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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  March 15, 2019 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT

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simple. easy. awesome. stay connected while you move with the best wifi experience and two-hour appointment windows. click, call or visit a store today. this is cnn tonight. i'm cdon lemon. it's already saturday in new zealand. the prime minister jacinda ardern, saying the nation is united in grief, targeting innocent worshipers, gathered for friday prayers at two mosques, targeting innocent men,
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women and children, simply because they're muslim. the suspect is a 28-year-old man. he's an australian citizen with no criminal history in either new zealand or australia. so he was apparently not on anybody's radar for his extremist anti-immigrant white nationalist views. and in the age of social media, the gunman livestreamed video of the attacks, hoping for a worldwide audience to witness him committing mass murder. we will not broadcast that video. but he also posted a long manifesto only. it's hate-fitted so we won't quote from it. but alex marquardt has the details for you. >> it's a diatribe filled with hate, anchorer and vows of research, ranting about immigrants, minorities and muslims posted on social media
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in the minutes before the attack. the 28 now charged in connection with the mass shooting. the attacker repeatedly calls immigrants invaders and says immigration must be crushed. >> you don't think something like this could happen new zealand. we're such a small community. we're so kind and loving. i don't understand why someone would hurt us like this and in such a way, just like an animal. >> reporter: the u.s. president is also referenced once, calling trump a symbol of renewed white identity, though the shooter says he doesn't consider troop tor a leader. the suspect claims to not belong to any organization and decided to carry out the shooting which he admits to terrorism on his own. >> these are people who i would describe as having extremist views that have no place in new zealand and in fact have no place in the world.
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>> reporter: but around the world it is on the rise. like other white nationalists, the new zealand gunman falsely claims there's a genocide of white people underway. it's the kind of toxic message heard in the u.s., the charl ston church shooter was a white supremacist. he was mentioned in the manifesto. here and across europe, far right white nationalists feel emboldened. anti-immigrant and anti-semitic vis visit roll is on the rise. >> the whole environment is not just simply white nationalist violent extremist, but the whole environment in the west has become more sympathetic to these ideas. >> but the president denied that white nationalism is a growing threat. >> i think it's a small group of
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people that have very, very serious problems. if you look at what happened in new zealand, perhaps that's the case i don't know enough about it yet. they're learning about the person and the people involved. but it's certainly a terrible thing, essential thing. >> and, don, shortly after president trump made that statement. new zealand's prime minister who's leading her nation in mourning was asked if she agreed with the president, that white supremacy isn't rising, her answer, no. >> joining me now is sean turner, and metti wrote this piece today, it's titled, don't just condemn the new zealand attacks. they must stop their anti-muslim rhetoric. i'm so glad to have you all on this evening and it's a very important piece. so make sure you read it. i'm going to start with you as our security analyst here.
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it's almost like this attack was produced to go viral, the manifesto, the livestreaming, the rampage, is social media adding to the rise of global white supremacy. >> absolutely. this is not your archie bunker racism where you accept the african-americans moving in next door. this is a sense that i can't exist if they exist. and that sense is then magnified through globalization and social media platforms which are not only sharing the information but also amplifying the violence so everyone gets energized by it and then the third piece is of course, the public space, the politicians, the pundits, people on tv who are condoning it, at worst, doing some dog whistles
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there. and i think it's all three of them combined have led to where we are right now in this global phenomenon. this is not lone wolf. this is a global phenomenon that must be addressed that way. >> sean, social media allows a person with hateful ideologies a place to connect with like-minded people. does this empower them to act on their hatefulness? >> yeah, you know, don, there's a lot of research that points to how social media interactions and how those engagements in the virtual space influence people's behavior. and so when people go out there and they find like groups, they find people who share their ideology and they have conversations among themselves, oftentimes it's very subtle, it's talking about some of the things that concern them. but ultimately what you have in these cases is you have one person in that group that's triggered by something. and i know we're probably going to talk about this, but it's
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not -- that trigger isn't always in social media. sometimes that trigger is in people who are in leadership positions, what they're saying. >> first of all i'm so glad you said that 49 people were killed in new zealand for being muslim. because that is an important point. i've seen -- i've read and watched a lot of news today. and a lot of journalists, well meaning liberals have talked rightly about white nationalism, hate, but let's name what this hate was in new zealand, it was islamaphobia. and we've gone beyond dog whistles. we have the president of the united states, now sits in the white house who uses the exact same language as the guy in new zealand -- >> let me play that for you and let you discuss it. here it is. play it. >> we're on track for a million illegal aliens to rush our
