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tv   CNN Right Now With Brianna Keilar  CNN  March 1, 2019 10:00am-11:01am PST

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want to anger the wing. >> when you have a bigger table, you have more voices. it's like thanksgiving. it gets interesting. thanks for joining us on "inside politics." i'll be here sunday evening as well. brianna keilar strararts right . have a great friday. i'm brianna keilar live from cnn's washington headquarters. underway right now, the president reportedly ordered officials to include son-in-law jared kushner's security clearance despite concerns from intel officials and then lied about it. why? why one of the president's closest allies say they may be building a case to indict president trump once he leaves office. the one thing the governor of washington is doing differently than the rest of his competitors. and stinging rebuke. after the president defends a
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brutal dictator over the death of an american, otto warmbier's family responds. and we start with president trump, son-in-law jared kushner and national security. the "new york times" reporting that the president stepped in personally to get kushner top secret security clearance even after intelligence officials waved red flags repeatedly. then chief of staff john kelly carrying out the order but also providing a paper trail. sarah westwood is at the white house. sarah, what more have we learned about what happened and what is the white house saying about it now? >> brianna, obviously these new reports are raising questions about how jared kushner was able to get that security clearance, and whether top officials, up to and including president trump himself, deliberately lied about this process. just to give you a little bit of context here, kushner had his security clearance downgraded last year which meant he no longer had access to top security information, and that was a setback for him because he
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has such a broad portfolio. he's involved in everything and john kelly did push to get that top secret access restored. kelly, as you mentioned, made a contemporaneous memo, and so did white house counsel don mcgahn, outlining what intelligence officials had for getting that clearance. the president denied playing any role in securing that clearance. the white house is largely avoiding weighing into the situation, saying they don't comment on clearance issues, but kellyanne conway earlier this morning told fox news that ivanka trump chose to comment on the issue earlier this year because perhaps she has inside information about the situation. but of course, brianna, the controversy here is not whether president trump had the legal authority to intervene.
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experts agree that he did. but why did white house officials misrepresent it and perhaps deliberately lie about it at the time? why the need for secrets, brianna. >> it's a very good question, sarah westwood at the house, thank you. they want to know more about this and about the white house security process. a democrat on both of those committees is here. sir, what did you think about the revelation at the time that the president himself intervened, and also, if that is true, that he lied about not intervening? >> thanks for having me on, brianna. i had three reactions. first, i'm very concerned about the president concea erkconceal
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involvement in getting jared kushner security clearance. he had a number of issues on his security clearance form where he did not have access to certain people, and he should not have security clearance. he said he was trying to secure middle east peace, but a lot of people wonder if he's just trying to get a piece of the action. >> as you prioritize what you want to hear about, what you want to investigate, does this hold the level that you might want to hold a hearing on this, that you might issue subpoenas so you could hear from jared kushner and john kelly on this? >> possibly. and chairman cummings from the oversight committee initially requested documents and materials regarding not only mr. kushner but the entire security clearance process. those documents have not been forthcoming voluntarily from the white house. today he issued another letter asking for compliance by march
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4th. if those documents are not produced, i think that he should subpoena documents and witnesses, potentially, because this issue is not about partisanship, it's about our national security, brianna. >> would you want to see jared kushner come for a hearing, or do you think that there are other things to focus on as opposed to having such a high profile hearing with the president's son-in-law over this issue? >> well, i can't think of issues greater than our national security, and i think this particular issue of jared kushner's security clearance might warrant a hearing. you know, you don't have to look too far to see what's happened here. >> i say national security, but the russia investigation. we've seen michael cohen rise to the level. so you're saying this definitely rises to the level that you would want to see a hearing with jared kushner? >> possibly. i would want to see what chairman cummings thinks in
