Skip to main content

tv   New Day With Alisyn Camerota and John Berman  CNN  March 22, 2019 5:00am-6:00am PDT

5:00 am
what was discussed. we hired trump to be our chief negotiator. he's entitled to a great degree of executive privilege. >> we have a responsibility to oversee and hold the administration accountable. we're going to do it. >> when you're using what's app with saudi arabia, this raises tremendous national security concerns. >> this president based his campaign on this against hillary clinton. >> all of my e-mails are on the white house server. >> announcer: this is "new day" with alisyn camerota and john berman. >> good morning. welcome to "new day." it is friday, march 22, 8:00 in the east. alisyn is off. erica hill joins me. will today be the day? you're looking at live pictures from washington, d.c. of course on the right is the white house, what's going on behind those doors right now? on the left, most importantly today that's outside the special counsel's office. we are waiting to see if today is the day that robert mueller marks the end of his
5:01 am
investigation and officially hands over his report to the attorney general. this has been almost two years in the making. it is a very important moment, important for the presidency, important for congress as they look into what the president has done and important for the public as well. now, remember, today is not the day you will get to read the mueller report, even if it is turned over. why not? well, because bill barr, the attorney general, gets to go through it and decide what to turn over to congress. before that happens, the white house may weigh in and try to exert executive privilege over all, some, much of it. we just don't know yet. still today is a key moment, maybe in the process. >> the president is apparently ready, taking on the mueller investigation in a new interview. here's what the president told fox news this morning. >> i have a deputy appoints a man to write a report on me to make a determination on my
5:02 am
presidency? people will not stand for it. >> not exactly what it was. >> not at all. just to review, deputy attorney general rod rosenstein appointed them to look into whether there was collusion between people connected to candidate donald trump and the russians and any other crimes that may have come to light like, say, obstruction of justice. he was not appointed to make a determination on the presidency. jeffrey toobin, cnn chief legal analyst, and van jones, former special adviser to president obama and host of "the van jones show." as i was saying, today is the day many people expect robert mueller to announce his work is done and turn over the report to the attorney general. van, it might be the beginning of what's a legal and political fight. it is a significant moment still. what are you, with your highly analytical eyes, looking for? >> i'm looking for the reaction
5:03 am
of the right wing media to this. we won't know much more. we are at the end of the beginning honestly of the whole process. his job was to go figure out what's going on, get as much information as possible, indict people doing bad stuff, not indict people doing good stuff and turn a report over. what you're going to see is how effective has donald trump been at discrediting this entire process to half the country so it doesn't even matter what this guy has done because you're going to have an orchestrated response, watch the symmetry and the response. right wing radio, fox news and the blogosphere will be on the same page. i think we'll see a president who has convinced half of the media that our law enforcement system is corrupt and doesn't matter. that's much worse, i think, for the long-term of the country than anything in the report. >> that's a message we should point out that's started months
5:04 am
ago from almost the beginning of the investigation. it's a message that the president is saying the report goes to bill barr. the president could call and say, what's in it. he could say, i spoke to him, nothing there. >> van raises an interesting point about how the right wing orchestrated reaction will be. it is likely to be two things that are somewhat contradictory. one is this is a worthless witch hunt. they were out to get us from the beginning. b, they didn't discover anything anyway. this is just a big nothing burger. nothing new here. it was a waste of time. witch hunt and nothing new will be some version of the reaction regardless of what the report says. >> legitimate question if someone presses send on a press release saying it clears the
5:05 am
president before this. i brought this for show and tell which is the starr report. this is my original piece of memorabilia from 1998. this is not what we are getting today. okay? you get nothing today, first of all, the american people. let's make that clear. this is being turned over to bill barr. even then, the attorney general may not get this which is a very comprehensive, line by line, evidentiary presentation. >> at the end of the clinton administration, they redid the regulations around these independent investigations. first of all, it was no longer the independent counsel law. so the judges who supervised that were out. it was the attorney general who supervised the investigation. in addition, the regulations call for apparently a much more limited report in terms of