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borders, people hate the word invasion, but that's what it is, it's an invasion. >> do you think his rhetoric mainstreams these ugly ideas behind horrible crimes like this? >> he's been mainstreaming it for years. you showed us a clip from o'reilly where he talked about the muslim problem and we know how the nauzs referred to the jews as the jewish problem. he talking about invaders hours after one of the worst terror attacks that we've seen in a while. he uses the same language. i would say it's shameful, but the man has no shame. notice how he speaks about these crimes. when it's an isis crime, he calls the muslim attacker, scum, evil, loser, when it's a white nationalist, he says nothing about the attacker. when you were targeted a couple of weeks ago, trump just said it's a sad, it's a shame. today he said it's a horrible, horrible thing. doesn't say anything about the
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attacker because the attacker has a lot of sympathy who vote for donald trump, sadly. >> i want to ask you since we were talking about the president now, why do you think president trump couldn't go further than he did today and acknowledge that the threats are growing? >> i don't know what's in the president's heart. i just know what he does. and that i can judge from the perspective as someone who worries about radicalization across the board and worries about america's security. and that is simply he will never ever go further than he has to. he does not accept his leadership role but plays to some base that apparently wants to hear him or does not want to hear him condemn white nationalism or condemn islamaphobia. and so that's essential. we're two years along, don, we're not going to change donald trump. i think what we have to remember is that there's other voices out there. and to the extent that those
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choices can either been amplified, in the community or other republicans who no longer can sit by because we now know what's -- what is happening out there, mayors and governors, community leaders whoever it is to try to amplify those voices because they may not be able to overwhelm the president's platform, but we're not going to get better than the president has said -- he's not going to do better. and we've known that since the beginning. it's hard to accept. i don't like it. i wish it weren't true. and -- you know -- >> sean, hold that thought. did you want to say something? >> which other voices, though? i wish there were some other voices. on the right i can't see any voices that are coming out here. you have ted cruz who talked about securing muslim neighborhoods. former governor mike huckabee who talked about muslims coming
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out of mosques like uncorked animals. when you have that kind of language, then are you surprised that people are turning up at mosques even here in texas and other states with guns. i went to a conference in texas last year of muslims, there were people with guns standing outside. that's what's going on in cities in the united states right now. >> go ahead, sean. >> i was going to point out, we talk about this as a threat to national security, and i want to be very clear. this is a threat to national security but there's something i don't think people realize about that. we talk about this being a threat, if you are a white american who doesn't have a racist bone in your body but you are indifferent or disengaged from the rise of hate crimes in this country, then there is no threat to your security. these individuals are going after people for beneficiary because of the color of their skin or their ethic background. if you are a brown american, you
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don't have a luxury of being disengaged or disinterested in this issue and there's a persistent threat to your security. when we talk about this as a national security threat, this is one of the reasons why the president needs to do more because it's a national security threat that doesn't impact everyone the same way. he needs to come out and say there are people in our population that these people who are engaged in these hate crimes and this awful rhetoric, there are people that every day, they're going to feel targeted and then there are other people who are going to be allowed to go about their lives. he needs to address that directly. >> thank you, all. i appreciate it. president trump says he doesn't believe white nationalism is a rising threat. but how deep is it a part in our culture. we're going to discuss that next. fit me! foundation
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president trump is dismissing white nationalism. here's what he said after 49
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people. >> reporter: were gunned down by a white nationalist. >> white nationalist is a rising threat around the world? >> i don't really, i think it's a small group of people that have very, very serious problems. >> but the facts show white nationalism is a major threat around the world and right here in the united states. here to discuss. despite what the president says, how embedded is white supremacy in the u.s. right now. >> it's more in your face and i think there's a lot of facets for that. when you talk to people who are experts who analyze this and research this, we do quite a bit of research trying to see what's happening out here. we go on the websites, 4 chan, gab, we take a look at what's happening on neo-nazi websites. on one of the most popular
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neo-nazi websites right now, anytime there's a news story where something horrible happens, they make a joke about it, and basically what's on the front of that page of that website is why genocide, pray for christchurch. there's this running joke, they say we're just joking about it. but the undertones are violence. the undertones are talking about the other. the undertones are black folks, jewish folks, muslim folks, anyone who is not white or european and white, they basically think is -- are not smart, are not as smart as they are. there's all sorts of memes out there. if you go online and you compare what they're doing and trying to get their message out not only to the extremes, it's similar to what isis did and al chi da did.