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terms of leading us down this particular path, but just two weeks ago we launched a huge investigation with chairman cummings' leadership to basically unravel this nuclear secret scandal with saudi arabia. there, as you might recall, jared kushner tried to rush secret -- nuclear secrets of america to saudi arabia in return for billions of dollars in contracts that would have gone to companies that are connected to jared kushner. so that's kind of why it's so important for us to get to the bottom of this security clearance process, especially with regard to jared kushner. >> we saw a lot of -- everyone saw a lot of michael cohen this week. on wednesday he testified publicly you had multiple occasions to see him, including privately in one of his testimonies. so i was wondering, when you were able to see him testifying behind closed doors, and i know you can't say what he said, it's
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an intel hearing. but was it dramatically different or more expansive than what you saw him say in private versus public? >> i can't get into the details of that particular testimony, but what i can say is this, and chairman schiff pointed out these things as well. first, he was very cooperative. and then secondly, he gave so much testimony on so many subjects that he's going to have to come back again, or he's agreed to voluntarily come back again next week. and that was not expected at the outset. so i did not see big inconsistencies between the appearances. >> did you learn more in priv e private? >> i would say yes because of the nature of that hearing. one other thing i want to point out, brianna, there were no cameras there. as you know, it was a private hearing. i think that in some ways led to a little bit more subdued
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questioning by the republicans. i think in the oversight hearing, i really felt to be on the cameras all the time. when they closed down the hearing only three minutes into the hearing. it looked like they were playing to donald trump who was watching live from vietnam at that time. >> playing to the cameras is a bipartisan tradition, i will add that, when it comes to hearings that are televised. >> possible. possible. >> your questions at that hearing really did reveal a lot, though. cohen revealed that there are more investigations being carried out by the southern district of new york. did that catch you by surprise and have you spoken with those prosecutors? >> honestly, it did catch me by surprise. i have not spoken to any prosecutors in the southern district about it. i would just point you to the question before that as well, which was kind of related. i had asked what was his last communication with donald trump or his advisers, and very
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interestingly, he said that the white house -- donald trump or the white house had communicated with them two months after the raid on his home. that's very unusual timing. i asked him what was the substance of the conversation, and again, he said i'm not allowed to say because that is under investigation by the southern district of new york. >> all right, congressman raja krishnamoorthi, thank you for being with us. >> thank you, brianna. the "new york times" saying the president personally demanded that his son-in-law get security clearance over the concerns of intelligence officials. that puts these comments by kushner's attorneys, abby lowell, in a new light. let's listen. >> who made the decision to restore his security clearance. how did that happen? >> the intelligence committee in
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t the white house. it goes to the bureau which takes time. it goes to various agencies, it goes through the white house. there are security measures. it's all career people. there is nobody in the political process that had anything to do with it. there was no one that pressured it. it was just done the normal, regular way. >> we have samantha vinegrad, former adviser to tom donlan, the president's adviser. it's funny to hear him say this is not unusual. so when you see abbe lowell say that, what do you think? >> i would say he's lying and shares the same pinocchio problem that his employer seems to adopt at every twist and turn, or he was left in the dark. we have to keep in mind there are two men roaming the west
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wing right now that experts determine to be counter-intelligence risks. he was under investigation by the department of justice and seasoned experts deemed that jared kushner was not responsible enough to access top secret level information, because potentially he was under undue influences of foreign governments, business interests or any other number of forces that were not the u.s. government. >> tell us tangibly how the u.s. intelligence committee sees these risks. what are they worried about when they don't want to grant jared kushner security clearance? >> they look at a range of priority targets. government falls into that bucket, especially senior ones. jared kushner has access, influence and a maligned intent that makes him susceptible to not sharing stuff with investigators. we know he did not disclose various meetings he had, financial dealings and that sort of thing. what that means is foreign
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governments may have manipulation points on jared kushner. if they know something that the u.s. government doesn't, that opens kushner up to bribery. we also know there was reporting that the saudi government, jared kushner and mohamed salah are best friends these days. at this point jared kushner is not only accessing sensitive intelligence when the intelligence community thought he may be easily manipulated, he's also going out and representing united states interests supposedly with the very people that may be manipulating him. that should worry everyone, republican, democrat and everywhere in the middle as we think about the kind of people we want representing the american people. >> let's listen to what ivanka trump said about this. >> the president had no involvement pertaining to my clear answer or my husband-- my
