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tv   CNN Newsroom With Ana Cabrera  CNN  March 9, 2019 12:00pm-1:00pm PST

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emergency alerts. >> stay alert and stay informed. thank you, allison, appreciate that. thank you for joining me this saturday, i'm fredricka whitfield. see you back here tomorrow. we have so much more straight ahead with ana cabrera. it starts right now. hello, it's 3:00 eastern, noon out west. i'm ana cabrera and you are live in the "cnn newsroom." it is a very busy day on the campaign trail for the democrats who would like to be president. from the battleground state of iowa to ruby red south carolina, they are speaking out talking about their vision for the country, the hot-button issues of the day and talking about their competition, what's becoming a very crowded 2020 field. >> our job is to create an economy and a government that works for all of us, the children, the elderly, the
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working people of this country and not just the 1%. >> for too long, frankly, in our country, for too long, we have not had these honest discussions about race. we have not. >> there are a number of great candidates. there really are. i like to jokingly say, may the best woman win. >> today, in the red state of texas, the south by southwest festival isn't just attracting the biggest names in tech, film and music, it is giving democratic candidates a chance to get up close and personal with potential voters. that's where we find leyla. beto o'rourke isn't announcing if he is running for president, but he is there and taking attendees behind the scenes on the recent senate campaign. tell us more. >> reporter: we had a chance to watch a very -- a documentary
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with a lot of access to that run for the senate, which he went up against ted cruz, raised $80 million, lost narrowly by three points. more importantly, for a lot of people in this audience, i was here in this theater and those outside the theater, he took a question from an audience member who said, what's the deal? are you going to run in 2020? he sort of deflected. he didn't give a straight answer. instead, he decided to highlight other candidates that are currently looking at a big run in local elections. so, he didn't quite answer that, even though he was here with his wife, amy as well as his daughter. interesting timing. this morning, his campaign sent out, excuse me, not his campaign, his staffers sent out an e-mail telling supporters to sign up for the announcement to make sure they are on the list, first to know, when he announces. our sources are telling us, it
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is a matter of any day now. remember, last week, he said he made a decision about his future political career and that he would be announcing it soon. i caught up to him to find out when soon was. he was pretty tight lipped. he's not giving much information on when that will be. that said, all of his supporters are watching every single move. he's been quiet on social media. not much there where he typically engages with supporters. people are waiting to see, when will he speak next and more importantly for them, what will he say? >> right. he sure is building his sus spence for supporters, assuming that's for a reason they are going to like, otherwise, why would he do that. let me ask you about elizabeth warren who is set to speak any moment now. why is this event such a draw for democrats? >> reporter: this is south by southwest. i have to tell you, when i --
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this is my first time attending. yesterday, as i was walking arn around, i saw a lot of folks with beto shirts. young people, engaged people. that's an audience that is really, really getting attention from the democrats, especially beto o'rourke and other candidates here that are speaking. we expect many of those to be at the town hall for cnn tomorrow as well. but, you have to think about who is attending here. those are young, engaged people. that can be gold for some of these candidates that are looking to differentiate themselves among a very, very crowded field. >> south by southwest in austin, texas. thank you for your reporting. turning from the 2020 democratic race to the current occupant of the white house, president trump. when robert mueller submits his report, there's a chance congress or the general public won't see what is in it.
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i want to show you how they played this out this week, showing the force through the trees, noting the past couple years have been overwhelmed with political scandal, perhaps the most in american history. there's the hush money payments before trump won the election with two women alleging affairs with trump and the lies around the hush money payments. there is a historical problem. bill clinton lied under oath and impeached on grounds of perjury and obstruction of justice. the firing of james comey, because of the, quote, russia thing. there's a parallel here, richard nixon, saturday night massacre in 1973 when he purged high level officials investigating watergate. think about this one, negotiating the trump tower project during the campaign. hiding that from the public.
