tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN July 23, 2019 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
hello, i'm erica hill in for brooke baldwin. one of the highest states hearings of the career. cnn is learning new details about what robert mueller is requesting before he testifies. the former special counsel making an 11th hour appeal to the committee. >> this is a last ditch request that was made by a special counsel that caused republicans to raise alarms. he's asking that his deputy be sworn in tomorrow to answer any questions that may come up that perhaps the special counsel cannot fully answer. and instead have zebley answer
those questions instead. republicans are saying this should not be agreed to. they're saying this is unprecedented. it would undercut integrity of the committee. democrats have not agreed to this yet, but i am told from a source familiar with the mat te, zebley will be there as a counsel for the hearing tomorrow, will sit next to him. it's not clear if he will be sworn in, that's what the republicans are concerned about. they show how sensitive these negotiations have been. all right democrats have been preparing behind the scenes. some democrats including joaquin castro believes tomorrow's hearing could change the dial and raise the prospects of impeachment proceedings in the house.
>> do you think it could change the dial of impeach snmt. >> i think it could. when people hear robert mueller listed out ten instances where the president may have obstructed justice, and a part of the fact that he's not being indicted is because he's the sitting president, yeah, i think that's important to people. i think it's going to open a lot of american's eyes to what the president has done and what the circle did in the 2016 election. >> democrats in the house judiciary committee this afternoon have a mock hearing to lay out their questions. they want their questions to go over five areas they believe will resonate with the american public. what they believe are the highest -- and their belief that the probe should not have been launched to begin with, expect mueller to deal with that. this last minute request to have
his deputy to be sworn in to answer questions throwing a wrench of sorts in this, and showing how reluctant mueller has been as a witness for months as these negotiations have been going on. we still expect that hearing to happen tomorrow, we do know he's going to be -- the deputy will be a counsel sitting alongside him. >> thank you manu. the president is gearing up for tomorrow's hearing. launching a preemptive strike today. his audience for that, a student summit in washington. cnn's abby phillip is at the white house. the president saying yesterday, maybe a little. might watch a little of the special counsel's testimony tomorrow, is that still planned? >> he said he wasn't going to watch it, maybe he will catch a little bit of it. i think most people will be watching.
most of the tv's in the white house are trained to the news at all times. he'll be heading to an event in west virginia where he'll be on air force one, also full of televisions, trained to his favorite station. i think we can expect he'll be monitoring it, his tweets and comments in the last several days indicate how irritated he is that this is all coming back. an attempt by democrats to have a doover of the mueller investigation. the mueller investigation found no collusion and he noted that his attorney general bill bar found there was no obstruction of justice. the president is going back to his old talking points on all of this, trying to make the case that it will all backfire on them. what he would like to talk about is these four democratic congress women, the squad that he's been attacking for many
weeks now. he's usually talked about ilhan omar, now he's talking about rashida talib and criticizing her in the speech. listen. >> this talib, talib -- [ crowd booing ] >> i believe honestly, i believe they hate our country, okay? i believe they hate our country. i'm not going after these four people, the squad. by calling them out because we don't like when they talk about evil jews. >> so if anybody thought this was going away, they would be very wrong. this has become something of a staple of the president in the last several days. those attacks keep coming day after day. >> clearly the president seems to think they are working. abby, thank you.
>> democrats are holding mock hearings today. they have plenty of history to guide them. robert mueller took over the fbi director one week before the 9/11 attacks. answering plenty of lawmakers questions during his immigration hearings. he's testified before congress roughly 50 times. darren, great to have it with you. robert mueller testifying. and i know you said in your piece, we all see it with the sound up, so much of what we've seen with robert mueller has been video, but we're not listening to him. i want to get to some of the examples you found the most significant. including how he pointed out his independence from the doj.
