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tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  August 21, 2019 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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president's name at least 20 times in 30 minutes? making russia g-8 again. the president keeps encouraging a key alliance to welcome vladimir putin back into the fold after he was kicked out for invading crimea. at the same time, he's insulting and alienating one of america's most steadfast and global partners. and miracle crash. a small plane goes down in the ocean with cameras rolling, capturing every moment. we're going to show you the dramatic pictures of the crash and the harrowing rescue of the pilot and a passenger. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. wolf blitzer is off today. you're in "the situation room." >> we're following the president's agrandizing new rant. he is flailing on two crucial
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issues, the economy and guns. he said he's not looking at pay roll tax cuts a day after he said he was hook at pay roll tax cuts. and he claims he's going to tighten background checks even as he repeats the nra's talking points against them. when it comes to insults, the president is digging in. accusing the president of having nasty comments when she called his interest in buying greenland absurd. and doubling down on attempts to use support for israel as a partisan weapon calling jews democrat democratic disloyal. and saying he's the chosen one to take on china on trade. >> let's go to the white house and cnn chief white house correspondent jim acosta. we heard so many head spinning lines from the president. there is a lot to track here. >> a lot to unpack. the president sounded as though he had something of a god
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complex today. declaring himself the chosen one and accepting prais from an ally who dubbed mr. trump the second coming. he was not so charitable when he doubled down on how jewish people should vote. and he described the prime minister of denmark as nasty for rejecting his comments on greenland. it was one part bully, another part pulpit. taking his questionable rhetoric to new heights, president trump talked about himself in biblical terms. at one point looked to the sky as he praised his economy. >> tim chosen one. i'm taking on china on trade. and you know what? we're winning. >> the president stirred up more outrage saying that jewish americans face a loyalty test in the upcoming election. >> if you vote for a democrat, you're very, very disloyal to israel and the jewish people. >> after some jewish american groups land that as
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anti-semitic, this person portrayed him in messianic materials. he said thank you for the very nice words. president trump is the greatest president for jews in the history of the world. and the jewish people love him like he is the second coming of god. >> i have been responsible for a lot of great things. for israel. one of them was moving the embassy to jerusalem. making jerusalem the capital of israel. >> mr. trump shift again on the topic of background checks after saying he all but assured the nra president he was citing with the powerful gun lobbyists. >> i have an appetite for background checks. we're going to be fig in loopholes, could not cements. >> the president got testy in
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defending his decision to scrap his upcoming trip to denmark after that country's prime minister rejected his expansionist designs on greenland as absurd. >> i thought the prime minister's statement that it was absurd, that it was an absurd idea, it was nasty. i thought it was an inappropriate statement. all she had to do was say no, we are not interested. don't say what an absurd idea that is. she's not talking to me. excuse me. she's not talking to me. she's talking to the united states of america. you don't talk to the united states that way. at least under me. >> on a range of questions, mr. trump repeatedly pointed his finger at former president obama. >> under president obama, russia outsmarted president obama. president obama did that. >> consider his defense of the trump administration's plan to detain migrant families at the border. >> i am the one that kept the families together. okay? you remember that, right?
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just remember i said it. now it gets even better. president obama and others brought the families apart. but i'm the one that kept the families together. >> that's not true. it was mr. trump who launched a policy of family separations. still, the president insists he cares about migrant children. >> let me tell you, very much i have the children on my mind. it bothers me very greatly. >> reporter: and after all that, the president joked to a group american veterans that he would like to give himself the medal of honor. he is not a military veteran and avoided service said that he was told that he can't be chosen for that one. >> thank you so much for that. let's get more poerms what we heard from the president. we're joined by cnn director, what was your reaction seeing this? >> well, my first reaction is what is getting to the president? what is going on here that is
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providing him enough concern that he's going out to give this kind of performance, if you will, his behavior, his language over the last 24 hours. clearly seems aimed, and we've seen this before at his presidency, consuming all the oxygen. trying on dictate the narrative in every possible way. what is it he is concerned about that he would rather not be talked about? clearly the concern that is out there about a potential softening in the economy and the electoral impact on him that that may have is clearly something he's concerned about. and i think that's why you see him all over the map, including today, on this issue of the economy. on that issue alone, how can you argue that the economy is doing so fantastically well, at the same time, arguing for measures for the economy. they cone go hand in hand. that belies, i think, the confidence he's putting out there. i think there's concern underneath.
