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tv   At This Hour With Kate Bolduan  CNN  March 29, 2019 8:00am-9:00am PDT

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he said the special olympics will get the funding it needs now. thanks so much for joining me today. we hope you have a great weekend. i'm jim sciutto in new york. at this hour starts right now. >> hello everyone. thanks for joining me. it's the big question that has grounded more than 300 planes. what caused two boeing 737 max 8 jets to crash right after take off? it looks like investigators are closer to an answer today. the wall street journal is reporting that the preliminary conclusion was in pact the same issue that likely took down the lion air flight last october. that same flight control software, the same software that boeing is scrambling to fix right now. you have two crashes less than
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five months apart killing 346 people. what does this mean now this morning? >> what it means from boeing is that the software fix is number one priority absolutely. to make sure it is clear to everyone, what we are talking about here, this is software that is supposed to keep the plane level when the nose starts going up. it is supposed to automatically bring it back down. in the lion air crash what happened was the software got a false reading from a censor and kept pushing the nose down and they fought back and forth until the plane crashed. in both instances if this is all correct. it is all tracks that way. it does look that way and that makes the steps by boeing even more important. >> thank you so much.
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>> joining me now -- mary is also an attorney who represents victims. you were flagging the similarities in these crashes from the very beginning. what do you make then of this preliminary finding as is being reported in the journal? >> first and foremost, it's very important that they have this finding because this will help on finding what went wrong. what's really significant about the second one was as late as wednesday in hearings before the u.s. senate, head of the faa was denying that there was any connection between the planes saying that they had full confidence in the aircraft and in the mcas system that pushes the nose down. and that they were still saying no one has proven there is any connection between the two
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flights, a ridiculous statement to be sure. now we have it. now with the confirmation or assuming the confirmation that the wall street journal reporting is correct, now with the second incident or accident being shown to have come from this mcas system, we now have a situation where in a second flight they only had we believe 40 seconds. in the first lion air one there were over 20 times that the nose was pushed down. now we have on take off 40 seconds, the aircraft is pushing the nose down and on take off the only way to get up is to pull the nose up. it is a highly important development and will cast further doubt on the mcas system. >> this information comes from the data from the black boxes. is there something particular they would have seen in the black boxes that would point them in this direction at this very point? >> sure, just the positioning of the control services and the
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black boxes show whether it is input from the plane or the pilot and the black boxes here are very advanced and modern and have literally hundreds of data inputs. it would show the pilot pushed down, the exact altitude, the timing, how much time they really did have and the cockpit voice recorder would have all the alarms and the systems going off in the cockpit and the pilot's voices. >> this is preliminary. what is the likelihood that it would change dramatically by the time they reach the final conclusion? >> i think a lot of things change between this preliminary and the final. the preliminary for these kinds of reports are supposed to put the facts, just the facts and what they have found so far. on the final they include recommendations. i think here saying you just need a little bit of training and that the 737 max, i think by the final we will see is much
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more training is needed. this plane flies like the old 737s because it does not. i think we will see a lot more training required and hands on training. right now we don't have the simulators set up. there aren't any. >> i heard you say this before. the first time it happens, it's the pilot. the second time it happens, it's the plane. no matter what, are you confident in one thing at this point that it was not -- that it was the plane and not pilot error? do you think you can say that? >> yes, i can. 75% of the air crashes in the united states are blamed on the pilot. there is usual laep a pilot error finding. but you cannot blame the pilot if the plane -- you can't trouble shoot a plane. you cannot fault the pilot when the plane is malfunctioning and you don't have time to trouble shoot and you weren't trained to do it. i think a pilot error finding
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would be not helpful. they will say the pilots should have done this and that. i have worked these cases with run away tram. 40 seconds is no time at all. pilot error finding will not be helpful. it is the plane it appears. >> an important preliminary conclusion. much more to learn. it all means so much more to the families of the 346 people who died in these two crashes less than five months apart. and now all of these planes are grounded. mary, thank you so much. i really appreciate it. president trump is keeping his political opponents on their toes as well as his own cabinet after a week of announcements and reversals ranging from health care to the special olympics, president trump says the administration will not cut funding to the special olympics despite betsy devos defending the exact cuts basically all week. >> i have been to the special olympics. i think it is incredible. i just authorized a funding.