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no historical parallel there. then, there's trump campaign staffers communicating with russians not once, not twice, more than 100 contacts made with russians and trump associates. zero precedent. listen to what former clinton press secretary had to say here on cnn. listen. >> president clinton didn't go out every day and call it a witch hunt and say there was nothing to it, the president went about doing his job. he didn't, 10,000 times tell lies and mislead the american public. he did mislead the american public and lie to them in that roosevelt room. there's no defense of that, but, to try to compare these things, i think that's getting back to the story, that's the strength of the stories. donald trump is using the full weight of the federal government
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and the executive branch now to protect himself and to cover up what he's done. >> i want to bring in constitutional law expert, lawrence tribe involved in lawsuits against trump. he is the author of the book "to end a presidency: the power of impeachment." thanks for being here. good to see you. >> good to see you, ana. >> you have been critical of president trump. we laid out how unprecedented it is. you say now is not the time for impeachment. what is the threshold for impeachment, in your mind? >> the threshold has certainly been met in terms of the likely offenses that are emerging from the evidence. but, there's no point in impeaching a president when the senate is really very much in his hip pocket and will not
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remove him. we really need to investigate thoroughly. so much of what we know, we only know in dris. a great deal has been unmasked by robert mueller. much of it will become public, not all of it. much is being learned in the southern district of new york. it's mostly the house of representatives, the investigations in the judiciary committee, the oversight committee, the intelligence committee, that's going to reveal a great deal, then we'll see. we'll see whether the time has come to pull the impeachment trigger. >> do you worry democrats could overreach? we learned this week, 80 people, businesses, connections to the president, people involved in not just his business, his inauguration, campaign, administration issued requests for documents, communications. is there risk in what the democrats are going, the kind of
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scatter shot way they started their investigations? >> honestly, it's not scatter shot. it's very deliberate and careful. there's a lot of pent up curiosity based not on just speculation, but on indictments that have been handed down by robert mueller on investigations that are going on in the southern district and because prior to last november, the house of representatives was in republican control. they were investigating anything in a meaningful way. a lot of pent up information that needs now to be released and made public. now, obviously, the republicans are going to make it look like this is way too much. but, all of these investigations are in response to completely unprecedented things this president has done, both in becoming president and in at
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least, apparently, obstructing justice during his presidency. we are simply catching up to the truth. >> you don't think impeachment is the answer, yet, but you have said, recently, you don't believe president trump will complete his first term in office. so, do you think impeachment is coming or how do you see this playing out? >> well, i don't have a crystal ball, but it seems to me very hard to believe that someone who would have never been elected in the first place, if the public had known all of what he was doing behind the scenes, both with russia and with michael cohen and with various people who were conspireing to hide the truth from the american people about the way he was violating the campaign finance laws. i think it's hard to believe that someone who would never have been elected is going to serve out his term. how it's going to end, i'm not sure. he may resign in order to avoid
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further embroilment and further damage to his entire empire. i don't think he would resign without arranging to be pardoned by vice president pence. but whenever he resigns or is voted out of office, or is impeached and removed, he is going to face prosecution by state authorities as well as federal authorities. it's not going to be a pretty scene. i think it's going to end sooner rather than later. >> you mentioned earlier, apparent obstruction of justice, a crime. i want you to hear this from ken star, who served as special counsel for the white water investigation talking about a president being indicted. >> do you think a sitting president can be indicted? >> yes, i disagree with the guidelines, but it is the position of the department that goes back to the days of bob work and the nixon
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administration. no person is above the law. a president can be indicted. that's not the policy and bob mueller, as you know, is an officer of the justice department and therefore required to follow that policy. he cannot indict. >> so, star sort of saying it both ways. his argument the president can be indicted, but mueller probably won't do it. do you agree? >> i certainly agree a president can be indicted. the office of legal counsel policy legal to the contrary in 1973 was almost immediately resersed in a brief that the department of justice filed in the supreme court. the basic principle that we shouldn't lose sight of is no one is above the law. it is simply not the case under our constitution that the only way to hold a president into account is through the political process of impeachment, important though it is. because, a sitting president could really have congress
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really in his pocket, as i suggested earlier. if a president were to have, for example, bribed enough members of the senate to be acquitted, it can't be he serves out his term as though nothing happened. when a president commits serious offenses, some of them crimes, others involving violations of the constitution that are extreme abuses of power, though they may not be criminal, like accepting benefits from saudi arabia and turkey and russia, then that president has to be held into account. >> before i let you go, i have to ask you about the supreme court. democrats are throwing out an idea that adding more justices might be the way to go if a democrat is elected president. we heard this from former ag eric holder this week and 2020 candidate, pete buttigieg. he supports as many as 15.