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if you look at the polls, showing him 40% approval rating. 37% with independents. he understands that if the economy goes south, his chances of re-election go significantly south. >> and he talked so much about president obama today. he'll talk about him from time to time, of course. this was pretty extreme. let's listen. >> president obama, russia outstart president obama. president putin totally outsmarted president obama. outsmarting president obama. obama was upset. totally outsmarted obama. obama was upset. obama had separation. president obama in 2014. so president obama. but it was president obama. president obama and others. president obama did that. >> it is so marsha, marsha, marsha. >> yeah. if barack obama is donald trump's north star in his administration, in a reverse way, if barack obama has done
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something, that is instantly no matter what, a guide post for donald trump to do the opposite. there was not one skin thing there. this was on russia, immigration, china, the economy, you name the issue and he wanted to inject president obama into it. it is how sometimes people around him can guide him away from places that they don't think he should be from a policy standpoint, if they explain that obama did that. so it is this sort of reverse north star for him. >> as democrats watch this, as voters who are democrats watch this. do they think perhaps what they've seen here in the last 24 hours, that it could maybe make joe biden, his argument for his presidency appeal to them? >> i do think and looking at these last 24 hours, i go back to this theory that donald trump may be joe biden's best campaign surrogate right now. the entire argument. for instance, joe biden just launched his first presidential
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tv ad in iowa this week. how does it close? with the entire frame of the argument that donald trump is errat erratic, bullying, that he is vicious. and it poses that biden, he claims, will provide strong, stable leadership. when you're making that kind of an argument politically to democrats as to why they should make you the nominee and then president behaves as did he the last 24 hours, it completely gives a fact pattern to tha joe biden argument. i think donald trump is helping joe biden. >> all right. joining me now, john guard mendi of california. he serves on the armed services committee. thank you for being with us. >> good to be with you. >> so the president. something else he said. he once again claims american juice who support the democratic party are very disloyal to israel and the jewish people. what is your reaction to that? >> well, much more than that.
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if this man was out on the street without the secret service around him, some policeman would arrest him and put him on a 72-hour hold. anybodying was down streets that claims they're messianic, they're chosen one, and then all the ranting you just had, much, much more, that's the sub matter for a 72-hour hoe in one of the institutions. we have a president that is unhinged. that cannot handle himself. he has dismayed narcissism from the very first day of his campaign and extreme racism. taking on mexicans as he did. the very first moment of his campaign. for him to claim that he didn't have, that he's the one who brought the families back together, his mind isn't working properly and that's a very, very scary proposition for the president of the united states. the most powerful single person in the world. and then with regard to putin,
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here we go again. putin is his favorite person. >> when he talks like that about israel and democratic voters, does he put the u.s./israel relationship at risk by politicizing israel this way? >> absolutely. no doubt. let me make it very, very cheer. the democratic party from the very, very first, starting with harry trody truman. sometimes individuals, members of congress as well as democrats who are jewish, have disagreed with the policies of the jewish government. and that's perfectly legitimate over time. the democrats taken as a whole have consistently year in and year out, issue after issue, stood with israel. they are our principle ally in an extremely dangerous region. and for the president to
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purposefully try divide the support of israel between democrats and republicans, and to suggest that jews would be disloyal, i don't think that will sell well. >> i want to talk about how the president canceled his trip to denmark after the danish prime minister called his idea to buy greenland absurd. this visit was supposed to denmark provides key intelligence to the united states. denmark has stood shoulder to shoulder with the united states in conflicts overseas. denmark has lost soldiers along with american soldiers. does this hurt u.s. national security that he is not going? that he's treating denmark this way? >> it's just one more thing. think back from his very earliest days. the president has dismissed, discouraged and otherwise trashed nato. trashed our allies in europe. worked very, very hard to break up the european union, the
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current brexit, as well as those not positive on the european union. the strong alliances, denmark and others, are crucial. not only to the defense of europe but for america. you're quite correct. danish troops have lost their lives side by side with americans in countries around the world. and they'll continue to do so. one more example of a president that is simply unhinged. it is all about him. all about his personal standard. at least in his own eyes. if you listen carefully about the prime minister and her comments. he took it as a personal affront to himself. and that expanded to it manager. >> and he expanded it to nato. i wonder what you think, how do other allies see that? he is using this as a jumping off point to attack nato. >> well, exactly right.
