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tv   CNN Right Now With Brianna Keilar  CNN  April 4, 2019 10:00am-11:01am PDT

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i'm brianna keilar live from cnn's washington headquarters. under way right now, attorney general bill barr defending his summary after members of robert mueller's team say the findings of their investigation were more damaging than revealed. congress wants to reveal trump's biggest secret, his tax returns. why this battle could go all the way to the supreme court. five more democrats either jumping in or signaling they are close to jumping in to the 2020 presidential race. that would bring the candidate count to a whopping 20, and a preliminary report on the
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ethiopian airlines crash is in, and it looks bad for boeing. this is as audio boasting of how quickly the faa approved of the 737 max 8 jet. we're starting with the department of justice responding to criticism of attorney general william para's portrayal of the mueller report. the usually tight-lipped mueller investigators are now questioning the attorney general's summary of their work, and they say that their conclusions in their nearly 400-page report are much worse for the president than barr has indicated. the president is calling this fake news on twitter even though he's not seen the actual mueller report. jessica snider is at the justice department where officials there are now responding, jess. what are they saying? >> reporter: the department of justice trying to tamp down on these reports that cnn has confirmed that investigators from mueller's team have been frustrated and griping about the fact that they don't believe that barr's initial four-page letter to congress adequately summarized and encapsulate what
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had robert mueller's full report, about 400 pages, actually said, so the justice department is pushing back on this. they are trying to explain the process that this report has been undergoing ever since bill barr goes it back on march 22nd, 2019 and the justice department issuing a lengthy statement in part saying this it. given the extraordinary public interest in the matter, the attorney general decided to release the report's bottom line findings and its conclusions immediately without attempting to summarize the report with the understanding that the report itself would be released after the redaction process. the department conditions to work with the special counsel on appropriate redactions to the report so that it can be released to the congress and the public. so the justice department there really reiterating what the attorney general told congress in that four-page report just about two weeks ago, telling them that this would not be an exhaustive summery, that instead he would let the report once it was released with deracketions
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spe -- redactions would speak for itself. one thing not addressed in the statement are the portions of our reporting and the "new york times" and the "washington post" that investigators from mueller's team also incorporated in that report a summary. you know, there's been reports that these investigators thought that the summary could be released on their own because it was mostly redaktd and void of that sensitive information, but we've heard from a source that, no, in fact these summaries, even the summaries, not the report, they still contain this grand jury information, and that's something that the justice department did say, they said that every single page of this report from robert mueller contained sensitive information that had to go through and be redacted so that's coming from the justice department, but, of course, we're also hearing from the president. within just minutes of the justice department pushing back on these reports when the "new york times" and "the washington post," president trump took to twitter right around 11:00 a.m. here's what he said. he said the "new york times" had no legitimate sources which
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would be totally illegal concerning the mueller report. in fact, they probably had no sources at all. they are a fake newspaper who have already been forced to apologize for their incorrect and very bad reporting on me. you know, but it's important to note that the "new york times" wasn't completely debunked by this justice department statement. it hasn't been delegitimized. in fact, the justice department was just explaining, brianna, what the process is here now that they have faced some criticism in the press. brianna? >> also, that the "new york times" is one of the president's favorite outlets to talk to. jessica schneider, thank you so much for your report from the justice department. president trump says he's not inclined to turn six years of his tax returns as requested by house ways and means committee chairman richard neal over setting up a confrontation that will likely end up in the supreme court. we have cnn politics congressional reporter lauren fox who is with us. you were the first to break this story. walk us through how this battle
