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tv   New Day With Alisyn Camerota and John Berman  CNN  March 4, 2019 4:00am-5:01am PST

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busy and sad morning for you. has the death to changed since you reported 23 people were killed? >> no ma'am. we currently are confirming 23 fatalities in regard to the storms and, of course, we hope that number does not go up. but we're afraid that it could possibly increase as the day wears on. >> is there any common connection between the 23 people who were killed? were they all on the same street or vicinity? >> all in the same general area. we have about a one square mile area that was affected, a lot of residents within that specific area. and all of the fatalities occurred within that -- within that range here off of alabama highway 51 south of the city of ownershipa lecca. epileka. >> and some of those were children? >> yes, ma'am. >> what is your biggest challenge as the morning light begins there? >> just the sheer number of
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debris everywhere. we have ton of debris, a lot of residents completely destroyed. we're dealing with some of the victims that we found yesterday who were actually under debris and makes very difficult to locate, also to conduct a search operation which we'll start here short. >> i we had talked earlier to a spokesperson from emergency services who said that you guys will be employing heat-seeking drones. are those up in the air and how are they going to work? >> yes, drones have infrared capabilities and wooul we'll capabilities and we'll be using that also with helicopters. >> do you know how many people are missing? >> we have reports of people not accounted for. we'll be concentrating on the areas last located. they could be some of the individuals that were actually victims. we're still trying to reunite families and ensure that we get those identities and make sure that if we can match the people
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that have been reported missing with some of our victims. >> now, of course, i mean i understand these are early hours and it's chaos there. are there still dozens of people who are reported missing? >> we've got several. i don't have an exact number, but it's going to be up in the double digits. >> sheriff, i know that you've been sheriff there for 20 years. have you ever seen anything like this? >> nothing of this nature that i can recall in memory. >> and what -- why is that? i mean obviously you're no stranger to tornadoes, so what makes what happened last night so different? >> it's just the sheer magnitude of the destruction, just the debris everywhere, and just the difficulty in getting into the area because of that. again, we just have not had anything quite like this in our area ever that i know of. >> sheriff, how is your home and your family? >> oh, fine, thank you. we were in the auburn area, the
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city's north of the damaged area. it's confined to the rural areas south of the twin cities. >> i'm happy to hear that. there's also obviously the fatalities there are is the largest amount of people killed in years in alabama. but there's also a lot of injuries. can you tell us the numbers and what those look like this morning? >> not sure -- not sure the number of injuries. we did have several, but they were treated at area hospitals in opa locka and the city of columbus, georgia. >> yeah. do you know how many tornadoes hit? >> we do not know. possibly two based open the damage, but we're going to guess assessments later in the day and see exactly what we've got. >> we're just looking right now at your area on the video that we have and it, you know, it's just shocking. it's a stunning image of everything that's happened to trees and then there's other -- we have correspondents in front of homes and you can see some here, cars tossed around and homes just completely splintered and destroyed. >> that's right.
