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tv   CNN Newsroom With Ana Cabrera  CNN  March 23, 2019 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT

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shows. this is staying connected with xfinity to make moving simple. easy. awesome. stay connected with the best wifi experience and two-hour appointment windows. click, call or visit a store today. you're live in the cnn news rule. here's what we know this saturday evening as the nation baits to see how many of the mueller report the attorney general is willing to give to congress and the world. house democrats tonight are threatening to launch speeubpoe to get the full report. democrats held an emergency conference call this afternoon. 27 hours have passed since attorney general william barr confirmed the russia probe is
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now over. president trump remains silent on this. that doesn't mean he's been out of sight today. we begin with adam perez who has been tracking this. it seems like people might have a reason to cancel the sunday plans. >> that's right. they spent more than nine hours working with rob rosenstein and a small group of aides. so far they're the only ones who have seen what is in robert mueller's he report that was submitted yesterday. according to the justice department. now, what bill barr is trying to do is come up with a distillation of summary that he will send to congress. what that looks like, we don't know.
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concern told is that this won't an word for word. it will be a way for the toeg to distill what he found from the mueller findings. the question is how much will be satisfactory for members of choong are demanding that they want to see everything. the more the better for them. we do know that in the weeks since bill barr took office, one of the things he's been wrestling with is how much detail he can provide. one of the things the justice department rules say is that if charges are not brought against anyone, then you can't really go out and describe what their conduct was. what evidence you found of any wrongdoing that did not reach to the level of bringing charges. so that's one of the things they're wrestling with. how many detail did mueller include? it makes it more difficult for barr as he tries to prepare this summary. as you mentioned, it has been
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eagerly awaited. both at one end of pennsylvania avenue and congress where lawmakers want to see this. and of course, at the white house where they're anticipating, they want to see what this report says before they decide to comment republicpublicly. >> but it was barr who planted this expectation that we should have news immediately. i'm reading this letter notifying congress of the probably being closed. he writes, i may be in a position to advise you of the principal conclusions as soon as this weekend. does this suggest that this is really a long report? because we heard last night from a doj report that it was comprehensive. >> exactly. i think that's what we're all guessing. the information hasn't really described how long mueller's report is. we don't know how detailed it is.
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but barr has said he expects to meet the deadline, what he calls the principal conclusions from the mueller report. one of the big questions for all of us at this hour is, blr this includes so much information that it is making it that much more difficult to come up with what barr calls the principal conclusions. one thing you can bet. this won't be the end. once barr sends this information over -- by the way, he expects to make that public. once he sends to it congress, he plans to show the public what it is he provided to members of congress. but you can bet, they'll want more than that. >> they've said so. thank you. evan perez, for staying late for us. in the meantime, house democrats are ramping up the fight to see the full report. not just the summary that
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attorney william barr is preparing. and today, they've made clear they are prepared to use subpoena power. saying public opinion is on their side. joining us now, former adviser to four presidents, david gergen, and legal analyst and former federal prosecutor, david hogan. will they be backed in this request for full transparency in. >> all indications are yes, the public will back it. and the parties have voted as part of a resolution in the house to release this. and the president of the united states has said he wants to see the full report. so i think there will be enormous pressure. but it is a step by step. the principal conclusions will have serious news in them. we don't know which way it will cut yet. i think it is understandable that president trump's team right now is claiming victory because no one was indied for
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collusion which was at the heart of this investigation. and no one will be indied for that. but the details matter. we're looking for the narrative. what really happened? there are so many mysteries still unsolved about the that he can you' can, the peculiarity of this. why is a president of the united states talking about putin. >> we've seen over the course of the past couple years, he has really crafted a picture. he was indicting these 37 entities. we know that the white house has at least leading up to this moment said they want a chance to look at this report. to make sure they can weigh in
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on executive privilege. do you expect the white house will look at the couldn't collusions before barr looks at this? >> the regulations are silent as to whether william barr can, must, should, give an advance company to the white house. legally speaking, it is a reasonable thing for him to do. the white house needs to have a chance to exert executive privilege. it is a real thing. a real legal doctrine. it was recognized in the richard nixon case in 1974. it certainly exists. just thinking about this legally, it would be fair to give the white house a chance toy is a we object to this, this, and this. but politically, it is fraught. i don't think there's a lot of patience and barr recognized that by saying i'll get you something this weekend. if you do send it to the white house and they do object, you can really get bogged down in legal proceedings. so i think the legal proceedings will win out here.