5:06 am
factual discussion. if you recall, a lot of democrats were very upset about how much detail was in the starr report. so they wrote regulations that said the report should be much more narrow. now democrats aren't so happy with that message. they'd like a big starr report. the regulations are ambiguous so mueller could write a very detailed report or something much less detailed and he could attach exhibits, hundreds of pages of exhibits -- or not. all of that, we don't know how mueller resolved in his own mind and of course we don't know how bill barr will respond in terms of public disclosure. >> it will be interesting to see, too. the president does this a lot. he'll say things so he can have it both ways. the case this week being when he said, i want you to see -- we
5:07 am
should make the report public. he can say, i said it should be public but the people say they can't put it out there. public polling finds a high number -- 87% say there should be a public report on the findings. how much could end up coming into play? >> now we move back to the political process. people in congress will feel confident demands as much as possible. nobody will care much if they say this or that. when congress makes rules they are looking into the rear-view mirror and driving. they are looking at the clinton administration which was a minor mistake from the president turned into a massive report that embarrassed the country. in this situation, there are people who feel we may have a president engaging in treason. when you have that level of public concern and the public saying we want a lot of information out there, congress will feel comfortable saying we want everything, we want it now and you're going to have that
5:08 am
dynamic going back and forth. the fact of the report being narrow won't stop the demand for more information. >> congress will say that and democrats are certain to say it. the question is what leverage do they have? if they go to court, it is by no means clear to me a judge will order the justice department to turn over the full report to congress. >> that's why i say it is really the end of the beginning. now there will be showdown after showdown. still you have a public that's hungry for more information here. that will not be satisfied any day soon. >> it's a bind the democrats put themselves in or let themselves be put into over time. you warned about this. they have been saying, oh, robert mueller, mueller, mueller. well, mueller turns over his report today and it's not outside the realm of possibility there is not much there.
5:09 am
>> i have been saying for a year and a half the idea that robert mueller is harry potter and this report is a wand that will fix everything and all we have to do is wait for mueller will prove to be ill advised on the part of democrats. this will be a long, drawn out -- it may last a decade or more to figure out what did donald trump do, what did he know and when? and the mueller report is one point on a long journey for the country. >> if there is one thing we have learned with the trump presidency, the polls don't change. regardless of new factual developments. and it's our job to say breaking news at the bottom of the screen every 15 minutes. it doesn't change people's opinions. the opinions about trump are locked in, it seems. whether it's charlottesville, helsinki, or any major news development, the polling stays the same. >> doesn't mean that it's not worth learning everything we can possibly learn here.
5:10 am
>> absolutely. >> in terms of learning what we can, the other thing that stands out is the letter from rod rosenstein to chuck grassley. a couple of things that were pointed out, specifically involving congressional inquiries, it was noted that you have to be careful with these essentially is what rod rosenstein said. and pointing to the fact that they were being categorized as adversarial in nature. rod rosenstein saying basically, listen, we are doing our job here. it doesn't mean you're going to go down this road the way you think you are. >> he went out of his way, rod rosenstein in the letter to say we don't disparage people who are not charged. the rule of the department of justice is put up or shut up. if you charge someone, you disclose everything. if you don't charge someone you don't embarrass them. well, donald trump cannot be charged under department of justice policy. does that mean nothing should be
5:11 am
disclosed about him either? does he win both ways? no indictment and no disclosure? that's a possibility. >> it's good to be the king, as he said in the history of the world. van, i want to ask you about reporting overnight. elijah cummings of the house oversight committee isn't happy with the white house over the fact it won't provide information about how jared kushner and ivanka trump have used apparently their private e-mail server for government business. kushner used what's app to communicate with the crown prince of saudi arabia. that seems like official business. what's app is the facebook owned, encrypted -- >> not encrypted by the government. >> facebook messaging service here. i'm old enough to remember when using private communications for government business was a big deal. >> i remember the 2016 election where hillary clinton's use of that was the only talking point for the republican party.