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>> obviously this is -- this is, of course, what are tornadoes do, but the amount of damage in your area is really stunning this morning. >> i would categorize it as catastrophic in many cases. the damage is incredible. >> yeah. sheriff jay jones, thank you very much. we know you have a very busy morning. thank you. please come back to us with any update. >> yes, ma'am. thank you very much. >> john. all right, the light still coming up, the death toll still at 23. want to get a better look of the extent of damage on the ground there. kayleigh hartung live in lee county with the latest. kayleigh. >> reporter: john, one square mile of significant damage here in lee county as the sheriff described, maybe as much as two square miles. but with this morning light the search and recovery efforts will intensify, halting overnight because the conditions were just too dangerous. a series of deadly tornadoes ripping through alabama and georgia leveling homes and
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causing catastrophic damage across both states. >> houses completely destroyed, homes that just basically just slabs left where once today a home. >> reporter: the tornadoes are the deadliest in years with authorities telling reporters they expect the death toll to rise. the path of destruction tearing through lee county, alabama. officials say one tornado appears to have traveled for several miles on the ground in one community, destroying nearly everything in a half-mile wide path and sending dozens of people to the hospital. >> i wouldn't wish this on anybody. this came on to sow quick and changed so many lives, it's really sickening to watch. >> reporter: neighborhood after neighborhood in this georgia town leveled. roofs torn off the tops of houses. trees uprooted and blocking streets. cell phone towers knocked down. >> this whole area right here is pretty much just gone. looking out over this way dollar
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whi which was mostly trees, it just looks likes toothpicks broke just all through that there. >> reporter: this porch, the only thing still standing from this home. >> contents of one residence we know for a fact was located over a thousand yards away. so we've got a very wide storm track that went through the area. >> reporter: families gathering anything they could find in the rubble to take with them to safety. >> these families have lost everything they have. >> reporter: in the midst of the chaos, some families reuniting with their pets and their loved ones. >> gran nny's okay. >> reporter: the sheriff mentioned they'll be putting helicopters and drones up in the sky this morning. that heat-seeking equipment on the drones important in the possible recovery process, alisyn, but also just the bird's-eye view that they'll be able to get for the first time will be incredibly important as they try to better understand
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the extent of damage here. >> dlooabsolutely. we just heard from the sheriff the worst damage was two mobile homes and that where we find cnn victor blackwell. he's live in front of one to show us what it looks like. what are you seeing, victor? >> reporter: yeah, let's get right to that with daylight we're seeing more of the drama behind this storm. this is one of those mobile homes and in natural disasters these get it the worse. we can see now the flooring, the carpet from this home. it was just shoved on to its side and slammed up against some trees here. and if you look 30, 40 feet into the air here, the insulation is in the branches in this home. and we're seeing damage like this all along this road in the is county road 100. and actually, jonathan, if you could zoom in down here you see parts of this home about 20 yards into this little portion of the forest here. and all along this road you've got a wall here with the window,
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more insulation, parts of a home. now i say a home because there's no way to know which home in this neighborhood any of this came from. of course we assume that came from this mobile home because it's particular window pain that's on home we're seeing. but we know from the national weather service that the winds were expected here to have been of an ef-3, at least they say at this point, that means 136 miles per hour could be stronger. we're seeing a lot of this as well, uprooted trees across this area. i can see at least about a half dudsen from where i dozen from where i'm standing. we'll see more as the sun comes up. work will continue as the sun comes up. we know there will be a briefing from authorities at the top of the next hour. i have to tell you as we drove through, there was no power here so you couldn't see much. we could see a little of our
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headlights bouncing off the windows some of homes that were untouched. just a small amount of damage. but also there were some homes where just the small things were salvageable. so as is typical with a tornado, it jumped from house to house and not everyone is seeing this type of damage as we drive around and try to survey this area, we'll bring you more as we find it. john, back to you. >> thank you so much, victor, for telling us the stories on the ground. our major focus is on alabama, the aftermath of that deadly tornado. but that system that brought the deadly tornadoes to the south is hammering the northeast at this moment with snow. more than a foot of snow in some areas forcing schools to close here in new york city and in boston. more than 80 million people from the midwest to the northeast are under winter storm alerts. cnn's alison kosik is live in boston with the very latest there. alison. >> reporter: good morning, john. so the snow's been falling at a