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is going to play out here in the next few months, maybe even longer. >> that's right. we should back up. the day after the election i spoke with richard neal, and he told me that he planned to "president's tax returns. of course we know it took several months for him to actually formally make that request to the irs. that's what he did yesterday. he was the only democrat on capitol hill who can actually make that request, brianna. that's because of a very little known tax code known as 6103, and that tax code, a little bit in the weeds here, but what it says is that the house ways and means or the chairman of the finance committee in the senate can request an individual's tax information, so richard neal sent his request to the irs for the president's tax information. of course, we know, and the president's already said, he's not likely to hand it over. so where does that leave democrats? essentially what it means is that democrats on the house ways and means committee will probably send anothery will minder after that one-week
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deadline expires, and then what happens? well, richard neal told me earlier today that he's not sure exactly what next step he'll take after that, but he assured me there is a next step. whether they subpoena this or simply sue for them, that's still a question, and when i've talked to legal experts about how 6103 works, they essentially have said, you know, we're not actually sure that you have to make a subpoena. you may only have to sue essentially to get the documents you're looking for. that 6103 request essentially being the request in itself. so a lot to unpack here, and this, of course, like you said at the top, it could be a matter of not months but even years. brianna? >> even years. >> lauren fox, thank you so much. we're going to have more on this tax return fight in just a moment. first let's talk to laura coates and dana bash for the legal perspectives coming out of the special counsel's team. >> these investigators were quiet for so long, right? there really was no leaking coming out of the mueller team,
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but -- for almost two years. now they are speaking out, dana. what does that tell you? >> well, they -- we should sort of emphasize that the reporting that the "new york times" did, and you said this earlier, it was based on -- the way that they sourced was associates of the prosecutors, so they were very intriguingly careful with the way that they tagglked abou their sourcing and i hate to be the skunk at the garden party and i think it should be soon. maybe i'm being optimistic as well, that we will see at least the large chunk of this mueller report to be able to decide for ourselves how -- how the barr letter was characterized. and, look, i think that the fact that barr himself went out of his way to say in the letter to congress a couple of sundays ago that this was his -- he took the conclusions of mueller and wrote it himself intentionally is
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noteworthy. we should also note that the republicans at the time and the democrats at the time both said, hold on a second, we need to see what's in there. also on the narrative. it was obvious from the get go, from the jump, that barr was trying to set it. not that he was trying to mislead necessarily because he -- i mean, our reporting that day that it came out was that he understood that we would probably see it and if he was misleading he would get called on it, but setting the narrative is crucial, and that's going to be very hard to change and that was the frustration from that day. >> like reading the headline but not reading the storey. >> well put. >> and sometimes there's very interesting details in a story that will get missed if you just read the first few sentences. what do you think about now it's being widely reported that there is this perception among several of the mueller team
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investigators that the narrative doesn't match -- the headline doesn't match what's in the story, if you will? >> i'm not at all shocked that you'd have 101 words contained out of a 22-month investigation in this abbreviated four-paining letter and it would mislead and be dis-engenous to the full volume that they expected. they talked about it being a close call. if it's a close call can't automatically jump to the conclusion that there's no obstruction without giving both sides of the issues. >> what about the summaries they wrote thinking they would be released, whether it's congress or the media, we would have wanted to read them in the fact that he distilled what was already distilled is interest, and actually it makes people question what barr's motivation was. remember, this is a man who -- it took him 19 pages to talk about the topic of the obstruction of justice without seeing a single iota of evidence or talking with within involved in the mueller probe. now it's half of a four-paining
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memo devoid of this topic. that says that was perhaps a self-fulfilling prove circumstances makes the scrutiny more clear but it says if someone who is already a part of the investigation saying were an kiss pate the grand jury -- why summarize the summation unless you didn't want to craft the narrative in a very pro-trump way? why? >> let's talk about tax returns which can't be framed at all because we haven't seen them. the president is again using this idea of there being an audit that's dubious, using it as an excuse as to why he's not inclined to release his taxes. is the whole idea of an audit that we can't confirm that it's happening, is that just a fig leaf? >> i don't know. that's the honest answer. we don't nope which is the problem, that we don't know. he is not required by law to do it, but she -- has been bucking,
