said the young girl traveled several days through remote desert there south of new mexico without food and water. the father tells us through his attorneys that indeed the young girl did have plenty of food and water and she was fine when she showed up at the border check point there in remote area of eastern new mexico, along the border with mexico and she didn't become ill until several hours after being in the custody of border patrol. despite having said all of that,
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the father did go onto say he was grateful for the efforts of board border patrol agents inside the bus and the medical teams that helped. he said he believes that those medical professionals and border patrol agents did everything think could to save the young girl's life. the father has been staying here at a shelter that helps migrant r refugees and the director spoke on behalf of the father. this is what he had to say when he met with reporters yesterday. >> prior to going into cbp custody and contrary to the report that jakelin had not eaten or had water for several days, jakelin had not been crossing the desert for days. jakelin's father took care of jakelin and made sure she was fed and had sufficient water. she and her father sought asylum as soon as they crossed the border. she had not suffered from lack of water or food prior to
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approaching the border. >> reporter: also there's some of the initial reporting on this case included details of how the young girl might have died that the father taking issue with. he said any kind of speculation as to how this girl died should stop and every one should wait and see what the medical examiner and what the full autopsy report shows as this family tries to grapple and try to figure out exactly how things turned so tragic so quickly that in those overnight hours a little more than week ago here along the boardrder with mexico. >> thank you. turning back to what we saw happen during the mid term campaign. president trump and republican candidates vowed to protect americans with pre-existing conditions but a position by a federal judge could put them between a rock and a hard place. we'll discuss.
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a texas judge rules obama care is unconstitutional. suddenly moving the health care debate back to center stage and leading republican today saying the controversial court ruling won't last. here is senator susan collins on cnn "state of the union." . >> i don't. first of all, i would point out this really is not going to affect people who are currently enrolled or in obama care policies or their policies for 2019. there is wide spread support for protecting people with pre-existing conditions. there's also wide spread opposition to the individual mandate and here's why. the individual mandate
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penalties, 80% were paid by people -- 80% of the people who paid the penalty earned under $50,000 a year. this hurt low and middle income families who couldn't afford the cost of health insurance. it's telling that when the tax bill was on the floor not a single democratic senator offered an amendment to strike the repeal of the individual mandate. that's how unpopular it was. i think this will be overturned on appeal. >> ron brownstein and margaret. this ruling is what republicans probably dreamed about six, maybe eight years ago. now has it become an albatrose around their nets? >> for many republicans it would be. there's a question of how it woultd play in the presidential election in some of these key areas as well.
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president trump is happy about this. praised the judge's decision. the trouble in suburban dra districts even among suburban areas they like the pre-existing conditions and some of these other points even if they didn't like president obama. the principles are very popular. the cost is not popular. the increasingly difficulty of getting it is not popular. if republicans are looking in the situation where they would be potentially blamed for taking away people's health care, that's not a position many republican officials want to be in. >> listen to chuck schumer this morning. >> it's an awful, awful ruling. we're going to fight this tooth and nail. the first thing we'll do when we get back there in the senate is urge, put a vote on the floor urging an intervention in the
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case. >> this is coming from the democratic minority leader. do you think mitch mcconnell will be on board. >> i don't. the republicans are in an extraordinarily complex and difficult position on pre-existing conditions. the protections are even more popular than the aca itself. i think three quarters of the country in polling by keiser and others is the conditions on pre-existing conditions. eliminating those protections is not a by product to the republican alternative. it's core to it. the basic argument that republicans have made over the last two years against the law is it requires younger and healthier people to spend too much, to buy too much insurance to subsidize coverage for people older and sicker. eliminating the protection for pre-existing conditions and forcing everybody to pay their own way is centra to how they try to reduce the costs of
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premiums for healthier people. there's no easy way around this despite all of these republican office holders saying that every one supports pre-existing conditions. in fact, they don't. maintaining those provisions undercuts as well as the special health benefit which is are part of it. undercuts their ability to get the costs down in the way they promised their alternatives will do. >> president trump has claimed this is a victory but the most recent poll shows the majority of adults, 53% approve of the affordable care act. is this a victory for the president and what do you think his next move might be? >> this was central to the 2016 bid and his promise to repeal this and to undo a lot of what the obama administration have put into place but if the 2018 midterms were any test of this
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and most people think they were, many of those democrats who ran for house seats and won and in fact the engine that you can most closely associate with a policy perspective was health care. trying to preserve the affordable care act or improve it, protect those principles most especially the one about covering pre-existing conditions. this is now gone from a debate in the years before the affordable care act passed to essentially an american consensus that people want, at least for themselves, for their own insurance to be covered. to get insurance and to have their insurance cover problems that they have. it's flipped from something that didn't exist that could exist to something that does exist and would be taken away. that's an entirely different political calculation. >> i can say real quick. just how extraordinary this is in historical terms that we're still having this fight.