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or my husband's clearance. there are literally close to a million people in the federal government waiting in the pipeline to get their security clearance or status. >> so no special treatment? >> no. >> february 8. >> it is amazing to me how people lie. let me correct something ivanka said. that is a bit of misinformation. there are a lot of people in the security clearance queue. but someone like jared kushner, his clearance is priorityiized because of the role the president wants him to play. he was in interim clearance but somehow the president intervened because he wanted jared kushner to have access to this information. >> when you see her saying that, you see maligned intent in that. >> it had to be a lie. she had to know it would be unusual for senior staff member
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in the west wing to have internal security clearance for such an untenuated period of time, and it is no secret that chief of staff john kelly did a security clearance review, and miraculously jared kushner got his clearance despite all these red flags. lying about the process is certainly terrible, but let's think about the national impact this has on national security and the fact that jared kushner was not trusted by anyone, donald trump or foreign governments, to responsibly handle classified information. >> samantha vinograd, thank you for your insight. the president rebuked kim jong-un being responsible for otto warmbier's death and now his parents are upset. osama bin laden's son taking over al qaeda and the u.s. raises the stakes to hunt him
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the crowded field of democrats running for president gets bigger and bigger. this is the latest entry right here, governor inslee who is joining the race today. he is the 11th candidate to announce a presidential run. two other democrats are on exploratory committees and more than a dozen others are considering jumping into the fray. for his part, inslee is running on one central issue, and that is climate change. >> we're the first generation to feel the sting of climate change, and we're the last that can do something about it. i'm jay inslee, and i'm running for president because i'm the
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only candidate who will make defeating climate change our nation's number one priority. we can do this. join on us movement. this is our moment. >> let's take a closer look now at how the 2020 democratic field is shaping up. we have aby stoddard and gloria borger with us. so climate change. what do you think about that approach? >> as you mentioned, the field is crowded and getting more crowded by the minute. it's an issue more popular with democrats. it's not the top issue, though. 67% of democrats say it should be a priority but they have five other issues they consider to be more important. he'll put other democrats on the ropes saying, are you for the green new deal, are you for the green new deal? it starts a debate in the party and it's one other way for him to say, hey, here i am.
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i'm a little different. >> stay play for a certain democratic party out of the gate? obviously all these candidates will have to deal with multiple issues, right? seal add to his repertoire. what does it tell you? >> he is going for the young people. he can pull a lot of strings because he's been head of the governor association so he actually has a lot of contacts in the party. it is a democratic legislator not shying from the issue. i'm with gloria, i don't know how long he stays with it because he's not on the plan yet, but it's a good way to get the attention of young people. >> let's listen in.
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>> the science on this is abundantly clear. we have a very short period of time to act. whether we shrink from this challenge or rise to it is the vital question of our time. and we know it is the 11th hour, but as we have shown time and time again throughout our nation's history, this is our nation's hour to shine. and i believe we will because of the urgency of the moment, the scope of the challenge. because the economic growth opportunities inherent in clean energy are clear. and because no other issue touches so much of what we as a nation care most deeply about. and i am confident that we can do it. clima [ applause ] >> climate change is no longer just a chart or a graph.
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it is right now not in some distant future. i stood in the middle of paradise, california a few months ago, a town of about 25,000 people, and we drove for over an hour in the dark. and you could hardly find a house standing after those devastating fires. because of the massive fires here last summer, our kids were told they had to stay indoors because the air was so unhealthy. think about this, the air quality in washington state was the worst in the world last year. not beijing, not new delhi, but here in washington state. we have one chance. >> that's his signature issue, governor jay inslee, on climate change there as he gets into the race today. he also appears to be setting himself apart, a.b., from democrats in another way which is he is going to accept money from superpacs. what do you make of that?
