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tv   CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin  CNN  March 26, 2019 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT

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. we're back. you're watching cnn on this tuesday afternoon. i'm brooke baldwin. thank you for being here. breaking news out of chicago today. prosecutors have dropped all charges against "empire" actor jussie smollett, a move which came as quite a surprise to chicago's police superintendent who says he found out when the rest of the world did. let me take you back. this all started in january of this year when smollett told police two men attacked him for being both black and gay. chicago investigators charged
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smollett for staging his own attack. and today, the shocking reversal with smollett still maintaining his innocence. >> i've been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one. this has been an incredibly difficult time, honestly, one of the worst of my entire life. i'm a man of faith and i'm a man that has knowledge of my history and i would not bring my family, our lives or the movement through a fire like this. now i'd like nothing more than to just get back to work and move on with my life, but make no mistakes, i will always continue to fight for the justice, equality and betterment of marginalized people everywhere. >> and then in a joint show of force, chicago's police superintendent and mayor rebuked the decision by prosecutors to drop those charges. >> my personal opinion is that you all know where i stand on this. do i think justice was served? no. where do i think justice is? i think this city is still owed
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an apology. >> he did this all in the name of self-promotion and he used the laws of the hate crime legislation that all of us collectively over years have put on the books to stand up to be the values that embody what we believe in. this is a whitewash of justice. >> cnn national correspondent ryan young is in chicago and, ryan, how did this happen? >> reporter: you could feel it in the room, brooke. i think that's the big question. not only how did this happen but why did it happen? i remember the first time we did this story together, brooke, we talked about it. it was so scary the details that an african-american male could be walking home in the streets of chicago and someone come up behind him and put a noose around his neck, pour bleach on him and fight him while screaming racial slurs at him. the reaction from the country was immediate. people wanted a justice department response. they wanted to see what was going on. 12 detectives working around the
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clock started breaking this case apart. now let's remember at the beginning of this, jussie smollett asked the detectives who arrived, the cops who arrived to turn off their body camera. they asked could he take him to the hospital. he self-transported himself to the hospital but at that point nothing was that big of a red flag. it wasn't until they caught up with two men, the two brothers who were pulled in after they landed in nigeria. it was 47 hours later that detectives finally started feeling that they were cracking the case here. remember, police asked jussie smollett for his phone and the text messages from his phone. he said he didn't want to give it up because of his friends and who were on the phone. the brothers it and apparently they went forward to the grand jury. a 16 count indictment came back. we all thought we were going to court. you remember jussie smollett and his team standing in court and basically saying, we want cameras there in court to make sure the world sees this and now all of a sudden today we get a phone call, we have to rush to the court.
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we get there and all of a sudden they said charges are dropped. we still don't know why the charges were dropped. listen to jussie smollett's attorney today talking about how this all wrapped up. >> we have nothing to say to the police department except to investigate charges and not try their cases in the press. i have no idea what occurred in this case and why it occurred. i can just say that things seem to spiral somewhat out of control. we've gotten two a result that is the right result in this case and we're happy for that. >> reporter: brooke, the number one thing here that i want to tell all our viewers is the fact that this case was sealed. it wasn't sealed tomorrow. it's sealed right now. so i can't go down to the court and see the information that the 12 detectives have gathered over all this time and to figure out exactly how we arrived here. were they able to punch holes in the two brothers' and what they've said? we're not sure. i'm sure those two brothers have
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the text messages that went between smollett and themselves. it would be interesting to see how this plays out. we may never have all the information. we want to talk to the state's attorneys office. no scheduled conference so far. i remember the superintendent being so strong on that day when he came forward and said he was upset with jussie taking the good name of his city and wringing it through. he said at that point there were so many stories in chicago that weren't getting the kind of attention that this story was getting. this weekend a police officer was killed offduty. no one's talking about that and today we're at the graduation and all these officers are watching the mayor and superintendent stand up there and talk about what's going on. we know no charges can go forward. it's going to be interesting to see how this plays out because obviously the state's attorneys office has to talk with the police department to move cases forward. how do those 12 detectives who spent all those man hours working this case feel about this at this point? brooke, there's a lot of unanswered questions here and i'm sure this is going to play