>> given the necessary independence of the bureau in investigation that there might not come a time where one seeks an alternative where one believes that political pressure is being brought to bear on the investigative process, that may be somewhere else in the executive, beyond the attorney general, may be congress, but i would look and explore at every option, if i believed that the fbi was being pressured for political reasons. and if that were the situation as described here i would explore other alternatives or a variety of alternatives in order to make certain justice was done. >> what do you think that response tells us about how you could handle similar lines of questioning? >> sure, that was back in 2001 as he was preparing to be the fbi director in the context the bush administration, where he would be serving and looking back on the clinton
administration, clearly in the course of this investigation, there have been a lot of questions over whether there was influence coming from the white house or his justice department supervisors, we saw most recently, the report was submitted to the justice department. the letter that robert mueller sent to bill barr. he was not satisfied, he didn't like the way bill barr prenneded the findings and directed the narrative of the public disclosure of the mueller report, gives us a sense tomorrow as we watch robert mueller and we're watching really closely for any daylight with bill barr, does robert mueller throw his colleague, his friend under the bus in ways that bill barr did to robert mueller when he testified several months ago. >> this is from 2013, this is mueller being asked about the boston marathon bombing, and specifically why the fbi didn't check out a tip that the
brothers didn't check out a mosque. >> why did no one go to the mosque and say, who are these guys? why was that not done? >> your facts are not all together -- >> i point out specific -- >> may i finish my -- >> sir, if you're going to call me a liar, you need to point out specifically where any facts are wrong. >> we went to the mosque. >> prior to boston? >> we were in that mosque as part of our outreach efforts. >> were awe wear that those mosques were started by al hamuddy? >> i've answered the question, sir. >> direct. talking about the importance of facts. how much of that do you think we'll see tomorrow? >> that's a classic example. i love that clip. that's louie gohmert who is on the committee. likely to come at robert mueller with some high and tight
fastballs. if the facts are not there, in the question, whether they come from any other member of congress, i think he's going to fact check him. he's going to push back if anything comes out with respect to his integrity, his staff. the people he hired. this has been a long time talking point about the president. robert mueller is going to push back pretty hard. an exchange like that with a congressman is not going to be the kind of thing robert mueller sits back and takes. i think that's the best thing to take away from a clip like that. >> we'll have a lot to watch tomorrow. be sure to tune in tomorrow live. you can see us former special counsel testifies before congress. our special coverage begins at 8:00 a.m. eastern. president trump spending the day on the attack. you just heard what he had to say to a group of young conservatives earlier. the women who call themselves the squad, not backing down in the face of those continued
attacks. cory booker ripping joe biden's new criminal justice plan released today. the former vp has 40 years to get this right. biden campaign responds live. new fears that a serial killer is targeting victims in canada, among those, victims an american woman found shot to death along with her boyfriend. . ♪ that's some great paint. ♪ that's some great paint. ♪ that's some great paint. behr. ranked #1 in customer satisfaction with interior paints. paint, prime, protect - all in one. now that's some great paint! find it exclusively at the home depot. at t-mobile, for $40/line for four lines, it's all included for the whole family, starting with unlimited data. use as much as you want, when you want.
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joe biden rolling out his plan for criminal justice reform today. that plan is to reduce the number of encarcerations it lands one week ahead of the second presidential debate, where he will stand between kamala harris and cory booker. both have criticized biden's role in the 1994 crime bill which is widely blamed to contributing to mass encarceration. booker responded tweeting, it's not enough to tell us what you're going to do for our communities. show us what you've done for the last 40 years. you created the system, we'll dismantle it. a co chair of biden's presidential campaign. good to have you with us today.
you're in new orleans campaigning with the former vice president. senator booker also released a full statement a short time ago. joe biden had more than 40 years to get this right. the proud architect of a failed system is not the right person to fix it. what's your response to that criticism. >> the former vice president, because he's in the lead is going to increasingly get shots taken at him by other candidates. it's interesting to me how candidates want to focus on the clinton crime bill, but they don't want to talk about the obama years. vice president biden in 2007 authored legislation to actually bring the crack to powder cocaine disparity to 1 to 1, while in the white house for eight years. the attorney general eric holder, the obama administration released their spart on crime initiative. they released a number of people out for nonviolent crimes, so it was a very progressive eight years, they also pushed for