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>> tonight on this show, he said this is -- he compared -- he called white isis, those are his words. adam, we've made a lot of progress in this country. we know that. we've had a black president. we have the most diverse congress in history. sophisticate it can be confusing to some people to hear. how do you explain that disconnect? >> well, this is really reflective of an argument that we've been having since this country was founded. one side you have people who say that america is at its core is a white christian country and without that it isn't really america and on the other side you have this civic nationalism that says anybody can be an american no matter where they come from, no matter their faith, color, creed. and, you know, the entirety of american history is almost an argument between these two opposing camps. and i think what we're seeing
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today, what we've seen, you know, from -- going from barack obama to donald trump is that argument is still very much with us and it's still a part of our politics. >> your piece today, it was long, but i read it. it was very -- it's very good, adam. your piece in the atlantic, you argue that white nationalism has deep american roots. you said the seed of naziism, is the preservation of a pure white race, uncontaminated by foreign blood was sewn with success in the united states. well-connected men who eagerly seized on a false doctrine of race sz during the immigration scare of the early 20th century are you saying america is the birth base of white nationalism?
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>> i will say the 1924 immigration law was passed in large part because of a group of elites who believed that the original sort of nordic race of american settlers was being contaminated by immigrants from southern and eastern europe, mostly italians and jews, and they wanted to shield american genetic purity from these inferior specimens from overseas. and i think that while -- you know, that law was repealed in 1965. but i think that that -- the fact is, that this belief that the mere presence of immigrants of people who are different, alters the country for the worse and makes it into something that isn't american anymore is a thing that's been part of our culture for a really long time. and now today, you hear it on fox news, you hear it from the president, you hear it from the
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manifesto of the shooter in new zealand who was motived by fears what he called white genocide which is the loss of white political and cultural dominance in countries he considers to belong to white people. >> you have covered countless hate crimes in this country recently. we've been on the road for some of these things. what do you think is the -- behind the rise in white supremacy right now? >> i will put it this way. the political discourse that we're having now and the administration in power now, donald trump has said so many things that match what white nationalists say, it matches their message. and so even though he will come out and say i'm against this, i denounce white supremacy or i denounce hate, if you look at some of the words he's used, they're very similar to some of
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the words that white nationalists use. it's not good enough to be a manifesto, to be perfectly honest. it's a lot of writing from someone who obviously has a lot of issues. but in that, if you count the number of times a version of invade is in there, we did, it's about 67 times. where have we heard that word before, don? >> yeah. >> from the president of the united states. and so it's this idea of dehumanizing the other and there is a power in that and they know that and they try to bring people in. it's about fear and it's about power. i have talked to countless people who are neo-nazis or white supremacists, and one of the things you hear over and over again is that they are afraid of the browning of the world or the browning of america meaning they are afraid that the numbers of whites are going to dwindle so the white folks are the minority in power and people of color are the majority. one of them said to me, i think
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what's going to happen to me is we're going to get taxed for being white. there's a fear spreading trying to bring people over to their side to understand their issues. >> all of the talking points about economic anxiety which put this president in office. every single study shows it's not that. it shows it's losing power. thank you both. great article in the atlantic. white nationalism's deep american roots. check it out. attorney general george conway, husband of kellyanne, he's not one to shy away for criticizing his wife's boss. why he says donald trump is a weak president, next.