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out in the media like it has so far. >> good on you making the point on that officer over the weekend. ryan young, appreciate you so much in chicago. so let's dive into a lot of ryan's points here. joey jackson is a criminal attorney, berrit berger. basically you have, to you first, basically you have the, you know, the police superintendent, the mayor and then you have the, you know, prosecutors on the other side. how are they not on the same page on this? >> i don't know. this is a very surprising way for this to play out. don't get me wrong, in my time as a prosecutor there were many instances where the fbi agents and i saw a case differently. i thought we should resolve it by a plea, they thought it was too lenient. we also had disagreements about the resolution of a case. what we never did though was air those disagreements in such a public fashion or really come out this strongly against each
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other. it is very surprising to me that there's not some sort of a unified front here. >> let me read this. this is from chicago sun times, joey. the first assistant state's attorney said the decision -- this is a quote, the decision to drop the charges should not be interpreted that smollett did not do what police and prosecutors have alleged. paid assailants to attack him. it's a nonviolent crime. he has no felony criminal background. if you start looking at the disposition of the case, in every case you need to look at the facts and circumstances of the case and the defendant's background. >> that sounds to me like it was a plea resolution. let's be clear. if that's what it is, i think the public certainly dempds the right to know. do you want to smear a person like this and let's talk about jussie smollett. a person who apparently is very beloved by the community, a person who's done so much for the community. do you want to have him have a felony record that lives with him for the left rest of his life that annihilates him?
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i think not. having said that, i think the appropriate thing to do would be to come out and say that an appropriate resolution of the case is how we're doing it. dismissal. prosecutors have vast discretion. they decided to do in the interest of justice to dismiss the case but it's been couched in a way where we're all confused and we're all -- >> and jussie smollett stood up there today and said i have been speaking the truth from the beginning. >> correct. it is couched in a way that we're all confused. we considered his community service and we've considered that he's giving up his bail, the $10,000 and this is an appropriate resolution. in the event that none of this is true or didn't happen, it's all fabricated, why is my client would be my position as a defense attorney forfeiting any bail? why do you care about his past history or whether he's a repeated felon? you judge is based on what you do now. it smells. to the issue of this whole disagreement, you know, to your point, there are always disagreements between perhaps
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the police department and the district attorney or county attorney in terms of how a case should be handled but this is beyond disagreement. this is a complete -- the mayor in listening to him is livid. the mayor is livid at jussie smollett. he's livid at what his police department has gone through. he backs his police department. you speak superintendent johnson speak to the issue. he stands by what he says. to not be notified until everyone else was that's problematic. it begs the question how did we get here and was it a political decision that was made at the highest levels to just end this. i suggest to you that's exactly what happened. >> but you say it smells. you point out eddie johnson is furious. also who says it stinks is former d.c. police chief charles ramsey. we were talking last hour and he did not mince words. >> this isn't on the police department. they did an investigation. they presented it to the state's attorney, which, by the way, any charge has to be approved by the
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state's attorney before it can even move forward if it's a felon, then they take it a grand jury who agrees and if it was a case as far as this public opinion being tried in the court of public opinion, i mean, this is a high profile guy. the media is going to grab on to this. he's the alleged victim of a hate crime. there's a noose, made in america hats that these guys were wearing. i mean why wouldn't the media cover it? that's just the world we live in now. that has nothing to do with the police department. this case stinks and somebody needs to take a look at it. everybody wants to talk about police reform, accountability, transparency. you need to look at some of these prosecutors' offices as well. something is not right with this and if there was new evidence that came forward i guarantee you, eddie and the mayor would not have been as forceful as they were in their press conference. not only that, why would you seal it? let it out there. let us know what it is that's changed. nothing has changed other than the fact that this guy got to a