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pretty good clip since midnight. it's beginning to taper off and the kind of snow that's falling, it's that wet, heavy sticky kind, the fun kind that you get to throw at your photographer and build a snowman. but then there are the headaches of it, you've got to shovel it, it's really heavy. and then what it does to the roads here, it creates this thick coating of slippery treacherous driving. although you're not seeing the drivers here having any issue making their way through the roads. they're kinda used to this. also the plows have been making their way on the streets and also on the sidewalks we're seeing the sidewalks pretty clear this morning too considering anywhere from 9 inches to a foot of snow has fallen overnight. this is actually going to wind up being boston's biggest snowstorm of the season. it's been pretty light as far as snowfall goes, only about 15.9 inches has fallen the entire season. so in this one fail swoop, we're getting all this snow. it is beautiful, but as you said, boston public schools are
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closed. it's keeping the roads a little clearer than usual helping those plows getly to and make it so these buss can zoom through these slippery streets. >> we thought that was a footpath behind you until we saw the bus zooming and the other drivers not slowing down for the snow. typical bostonians. >> it's boston. >> that's right. thank you very much for the update from there. cnn meteorologist chad myers joins you now with more. what are you see seeing, chad? >> the heaviest snow about to end but there's light snow behind it and much colder air. we'll be down into the teens. everything that isn't frozen this after noonl be noon will b tonight. cumberland, rhode island, 14.3, fox bore re, 12 inches of snow, one solid foot there. greenwich got some where around 8 inches, central park 3.5. yesterday, when these storms were down in the south, using the moisture from the gulf of
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mexico and that cold air that made the snow overnight in new york, they clashed. it's warm and cold and what it clashes it's never a good thing. this is the storm that moved through lee county. lee county right there. that storm may have been on the ground for 65 miles. so we're going to watch that. and then all these other super cells were all out here all rotating with more tornado warnings and other tornadoes on the ground creating more damage that we haven't even got to yet because they're still out there looking at that damage. even until almost midnight last night there were storms that were still tornadic. at times, ten tornado warnings at a time for ten different cells yesterday. this was quite an outbreak of severe weather for sure, in fact, over 30 tornadoes possible. weather service will be out there looking for it. right now it's completely clear. severing gone, but yesterday was an ugly day, hail, wind, tornadoes, 36 chances of tornadoes everywhere across the
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southeast. it will get a lot colder tonight. high today around 30. but tonight that slush will be frozen, we're back into the teens. >> that sounds unpleasant. that sounds very unpleasant, chad. thank you for that. senator rand paul announcing that he will vote to block president trump's medical marijuana emergency declaration to build the border wall. so now what?
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cancer, epilepsy, mental health, hiv. patients with serious diseases are being targeted for cuts to their medicare drug coverage. new government restrictions would allow insurance companies to come between doctor and patient. and deny access to individualized therapies millions depend on. call the white house today. help stop cuts to part d drug coverage that put medicare patients at risk.
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simple. easy. awesome. xfinity, the future of awesome. republican senator rand paul says he will vote to block president trump's national emergency declaration. paul says he cannot give the president extra constitutional powers. and that means there are enough votes in the senate to send the disapproval to the president's desk. president trump has vowed to veto that. join sing us now is matt, the chair mapp of the cpac and the former director for george w. bush. great see you. >> good to see you, alisyn. >> let me read to you what senator rand paul wrote about his reasoning. he said i would literally lose my political soul if i decided to treat president trump differently than president obama. every single republican i know
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decried president obama's use of executive power to legislate. we were right then. but the only way to be an honest office holder is to stand up for the same principles no matter who is in power. what do you think of his rational? >> i'm a great admirer of rand paul. i think there's the legal question as to whether or not dru donald trump has the legal right to declare this emergency, which i think is an open and shut case. but then individual senators have to decide whether that law that congress passed and the supreme court up held whether that law is something they want to support in this case. he's got the right to make that call. have no impact on what happens with the emergency, because of course donald trump will veto anything that goes to his desk. >> what he's talking about the hypocrisy of it. he's saying as you know, matt, you guys couldn't stand it when president obama went around congress and when he used some sort of executive order. >> you're right. >> you couldn't stand it.
