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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  May 2, 2019 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT

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this just in. i'm don lemon. president trump saying tonight he'll block don mcgahn from testifying before congress. >> they have had him testifying already for 30 hours and it's really -- i don't think i can let him and tell everybody else you can't. especially because he was a counsel. they have testified already. i can't say the one can and the others can't. >> so is it done? >> i would say it's done. >> don mcgahn was interviewed for more than 30 hours. there's a big question, whether or not the president can invoik executive privilege to keep him from testifying. he has been subpoenaed by the house judiciary committee in its investigation into possible obstruction of justice.
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meanwhile, the attorney general william barr was a no-show today at a house judiciary committee. committee chair jerry nadler is threatening to hold barr in contempt of the congress, not because he failed to appear but because the justice department has not complied with the subpoena to turn over the full unredacted mueller report. house speaker nancy pelosi making this explosive charge today about barr, the top law enforcement official on his testimony in front of congress. >> but what is deadly serious about it was that the attorney general of the united states of america was not telling the truth to the congress of the united states. that's a crime. >> a lot to talk about with congresswoman jamie rathkin who sits on the both committees. thank you. >> happy to be with you don. >> the president won't let mac began testify. the attorney general was a know show today.
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how do you work with an administration that stone walls you? >> the president is pulling a curtain over the executive branch of the government saying he's not going participate with congress. that's in defiance of the constitution and the separation of powers. the supreme court determined long ago that as an essential power of congress to engage in inquiry and engage in investigations both so we can see how current laws are working and also we can see how new laws would work and so we can superintend the executive branch is it's not filled with corruption and abuse. the attorney general is acting in contempt of the congress. they have forgotten the. proer order of things in our constitution. under article 1 we are the law making branch. we represent the people. the president's core job is to make sure the laws are executed
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not thwarts or violated but that's what they're doing. >> barr refused to testify. here's the question -- did chairman nadler's strategy backfire because you were left with an empty chair today? >> that was a sideshow. they would have found any reason not to come today. lots of committees have used counsel to ask questions in a supplementary way. the republicans did it of course during the cavanaugh supreme court hearings not many months ago. we see that all the time. look, attorney general barr didn't want to come and testify again because so many holes were blown into his story yesterday in senate judiciary committee. you know, his whole alibi is falling apart and the public is looking at the difference between the things that he said about the actual mueller report and the things that are in the mueller report, as people
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finally get a chance to reed it and see it. for example they have been repeating the absurd trump talking point no collusion when on page two of the mueller report mueller says we don't address the point of collusion, which is a distraction from did we find enough to charge conspiracy, which they did not? they found hundreds of dollars dozens of contracts between trump campaign officials and the government, sort of representing other russian interests as in the trump tower meeting. >> let me get this question in. let's talk about tone here and optics. your colleague congressman steve cohen mocked bar as a chicken by munching on some kfc. how does that stunt look when you're looking to tell the american people there's a real crisis here? >> what our focus has got to be on is the fact that we have a president who's converted the
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presidency of the united states into a moneymaking operation for himself, his family and his business and seems to think anything goes in terms of lying to the american public. i think "the washington post" just said the president's lies went over 10,000, and now this blanket defiance of all congressional subpoenas and demands -- for example, with the white house personnel office, we have a whistle blower who has come forth to say there were 25 cases where the professional staff said someone should not have a security clearance because of a conflict of interest with a foreign government or their own business and they were overruled by their president or political operatives in the white house. so we have tried to subpoena to get information from them and get witnesses to come and testify, but they have pulled the curtain down. it's the same thing with the president's taxes. of course the first president in
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many decades to not turn over his taxes. there's a statute that allows the ways and means to subpoena the tacks and they say they're not going comply. that's unacceptable. we hope the republicans would join us and saying the president is not a king in our system. >> thank you, congresswoman raskin i appreciate your time. good evening to both of you. you heard that conversation. let's talk about -- i talked about optics here. but philip, let's talk about public opinion on the mueller report. there's a growing concern about at democrats going too far in their investigation of trump. 44% in cnn's latest poll. but at the same time 58% say they want congress to investigate trump on obstruction of justice. 61% say they should use legal action. that was before yesterday's
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testimony. what do you think of that? >> the democrats are in an interesting spot where they have a lot of public energy behind taking the stronger action against president trump, particularly from their own base. the democrat haves their base shouting saying, you should do more. a lot are saying they should initiate an impeachment effort against the president. there's this call to do more, at the same time there's a sense that doing more is politically risky, particularly with 2020 looming. they're in a bind of hearing the calls to do more, recognizing the election is looming, but then there's this third issue, which is that congress doesn't have a lot of power here. beyond starting an impeachment trial there's not a lot they can do to compel people to come talk to them, really. >> as to compelling them, i think that there is some unrealistic expectations that congress is going issue the subpoena.
