tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN February 18, 2017 8:00am-9:01am PST
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james mattis. in a speech earlier today pence made clear that the u.s. will continue to back nato and stand firm against moscow. >> know this. the united states will continue to hold russia accountable. even as we search for new common ground which as you know president trump believes can be found. >> for more on this i'm joined by cnn international diplomat editor nic robertson. nick, you first. how is pence trying to calm fears there? >> what he's doing is talking about the shared common history. he brought up it was 100 years ago the united states came into the first world war to fight shoulder to shoulder alongside the european nations to bring democracy to europe. he talked about a shared future, shared struggles, shared identity. you keep faith in us, we'll keep faith in you. really wanting to sort of build on those bonds of commonality.
this is something that the europeans want to hear. they've been very unsettled by what they've heard from president trump over the past month. very unsettled indeed. particularly about he might try to build a relationship with putin. that's been a big concern. at the same time, while mike pence is giving a speech here, these leaders here also seeing the tweets that president trump puts out by the day. his tweet today about the media, fake media, this is what we've come to hear recently. you have angela merkel here, the german chancellor who trump has criticized so much saying look, we respect the media, they are part of our democracy. so there's a very clear understanding here that they're dealing with an entirely different president and although his vice president, secretary of state, secretary of defense may be saying very positive things, there's still a real concern about the man who's actually,
you know, running the white house. so, you know, the messages here have gone down well, but those concerns still remain, fredericka. >> those tweets you speak of, while mattis, pence and kelly are there in munich, i don't believe the mainstream, fake news meed yadia is running very, i inherited a mess, i'm in the process of fixing it. then today he tweeted we'll be having many meetings this weekend, big speech in melbourne, florida. a lot to talk about. while all that's going on in terms of what we're hearing from donald trump, russia's foreign ministers also at this conference. how is he responding to this harder line by way of pence there in munich? >> well, not very well, fred. look, for all these messages by donald trump and other members of his campaign during the campaign, he -- they're seeing this kind of mixed message coming from the administration.
they were expecting a. warmer relationship. they were going to work together in syria. they were going to have a much more cooperative relationship between the u.s. and russia. you heard from defense secretary mattis, u.s. ambassador to the u.n nikki haley all taking about a tougher line with russia. they feel like this is not what they bargained for and they're talking about what they want to see is this kind of post cold war order where there's just not one super power. they're looking to be another super power. they thought once again and they thought that donald trump saw it that way. so clearly while the europeans feel they're getting mixed messages from this administration about the commitment to europe and about their commitment to be tough on russia, they're also -- you know, the rugs are alssians are
seeing the mixed message as well. >> while they will meet d diplomats in the common days it's unlikely they will head back to their capital. they might say a silent prayer that trump's three top diplomat stories align, but they won't believe anything until they hear it from trump's lips. so is there a feeling that even donald trump should be there instead of mike pence? >> you know, i think that there are many people here who would like to get to know the man better. they heard his campaign rhetoric. they've heard what he's had to say since he's been president. they can recognize that it's been dialed back and changed. but they're under no illusions that potentially there could be more u-turns along the way. from a european perspective, politicians here are for more used to saying what they mean and sticking to it rather than saying things that then change
and then u-turn. so they have questions about it. so would they be happier if he'd been here? i think they would look forward to when he comes. there's no doubt president trump has committed to events in europe, to a nato meeting, to a g. 8 meeting. all those are just a couple months away. no doubt the leaders here will hope to get some time with him to understand him better. but at the moment the only way they judge him is by his long press conferences, by his tweets, and by the other ways that he gets his message across. another campaign or a campaign rally today in florida. they will watch that and they'll recognize like many other people that the elections are still four years away. they know he's an unconventional leader. but they are going to need i think that face time to get more reassurance. but the reality is, you know, i was at a meeting of european leaders, eu. leaders two weeks ago and there was absolute real
concern there from the european perspective that they had kind of lost a good friend in the united states and that they were -- that the europeans were going to have to unite and themselves become sort of a beacon of liberal views, a le beacon of free trade. all these things. they were not really expecting this. those concerns remain. they're deeply unsettled still. >> let's leave it right there. while the vice president tries to reassure the allies that it is okay in the white house, some members of his own party are making it tough to do that. >> i think that the flynn issue obviously is something that is -- shows that in many reports this administration is in disarray and they've got a lot of work to do. >> i want to talk more about this with a former member of
