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tv   CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield  CNN  July 28, 2019 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT

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e e glc 300 suv for just $419 a month at the mercedes-benz summer event. going on now. this is cnn breaking news. >> hello again, everyone. thank you for being with us this sunday. i'm fredricka whitfield. dan coats, the country's intelligence chief, expected to step down soon according to a person familiar with the situation. texas congressman john ratcliffe who aggressively questioned former special counsel robert mueller last week has been mentioned as a potential replacement, though an official said no final decision has yet been made. boris sanchez at the white house for us. dan coats has been there since the early days of the administration. boris, he and the president have not always clicked or seen eye to sigh. is that fair to say? >> right now the white house isn't commenting on this
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reporting that the director of national intelligence is soon to leave the position, though we had expected that he would soon be departing because president trump in recent weeks has been having conversations within the white house about possible replacements for dan coats. we know that president trump, according to sources, did not see eye to eye with his director of national intelligence, regularly fuming about him. he apparently considered firing him previously. the president ultimately listening to aides and deciding to keep him in the position. white house officials had previously told cnn they got the feeling that coats was eyeing retirement. this appears to be a natural step forward, not necessarily the president getting rid of someone he simply disagrees with, which we've seen before. and the two men publicly disagreed on a lot of things. not only on foreign policy, whether it comes to vladimir putin, the united states relationship with russia, with kim jong-un and north korea. the situation in syria. isis. these two had very public
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disagreements, and the president obviously consumes a lot of news and watching a member of his own administration go out there and cont contradict him certainly sent the president off the rails a number of times. as for potential replacements, you mentioned congressman john ratcliffe. we saw him grilling special counsel robert mueller. we know the president is a fan of his, and sources have told us that the white house had been considering him for a number of different posts within the administration. there are other names out there. fred flight, the former chief of staff of national security adviser john bolton. sources told us that he had discussions with white house officials about potentially replacing coats, and another name out there, devin nunes, a lightning rod of controversy. we know the president is a big fan of his, especially because he often peddles in these deep state conspiracy theories. something that the president routinely likes to hear, fred. >> boris sanchez, thank you so much at the white house. david sanger is the national
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security correspondent for "the new york times" and a cnn national security analyst. good to see you, david. so what do you suppose is really behind this decision of dan coats? >> well, i think that the president had clearly tired of dan coats and dan coats clearly tired of the president and of the job. this had been rumored a fair bit, including a week ago at the aspen security forum where a number of intelligence officials were gathered. you'll remember that it was at that same forum a year ago that coats had the remarkable moment. you may have played it in the last hour. where he learned on stage talking to andrea mitchell that vladimir putin was going to be invited to the white house. >> yeah, in fact, do we still have that? let's play that again because it was quite the remarkable moment. and here it is. >> the white house has announced on twitter that vladimir putin is coming to the white house in
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the fall. >> say that again. >> vladimir putin coming to the -- >> did i hear you right? >> yeah, yeah. >> okay. that's going to be special. >> yeah, so everybody was laughing but, you know, that was a telling moment and perhaps even a very embarrassing one for the president because everybody was laughing about the idea. >> it was such a special moment that putin never came as you'll recall. and what was also remarkable about that interview is that mr. coats admitted that they still hadn't gotten a readout from the president himself about what he had said in his most recent meeting with putin. >> he should be, i mean, with that position, among the first to know. >> he should have been. and that told you a lot. but then there was another very
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remarkable and i think more telling moment. and it came when coats turned out the annual national intelligence assessment, worldwide threat assessment. and in that, he disagreed with the president publicly on three big issues. he said that isis had not been defeated, right after the president said it had. he said that iran had complied with the nuclear agreement, which at that point, it had, and the president said it wasn't. and he said north korea was continuing to expand its arsenal, which undercut the president's assertion that he was making great progress in the diplomacy. on all three issues, dan coats was right. that was the consensus of the intelligence community. and the president drew -- brought him and the cia director and others in for a dressing down the next day to say, you know, iran is bad, right? as if he was suggesting that iran was acting as it should.
