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tv   CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield  CNN  February 2, 2019 10:00am-11:01am PST

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2nd, winter continues for another six weeks. so punxsutawney's telling us it's going to be an early spring. all right. triplets separated at birth discovering the most amazing incredible remarkable true story. three identical strangers airs tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern on cnn. we've got more straight ahead in the "newsroom." it starts right now. all right, hello, thank you for joining me this saturday. i'm fredricka whitfield. following breaking news. virginia democratic governor has no plans to resign and now he says he believes it was not him in this racist photo in his medical school yearbook according to a democratic source. big flip from last night where he confirmed this was a photo in
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his yearbook and he was among the images there. take a listen. >> that photo and the racist and offensive attitudes it represents does not reflect that person i am today or the way that i have conducted myself as a soldier, a doctor, and a public servant. i'm deeply sorry. i cannot change the decisions i made, nor can i undo the harm my behavior caused then and today. >> we'll hear from the governor, governor northam, in about an hour and a half, which is when he's scheduled to address the cameras, address the public. and of course we'll bring that to you live as it happens. meantime, let's start with cnn's jessica dean in richmond, virginia. so you're there outside of the governor's man shmansion.
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we know there were protesters. >> reporter: that's right, protesters were here this morning. it's a little quiet as we get closer to when we're expecting to hear that statement from the governor at 2:30. but you know what, i go back to that video, that you just played everyone, where he was talking about my behavior, you know, the thing i did. and today now, the governor coming out and saying i don't believe it was me, it wasn't me. i believe the photos were mixed up, according to the source we have talked to, and we're also hearing from his spokesperson. he will not resign today. let me set the backdrop amongst him coming out -- or the spokesperson saying he's not going to resign. he has lost the support of the virginia legislative black caucus. of the virginia house and senate democrats. of the democratic party of virginia. also, former governor terry mcauliffe under whom ralph northam served as lieutenant
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governor has come out and asked him to resign as well. all these groups calling for the governor to resign. not to mention a host of the 2020 candidates who have come out and called for his resignation as well as vice president joe biden and others. and i want to take you back also to the original statement put out. it read, earlier today, a website published a photo of me from my 1984 medical school yearbook in a costume that is clearly racist and offensive. i am deeply sorry for the decision i made to appear in this photo. that was the original apology yesterday. right now, as we wait to hear from the governor, he is telling people, according to a source, that is not him in the photo. that he believes the photos were mixed up. a lot more to come from virginia as we wait to hear from the governor himself. >> jessica dean, thank you so
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much. we're going to take that live when it happens. let's talk more about this. political activist vivian page. glad you could be with us. describe for me that what is like for you. you have known this governor since he first ran for office and now to see this image and to hear his words last night and now to hear him apparently tell a colleague that's not a photo of him, what is this like for you? >> well, it's been difficult for me because i've known ralph since he entered politics in 2006. when he entered politics, it seems like he was going to be -- certainly a good democrat of how he was going to represent the party and represent the people within the area. so ralph lives not far from me. i've known him and worked with him all these years. this has been one of the most disappointing things i've ever
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seen. i've never quite experienced something like this. the other thing i will mention is ralph and i are one year apart in age. being one year apart in age means i know what i was doing in 1984 and i certainly was not doing that. >> so do you remember roughly what you were doing in 1984? i mean, i remember, i was a college student at that time in 1984 and his first -- one of his first responses was, you know, that he doesn't really recall which one he could have been in this photograph and 30 years ago, you know, you might remember if you were in that photograph which one you were. so what did you think about that sentiment from him? >> well, i thought that was a little bit unusual. because of course in 1984, choosing photographs to be on a page is something that you would actually have known that you
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did. whether or not ralph is in either one of those costumes is not what is relevant to me. what's relevant to me is he made a choice to include those pictures. and that kind of behavior's not acceptable. it's not acceptable certainly in 2019. but it wasn't acceptable back in 1984 either. i was three years out of college. ralph was in medical school. i was working. i was contributing to society and doing all those things that people do when they're 24 years old. ralph was 25. he should have known better. >> yes, so some of the things he has said in the statement last night, you know, that photo does not reflect the person i am today. he did even say that photo of me, you know, i can't change the decisions i made. so today he's schedule to speak at 2:30. what are you hoping he will say?