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there are many congressional delegations. i've done a couple of them to the nato countries. i'll do another one this fall. going to the nato countries. a good portion of the work that i'll do as chairman. ready know sub committee, the armed services committee, is to check out the various facilities. the troops, are they ready and so forth. the more important part of what we do is to really be the diplomats. to talk to the nato countries. to tell them the congress of the united states and americans stand firmly with nato regardless of what this crazy president has been doing and saying. we're there. this country is there with nato. we make that mention every time we go on to a nato country. it is a real serious problem. we get it from the top political
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leaders in those countries. what's going on? the answer is this, too, must pass. yes, we'll have to tough it out the next 18 months but this man has got to go. >> and talking about reconstituting the g-8, what would it take? there's bipartisan agreement that russia hasn't done what it needs to do to regain that standing. what would it take for russia to do, to regain that standing? >> first of all, we need a president that knows what the history is. we need a president that knows it was russia that stole crimea from the ukraine and inserted their little green men with all of the heavy armaments into the eastern ukraine. a situation today unresolved. literally russia using a surrogate force, what we call little green men. not actually little.
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and has tried to invade the ukraine that has to be resolved before they are allowed back into the g-8. yes, you cannot reward that invasion by russia or any other country by inciting them back. once again, the american public needs to look at this president and say, what is it? that is so infatuated him with putin? what does russia have on this man? what is going on here? we may never know that answer. what we do know is that this man, the president of the united states, is not fit to serve this nation's long material, as well as the short term interests. >> thank you for coming on. >> good to be with you. >> just ahead, with 2020 around the corner, will the republicans
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experts and analysts to try on dissect some of what happened. he walked back a lot of his positions today. and forward, back, forward, back. gun control, pay roll tax, whether he'll visit denmark. he consistently praised himself. let's listen to this. >> no president has ever done anywhere close to what i've done. >> i've been responsible for a lot of great things. >> i'm wonderful for the usa. >> i am the least racist person ever to serve in office. >> the love for me, and me maybe as a representative for the country. i was right and just about everybody admits that. i was put here by people to do a great job. that's what i'm doing. no president has done what i've done. i am the chosen one. >> and he retweeted a conspiracy theorist who equated him to the second coming. >> anyone who says they're the least racist person ever or has not a racist body in their body, that is a tell that is not true.
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to your point, the president has an unquenchable ego. the project of his presidency is to agrandize himself. so he is constantly souping out what position, what statement will make him look like a big man. if you look at each video, you can come one a reason if it is not completely logical. the big picture is his presidency exists in his mind to agrandize him. >> the flip flopping on the issues, we've come to expect this. until he signs something and something gets through congress, you can't really put your hopes in it. tax cuts, health care, gun
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control. it doesn't matter. he will move all sorts of different places. in terms of this self-agrandizing as you put it. he was visiting with the survivors of the el paso shooting, they love the u.s. they love me. and because i am the u.s. so this whole, i am the state has become very much a pattern for this president in recent weeks. >> what did you think? >> well, this is one of those classic moments where you've seen the president unravel before the public view. and he was full of contradictions at the same time that he's insisting there is nothing to worry that when it comes to the economy. he's talking about a potential pay roll tax cut and other measure that's would be designed to boost the economy and stave off a potential recession, one of the concerns that economists
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have raised. he is saying the trade war with china is working. that we're winning. when the cost of that is being borne by the u.s. consumer and the agriculture industry. he's insisting he is not walking back his support for background checks. and the list goes on and on. and i think it really speaks to a very real concern on the part of the president when it comes to his own re-election and how it might be impacted by recent events of the whether it is the mass shootings in el paso and dayton or whether it is an economic downturn. i want to say, the tirade against the president of denmark, he said you are talking to the united states. well -- >> not just to me. to the united states. >> guess what, when he hits back, he is not just talking to her. he is talking to the people of denmark.
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>> who have fought alongside. >> who provide intelligence. >> another example of isolating our longstanding u.s. allies. at the same time he's showing his support for adversaries like russia. >> trying to get putin back into the g-7. >> what did you think about this? and the president does this sometimes when he is feeling criticized or under fire for some reason. right now he's facing a lot of uncertainty about the economy. do you see a connection? >> i think his reaction, whenever he's criticized, is to turn the criticism back on the criticizer to say, you're the one who is racist. any time he's accused of racism, he says, you're the one who is racist. now he's accused of using anti-semitic language. he says no, no, the other people are antisemitic.