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>> so then a potential replacement it would seem given those are the things, those are the items that got under the president's skin. the intelligence community is quite -- they speak in unison on those issues. does that mean that this sets the stage for the president to select someone who is less in step with the intelligence community and more in step with the message the president wants sent? >> well, that's the fear because the president has always confused the intelligence agencies with groups that are supposed to support his policy. and to the 60 or 70,000 people who work in the intelligence community, the most important thing is that their assessments are not politicized. that they are what they are, and if they match with what you're doing in diplomacy with north korea or how you're trying to put sanctions against iran, that's great. but if they contradict it or suggest a policy isn't working,
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that's life. and i think the big concern is that the president will want very much to politicize the role by putting in somebody that will not allow assessments to go out the door that disagree with the policy. of course, that's how we got into iraq 15, 16 years ago. >> and the president has gotten into the habit of looking for acting positions. looking for candidates who don't necessarily need to be endorsed by a greater, you know, community or even, you know, body of power. >> well, that's right. people in the intelligence community have told me they respected dan coats. they didn't think he was doing innovative things. thabled he was a layer of protection from the politization of intelligence, that he was willing to speak truth to power, and i think their big concern would be if you had somebody who was acting in that job, it -- the result would be somebody who
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would give -- tell the white house what they wanted to hear in hopes of getting the permanent nomination. >> david sanger, thank you so much. always great to see you. appreciate it. next, president trump escalates his attacks on congressman elijah cummings calling the sitting congressman of color a racist. this as the president continues to rail against the city of baltimore as well, which cummings represents. could the president's strategy on race backfire? you should be mad at airports. excuse me, where is gate 87? you should be mad at non-seasoned travelers. and they took my toothpaste away. and you should be mad at people who take unnecessary risks. how dare you, he's my emotional support snake. but you're not mad, because you have e*trade, whose tech helps you understand the risk and reward potential on an options trade it's a paste. it's not liquid or a gel. and even explore what-if scenarios.
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>> kids: whoa! >> kids vo: ♪ safelite repair, safelite replace ♪ all right. now to the president's latest string of racist attacks against a lawmaker of color. trump in an effort to distract from the growing calls of racism against himself is now calling congressman elijah cummings who chairs the house oversight committee a racist. moments ago, the president tweeted, if racist elijah cummings would focus more of his energy on helping the good people of his district and baltimore itself, perhaps progress could be made in fixing the mess that he has helped to create over many years of incompetent leadership, his radical oversight is a joke. that baseless insult just one of many that the president has hurled towards the maryland congressman and the city of baltimore. thousands have stood up to defend congressman cummings' 23
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years of service, including a slew of democratic lawmakers. their one common message, stop targeting lawmakers from diverse backgrounds. >> our job is to bring people together to improve life for all people, not to be a -- have a racist president who attacks people because they are african-americans. that is a disgrace and that is why we're going to defeat this president. >> the president is as he usually is, or often is, disgusting and racist. he makes thyself charese charge base at all. they are designed to distract attention from the very serious allegations about his conduct that came from the report -- from the committee hearings this week. >> mr. president, your job is to unite this country. and when you take shots, as you did at elijah cummings and the city of baltimore, when you take shots at my colleague rasheda tlab, you're attacking the
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constituents of those district. your job is to unite us, not to divide us. it's so unacceptable, and it's not what the president of the united states is supposed to do. >> meanwhile, president trump's acting chief of staff mick mulvaney sees it very differently. listen. >> the president is attacking mr. cummings for saying things that are not true about the border. i think it's right for the president to raise the issue of -- look. i was in congress for six years. if i had poverty in my district like they have in baltimore, crime in my district like they have in chicago, homelessness like they have in san francisco and i spent all of my time in washington, d.c., chasing down this mueller investigation, this bizarre impeachment crusade, i'd get fired. and i think the president is right to raise that and has zero to do with race. >> joining me right now, white house reporter for politico, gabby orr and cnn political analyst and correspondent for american urban radio networks, april ryan. good to see you both.