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i heard about it this morning. i have overridden my people. we are funding the special olympics. >> and that's not all. president trump last night at a rally said the administration will protect americans with preexisting conditions as the health care debate reignites. he has said this before, but this is despite that the justice department is arguing for eliminating the protection right now in federal court as they want to eliminate all of obamacare in federal court. it's the latest edition of who can you believe? does anyone speak for the trump administration right now. so let's start with health care. what are you hearing about the president's working group that he has mentioned? >> we know this administration is right now backing the full striking down of obamacare. yet they do not have at this moment a viable placement should
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the ruling striking down the entirety of the law be upheld. the president suggesting he had convened a working group who are working to come up with a replacement. the problem it appears that group does not exist. one senate republican aid told me he believed the president was just listing off senators who he had spoken to about health care issues. and all of their aides said that they have had conversations with the president about health care and they continue to speak with colleagues about this issue, but there has not been some kind of a new group that has been formed by this. we also know that the senate majority leader smaunl er mitc is trying to put as much distance between them. he told politico just yesterday i look forward to seeing what the president is proposing and what he can work out with the speaker. that would be house speaker nancy pelosi, a democrat. clearly the senate majority
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leader here wants the white house to handle this on its own and deal with the speaker of the house because he knows that at the end of the day unless the president and the white house can get the house speaker on board with some kind of a replacement, nothing is going to get through congress which again makes the administration's current position of wanting to strike down the law in its entirety all the more problematic. >> that's like mitch mcconnell saying i have nothing for you. you are all on your own on this one. back to betsy devos and funding for the special olympics. what are you hearing about the president's move when he said i just learned about it, it's going to get funded very publically under cutting her when it comes to this? >> secretary devos spent the last three days on capitol hill defending this very proposed cut in the president's budget. again, it is the president's budget. so the whole notion is saying the president is saying he
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overrode his staff's decision, this is in his name. this is not the first year that the administration has proposed cutting that. it has done so in the last several years of the president's administration, proposed cutting funding to the special olympics. none of this was expected to go through on capitol hill. the president feeling the political heat and pulling back here saying my administration supports funding for the special olympics. >> so apparently the buck stops with betsy devos. good to see you. thank you so much. joining me now cnn political analyst josh. what is it about the president that he repeatedly throws his cabinet secretaries and other officials under the bus so publically. this cut to the special olympics was proposed in his previous two budgets as well. >> we have seen him do it over and over again with rex
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tillerson negotiating with north korea and president trump tweeted and said save your naer energy, i will handle it. he did it yesterday. his budget officials have been aggressively trying to defend some of these cuts. the president was taking some political heat for it yesterday. he came out on the south lawn and just reversed it immediately. it was quite an abrupt end to a saga but something the president has done over and over. last week it was on north korean sanctions. john bolten and others were say t ing there would be sanctions. he is a person who matters and those around him don't speak for him. his former campaign manager said it famously on the campaign trail the only person who speaks for mr. trump is mr. trump. i think that remains true to this day cephalyou hit on wh--
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>> it seems motivated that by coverage in the press, not by what he knows or believes, it's one thing if you think you need to do major cuts in federal funding and you make the argument that it has to be what it is. it does seem to be motivated almost every time by the news cycle which is i guess i will take my surprise face off. you are also writing about one of the biggest mysteries of the mueller investigation. i think this is super important. the question has been all along, why didn't mueller's subpoena enforce the president to sit down? what have you guys found? >> even as rio de janeiudy giul