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you know, modern day precedent by not releasing his tax returns, and the thing that is really key about what lauren reported is that the letter that the ways and means chairman sent was not to the president. it was to the irs commissioner because he has the authority, now that he has the gavel as a democrat in charge, and by the way, the republicans in charge had the same authority. >> 6103, that's a verb, to 6103 the tax returns. >> only the cool kids are saying that like you, brianna? >> the nerdy ones. >> exactly. we'll see what happens. this is going to be, and this is your lane so i should let you speak about it, but this is going to be a very likely very lengthy legal fight which means that the political fight will be as long. the question is how much if at all will this move voters it is there are any so-called swing voters out there who care? i think people who can't stand
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him are already mad and those who like him saying it's more mission. >> do you think the commit chairman of house of representatives ways and means will be successful? >> he has a non-political hook to have exercise and oversight of something auditing the president. sub-has bucked tradition for a long time and from the mueller report and the delay tactics of even having an interview, the delay actually benefited the president and they will exercise that again. >> just when you thought it couldn't get any more crowded are the field of democrats expands and expands again. ohio congressman tim ryan is the late toast jump into this race. he made this announcement today in an online ad and on "the view" where he talked about how plant closures in ohio have shaped his life. >> and i can go back just a few weeks where my daughter called me crying from school because
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her friend was crying to her, her dad just got transferred at the local general motors plant, the kids had to move, and my daughter called me and she said you got to do something, and i said i'm going to do something, and i'm going to run for president of the united states. >> south bend, indiana mayor pete buttigieg plans a special announcement on april 14th and then there's former vice president joe biden who is almost certain to join this crowd field. we have cnn's political director david chalian here which is really good because i'm losing count. >> sell haven't heard from terry mcauliffe or steve bullock and governor de blasio and with tim ryan in the race we've got 17 in there already. >> this is a sustaining problem, pripgt? >> where's the room? >> you'll have like five different debates. let's look at the folks who are
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still considering a run. democratic congressman eric swalwell could run. the former canned damt for the governor of georgia is still mulling a run. let's listen to what she had to say on msnbc. >> i am truly thinking about it. i think the timing for me is first deciding about the senate because i do think you cannot run for an office unless you know that that's the job you want to do. i don't think you use offices as a stepping stone so my first responsibility is to determine whether a senate run is right for me and then the next conversation for myself will be if not the senate then what else? >> you find those remarks interesting? >> i do. >> tell me. >> i do. we know that chuck schumer, the democratic leader in the senate, wooing stacey abrams hard to get in the senate race and believe that's the best shot they have got is to take that georgia senate seat and the other thing she said that was so intrigue
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begun not shutting down the georgia presidential run she didn't need to decide until the fall so she sees this as perhaps something that she can do on a different kind of schedule than the rest of the competitors in the need and what i've heard and i've talked to theme who are familiar to her thinking. they don't expect her to shut the door on the presidential run but she didn't sound very excited about a senate run. i wonder if there's more thought involved and that it's already a fait accompli of what she's going to do. >> thinking about the fall, money coming in, getting it grass roots style. would that work? >> she would be behind on the money. politics. no sort of rule book right now in the trump era, so i would be cautious to say you can't do something a certain way. i think you're in an area of politics where you play be able to do more things. >> thanks very much.
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cnn has obtained a cope of the preliminary report on the ethiopian airlines report and what it says about the pilot's actions. very interested. >> president trump changes his tune again announcing that it would take a year before he took action and he has some demands himself. a korus of criticism in presidential politics coming from an unlikely source. we humans are strange creatures. other species avoid pain and struggle. we actually... seek it out. other species do difficult things because they have to. we do difficult things. because we like to.