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>> well, my number one thing i want him to say is he's resigning. i've been very clear that you can't possibly lead the diverse party that is the democratic party and have this kind of thing in your background. i understand, i do really truly understand forgiveness and i understand people, i really do. i am willing to accept ralph today might not be the person he was back then. but the other part of it is that was unacceptable behavior then. so that's where i'm hung up. that was unaccessibbeing aalasb septemberable behavior. so to break away from our racist past. virginia has a long history of not being the most welcoming place to be. >> right and he was a medical student at eastern virginia medical school, in medical
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school to potentially take care of people, all people. there's a hippocratic oath that would be taken upon completion. so this image being representation of him on his page in that yearbook. you talk about how confusing this is for you as a friend. earlier, i spoke with the chair of the, you know, virginia legislative black caucus. mr. bagby. he described it as being hurtful and painful. and he still referred to him as a friend. but that he thought the right thing to do would be for governor northam to step down. if he does not resign what if anything can the governor say to help heal so many who have been pained by this image? >> i'm not sure he can say anything to be perfectly honest.
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this image is just so offensive. yes, it certainly has been hurtful to those of us who have worked with ralph who have known ralph for his entire political career. it's been extremely hurtful. but i don't know how he can say anything that is going to mitigate that. the only thing he should say is i apologize to the people of virginia and i resign because i can no longer be a leader. >> you refer to the governor as ralph, so this is -- >> he's in a neighbor, what can i say. >> this is personal for you, absolutely. >> very much so. >> vivian page, thank you. appreciate your thoughts, appreciate it. >> thank you for having me. >> of course. we will be carrying the g governor's comments. again, they're scheduled for 2:30. still ahead, president trump slams house speaker nancy pelosi as rigid, i'm quoting him, as
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rigid. he hints at a new strategy to get his wall. what is that strategy? and will it work? [clap, clap] ♪ hey, jen, which tie says, "trustworthy but also fun"? gold down, oil up. oil down, gold up. this is too busy. we need to make sure people can actually use this stuff. which one says, "hours of free live streaming coverage without cable or subscription fees"? aluminum, aluminum? you ready, zack? oh, we're ready. welcome to the show. let's make finance make sense. ♪ this is the avery's trying the hottest new bistro.ery's. wait...and the hottest taqueria? and the hottest...what are those? oh, pierogis?
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ask your doctor about neulasta onpro. pay no more than $5 per dose with copay card. all right, welcome back. for president trump, it's wall or nothing. as the president grows seemingly frustrated with negotiations over border security, he's ripping speaker nancy pelosi in a new interview with cbs "face the nation." >> well, i think that she was very rigid. i expect she's very bad for our country. she knows you need a barrier. she knows we need border security. she wanted to win a political point. i happen to think it's very bad politics. basically, she wants open borders. she doesn't mind human trafficking or she wouldn't do this. >> she offered you over $1 billion for border security. >> excuse me in. >> she offered over $1 billion for border security. she doesn't want the wall. >> she's costing the country hundreds of billions of dollars. because what's happening is when you have a porous border and you
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have drugs pouring in and you have people dying all over the country because of people like nancy pelosi who don't want to give proper border security for political reasons, she's doing a terrible service to our country. >> democrats and republicans have less than two weeks to work out agreement and avert another government shutdown, but the president says the talks are, i'm quoting now, a waste of time. cnn white house reporter sarah westwood is in west palm beach, florida, where the president is spending this weekend at mara l lago. democrats are responding to trump's attack against pelosi. >> that's right, democrats are pushing back on the suggestion from president trump they don't back any kind of border security and they're slammingth president for leaving the door open to a sce second government shutdown later this month when funding runs dry. accusing trump of twisting democrat's position on border security. after trump claims pelosi is