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so, april, you first. you were born and raised in the city of baltimore. you're living in baltimore county now. you tweeted about this. this is very personal to you and so many. the president's attacks. and you said here, and i'm sorry, it's going way too fast for me to be able to read that. can we go back so i can read your latest comments, april, saying, dear real donald trump, believe it or not, you're supposed to be a president of the united states to all americans, even those in baltimore, a stay where your son-in-law jared kushner owns housing projects. be better, mr. president or at least try melania's approach. be best. we are baltimore. be best. you've heard all these assessments of what the president is doing here, that it's racist, that it's a distraction. is it just that at a minimum, april? >> so this is complicated but yet it's not. and you know.
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you live not far from baltimore yourself. >> i'm a marylander, too. >> you grew up in columbia, not far. so you understand the dynamic of that -- >> silver spring. >> well, close. but you understand that -- you understand that swath, that area. >> yeah. >> you have a part of the city, a part of the city that is poverty stricken but that's not all of the 7th district. here's what's happening. >> and that is really the point, isn't it? >> it's not the point. and i talked to someone who is very close to the inner circle. the president is very upset. that's why he's still tweeting because the blowback is fierce against him. number one, the president is upset because he went after congressman elijah cummings. yet another african-american person that the president is making personal attacks on. now he wants to deflect and flip it saying elijah cummings is a racist. now i have a relationship with elijah cummings that spans well before we came to washington. when he was an attorney and when
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he was in maryland state government in baltimore, way before both of us even thought about washington. he was an attorney. his mother -- this thing about this racist thing is so far from the truth. elijah cummings' mother used to take a young elijah and his brothers and sisters, to integrate the swimming pools in baltimore. you know, he believes in inclusion. he represents a district of black, white, jew, gentile, protestant and catholic and he's got people from all walks of life who respect him. i hear it from those in the jewish community, the white community, the black community. now what's happening is that this conservative hate machine is putting out black people to say that elijah should be doing this and doing that. yes, baltimore is hurting. but it's not just about elijah cummings. it's not just about the mayor. it's not just about the governor. it's about the president of the united states. and again, mr. president, where are you? what about urban renewal?
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it's not about these empowerment zones or whatever these zones are. it's about fixing the problem, not laughing at it. you're the president of black people, too. people who are hurting, and you're turning a blind eye. i'm sorry if this is getting personal. i grew up in that area. i know those people just like victor, just like so many people. jada pinket smith is from baltimore. there's so many scientists, politicians, entertainers, educators, people from all walks of life. black, white, jew, gentile, protestant and catholic who have called baltimore home at one point. an american city is hurting and this man who is sitting in the prime spot to do something is turning a blind eye and laughing. so i say this. i talked to elijah cummings this morning. he was in church praising god and moving forward because he's not going to stop. i just said, you know, be strong because i said that to him because i had been the butt of some of the president's ire. it's not right. he makes it personal when it
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comes to black politicians or black people. >> yeah. >> period, end of stf. >> people are at a loss of words trying to figure out what in the world. what's the motivation of the president to do this if not to simply divide. why is it, and not that you have to explain the president's actions here, but why is it, you know, the president would feel like this is political capital? because if it's not political capital, then what is the other motivation for a president of the united states to carry on in this matter, to use these words, to denigrate, insult, to provoke this kind of moment in america? >> when you talk to his campaign, they say this is all part of a coherent strategy that president trump is building a campaign based on division. that he is putting racial animus at the center of his 2020 campaign and he thinks winning over white working class voters and people who fear major
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cultural change in america will gravitate towards him the more that he perpetuates these things. the more he tweets these provocative things and targets african-american lawmakers. whether or not that works remains to be seen. there are many people inside his own presidential campaign who are very skeptical of this strategy and think that ultimately it's going to end up driving voters away from him in the states like wisconsin, pennsylvania, michigan, that he'll need to win in order to sail to re-election. there are others, though, who think this does fit into his message that talks about major cultural changes in america and though it's unfortunate and risky for a politician like president trump to sort of dabble in racial and -- racially incendiary comments and racism, that it may work to their advantage. >> so risky possibly. you know, april, but at the same time, would it not still be in step with how he began his campaign in 2016?