5:12 am
the main talking point. this is a big deal. there is a weird thing where people in government life and not just jared kushner, but a lot of people, want to figure out workarounds. every e-mail you send is a public record. when you're at work, you send an e-mail and anybody can see it. there is a temptation to do work-arounds, but you can't. elijah cummings is just getting started. >> it may be a temptation, but there is a reality. i know anything i send to john could be read by the company and could be read by the world. that's on you as an adult, as an employee to know how to do your job. when you are working in the government and you know beyond that you are subject to the presidential records act and there needs to be an accounting and your answer is, well, i screen shotted my whatsapp
5:13 am
message and forwarded it to my government e-mail that doesn't pass the smell test. >> that would be a new interpretation of the law. >> also when your father-in-law ran a campaign talking about e-mail use. >> the big irony here is the white house because they made such a big deal about the e-mails and to this day, what about the e-mails, is almost a mantra in right wing media. >> to say nothing of the lock her up chants that go on at the rallies to this day over alleged improper e-mail use. shows that the whole issue was bogus from the beginning. >> jeffrey toobin, van jones, thank you very much. you can watch "the van jones show" tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. pete buttigieg will be van's guest. any show tomorrow could have a ton to talk about depending on what plays out over the next few hours. what's the plan in congress once the mueller report is handed over to the attorney general? we'll ask a key democrat about it next.
5:14 am
webut some of us turn outhose dreams...... into action... the bookers. the doers. the 'hit that confirmation button and let's go!'- ers! because bookers know that the perfect place to stay... is right there for the booking. be a booker at the world's #1 choice for booking accommodations.
5:15 am
this is a very difficult job. failure is not an option.a. more than half of employees across the country bring financial stress to work. if you're stressed out financially at home, you're going to be too worried to be able to do a good job. i want to be able to offer all of the benefits that keep them satisfied. it is the people that is really the only asset that you have. put your employees on a path to financial wellness with prudential. bring your challenges.
5:16 am
[indistinct conversation] [friend] i've never seen that before. ♪ ♪ i have... ♪
5:17 am
it was a unanimous vote in the house of representatives. 420-zip. you can't do much better than that to demand that the mueller report be released to the public. how much could be changed by the attorney general, perhaps redacted by the white house before it gets to lawmakers and the public? joining us is val demming from the house intelligence and house
5:18 am
judiciary committees, two important committees in this. representative, thank you very much for being with us. first, let me ask about your anticipation of what could be the news today. we have seen the live pictures. we have the cameras set up. we believe as soon as today, maybe the next few hours robert mueller will hand over his report to the attorney general of the united states which would mark the end of the mueller phase of this investigation. what do you see as the significance of that? >> good morning, john. thank you so much for having me on your show. it's been a long time coming. we are certainly waiting for the special counsel's report to come out. let me say this. as you mentioned earlier we unanimously voted in the house to make the report public. i am hoping that starting with the president that he'll respect the wishes of congress. we represent the american people. that attorney general barr will respect the wishes of the
5:19 am
american people. he's in a job he's been in before. and that we can get this report behind us. in congress we have been waiting to see what's in the report. we can decide what are the best steps moving forward. we still have a lot of work to do. >> of course there may not be much in that report. we just don't know. but there is renewed speculation today because of some things rod rosenstein said in the past that there may not be much information beyond those people who have been charged already because of what he says. let me read you what he says about doj regulations. punishing wrong doers is only one part of the mission. we have a duty to prevent the disclosure of information that would unfairly tarnish people who are not charged with crimes. rod rosenstein says if you are not charged with a crime, there may not be anything about you in the report that people have been waiting for for a long time. >> we know that mueller's findings will be made known to the attorney general. it's up to the attorney general,
5:20 am
i believe how much will be released or not. as i said, the american people, i believe, deserve to see the report. look, when you're a public official and certainly when you are the president of the united states, you are subjected to extreme oversight. you are subjected to having to answer to the american people. so i believe that the report should be made public. congress will make the decisions on behalf of the american people that need to be made as it pertains to any action involving the president of the united states. >> if the report -- and again we expect it could be turned over as soon as today. if the report does reach a conclusion that there was no collusion between then candidate donald trump or those around him and the russian government, will you accept that conclusion? will democrats say, okay, thank you, we're going to move on? >> well, i tell you what, i'm not going to predict what's in the report. what i can tell you is this. the president prior to his
5:21 am