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just playing political games by opposing the wall. those two leaders have been trading insults. they haven't actually met face to face since january 9th. when trump got up and left when talks weren't going his way. that's obviously all going to change on tuesday when trump goes to capitol hill to deliver his state of the union address. pelosi responded quickly threw a spokesman yesterday to trump's comments to cbs about the spokesman saying in a statement, president trump's recklessness didn't make us safer, it undermined our security, with 35 days of border patrol agents, fbi agents and homeland security personnel missing paychecks. democrats have put forward strong, smart and effective border security solutions in the bipartisan conference committee. while the president still refuses to take a second shutdown off the table. he goes on to say the president's wild and predictable misrepresentations about democrats and border security do not doing make our country safer. trump has called those
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negotiations a waste of time. he's saying he has low expectations that we'll see any kind of breakthrough from those talks. congressional democrats did put forward their opening offer on wednesday. it contained billions of dollars for border security item like new technology, like beefing up security at ports of entry, but it did not include one single penny for the wall. not even for repairs to existing fences. basically inclauuded nothing th president trump could try to spin as a victory for his administration. with two weeks left in this negotiating period, trump is referring again to his threats to declare a national emergency. >> let's talk further about all this. with me right now, cnn political analyst rachel bad and molly ball. good to see both of you. rachel, the president is calling the speaker, you know, bad, very bad for our country and he's just days away from entering her house, so to speak, upon her invitation for the state of the
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union on tuesday. i mean this does not set the stage very well for, you know, cordial pleasantries, nor does it set the stage for any kind of cordial negotiations. >> yes, definitely not going forward, like a lot of democrats are calling the president a sore loser here. the truth is pelosi very much defeated trump on this whole shutdown. he said he was not going to reopen the government until he got his border wall and pelosi held out and time and pressure just bore down on the president and he ended up reopening the government without getting a single dollar for his border wall. obviously, he's angry with pelosi. we it comes to going forward, this does not bode well about any idea of bipartisan deal on inf infrastructure. there's been talk about can pelosi and trump do something about infrastructure, lowering prescription drug prices. this has soured their relationship and it's not going to bode well for them trying to work together throughout the year. >> it's very confusing because
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it seems as though the image of the ground stop, all the airlines, that kind of interruption during the shutdown is what may have moved the president. but i don't know, in his mind, that was such a long time ago he's forgotten about it? because he's already now talking about another possible shutdown, you know, if he doesn't get his wall or at least declare a national emergency and this, despite reportedly mitch mcconnell, you know, the senate majority leader apparently cautioning him against something like that. so is this just bluster perhaps in that latest new cbs interview or are we really seeing he's going to do his own thing, the president? >> i don't think we know yet honestly, i don't think he knows yet. we see the president thinking out loud, trying to feel out his options, staking out a negotiating position. you don't want to walk into a negotiation like this and say you're willing to give up everything so he's not going to take things off the table before
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the negotiation has begun. i think it's important to remember as rachel said the president did lose this last round. the democrat's position was reopen the government, then we'll talk, then we'll negotiate. but they never said then we'll give you the wall. specifically said even when you reopen the government, we're still not giving you the wall. the negotiation, however, really is not between donald trump and nancy pelosi right now. the negotiation is between the members of congress, democrats and republicans who are on that conference committee and whatever back channel talks may be going on. >> right, and where are they? on, you know, negotiations? we heard it from so many lawmakers who said, you know, let's just figure this out. republicans and democrats figure this stuff out but of course, you know, what will be needed ultimately is the president's endorsement on it. >> that's right. wouldn't be that hard for them to figure out if they knew the president would go along with what they come up with. you did hear -- i actually thought there was a softening of the president's position in that cbs interview. because what you heard him