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so why now are you okay with it? >> because in this specific case, alisyn, when it comes to our immigration laws that barack obama decided to not enforce, a president doesn't have the right to pick and choose the laws that he enforces. you have to enforce the laws that are on the book. what's happening here in this specific case is the constitution gives the president the -- not just the authority, but the responsibility of securing our borders. and what congress has done in its own spending has already appropriated millions and billions of dollars in different accounts that can be used to secure the southern border. >> well -- >> so that's the difference here is that the funding follows the president's clear delineated responsibilities in our law. and that's why he will win in court. >> well, but -- >> now rand paul can stay it would be better if we had a legislative solution. i agree. but the democrats have decided that they will give the
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president nothing when it comes to this. >> couple things. you though that president obama had more deportations than any previous president in vent memory. so the fact you say did he nothing to enforce the law, he deported tons of people, number one. number two, you know that is precedent breaking. it's precedent breaking. so the fact that the president can declare an emergency declaration, yes. but no president has ever been denied by congress the money and then done an end run around congress. that is what is making this situation so different. >> yeah, i think this is right. first of all, you're right about president george w. bush and obama, that they stepped up the level of deportations. bah iraqi obama was even called the deporter and chief by some on the left. the difference now is because we changed our laws in 2006 and we've had other judges from the ninth circuit and other places intervene, it's not the numbers of people who are coming here illegally. sometimes those lines are pretty flat. sometimes they come down. it's the type of people who are
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coming here. there are people from countries who get an automatic in to the country. the number of children and young women being trafficked is going through the roof if you talk to doctors without borders. if you get in and look at the gran knew larry thety of the types of people who are coming to our country we have very little ability to deport them. that's the problem. that's why we've had people die at the border and this trauma of family separation. there's a crisis and the difference here between past presidents and donald trump is that when it comes to immigration, most presidents are fairly careful because it's an explosive topic. >> yeah, but -- >> had it comes to donald trump, he said, look, we're never going to solve this problem until we secure the border and i agree with him. >> but just to be clear, the numbers of people, who are seek asigh lium has not changed sinc 2017. so he didn't declare this in 2017. >> no. >> so it's -- >> i don't know -- >> here's the thing, matt. it's hard to believe that it's a
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national emergency when the president declared it and then went golfing the next day and the day after. >> so when you basically said is it could only have been an emergency if he had declared it when he first became president. >> i'm saying why dent declare it that year when there were people seeking asylum then? >> because the first reason is because i think he, as -- you know, believe it or not, it's a tough job and he was april outsider. never spent a day in government. i think he is learning about what the law tells him he can and can't do. number one. number two, he has tried to work with congress, including a republican congress. >> it didn't work. >> a republican congress that wasn't that willing to secure the boarder. >> that's right. they weren't willing to give him the money that he wanted. that's different, matt. >> they did give him the money, they gave it to him in these other accounts thattee they finally figured out they can use to build the wall. i think the supreme court will uphold this and i think these extra 200 miles of border protection is going to get built. >> now's a good time to segue to bs. so let's talk about what happened at cpac. >> did you just say bs?
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>> i said bs. i did not say the full term. >> okay. >> as the president did. here's the president as just a part of his two-hour speech at cpac. listen to this. >> unfortunately you put the wrong people in a couple of positions and they leave people for a long time that shouldn't be there and all of a sudden they're trying to take you out with [ bleep ], okay. with [ bleep ]. robert mueller never received a vote and neither did the person that appointed him. >> did you expect him to speak for two hours? >> i think it was two hours and 20 minutes. >> how much time did you allot for it? >> i don't even know because maybe 30, 40 minutes. but when i talked to him afterwards, i think he could have gone another hour, alisyn. he was still amped up. we had a long conversation and, you know, i think the thing about cpac, which is probably hard for people who have never gone, is this is not so much a
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speech that the president gave, it was almost a conversation he's was talking to people in the audience throughout it. it was an extraordinary event. >> well, i mean people also felt that you used their term amped up, we've heard the term sort of unhinged. people thought he was giving his own self-preservation defense there, just that it had gotten to him. that the week after michael cohen had gotten to him and he felt the need for two hours to kind of justify where he was. >> well, i do think there's a little bit of political therapy that goes on between donald trump and the cpac audience. i mean, there is -- it didn't -- it wasn't always in this spot and it's come to the point where the people who come to cpac are really heartened and vindicated by the things that president trump is doing. there's genuine affection for him and i think he feels the same way. i'm sure there are democratic politicians that have their place where's they go and there's great affection in the audience. and i think the longer he spoke, the more it was telling that -- that this relationship is there. and the crowd -- and the crowd
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loved it. by the way, you know, it's a huge international crowd too. this is an important moment where i, in many ways, i think the 20 themes -- 20 presidential themes have emerged. >> there you go. matt, thank you very much very much. >> thank you, alisyn. >> great to talk to you. alisyn raised the possibility that something's get together president. one thing that could be getting to him, dozens of people connected to him are about to hear from the house judiciary committee. we're going to speak to a democrat on that committee about what they're looking for next.