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they'll hold someone in contempt. >> the cops will pick him up. >> yeah, rush to the justice department building and drag barr out, don mac began. they know they're going to have to go to court. that helps explain the strategy they have had so far. >> david frum point out two key lines -- as describe in the volume one, the evidencen covered in the investigation did not establish that the president or those close to him were involved in the charged computer hacking conspiracies or that the president had an unlawful official with any russian official. but the evidence does indicate that the president personally and the president would have understood to be crimed that would give electricity personal or political concerns. what does it mean? >> that the president had a
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reason to try to obstruct justice for one reason. i think it demolishes that talking point we have heard. more importantly beyond whether there's some crime that could be proven in a court, which is never going happen, there's issues the congress needs to take a look at for the american people that go above and beyond a crime that could be proech ve a court of law. the question is whether the democrats will actually do it. >> let's talk about polling. you took a look at the quinnipiac polling for your "washington post" piece. it chose nearly half of republicans said the investigation was fair. after the report came out, two-thirds of republicans thought it was fair. it's all the more interesting because the white house is trashing mueller again. >> so is it fair? is it not fair?
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>> i think not to reduce it too much, but it a lot of people have a general sense of what the mueller report said. a lot of republicans. the sense is no collusion, no obstruction. precisely what president trump said after barr released his letter. there's not a sense of, oh, there's damming stuff here about obstruction and damming stuff about ties to russian officials. the fascinating thing about that graph is that's the only graph -- quinnipiac has been asking questions about this for months now. that's the only graph there was a change. we have been asking since june, do you think there's been obstruction? even after the report came out, 20% of them say, yes, donald trump tried to derail the investigation. he obviously did. whether or not it rose to criminal obstruction is a whole other issue. perceptions are reduced to a simple understanding.
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>> the white house, renato want to preserve now in the future to claim executive privilege for any other proceeding. is that going to work? >> no, it's going to fail. not only did they allow all these people to talk to robert mueller, but then they released the report of the conversations to the public. there's no way to put the toothpaste back in the tube. >> you said democrats were in an interesting place. as we see the battle lines being drawn, and they're early battle lines, right? where does this leave democrats on impeachment proceedings or 2020 democrats facing trump? where are we? >> i think 2020 democrat haves an easier time of it. they only need to appeal to the most hard core democrats in the primaries. that's why you saw elizabeth warren saying, we need to move forward with impeachment. there's a lot of nuance to a lot of different fights. the lawsuit trump filed against
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deutsche bank is a different thing. like this don mcgahn thing. i don't know how donald trump thinks he can stop don mcgahn from testifying. he can make an executive privilege claim. it's going to be thrown out. don mcgahn is a private citizen. he doesn't work for donald trump. i don't know how he thinks he's going keep him out of that room. >> thank you both. appreciate it. back in january, which wasn't that long ago, william barr had nothing but good things to say about his friend bob mueller. things have changed. wonder if they're still friend now. age accounts. and zero minimums to open an account. at fidelity, those zeros really add up. ♪ maybe i'll win, saved by zero ♪ at fidelity, those zeros really add up. [kno♪king]
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barr was. wr wrapping his arms around mueller in his confirmation, now he's throwing him around the bus. >> he's completely renlting what he did. a root and branch rejection of what mueller did over 22 months the whole idea of it. barr sat there and said, i don't even know what mueller with you thinking. that's a hell of a thing to say. he second-guesses every evide evidentiary determination. now it's war. the most telling piece of testimony yesterday was when barr said, bob, why did you put this in a letter? why didn't you tell me? that means trouble for me. >> i said, bob what's with the letter? you know, why didn't you just