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what is your idea? is this good or bad? >> i think court packing is a bad idea. i can easily see the temptation to do it, but i think that it leads to a never ending spiral of tit for tat. i think that we need to live with the judiciary as an independent body, not a body that keeps getting either expanded or contracted accordion-like. i think that's not the way to go. i do think, in the long run, the american people will hold the president accountable and, in the long run, we will have a supreme court that is much more independent than i think even this president wants it to be. the court is not likely, anymore than the court in the nixon era, did his bidding because he appointed members. i think this court wants to go down in history as an
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independent branch. the chief justice whom i had the privilege of teaching when he was my law student, i think the chief justice is going to do his part. john roberts. is going to do his part from becoming an appendage of the executive. >> thank you so much for being here. >> thank you, ana. fresh doubt over the progress made between president trump and kim jong-un. new satellite showing a rocket or missile is close to having another launch. later, the miami herald and a woman who once owned the spa where robert kraft was accused of soliciting prostitution. you are live with the "cnn newsroom." nd aleve pm. the only one to combine a safe sleep aid, plus the 12 hour pain relieving strength of aleve. i'm back.
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strategies. it's really up to the eye of the beholder and the voter. on one side, trump's detractors set by constant corruption. the number sur rorounding the president is getting daunting. so much that "the new york times" and "washington post" published guides to keep up. there are ten house committees looking into donald trump's administration. several spurred by his former lawyer, michael cohen's testimony. they are not solely focusing on the special counsel and his russia investigation. democrats, in full control of the house are taking control making good on promises to bombard the president with investigations. president trump is not playing defense, even as his former campaign manager is in prison to be followed soon by his former lawyer. instead, the president is making clear americans were promised collusion and citing the manafort sentencing and cohen
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testimony proof that he's been right all along. look at the tweet. both the judge and the lawyer stated loudly and for the world to hear, there was no collusion with russia. okay. to be clear, that is not what the judge said. the judge noted manafort wasn't accused of collusion and his trial was focused on unrelated financial crimes. again, focusing on the politics, it's clear the president is framing a message to voters. pair that with trump's reaction to cohen's testimony. >> he lied a lot, but it was very interesting because he didn't lie about one thing. he said no collusion with the russians. i wonder why he didn't lie about that, too, like everything else? >> the former virginia -- a political analyst. ken, trump had never been
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beholden to the facts, but successful in selling a message. is that what the president is counting on with these investigations? >> well, in part, i mean you make lemonade out of lemons, right? congressman doug collins letter this past week to jerry nadler, the chairman of the judiciary committee has not gotten a lot of coverage. if you read it all the way through, it is devastating. it is absolutely devastating from both a political and legal standpoint. >> devastating to who, the president? >> to nadler. i mean, one of the things you commented about the promises the democrats made to bombard the white house and you are absolutely right. that is exactly what they promised. the problem is, while there is a minority of americans who really love that and cheer it on, that is not where most americans are. most americans want to see
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people taking an objective view and the questions that arise between the democrats and the president. that's not what's happening here. that's why doug collins letter to this one chairman, a very important one, is going to be so important because, i think the democrats in congress are over doing it. the president, as you noted, his habit is not to play defense. he's using that to go on offense. what other choice does he have? he can do that or get pummeled by committee chairmen. >> let me pick up on what you said about the democrats. are they doing the investigations to the detriment of themselves. julian, you have a piece on that. the search for the smoking gun and possibility they may not find a smoking gun. are they dancing with danger, politically speaking here? >> sure, investigation is always a risk you stimulate a backlash or do it the wrong way and it undermines the investigation
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itself. i don't think that's what's happening. they are conducting oversight that has not been done in the first two years. they are looking at questions that many people, not just the base of the democratic party agree need to be looked at. part of it is about the campaign and conflict of interest between the business empire of the president and the presidency. then, other issues such as obstruction of justice. there's no smoking gun or tape that has president trump saying i did x, y and z. this amount of evidence, already, that there are problems and questions about whether this white house has been accountable. >> there are interesting poll numbers this week. according to a quinnipiac poll 64% of voters said trump committed crimes before coming into office. 45% think he committed crimes serving as president. yet, another poll reveals his
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job approval rating among republicans stands at 86%. if republicans think trump committed crimes, do they not care about that? >> well, i think a lot of this, just to give the republican perspective, a lot of the rigamarole is a filter through the last president. a president that said congress do what i do or i have a phone and pen and i'll do it myself. when you see the coverage of this version and he broke the law, take the national emergency declaration. this isn't even a constitutional issue. it's a statutory one. it's not a constitutional issue.