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republicans attorneys general and a judge trying to eliminate the law. medicare passed in 1965. no one ever ran on repealing it. social security passed in 1935. the republican nominee in '36, ran on repealing it. he won 2 out of 48 states and they never ran on preeli inrepe again. if president trump runs in 2020 on repealing the aca or revamping it, it will be the third consecutive election which republicans have run on undoing the law. there's never been that kind of sustained gorilla warfare against a new entitlement in american history. it's now in place. as they discovered, it was not only republicans who gained coverage. in states that decided the election, michigan, wisconsin, pennsylvania, ohio, iowa, a majority of the people were non-college whites. there's real risk here in terms of the ideology of the party cutting against the actual material interest of the core of
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its modern coalition. >> can you imagine if we have another election on obama care. thank you both. great to have you with us. appreciate it you guys. just weeks before christmas, 100 christians including pastor are detained in china in what is being called a religious crackdown. what's behind their arrests, next. . first, the last few weeks on wall street have been a little volatile, to put it mildly. what's many store for investors this week? we have this week's before the bell. >> volatility is the new normal on wall street. the trade war, a fight over government spending, brexit chaos all making for wild swing fls the stock market. this week focus shifts to the federal reserve. the central bank is expected to hike interest rates on wednesday. the fed chief holds a press conference. investors will listen carefully to what he says about next year.
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if he hints at fewer rate hike, stocks could rally. that's what happened last month when powell said this. >> we know moving too fast would risk shortening the expansion. we know moving too slowly keeping interest rates too low for too long could risk other distortions in higher inflation or detablizing balances. our path of gradual i creancrea have been designed to balance these two. >> some predicting just one rate hike next year. powell's remarks this week will provide more clarity.
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concerns of a religion crackdown in china are growing after 100 christians were detained last week including a prominent chinese pastor. china is attempting to negotiate a trade deal with the u.s. on tuesday secretary of state mike pompeo announced ten countries the u.s. has deemed guilty of severe religious freedom violationviolations. china was one of those names. we have the latest on what civil rights activists are calling the most recent case of religious persecution in china. >> it's taken us days to confirm details in this story because of the credit secrecy, the lack of
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transparency in the chinese system. all of them detain inside a chinese city. all members of the early r covenant church. churches are required to register with the bureau so the communist party can keep an eye on them and surveil them and make sure the pastors aren't saying anything controversial or that goes against china's authoritarian government. the sign translates to pray for the nation on june 4th. the fact he's openly talking about things like this leads the chinese government to believe his church and others like it are acting to try to subvert the
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government. in china political dissent is not tolerated. it's stomped out very quickly by the government with little mercy. they are accused of operating without registering but perhaps the real crime is this church doesn't support the communist party. there is concern this is part of a growing crackdown on independent religious practice. allegations of systematic human rights abuse. china says they are combatting violent extremism. critics say they have set up a surveillance state. other religious groups have been discriminated against as well. it's not just christians. sam brownback, the u.s. ambassador at large says china has been designated as one of ten countries of concern meaning people there do not have the freedom to worship.