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talking about, he said barrier, but he really deemphasized the wall. he talked much more about we need border security and so if he -- if they can talk him off of the specifically the wall concept, if they can convince him -- he tweeted the other day that the wall was already being built, that we just needed to finish it. >> he reiterated it yesterday, right? unclear whether that is -- it's being disputed. it's not new wall. it may be repairs to existing barriers. but yesterday, you know, from that table, you know, with dhs secretary right alongside him, he still was talking about the need for a wall. >> that's right. i mean, democrats and republicans would happily get together behind something that wasn't a wall but was some kind of border security barrier stuff. >> yes. >> the question is whether the president will endorse it. that was the question the first time around too. >> i just want to add in there, i feel like the president is starting to realize that he may never get his wall. when he reopened the government,
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he was sort of as this mind, his advisers were saying give congress a couple weeks to try to negotiate something on the wall, for maybe trying to protect dreamers, those who came here illegally as children, helping them defer their status. saying no, they're not interested in daca for a wall tradeoff. his advisers have said you can maybe do this national emergency declaration to build your wall and as you mentioned just a few moments ago, mitch mcconnell apparently went to the white house on tuesday and told the president, hey if you do that, we're going to pass potentially a resolution disproving that emergency money. this is the key republican leader in the senate. and this is according to the "washington post" reporting. that is a huge deal. if his party's telling him you can't do that and if you do, we're going to turn against you, it's looking increasingly like the president might not get his wall at all. >> yes, if that sayconversation happened, he wasn't speaking as though that conversation moved
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him at all, molly. and he's still, you know, professing this whole process to be a waste of time so, you know, is there the public, you know, president trump to send a signal to his base, but then privately he might be aquaessing? >> it's certainly possible. >> we're all trying to be psychologists right now. >> but look, he has not -- he hasn't done the emergency declaration. he's been threatening it for a long time. i think there's an increasing sense he might be bluffing about that. because it would split his party. there would be a lot of republican blowback. that is not something that he would probably welcome because that would be a real weakening of his status on capitol hill. so the question is, does he decide to go ahead and do it anyway. nobody knows what is in his mind when it comes to something like that. what i think you see mcconnell
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and the republicans and also to an extent pelosi and the democrats trying to show and tell the president that the best case scenario is if he quietly backs away from the wall. because if he does that, he won't get criticized by democrats. he won't get criticized by republicans. he will take a little bit of guf from his base. but he probably is powerful enough with his base that they will follow him no matter what. >> rachel, quiet, is that possible, quietly? >> i think the key thing to watch here, just remember, the president, when he reopened the government, he only did so because privately he was getting pressure from mitch mcconnell and a bunch of senate republicans. even though he's out there, you know, looking tough and trying to look like he can declare an emergency to build his wall, the fact that republicans are saying privately don't do this, that really matters. we just don't know how big is that resistance. how many people have talked to him. and i think this is something they're really watching and the
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reason he's leaving that possibility open is because maybe he thinks he can convince them and it's okay. but really these private expressions of disapproval by republicans, they matter and they're significant. >> all fascinating. rachel bade, molly, pleasure, thank you so much. still ahead, democratic presidential hopefuls are now faced with how to respond to the controversy surrounding a racist photo featuring virginia's democratic governor and what senator kirsten gillibrand has to say next. reach her health goals! i'm in! but first... shelfie! the great-tasting nutrition of ensure. with up to 30 grams of protein and 26 vitamins and minerals! ensure. for strength and energy.
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presidential candidate is calling on virginia governor ralph northam to resign over that racist photo that has been linked to him. senator kirsten gillibrand has not yet made it official she's running for president but the new york democrat is campaigning hard in states with early primaries and caucuses today. she has a number of events in new hampshire where she was asked about the controversy surrounding the virginia governor. cnn's etheena jones join us with more of what gillibrand had to say about the northam controversy. athena. >> reporter: she was speaking to reporters at a woman-owned coffee shop in nashawa, new hampshire. these are the first remarks calling on the governor to resign. tank a l take a listen to what she had to say. >> he should resign. i saw the photo.