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i mean, i talked, for instance, to senator paul's office. senator rand paul is principled on these sorts of questions and they don't argue that it's a constitutional issue. they are, as i understand it, they argue that this is more power than the presidency should have. so, senator paul will not support its exercise and that they also dispute, i presume, the use of dollars being beyond the scope of the statute, but none of them, as far as i know on the republican side, make any suggestion that this is a constitutional issue. >> there are republicans that we have heard from who do make an objection on the constitutional basis. marco rubio is one of them. >> julian, back to the investigations we were talking about. i remember in december when democrats were saying their top priority when they took office in january was going to be getting the president's tax returns. that hasn't happened. they haven't even requested them, yet. >> right.
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the ways and means committee, it looks like is moving in that direction. they don't have it, yet. the president is certainly going to invoke his own power as president to stop that. he's been very resolute. i think many democrats feel that could open some keys to questions that have been raised. the president, it's unclear that he has to do this. it's been a tradition for candidates to give over the material. now he's president, so he might be in more of a fix. i think the democrats will keep up that pressure. there's so many fronts right now that they are looking into. i think they are trying to prioritize and i think they are trying to figure out what is the most urgent area to look into. and the reason that a lot of republicans think the way they do, back to the original question, that's partisanship. i think there's a big disconnect between how republicans feel about supporting a republican president and the striking part of that poll, what they think of
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the president they are supporting. and, it's been hard for democrats to change that dynamic. >> julian, ken, i appreciate both of you. thanks so much for being here. >> thank you. a new blow to u.s.-north korea relations, satellite images showing north korea could be close to a missile launch. details next on "cnn newsroom." . there's a jet! oh...i needed this. no, i can't believe how easy it was to save hundreds of dollars on our car insurance with geico. we could have been doing this a long time ago. so, you guys staying at the hotel? yeah, we just got married. oh ho-ho! congratulations! thank you. yeah, i'm afraid of commitment... and being boiled alive. oh, shoot. believe it. geico could save you 15% or more on car insurance. that guy's the worst.
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this is in caracas. venezuelans are upset all over the country. riot police clashing with people who believe in opposition leader, juan guaido. right now, nearly all the country is without electricity, since thursday. many people blame the maduro government for being incompetent and corruption. venezuelan officials are saying it was the u.s. in a sabotage that caused the blackout. people are getting very worried about food safety and hospital patients, if the power doesn't come back on soon. also overseas, new concerns north korea is getting ready to launch something, either a missile or a rocket. people who keep an eye on north korea say a lot of activity in one place is a dead give away. will ripley is in beijing. will? >> what we are seeing based on commercial satellite imagery is
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a potentially troubling pick chir. a defiant posture after the failed summit in hanoi with kim jong-un and the u.s. president, donald trump. new satellite images of a rocket and missile factory near the north korean capitol indicate, according to two analysts that north korea assembled something. maybe a space rocket. maybe an intercontinental missile. where it's headed, we don't know. north korea is one of their main launch sites, which has been rebuilt after being partially dismantled as a pledge from kim jong-un. it's now believed to be back up and running, fully operational. if the launch station is ready to receive a rocket and if satellite images show that a rocket has been placed on the launch pad, that will be a very
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clear message of defiance by kim jong-un in the wake of a humiliation in hanoi with president trump leaving the north korean leader bewildered after they felt they made a good offer to have the u.s. delegation reject the offer and walk out, leaving without a deal and without sanctions relief that they desperately need inside the country. what could it mean for diplomacy? north korea claimed space rockets are putting satellites into orbit for research. they use the same technology that missiles use, technology banned by the security counsel. all this happening, chinese president xi having second thoughts about his planned trips to the united states for trade talks with president trump. they are saying they don't want president trump to walk out on xi like he did on kim. an indication that trump's
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credibility has been undermined in the wake of the walkout. will ripley, cnn, beijing. >> thanks, will. caught on camera. the moment a car almost crashes into the presidential motorcade. we will show you the moment of impact, next. do i use a toothpaste that whitens my teeth? or one that's good for my teeth? now i don't have to choose. from crest 3d white. the whitening therapy collection. now with charcoal or coconut oil. it gently whitens. plus, it has a fortifying formula to protect your enamel. crest. healthy, beautiful smiles for life.