election had -- he or those around him had over a hundred contacts with the russian dictator or russian officials. 26 russians have been indicted for undermining our 2016 election. the president was involved in a deal to build a tower in moscow. i'm not going to predict what may not be in the report. i think it still remains to be seen. what i do know is that we are going to take whatever action appropriate and we are looking at abuse of power, corruption, conspiring against the united states. so we are anxious to see the report, as you are. >> felix sader, an individual who worked inside trump tower for a time and had connections in business dealings with the russians. he will come before your committee behind closed doors. what are the key questions you want him to answer? we heard his name repeatedly i
5:22 am
should mention to the american people who might be watching, in michael cohen's testimony. >> if we go back to the beginning, the special counsel was appointed because russia interfered with our election. then the question was who conspired against the united states with russia? up to and including the president of the united states. we know six people in the president's circle have been indicted, pleaded guilty and are on their way to prison. we have to look at that time motivation. if the president or those around him conspired with russia, what was really the president's motivation? i believe mr. sater is a key witness in terms of determining what the president's motivation may have been. we know the president was interested in building a trump tower in moscow. felix sater was working along with michael cohen to try to make it happen. >> the felix sater issue brings up what could be -- not a contradiction but a conundrum for democrats with the mueller
5:23 am
report. look, we know robert mueller's investigators looked into the trump tower project in moscow. we know it because michael cohen was charged and pleaded guilty to lying about this. this is something mueller has investigated and thoroughly. so what will congress's role be beyond robert mueller, if mueller doesn't charge anyone with crimes regarding this? >> let me say this. yes, we know -- i mean, michael cohen has said it. the republicans certainly reminded us that michael cohen lied to congress last year. but let me say this. what was the motivation for michael cohen lying to congress? we believe it was to cover up any wrongdoing by the president. to distort the timeline of the president's involvement in the trump tower in moscow.
5:24 am
michael cohen gave one timeline in an open setting -- or when he testified to congress last year, but before the oversight committee he said the negotiations went well into the 2016 campaign, right up until the point -- i believe it was june of 2016. so you have to look at why michael cohen lied about the timeline involving the trump moscow tower deal. >> the white house has not provided documents or information in regards to a congressional request for information about meetings and conversations the president had with vladimir putin. i will note, i have to believe most administrations and white houses would say no to that type of congressional request. what do you expect or what do you think you deserve from the white house here? >> let me say this. this is not your usual administration. the president started out his
5:25 am
administration with russia undermining the election and the special counsel looking to see if the president or those around him conspired to undermine our democracy and our election. that doesn't make this your usual administration. and why would the president not only keep those conversations private from congress and refuse to release any documents pertaining to the conversation, but he's also kept those conversations private from those in his security team and in the intelligence community and the american people. certainly congress are wondering why is that. when you look at the circumstances surrounding the president, the questions about his relationship with vladimir putin, a russian dictator, and his unwavering efforts to shield
5:26 am
or conceal any conversations with putin, i think we deserve to know what's going on. i know the chairman of judiciary and intelligence, foreign affairs committee and oversight are not going to simply walk away because the president has refused. they will continue to work until they are able to get the documents they have requested. >> the nature of the conversations between the president and the russian leader, unlike anything we have seen before with no witnesses. congresswoman, thank you very much for being with us. >> thank you. >> up next, we'll hear from a former white house aide who lost his job amid allegations of domestic abuse. why she's troubled about the way he's returning to the public eye. e on the road, i can keep my parents in the loop with the whole facetime thing. i created a rockstar. (both laughing) (vo) there when it matters. get iphone xr on us when you buy the latest iphone. on verizon.
5:27 am
has been excellent. they really appreciate the military family and it really shows. with all that usaa offers why go with anybody else? we know their rates are good, we know that they're always going to take care of us. it was an instant savings and i should have changed a long time ago. it was funny because when we would call another insurance company, hey would say "oh we can't beat usaa" we're the webber family. we're the tenney's we're the hayles, and we're usaa members for life. ♪ get your usaa auto insurance quote today. [indistinct conversation] [friend] i've never seen that before. ♪ ♪ i have... ♪
5:28 am
when your flight gets in late, it's never too early for coffee. oh no no no. your new boss seems cool, but she might not be sweatpants cool. who is that ready this early? it's only 7 am. somebody help me. close call. not quite ready to face the day? that's why we're here with free hot breakfast and a warm welcome. book at for our price match guarantee. hampton by hilton.