trump's national security team, an associate professor of political science. good to see you. >> thanks for having me. >> that was just, you know, a part of a bigger critique that mccain provided about the trump administration in an open forum. what message are our allies taking from this? >> i would like them to take the fact that it was a seminal moment in the discussion about western value among those in the western family because if you listen closely at senator mccain's important speech, he talked about the potential erosion of democratic values, of western ideals in both the united states and a broad. he didn't really use the name donald trump, but he was clearly talking about is the american president. so i saw it as one take on american values and a warning about what may happen if we don't act in a vigilant manner to protect democracy, openness,
and freedom and free trade. but if you listen to vice president pence's speech, it was another version of a defense of western values. i think if you put them side by side, you say a more comprehensive discussion that makes one remember the fact that there's not one way of thinking about what the west is and what it should do. that it is a contest of ideas about freedom. and i think both men contributed to that discussion in a powerful way in munich. >> it sounds like you're saying these mixed messages are not probl problematic. >> i don't really see them as mixed messages. i see them as an open discussion about the future of the west and reminding all of us that at the base of the discussion about iraq, afghanistan, what's going on in syria and iraq is about how do we position ourselves as
western democracies as the beacons of freedom and what are the requirements, defense spending, commitment to certain ways of collaborating, reassuring alliance relationships. so i saw them as different parts of a larger discussion. >> okay. so listen to the vice president pence and his comments on nato this morning. >> today on behalf of president trump i bring you this assurance c . the united states of america strongly supports nato and will be unwaivering in our commitment to this transatlantic alliance. >> okay. so while he added this nato members need to pay their fair share, he's also echoing the president's sentiments, how are nato allies supposed to understand that? >> if you listen to everything he said about nato in that speech, you played one quip where early on he said that the united states was firmly
committed to nato. later in the speech he reminded the audience that of the 28 nato members, only four have lived up to the pledge of 2% of gdp toward defense. and he said we need better burden sharing. and there was faint applause when he made that statement. he did not say that nato was obsolete. >> and then you heard our nic robbers robb -- saying they may have lost a good friend in the u.s. and russia trying to pull us even closer. >> if you listen again to pence and to the other american diplomats who were speaking, they all were in lock step on the view that russia is a threat
to the baltic states, to the west more bradley, that the minsk agreement needs to be adhered to by the rugs in ukraine to help deescalate the cries it there. all of the american diplomats have been given a very strong anti-russia message that i think has been reassuring to the europeans. but like nic said, it's about what happens when those diplomats go back home and our president donald trump then reaffirms what they have said. >> all right. thanks so much, we're going to have you back. we're going to take a short break for now and we're going to also discuss the president's potential picks for national security director when we come right back. today, unlimited gets the network it deserves. verizon. (mic thuds) uh, sorry. it's unlimited without compromising reliability, on the largest, most advanced 4g lte network in america. (thud)
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polly you'r . welcome back. president trump has a pretty busy weekend ahead at his resort in florida. he is expected to meet with three potentially candidates to head the national security council. they are retired lieutenant general keith kellogg, former u.s. ambassador to the u.n. john bolton and nick master. this comes after the president fired michael flynn. the president will be back to his campaign roots. he's holding a ral nely in mou melbourne, florida. what do we know about the potential candidates? >> for one thing we know the president wants to get this right after michael flynn was removed from the position so early in the trump presidency that the president is making care to make sure that his replacement is someone that can stay on the job for some time. let's go through the candidates
that are going to be at mar-a-lago. keith kellogg is someone who is well thought of in the white house. the staffers appreciate him. he would like to stay on in the job but it's clear that trump is going to take a look at some other candidates including mcmaster, the general who you see here is someone who's also very well respected. he's got a ph.d. in history and has more than 30 years of experience. but the front runner appears to be the former ambassador to the united nations john bolton. this is someone who did support the iraq war but we are learning he's starting to grow with support within the white house. in fact, a number of nsc political staffers seem to support bolton, so donald trump going to interview all three candidates this weekend and the hope is that he makes a decision in the very near future.