criminal justice reform, so the other part about it is that the vice president uses the safe justice act, which was written by congressman bobby scott as the baseline of where he starts in his criminal justice reform. to say justice act was always put out there as the gold standard in criminal justice reform. i supported it, senator booker supported it, everyone supported it, so he starts with the safe justice act and then he moves very far because there were some lessons learned from the clinton crime bill that we need to fix. >> it is important to learn lessons, but if i'm understanding what you're saying correctly. it sounds like you're saying senator booker 150e78s to be cherry picking what he wants to look at in your view. isn't the 1994 crime bill relevant? isn't it still fair game? >> look, i think a lot of it is fair game. let me give you one part about
it, people hold up today drug courts as the model for where we should go in krim nat justice reform. people talk about diversion as a place we should go. that was in the '94 crime bill. the safety would allow you to deviate from mandatory sentences was in the crime bill. what wasn't in the crime bill was any mandatory sentences. what did we learn from that? prosecutors far and wide would give diversion or drug court but they would not give it to tyrone. if you were poor, a minority, a black male, those prosecutors did not take a chance and use those progressive avenues to help you. if you were fluent, if you were white, prosecutors would give you the benefit of the doubt and take a chance on you. and that's where a lot of that disparity came in too the
criminal justice system. if you look at vice president biden's plan now, he extends the justice department's ability to actually look at prosecutors offices. collect data, and to make sure that we don't have that same disparity that unfair treatment from prosecutor's offices going-forward. as a defense attorney, i know it far too well, the power of prosecutors. >> as you know, you're going to continuing to face these questions. the former vice president going to continue to face these questions. he will be on that stage with cory booker, with kamala harris who have criticized him over the last several weeks, how much is this crime? the vice president's record on criminal justice as well? how much of that is a focus in your debate prep for next week? >> i haven't done any debate prep with the vice president yet. i will talk to him today, i'm sure we're going to talk a lot more on criminal justice reform. >> how much are you anticipating this could be a target that this
will be targeted for him. will that be part of your conversation today? >> it's very clear that the two candidates are going to target this. it's very clear the stakes for the next debate in order to make the next debate stage go up, it's also very clear that all of the candidates have not made the requisite number and hit the requisite percentage points to make the next debate. this is going to be a very sharp debate, i think everyone ace going to come out all guns blazing. remember, vice president bidsen said he wanted to direct his fire at the president who is a clear and present danger to our future, and that he was not going to use this time to beat up other democrats because what we have at stake is just far too much. and the differences between the democratic candidates, some of which are real, but it's nothing in comparison to what would happen to this country if this president had a chance to appoint another supreme court justice and have four years of stacking the bench and enacting
the policies that favor the top 1%. >> i'm going to ask you specifically about something else in this proposal that was released today. the part that deals with marijuana, is similar to what we heard from kamala harris today. joe biden wants it decriminalized, he wants it legalized for criminal use. he stopped short of saying it should be stopped. >> he's the only candidate that said this, he wants to automatical automatically expunge those people who were convicted solely for marijuana convictions. there are some people who want to go as far as legalizing marijuana, there's some who think it should be legal for medical purposes. they think it should be zee criminalized, they have not taken a step to say it should be legal. i think the vice president's plan speaks directly to that. i think at the debate someone may bring it up, you believe what you believe. and i think that he articulated his beliefs.
>> you of course sit on house judiciary, a little bit of activity going to be happening as you know tomorrow. there's been a lot of preparation as we know from our reporting. what is the plan? can you take us inside the preparation that's happening here? we know that there are five essential avenues from what i understand. are those questions that are going to be divided among lawmakers? have you agreed on one list? how are people weighing in. >> all will get a chance to ask questions. we're trying to do it in a methodical way, we all know a picture is worth 1,000 words, now we get video, and we get to bring the mueller report to life, there are certain things i believe the american people have not paid a lot of attention to. tomorrow the goal is to highlight those sections, those instances where we believe all three elements of the crime of obstruction of justice were mess to bring out the russian
influence, to bring out all of those things that we believe the american people need to hear. not from democrats, not from republicans, but a neutral arbiter of the facts who is above reproach, and who spent a lot of time gathering the facts, i think it's very important, and i think it's our job to make sure that we bring those facts out. >> you mentioned those are things you think -- or that you know youen walt the american public to hear. is this as simple as saying, because we know that robert mueller has said we know he's going to stick to the report, he will not deviate. and won't expound upon it, is it as simple as saying to him, this was in your report, i want you to read it out loud? >> it's not that simple. and the one thing we do know about robert mueller is that he's a patriot. he's a man of principle, a man of his word. i believe if we ask questions confined to his report, i think he will answer.