5:29 am
5:30 am
more than a year after being fired by the white house, rob porter returned to the spotlight last week with an op-ed about trade. porter was accused of domestic abuse by his two ex-wives. one of the women wrote an op-ed for "the washington post" titled is there life after disgrace? in the piece she calls out porter's return to the public eye, quote, troubling. she joins us now. nice to have you with us. >> thank you. >> you referenced that it is troubling in your mind because there are things that didn't happen before he came back to the public eye. notably, doing the work and dealing with the accusations and stories we heard about your
5:31 am
marriage and another as well. >> right. >> what do you think he needs to do then at this point? >> one of the things i addressed in my piece i thought was important was the visibility of the work that you're doing. i can't speak for therapy or counseling, remorse or repentance rob has done privately but there has to be a public acknowledgment that what you did is wrong and you would like to have another shot. i think that's the piece missing for me. >> you're already getting reaction to this. >> yeah. >> what are you hearing from people about that call specifically? >> a lot of people have been feeling the same thing and wondering the same thing. how does somebody come back after they have had this type of scandal or allegation or life shattering in some cases situation. what the response has been, i
5:32 am
think, is fairly positive in we do want to see some kind of work being done. we don't want to destroy lives and not have a path back. >> you mentioned that. you're clear this should not derail you for life, but there should be a road to redemption. america loves a redemption story. >> yeah. >> we did reach out to rob porter and the campaign. we have not heard back from them in response to our request for comment. have you heard from rob porter at all? >> i have been in fairly regular contact with rob until about a month ago, yes. >> can you give us a sense? do you feel there is work going on privately that you think he could acknowledge that would make you feel better about him remerging on the public stage? >> that's what the majority of the conversations have been about. what would that look like and how might i be willing to assist in that process. i'm willing. i am willing to assist him but the contingency is and was i
5:33 am
need to know you are doing the work and we need to see it. >> is he willing? >> he hasn't been so far. i think he's doing work privately and likes to keep it private. in my opinion in order for it to translate, in order for me to feel at peace with the work he's doing i want it acknowledged openly. >> you're in a much different space sitting here with me today than when people first heard from you. >> absolutely. >> you're making a choice to put that piece out in the washington post, to come and sit down with us. do you have regrets about the way things have happened for you? >> i feel i handled it the best i could given the circumstances. it allowed me to grow professionally and personally in
5:34 am
terms of my marriage and abuse in general. i wanted to analyze what it looks like. that's the conversation i think we need to be having. it was a big fire storm of, oh, this poor victim and the horrible monster. i know from firsthand experience that's not what domestic violence is. there is a deeper story to be told. that's what i would like to be bringing to light now. >> you said when i tried to get help i was counseled to consider carefully how what i said might affect his career. i was told he was deeply flawed and so was i. so i worked on myself and stayed. do you think the perception and the conversation have changed it all since you first spoke out? >> i think it brought awareness for a short time. it was a short list. in the moment we are in, the women's moment, the me too
5:35 am
movement, it is allowing the conversation to last a little bit longer. i would like to see it move further. there are men and women unable to speak who are trying to speak having the pushback. the conversation is having had on the same level the me too conversations are being had. >> is there a place for someone in public service after abuse. what's your answer? >> once somebody does the work, i think the world provides. >> great to have you with us this morning. thank you for coming in. >> thank you, erica. >> john? >> what a great conversation. new concerns near the scene of a huge fire that burned for days at a texas chemical plant. why people are now demanding answers. that's next. strange creatures. other species avoid pain and struggle. we actually... seek it out. other species do difficult things because they have to.
5:36 am
we do difficult things. because we like to. we think it's... fun. introducing the all-new 2019 ford ranger built for the strangest of all creatures. or psoriatic arthritis, little things can be a big deal. that's why there's otezla. otezla is not an injection or a cream. it's a pill that treats differently. for psoriasis, 75% clearer skin is achievable, with reduced redness, thickness, and scaliness of plaques. for psoriatic arthritis, otezla is proven to reduce joint swelling, tenderness, and pain. and the otezla prescribing information has no requirement for routine lab monitoring. don't use if you're allergic to otezla. it may cause severe diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting. otezla is associated with an increased risk of depression. tell your doctor if you have a history of depression or suicidal thoughts or if these feelings develop. some people taking otezla reported weight loss.