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making comments and working with the special counsel and all of that was done in hopes that the president would not be subpoenaed for an interview. many of the president's lawyers were afraid he would perjure himself or maybe contradicted documents that the special counsel's team had. they told the president it would hurt his case if he sat down hike he said he wanted to. what ended up happening is that the legal team was preparing a strategy in case they got subpoenaed taking it to the supreme court maybe 12, 15 months of battle. instead, mueller's team never went that far. they never forced the issue. the probe ended without the president having to do anything and then respond with written answers to some of the questions about the investigation. to be clear, the written answers were only about matters that were before he won the presidency. none of the obstruction moments that they were investigating, the president never had to delineate thinking to the
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special counsel directly. >> you mentioned the timing and what a subpoena fight would have actually meant timing wise. do you get a sense that that was a real factor in this, that the trump's legal team just smartly ran out the clock? >> certainly. rudy giuliani said to me last week, we were talking and he said it would have taken a year and we could have won the public relations battle during that year. their thinking was that the public was getting tired of this investigation and mueller had lost some standing in the polls and findings that 50% of the public saw this as a partisan investigation. the longer this went on without him sitting the less likely he would have to sit for an interview. it seems that the strategy ended up working. jew giuliani jumped oen the story that we were country lawyers laughing. the strategy of running out the clock really ended this without
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the president facing the one-on-one interview that they feared. >> the president has always said he is open to doing this interview. do you think that was actually true? >> i think the president vacillated on it. there were times he thought the probe was taking too long and wanted to do an interview to expedite the end of it. he told advisers after mike flynn had to plead guilty to lying to federal officials, that really rattled him, as well. there were days where the president wanted to do an interview but his lawyers talked him back from the ledge because they said there is nothing in it for you to do an interview. their negotiations with the special counsel was there was no evidence. they wanted to probe episodes that could be obstruction and the president doing an interview could only help them do that. >> it is fascinating, fascinating the kind of process
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you have uncovered. and the mystery remains on why mueller went the route he did without the subpoena. only he really knows. thanks so much. coming up for us, another major defeat for the major prime minister. lawmakers in the u.k. rejecting a key brexit vote. another vote and another rejection. what does this mean for america's closest ally? what does it mean for the prime minister? the president accusing democrats of revenge politics while saying this. >> little pencil neck adam schiff got the smallest, thinnest neck i have ever seen. he is not a long ball hitter. >> so he loves him. we will discuss what the top trump campaign official. stay with us. pes you drive saf. but allstate actually helps you drive safely... with drivewise. it lets you know when you go too fast...
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today was supposed to be exit day when the u.k. left the european union. instead, one of the world's biggest economies and one of america's closest allies is in a state of chaos. after more than a thousand days in limbo, europeans and the world are waiting to see what the british parliament will do now about brexit. the parliament just voted. nic robertson is live outside the prime minister's residence in london. the parliament rejected the prime minister's latest deal. what does it mean for brexit and for teresa may? >> reporter: the answer to both of those things in a nut shell is the spectacle continues.
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teresa may says this means the situation is grave. the european union reacted immediately saying they will call an emergency session on the 10th of april and they expect the united kingdom to come up with an answer before then. what is britain going to do? less than two weeks away now. the prime minister will have to decide is britain going to leave without a deal? crash out with all the economic implications? and she said there was no support for that. or is she going to ask for a long extension. she may not get a long extension but a long extension could open the door to a second referendum and potentially no brexit at all. this is far from done. it is possible this prime minister may try to push through another vote again. that's unclear. we are in a deeper situation of
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chaos and uncertainty than just an hour ago. >> it has been a wild ride to this point. it is not over. the wild ride continues. i think everyone is ready to get off one way or another. great to see you. thank you so much. i really appreciate it. coming up for us, president trump takes a victory lap. if he says it is time to move on from the russia investigation, why does he seem so focussed on getting revenge? what is the campaign's focus? 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.