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judge, got to the state's attorneys office somehow and they worked out a back door deal that through the mayor and the police department under the bus, period. >> and the $10,000 his bond that was forfeited -- >> that's a joke. that's a joke. that doesn't even come close to covering the cost. that's not one day, you know. i mean -- come on. everybody can see through this, at least you should be able to see through it. you just can't justify -- why would you not give the superintendent a heads up? why would you have the court records sealed? i mean, this stinks. i'm telling you it stinks. i've seen a lot of bad decisions or what i believe to be bad decisions before, this one rates right at the top. something is not right and people need not let this rest because it's screwed up. i'm telling you. >> so he made a bunch of points. if i may -- i know -- >> what he said -- that's my answer. >> what he said. if you're innocent, why don't
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you want the evidence out there for everyone to see? why seal it to ryan young's point today? to either of you. >> that's the issue. the issue is i think it's being sealed because this information in there that would lead a reasonable person to conclude that where there's smoke perhaps there's fire. i think the ultimate thing here is they wanted to see this go away. this has shed so much light on chicago. in the interest of justice, we have this young african-american man who's done so many tremendous things for his community that we don't want to see him end up with a felony record, it's not the appropriate disposition, i'm using my discretion as a prosecutor to resolve this and thereby dismiss or reduce the charges. you don't engage in this ruse behavior and we seal the mayor upset, we see the superintendent, are you kidding me, that's how it's resolved and to not level with everyone and to have us all in a state of confusion and to your ultimate point, you seal it so no one will ever know it becomes so
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problematic and to the point you made before we went on air, it's a distrust of the system. we have to all put our faith in the system and to see a system of justice that, you know, is one way, if you have money or if you don't have money or if you're a celebrity or you're not does a disservice to everyone. >> what you said. joey jackson, berrit, thank you very much. coming up next, president trump claims republicans will soon be the party of health care despite his administration moving to get rid of obamacare entirely. plus 2020 candidates senator kamala harris rolls out a plan to give every teacher a $13,000 raise. we have details on how she would pay for it. how that would help teachers nationwide. the federal ban on bump stocks takes effect today and already washington state has run out of money for its buyback program. we'll talk to one of the troopers trying to balance the demand. you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin.
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here's more breaking news. new england patriots owner robert kraft has entered a plea of not guilty to all charges. you know the story? he was accused of soliciting prosecution down at a florida day spa. i've got joey and berit still with me. requested a jury trial and filing with the court he waived his right to an arraignment. you think this is posturing. >> be careful what you ask for is all i'll say. he's entitled to the presumption of innocence. of course we don't know what happened. we have no clue. apparently the reports are they have the goods -- >> they have the video evidence. >> exactly of things that i don't think would -- we would want to see on television and in
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the event you asked for a jury trial and you're holding the prosecution to their proof, that's something that's played to a jury. in essence in the event it is him and the acts are as described a jury trial would seem a bit of a mistake especially when the police and prosecution say we have you. we'll dismiss the case if you admit if we went to trial you'd be guilty. a jury trial would not be visible if they have this. >> let's throw the apology up on the screen very quickly. this was lost in the shuffle. he did apologize. i know i have hurt and disappointed my family, my close friends and my coworkers. our fans and many others who rightfully hold me to a higher standard. in the world of the nfl, it means a lot, right, and so we know nfl owners are meeting in a conference right now in california. how much does what's happening
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here and potentially posturing effect what the nfl is looking for? >> i mean, it's interesting to have that kind of an apology when you're in the posture of being somebody who is charged with these types of crimes, because what is that apology actually referring to? are you saying you actually did these things that you were charged with and if that's the case, why not just plead guilty right away? the one thing i would caution is, just because he's pleaded not guilty at this stage does not mean that a plea will not come at some later date. it's very common for defendants to plead not guilty, perhaps he wants to get all the discovery or legal motions they want to make that have merit. i would be very surprised if this is a case that ends up going to trial for the sole fact that nobody wants that evidence played out in a courtroom, especially if there's video tapes and things of that nature. >> yeah. i got you. >> joey, berit, thank you. every teacher in america, how about this, would get a $13,000 pay raise if 2020
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democrat senator kamala harris has her way. how she says she would pay for the new proposal and reaction from the head of the national teacher's union next. - [woman] with my shark, i deep clean messes like this. this and even this. but i don't have to clean this, because the self-cleaning brush roll removes hair, while i clean. - [announcer] shark, the vacuum that deep cleans, now cleans itself.