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slow down. the police department is investigating the accident. we are learning new details about the woman seen here in this selfie with president trump during a super bowl watch party this year. she is the former owner of the spa where patriots owner, robert kraft, is accused of soliciting prostitution, something he denies. cnn and the miami herald uncover details of her connection with prominent members of the republican party. we are joined live from jupiter, florida. what are you learning about this former owner? >> reporter: it's not unusual for the president or high profile lawmaker to take a photo with a political donor. of course, president trump has done so more times then he could count, certainly with more people than he could name. the optics of this photo are raising questions. her name is lee yang, she goes by cindy. she's been spotted with the
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who's who of the gop, including the president's sons and mar-a-lago and sarah palin. it's this selfie yang took of president trump at a super bowl watch party that is raising eyebrows. yang is the former owner of the orchids of daja day spa where authorities caught robert kraft on camera paying for oral sex. >> he's been charged with the same offenses as the others and is soliciting another to commit prostitution. >> reporter: kraft denies wrong doing. according to the miami herald, yang no longer owns orchids of asia, she sold it in 2013. cnn tries, but was unable to reach her for comment. she did speak to the miami herald. >> she didn't answer the question if she knew there was sex happening. she told us she is no longer in the spa business. she doesn't know president trump and she is planning to move to washington, d.c. >> reporter: it should be noted,
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yang was not charged in the anti-human trafficking bust that led to misdemeanor charges of kraft and the closing of spas in south florida. the white house declined to comment on yang. president trump did speak about the charges against kraft. >> it's very sad. i was very surprised to see it. he's proclaimed his innocence, totally, but i am very surprised to see it. >> reporter: yang donated upwards of $35,000 to the trump campaign. she's a self-made entrepreneur, who, according to the miami herald showed little political interest. she had not voted ten years prior. we are learning more about lee or cindy yang's recent political support for president trump. in 2017, ana, she donated $37,000 to his campaign fund. in 2018, another $37,000. in that year, the man reported to be her husband donated more than $10,000. yang has not been accused of
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wrong doing, but we go back to the optics of this photo. it's worth noting robert kraft will be arraigned on the misdemeanor charges he faces the end of this month. >> thank you. we'll be right back. stop fearing your alarm clock... with zzzquil pure zzzs. a drug-free blend of botanicals with melatonin that supports your natural sleep cycle so you can seize the morning. zzzquil pure zzzs. [music playing] jerry has a membership to this gym, but he's not using it. and he has subscriptions to a music service he doesn't listen to and five streaming video services he doesn't watch. this is jerry learning that he's still paying for this stuff he's not using. he's seeing his recurring payments in control tower in the wells fargo mobile app. this is jerry canceling a few things. booyah. this is jerry appreciating the people who made this possible. oh look, there they are. (team member) this is wells fargo.