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democrats are pushing a cynical and destructive agenda of radicalism, resistance. resist and revenge. what do you think of their signs? what the hell? >> president trump last night unveiling something of a new slogan for democrats. no word yet if democrats are taking his advice in terms of the slogan. at his first big campaign rally the president was full of celebration for what he is trying to label as total
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exoneration while ripping into old and new targets. >> little pencil neck adam schiff, got the smallest, thinnest neck i have ever seen. we have a chance of killing obamacare. we almost did it but somebody unfortunately surprised us with thumbs down. we will do it a different way. >> jerry nadler. i have been fighting him for many years. i had to beat him many, many times. now i come here and have to beat him again. >> joining me right now, the director of strategic communications. thank you for coming in. >> thanks for having me. >> after watching the rally last night, the president says democrats have revenge. he clearly made that case. doesn't the president, as well? >> i think the president is right to point out that for two years now the american people were lied to by so many democrats. you have told us they had
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evidence of collusion. they had evidence of collusion which is russia, russia, russia. but the special counsel absolutely cleared the president and his campaign of any collusion with russia. we know that was a lie. and i think in many caseathize american people need to realize especially those who may rely on mainstream news channels that that was a myth. >> one thing we know is that the special counsel says it does not establish any conspiracy or coordination by trump. one thing we don't know is exactly what the special counsel says because we have not seen the report. we have seen four pages of a summary from bill barr and have yet to see the 300 plus pages from the special counsel. we don't know until we know what bob mueller says. one thing that the president does want to focus on now is hillary clinton health care. as of last month if you look at the kaiser family foundation,
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more people favor obamacare than don't. the republican plan for the summer is the flip-flop. it's way underwater in terms of favorability. democrats won back the house in large part by running on health care. where do you see that running on health care in 2020 for the president is a winner? >> i think there are many options here. first is that we have to remember that premiums have gone up for families. about $3,000 in the last few years. that's a lot of money coming out of people's pockets while they are also facing high deductibles. their choices are going down. i remember traveling with the vice president when we were talking about obamacare, hearing from people saying there wasn't a hospital in their county that would take it. they would have to go out of their own county to try to find a doctor that would accept their obamacare insurance packages. so we can make this better. we can lower premiums and we have already seen the president lowering health care costs. >> can you make it better
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without eliminating it? >> the fundamental problem with it is that it is failing. even democrats are admitting that it has to be fixed. we can bring back private competition. one thing they have wanted to do is not only lower premiums, expand access so small companies and things can pool their resources together. they tried to do it administratively. >> republicans tried a bunch of times to do a bunch of things to fix it and that didn't go through when republican husband control of washington. are you concerned about a timing issue here which is you are fighting in court to eliminate it and there is no alternative on the table? >> i think we have time to finalize that alternative because as you know this is going to go through the appeals court and it is most likely going to end up in front of the u.s. supreme court which won't make a decision until possibly as early as next year. we have time to get that done. as you also know, congress regardless of who controls it doesn't usually do much unless there is a deadline.
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if there is a court decision and we have time to transition, that puts a deadline in place where we can possibly get both sides together and come up with something that can work. >> you might have to go it alone. here is what mitch mcconnell, a very shrewd politician said to politico. i look forward to seeing what the president is proposing and what he can work out with the speaker. that is mitch mcconnell saying he wants nothing to do with this. >> we do have senators cassidy, scott and others who are going to be working on this. they have expertise, not only as medical professionals. >> that is part of the working group the president talked about yesterday. let's figure out how to lower premiums. we have shown we can do it with prescription drugs. last year the price of prescription drugs fell for the first time in 46 years. we can do more if we can get both sides together and if they face a deadline things typically get down econgress.