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to be one of his top advisers -- married to one of his top advisers. i'm talking about george conway, husband to kellyanne conway. susan glasser interviewed him for the new yorker and she joins
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me now. this is so good. congratulations on this interview and thank you for coming on. let's talk about it. because you spoke to him about why he thinks the president is putting the country at risk of becoming a banana republic and the only thing standing in the way is the checks and balances of the constitution. comforts said this you become a powerful president only if you are able to persuade others to go along with you. he cannot reach out and persuade every other president tries to do. his narcissism causes him to be a weak president. according to conway, it all comes down to narcissism. >> he's the first and only guy i've heard fuse this with a legal argument. he's sort of saying that constitutionally, trump is impaired as president because
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he's unable to work with the other branches of government in the way that the founders envisioned. it's an interesting and novel argument. there's no question that it gets more attention because the guy writing this is the guy that president trump termed mr. kellyanne conway. but i think it's a very interesting legal argument or, you know, sort of observation that he's making really about president trump and why it is in some ways you can see president trump ending up leaving the office with less power than he brought into it. >> yeah. on top of calling the president a narcissist, he's been tweeting about trump's fitness for office, he's called him a liar, a disorder, conway is married to kellyanne conway, one of the president's top advisers who works with him closely at the white house every day. should we be alarmed about this? >> it's interesting. the same day i had that interview with him, he was -- i would say even more unrestrained
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on twitter than he was in the conversation with me and he talked about have we ever seen such a level of brazen pathological ma dasty in a leader, i think it was a rhetorical question and he had a clear view of the answer. i know you didn't think it was a good idea for his wife to be on cnn yesterday with chris cuomo and this is one of the things i think we'll all remember from this trump presidency is, you know, it's divided the country and here's this republican couple who couldn't see the world more differently. it's an oddity. but george conway has such a long background as a conservative legal activist. i thought to me it was very interesting, i wanted to talk to him about the specific challenges that he sees to the rule of law from president trump and that seems to be what really has gotten him tweeting and speaking out publicly. >> you mentioned kellyanne
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conway. this is not about having dissidenting voices on. this is to have someone on who lies, i'm not sure if it's the american people get anything out of it. it's not even worth it. i want to go back to this profile to "the washington post" about the conways. they were both asked about george's tweets. kellyanne conway called them disrespectful of her but george said, if the president were simply mediocre or bad, i'd have nothing to say. this is much different. what does he know that we don't? >> you know, i would say that in my conversation with him, it's clear that he is just deeply offended by the president in particular his -- what he perceives to be threats to the rule of law in the country and it's very interesting. this just seemed to me like a guy who having started speaking
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his mind, you know, he just -- he can't be quiet about it. it's something that goes to the core of what he believes at this moment in time. it's a fascinating debate. i'm sure people will get an answer by the way, to my question of why exactly is he doing this or what kind of situation is it, but i think this is somebody who's views are very deeply held, who doesn't want to be quiet, after we were talking, i then got another flood of text messages on my phone the next day from -- when the emergency declaration vote was happening in the senate. this is a person who's decided ve to start speaking out. >> susan, fascinating. thank you. i'll see you around. >> thank you. >> thank you. from gop defections on the border wall and the mueller report to leading from behind on airplane safety.
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it was not a good week for the president. we'll break it down next. [friend] i've never seen that before. ♪ ♪ i have... ♪
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a get your questions answered by awesome experts store. it's a now there's one store that connects your life like never before store. the xfinity store is here. and it's simple, easy, awesome. the president had a bad week. democrats and members of his own party rebuking him over his emergency declaration to get money for his border wall. and then there's what the president said after the new zealand mosque attacks. let's discuss. good evening to both of you. the president offered his condolences following the mosque attack and then he said this while signing his veto. >> people hate the word invasion but that's what it is.
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it's an invasion of drugs and criminals and people. >> it's the same language, by the way, that was used by the new zealand suspect. why would he say those words? >> look, he's been talking about the the invasion of sex trafficking and illegal immigrants in this country since he ran for president. so the fact that he used them today is not a surprise. and i think more than anything, using the veto power today from his standpoint is a sign of strength. if he's going to use a veto power and his ability lawfully to do so, it should be on his signature campaign promise and i think this was the right move for him to do. i wish we hadn't gotten to this point. if he was going to flex his veto muscles, this is the issue to do so on. >> some reason i think -- i seem to recall that his signature campaign promise was that mexico was going to pay for the wall. did i hear that wrong? >> no, you heard that right.