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i'm the most pro israel. the other thing i would like to point out is the jokes. he always, like when he's saying, i'm the chosen one. i'm sure his aides would say, of course, he was joking about that. but his jokes are not jokes. remember when he said, you know, russia, if you're listening, go get hillary's emails and russia did it that day? they went and started spear fishing in the clinton campaign's emails? i mean, he's not joking about any of this stuff. he's telling the truth. about what he believes about himself. and we just have to understand that. >> he did also, switching gears, talking about jokes here. he told a joke and he got a laugh from veterans today about how he wanted to award himself the medal of honor and his aides said that, you know, that's not something he would qualify for. he did get a laugh but it struck
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me especially knowing that the president recently awarded, he went through the whole ceremony and the medal of honor to someone and it strikes me as someone from a military family, how somber that was. because there's sacrifice. this is very serious when you're talking about what happened. it is an honor but it is an honor for something unimaginable that someone has gone through and he's cracking a joke about it. >> empathy is not really his strong suit. remember when someone gave him a purple heart at one of his rallies. i think he was still a candidate. and he said i've always wanted a purple heart. you don't want that. you get a purple heart for being injured in battle. so there is this fundamental disconnect where military families would never joke about it. well, he's not from a military family. he's someone who has a very inauspicious lack of military family. >> let's not forget as a candidate he criticized the late
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senator john mccain for being captured during war. he said i prefer prisoners who weren't captured. he picked a fight with a gold star family. the confrontation following dnc even as the president is following the ambush in niger. he questioned the account of the widow of the fallen service member there. so this is a pattern where he hand actually shown genuine empathy for members of the military he looks at it as something to politicize of the. >> he's not joking. he does think he should get a medal. he does think he's the chosen one. he does think that russia should go get hillary clinton's emails. these are serious jokes that he really believes. >> okay. stand by for me. we have a lot more to talk about
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back now with our experts and analysts. the president went all in today that jewish people who vote for democrats, well, he had these words for them. >> in my opinion, you vote for a democrat, you're being very
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disloyal to jewish people and you're being very disloyal to israel. and only weak people would say anything other than that. >> he's talked like this before but it's stunning every time. >> it is. >> it is. the charge that jews like me, for example, have dual loyalty. that they are not loyal to the united states. that they are loyal to their religion. that their loyalty as americans is in question is a classic antisemitic trope. he is exactly playing into it. he is using to it disparage the vast majority of jews who have voted against him. remember, 70% voted against him with hillary clinton. the president appealing to the worst instincts of people.
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and displaying his incredible ignorance of american history. >> i want to talk about guns. the president after speaking with the head of the nra said today, he has an appetite for background checks. then he said that gun control is a slippery slope. so spoiler alert. anyone who has been around washington for a minute and knows if you want to do what 90% of americans was not to do, it doesn't look like this. so it is not going to happen. my question then is, could it happen? could president trump deliver this? >> yes. we were talking about this during the break. if anyone can get this done in terms of the amount of power and juice that he has, something like, i'm not talking about an assault weapon ban or something like that. he could get you over the line. he would be able to give them political cover which is what they would need in certain states to do it.
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>> it is hard to overstate the hold that this president has over republicans in congress. russia was the greatest threat to this president until the president cozied up to president putin. they were the pro trade party until the president started launching trade wars with china and u.s. allies. the deficit has ballooned under his watchful you're not hearing much from those fiscal conservatives in protest on why that's happened during his administration. i think he was willing to use the bully pulpit at his disposal and build the case. not just to republicans in congress. he would be able to do it. what he doesn't want is the blowback. >> could it in some ways be a nixon goes to china moment for him. on most issues, republicans are hand cuffed to him. this is one issue where he is hand cuffed to his base and the nra. when you hear him, like he's
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done in recent weeks, making statements like slippery slope. like meaningful gun reform. like guns don't kill people. people kill people. it sounds like he's been talking to wayne lapierre on the phone day and night. i think this is a situation where if he thought he could do it, he would. he's scared. >> he's been plays long time now. two and a half years. when has he ever pulled the republican party toward the central on any issue? he hasn't done it. is there any reason to think he will do it on this one? absolutely not. he's had the chance before on this issue. every time there is a mass shooting, he's had the attention on it and then nra emerges on top because they run the republican party on this issue. >> thank you so much. jackie, a great panel, you guys. just ahead, russia celebrates as president trump said he wants to welcome
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russia is president trump's call to bring the country back into the g-8. cnn senior correspondent frederick is live for us from