i think he is a reluctant witness, i think his patriotism will take over and he will answer questions that are asked of him. and it's up to us to lay out the elements of obstruction. it's up to us to lay out the fact that they welcomed -- they were overjoyed at russian assistance in a u.s. presidential election. it's up to us to bring that out. >> real quickly, before i let you go. robert mueller has asked to have his deputy sworn in in case he is needed to answer a question. will democrats grant that request? >> i'm not surep i saw that as i was preparing to come on your show. i think that is a chairman nadler question. and i think he'll make the appropriate decision. i will tell you that i think that robert mueller has been very consistent. i think he's been very patriotic, he's been very straightforward. i personally don't necessarily have a problem with any of the
requests that he made. my biggest problem and worry is that we do -- we're being told to stick to the report. and the truth of the matter is, i think the question out of all of the american people have is that if all three elements of the crime of obstruction were met on several occasions, why isn't this president indicted and why isn't other people indicted? >> sounds like that may be one of your questions tomorrow? >> the problem is, it's clear so far that he will not just say that it was the memo and guidance of doj that did that. but that is a very, very important question. once you realize that all of those elements of obstruction were met on several occasions. >> congressman, appreciate your time, and we will certainly be watching tomorrow, thank you. >> thank you. president trump's suggestion that he could wipe afghanistan off the face of the earth. it's not the first time he's spoken casually about destroying
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unidentified man whose body was found near the scene of the teenager's burning car. a few moments ago, new information coming in about those missing teens. paula newton is following the latest for us out of ottawa. things are changing a little bit for these teens. >> incredible, the turn of events. police say those two teenagers, they're teenagers, 18 and 19 now the lead suspects in the murder of that young couple and as yet, unidentified man found by the side of the road a few days later. police say these young men breyer and clam are on the run in saskatchewan. police telling people not to approach. you just saw a map in terms of how far apart those locations
were these two young men have been spotted about 1200 miles, 24 hour drive from that location. they're clearly on the run. and they want to know more about what has transpired in the last few days. breyer's father was speaking to the media just yesterday tearful that police find his son along with his friend. and now quite a turn of events. police won't say what has led them to suspect these two are responsible for possibly three murders. but they clearly must have some forensic evidence at this point. heart breaking for the families yesterday. police revealed some of the last moments, those last video moments of that young couple at a gas station. sheila, the mother of china dise looked at that video over and e- over and over again clinging to
her daughter's last moments where she seemed so happy. you have to imagine, i mean why are these two young men suspects. what went on? it was a gruesome scene where their bodies were found police continuing a manhunt for these two women. >> we know you'll continue to keep us updated. thank you. >> afghanistan demanding clarification, after president trump announced taking out the country, wiped off the face of the earth. the real danger of his off the cuff comments. i used to book my hotel room on those travel sites but there was
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afghanistan wants answers from president trump, after he said this at the white house. >> we wanted to fight a war in afghanistan and win it, i could win that war in a week. i just don't want to kill 10 million people. afghanistan would be wiped off the face of the earth, it would be gone. it would be over in literally in ten days. >> a spokesman for afghanistan's president issuing this statement. the afghan nation has not and will never allow any foreign power to determine its fight. it's not the first time president trump has threatened to obliterate an entire nation chris cillizza joining us more with that history.
>> there's a lot of that history. let's start with north korea. you'll remember this, if not, we'll refresh your memory. this what he had had to say about north korea and kim jong-un. >> north korea best not make any more threats to the united states. they will be met with fire and fury, like the world has never seen. he has been very threatening. it will be met with fire, fury and frankly power. the likes of which this world has never seen before. >> a few twitter announcements.
>> a madman will be tested like never before. we seem like we're building up. this famous -- kim jong-un -- will someone from his depleted regime inform him i have a nuclear butten, it's much bigger and more powerful than his. stunningly, that led to a summit. it wasn't just north korea. here's two times donald trump talked about iran in fiery terms. >> we have the most deadly ships. we don't have to use them, they're the most deadly ships ever conceived. we're not -- we hope for their sake they don't do anything foolish. they do, they will pay a price
like nobody's ever paid a price. >> i'm not looking for war, and if there is, it will be obliteration like you've never seen before, i'm not looking to do that. you want to talk good. otherwise you will have a better economy for three years. >> again, erica, the public pronouncements backed up by twitter. this one last month, june 2019. talk about iran, any attack by iran on anything american will be met with great overwhelming force. former secretary of state john kerry, and barack obama, there's more, let's go to the next tweet. two iranian president never threatening the united states again, you will suffer consequences, the likes of which few in history have ever suffered before. we are not a country that will stand for your dim ended words of violence. be cautious.
erica, back to you. in north korea, the north korea situation he did wind up getting space to face with kim jong-un. iranian situation similar, afghanistan, who knows where that one is ending. erica, back to you. >> appreciate it, my friend, thank you. u.s. army veteran served in afghanistan, multiple tours in 2009. again from 2012 to 2013, he returned to the country briefly again in 3013. before we get into what's happening at the moment. i'm curious your take on the president's rhetoric. >> on the one hand, he's been able to tap into that frustration, the american people have with the lack of progress. he's been widely ineffectual. he's tapping into that desire to see some kind of solution. where i think he comes across with a simplistic view of military force is, he wants there to be a black and white
solution if there's one thing we know, it doesn't lead to military solutions. >> that is not a black and white decision either. there's so much that goes into it. do you think the president has a real understanding of the situation on the ground? >> no. unfortunately, i don't think we've seen a lot of information paid attention to it. afghanistan is almost never brought up, members of congress don't want to touch it, and part of that problem is, that we've handed the issue over to the military entirely, we have this faith that somehow if we throw more military money, manpower. we haven't seen true sustained political engagement. and a way forward in afghanistan. that's a failure not just of this president, but a previous president as well. to articulate why they're there.