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house judiciary chairman jerry nadler says he will request documents today from more than 60 individuals and entities connected to president trump, including the president'sson donald trump jr. and the cfo of his family business alan weisselberg. question is, what are they looking for? joining me now is democratic congressman ted deutsche. he serves on the judiciary committee. thank you so much for being with us. what specifically are you looking for? >> well, it's the job of the
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house judiciary committee to fully investigate any threats to the rule of law. and in the case of this white house, that means a full and thorough investigation into the potential corruption charges, the potential abuse of power that we've seen over and over again. and obstruction of justice. we've gone through this process where we have allowed the mueller report, the mueller investigation to play out as we need to and we're waiting for that report and it has to be public. but we have an important job to do to lay out all of the facts in a fully transparent way for the american people so that they understand whether or not there is a threat to the rule of law and how congress will ensure that no one is above the law. >> for instance, what do you want to know from donald trump jr.? >> well, in each one of these cases there are -- there are a whole range of issues that we're
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going to be asking about. in the case of donald trump jr., in the case of -- i'm going to take a step back, john, in all of these, for example, we know that on the issue of obstruction of justice we know that it certainly looked like obstruction of justice when the president fired jim comey, asked him to go easy on flynn, it looked like obstruction of jess justice when the president -- when the president allegedly reached out to the former acting attorney general to ask if the southern district of new york u.s. attorney could unrecuse himself so he might get more favorable treatment? we know the issues about the potential corruption and the president enriching himself while he's president, a violation of the emolements clause by having foreign monies spent to enrich the president. in all of these issues, the people who are closest to him have information about what the president was actually doing. that's why it's so important for to us reach out to them. we've -- i'm just going to say
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this. john, throughout this entire process for two years the republican leadership of the judiciary committee has done everything they can to try to shift attention away from everything the president is doing. we are now going to focus like a laser on all of these areas, that's why we're reaching out and that's why we're starting with these requests to 60 people. >> you keep using the phrase we know. and let me channel oprah here for a second, if i can, and yo sk you the question she always asks una different context. what do you foe fknow for sure? what do you feel that you already know? >> we know the facts as they've been reported in public. we don't know more than that. so we know that the president said that he fired the fbi director because of the russia investigation. we know that the president -- that the actions by the president throughout his
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presidency have attempted to undermine -- he used his power to undermine the institutions of our country, whether it's the press, whether it's our national security apparatus, he has gone out of his way to use the power in that way. we know that there is evidence of -- of possible violations of the emoluments clause through the payments to the trump hotel and others. this is what's been reported. the problem is what we've not been able to do is move beyond talk of the mueller report, which the mueller investigation report, which is important, and broad ten broaden it to all of these areas of investigation whether in federal court in new york or virginia, whether in state court, all of the investigations that the american people need to understand. >> for what then? to what end? you will try find this out to do what? >> well, to enforce the rule of law, to make sure that no one is
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above the law. look -- >> what is the only way to enforce the rule of law and to make sure that no one is above the rule of law when you're talking about the president of the united states? >> well, we -- it's the president of the united states and everyone around him. and i'll anticipate your question, i guess you're hinting at, which is the question of impeachment. chairman nadler was clear yesterday that that's a decision that gets made, if it gets made, only if the american people have seen evidence that the president has committed impeachable offensives. and rather than reacting after each one of the scandalioous stories about the way he has attempted to obstruct justice, it makes sense for to us lay this out in a thoughtful way over the course of the next year. >> let me play you something that the house minority leader said. and this is something we've heard on this show specifically
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having do with the stormy daniels payoffs, that basically even if he was connected, it's not a big deal. listen to this exchange. >> if there's no problem with these checks, there's no problems with the reimburse meant, why did the president lie about it for so long? >> you could ask that question of the president but this is a personal issue and why would most people not go to the american public about this? you've seen politician dos this exact same thing in the past to the me, they're trying to find a case for a problem that doesn't exist. >> is this a problem that doesn't exist? is this something that all politicians have done before? >> of course not. of course not. it's unprecedented and let's -- let's be clear, because we've heard this argument before from people in the administration that this is a personal matter. the criminal code is full of personal matters that are also crimes. this was the president of the united states and acting through michael cohen, through his personal attorney to silence
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someone right before an election in order to win an election. let me put it more simply, john. this is by appearance anyway there are is the president of the united states committing a felony in order to be elected president then attempting to cover it up and then throughout this process trying to silence witnesses, intimidate witnesses while also dangling the potential of pardons. no, this is not -- it's not normal for someone running for president to make a large payoff that -- that's meant to keep information silent so that he can become president of the united states. that's just one example. but it's a great one because the minority leader here, again, shows that it is his first goal and top priority to defend everything that the president is doing rather than working with us to ensure that the rule of law is respected. that's what's so disappointing
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when i hear statements like that. but it's not going to deter the house judiciary committee from doing the work we need to on behalf of the american people. >> if you believe all those things you've just laid out, the next few months for you will be fascinating. thank you on behalf of me and oprah winfrey, i appreciate you being with us this morning. >> thanks very much. >> are you now speaking for oprah? >> think it's a good question for democrats because they keep saying we know, we know, we know. i'm curious what they feel they know and what they want to zblern i think it's a good question for everyone. >> i just think here normally. >> good. well, will donald trump jr. be the next person summoned to testify before congress? we discuss that and more next. you.