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you can't forget the jargon used then with, you know, mexicans are all rapists. isn't this the same thing? doesn't this underscore that the president feels this is a winning approach to re-election? >> not only does he believe it's a winning approach but this is how he started his political career saying barack obama was illegitima illegitimate, was he was allegedly born in kenya. he proved that himself to be wrong. he came out and said that, i give him that. but this now is campaign -- trump campaign 2.0 on steroids. and race is at the forefront. he is stirring up race. i was thinking back to george wallace. george wallace who was the biggest racial hater in this nation. but the only hope that i have that this could change around is the fact that george wallace apologized before he died. when will the president apologize for this, if he ever
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will? this is a tide that is turning. the members of the congressional black caucus are upset. 14 members were culli incallingy this morning hearing about my tweets saying elijah cummings is not a racist. i heard from sheila jackson lee, congresswoman from texas, barbara lee, congresswoman from california -- >> the president knows it's upsetting. just within the last hour, he tweeted again. >> but they feel standing strong. they feel -- >> he's done it again because he feels like -- >> as they are in ghana marking 400 years since the first slaves were brought to this nation, they are still upset saying, look, we're standing with elijah cummings. and here's the issue. this is how things will change, and people don't believe it. if you say something if you stand up and not be bullied into submission, this is not right. if people believe that this president is a moral leader, they're sadly mistaken. it should not be about the color of our skin. it should be about people.
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what's happening at the southern border is wrong. elijah cummings stands up and says something about it. now he's called a racist for caring about humanity? something is wrong there, and this president is stirring a very ugly pot we've seen stirred before. people were killed. we are still in a time where we don't have an anti-lynching law. these people are shooting at the emmett till, what is it -- >> the memorial. >> plot, and taking -- the memorial and standing. this is not right. this president is stirring up hate, and elijah cummings is not a racist. let's look at 1600 pennsylvania avenue. president trump, i asked you if you were a race uft. you said no three days later but your actions and words and tweets are showing just that. >> gabby talked about the president being a moral leader. did the president step away? has his jargon, has his actions meant this president has stepped away from being a moral leader of this country long ago, and especially now with these
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tweets? >> well, it's extremely difficult for the president to go out on the campaign trail at his rallies and talk about african-american unemployment and talk about his tax cuts and the way that has helped the black community and then to see that juxtapose with these tweets. it makes all that rhetoric feel empty. it makes voters question his authenticity and sincerity. so that is going to be a key problem for his and -- for himself and for his campaign advisers in 2020. they need to find a way for him to either cut the tweets, stop doing things that are going to only make republicans and democrats uncomfortable, or he needs to just go all in on this strategy and if he, does i think a lot of people who are in his orbit and involved in his campaign would say that it won't end well. >> powerful messages. >> fredricka, really fast, right now the president thinks to get african-americans, all he has to do is talk about asap rocky and bring in kanye west.
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it's much more than that. >> it is indeed. gabby orr, april ryan, thanks to both of you ladies. appreciate it. ahead of the cnn debates, democratic candidates bernie sanders on the trail in search of cheaper prescription drugs. what he's trying to accomplish, next. dishes won't get clean? don't be a soaker! switch to finish quantum, it scrubs, degreases, and shines to get your dishes truly finished. and with finish quantum you get up to 25% more loads for your money. it's not clean until it's finished!