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pick up the phone and call me if there's an issue. i don't consider bob at this stage a career prosecutor. he was the head of the fbi for 12 years. >> he's a career law enforcement professional. >> right. but he was also a political appointee and a political appointee with me at the department of justice. the letter is snitty and i think it was probably written by one of his staff people. >> there's a lot there, that something this inconsequential would be written by a staff person. we already know they had two letter ands a phone call. did he describe the letter mueller had written? what's that all about? >> he described the mueller that i know, but the barr that i know has been absent from the scene for weeks. we have basically mueller going
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all in as we expected for the rule of law and barr going all in as we didn't expect for the rule of trump. and, you know, mueller is painfully aware, as is his entire staff that worked together so meticulously for 22 months that barr isn't playing it straight. he gave a rendition of his -- mueller's report that just doesn't describe what mueller found and just took it out of his hands and completely rolled him, you know, with no deference whatsoever, even though the rank said he was supposed to to have it. i don't see mueller going to the next barr wedding. you know, they are really now antagonists. you're going to see a war of words. >> it's surprising he would downplay mueller's experience and resume. you say -- i find it fascinating that you say muler and barr run in different republican circles.
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what do you mean? >> you have to do a sociology of washington republicans. mueller is the real deal. a prosecutor, a straight up guy. barr in his sort of dinner parties and social circles is more true blue partisan republican where as mueller is fastidiously nonpolitical. so even though they're both long-term well regarded people in washington, they are in different social circles and now those circles have completely cloo cleaved. barr came out full hog for trump and mueller is doing his job as a prosecutor and barr's work has made it essentially -- essentially has trashed mueller, you know, publicly, which is sort of astonishing. >> quickly if you can -- if
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you're muler and listening to the attorney general trash your report, saying you are acting politically, shouldn't have investigated if you couldn't come to a conclusion, what are you thinking? >> i'm thinking they're pernicious and i'm stthinking about the public here. that's the missing factor with barr's dispute with congress. it's the public's right to know about what barr did, said, decided. mueller i think is thinking in those terms but i think he's also in a terrible ambivalent situation. he's a good soldier. the attorney general is the attorney general. he gave this, you know, sharp letter internally. but when he's called l he really, like, have it out with barr publicly? just so much against his dna. on the other hand this is the work of a lifetime, and it's been truly trivialized and
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trashed, and he and his people, who he's been with for 22 months i think feel deep resentment about this. >> this is mueller's legacy and reputation, but also barr's as well, and you say he's killed his own reputation. thank you, sir. i appreciate your time. >> you, this don. good to be with you. "the new york times" report the fbi sent an undercover investigate tore meet with the campaign adviser two months before the 2016 election. trump campaign is calling this spying but is that what that really is? ♪ applebee's bigger, bolder grill combos. now that's eatin good in the neighborhood.
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new tonight "the new york times" reporting that fbi sent an understood cover officer to meet be george papadopoulos but did not mete anything for the investigation. explain what we know about the fbi investigator and her meetings with trump campaign advisers just before the election. >> this is coming from the "new
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york times" report. this is not come federal government my time in government. they describe a woman set up a meeting with then campaign adviser george papadopoulos in london. she was posing an a research assistant when "the new york times" reports she was an investigative officer working for the fbi. they eventually ended up having four people in trump orbit who were being investigated. this was set up to gather information. the one thing i will take exception and push back a little bit on this reporting they described it as signaling or explaining this state of alarm in the fbi which i disrespectfully disagree with. this is investigation 101. they take you places that fbi agents can't go. they can't announce themselves and can't start asking questions. i think the president is going call this spying.