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>> we know democrats are also trying to make this an issue, elizabeth warren is pure on the issue. real purists care about this type of thing. it's not going to be a general election issue where people say, they're not bought and paid for and this candidate is, it's really going to be a subset of the democratic electorate in the primaries only that is paying attention to whether or not jay inslee is more pure or less than senator warren. i think in the end, it might be a hindrance for them, but if they think they can galvanize more voters that way, good for them. i just don't think it's a winning issue. >> does it hurt him with progressives, gloria? >> it might inside the party. again, it's kind of an issue that matters to purists, as a.b. was pointing out, but i don't think it's a large general election issue. by the way, he needs to figure out how to raise money because he's not a well-known candidate.
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>> when are we going find out if joe biden is in or out? he hasn't said, but he was quick to respond to the backlash over a comment he made about vice president mike pence. >> the guy is a decent guy. our vice president who stood before this group of allies and leaders and said, i'm here on behalf of president trump. and there was dead silence. >> so cynthia nixon, the actress and activist, then tweeted, joe biden, you've just called america's most anti-lgbt leader a decent guy. and he replied to nixon that, she's right, there is nothing decent about being anti-lgbtq rights. what did you think about this
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gloria? >> he's running, number one. >> thanks tofor the tip of the hand. >> this is joe biden. he's known for reaching across the aisle saying so-and-so is such a great guy, a decent guy. that's who he is, and it tells you a little bit about party, too. or a lot about the party which is you can't say anything nice about anybody we don't like. so i think that biden is saying, okay, i get it, i get it, and he may be a little out of touch with where the center of the party is right now, but he did have an apology like within a nanosecond, which tells you something. >> let me ask you about beto o'rourke, because it's interesting what he said, a.b., that he's made a decision on rung. there was a question of is he going to take on john cornyn in the senate rice or is he going for the presidential race? it seems he's not going for the senate race and that would be a battle for him, not that the
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presidency wouldn't be. what do you make of, i've made a decision and i'll tell you in a little bit. >> because they're still planning their epic kickoff. he said he and his wife have come to a decision. they're very excited to share it with everyone. and it's very clear what he's up to, we just have to find out when and where. >> so it's a logistics issue? >> there's a reason why people either choose to do it on the video and have a big splash or be out in the snow. i don't know, it's an individual choice but he's made it clear that's what he's going to -- he's not going to go to a huge stadium and announce he's not running. >> thank you very much. the parents of american student otto warmbier is calling out president trump for citing north korea and their son's death. why one of cohen's claims may have put president trump in
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son otto. kim and his evil regime are responsible for unimaginable cruelty and inhumanity. no excuses or lavish praise can change that. thank you. cnn correspondent brian todd is with me now. it's important to note that the warmbiers attended the state of the union last year, right? they were guests of the president. they had been supporting him up to this point. is this a statement that came as a surprise or was it really the president's statement that came as more of a surprise? >> i think you would have to say it was the president's statement that was more of a surprise. you're right, they were guests of him at the state of the union. mike pence met with the parents last year. they really held up the parents as a symbol of what they were trying to work against in north korea, and then the president comes out yesterday, i believe, and says he takes kim at his word when he says he doesn't know what happened to otto warmbi warmbier. today kellyanne conway tried to spin that a little bit, saying
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that he was saying kim didn't know at the time when otto warmbier fell ill or the time when otto warmbier was rushed out of the country. do you believe that part? it is feasible kim might not have known what was going on when they were frenetically trying to get otto warmbier out of the country. but doctors said when he got back he had been in a vegetative state for 14 months. if he's in a vegetative state for 14 months, does kim jong-un not know about that? that's where you have a problem. >> it seems like it's a pattern, right? the president is citing with a dictator or authoritarian ruler and taking sides, really, against the facts and also his own country. >> this is the third time, right? kim jong-un about otto warmbier, mohamed salman regarding the
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death of jamal khashoggi. trump took his word on that. trump has taken more infamously the word of vladimir putin when he said he didn't interfere with u.s. elections. there are some who think trump does this for political expediency when he's trying to make a deal with them. maybe he did this in hanoi with kim jong-un knowing he's trying to get a deal. either way, it's not a great optic, right? >> definitely not. brian todd, thank you for the report. new cnn report just in, more than 1,000 tsa employees are still owed back pay from the shutdown. also you may not know this but you will know his name. why the united states is offering up to $1 million leading up to his capture. california walnuts. the best simple dinner ever? great tasting, heart-healthy california walnuts.