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welcome back. today senator bernie sanders traveled across the northern border to showcase a key part of his health care plan, highlighting the difference between american and canadian drug prices. sanders and a group of americans with type 1 diabetes made the short trip from detroit to canada to purchase insulin from a pharmacy. but as sanders seeked cheaper insulin, canadian medical groups are urging the government to step in and protect the country's supply. cnn washington correspondent ryan nobles is live foris in windsor, canada, just across the border of detroit. what's going on? >> there's no doubt what bernie sanders was trying to do was put a personal face on the cost of pharmaceuticals and prescription drugs in the united states. and by coming here to this pharmacy in canada, he was demonstrating how there are people who have to pay thousands and thousands of dollars a month to pay for insulin. like this mother who talked
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about the struggle that she and her son have had in treating his diabetes. take a listen. >> today actually we got 24 vials, 25 vials. and it costs a little more than what i thought, but that was still great. it was $1,000 i paid. we saved $10,000. >> so if you heard that, fred, a six-month supply for her son in the united states, $10,000. at this pharmacy, it was only $1,000. and what bernie sanders believes is that this is a problem with the system in the united states that the american health care system, its reliance on the pharmaceutical industry is part of the problem. he promises if elected president, he's going to turn that around. to your point, there are some in canada concerned with the idea of sanders promoting the importation of drugs from canada into the united states, and it could hurt the system here in canada. sanders response to that criticism is that he's illustrating a fine point. it's about fixing the system in
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the united states. he doesn't believe that this is something that can be sustained for a long term. people coming over the border and buying the drugs. he wants to make the situation better in the u.s. >> ryan nobles, thanks so much. the cnn democratic presidential debates just a few days away. two days, in fact. two big nights. ten candidates each night. the first is on tuesday, july 30th with progressives bernie sanders and elizabeth warren and then wednesday, july 31st, see the rematch -- potential rematch between joe biden and kamala harris. the cnn debates live from detroit only on cnn. is boost® delicious boost® high protein nutritional drink has 20 grams of protein, along with 26 essential vitamins and minerals. boost® high protein. be up for life. is it to carry cargo...he or to carry on a legacy?? its show of strength... or its sign of intelligence?
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with just two days until the cnn debates, candidates are honing their messages hoping to stand out. as gloria borger explains for those who don't find a way to stand out on a crowded stage, it could mean the end of the campaign. ♪ >> reporter: at his kickoff rally, california congressman eric swalwell was center stage. but at the first primary debate, he was nearly off the stage. >> walking out is -- that is really intimidating. i don't know if i know you or not, but i'm pointing, i'm waving. then you feel like you're completely, you know, vulnerable and just everyone is looking at you. >> reporter: that debate would be his last. >> today ends our presidential campaign. >> our polling just -- it stayed flat. it didn't go anywhere. >> reporter: remaining at less than 1%.
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and as the field lines up for the two cnn debates, the pressure is really on because in the fall, securing podium spots will be twice as hard. so detroit could be the end of the trail. >> maybe 12, 13 of these candidates, there's not going to be another shot after this. to some extent, not qualifying for the next debate is a death sentence. >> there's a lot of ways to screw up a debate. what's essential is to think about, what can i do so that there won't be a total disaster here. >> reporter: mccain attack phrases. bradley attack phrases. >> reporter: stuart stevens has prepped republican candidates from george w. bush and dick cheney to mitt romney. >> ideally before a debate you look at your polling and you'd say, who do i need to talk to. you'd never make an ad that just says, well, i don't know. i'm not sure who it's going to apply to. it's like shooting a shotgun in the air and hoping ducks fly by. >> what drives debates is
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friction, taking someone on. >> as kamala harris did attacking joe biden's record on busing. >> there was a little girl in california who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools. and she was bussed to school every day. and that little girl was me. >> she's defined herself. and she got her bio in. you like that person and you're pulling for that person. >> so it didn't seem contrived? >> there's a different between prepared and contrived. i think prepared is you've thought about it. she's comfortable talking about race. and it shows. >> reporter: biden was uncomfortable being challenged in that way. and that showed, too. >> i mean, you're president of the united states or vice president. you walk in the room, people usually applaud. and you're not used to having someone get in your face. >> if you were advising joe biden right now, what would you tell him to do? >> be on offense. >> offense? >> be on offense. you are there to win votes.