5:37 am
your doctor should monitor your weight and may stop treatment. upper respiratory tract infection and headache may occur. tell your doctor about your medicines and if you're pregnant or planning to be. ready to treat differently with a pill? otezla. show more of you.
5:38 am
5:39 am
ready to treat differently with a pill? it turns out, they want me to start next month. she can stay with you to finish her senior year. things will be tight but, we can make this work. ♪ now... grandpa, what about your dream car? this is my dream now. principal we can help you plan for that . growing health concerns and very few answers in deer park after the huge chemical plant fire was extinguished. ed lavendera is live in deer park, texas, with more. people there aren't satisfied. >> reporter: no, even though the
5:40 am
fire has been out since early wednesday morning, john, there is concern. yesterday there were higher levels of a chemical called benzene which can be dangerous if inhaled. there was a shelter in place order that lasted hours. all of this raising the anxiety of residents in areas in deer park, texas, which is southeast of houston. in fact, there was a health care clinic that popped up from harris county where people could come get checked out. it was there where we ran into a number of people who said they have been experiencing the effects of the chemical exposure for several days now. >> they tell us there's nothing the air which i don't believe. i feel like my throat is itchy, my face, my lips. right now i still feel them itchy. like not a burn-burn, but you can feel it, you know? >> my symptom is here. i feel hot like burning right here. then i had diarrhea a couple of
5:41 am
days ago. i spit out blood today. this morning, you know. i have been feeling -- i never felt like this before. >> reporter: those gentlemen live in the area near where the fire took place and work in the nearby chemical plants in the area. a great deal of concern. air and water quality testing continues. not only is the company intercontinental terminal company where the fire occurred for three days, they are doing air and water quality testing as well as government agencies and environmental groups doing that consistently. a number of investigations as to what caused this fire is also under way, john? >> i'll take it. ed, thank you. a vague federal law allows unlicensed guns to land in the hands of violent criminals. it's an eye opening cnn investigation, next.
5:42 am
when did you see the sign? when i needed to jumpstart sales. build attendance for an event. help people find their way. fastsigns designed new directional signage. and got them back on track. get started at [indistinct conversation] [friend] i've never seen that before. ♪ ♪ i have... ♪
5:43 am
it's nice.... ♪ you got this! ♪ woo! ♪ ♪ ♪
5:44 am
what if you had fewer headaches and migraines a month? botox® prevents headaches and migraines before they even start. botox® is for adults with chronic migraine, 15 or more headache days a month, each lasting 4 hours or more. botox® injections take about 15 mins. in your doctor's office and are covered by most insurance. effects of botox® may spread hours to weeks after injection causing serious symptoms. alert your doctor right away, as difficulty swallowing, speaking, breathing, eye problems, or muscle weakness can be signs of a life-threatening condition. side effects may include allergic reactions, neck and injection site pain, fatigue, and headache.