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significant similarities between the ethiopian airlines and lion air crashes. this is from a preliminary report obtained first by cnn that's not been released pubically, and it reveals that
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the pilots on that ethiopian airlines flight were unable to stabilize oat plane after following the emergency procedures recommended by boeing. these problems mirror those that were encountered in the lion air crash from october. that was also a 737 max 8. we have cnn aviation analyst miles o'brien and cnn senior investigative correspondent drew griffin with us outside the rented boeing 737 factory. miles, to you first. put these findings which is are pretty startling into perspective fours. >> well, brianna, i think the thing that strikes me the most as i think back on this is that everything that regulators needed to know to ground the 737 max 8 was available after the first crash, the indonesian crash. they had identified a problem, a single point failure. one sensor feeding a critical flights control system that's designed to keep the aircraft
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from stalling. they identified that problem and realized it was a systemic fleetwide problem. they weren't to work coming up a fix and yet they let the airplanes fly even though they knew what the consequences would be so that's very troubling to me. i think regulators might have done the job in this case saying let's get this fix baf we fly any of these again. could have saves what happened in ethiopia. >> what are they saying about this? >> i think they are basically acknowledging, first time by name acknowledging that the very system and problem that miles just talked about is in fact responsible for these two crashes. now, this is a preliminary report in both cases, but it is boeing in its own statement that is inwardley pointing the focus on them, their design and their
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software problem, and in a statement that was released here just about an hour ago says that the software fix is to ensure indiana tend it had mcas act vast from the soft way will not develop again. they will release a new pilot training program and supplementary program for the new 737 max and flight crews now will always have the ability to override mcas and manually control the airplane. the pilots in the ethiopian crash, according to the preliminary report did respond the way boeing wanted them to respond to this problem but still could not overcome the problem, but i think really here boeing is sharpening the focus on itself, its design, and again speaks to the question that miles was talking about is how this got certified in the first
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place and why after the lion air crash back in october this fleet wasn't grounded? >> than could come down to the coziness between boeing and the faa, so let's listen to something that we've just unearthed which is the ceo boasting about the quick approval of the boeing 737 max. >> just a comment. one, of the overall focus on deregulation and simplifying processes is one that we've been it a strong proponent for, and the -- the administration has been very engaged across government agencies and with industry to -- to find ideas and ways and opportunities to simplify and streamline. things like faa certification processes is -- is one place that we're seeing some solid progress. that's helping us more efficiently work through certification on some of our new model aircraft such as the max
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as it's going through flight tests and entering into service so we're already seeing benefits there of some of the work that's being done for the faa. >> miles, he attributed that to the pro-business philosophy of the new trump administration. >> do you think deriglation -- is it proving that some of this deregulation or coziness is bad for the public, it's bad for boeing? what do you think? >> well, there's an expression in the aviation world and then the faa in particular, the rules are written in blood which is to say the reason the entire enterprise of aviation is so safe, and it is amazingly safe despite what we're talking about here today, is that we have learned from the mistakes of prior accidents and enacted regulations to ensure they don't happen again, and deconstructing that, walking that back, has grave consequences.
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the rules are written in blood and taking the rules away opens up the possibility of people getting hurt. >> miles o'brien, drew griffin, thank you so much to both of you. next, a new report says that president trump's son-in-law turned adviser jared kushner tops the list of people initially denied white house security clearance at the house and an american woman is kidnapped in the african nation of uganda and more on the frantic search to find her.
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the democrat chairman of the house judiciary committee has readied subpoenas for the full unredacted mueller report, still not police, and the supporting evidence in the investigation, this as attorney general william barr is still in the process of redacting parts of the almost 400-page mueller report a week and a half after briefly summarizing its find national a four-page letter. now the fight is overseeing the redaktd or this redacted or unredacted version and senators like lindsey graham says it's necessary. democrats like congressman jamie raskin want to see this thing cover to cover. congressman, you're on both the congressional oversight committee and the senate oversight committee.