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the justice department after previously defending some parts of the law now says that the entire thing should be struck down. so just let me give you a refresher on some of the affordable care act's benefits. in addition to requiring companies to cover those with preexisting conditions, it offers free screenings like mammograms and cholesterol tests. it allows adult children to stay on their parent's insurance up until the age of 26. the switch comes five months after president trump told americans this -- >> we will always protect americans with preexisting conditions. we're going to take care of them. >> cnn senior writer tammy lubeby is here. we've talked so much about obamacare. how would this first and foremost, affect people currently with obamacare? >> you have 11.4 million people who signed up for policies for this year who will find it difficult to find policies elsewhere. you've got more than 12 million
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people who are covered by medicaid expansion, more states are looking to expand their programs to cover more low income people but remember the important thing is as you mentioned earlier, this is not just about people who are on the exchanges or people who have medicaid expansion. 52 million people have preexisting conditions, if they lose their job will be able to get coverage some where. it's young duts up to age 26 who can get on to their parents' plans, birth control at no cost, it's mammograms and cholesterol screenings and, you know, people on medicare who are going to be saving money on the premiums. it's an incredibly far reaching law. >> the president says that republicans will soon be known for what they'll be able to do for health care but you say not so fast, the democrats are preparing to fight. >> well, the democrats ran in the november election on being the party of health care. it helped them take back the house and even today house speaker nancy pelosi just rolled
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out their new bill on protecting the affordable care act and protecting people with preexisting conditions. they know that the affordable care act is not always so affordable for everybody. they want to increase subsidies for more middle class people and make subsidies more generous so more people can afford the coverage on the exchanges. they want to provide states with more money called reinsurance money to allow the insurers to lower their premiums because they don't have to cover as much high cost patients and they have several provisions that want to protect people with preexisting conditions and make changes to what the trump administration is doing. >> so when people ask the question, what's the republicans plan if -- if this is all going to go away, what's the replacement plan and so far zero, zero. thank you very much, tami. now the special counsel robert mueller has finished his nearly two year investigation clearing the president of colluding with the russians. democrats are out in full force
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with new news conference and congressional hearings but none of them is focused on russia and president trump. >> i'm here to end the practice of gerrymandering. we formed the national democratic redistricting committee in january of 2017, all with an aim to make our democracy more fair. >> the gop will never stop trying to destroy the affordable health care of america's families. >> beside gerrymandering, the party also had a news conference on the green new deal and the house is holding hearings on the airline industry, the energy budget, the education budget and family separations at the border. behind closed doors, speaker pelosi says they need more than the attorney general's word on what special counsel robert mueller actually found. here is what she told caucus members according to an aide, the speaker, we have to see the
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report. we cannot make a judgment on the basis of an interpretation by a man who is hired for his job because he believes the president is above the law and he wrote a 19 page memo to demonstrate that. so let's take a deeper dive into what the attorney general bill barr wrote in his letter. miriam baier, thank you so much for coming in. let's go in on some of these phrases in this letter. first and foremost, the report sets out evidence on both sides of the question and leaves unresolved what the special counsel views as quote/unquote, difficult issues of law and fact concerning whether the president's actions and intent could be viewed as obstruction. the two words both sides jumped out to you, why? >> what i want to know and right before that, the phrase proceeding that says, for each of the relevant actions investigated. so what i take from that and from other parts of this, this
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is page three of this four page summary, so page three to me is where it's all out, there are a bunch of actions. at one point it says on page three, in cataloging the president's actions. take that to mean there's more than two. there's a bunch of actions that the special counsel considered as potential bases of obstruction of justice. and then for each of those, i'm getting sense that he set out, okay, here's the evidence on either side. now when you see both sides, you could technically have evidence on both sides but that doesn't mean it's evenly distributed on both sides, right? when i say oh, there's evidence on both sides, that could mean, well, we really don't know the answer or it could mean, well, i've got a little bit of evidence on this side and so that's something i want to -- i know when i read this i want to see that. >> yep, yep. the chairs of the six house committees demanding barr release this whole thing right
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in full, that's what so many people are demanding because it's almost like reading the headline versus the entire piece. they want that by april 2nd. do you think that that is even possible because of the redactions barr says he has to make? >> i wouldn't know either, right -- >> we haven't seen it. >> right. i think -- we don't even know how long this report is, right? we know that it reflects a tremendous amount of work and it sounds like he's now interacting with the special counsel to get information from him on what is covered by what we call rule 6 e meaning grand jury material. that's just a matter of law. you cannot reveal that information and also, is there information in this report that relates to an ongoing investigation? you don't want to undermine the ongoing investigation -- >> thus the redactions. >> right. this is going to lead to an important point here, which is on one hand, you don't want to wait forever for the redacted report. on the other hand, you don't want folks to rush and screw up. >> great point. >> that's not good either.