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all of you. how you live, what you love. that's what inspired us to create america's most advanced internet. internet that puts you in charge. that protects what's important. it handles everything, and reaches everywhere.
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this is beyond wifi, this is xfi. simple. easy. awesome. xfinity, the future of awesome. as you know, president trump has changed the long-held definition of fake news. he does not mean fictional stories written by trolls in macedonia. that's what it meant for many years. he means stories by news outlets he does not like. so just how many of those stories turned out to be true? >> i don't know why you brought up macedonia. >> am i hanging on macedonia? >> a little bit. >> john avlon has a huge calculator where he's been keeping track of how many of those stories have turned out to be true. hi, john. >> it's so large you have to use your fists to hit the buttons. in his rambling two-hour speech at cpac this weekend, president trump floated the idea of issuing executive order defending free speech on college
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campuses. now of course we already have something a good deal more permanent than an executive order, it's called the first amendment of the constitution. it not only protects freedom of speech, it protects freedom of the press, something donald trump's not a big fan of. at least juming by his repeated use of the phrase enemy of the people to refer to journalists and the phrase fake news to describe any reporting he doesn't like. which is why we thought it would be useful to reality check the president's use of the phrase fake news. now, sometimes he just bellows it on twitter absence any context. but sometimes it's in reaction to specific reporting. and often those denials are themselves proven to be fake. for example, president trump went after our colleagues carl bernstein, jim sciutto for this story. he called it fake news. last week in i had congressional testimony michael cohen confirmed it saying he had seen his son speak to him in the oval
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office. or how about the "new york times" story from friday. the trump's own chief of staff wrote a memo detailing his concerns that the president overrule the intelligence community to get his son-in-law a top secret security clearance. well, trump not only flatly denied it in an interview with maggie haberman, he called a similar report make neu news w back as the transition. man calling everyone a liar, seems to be lying. and go back to the longest shutdown in history. trump said that the white house had no strategy for the shutdown. well, the absence of strategy was widely reported by white house and congressional sources and the results, the shutdown where president trump got less money for border wall than had been initially offered by democrats, that seemed to confirm all that reporting. or given last week's underwhelming nuke summit we can look back to november where he said, quote, the story in the "new york times" about north korea developing mix basins accurate. cnn's reporting as well as the congressional testimony of trump's own director of national
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intelligence contradicted the president's optimistic assessment of north korean nukes. finally to round out most recent top 5, in the run-up to the midterm elections they published an interview with the president with this headline. trump tells ap he won't accept blame if he loses house. the president was displease and fired off this tweet. review of the trip said that trump did say he wouldn't bear responsibility for loss saying he thought he was helping candidates. 40 house republicans lost their seats. and, again, these are just five of the most recent prominent examples, folks. donald trump has used the phrase fake news over 800 times in speeches and tweets. which is why it's worth remembering that the press, however imperfect, works hard to get things right while the president seems determined to do the opposite when it comes to confronting uncomfortable truths presented by the free press of america. that's your reality check. >> the keyword being there reality, john. >> yes. >> thank you very much for that. >> thank you, john. michael cohen is back this week for more testimony before the house intelligence committee.