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>> i wonder if barr intentionally made hit the weekend so the white house wouldn't have too much time fiddle around with it. >> you think about the way the mueller investigation has really colored the first half of the trump presidency. now idea of a witch hunt. the constant attacks that president trump has sort of thrown at mueller, his team, what he called the witch hunt, no collusion. let me remind everybody what he said all along. >> i don't think anybody knows it was russia that broke into the dnc. >> how many times do i have to answer this question? russia is a ruse. this russia thing with trump and russia is a made up story. the entire thing has been a witch hunt. the russia story is a total fabr fabrication. russia did not help me. i call at this time russian hoax. they made up the whole russia
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hoax. that was a democrat hoax. a democrat hoax. >> so often he has brought this up when he hasn't been asked directly about it. i wonder what a trump presidency looks like without this as a talking point? >> i don't think we'll know without a legal investigation of some sort going on. it appears we'll be in for four years of. . but the whole notion, i think why there's such a mystery here. okay. if you wake up tomorrow and say, nobody got indicted for collusion. therefore, the white house can claim victory. think of this. think if there had been a secret mueller probe and one morning we wake up and we're told, mueller has indicted three dozen people because of this. there have been 100 contacts between the trump organization and the russians as we went through this. there are now a dozen investigations of president
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trump that have been spawned by this. we would all think that's a big, big deal. in some ways, this has very definitely bolstered and helped the trump people. >> to that point, this investigation isn't the end. there are other investigations, not just congress but other jurisdictions for the district. new york. new york state. . >> two big things. congress, i think will have a really interesting, potentially constitutional showdown. we've started to get a hint of this with the document requests. the white house is saying no. make us. and what's congress' next move? i think a subpoena. what happens if the white house says no, we're not doing it. i don't know if we've ever had this separation of powers, checks and balances conflict. does the legislative branch have the authority to compel the executive branch to produce documents and testimony?
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that's a huge kons stoconstitutw school come to life. >> well, richard nixon had to turn over tiapes. >> the other place of looking, i googled it this morning, four miles from here, my old office, the southern district. new york. they can investigate whatever they wachblt they have tell cohen case. we saw the search warrant documents three days ago. that tells us they redacted 20 pages. they're into the inaugural committee. i know they're tenacious and i think that's the focus will be. >> i think about if this mueller report exonerates the president. we never know. it could come out and say he's vindicated. what is the shake-up for the 2020 race? >> i think it is the vindication
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to the base. and if the economy is strong. he will be able to draw in some independents. if he's basically cleared, he will be a. more formidable candidate. and the democrats realize, there could be a very, very tough fight in 2020. they thought after the mid-terms, we're bound to win this. not so clear. not so clear. but i would come back to this again. i do think as this has played out. people have taken, the public is starting to judge trump. not just by the russian question. but by fitness for office. all these things we have to live with with president trump. and a lot of americans love him form but there are a lot of americans who think he is unfit. whether he is temperamentally under fit or even mentally unfit. >> another thing we learned today. the president's son-in-law jared
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kushner has greed hand over documents. it is continuing the obstruction of justice probe. how significant is that? >> real significant. first of all, substantively. jared kushner is iner, iner circle. er he was right there. this is setting an example. if the president's son-in-law, one of his senior advisers, is willing to comply, turn over documents, hopefully that will set a tone that the rest of the white house hand been setting and keep us out of the constitutional crisis we were discussing before. >> as we wait with baited breath for the findings. we'll have you back. today, president trump is waiting. he's at mar-a-lago, playing golf. amazingly, not tweeting about
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white house strategy. plus, patriots owner robert kraft is speaking out for the first time since he was charged with soliciting a prostitute. and stranded at sea. hundreds of passengers are trapped aboard a cruise ship. (door bell rings) it's open! hey. this is amazing. with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis, are you okay? even when i was there,
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robert mueller's report, done. his two-year investigation over. the response from president trump? crickets. not even one single tweet from president trump in more than 24 hours. that makes for a very unusual saturday in the news world. all this comes as democratic lawmakers from coast to coast are raxetting up their calls demanding full transparency. that the whole mueller report be
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made public. moments after the discussion ended, i spoke to one of the leading democrats participating in today's call. here's my conversation with john guard mendi of california. >> we've seen cohen, mueller, guilty pleas, indictments, now we'll see the couldn't collusion. we can be patient for one day but really it is the american public. it is not the democrats that are demanding that everything be made public. everyone wants to know what this is all about and draw their own conclusions. >> what does it tell you about how much of mueller's report barr plans to reveal? >> well, whatever he plans to reveal, i will just assert that the american public will assistant for nothing less handle the the total report with the exception of the things that show how you this, through intelligence sources, gathered information. but the american public will not
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be satisfied. democrats and republicans will not be satisfied. and everyone who listened to this for more than two years, people want to know the details. >> the house took a vote on just that and it was unit animus. more than 400 people said the full report should come out. here's the argument from deputy attorney general rod robinson. punishing wrongdoers through judicial proceedings is only one part of the mission. we have a duty to prevent the disclosure of information that would unwill fairly tarnish people who are not charged with crimes. do you disagree with rosenstein only point? >> he apparently has a very short memory. do you remember what the justice department did to hillary clinton during the campaign? >> that wasn't rosenstein. and everybody was critical about how the justice department handled her case. >> what i'm saying is, he has a short memory. not of his own work but what the justice department did two and a half years ago. so the facts are, the republican