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the state department is offering up to $1 million for information on an emerging leader of the terror group al qaeda. while you may not recognize his face, you may think that it is familiar and you will certainly know his last name, bin laden. hanza is the son of osama bin laden. he w what can you tell us about hanza bin laden? >> hanza is around 30. he's been a true believer since he was a kid. he showed up in propaganda videos all the time when he was a child. the s.e.a.l.s went in on the
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night of may 1st, may 2nd of 2011 to kill bin laden. they we they were carrying little cards about who they thought would be in the compound, and they thought hanza would be with his father. he's been grooming him for a long time. he's a true believer. some of bin laden's other sons have left the group or got away or just sort of eschewed their father. hanza is certainly not that, and i think the fact the state department is putting $1 million on his head, they see him as a leader. the guy who leads al qaeda right now, he's in his 60s, not a particularly charismatic guy, doesn't appeal to young people. hanza appears to be that person. >> how do you read that as his role and what it means for al qaeda regrouping? >> the drones strike tomorrow, the leader of al qaeda if he
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dies just naturally, hanza would be a natural person to make him a leader or the leader of the group. he's got a famous last name. it's in the power of the world, of course, where so many countries in the region are led by family members who share the same name as the previous leader. so it would be exciting for al qaeda to have a bin laden in charge again. >> they're up against isis here. they're fighting for the turf. >> they're fighting, yeah, for sort of brand and all that, and isis, as you know, brianna, is certainly geographically on its last legs. al qaeda is pretty strong in places like syria. it still exists in north africa, still has a presence in south asia. >> right now cnn is reporting that the u.s.-backed syrian democratic forces have begun a ground operation to clear the last isis enclave in eastern
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syria. yes, isis is deteear -- detea deteriorated, but will they ever be defeated? >> the basic factors that produce them, extreme scen centarianism still exists. we talked about leaving afghanistan, we'll see what happens there. we've run the tape before. we left iraq in 2011 to help create a vacuum on isis. it's great to leave but there are costs associated with it. >> the grandson of isis, but it illustrates what the u.s. is up against here with this challenge. >> yes.
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>> peter bergen, thank you so much. a first on cnn, more than a month after the government shutdown ended, at least 1,000 tsa employees are still owed money. plus michael cohen implicated the president in several crimes. where is the president exposed legally? here one of his allies say u.s. prosecutors may look to indict the president after he leaves office. ♪ did you know you can save money by using dish soap to clean grease on more than dishes? using multiple cleaners on grease can be expensive, and sometimes ineffective. for better value,
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first on cnn, when the government shutdown ended in january, most government employees thought the worst was over. now we're learning a significant number of tsa agents still have not received all of the back pay that they are owed.
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we have cnn aviation and government regulation correspondent rene marsh here with us. this is a stunning revelation. why is this hung up? >> brianna, you remember this. when we talked about this shutdown and the people being impacted, these tsa employees, many of them living paycheck to paycheck. they were depending on food banks. some of them got eviction notices. so it was so unbelievable when cnn learned that we're talking about more than a month after this government shutdown and more than a thousand of these tsa employees still have not received all of their back pay. this includes screeners, inspectors, k9 teams. here's the thing. the reason for the delay stems in part from an unusual move by tsa administrator david picassi. during the shutdown he said he would pay a partial pay to workers in order to keep them on the job. hundreds of tsa workers were calling out of work during the shutdown. this current problem during the
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back pay was the subject of a phone call that tsa headquarters held with field offices around the country. this phone call happened on wednesday. and according to a partial transcript obtained by cnn, on the call the agency said that their partial payment to employees coincided with the end of the government shutdown when the funding got restored, and i'm quoting. our timing could not have been poorer in terms of when we executed the final pay. all of people that received this prior pay, make sure they're not overpaying them now that they are due this back pay. it's just really created a mess here and in the end, you have more than a thousand people who are still waiting for their money. >> that's nuts that they would do that without some sort of plan about how -- it's just sort of baffling that they wouldn't have an idea of how to do that
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considering the shutdown could have ended at any day. nonetheless, what is the timeline? when are people getting paid? >> we reached out to tsa about this whole issue and the agency does tell us that of the -- this is their statement, of the 60,000 employees, approximately 1,000 throughout the country require some sort of pay correction and they say they're working through that process right now but they don't give us a timeline so we don't know really the short answer is when everyone will get the back pay that they deserve and that they are owed. they point out, of their 60,000 employees, 1,000 are left to receive back pay but as we said earlier, one is one too many. we're talking about more than a month since this shutdown ended. >> great reporting. thank you so much for bringing this to light. the president reportedly overruling intelligence officials by demanding his son-in-law get top security clearance despite concerns. and then the president lied
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about it. the question is why? plus chris christie says the president should be more worried about the southern district of new york prosecutors than the mueller probe. what he's certain the southern district will do once the president leaves office? (thunderclap) if your day doesn't unfold as predicted. unfold this. new neutrogena® makeup remover single. and remove 99% of makeup. 100% rain or shine. neutrogena®. 100% rain or shine.