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why is your chairman waiting to use the subpoenas? >> it's day 11 of the report held hostage by the attorney general, and we authorized the chairman of the judiciary committee, chairman nadler, to subpoena them whenever he wants at this point. we have tried to play nice with the attorney general, to do everything in our power to convince him just to turn it over. >> do you want the chairman to subpoena this now then if you're saying it's being held hostage and you want them to turn this over? why not now? >> well, at this point it's within the discretion of the chair, and so we've empowered him to do it, and he's going to do it when he thinks the time is right. i hope that the attorney general takes notice that we don't accept any more rationalizations oh, accused on the 11th day of this interminable and ridiculous waiting period. you know, kenneth starr turned over during the clinton impeachment the entire investigative report with boxes
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of supporting materials, unedited and uncensored to congress and it was up to congress to decide how to redact various kinds of information and we want to treat text act lit same way it's been done every other way. >> it's not the same though right? the special counsel -- and independent -- they are not the same thing. this is not governed by the same rules. >> well, i know that's a new talking point that the republicans floated yesterday, but from a constitutional perspective it's exactly the same point because congress has the constitutional oversight authority to get that material from the department of justice, whether it's under a statute or under a regulation. that's just a red herring. it's an irrelevant distraction from what we're talking about which is us vindicating our oversight power and doing the investigation that we need to do as the representatives of the american people. we are the article one branch, the law making government >> i want to say there were democrats years and years ago that felt differently about how much was turned over.
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>> i would lo love to clarify that. >> can i clarify that? >> no, no, because i want to talk about something else. >> that point is wrong just so your viewers understand because this was raised by the republicans yesterday and they said, for example, chairman nadler -- >> i'm going say this is something -- this is long before yesterday. this is just in the process -- >> if i can clarify, it it will take me one second. basically they are saying that the congress didn't want to make everything public. that may or may not be true in every case, but in every case the entire report came to congress and congress made whatever decisions were necessary. >> there's a lot of supporting documents that were not necessarily released did, not make it into the report to be clear that went to congress. >> no, no, no. >> i know what you're saying but there's -- this isn't -- i want to talk to you about these reports about the mueller team. i'm just telling you there were were -- there was information that did not make it into the information that still did go to
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congress, that this with a actually make your point, just to be clear. it wasn't in the report, did go to congress. >> i agree completely with that. >> it was accessible to congress. you have these members of the mueller team, and they think that the attorney general has mischaracterized their findings in that four-page summary that he gave. >> according to the "new york times," yes. >> according to multiple reports now. >> so they also say that he ignored summaries. they had written these summaries. they were under the impression that these were summaries that could be released pubically. in fact, they wrote them with that in mind trying to keep sensitive information out of it. the justice department says actually there was still sensitive in those summaries. what do you think? >> yes i think that we could be in the middle of a well ok well-orchestrated, well-choreographed ploy by the attorney general. every day that goes by there's a
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sense that they are forming public to make it harder in a particular way and the only way to counteract that very clear impression that we're getting is to read the report. we don't want to read the cliff note versions of "macbeth" written by the witches. we want to read it ourself in all its lurid and gory detail. we get to make our own decisions. that's the way it works. congress gets to decide the. people from the mueller team have kept things under wraps for ten years under the scrutiny of the republicans who called them fascists and witch hunters and all that kind of stuff and now we're not going to allow that work to be distorted from the attorney general of the united states. can you tell from read flag four-page press release it was not a fair and objective assessment of whatever is underneath. if it's true as the president is says that he's completely and totally exxon rated, they would be sending hancd-delivered copis to every household in america.