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really needs to know all of the information. this is not about protecting people. this is about our democracy. >> the numbers are impressive. 37 people and entities who faced criminal charges. we know 199 overall criminal counts are part of this. all the indictments, the plea deals, the person convicted at trial, part oul manafort. if it is no collusion, isn't this a big political victory for the president? >> we don't know. we do know that each of those indictments, each of those people that have been charged. those are the opening chapters in what is the big of the scandal the american public has endured in its presidency forever. whether the president is involved or not, we don't yet know. clearly there was an effort to stop this investigation. there is no doubt that that
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happened. was that a cover-up? was that a crime? well, perhaps the final chapter of mr. mueller's report will reveal that. but in any case, we do know that there was a serious effort by russia and by people involved in the trump campaign that were working with the russians, or the people that associated with russia. >> communication with russians. we know there were at least 16 communications. 16 different people who were mart of the trump orbit who didn't disclose. but you had this call with the democratic party leaders today. what did you learn and what is the next move by your party after you see mueller's could t conclusions? >> well, demand transparency.
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>> does that mean you'll subpoena documents? it is the american public demanding transparency. not just the democrats in congress. it is the american public. and we will do the best we can to make all the information available. would subpoenas be necessary? we would hope not. we would home the justice department would make all the information available. much as they did with the over 800,000 pages of information that was made available to the committees when the republicans controlled the house of representatives. they asked for it. they the republicans asked for it. they got over 800,000 pages of information. whatever information is out there, that should be made available. let's keep in mind. i've said it three times. i'll say it a fourth time. the mid-term public wants to know. we're simply instruments of
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making that information available. it is about our democracy. bits how can we protect our democracy from foreign influence. and perhaps from americans that chose to be involved with that effort by a foreign government to influence the election. >> all right. good to have you with us. thank you very much. >> thank you. so while washington remains on edge today about what may or may not be in the mueller report, president trump handle playing golf in mar-a-lago. what is the president's strategy for dealing with what the report reveals? we'll talk about it just ahead.
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he. for more than 24 hours, the washington has been in a frenzy. congressional leaders are anxiousory waiting for william barr's principal conclusions. more than 800 miles away, the president spent the day golfing at one of his clubs, happy that the investigation is over, according to sources. the president is spending the weekend in west palm beach. is it still your understanding that the president is feeling pretty good about all this? >> reporter: yeah. if the president is at all anxious about what may be coming from the department of justice mueller report, he hasn't shown it at all. he went golfing today at one of his golf clubs in south florida. he also according to sources,
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was very jovial last night during a dinner at his property in mar-a-lago. sources indicating the president is happy that this investigation is over. now he's taking a wait and see approach to find out exactly what is in this report. from what we understand, he was getting updates yesterday from one of his top attorney generals. and he was in a spirited mood, according to sources at mar-a-lago. he also gave a speech in which he was telling stories about the first lady's approval rating and he was talking about a three-minute speech in which he did not mention the mueller report. all appearances are that the white house is optimistic about where this is going. they have remained pretty tight lipped about this. he hasn't tweeted anything about it. one aide gave a very short statement saying the president was fine and good. >> all right. fine and good. we know the president's lawyers are there with him at
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mar-a-lago. trump had another special guest with him. for golf? >> reporter: right. his name is kid. kid rock joining the president today for a round of golf at his property here. ald that to the long list of things i 97 thought i would be saying on television. kid rock known for his string of rock metal hits. look at his pants. he was clearly ready. he did actually flirt with a run for the senate before deciding to pull the plug. >> all right. one of the lighter moments. we have a trump biographer here. also, a professor of history at rice university. for a president who has tweeted witch hunt more than 170 times,
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saying no collusion, no collusion. for him only the completely silent since this report dropped. what does that tell you? >> i guess it tells us that every weekend, we should have a 6 600-page report and lawyers to stop him from tweeting. he's not sure exactly what's in this report. david gergen talked but to the narrative contained in it and that's violent. there will be no more indictments. we don't know exactly what mr. mueller's learned in this long investigation. we certainly don't know what everyone has told him. if we get the details, proit further insight into the campaign and the people around the president and into the
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president himself. he doesn't like people to see him very clearly so that has bound to make him less confident about tweeting. looking back, ken starr's people in, the 1998 report. the watergate report. 55 pages. that set forth the special prosecutor's factual findings without any legal recommendations. so how worried should the president be right now? >> well, first off, i went into presidential history not knowing kid rock would be part of the indecks of american history with the mueller report. but he is for michigan and i suppose president trump will be able to use kid rock and try to win that state in 2020.