>> ryan noble, thanks so much. we'll check back with you. i want to bring back kyrin skinner. she is a former member of tru-- keith kellogg who was sevenirvis the act security advisor. he said he would take the post if president trump was to offer it. if he's the acting, why would it not mean he's a shoe in? >> i think just what the prior speaker said. i believe the president wants to get it right this time so that he doesn't face what ronald reagan faced during his eight years as president. six national security advisors. basically one every 14 to 16 months. that's not productive for the white house or the national security council so i think he wants to be deliberate and talk to a number of people. i know each person that's visiting mar-a-lago are
mavericks in their open right. i would not want to be in the president's shoes to make that decision, but i would support each one. and i think he's going to make a good choice this time. not that flynn was the wrong choice, but the national security council is a unique part of the national security structure of the u.s. and getting the person that understands that he's not a member of the cabinet, he or she, that it's a staff job in the white house, that done properly it's really a back office think tank that produces the ideas that facilitates the discussion among the secretary of state, defense and the other principles. it's hard to find a person who's willing to take that role and stay in that lane. >> this just in, according to senior administration officials, there is strong support among the nsc for john bolton to be the national security advisor given his knowledge of washington and foreign policy, his supporters are also billing him as an outsider, so being an
outsider, you would think would help him in the case of donald trump who has said he wants to take the nontraditional route. >> he is, but he is a maverick in civil society. unlike the other two, mcmaster and kellogg, he is not a military many. he's had a distinguished career at state, defense, usa, i.d., the justice department and the u.n. he's been in part of the scene for a long time. he's been on fox news really making the case about u.s. foreign policy and national security in a way that no one else has. and with a consistency in the last few years, he's really without peer in that way. >> president trump said he was considering four potential candidates. we just named three. do you know who the fourth person could be? >> i don't know. maybe it's me, i don't think so.
zblld y >> would you take it? >> not at this point. i love being an academic. but i believe in our country and i would like to serve and support all of our national security leaders and the president's building a very strong team. but i believe there are probably more people that he's thinking about. and will probably meet with in the next few days. >> thanks so much. good talking to you. >> thank you. >> coming up, democrats are still upset after a bruising election, but not for long. they're plotting a comeback and flocking to social media. i use what's already inside me to reach my goals. so i liked when my doctor told me that i may reach my blood sugar and a1c goals
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trump connects with his voters on social media. democrats still hurting over their losses of the white house and both houses of congress are now plotting a comeback that involves social media. here's cnn brian stelter. >> should i keep the twitter going or not? keep it going? >> reporter: president trump has been lining up feather ruffling tweets since his inauguration. but on capitol hill the democrats have been blocking to social media too. >> join me by calling your congress person. >> reporter: their aptitude for a new era of communication. >> the more attention they can draw to something, the more likely it is they will get some
sort of victory out of it. >> reporter: for years now adam has been helping members of congress learn how to use social media. >> social. >> -- minority leader chuck schumer is overhauling the democratic media center and implementing a new strategy. >> we are reaching the american people where they facebook. snapchat. instagram. twitter. hi, everybody. >>. >> reporter: it's just in time for controversial confirmation hearings that most con tstituen didn't watch live. most watched short snippets meant to sway their opinion. >> yes or? >> similar this clip of education secretary nominee betsy devos received more than 25 million views on senator schumer's facebook page.
and hawaii senator brian shots posted this series. earlier this month republicans stopped democratic saer-- from. >> i am surprised that the words of co coretta scott king are not suitable for debate in the united states senate. so she logged on to facebook live. >> i just want to read the letter. >> it used to just be the moment on the day of the hearing was when people pay attention. now you have this after effect. it's the means tch. it's the unflattering clips t. really is a full cycle that is what the nominees have to kind of weather. >> after president obama's inaugurate in 2009 republicans stepped up their social media game as well beginning a year long messaging competition with the white house. >> the president made an outstanding choice. >> reporter: now both parties are seeing more followers. they're sharing talking points
on more platforms than ever but also adding to the false information. >> just this morning trump tweeted and this is a quote, skap goat. >> it's not -- it's stone wall. that's what the republicans are doing. >> national security advisor michael flynn on tuesday. >> still ahead fbi director james comey goes behind closed doors with the senate intelligence committee. we'll take a closer look at the mystery meeting and why senator mar c is tweeting a bipartisan investigation will be conducted. if you have moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis like me,
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u.s. ambassador to the united nations john bolton, lieutenant general h.r. mcmaster and acting national security advisor keith kellogg. here with me now to discuss all of this cnn white house reporter steven colinson, patrick he willy and lynn sweet, washington bureau chef for the "chicago sun-times." good to see all of you. you just reported that senior administration officials are showing strong support among the nsc for john bolton to be the national security advisor given his knowledge of washington. his supporter are also billing him as an outsider. what are the other reasons that he's being favored. >> i think political appoint tees are in sync with john bolton to start with. he's been a controversial character in washington. he had to get a recess appointment to serve as george w. bush's u.n. ambassador but he is clearly preferred by some of the political staffers.