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religion is supposed to be legal there. critic kricritics say that's no. 12-year-old kaleb and kj were best friends. when kj died after lifelong health struggles, kaleb was devastated. he turned that into action. what he did to help make sure his friend has a headstone. 'tand in your garage,son a brand new john deere. that's not a mirage. with 60 months financing at 0%, say "happy holidays" to money well spent. if additional offers are what you desire, visit your john deere dealer before they expire. now, start up your engines and drive out of sight. new john deere equipment for all and to all a good night. see your john deere dealer today to discover more great deals and special financing offers. new year, new deere.
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this holiday season i want to bring you a story of two friends. when kaleb started second grade, he was the new kid. he was shy and he didn't make friends easily. then he met kj cross. even though he struggled with many health complication, the two were best friends from the beginning. be may kj's health failed. he died after a long battle with leukemia. kj's mother buried her son in a family plot but couldn't afford a headstone. kaleb stepped in and began doing odds jobs to help raise money and set up a papypaypal account asking for donations and the donations came pouring in allowing her to northern her swson with a gravestone. they are joining us now. wow, what a story. first, i'm so sorry for both of
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your loss. kj's sounds like such an incredible kid. k kaleb, what led you to do this for him and his family? >> i didn't want his mom to visit the grave. >> you were so courageous. at a young age of 12 knew what to do. tell me a bit about your friend and how much he meant to you. >> we met in second grade and at school we always liked watching our other friend do back flips. one time he invited me over to his house for his niece's birth day party. that was the first time i went to his house. >> that's where that bond formed. lasandra, there was this
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incredible friendship. walk me through that moment when you found out what kaleb was up to. >> they came over to my house for a visit and it wasn't uncommon for them to come visit. she said we want to come over wednesday to visit you. i said okay. when they came over and we were sitting and talking. they brought me some roses and her pie her daughter sent. we were talking and she said we have two reasons for being over here. we wanted to see you and she told me about kaleb and the idea he came up with. i had no idea. it blew me away. i had no idea that he was thinking along those lines. we were still trying to figure out how we were going to get it done. it just blew me away that he still had that type of love for my son. yeah. >> i can't imagine losing a child. what does it mean to you, this
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gestu gesture, and to know how much your son was loved by kaleb? >> i could never find the words to express how much kaleb and his family mean to me and what this gesture does. my son meant a lot to me. to him, to a lot of people he was just a sick boy. i believe that kaleb and miss christy love my son just as much as i did. it shows through the gesture that they did and it shows through the out pouring of support that we got for kaleb wanting to do this for my son. >> kaleb, you've been a shining light for all of us . to learn about this story to see what you have done and help your friend. thank you both for being here. i really appreciate it. >> thank you. >> wishing you the very best this holiday season. we'll be right back. based on a true story...
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breaking news, the washington post has just obtained a draft of a report that has been prepared for the senate about russia's interference in our 2016 election. it describes it as the most sweeping analysis of russia's disinformation campaign. the millions of social media posts provided by technology firms and here is what it found. russia used every major social media platform to help elect president trump. that all of moscow's messaging was intended to benefit the republican party specifically, trump. that on facebook alone, russia's
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campaign reached 126 million people. it reached another 20 million people on instagram. with us now one of the washington post reporters that obtained this report and breaking this news craig timber. craig, how is any of this different from what we already learned about russian interference? let's start there. >> this is the report we have been waiting for. it's sweeping and comprehensive. it uses the fullest data sets we have seen from the company. this is -- doesn't exactly tell us things we didn't suspect or haven't heard. it puts it together in gna new way. i feel like they kind of reverse engineered the information in this report. >> this report found the russians worked even harder to support trump while in office. while in office. how so?