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you are not there to defend your lead. >> reporter: that's fine if you're biden or if you're elizabeth warren and bernie sanders fighting over many of the same voters. but if you're not a name brand candidate, breaking out can be hard to do. >> and there's other alternatives up there that are acceptable. there's always the question like, why are you on the shelf? i mean, do we really need like eight variations of barbecue potato chips? >> when you are speaking, you just feel the glare of the moderators looking at you like you're not a top tier person. >> what are you doing here? >> you can just feel that. >> so you had like five minutes? >> 4 minutes and 45 seconds. >> but who's counting. >> yeah. >> what can you do in that amount of time? >> have a moment that gets replayed. >> we're going to solve the issues of climate chaos, pass the torch. if we're going to solve the issue of student loan debt, pass the torch. if we're going to end gun violence for families fearful of sending their kids to school,
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pass the torch. >> you think you got a little too torchy there? >> again, i thought all of these issues have someone who has worked on gun violence and student loan debt that many of them are generational. >> did it look a little contrived, though? too many torches? >> yeah, maybe i could have done one fewer torch. >> reporter: in these debates, preparation can be everything. >> you can't do it for five minutes here or there. they get no lifeline. it's them. it's the camera, the audience. >> no phone-a-friend? >> no phone-a-friend. they'll sink or swim. this is an important test in the process. >> reporter: and after all that studying and all those rehearsals, how does it feel backstage when your candidate goes off script? >> it's a very special feeling when you're standing -- you're standing there watching the television and you're thinking, what are they doing? that is not what we said, right? on the other hand, i will say, as a campaign manager there is no way for you to know what it is like. >> reporter: public failure is
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never easy, but with 20 candidates, it's more than likely. >> you have to be willing, first of all, to admit you're probably going to lose. and be willing to lose and stand for something. you can try too hard running for president and it will always come back and bite you. >> reporter: so it's a fine line for every candidate on stage. impress, but don't look like you're trying too hard. you know, fred, just be yourself. >> that's right. authentic. thank you, gloria. up next, he says it was all just a horrible mistake. 1-year-old twins killed after being left in a hot car for hours. their father now facing criminal charges. more right after this. here you go little guy.
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welcome back. in new york, the father of twin 1-year-old babies who died after being left in a hot car for eight hours is now charged with manslaughter. criminal negligent homicide and endangering the welfare of a child. police say the twins were left in the car while their dad, 39-year-old juan rodriguez was at work at a nearby v.a. hospital. cnn's diane gallagher is here with me now.
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tell us more about the sequence of events, what's happening and what potentially is next. >> he made his first court appearance, and we got a chance to hear from his attorney who is a cnn legal analyst joey jackson, talk about sort of the mental state of rodriguez. and we saw the criminal complaint, what rodriguez told police after finding his children, he says, in his vehicle. he says he thought he had taken those 1-year-old twins to day care and had simply forgotten they were in the vehicle. he thought he went on to day care. joey jackson described in court how his client's family is coping with this right now. >> everyone is still coming -- trying to come to grips, judge, with the horrific nature of this circumstance. certainly his wife and his lovely family support him, as does so many friends and members of the community. and i raise those issues, judge, just because they relate to his state of mind.
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there's nothing here that's intentional. and my client if he could bring back time, certainly would do that. >> juan rodriguez's wife marisa was in the courtroom as they were making that statement, waiting for bond. a bond hearing there. she released a statement afterward. i want to read just a brief amount of that. she said that everything i do reminds me of my sweet, intelligent, beautiful babies and i'm still in disbelief. though i'm hurting more than i ever imagined possible, i still love my husband. he's a good person, a great father, and i know he would have never done anything to hurt our children intentionally. and we'll never get over this loss, and i know he'll never forgive himself for this mistake. fred, marisa and juan have three other children at home with them, too, so this entire family just completely devastated by this. they lost those two twins, and then now they're trying to figure out what to do. >> horrible. thank you so much, diane gallagher. we have so much more straight ahead in the "newsroom"
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{tires screeching} {truck honking} [alarm beeping] (avo) life doesn't give you many second chances. but a subaru can. (dad) you guys ok? you alright? wow. (avo) eyesight with pre-collision braking. standard on the subaru ascent. the three-row subaru ascent. love. it's what makes a subaru a subaru. every week we honor cnn heroes, everyday people doing extraordinary work to help others. but becoming a cnn hero begins with a nomination from you.