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period last year. they say that this is a sign of progress in the city's effort to tackle the problems of crime and gun violence. national expand ryan young is in chicago. tell us more about these numbers and tell us what police think is behind this drop. >> you know a lot of people like to make fun of chicago when it comes to crime numbers. they always cite this. so far this year there have been 44 homicides compared with 80 last year. that's a 44% decrease. the chicago police also tell us 214 shootings have happened this year, that's compared to 282. to get you to the last number i'll give you here is the victims that have been shot this year. 253 people have been shot this year compared to 345 last year. when you put that all together, you're asking why have you seen the changes? a thousand new officers have been put out on the streets so far, so the force is getting younger. they rolled out new technology like shots fired. a lot of time you're seeing
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9-1-1 calls come in after police are already on the way to the 9-1-1 call because the shots fired technology gives them a heads up. then they've created small labs where they have officers and analysts together working to push out the latest data. i'm throwing all of this out at you, it's really significant in terms of what they've been able to do. even today they're rolling out something new, they'll put more detectives together and start going through some of these unsolved cases with parts of these new technology. they'll be able to stitch the scenes together like we saw in the jussie smollett case. they really want to make a difference and a change in the city. we've been talking to them about this for about four years now and we've really seen the most significant change happen in the last 12 months or so. >> and what about the trust? that's a number you can't quantify exactly the way you would crime, but there really does need to be a rebuilding of the trust between the police department and the community. there have been these series of high profile incidents that have
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really rocked the trust of chicagoans in their police. >> i think that's a great and fair question. one of the things we've seen from the police department, one, you have someone who's local and who's the superintendent of police who understands what's going on in some of these pockets of the city. that hasn't helped in terms of making sure that people in the city trust the police department as well. we've also seen the city and the police department working together to go out in some of these communities and try to offer services to the community. so if you have an issue on a corner where it's either a gang member or a drug dealer, they're able to call in now in a different way and talk to detectives to make sure people are out there to try to put some of this down. for instance, there's a shooting case right now where there's a 1-year-old child that was shot and killed and now they're working trying to get the community to talk to them. you have to have someone turn these folks in. it can't be all detective work and that's what they're trying to impress on the public. >> ryan young, thank you so much for catching us up on the
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situation in chicago. that is it for me. "newsroom" with brooke baldwin starts right now. it is friday. you are watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. thanks for being with me. as the senior adviser to president trump, his son-in-law, jared kushner, his privy to the nation's most sensitive, most classified secrets. secrets that are only available to him. thanks to a top secret security clearance and despite concerns from intel officials and even some white house security staffers, kushner was able to get that clearance with the help from his father-in-law. that is according to the "new york times" today which reports that the president ignored the warnings and ordered the top secret clearance be given any way. the report adds that his demand bothered former chief-of-staff john kelly and others so much so, that they actually wrote internal memos about it at the time, but in recent weeks, both the president and his daughter iv

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