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>> they posted more often after the election. youtube went up by some remarkable degree. we tend to think of this when the social media companies took these accounts down from the internet research agency in russia sometime around the middle of 2017 >> this russian campaign reached 126 million people on facebook, another 20 million on instagram. is that a lot in the world of social media? >> yeah, on websites where there are billions of accounts it's a big number. it doesn't mean every person who viewed this content was manipulated or persuaded by it, but obviously the russians didn't need to persuade 100 million people. i don't think we will ever be able to say for sure, but with
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all the talk about who knew what when, new claims about the mueller probe, this takes us back to what really happened and the russian effort to persuade voters. what happened because these russian trolls, these hackers and criminals is it changed the conversation around the election, and i think most importantly, ana, this reporting from these researchers has ramped it more intensely after election day. it makes you think about trump's relationship with russia and putin after election day in the early days of the presidency, and what was going on, why were these russian agents still trying to affect americans' thinking. >> one of the details, craig, in this report is it found it targeted african-americans specifically with misleading information about how to vote. tell us more about that. >> one of the major parts of this campaign was keeping people from going to the ballot box, people who would have voted for
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hillary clinton, at least in the view of the russians. there was messaging, hey, we can't trust elections or hillary clinton isn't any better than donald trump. we've known that for a while, but to see it put together in a single comprehensive report is really impressive. it looks like the effort to reach african-americans was nearly as extensive and as effective as the effort to get conservatives activated around gun issues. they worked both sides of the coin. >> ought to hacraig, does this h any conclusion as to how this may have impacted the election? >> it does not wrestle with that question. on some level it's unanswerable. there's no way we can run the election again and take this out and see what happened, but it does suggest the campaign was really shrewd, sophisticated in its understanding of american
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people politics, was sustained, and kept going longer than most of us really understood. in fact, there's no reason to think this ended in 2017. i mean, the social media companies were still taking down accounts affiliated with this right up until the midterm election. this report doesn't reveal what happened with that kind of data, but no reason the russians stopped. why would they? >> social media have gone from being the natural infrastructure for sharing collective grievances and civic engagement for being a tool for social control, manipulated by canny political consultants and available to politicians and democrats and dictatorships. >> it happens to be russia that is the central focus of this probe, but other foreign actors, other groups were also using social media in this way. facebook, twitter, and youtube, google, they have belatedly owen up to these facts way too late.
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our colleague has new reporting that suggests maybe these researchers were only given the bare minimum of help from the social networks. we'll see what the networks say. facebook may say it was enormously helpful, but that's been a concern. how open that facebook and twitter been to letting us reconstruct what went wrong in 2016 and what might still be going on today. as any user knows, there's been some changes and improvements in some ways, but it's pretty easy to go down a dark rabbit hole and find a lot of nasty content on social media these days. some of it, just published by americans. but some of it published by people pretending to be americans try to sow division in our country. >> this report suggests that russians didn't stop once trump was in office. do we have any indication if they're doing it right now? >> look, there's every reason to believe they are, but there's also reason to believe they got more sophisticated. as o'brien points out, the
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researchers do take issue with how the social media companies handled their requests by the government. google in particular comes in for c.i.riticism for not being n how youtube was used. there's pointed language about that. it's also true the russians and others presumably are getting more sophisticated all the time. a lot of this, the ads on facebook, were paid for in rubles. it almost feels like the russians weren't trying hard to cover their tracks back in 2016. i think there's every reason to believe they're better at this now and it's still going on. >> it's not something you can fix. it's only something you can manage. it's like a chronic condition, like diabetes, you have to be on top of it and manage it. these companies are able to manage this misinformation problem, that's still an open question. >> thank you both. craig, timberg, appreciate it.
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do your rig right. shop online or find your store at it's now 7:00 eastern, 4:00 in the afternoon out west. thanks for being here, i'm ana cabrera in new york. president trump spending much of today on the internet posting on twitter starting very early this morning. a tweet storm lashing out at what he calls unfair news coverage. he didn't like "saturday night live," he compared his and president obama's border policies. he promoted his favorite news network, and as always, no collusion, and no less than five witch hunts in the space of just a few hours. president trump also added a new word to his list of insults for


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