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this insane notion that the obama administration was directing this effort is just pure politics. this is 101 if the fbi is trying to investigate motor gangs or bang robbers or a campaign. >> the trump campaign is calling this spying. you say this is not accurate. >> don, the problem with that term spying, as attorney general barr well knows, is that it's typically used to refer to someone who's an adversary or competitor. when a.g. barr talks about the lawful surveillance of individuals who were part of a counterintelligence investigation, when he talks about them in terms of spying he's talking about there's a construct in which they are acting a enemies of the president of the united states or the administration or seeing the president -- sets up an
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adversarial relationship. i think he knows that. you can tell by the way he talked about the administration investigation throughout his campaign. the truth is, this was lawful surveillance and that the counterintelligence investigation was something that was absolutely necessary. i just have to kind of agree with josh here. there are a lot of people out there who are defiant to the idea this investigation was unnecessary or a witch-hunt. but based on all the evidence, we knew russia was launching a campaign unlike anything we had seen before, we knew that involved hacking, we also know that campaign involved unusual and suspicious contacts between russian individuals and people associated with the campaign. the fbi would have been derelict in its duties if it had not launched a counterintelligence campaign. this was absolutely necessary. lawful surveillance. nothing to do with spying and attorney general barr should not
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use language like that. it's inflammatory. >> josh, under what circumstances would the fbi initiate this? >> first of all, undercover op weighs aren't done willy-nilly. you don't decide i'm going to go try to infiltrate a group. there are processes in place. you have to get approval every step of the way. also this would fall into a sensitive matter when you're talking about an official or member of the clergy, the justice department gives high level oversight over those operations up to the department of justice requiring high level coordination. this isn't something they would do on their own, which is why i take exception to the deep state. the number of people involved in this from the investigation level to the highest levels
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assuring this was done to the law is out there. >> trump campaign staffer once called papadopoulos a coffee boy. can the trump team downplay his role while claiming this is an egregious act of spying? >> that seems disingenuous. the mueller report found there was no agreement between the russian government and the trump campaign to collude in our campaign. now, what the report doesn't really get at is the degree to which there are individuals like papadopoulos who were engages in reaching out to and leveraging contacts they had with russian officials in support of the trump campaign. we know that happened. we have seen that in some of the indictments that have been levied. so, you know, the idea that he was just a coffee boy and he
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wasn't actually in power to do things on behalf of the trump campaign in some of the meetings he had, again, it doesn't hold water. you know, and i just want to point out that, look, the investigation has been clear that there was no agreement here, but there were still individuals who were having unusual or suspicious contacts with russia. >> don, can i just add one quick -- i've got run. why does president trump keep calling kamala harris nasty? seems like he has a problem with women of color. van jones, kamau bell here to discuss next. they don't give two and a half stars to just anybody. here you go. what's this? it's your piano. hold this for a sec. we don't have a piano. no.. but the neighbors do. just ok is not ok. especially when it comes to your network. at&t is america's best wireless network according to america's biggest test. now with 5g evolution.