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so we don't believe it's complete exoneration in that report. >> if it were up to you, would you subpoena the full unredacted report right now? >> this evening? i don't know when i would do it but i would sound like -- >> you sound like you want it right at this moment. >> i think it was due to us, but obviously -- the chairman is dealing with a much broader canvas of questions in terms of dealing with the administration. >> it was due -- it was due to you by a deadline set up by democrats. >> yes. >> which -- which -- >> just to be fair. >> i would be doing it very soon. you're correctly intuiting how i feel about it. i think it's very important that congress have it and we turn it over as quickly as possible after we do the appropriate redactions to the american people. this is a democracy. a democracy runs on truth, and -- and truth is the basis that unites us, but if we start running our government based on lies and deception and cover-up and make that the normal standard operating procedure, we're moving into a very different form of government. >> are you telling your chairman, hey, let's get this
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moving? >> you know, i -- i love and trust chairman nadler, and i know that he's very eager for that information to be turned over to us, and so i think he knows how i feel. i've been very emphatic about this, and i think it goes right to the question of the separation of powers. we are not a co-equal branch as people are saying. we are the primary branch of government. we have primary. we're article one. we represent the people the president's job is to take care that the laws are faithfully executed. right now the president and his operatives are frustrating and thwarting the rule of law in america. >> congressman jamie raskin, thanks so much for joining us from capitol hill. >> i'm delighted to come. >> thanks. >> still ahead, why some of the president's biggest backers on the hill are pubically criticizing his policies. did you try this one? feel this one. it's amazing! twooooo... it's nice. but it's kinda pricey. hi. hi. you can't skimp on a decision this important. a mattress is where you'll spend over half your life
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a book that you're ready to share with the world? get published now, call for your free publisher kit today! president trump threatens to slap tariffs on vehicles made in mexico and to close the border unless mexico stops, quote, the massive amounts of drugs coming into the u.s. he made the comments within the last hour, and he says giving mexico a year to address the problem is his plan or else. >> the only thing frankly better but less drastic than closing the border is to tariff the cars coming in, and i will do it. just like -- you know i will do it. i don't play games. we're going to give them a one-year warning, and if the drugs don't stop or largely stop, we're going to put tariffs
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on mexico and products. >> the president's threat follows days of confusing comments and policy flip flops and republicans are pushing back on this. senator chuck grassley says the president's claim that noise from wind turbines causes cancer i'dotic. senators ted cruz and john cornyn warned about closing the southern bothered saying it would be, quote, devastating and, quote, a terrible mistake respectively. senators mitch mcconnell and house minority leader kevin mccarthy pushing back on the president's on again-off again healthcare approach, and then following the democrats' request to see president trump's tax returns republican senator john kennedy said he would like to see them, too. michael smerconish is a cnn political commentator and host of cnn's "smerconish" and joins us now. listening to everything that republicans are saying, i wonder if the president is saying et
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tu, republicans? what do you think? >> i think it's newsworthy because it's such a rarity. so few instances in the two-plus years that he's been in office where republicans, members of his own party have been willing to confront him, so when it does happen and happens in rapid succession, we all pay attention to it. i'm thinking of the executive order and the border, quote, unquote emergency being a significant exception to my observation, but he's real he free reign. he the president has opinion criticized plenty by democrats but so few times by members of his party, brianna, because of the concern that he excerpts such control over the base and over primary voters. >> so i want to ask you about this reporting that we're seeing that a number of mueller team investigators are from us trade because they don't think the attorney general's four-page summary of their report, which is almost 400 pages accurately depicts the findings in the mueller investigation. what do you think about this revelation? >> i think in the end we're
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going to get a look at it or at least be told exactly what's in the report. the question is how many americans will care by the time that that moment arrives because i think that the president has been engaged in a very effective inoculation campaign. i said it's the biggest inoculation effort since the world was rid of polio because he has laid such a foundation for the idea that not only was there a finding of no collusion, but there was no obstruction as well. we know that the latter just isn't true, that there was no finding in that regard, but i -- i think that many have -- have already moved on, and by the time that it comes out, i'm fearful, because i want to see it. i want to review the evidence, but i think that many will have already judged this entire episode. one other observation, if i may, you know, barr told us that this would be the case. in other words, attorney general bill barr told us when he was going through the confirmation hearing process let it be know, as i recall he didn't reference jim comey by name, but that he
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found it inappropriate that someone would get hammered by the justice department in a scenario where they weren't being indicted, and, of course, i took it as a reference to the whole handling of secretary clinton's email and what jim comey had to say. so i don't know that i'm all that surprised. if there wasn't a finding that led to something about the president, i don't know that i'm surprised that bill barr wants to keep it under wraps. >> all right. michael smerconish, the host of "smerconish" here on cnn, always thoughtful, and we always love having you on saturdays at 9:00 a.m. eastern. >> thank you. and next, an american is kidnapped while on safari in southwest uganda, and now there's a ransom demand. went to ancestry, i put in the names of my grandparents first. i got a leaf right away. a leaf is a hint that is connected to each person in your family tree. i learned that my ten times great grandmother is george washington's aunt. within a few days i went from knowing almost nothing to holy crow, i'm related to george washington.