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look. donald trump is in a wait and see like everybody else. there's no twitter and the lawyers have got gone there to mar-a-lago. the big decision is whether he goes with the, whether he allows him to double down on principal conclusion or let the full report out. that will be a gigantic political decision that donald trump will have to make very soon. whether he wants to say, because there's nothing much in it. he gets in a defensive crouch. we're in for a brouhaha with congress. and the nixon times went to the supreme court. this is going to be, does congress have the authority to demand scene that' president that hasn't been indicted, hasn't been charged with any
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felony. democrats have to be careful that it doesn't get leaked. barr has to be careful about that. so there are so many acts in the next two, three weeks coming. i don't know where to begin. >> in the past you've said the president thrives in chaos. that he likes having a dewill fined enemy. how do you think the mueller probably has shamed trump's presidency? >> well, i think it has revealed who the president is. because of all the stress that it has placed on him. we tend to revert to our basic selves when we're under stress. the lying, the bullying he's attempted. the way that he has campaigned to get the merge people to believe this is a witch hunt and there's no collusion would suggest that he's been shaped by
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this investigation more than he's been shaped by anything during his presidency. the other thing i would like to say, with his references to nixon. donald trump always believed that richard nixon didn't foyt hard enough. that he should have been more difficult. that he should have resisted even more firmly. so i think the chances for him to resist attempts for the background information, perhaps for the whole report to be released is great. while we don't know a lot of mueller's conclusions, he has revealed many. his findings throughout the past couple years with all the indictments and the plea deals. this is so much, so gradual,
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it is so complicated. people don't have a chance to pause, catch their breath, and really sort of survey the whole story that mueller has found. i think if you took it all in in one day, it would kill you. do you agree? does he have a point? >> absolutely. and it is working in trump's favor. people are fatigued by the collusion russia. it has gone on for two long years. it will be curious to see how 80% of the merge peopamerican p to see this. we paid for it. whether you're having a bp spill in the gulf of mexico or bill clinton, the public demands transparency. so the key that we'll see how trump behaves, will he promote transapparentlicy or in cover-up mode? if he's in cover-up mode, who knows where this is leading to?
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that means he knows there are things that are deeply damaging to him. it cobble a thread that somebody in the judicial will community, the congressional judiciary follows that thread and it leads the an ugly place. we saw the whole southern district in new york situation. this is a president pits fair to say is deeply meyered in scandal. this weekend, i think he probably enjoyed his golf game for the first time in a long time. it is the first time that asterisk has been erased by his name that he is a president under serious investigation about collusion. >> let's say mueller's report exonerates the president. do you think we'll see a shift in how trump gompbls? >> i really don't think we will? >> i really don't think we will. the confusion we see with the
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russia investigation and all the scandals is caused in part by his prempbls dor informing many, many things all at once. we saw earlier this week how he undermined his own administration on north korea which strengthened sanctions in one moment and then the president released them in the next. so he'll be as erratic as he's always been. we just won't hear about robert mueller but we'll hear lots of crazy stuff about other things. >> he's still talking about hillary clinton and prompting lock her up chants after the election. >> thank you, gentlemen. good to have you with us. breaking his silence. will new england patriots oerwn robert kraft.