although there's a great deal of affection for general kellogg and they would like to see him remain as chief of staff, bolton is someone that sort of fills the boxes for this administration in a number of ways. he's clearly an anti-establishment figure. that's something that might appeal to the president. but he also has an in-depth knowledge of how washington works and how foreign policy process is conducted in washington. i think those are the reasons that some people see him as potentially a good candidate for this. at the end of the day it all depends on the president. he's the person who has to spend hours with his national security advisor. clearly it has to be someone with whom he is comfortable. we're going to see how this plays out. >> it seems odd to someone that he would still be considered an outsider. patrick, trump's most recent pick, retired vice admiral robert heyward, he declined the job offer sighting family
reasons. that's an unusual move that the white house would put out his name if they weren't so sure about his reaction? >> right. and they were scrambling on that. the concern was that after general flynn, you know, stepped down, they wanted to fill that vacuum very quickly. they were concerned that a lot of people who might be seen as a first tier candidates might look at what was going on with steve bannon on nsc, with jared kushner playing a large advisor ro role and ron dwonder how is thi going on work and how much influence? i think the situation with our top choice kind of bowing out through them. now they're looking at names. the one thing with john bolton, he's sort of a disrupter in a way that trump likes. i talked to trump last fall
about bolton in just terms of various people in the mix about what a trump administration might look like. he talked about how blunt bolton was, how he knew that what bolton said was, like, very direct and he sort of knew where the guy stood. he clearly liked that. but the reality is that for at least some republicans and for a lot of democrats in washington, this would be seen as a controversial pick and the question is do you want to go from one controversy on the national security advisor to kind of another figure like that? >> so with that in mind, would there be a feeling that there would be changes within the inner circle to try to appeal to someone who would be less of a disru disrupter? >> that's a real question. steve bannon and jared kushner very much have the president's confidence. they're people who very much see geo politics that they're interested in influencing.
i don't see president trump putting any kind of boundaries around them. the national security advisor is a difficult position. you're in conflict with the secretary of state, with the defense secretary, with the u.n. ambassador. the question is do you have someone like the current acting national security advisor who might be more of a facilitate or and peace maker or do you have a power player like bolton? >> with no national security adviser in place, who does have the president's ear on national security right now? >> i would go along with the consensus that it's steve bannon in this vacuum right now and jared kushner because they have the closest physical proximity to them. i want to point out something about john bolton to remember. he was a united nations ambassador as was noted here. one of the most note worthy things i thought about his tenure is he was not a believer at the time he was there necessarily in the mission of the united nations.