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you also don't want folks, if they do have to rush, they're going to err on the side of redacting more. if i have to do this really quickly, i'm going to redact away. that's not good. if you want as much as transparency as possible. i don't know if april 2nd is an actual, realistic date, but i know what i want is, i want to see as much of that report as i can see without causing any legal problems. >> if it needs to take them a little bit longer to take it all in, to redact less -- >> i'm happy with that. >> thank you very much. still ahead, a pretty major oops on a british airways flight. passengers headed to germany landing in scotland instead. by mistake. how did that happen? and the new plan from a 2020 contender that would give every teacher in america a $13,000 raise. that's next.
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it's easier to get the care you need when you need it. now to a first in the race for 2020. a proposal to use federal dollars to boost teachers' pay and it is coming from democratic presidential candidate and senator kamala harris. >> an initiative in what i am proposing which will be the largest federal investment in teachers' salaries in the history of the united states. and i am declaring to you that by the end of my first term, we will have improved teachers' sal rids so we close the pay gap
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because right now teachers are making over 10% less than other college educated graduates and that gap is about $13,000 a year and i am pledging to you that through the federal resources that are available, we will close that gap. >> the plan would cost $315 billion over the course of ten years. it would give states incentives. the federal government would provide the first 10% of funding and states would be motivated to close the remainder of the gap. for every $1 a state contributes toward increasing a teachers salary, the federal government would invest $3. randy weingarten is the president of federation of teachers. ladies, welcome. i know -- i know you both and i know where your heads are on this whole initiative, but randy, let me just start with you. i know you think this is
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incredible and my mom was a teacher and i know she's watching right now and i can only imagine what she's thinking. my question is, is it incredible enough for you and your teachers union to go ahead and say, senator harris, she's our gal? >> so you know, i am not going to put my thumb on the scale of, you know, what we will or won't do. we are in the middle of a process, but let me just say this, i hope that every other democratic presidential contender does something similar, because what senator harris has done is bold, smart and strategic and solves what has become a more and more and more urgent problem and so what you see is you see her values on her sleeve by saying, if public education is important as we say it is and if it is foundational
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to our democracy, then we have to make sure that teachers don't sell their blood plasma to make ends meet. that they actually have a real living salary. >> i hear you on strategy and i just, a lot of women are teachers, a lot of people of color -- >> exactly. >> i do not doubt that senator harris 100% believes in teachers when you listen to some of those other voices today saying, this is a little bit politics, randi. >> except -- except for one thing, it may -- look, everything -- let's -- let's say that everything that every presidential candidate does, including every one who is in political office, i am sure there are politics attended to everything. but about what this proposal does is you could see it from the strikes, from the fact that parents -- this actually solves a problem and that's what i thought was so smart and
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strategic. >> all right. alexis, i know you are passionate on this as well. talk to me about where the money would come from. >> well, let me just step back for a second and just tell you, first of all, i've in winston salem, right now, i'm working with a local company, a technology company in which the ceo of this company is right now sitting down with 40 students representing ten schools who have come from 50 mile radius looking at how they can solve technology, solutions around healthier eating. now why do i bring that up? because i applaud her for not only raising this to a national dialogue, but it needs to be a national dialogue and it cannot be politicized. we work in 73,000 schools in which we talk with and we work and support 40 million kids a day. do you know that the average teacher in the united states spends $652 out of their own pocket to support those
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students? that's north of $2 billion a year, a 40% increase year over year. so when you look at teacher pay right now, i sit here and say, this is not a republican or a democratic issue, this is a national imperative. this is preparing our kids to have the 21st century skills they need to step into the workforce and we have not made it a priority. when i look at our discretionary budget and we spend 700 billion -- our proposal for next year is 750 billion in military spending. we're talking about spending 60 plus billion in education so to me, brooke, we need to have a loud conversation about it. it's time we talk about making sure that, yes, the median is 60,000 for a teacher. in some states it's 40 and in some states it's 80. what is the appropriate given someone with that level of education and let's make it fair based on the state by state basis. we should be having this