5:45 am
don't receive botox® if there's a skin infection. tell your doctor your medical history, muscle or nerve conditions, and medications, including botulinum toxins, as these may increase the risk of serious side effects. with the botox® savings program, most people with commercial insurance pay nothing out of pocket. talk to your doctor and visit to enroll. webut some of us turn outhose dreams...... into action... the bookers. the doers. the 'hit that confirmation button and let's go!'- ers! because bookers know that the perfect place to stay... is right there for the booking. be a booker at the world's #1 choice for booking accommodations. a cnn investigation finds
5:46 am
unlicensed gun dealering providing a steady supply of firearms and many are linked to violent crimes. here's the story. >> reporter: it was 2:00 in the afternoon in san francisco. a grey honda came out of nowhere. >> he didn't stop at all. went through the intersection. >> reporter: the car nearly hit him. he yelled and then saw the driver and a gun. >> i didn't believe it. this guy was pointing a gun? what's going on? i said, this guy is going to kill me. >> reporter: he heard a bang. two bullets fired from a smith & wesson .38 caliber handgun tore through his body. >> after he shot me and i was feeling it hitting, the blood gushing. >> reporter: the road raged shooter changed his life forever. this is that shooter. >> that was a really bad period
5:47 am
of my life. >> reporter: easy chang, his real name, pleaded guilty to assault by a firearm and served two and a half years for nearly killing a man he never met. why? he was angry and in his hands was an unregistered gun he thought couldn't be traced to him. >> i had an unregistered gun. >> reporter: did that affect your thinking at the time? >> since it was not being tracked i felt like i could do what i wanted with it. >> reporter: the gun he fired could be traced back to an accused unlicensed gun dealer and part of a bigger gun sales problem in the united states. cnn reviewed dozens of cases against alleged unlicensed dealers, some who sold hundreds of weapons, a flood of weapons without any background checks whatsoever. guns often going to people prohibited from buying them because of criminal convictions because they are drug dealers, because they are mentally disturbed. cnn's investigation found many
5:48 am
of these guns can be linked to violence across the country, to murders, assaults, armed robberies, suicide. >> a lo of tt of the firearms i seen in violent crimes have come through unlicensed dealers. some are prosecuted. most do not. >> reporter: unlicensed gun dealers benefit from a vague federal law that says anyone engaged in the business of selling guns must have a license and conduct background checks, except those who make occasional sales for a personal collection or for a hobby. it sets no limits on the number. the problem is unlicensed dealers often masquerade as private sellers who have few restrictions. thomas chitham is a top atf official overseeing the bureau's operations in the western u.s. >> the law doesn't require that i know your name or ask about your criminal history, your age
5:49 am
or ask about your residency. only if i know or have reason to know you are a prohibited person or a resident of another state or too young to possess a firearm i can't trance it to you. >> so it's best not to know the person you are selling to. >> that's up to the seller. >> reporter: that's almost laughable. people will be shocked to hear that. >> it certainly presents some challenges for us. >> reporter: cnn has identified egregious cases of illegal dealing including a police officer who sold up to two dozen guns, even guns connected to a homd and other crimes for years. a defense department employee with security clearance who sold 200 guns to a crack dealer. a d.e.a. supervisor in arizona who sold a large number of weapons including one oh a drug trafficker. the vagueness of the law is one reason the cases are hard to
5:50 am
prosecute. which brings us back to tarek. >> all this area was just blown out. >> reporter: this is simms corner, douglas county, eastern washington. mary hunt is a former county commissioner. her husband, terry, a prominent wheat farmer. along with their sons derek and rusty, the family's side business for years, according to the atf, was selling guns to just about anyone. court records obtained by cnn show this washington state family were prolific gun sellers dating back to 2009. they sold hundreds of guns at their table at the big reno gun show in nevada. no questions asked, no background checks conducted. in 2012 atf agents hand delivered a warning letter to terry hunt telling him to stop. the family kept selling. the atf traced guns sold by the
5:51 am
hunts to drug dealers, felons, crime scenes, even into the hands of a mentally ill person, all prohibited from owning firearms. cnn's investigation, including an admission from the shooter himself, found that the .38 caliber smith & wesson used by easy chang that nearly killed tarek usladi can be traced to mary hunt. the hunts never responded to cnn. derek asked us to come into his trailer with no camera. >> do you want to come in? >> reporter: that was derek. he's still on probation for another two years, he says, and doesn't want to talk about the case. i explained the story to im . i explained to him about tracking the guns to crimes. i explained to him in particular that a smith & wesson that ended up in the hands of easy chang and that easy shot an innocent
5:52 am
student on the streets of san francisco. he had no reaction. despite the seriousness of the crime and years of investigation, the hunts got off easy. a plea deal to a misdemeanor, no prison time. just fines and probation. tarek drives now for a ride share company. his dreams of a career in electrical engineering shattered by bullets that left him unable to focus. sounds like you almost got a life sentence. >> yeah. it's pretty unfair, isn't it? >> reporter: drew griffin, cnn, san francisco. >> what an amazing trail and what little accountability. fascinating. all right, a florida man who sent mail bombs to democratic political figures and to cnn in new york pleading guilty to 65 felony counts including weapons
5:53 am
of mass destruction. brynn? >> let's go back to the fall. this original indictment had 30 federal counts. now he's pleading guilty to 65 federal charges. he'll likely spend life in prison. the charges include using weapons of mass destruction and using the mail. he spoke in a low voice to the judge explaining what he did and at one point he cried. he told the judge in october of last year he made devices like this one made to look like pipe bombs with wires, powder from fireworks, glass fragments and digital clocks. included in each bomb was a picture of the intended target with a red x over their face. he admitted to sending 16 packages in all to critics of president trump, high profile democrats and, yes, here at cnn. none of the devices exploded. but he admitted he did intend to cause harm.