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signs of hate are on the rise at parks, on sidewalks and increasingly at schools. an elite private school is carrying out an investigation after some students displayed swastikas during a school assembly. on the west coast, images of students doing a nazi salute
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over a swastika made out of beer cups, widely shared on social media. sarah sidner takes a closer look at the growing displays of hate at america's schools. it is disturbing. sarah? >> reporter: experts are telling us, they are seeing a disturbing trend among america's youth. their attraction to nazi and racist symbolism. you are going to meet one woman who survived the death camps, trying to steer them away from hate, one community at a time. high school students in alabama spouting violent and racist comments, enjoying every minute of it and posting it on social media. [ bleep ] [ bleep ]. >> jews are fine, they are white. it's fine, we need [ bleep ].
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what are you going to do with it. >> concentration camps -- >> you have to wait until they die. >> reporter: the girl you hear repeat repeatedly the horrible things i said were an attempt to be funny. i'm sorry to anyone that had to listen to the video. i'll do everything in my power to be better each and every day. this is one example of a rising tide of hate among youth. the same week in newport beach, california, high school students do a nazi salute above a red cup swastika they created. >> what i saw was how the combination of ignorance, evil, shock and peer validation can come together at a time when the social political landscape is about polarization. there's a race to the bottom,
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because we don't have civic moral leadership in this country that sets a standard as to what's acceptable communally. >> reporter: brian leonard runs the study of hate at the university. there's been heavy recruiting by white nationalist groups in recent years. the anti-defamation league found in 2017 anti-semitic incidences increased by an astounding 94%. after doubling the year prior. and the fbi says between 2016 and 2017 reports of hate crimes against jews skyrocketed up 34%. while several white nationalists are trying to disguise their hateful messages, the youth are
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looking for shock and awe that's popular on social media. last month in new york, appeared on a playground. and a new nazi way to ask for a date to a dance in minnesota, she later apologized. eva hopes she's an anti-dote to anti-semitism among the youth. she's a stepsister of anne frank. she travelled to a newport beach high school just days after some of its students took part in the incident. she sat down privately with the offending students and their parents. >> i said the nazis did horrible thing, not just against jewish people, but their own disabled people. the first experiment was gassing
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their own people. most of her family were annihilated by the nazis, along with six million jews. now she's faced with young people who think nazi symbolism is all the rage. >> how hurtful it was for many many survivors of the holocaust who lost millions of their families all over the world really. it is an insult to those people. >> insult to you? >> yes, insult to me as well. >> and lastly, are you afraid now that you've seen young people doing this over and over and over again here in america. are you afraid for the next generations of people? >> well, there's so much education going on now, and it's going to be improved. it's going to be more and more. i hope eventually it's not any more acceptable. i'm still an optimist.
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it can't go on. it's been -- >> eva told us she was indeed shocked that in 2019 and in a well educated town with highly educated students, incidents like this still occur. but when you speak to experts, they say that it will continue to occur across this country and abroad unless there is a strong push for education not just by the school system but by parents themselves and politicians as well. back to you. >> sara sidner, so disturbing. 2020 contenders take austin by storm. what beto o'rourke just told a crowd about a run for the white house. we want to take a moment to honor this week's cnn hero. he teamed up with hospitals to help bring video games to sick
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kids across the country. >> sometimes people believe video games are corrupting the minds of america's youth. but they're an incredible tool to help kids find fun and relief during the most difficult times. >> to see zach and his gaming team in action and to nominate someone you think should be a cnn hero go, to cnn heroes.com. (mom vo) we fit a lot of life into our subaru forester. (dad) it's good to be back. (mom) it sure is. (mom vo) over the years, we trusted it to carry and protect the things that were most important to us. we always knew we had a lot of life ahead of us. (mom) remember this? (mom vo) that's why we chose a car that we knew would be there for us through it all. (male vo) welcome to the all-new 2019 subaru forester. the longest-lasting, most trusted forester ever.
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a real job. thank you very much. george w. was very much involved in the campaign. almost there to make sure that the campaign was run the way his father wanted it to be run. he's become his father's surrogate, most trusted adviser. his father really sees his political chops during the course of the campaign. george w. bush makes a real contribution. >> we sold our house to come up to washington to be in the campaign. which has been by the way, for a political junkie, a fantastic experience to be close to my dad during this. >> what might the future in big league politics look like for me. top of the hour, you're live in the cnn news

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