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moscow. >> the reaction has been stage managed by the russians. on the one hand you have russian officials saying we want an official offer before we even think about this. some russian politicians say they would want sanctions relief before joining again. at the same time you see the russians really pushing the narrative and it is president trump who is courting vladimir putin. here's what we're learning. >> tonight kremlin controlled media is celebrating after president trump said he wants to see russia rejoin the group of strongest industrial nations, the g-7. a translaid version of president trump's remarks getting massive applause on state tv. state tv showing graphics of the g-8 logo with the russian flag, claiming president trump made the move because he feels he
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owes russia after the u.s. recently tested a land-based tomahawk missile. >> trump just tested the tomahawk that's will soon be deployed next to our borders to scare us so it looks like the american president feels guilty or ashamed. saddened, trump decided to unburden himself and agreed with macron to invite to us g-7. they missed us. >> russia was kicked out of the group in 2014 after it invaded ukraine and annexed crimea. the decision was made during the obama administration but was approved by the majority of member nations. still president trump tonight choosing to praise putin over his predecessor. >> because putin outsmarted him. president obama thought it wasn't a good thing to have russia in. so he wanted russia out. >> despite trump's words, rurk's
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leader is showing trump the cold shoulder today saying that russia is developing newadvance ed weaponry and blaming them in part for a radiation spoik. >> the tragedy that took lives of our specialists happened during works on it. they are ensuring the security of our state because our partners including the americans are testing new systems. so we also need to pay extra attention to this. >> and another thing russians are quite happy to hear from the american president is so far he's unconditionally saying that he would like to see russia in the g-7 once again. the leaders of germany and france, for instance, are saying before that would happen, russia would need to make some serious concessions. for instance, on the ukraine
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issue. >> just ahead, they survived a small may not crash into the ocean and they recorded their own rescue. stand by for the details. and protests this hong kong heat up as pro democracy activists mark a milestone. the first survivor of alzheimer's disease is out there. and the alzheimer's association is going to make it happen. but we won't get there without you. join the fight with the alzheimer's association. it's something we take personally, and believe in passionately. it's the idea that if our mothers were diagnosed with cancer, how would we want them to be treated? that's exactly how we care for you.
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we're getting some remarkable pictures and video into the situation room. take a look at this. a private jet slid off the
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runway during an aborted takeoff in orville, california, north of sacramento. all 10 people in the plane escaped without injury. but according to the faa informs a plane supposed to fly to portland, oregon. went off the end of the runway into the grass and caught fire. and ten people onboard. but everyone escaped without injury. also tonight, dramatic video of another plane crashing into the ocean. and the harrowing rescue all recorded in realtime. in happened when an aerial photo shoot went horribly wrong. cnn nick watt is in los angeles with the remarkable pictures. and nick the pilot and passengers are okay. but they have quite a story to tell. >> reporter: they do, briana. and being millennial social media savvy people armed i'm presumed with water proof cell phone technology they don't just have a story but also this video. >> pilot david lash and his passenger leapt on the wing at crash landing miles from shore.
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and that wreckage sank fast. >> there she goes. >> what happened -- i wonder if there is something in the fuel. >> even in summer this water is cold. >> starting to get a little cold out here. lots of jelly fish bobbing around. >> we were getting stung the whole time. definitely hypothermic i was doing bad after about half an hour. >> here is out it happened. he bought in single engine beach craft bonanza a couple months and asked his buddy torg on a joint mission. >> we were planning up the sand fran and golden gate and we were taking photos of the new airplane. >> instead something went wrong. lie pelt found himself filming his friend losesing altitude skimming the pacific. >> i'm doing chgic do. throttle and minks tour if you freak out you can stall and spin into the ground. that's how you die. >> any ditched as lie pelt
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watched from above not knowing if the friends were okay. >> i circled and couldn't see them anymore. and david called me on the phone. as he was bobbing in the water. >> yes, lesh had saved his phone from the wreckage use to do to call his buddy and film the fix they were in. >> all right. we're floating around now. in the pacific ocean. >> i'm holding my window shade as a flotation device. >> and called for help. >> i've been circling the past hour. the coast fward is out here now. my god i can't believe that just happened. >> that's unreal. >> lifted toest safety. a miracle out there on half moon bay. >> now the video is so good. there are now humors it has to be fake. no way the pilot sls tells our san francisco affiliate. why would i gain my life to gain a thousand instagram followers but as they point out the cause of the crash is under investigation. briana. >> nick watt thank you so much.
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maid a new protest in hong kong marking a month of unrest and violence.
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pro democracy protesters staged a silent sit in at a hong kong rail station marking a month since a group of suspected organized crime group members violently attacked demonstrators there. the initial protest was sparked by an extradition bill that was later shelved but touched off 11
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straight weekends of dmanlds for full democracy. the recently protest drew 1.7 million people. i'm briana keeler and erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. outfront next, tone deaf, the president lashing out at denmark's prime minister calling her comment nasty after she said greenland is not for sale. plus, president trump feeds his ego, declaring now he is the chosen one. and he didn't stop there. and a california man acquiesced of plotting to commit mass murder at a hotel and his arrest part of a disturbing new trend. let's go outfront. good evening, everyone. i'm kait baldwin in for erin burn pet. youfrpt, trump's thin skin.


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