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so who else does the committee want to speak with? here's the chairman adam schiff on show time last night talking about the trump organization's chief financial officer and the president's son. >> in terms of mr. weisselberg i think it's going to be necessary to bring him in. and don junior, we are obviously looking carefully at his prior testimony. we know now additional information and it may very well be necessary to bring him back before the committee. those are decisions that we'll make in consultation with our members. >> i want to bring in mark mckinnon, co-host of the circus on show time. that was his clip we showed there. also jeffrey toobin, former federal prosecutor and cnn chief legal analyst. mark, i'll start with you since you came -- you brought us treats, video tlnd at ominous music in the background. adam schiff says he wants to talk to allan weisselberg and don junior.
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the democrats now are in, are all in on this it seems. >> yeah. i think what we saw last week is just how wide this net may go. and i have a great debate way friend last night and i should ask you, jeffrey, about this which is what should the purview of the special counsel be or the investigations? >> my view is that, you know, russia collusion may be the least of the president's worries and maybe it should be the least of his worries. and my view is that if a president particularly a sitting president or anybody running for president committed a felony, we should know about it no matter where it was. your view? >> well, i think that's right. but the vehicle for finding things out is more complicated than just like we wanted to learn how it's going to attorney out. y turn out. you have the mueller investigation that is wrapping up and there will be some sort of report. the southern district of new york is aggressively investigating the michael co--related activities. there's going to be no report from the southern district, that is simply they will either issue
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indictments or not. congress is investigating many of the same subjects. that presumably is nothing but public. so i mean i think there are going to be many vehicles to find out what's going on, but there's not going to be one central repository. >> are you suggest we should have a special prosecutor to vet all the people running for president? i said well, maybe not a bad idea. >> sort of. isn't that what a campaign is called? >> that's op-ed research. >> but, jeffrey, if congress finds out that donald trump committed crimes before he was in office of the kind that michael cohen outlined like tax fraud, defrauding a charity, bank fraud, but he wasn't yet in office, then what is congress supposed to do about that? >> well, the question is, impeachment. and you -- >> but do you impeach for something before you were in office or just for crimes when you're in office? >> it's a political process, not a legal process. if you were to find out on the
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day before the inauguration that the president killed somebody, of course they would be impeached. you can't have a president who committed a murder. so the question congress will have to ask is are first of all, what happened before he was president and what can we prove in a convincing way? it's not proof beyond a reasonable doubt, congress doesn't have that sort of burden. but they will have to make the political judgment of is there enough here that merits impeachment? and nancy pelosi has said to me and many others, we are not doing anything on impeachment unless we can be sure there are 67 -- 67 votes in the senate, which there clearly are not. >> twoond things, one thing that's interesting is the framers did think that impeachment was specifically for crimes and merchandise that got you into office. if you did something in the process of obtaining that office, george mason said, that is corrupt, that should be impeachable. >> what stormy daniels is all about. >> and you said something else, mark, that's interesting here.
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it changes the framing of this whole discussion. you said if the president committed a felony while in office, or before, we want to know about it. >> yeah. >> that's not a very high bar, we just want to know about it. >> that was part of my argument. we should -- we're talking about the president of the united states. and if the president of the united states committed a felony anytime in his life, i want to know about it. >> well. >> that's like such an unshocking statement but you have kevin mccarthy out there saying and rick santorum saying these campaign finance violations, everyone does it, i don't see it as a crime, it's not so bad. >> this campaign finance violation arguably changed >> i think you can easily say had news come out, which was about a week before the election with stormy daniels and the payoff, that could have affected 77,000 votes. 77,000 evangelicals may have stayed home. >> well, chairman nadler on house judiciary says he has already seen evidence of crimes
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committed. here's how he spelled it out. >> it's very clear the president -- it's very clear 1,100 times he referred to the mueller investigation as a witch hunt. he tried to protect flynn from being investigated by the fbi. he fired comey in order to stop the russian thing as he told nbc news. he's dangled -- he's intimidated witnesses. >> very interesting needle that jerry nadler is threading. he's spelling all that out. the laundry list of where he sees crimes having been committed but in the same interview said we're a long way from any sort of impeachment. we don't know if we're going to get there. >> both nadler and pelosi recognize they're all haunted appropriately by the 1998 experience of the republicans who went ahead with impeachment while knowing that bill clinton would never be removed from the senate. they are only going to move on
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impeachment if they feel they can actually see trump removed, which they are nowhere near. however, they're not going to simply let it go. they are going to investigate these subjects, see where it goes, and it seems like i think that's both an appropriate political strategy and it's also the right thing to do. these are important issues about stuff that is very significant and congress had done nothing for the past two years. they should do it now. >> those republicans in the senate are not wed to the president ideologically or because they like him because he's a good friend. it's only because of political muscle. if they lose that, it could go really fast. >> thank you very much. two men are publicly sharing disturbing details of their encounters with michael jackson that they say took place when they were just kids. what we've learned so far from the "leaving neverland" documentary. that's next. now we've created a brand new way for you to sell your car. whether it's a few years old or dinosaur old, we want to buy your car.