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so disturbing, so racist. there is no place for racism in our government, among our leaders. it really just was so disturbing. >> reporter: and so there you have it, kristirsten gillibrand joining a growing list of politicians saying governor northam should resign. when we first asked her about this issue last night, she said she had not yet seen the photos. at that moment, she was calling for the governor to apologize. later in the night she sent out a tweet after seeing the pictures and said he should resign. her first on camera comments on the topic. she's answered a lot of questions from voters in the stop she's made here in the granite state. the first state to hold a primary of course next year. no one's brought up this governor northam issue. instead, they've been talking about immigrant rights, lgbt issues, criminal justice reform, a long list.
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but this is clearly the topic on the minds of a lot of folks in and around d.c. and virginia. part of kirsten gillibrand's message here is the same message we've heard in iowa. she first ran in a 2-1 republican district so she's talked about her ability to work across the aisle, to get legislation passed, working with democrats and republicans, finding common ground. we're hearing her stress that issue. she just wrapped up here, where she visit aed a boutique, bougha dress that was on sale, then met with people at a bakery. there she was asked about ingranti immigrants rights. a lot of stops here as she introduces herself to voters in the all-important first in the nation primary state. >> one of the first to throw her hat into the ring for 2020. athena jones, thank you so much. still ahead, the shocking
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geico, fifteen minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance. outbreaks of a potentially deadly and completely preventable disease are growing in two states. measles outbreaks are raising concerns with health officials and parents. in new york, 209 cases since october, causing officials to bar more than 6,000 unvaccinated children from school over the last two months. and washington state now has the highest number of infections since 1991, 43, all in communities with lower than average vaccination rates. three additional patients have since left that state. john weissman is the health secretary in washington state. he's joining me now from tacoma. secretary weissman, good to see you. you said you think this outbreak is going to get even worse.
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why? >> right. well, thanks, fredricka, for having us on. there's been so many public exsposh ushs to the folks who have measles we just expect this is going to grow. measles is a highly infectious contagious disease and folks can be infection before they realize it. infection four days before a rash and four days after. we've had people out in public places like shopping centers, schools and churches who have, you know, put others at risk, without knowing it. so we expect this is going to grow. >> oh, my goodness, so the state of emergency that you have in effect in washington state because of this outbreak, you know, how does that help officials either contain the spread of the disease or is that the goal, to try to contain it or is it more awareness? >> well, really, we are trying to contain this. the absolute best way people can do that, number one, is to get vaccinated. we want that to happen. we ask the governor to declare a
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state of emergency because we knew we were going to be in this for the long haul. we've been in this three weeks now. we expect this to go a number of weeks if not months more. our staff working on this need a break. by declaring state of emergency, we're able to tap into resources from other states. public health resources and bring them in. right now we have five folks from north dakota who are relieving some of our staff. and we expect to ask for more along the way. >> so you all know the source of this outbreak, how did all this get started? >> you know, like most cases of measles, if you don't have it in your community, it's related to travel. either somebody from your community who's unvaccinated and goes somewhere where there's an outbreak and brings it back or someone who traveled into your area. that's really how we think this started. it's grown very quickly as you said. >> and so are there any families that are particularly, you know,
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adamant against getting further treatment or even, you know, vaccinations after having not had some of their children vaccinated because that's also part of the root of the problem, unvax fa unvaccinated people who have been exposed and so, you know, they contract it? >> you're right. best way to protect our kids is to get vaccinated. we have a safe effective vaccine. if you get your two dose, it's 97% effective in preventing this. that's what we want folks to do. we know sometimes parents are concerned about vaccines. if they are, we want them to talk to their health care provider. go in with your health care questions and get thosens ans and have that conversation. >> secretary weissman, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> really appreciate everybody out there who's working so hard to control this. >> absolutely. all the best there in washington state. of course other states heavily
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being affected by this meeasle outbreak. we'll be right back.