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>> i love deadlines. the president made promise. one is he will protect patients with preexisting conditions. the laws the administration are supporting would not do that. here is what i really want to know. he promised the crowd in michigan that he will fully fund an initiative to protect the great lakes. >> and i am going to get in honor of my friends, full funding of $300 million for the great lakes restoration initiative which you have been trying to get for over 30 years. >> here is the thing, the president's budget this year and in previous years does the exact opposite, not even close to fully funding it. what should people believe? his words or his actions? >> well, i would tell you, a president's budget proposal is always ignored completely by congress regardless of the president and regardless of congress. >> it's not often ignored by the
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president whose name is on it. i don't care who put it together. clearly someone else, but he should know his own budget? >> what i would tell you is obviously the line by line of the federal budget is quite immense. i think you've got great senators who have convinced the president that this is something that needs to be done. he made that promise last night. now it goes to congress. i am excited to see that they will be able to do that in a bipartisan fashion? >> is the president's budget total bs? >> no it always outlines general guidelines. >> taking it from 300 million to 30 million. in ohio and michigan and the great lakes region, they took notice of it. >> it promised to cut spending five percent across the aboard. many budget proposals are showing long term broad examples. it goes to congress to fund the budgets. as you well know, congress regardless of who the president is or the party basically
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ignores it and does what they want to do anyway. now you have the president saying let's fund this great lakes initiative. it is something that should be bipartisan. >> it should also maybe outline it as a budget priority if it is a priority at the time. it wasn't that long ago that he unveiled the budget. that is why it is just so surprising. this speaks directly to the president's announcement about the special olympics. did he hang betsy devos out to dry? >> i know it's a great parlor game around here. that was a budget proposal. >> if it is democrat/republican. >> that was part of a budget proposal put together by budget experts that are reflecting their needs to cut their budgets. in this case, when the president found out about it he said we are going to fund special olympics and so again he stepped in and made the call. i'm positive congress will go with it. >> it's just another one. i'm feel frg betsy devos today.
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ryan nobles was trying to ask questions of the secretary. >> you said today that you were not the person that proposed this funding change. can you explain who in your administration did? madame secretary, have you spoken to the president about this at all? if there is some misunderstanding, this is the opportunity to explain it to us. >> it's really uncomfortable to watch. you specialize in communication. you are very good at it. that's why i love having you on. is that how you recommend handling this? >> actually, i would. it's not unusual for members of congress to ignore the reporters who are running around the halls and asking them questions.
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it happens in both parties. it happens all the time. in this case, a lot like the federal budget, you is seen it. it's always a big production when it is on a pallet. it is about the size of an old phone book. so many decisions are made at a bureaucratic level. when they get the broad discretion to say cut the budget by this or do that, to know every line of the budget proposals is what the appropriators do. that is what congress does. i don't get into it. i'm not sure if she knows the answer of what specific name of what specific person put that line into a computer. but the fact of the matter is it is really meaningless because it is going to be funded. the president wants to do it. congress on both sides of the aisle wants to do it. it will be funded. >> i would love to argue that it is all in some way meaningful because that's a lot of wasted paper if no one needs to know what the president's budget priorities are. >> the house is saying they are not going to produce a budget
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proposal. their version because they can't get agreement on it. these resolutions are guidelines. it is when you get to the appropriation bills, congress isn't going to do it in the house on their side. >> my immediate recommendation is find a faster elevator. >> a lot of people would like faster elevators in congress. >> bipartisan. coming up, leading civil rights group rocked by accusations of harassment and a toxic culture. what is happening there now? details next. mornings were made for better things than
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there is a group that has been a fierce champion for social just frs decades, keeping close tabs on hate groups, defending civil rights and taking to court and winning. now it is in a different kind of struggle from within. a cofounder was fired. now the president is stepping down and now accusations of discriminati discrimination. what is going on? >> it shows you that no one is immune to these types of allegations, not even the splc. the current conflict hit a boiling point after a respected attorney resigned and brought up issues with the culture at the splc. a source tells us the legendary organization could not guarantee equal rights for its own staff.