>> what does that do then? we talk about -- what does it do to people on the ground if their mission isn't clear let alone with this type of rhetoric. >> it's very tough, the one thing -- and it's been a blessing and a curse the military has pushed these wars. you move the ball a little bit, or at least you think you created some kind of success, unfortunately, can you not run a counter insurgency campaign it's absurd to think you can rebuild a country by sending leaders over. you would not run cnn that way. the idea that we would run our military and foreign country that way is utterly absurd. on the one hand individuals find that they can make a difference
in the short term, those who sit back say, what's this all adding up to it's leadership. >> do you think your time was wasted? >> yes and no. >> i think we did the best we could, but i don't think we were properly utilized. we were deluded in how much change we could make in the afghan culture. >> any moment the senate is set to pass a bill to fund the compensation fund through 2090. you'll hear from the first responders who have been fighting tirelessly for years for this moment. is skincare from around the world
just in to cnn, the president has filed a lawsuit in federal court to prevent the disclosure of his tax returns. he's suing the new york attorney general, the new york tax commissioner and the house weighs and means committee. he's filing this as a private citizen and wants a series of injunctions and measures from the court. sonic attacks experienced by american diplomats changed their brains and did so in some fairly significant ways. this comes to us if a study out of the university of pennsylvania's medical school, just released. the problems u.s. embassy workers complained about began in 2016, they started to recall reports of hearing intensely loud sounds. cnn's senior national correspondent is going over
these findings. >> what is clear here is that the symptoms of the doctor's study don't match up with any specific disorder they know. now it's almost three years later, we don't know what's behind it and what caused it. we do know something did happen to the brains of these people at the embassy, what they did was study 40 different officials. they studied their brain scans, they compared those to 28 control cases. what they found was different in the brains of the officials, there are a group of differences all over the brain. they call these variations and brain structure and connectivity, which includes whole brain white matter volume. the conclusion is that something happened and we need to look further. something happened to their brains. they didn't have access. there weren't mri's for these
same 40 people. you couldn't do a before and after. in layman's terms, if you brought these 40 people into a brain injury clinic and told the doctors to study their brains without knowing what had happened to them they would assume these people had been in a bad car crash or explosion in the military there is a long list of symptoms that these doctors observed in these funny people, i'm going to list several of them, headic as, vertigo, disother yen trace, balance, eyesight sleeping. they reported feeling mentally foggy or slowed for months. now, erica, as you noted these attacks started in late 2016, we have lumped them together calling them sort of sonic attacks, but the range of what was heard by these embassy employees was wide ranging. they described intensely loud sounds coming from a specific
direction. buzzing, grinding metal sounds, piercing squeals and humming. but doctors say it was not the sound that caused these injuries, that was -- the sounds they heard, was simply a result of the exposure, to what? we still do not know. cuban officials were saying there were no attacks against american citizens, at the same time, american officials in china not very close to cuba have reported hearing and feeling similar symptoms. there has been an expanded health alert for u.s. officials in china as well. here we are almost three years later, and this mystery endures. >> it's amazing, you get all this information in many ways, it raises more questions, it's fascinating. thank you. just in, ahead of tomorrow's blockbuster hearing, robert mueller, making a last minute request to the committee. hear who robert mueller nowen wants to bring along with him.
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top of the hour here, i'm erica hill in for brooke baldwin. in less than 24 hours, robert mueller will swrar an oath, answer questions about one of the most polarizing investigations in our nation's history. the only thing rivaling the pressure on capitol hill, maybe the last minute preparations being made. the former special counsel just made an 11th hour appeal to the house judiciary committee. mueller wants his deputy to be sworn in for the hearing as well, why? >> in case he needs to answer any questions the special counsel cannot fully answer himself. a source tells cnn his deputy
will merely sit next to him. all of this as president trump has been preemptively attacking tomorrow's testimony. you also have new reporting about the conversations that are happening with the president's aids behind the scenes. what are you learning? >> it's been a big subject of discussion with the president himself. he spent the last several days on the phone and in conversations with aides, allies, old friends talking about this upcoming testimony. the people who have spoken with the president say he sounds more irritated than he does anxious about robert mueller coming to testify on capitol hill tomorrow. essentially he's viewing it as this man who has loomed over his presidency for the last two years is now going to be taking center stage once again. now, the president's aids and allies have been downplaying the outcome of the hearing saying they don't believe the specia counsel is going to reveal any new information. you heard lindsey graham say as much on camera today.