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just one day into the super bowl kickoff and one of the biggest controversies surrounds a quarterback not playing in the big game. in fact, colin kaepernick hasn't even taken a snap in the nfl since the end of the 2016 season. attorneys for kaepernick are now suing the nfl. they claim the former qb is being blackballed by the nfl teams after he led a movement to kneel during the national anthem to protest police violence and misconduct. nfl commissioner roger goodell
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denies the nfl is colluding to keep him out of the league. goodell says kaepernick is not in the nfl because no team thought he could help them. >> i think if a team decides that colin kaepernick or any other player can help their team win, that's what they'll do. they want to win and they make those decisions individually in the best interests of their club. >> avery freeman, civil rights attorney and law professor and richard herman criminal defense attorney and law professor with me now. good to see you both. richard, you first, do you buy goodell's argument that if nfl teams thought kaepernick could, you know, play, help them win, then he would be in the nfl right now. >> when it comes time to the super bowl, that's the time when the commissioner has to do these press conferences and deal with some of the issues including the biggest issue that the saints got robbed, but other than that -- >> let that one go --
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>> -- and we're going to go forever on that. we're going to go forever on that. listen there is a collusion -- that's an interesting word, collusion lawsuit by kaepernick against the nfl claiming that, you know, basically all the teams, the 32 teams, there's only three black owners, all the teams have blackballed him. they won't even give him a workout, fred. you said he hasn't stepped on the field since '16. these teams haven't given him a workout. look at the redskins hire washed up mark sanchez, they bypass kaepernick? it's not going to fly. they did a public opinion poll to determine the adverse impact on the nfl if kaepernick is hired by the team. that's exhibit a in the lawsuit. goodell's statement is so disingenuous. kaepernick has a real chance to win. are you telling me in the united states of america we cannot protest -- >> not a chance. >> -- can't protest that? it's wrong. kaepernick's going to win.
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>> -- attorneys also have to prove this collusion, that there is a conspiracy to key hep him . does that mean transcripts of phone calls or texts or, you know, something in writing that says there was this concerted effort to keep him out as punishment? does it have to be like that in order to win a case that you're making? >> fredricka, doesn't have to be in writing. mark geragos went on the either and said it was a violation of first amendment. first amendment deals with restriction on government. we have to lose that claim. secondly if there's a race claim, as richard seems to be saying, then there's a process. you file your charge -- >> it's a protest. you're allowed to protest in this country. >> the bottom line is that if it's racist, there's a remedy. he hasn't used it. let me tell you something, i don't defend these cases but number one, if i'm an owner and there's a distraction because of this, i'm not bringing him in.
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number two, i have a legal right to say i don't believe in that particular spin. i think that -- >> all 32 teams -- >> -- taking a knee is wrong. >> all 32 teams take the same position? >> it's nothing to do with the first amendment. >> this was geragos. do we still have the sound? this is kaepernick's attorney mike geragos and how he sees the way forward. >> i think the whole thing is basically a ruse. it was done and the collusion actually was the nfl cowtouing to the president. it's clear. the evidence will show that. they don't admit the collusion because of what the consequence is. if they admit the collusion, the collective bargaining agreement, which is extremely ownereneroust evaporates. it's with a wink and a nod. there isn't anybody who's got a
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wouldn't say this is collusion activity. >> does that tell you anything more about how either difficult or >> look, fred, any time someone says a slam dunk, raise your eyebrows because there aren't a lot of slam dunks out there. all you need to do is look at the conduct of the nfl and the way they've treated kaepernick. if you're telling me the mere gesture of a black player taking his knee during a national anthem to protest, to protest police violence and racial inequality, that's the purpose of it. whatever people are drumming up in their mind about the military and disrespect and all, that's not what it's about. that's what it's about. that's what he's protesting. what's the claim? the claim is he's been blackballed and no one will hire him. and they haven't. >> let's be clear.