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>> since its inception, the group has fought for equal rights for some of the more infamous groups of our generation. two current employees told cnn the sauouthern poverty law cent fell short. one told cnn the splc suffers from a culture of racism and sexism. a second employee agreed. it's an environment where black employees are not being promoted, a work place where a woman is made to feel she is not being seen her heard. now some employees say the group has to practice what they preach. it is bad one employee said. the rank in file are deeply divided. the employee describes the
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current upheaval as a revolution against leadership initiated by employees tired of seeing the pervasive culture persist. the splc declined cnn's request for an interview and did not respond but they did send this response from the board of director's chair. we acknowledge and take very seriously the significant concerns that our talented and deeply committed staff have raised. the claims come after the firing of co founder on march 13. the splc says the 82 year old was terminated after two separate investigations into alleged misconduct. they would not be more specific citing privacy of personnel matters. he did not respond to multiple attempts to reach him about his termination. a spokesperson responded no one
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no matter that person's position at the splc -- >> cohen did not return calls and a staff e-mail cohen staffed down after 16 years at the helm. we heard from our staff that we need to do a better job of making sure our work place while some of our sources have been critical of the culture at the splc they acknowledge that the organization has done important work in shedding light on extremism. cnn spoke to one woman who said a lot of the claims were completely exaggerated. i'm kmecompletely happy here. the female legal director also resigned. we reached her but she would not comment one employee cited the recent hiring of tina chin to investigate as a step in the right direction. the former adviser for michelle obama is considered an expert. she will conduct a thorough
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review that looks at all aspects of the splc operations. we understand the meetings are already underway in dpmontgomer alabama. >> coming up, new trouble for actor jussie smollett like $130,000 worth of trouble. the city of chicago slapping him with a big bill. will he have to pay? we'll be right back.
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dloekt, now asking for $130,000 from jussie smollett, saying it covers costs for the investigation in the hate crime hoax. josh campbell is a former fbi super advisory agent. josh, $130,000 the city wants from jussie smollett. is the city going to get it? >> i don't think so. i don't think they're going to see a dime of this because this falls under the category of asking for restitution, essentially, when someone has not been convicted of a crime. now, the city has been good at recouping costs when there was a conviction and charges were dropped. that said, i think it's important for police officers to explain to the public just how research-intensive this investigation was. you had over two dozen officers working this case, you had fbi employees going through digital evidence, so you had a lot of resources in place. the question is since this is
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said to not be a hoax and the city isn't charged, i don't think so, kate. >> there has been confusion over what exactly has been reviewed on this, if anything. have you heard anything about this? >> we have. we've reached out to ask federal authorities. the president really poured gasoline, essentially, on the situation by claiming the fbi was conducting this review into the case. the president obviously runs the justice department. he's the head of the executive branch, so for him to come out and say the fbi was actively involved, you would hope that would actually be the case. so far we haven't received thatt the fbi would be able to do, maybe a possible wire fraud evaluation -- >> what would it be? >> it would be limited to that point, did he commit some type of wire fraud. that hasn't been determined and we don't think they're involved, but that's probably what they would do if they got involved. >> thanks, josh.
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coming up, it's the victory lap that just won't quit for president trump. a victory lap ever since the mueller report came to an end. that's next. with 9 grams of protein and 26 vitamins and minerals. ensure, for strength and energy. look for savings in your weekly paper. my lineage was the vecchios and zuccolis. through ancestry, through dna i found out that i was only 16% italian. he was 34% eastern european. so i went onto ancestry, soon learned that one of our ancestors we thought was italian was eastern european. this is my ancestor who i didn't know about. he looks a little bit like me, yes. ancestry has many paths to discovering your story. get started for free at ancestry.com
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welcome to "inside politics." i'm phil mattingly. john king is off today. immigration, the economy, but no russia. who am i yes, he definitely talked about russia repeatedly. the president is putting together a working group of senators to come up with a new health care plan. but apparently no one has told those senators yet. at least, not yet. as a crucial

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