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conversation. >> this is -- and we're having it and i'm glad we are. if in terms of pennies, nickels and dollars, this is how she says she's going to pay for it, we'll pay for this plan by increasing the state tax for the top 1% of taxpayers, cracking down on loopholes. is this alexis, is this realistic? >> is it doable? is it realistic? yes. here's the point. number one, i think yes. is it realistic that the federal government will support the first 10% increase, do i think that's realistic and she can get that done, i do believe she can get that done. i love the idea of talking about an incentive where for the federal government putting in every dollar, the state government puts in three. you and i both know depending on what golf in what state there is a tax and spend conversation. they're trying to reduce taxes but you and i also know we are watching strikes across the united states. we've now seen 20 governors step up in the past couple months
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alone to say they recognize the teacher pay needs to increase. so my response back to you is, listen, are we going to have to work on the estate tax and find a happy medium? is she realistic going to get over 350 bltds over ten years? probably not. is it doable, yes. >> randi, 20 seconds. let's say this thing goes through, what is the number one tangible change when a teacher gets paid more money? >> what happens is that they spend more time focusing on kids in classrooms instead of two and three jobs and what happens is, they don't leave teaching. we have a shortage of over hundred thousand teachers this year. we need to want to be in teaching and stay in teaching and be able to actually focus on the kids that are in front of them, not fretting about whether or not they'll pay their bills or their student loans. this is a great proposal and it helps us make public education foundational in our country.
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>> randi and alexis, ladies thank you very much. >> there are 40 million kids -- >> i know. we'll keep having these conversations. we're going to keep going. i know you all want to keep going. got to go. our kids are so important. breaking news now. all charges dropped against actor jussie smollett. police and the mayor are furious over this and now the prosecutor has been speaking out. we have that for you. also nasa canceled it's first all-female space walk because it didn't have the right space suit to fit one of its female astronauts. i have some thoughts. -welcome to our complete freedom plan. -it's all possible with a cfp professional. ♪ -find your certified financial planner™ professional at letsmakeaplan.org. -find your certified financial planner™ professional now, super stay matte inkades. from maybelline new york. bold color. urban edge. liquid matte formula. up to 16 hour wear. super stay matte ink.
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one small step for man is giant leap back for women. they don't have enough space suits to fit women. to be specific she said during her first spacewalk this medium sized hard upper torso which is agency calls the shirt fits her best but only one medium sized torso can actually be made ready by friday.
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>> sit disheartening to all of us. to me it was like i feel like in all female spacewalk should have already happened. it is 2019. half were female. it was the head of nasa and chances are for the first person to lands will be a woman. so making some strides. >> i think the issue is these space suits they use, they were designed at a time when not very many women were astronauts.
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they don't have, you know, they have two mediums, two larges and two extra larges. you know, i certainly would wear a size small. many women i would say who are astronauts would wear a size small. >> we made a lot of strides but we are not quite there yet. it would have been huge for young girls that wanted to be astronauts to see two women that were out there and even today only 13 women have done
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spacewalks and that's pretty astonishing when you think about how frequently they do spacewalks on the space station to fix things on it. it is disheartening and sort of a step back regardless of the reason it happened. obviously safety first. you don't want anything bad to happen to anyone out there. it is disheartening. >> it's time. it's time. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> just in, two new developments. attorney general barr is saying lawmakers should expect the report in weeks, not months. we are getting word the former trump campaign aid is formally applying for a pardon. standby. at fidelity, we make sure you have a clear plan to cover the essentials in retirement, as well as all the things you want to do. because when you're ready for what comes next, the only direction is forward.
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telling law medical marijuanaers to expect a version of the report in weeks, not months. all we have is -- starting today it is illegal to own, make our sell bump stocks. the attachments that allow someone to fire a rifle with one pull of the trigger, president trump vauowed to outlaw after t las vegas massacre. just last night john roberts declined an emergency request to put the new rule on hold. the government advised owners to
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drop off the devices at offices. officia officials offered up the buy back plan. they have run out of the $150,000 set aside for that program. thanks for being with me today. we'll see you tomorrow. the lead with jake tapper starts now. the lead starts right now. is the devil in the details? president trump today doing a victory lap even before we have seen the full mueller report. they have saying we'll see it in weeks not months. he doesn't have name recognition. i mean it literally. he is having a moment. how did a passenger jet end up