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you have to show that of the 32, at least two are getting together and saying, you know what, i really believe that donald trump's objection to taking the knee should bar us. there is no evidence. he's a distraction -- >> he's 6'4", 220, and hasn't had one workout. >> won't geragos' team say when the president involved himself, it took it to another level and that that in some way did pressure nfl team owners or at least influenced them against giving kaepernick a shot? >> that's the theory, fredericka. that's the theory. if geragos can prove that, fine. but right now he's spinning it in the court of public opinion. when he gets to a court of law, you know what, i'm saympathetic to the issue but there's no legal basis to the claim. unfortunately there's no basis. >> that's just not true. if the nfl owners have gotten
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together and determined that based on kaepernick's conduct they're not going to hire him, they haven't even given him one workout, come on, man. this is basic. >> you're trying to connect the dots. that's evidence that's required and you don't have it. >> that's how you build a case, you get evidence and you get to a result. that's good evidence. >> there has to be -- you know, whatever the goal is, right, there has to be a vision. if he were to win, will -- >> right. >> -- part of the reward or settlement be the nfl paying for all of his lost wages? >> yeah. >> all his team? >> if he wins, that's right. that's right. and it could be punitive damages. richard's right, and there's evidence -- >> and back into the game on the team? >> it's not going to force an owner to put him on the field, fredericka. it will never happen. there may be damages. but there is no way a federal
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judge is going to order kaepernick back on the field. never gonna happen. >> the fact that this lawsuit is pending hurts goodell when he opens his mouth. you can see the redskins hire sanchez, and kaepernick is 6'4", 220, a mobile quarterback. he wasn't the greatest quarterback. but you know what, he could help a lot of teams in the nfl. nobody's giving him a workout. this is a viable case. it really is. >> richard, avery, thank you so much, always good to see you. and hear you. we'll be right back. truecar is great for finding new cars.
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tom clancy's jack ryan... and the man in the high castle. all in the same place as your live tv. its all included with your amazon prime membership. that's how xfinity makes tv... simple. easy. awesome. with the high stakes and divisive brexit debate nearing another critical vote, the colorful speaker of britain's house of commons is giving an exclusive and rare interview with cnn. and he tells us why he believes it's important to give what he
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calls the dissident minority a chance to have their voices heard. here is cnn's bianco nobilo. >> order! order! >> reporter: john bercow in a role almost as old as parliament itself. >> the best known visible function of the speaker is to chair in the chamber, chair the prime minister's questions. in that capacity, i'm a referee. >> don't tell me what the procedures of this house are. >> if the speaker is a person that will be cowed or intimidated by a letter sent by way of complaint, that person isn't fit to be speakerer. >> reporter: speaker since 2009, how has he learned to control hundreds of lawmakers? >> sometimes you do have to speak loudly, there's no point
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in saying, would you mind awfully, after due reflection, thinking about stopping speaking? if somebody is going on too long you have to interrupt and say, "order, order!" >> reporter: a job fraught with the difficulties of the day. >> we're grappling with the biggest difficulty facing us, brexit. no resolution of the matter has been obtained. it is a concern. it isn't something that the speaker can determine. >> reporter: all six centuries of speakers have faced their own challenges including mortal danger. do you feel that weight of history when you conduct your daily duties? >> the truth is that it was a very perilous enterprise to stand for speaker before the democratic age came upon us. >> the historians here will know that some seven speakers lost their heads for championing the commons against the executives. >> that does enable me to view the woes and challenges which
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conflict and confront the house of commons, and which conflict and confront me. i'm not likely to lose my head. >> reporter: cnn, london. hello again and thank you so much for being with me this saturday. i'm fredericka whitfield. any moment now we'll hear from virginia's democratic governor, ralph northam, about the controversy that's erupted over the last 24 hours. northam says he has no plans to resign and now says he believes it's not him in that racist photo in his medical school yearbook. that's a big flip from last night, when he confirmed that he was in the photo, just hadn't made the distinction of which image he was. >> that photo and the racist and offensive attitudes it represents does

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