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just taking a few minutes to fill out an online form could turn your mentor or someone else whose work you admire into a cnn hero and change their life. >> i met my hero when we were volunteering. >> he's making a big difference for kids in our area. >> she is my second mom. my mentor. >> i felt like it was very important for people to know about sister tisa. >> i feel honored that i was able to honor her in such a significant way. >> i was so proud of myself because i was like, oh, my goodness, for everything that she's done for me, i did something for her, you know? >> and if you know someone who deserves to be a cnn hero, don't wait. nominations close wednesday night. go to cnn heroes.com right now. this update on our breaking news. president trump now confirming that director of national intelligence dan coats will step down. the president tweeting this moments ago. i am pleased to announce that
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highly respected congressman john ratcliffe of texas will be nominated by me to be the director of national intelligence, a former u.s. attorney, john will lead and inspire greatness for our country he loves. dan coats, the current director, will be leaving office on august 15th. i'd like to thank dan for his great service to our country. the acting director will be names shortly. and more on this at the top of the hour. tonight, an all-new episode of the cnn original series "the movies" will explore american cinema of the 1970s. here's a preview. >> the queen to me of the 1970s was pam grier. she was playing a brack heroine. there were never black women who got to be assertive and had guns and took on villains. and as a black girl, as i was at the time, seeing this larger than life, beautiful woman
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coming out triumphant at the end was amazing. >> what i loved about pam grier is that she is badass. but she's sexy at the same time. >> she was really a unique presence at that time. guys interested in her as a sex symbol, people interested in her as a feminist symbol, as a movie star. she was that present in the culture. >> and i had the great honor of interviewing pam grier a few years ago. what a fierce and what a forceful woman. so joining me right now, another fierce and forceful woman, associate editor and columnist for the "boston globe" renee graham. the 1970s, renee, are considered a second golden age for hollywood cinema. so in your view, what kind of led to that kind of ground-breaking form of cinema? >> you are coming out of the '60s where you have vietnam. you have the nixon administration. it's not quite -- watergate really isn't in full swing yet but this deepening mistrust of
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government n these once-esteemed institutions. the art began to show that. showing lives we weren't normally going to see at the movies. all of that comes out of the turmoil of the '60s. the movies in the '70s were an answer to that. >> and they were powerful messages. you know, i remember when i talked to pam grier years ago, she talked about kind of a real conflict in how she felt with her role and the power of herk charact her characters. but she is smiling at that. it really was a time of real strong messaging, particularly coming out of the vietnam war. particularly coming out of the type of politics that the '70s was experiencing. >> one of the important things to think about with pam grier and you see this in the opening
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montage of the documentary about films. you don't see a nonstereotypical role for black women until they show pam grier. so that tells you how iconic and how important she was in the 1970s. the hash tag now is black girl magic. pam grier invented black girl magic. the first black female superhero in my mind. >> oh, absolutely. what are you hoping people will embrace, learn about this era of cinematography, of movie making, and whether those messages were intentional? >> you know, i think the most important thing is, and i think going into the '70s, people have gotten away from the idea that movies purely had to be escapism. you could go and be provoked. you could cope and deal with morally ambiguous characters. everything wasn't so clear cut black and white. it was a lot murkier the way society was at the time.
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it's important for people to look back at these films, a, because they are some of the greatest films ever made and certainly my favorite decade of films, but to see the influence that these filmmakers, these films and actors and actresses still continue to have to this day. >> renee graham, thank you so much. pam grier forever, don't we always worship forever? big time. be sure to stay tuned to the cnn original series "the movies -- the 1970s" coming up at 9:00 p.m. i'm fredricka whitfield. cnn's newsroom continues with ana cabrera right after this. dishes won't get clean? don't be a soaker! switch to finish quantum, it scrubs, degreases, and shines to get your dishes truly finished. and with finish quantum you get up to 25% more loads for your money. it's not clean until it's finished!
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good evening. i'm ana cabrera live in detroit. this is cnn special coverage of the countdown to the democratic presidential debates. we'll get to that in just a moment. first, we have breaking news on the fate of the director of national intelligence dan coats. let's get right to cnn's boris sanchez at the white house. fill us in. >> hey there, ana. we just got confirmation from president trump to news we've been following that the director of national intelligence, dan coats, is leaving the administration in mid-august. and president trump has nominated a replacement in congressman john ratcliffe. here's the tweet from president trump. he sent out just a moment ago. the president write, i am pleased to

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