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welcome back. robert kraft is publicly apologizing and it is the first time we've heard directly from kraft since he was charged with soliciting prostitution at a florida spa last month. >> reporter: one of robert kraft's statements today is significant as it is the first time we hear from the new england patriots owner since prosecutors in florida announced this investigation. one that led to charges against close to 100 men. among them, kraft. investigators alleged that they sought out paid sex services at various day spas. kraft and his legal team pleading not guilty. today statement saying he is truly sorry. a portion saying throughout my life, i have always tried to do the right thing. the last thing i would ever want
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to do is disrespect another human being. i have extraordinary almost for women. the love of my life who i was blessed to have as my partner for 50 years. a reference to his late wife. he wrote that he homes to use his platform to make a difference. that's certainly something to look at here this week, according to a source family with the case. that source telling cnn that kraft will not semia plea deal that was offered up by prosecutors. that deal that they would choose to drop that misdemeanor charge in exchange for fines, community service, and an admission from kraft that he would be found guilty. prosecutors saying that is fairly standard for first time offenders. this week, they filed a motion seeking a protective order that would have essentially blocked the release of not just video evidence but also, really, other incriminating evidence,
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according to investigators that could potentially be made public. now the statement released over the weekend from robert kraft saying that he is sorry for what happened. back to you. all right. thank you. wild weather and mechanical failure leaving a cruise shipment and more than 1,000 passengers stranded at sea. details straight ahead.
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rough weather earlier today. the 1,300 passengers and crew members are being evacuated. 115 people have been evacuated. it is in cold, rainy conditions and choppy seas with six to eight meter high waves, we're told. you can see water on board the ship. flooding the decks in some places. at least a handful of people suffered minor injuries. the crew reported engine problems. they are trying to restore power and get this ship back into court. a celebration today in what was an isis strong hold. they held a formal ceremony marking the complete defeat of isis in syria. the president said i am pleased
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to announce that together with our partners in the globe coalition to defeat isis, including iraqi security forces and the years yandle democratic forces, the united states has liberated all isis. and people are wondering if they will ever recover in america's heartland. the floodwaters have been pushed over some of the most productive and fertile farm land in the country. it is not just this natural disaster. even when the floods go down, farmers are still dealing with their worst economic and trade crisis in generations. >> reporter: it came fast. and it hasn't stopped. the missouri river flooded to record levels across midwestern states, taking with it homes,
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crops, and livestock. leaving farmers with hundreds of millions of dollars in losses. >> as you stand here and you look at the flooding, what are the emotions that come to you? >> a lot of page and uncertainty of your future. >> reporter: these the tariffs on crops and livestock. dustin is a a corn farmer in iowa. he hasn't been able to get to his farm since sunday. how many of your land is underwater right now? >> 95%. >> reporter: what is the damage you're looking at? >> it's over a million dollars. >> reporter: over a million dollars lost. >> yeah. >> reporter: the nebraska he department of agriculture estimates costs up to $1 billion. here in iowa, preliminary damage assess mated at $150 million. according to the department of
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agriculture, it is expected to rise dramatically. >> these are the people out here who feed america. without these people, america will suffer. the whole economy will suffer. >> boy, is it a mess. >> reporter: standing on the edge of his family farm, jeff jorgensen's corn fields are now lakes. >> that's just money straight out of my pocket. i need to be able to farm my ground. i need to do my job. we're passionate about what we do. >> reporter: across the way, a sixth generation farm. >> the crop that was harvested last fall. >> reporter: what does this mean for your season? >> well, we don't know yet. it is definitely a deep concern. the thing about this flood is it is affecting two years. a lot of these grain bins are holding our 2018 crop that we haven't got delivered to town yet or sold. >> reporter: according to the american farm bureau, farm
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bankruptcies were up almost 20% in 2018. the highest level in more than ten years. it is something midwest farmers have been forced to consider. >> it is always a possibility with everybody. you might sell everything you own to pay off what you owe and then you have nothing. >> reporter: key to their survival is aid. president trump approved funds for nebl anybody and sheldon is hoping they'll do the same in iowa. >> i don't think they'll forget us. i think he knows how important that agriculture and grain farming, cattle farming, raising hogs, it is to our country. let's give him a chance to do it and go from there. if it works, it works. if it doesn't, i guess we'll have to see about making a change. cnn, percival, iowa. back to our top story. the u.s. attorney general spent hours, nine hours today, pouring over the mueller report.
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hello on this saturday night. you're live in the cnn newsroom. this may be the most tension-filled saturday evening in washington in more than 40 years. the attorney general has the mueller report. congress, the white house, and the rest of us do not. here's what we know at just after 9:00 p.m. eastern. this is vild of the ag william barr leaving the justice department this evening. he was at work for more than nine hours today. alongside rod rosenstein, the deputy ag, pouring over the mueller findings. that may not have been enough

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