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>> okay. >> and i have said this until i'm blue in the face. mexico was supposed to pay for that wall, and, no, we shouldn't have to be to the point where we're having this conversation because all americans agree we need secure borders and we need to strengthen our immigration process. but here we are at this point. she he'sed committed to securing the border. >> we know he's commit today the wall because he vetoed it. i got -- this is "the washington post." it asks, what happens if president trump loses to a person of color in 2020 and the author who is paul waldman says what happens if trump loses in 2020. what if he loses to a person of color. whiteness becomes more assailant
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white people which means that a trump defeat would almost certainly intensify feelings of white intensity. >> we're seeing a rise in white identity politics. we're seeing a rise in white nationalism now. part of the issue is that donald trump ran on this. he started his political career with a 5 1/2 year lie about barack obama's birth certificate, about an attack on mexicans, he started his political, with an attack on muslims. it's not a surprise that he's continued this rhetoric as the president of the united states. and we're seeing the results of this in place after place after place, never thought we would
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see something like this after barack obama. >> you talked about the signing the veto today, alice, overriding a rebuke from congress of his national emergency power to fund this wall. even with today's veto, that is a big defeat from inside his own party. you're spinning it as a positive. but it's still 12 people in his own party went against him. >> what it boils down to is many members of congress looked at this from a constitutional standpoint as opposed to a policy, and they were concerned about the precedent this would set if he were to go ahead with declaring a national emergency in a situation on an issue and in a fashion like this, they were concerned about the precedent it would set in the future. if you look at the way this is and the language that he used
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and the reason he's doing this, he's within the legal grounds to do so. a lot of people may not like it, but legally he has the authority to do so. and, look, this is a -- >> alice -- >> over the past 40 years, 60 national emergencies have been declared. he has a legal right to do so, many people may not like it but he -- >> 59, 60 national emergencies have been declared. and this is the first time congress has passed a law that is rebuked and terminated a president's national emergency. that's an incredible statement about how out of line donald trump is with this fake national emergency. not to mention the fact that congress this week also rebuked him on yemen to strike down a presidential military intervention and a 420-0 unanimous vote in the house of representatives demanding a public release of the mueller report only to be stopped
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you. >> i have to start with the new zealand news. what do you thoif the presidein president not see white nationalists. >> my heart goes out to the 49 casualty of hate. 49 people died in the pulse nightclub and the president is in total denial. this is the time where we need to see america's leadership around the world and yet again he's absent. this is the same person who says they were fine people on both sides at a white nationalist rally. can't expect any better. >> today was a deadline set by your committee and the white house, we'll provide more details for president trump's meetings with vladimir putin. the committee has not received a
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response. what happens next congresswoman? >> well, we have not received a response. you know chairman nadler nor the rest of us on the committee, we are not surprised. it seems like the only person who tried its best to hide everything is the president of the united states who is what grieved the top of its voice over the last two years, no collusion, it is a witch hunt. you would think he would be willing to cooperate. we'll not go away. i am sure monday morning. we'll issue subpoenas to get the information that we need. we are not going away. the president should know that. i am sure you know the white house push back by the oversight committee to reach out to former chief of staff john kelly.
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is the white house limiting congress's ability to do its job? >> some of the things we have talked about is looking at abusive of power and obstruction of justice and conspiracy and look, if the president is as innocent as he would like all of us to believe, as i have said before, he should be the number one person who's cooperating in a show that he has nothing to hide. i believe standing in the way and trying to heat the committees who have the authority to do what we are going to do from being able to interview witnesses and certainly could rise to the level of obstruction of justice. so i am hoping that he'll get that and his advisers and attorney goes around him will help him to understand that we are an equal branch of government. we are here to uphold the constitution and we are nation of laws and nobody is above it,
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including him. >> good luck with that. i got to ask you about felix sater testimony. it has been postponed until the end of the month. this is the associate who worked with michael cohen on the trump tower and moscow project. where does he fit into your committee's investigation, can you talk about that? >> we are interested in the russia, the trump moscow deal and mr. sater has played a major role in terms of his discussion negotiations if you will and communications with michael cohen. we are particularly interested in talking to him about the extent of the president's involvement or those around the president to make that deal happen that may certainly provided some ground or motivation that centered around
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around the 2016 election. >> earlier today the president tweeted that there should be no mueller report just a day after the house unanimously passed the resolution of the release of the support. w why do you think he wants no one to see it? >> again, this person who says there is no collusion, witch hunt, he should be the first person and release the report as soon as he receives it. >> if it exonerates him, right? >> exactly. and it just amazes me and we have seen it a couple of times now, the president does not seem to understand that the legislative branch is an equal branch of government. we are equal to the executive branch. we voted overwhelmingly that the report is released, it has been
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a couple of years and the american public deserved to see the report. we are going to make sure that report is released. >> congresswoman, thank you so much for your time, congresswoman val demings. >> we'll be right back. >> thank you, take care. shoot the three! shoot the three!! yessssssss!!!!!! are you...ok? no, no i'm not. i think i pulled a hammy. could we get some ice? just one cube of ice? geico®. proud partner of ncaa march madness®. woman 1: i had no symptoms of hepatitis c. man 1: mine... ...caused liver damage. vo: epclusa treats all main types of chronic hep c. vo: whatever your type, ask your doctor if epclusa
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the death of a parent ais a trauma that leaves with their children. for nearly two decades now, mary robinson dedicated herself making sure other children don't lose years of their lives to unresolved grieve. >> my name is bella and my dad dies. >> time does not heal all wounds. time helps but it is what you do with that time. >> when you hear with other people's stories, it brings comfort. >> to meet some of the families mary is helping and nominate someone you think should be our cnn heroes? go to


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