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tonight senator kamala harris who is running for democratic nomination brushing off an insult by president trump. listen to what he said and then her response. >> kamala harris. >> well, she was probably very nasty. >> listen, let me be very clear about how i think what is important and what is before us -- we have a president of the united states who's primary interest i think that has been clear as a result of what we know from the mueller report. his primary interest has been to obstruct justice. my primary interest is to pursue justice. you can call that whatever name you want. that's what the american people want in a leader. >> van jones and w. kamau bell here as well. >> oh, looky looky now. >> don't start. >> she came with it! >> let's get this on track. i want the start with you, kamau, because you're a fellow
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oaklander. kamala harris addressed it again. it seems like any time donald trump feels threatened by a strong woman he lash out with a gross weird attack. it's the kind of sexism that make mess rant to run my they had through wall. why are all women that go against the president nasty? >> let's be specific it's black women. maxine waters, april ryan, it's even nastier. i don't want to overlook the racial component to this. >> what do you say? >> amen. i tell you, he goes after people he thinks can hurt him. kamala harris ain't nobody to mess with, man. you messing with the wrong
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woman. >> he called democrats toughest candidate, calling her the democrats' toughest candidate to nasty woman. >> it's two sides of the same coin. he recognizes how formidable she is. a bunch of senators tried to lay gloves on barr. it was interesting or whatever. kamala harris lit barr up. barr didn't know what to say. he said, can you repeat the question? like, down goes frazier. >> uh, uh, well, i mean, attorney general was appointed before. >> listen, he's looking at that. he said, i don't want to deal with that on a debate stage. he's never been on a debate stage who do what kamala harris can do to him. he's zscared and it's a tell. whenever he starts going down the name-calling it's a tell. kamala harris had a great week. she lit up barr and has trump
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reeled in. >> i have been on the stage with her as a candidate in town hall. she's formidable. let's talk about last time. took us a while to get to your projects but they are important and i want to talk more about them. kamau, youren is premier, you're in seattle talking to people fighting back against white supremaci supremacism. watch this. >> the nra membership is required to shoot at certain ranges. i ed s is there any other organization i can join? they said no. i hate the nra. i think they're a cowardly organization. i have no respect for them. >> what's motivating these people? >> i mean, what's motivating them is what we have seen all day. our elected officials are not willing to stand up against the force of evil that are
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permeating that country and so people have to do it themselves. a lot of times when i travel people are saying, what can i do as a concerned citizen? this sunday night, we are talking to mostly white activists in takoma and seattle standing up for themselves and their communities. >> the nypd announced while overall crime is down, hate crimes have surged 67% from last year. the president continues to downplay this. how do we tackle this issue, kamau? >> i think the 2020 selection a big part of that. hate crimes and his election in the white house, the way we attack it is getting new leadership in washington, d.c. kamala harris, if she can have a senate hearing every day until the next election, she'll be our next president. >> i've seen, heard the
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language, and it's shocking to hear personally someone say racist language in your presence. it's unbelievable. your show is called "the redemption project". i was traveling. didn't get a chance to see it this weekend. it also airs sunday. you travel the metarie, louisiana to meet to tohe stoke family. their daughter was badly injured by a drunk driver at the age of 15. >> you got a dad, a mom, a baby sister that's in a wheelchair. why do you want to sit across from all that pain? >> there was -- i've always wanted to meet ashley, and i know -- um, i'm unworthy of forgiveness. >> how does a family get to the point where they have a
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conversation between the offender and the victim? >> part of this is -- you know, we are at a place in the culture where forgiveness, empathy, compassion has gone out the window. this show is going the other direction and trying to show people who really have -- not in some tweet or whatever, have some pain to not speak to each other and show them going from the process of heartbreak to some kind of hope, to healing. they want to ask for forgiveness. they don't know how. when they come together, amazing stuff happens. doesn't always end up fuzzy. when it does, it's unbelievable. this show, we launched last weekend. usually twitter should be called hater. because it's a bunch of -- >> they loved it. >> it was unbelievable. >> you said the social media traffic was unbelievable.