5:54 am
at this point in the proceeding is when he started to cry. he couldn't speak well. he said, i know these actions were wrong. i'm sorry. the courtroom was filled with federal agents who investigated sayoc over the days he continued to mail the devices and jeff berman for the southern district of new york who said in a statement afterwards cesar sayoc reigned terror across the country. nobody was hurt by the devices but his actions left fear and divisiveness in their wake. he's taken responsibility for the crimes and will be sentenced to significant time in prison. a judge has to make the final sentencing. that will happen in mid september. >> interesting that he said he intended to cause harm. there is something out there in the twittersphere that, oh, they didn't explode. that's important. >> that was a sticking point for u.s. attorneys in the courtroom. they wanted to make sure he said that. he had to finally admit it in court, yes. >> thank you very much. our 2018 cnn heroes continue
5:55 am
to make the world a better place. we checked in on some of them as they reach more people in need. take a look. >> just since january 1, we have built and delivered 1,100 bunk beds, trained 14 new chapters. we are averaging about 15 every other month. we partnered with fema and the red cross. now we are offering beds to families that have been affected by a disaster across the country. >> so many groups knocking on our doors. normally we look for partners. now partners are looking for us. we trained 300 girls in three years before. now we have 5,000 in one year. >> people with big hearts wanting to make a difference. >> for a full update on what the 2018 top ten are up to and to nominate someone you think should be our next cnn hero log
5:56 am
on to cnn >> it is potentially a very big day for this country. on high alert for robert mueller to announce perhaps that his investigation is over and turn over his report to the attorney general of the united states. cnn is live on the ground in washington waiting for the exact moment it all happens. stay with cnn for the latest next. that rocking chair would look grahh, new house, eh?e. well, you should definitely see how geico could help you save on homeowners insurance. nice tip. i'll give you two bucks for the chair. two?! that's a victorian antique! all right, how much for the recliner, then? wait wait... how did that get out here? that is definitely not for sale! is this a yard sale? if it's in the yard then it's... for sale. oh, here we go. geico. it's easy to switch and save
5:57 am
on homeowners and renters insurance. so recently my son's band was signed by a record label. while we're on the road, i can keep my parents in the loop with the whole facetime thing. i created a rockstar. (both laughing) (vo) there when it matters. get iphone xr on us when you buy the latest iphone. on verizon. when your flight gets in late, it's never too early for coffee. oh no no no. your new boss seems cool, but she might not be sweatpants cool. who is that ready this early? it's only 7 am. somebody help me. close call. not quite ready to face the day? that's why we're here with free hot breakfast and a warm welcome. book at for our price match guarantee.
5:58 am
hampton by hilton. ok look, if you're not the lead dog, the scenery never changes. that's why this is the view for every other full-size pickup. and this year, it's déjà vu all over again 'cuz only the ford f-150 with its high strength, military-grade aluminum alloy body gives you best-in-class torque, best-in-class payload... and you got it, baby... best-in-class towing. still leading the pack. this is the big dog! this is the ford f-150. it doesn't just raise the bar, pal. it is the bar.
5:59 am
6:00 am
good friday morning. i'm poppy harlow in new york. jim has the day off. this may or may not be the hour, the day or the month that robert mueller hands in his final report. but this much we do know. while the speculation builds and apprehension grows president trump can and will keep workshopping responses. case in point this morning in an interview with fox business news the president said, quote, people -- presumably his base -- will not accept a report that tarnishes his presidency. listen. >> i have a deputy appoints a man who write a report on me to make a determination on my presidency? people will not stand


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on