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gang kidnapped an american tourist and her driver at gunpoint from a national park on tuesday evening on a safari through queen elizabeth national park near the border of the democratic republic of congo and police say the kidnappers use the victim's phone to demand a $500,000 ransom. kyra skinner is the director of policy planning at the state department. we're following this story with a considerable amount of interest. is there any more you could tell us about the american that was kidnapped and how the state department is helping with this? >> out of respect for the family, we aren't saying very much about this evolving crisis. but there are a few things i can share with your viewers. one, we would like those who are traveling or have loved ones in
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uganda to go on travel.state.gov for information about the travel status in uganda and we also suggest that you could keep up with the developments there through that website and always enroll when you are traveling abroad with the state department using that site. we do know that security forces are on the case in this unfortunate situation and we will be talking about it as we learn more. but this is an active investigation. >> the state department is involved and/or monitoring this? >> say that again? >> the state department is involved? is the state department monitoring this? how would you characterize that. >> the state department is always involved in what happens with american citizens abroad and does monitor and actively engages with the foreign partners, yes. >> i want to ask you about something else, the president
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announcing he's going to cut funding for aid for guatemala, honduras and el salvador for failing to address the issue of migration. there were observers looking at this and saying, how do you do this in how do you cut aid which could help the situation if the immigrants are fleeing violence and poverty that may actually be stemmed by that aid? does that just continue the cycle? how do you answer that? >> it doesn't continue the cycle. the cycle is continued because of the weak governance in the northern try ang countries that you just mentioned and the fact that the u.s. has given over many years to many countries something of a blank check in assistance without strict requirements about improvements and in civil society, health and welfare of the people and stronger govern sa stronger -- governance and as this exists the president is looking at facts on the ground which suggests the u.s. has to
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make hard choices. part of the issue of being a predominant power in the international system means that that state has to make hard choices on behalf of the system, provide a signal of leadership. this is an attempt to really suggest to our neighbors on the southern border that they, in fact, have to do much more for their own people. u.s. foreign assistance could not solve their local problems which are endemic over many decades, if not longer. >> i want to ask you about nato. the head of nato said the president's push for allies to increase defense spending is working. has this relationship between the u.s. and nato stabilized? >> i think so. but just your premise that it needs to be stabilized, i think it has always been stable. we're celebrating the 70th year of nato. there have been periods, peaks and valleys where we had
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disagreement, just as significant as the one recently about defense spending but it was nato countries themselves that agreed in 2014 to a pledge in wales of 202-% of gdp for defense. it is sig that in t-- it is sig in a the two years or more that donald trump spent in the white house there has been $41 billion additional from europeans and canada, nato partners with $100 billion more expected in years to come. the numbers don't matter. but the commitment to collective defense and the deterrent effect it has that we're putting more in collectively to work on our defense and in research and development to promote exotic technologies, to counter all of those who would challenge the 29 members and with north macedonia possibly 30 in the years ahead. this is what donald trump has ignited and it was the nato secretary general who in an
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unprecedented move talked about what an american president had done before the u.s. congress. >> kirron skinner, thank you for joining us from the state department. and ahead, the attorney general bill barr defending his summary after members of the robert mueller team say the findings of the investigation are more damaging than barr revealed. ♪ book now and enjoy free unlimited open bar and more. norwegian cruise line. feel free.
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hi there, i'm brooke baldwin and you're watching cnn. after 22 months of the special counsel at work, 34 people charged, five people sentenced, we begin with something never before seen from robert mueller and his team. leaks. about this letter by attorney general bill barr detailing the major conclusions of the mueller report. several investigators on the special counsel team are in a word, frustrated. they believe that barr did not

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