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>> very positive, yeah. >> so in a time where this administration and one person is sowing division as a means to stay in power how do you sell something that doesn't sow division, that talks about unity? are we crying for unity? >> i think people got addicted to the division, is outrage, it's a sickness. this show is medicine, trying to put a little bit of medicine back in the system so people can find their way back home. >> well, it's very interesting. thank you guys. i appreciate it. you could have dom new york, kamau, because that's all right. >> oakland. >> i can't do it. >> west coast. best coast. >> he's just nasty. >> 510. thank you, kamau. that was a joke. thank you, i appreciate it. be sure to watch "the redemption project" with van jones followed
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i have one kid in each branch of the military. it's so important to us that verizon is supporting military families. that's how i stay connected with them. (vo) the best network is the one that gives you more. like a special price for military families and $100 when you switch. that's verizon. . tonight the university of north carolina at charlotte is in mourning, grieving the loss of 21-year-old hero student riley howell. he rush add gunman who opened fire inside a classroom tuesday night. he lost his life stopping a shooter, the gunman killed a second student as well. but riley's being hailed as a hero, police saying he saved lives when he took action when he did. joining me via skype is morgan, riley's aunt. thanks so much, i can't imagine what you're going through and my heart goes out to your family for the loss of your nephew. he was such a great guy, we
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hear, tell us about riley. >> it's interesting when we -- everybody who's talked about riley says the exact same thing he was fun and a big teddy bear, a lover of adventure, a lover of dogs. he took in every stray dog you could find. he loved his family. he loved the outdoors, loved to cook. but most of all he loved to serve. he dreamed of being in the military, you guys all know that by now. >> and there's his picture right there. listen, i want you to listen to what the police chief had to say about riley. watch this. >> exactly what was going on, did exactly what we train people to do, you're either going to run, you're going to hide and shield, or you're going to take the fight to the assailant. having no place to run and hide he did the last.
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but for his work the assailant may not have been disarmed. >> morgan, there were about 30 other students in that classroom alone who could have all died. because of riley they're alive. >> several of those parents and grandparents have reached out to family members to say that, thank you, my child is alive because of riley and that's been incredible to hear. >> so morgan, we heard what the police chief said about him. i want to you to hear what the parents had to say about him. >> everybody ran and riley chased. >> we are just beyond proud of what he was able to do. while kids are running one way or son turned and ran towards the shooter. >> it has to be crushing to lose someone so young with so much promise, but i mean you have to be proud of how brave he was when it came down to saving others. >> we're not as proud. we are -- we're not shocked.
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this was who he was. he was so true to himself. >> you have two of his aunts there, can you just show them? i know you guys are grieving but you loved him so much and you're very proud of him. and that is april and jenny, correct? >> correct. >> yes. >> thank you. you guys -- thank you so much. i just want to know how he has a brother and two sisters, all younger. how are they doing? >> yeah. oh, they're hurting. i mean, they're hurting. but the best -- the most true thing was after some reporters left yesterday teddy, the youngest, looked and said everyone is talking about what a hero that riley is, but i've always known that he was a hero. he's always been mine. and jenny's son hank said the exact same thing. so they are supported by cousins, which is really a tight
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knit group. it was kind of cool they'll tell a story and then go play volleyball for a second and tell a story and cry together. at least they have each other to support each other. >> what do you want people to know about riley? >> i want you to know, or want them to know that all the tributes, the procession today with the police and the firefighters and the green beret inspiration photos from fort bragg and all of that, that is riley's dream. and he is looking down from heaven smiling and nodding his head and saying i don't understand why everybody made such a big deal about it. but this is just who he is. >> it's -- no one knows what they would do in a situation like that and he stepped up and this -- he is the definition of a real hero. that's heroic what he did and you guys should be proud of him.
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i know you're mourning. but thank you so much and our thoughts and prayers and hearts go out to you. >> it's a gift to be able to hold onto heroism versus horror. >> thank you, morgan. >> thank you. >> good night. >> good night. ♪ applebee's bigger, bolder grill combos. now that's eatin good in the neighborhood. and relief from symptoms caused by over 200 indoor non-drowsy claritin and outdoor allergens. like those from buddy. live claritin clear. for one week only, save up to $31 on select claritin products. check this sunday's newspaper for details. - [woman] with shark's duo clean, i don't just clean, ♪ i deep clean carpets and floors, so i got this. yep, this too, and this, please.
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to save 30% on all the medications we carry. so go directly to now. good evening. we begin tonight with breaking news. president trump has just said for the first time that he will likely not let former white house counsel don mcgahn comply with the subpoena to testify before a house judiciary committee as part of its obstruction of justice invest


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