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okay. it's time for cnn business now. as i eat my oatmeal. >> time for cnn breakfast now. u.s. and china apparently inching closer to a deal to end the eight-month trade war. john berman joins me. chief business correspondent christine romans is here with retails. >> hi, there, alisyn. a spokesman for the chinese government sounding upbeat saying we hope the two sides can continue to step up consultations to reach a win-win agreement. contours of a trade deal are emerging here. "the wall street journal" reports china is offering to lower tariffs on american soybeans and autos and washington is considering rolling back tariffs on $200 billion worth of chinese products. on friday, the president asked beijing to end all tariffs on u.s. ag culture exports because trump didn't increase tariffs on march 1st, that famous deadline. now the german reports they are
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pledging to speed up the timetable and cutting tariffs on imported vehicles. big questions remain. enforceablity. will china live up to its promises and will trump essentially undo all the tariffs and countertariffs of the past eight months but make little headway into changing china's business model. the president has teased a meeting with chinese president xi. the journal reports that could happen around march 27th. >> thank you very much. ten years after his death, the life of michael jackson is a subject of a new hbo documentary "leaving neverland." it tells the story of wade robson and james safechuck, two men who claim the pop star molested them when they were young. so much buzz around this documentary. brian stelter here with the latest. >> it's a punch in the guts but nothing compared to what these two accusers say they went through for years. allegations of pedophilia.
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this is something that followed michael jackson for decades, allegations in the past. this time is different. people may be more ready to listen and hear the stories. here's what the two accusers say in the film. >> he told me if they ever found out what we were doing, he and i would go to jail for the rest of our lives. >> secrets will eat you up. you feel so alone. >> i want to be able to speak the truth as loud as i had to speak the lie for so long. >> and it's time, past time to hear them. to hear their words. wade and james share details of the alleged encounter. >> obviously things like this came out years ago. i thought the jackson family thought they were past them. >> they sued hbo. the film aired no matter what. here's a statement from the family, from the estate. they say michael always turned
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the other cheek. when we have turned the other cheek when people have gone after our family. we can't stand by when this goes on. the estate is defending the late michael jackson. a lot of this is financial. the estate makes a lot of money from the jackson library, from the music. they're trying to defend that. but the lawsuit didn't do anything. the film still aired. here's another statement from hbo which says part two will air tonight. everyone can make up their own minds. they lo this allows everyone to assess the film and claims. she wants to draw attention not just to jackson but to this broader problem. i really hope it's time people are able to take these accusers' accounts and take them seriously. >> brian stelter, thank you. a desperate search for survivors after deadly tornadoes
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struck alabama. we have breaking news coverage for you that begins right now. this is cnn breaking news. good morning. welcome to your "new day," monday, march 4th. we begin with the breaking news. catastrophic tornadoes have torn through central alabama. at least 23 people are dead at this hour. dozens more are injured and, of course, that death toll is expected to rise as search crews can go back out. here's a look at the devastation in just lee county. entire neighborhoods reduced to splinters here. take a look at this cell phone tower that's now lying across the street. it buckled in the storm's wrath blocking u.s. 280. we are expecting to get a live briefing from officials in alabama very soon. the state of georgia was also hit overnight by tornadoes. >> obviously, watching the aftermath of the standards. that's our primary focus. it's notable the same weather system at this moment is dumping snow i

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