he was very skeptical of what the united nations was doing and i believe that would underscore and emphasize, that trump would have toward the institution both domestic and global i. his u.n. ambassador nikki haley going by what her first speech was seems more of a conventional believer in what the united nation system trying to do. but i would like february bolton to have an even more heightened interest in policy dealing with iran and isreal. >> let's talk about russia now. and that closed door meeting. james comey was part of that. we saw pictures of him emerging after leaving members of the senate intelligence committee and then out of that meeting senator marco rubio tweeted this. i am now confident the senate intel committee i serve on will conduct thorough bipartisan
investigation of putin interference. what does that say to you a tweet coming from somebody who has not been in the practice of doing that and really the only member to reveal something about that meeting? >> this is a very rare occasion in washington where there's a meeting of senators and nobody p knows exactly what went on in the meeting. there's been no leaks which tends to make you believe this was a significant session that james comey held with these senators. the fact that marco rubio who is clearly a russia hawk in terms of foreign policy and his attitude towards president vladimir putin and the geo political moves that he's made says an investigation is going to be sweeping i guess tends to make you think that's possibly going to be the case. there have been real concerns about democrats on capitol hill that what's going to happen is what the republicans are going
to try to sweep all this under the rug somehow and not conduct hearings and an investigation that could put the president in a poor light. so i think we have to wait and see exactly what comes out of this. the senator from virginia has been a key figure from the democratic side. he has so far said he believes there's going to be a goodbye partisan, looking to see exactly how russia influenced the elections. >> very confident that there will be that bipartisan effort. real quick, lynn. >> one thing, another significant point to what rubio tweeted out is right now one of the lines that president trump is trying to advance is that the whole questions about russia is
ruse. it's worth an inquiry. >> thanks so much to all of you. appreciate it. >> thank you. >> we'll be right back. a little diversion from news. a little sports coming up. on my long-term control medicine. i talked to my doctor and found a missing piece in my asthma treatment with breo. once-daily breo prevents asthma symptoms. breo is for adults with asthma not well controlled on a long-term asthma control medicine, like an inhaled corticosteroid. breo won't replace a rescue inhaler for sudden breathing problems. breo is specifically designed to open up airways to improve breathing for a full 24 hours. breo contains a type of medicine that increases the risk of death from asthma problems and may increase the risk of hospitalization in children and adolescents. breo is not for people whose asthma is well controlled on a long-term asthma control medicine, like an inhaled corticosteroid. once your asthma is well controlled, your doctor will decide if you can stop breo and prescribe a different asthma control medicine, like an inhaled corticosteroid. do not take breo more than prescribed. see your doctor if your asthma does not improve or gets worse. ask your doctor if 24-hour breo
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inside stuff, kristen ludlow and grant hill. we talked about the all-star excitement to their thoughts about players taking a stand on cultural and political issues. >> so what do you look forward in an all-star weekend? >> oh, man. >> a lot. >> there is a lot to look forward to in an all-star weekend. the game itself. we've got the rookies going at it. we've got the three-point contest, the dunk contest. i mean, there's a lot to look forward to zblmt it's. >> it's a lot of fun tch. it's great to see players do their stuff but we're also seeing on display many of the players who are finding it part of their responsibility, not necessarily a risk to be outspoken about very serious issues. >> i think it's interesting how many people tell these guys to stick to sports when the reality is they have a platform. there are thousands if not millions of people listening to
everything that they have to say, to everything that we have to say. i love seeing these guys step up and speak on things that matter. they don't have to stick to sports. they can stick to the platform they've been given. >> without a doubt. guys today with social media, there's a comfort level, there's a platform. you have an audience. they speak their message. i think back to 20 years ago when we played, we didn't necessarily take advantage of that opportunity. i think things are a little bit more easier for them now to get their message across. there's different ways they can voice their opinions or concerns about social issues. i applaud what these young men are doing. i wish we could go back maybe and do some things differently during my time back in the '90s. >> is the nba setting the example about being here in new orleans as opposed to being in charlotte? >> without a doubt. adam silver and the nba fr officials are taking a stance by
moving the all-star game which we know would have brought a lot of economic -- had a significant economic impact on the city of charlotte. so deciding at the last minute to move and bring it back to new orleans, i think sends a strong message. the league is also i think very supportive and understanding of players today and todayi and understanding the impact they can have through their voice, speaking out on various issues as they have. >> particularly in this presidency it seems to have inspired more athletes to be outspoken. steph curry being outspoken with the ceo of under armor in his position of the trcump administration. is there concern when an athlete does that? >> i really don't think so. i don't. i think steph curry what he's done speaking out, knowing he has that kind of relationship with under armour and then to see the response from their ceo kevin plank issuing a new -- a o
oh changing his stance. >> a modification. >> i think that shows you the power that athletes have. somebody like steph curry speaking out on something he's passionate about really impacting not just the people who follow him, but also the organization and the leadership at under armour. >> i think this is the first time we've had a generation of young men who have had the ability to be able to speak out like they have. i think i can count on one han the number of men i can hold their character up against anything. steph is one of them. this guy next to me is one of them. it's a privilege to see these guys speak about important things on a much larger scale. >> sports is a mike ro comp of life. if you look around people are speaking out. people are protesting in a nonviolent way. people are very outspoken about their opinions one way or the other, whether it's political, whether it has to do with a number of different issues.
so i think that's the world we're in. sports reflects. that you see a lot of these guys, and thanks for chose kind words. >> slip me a 20 later. >> these are young guys, but here we are talking about lebron james is a senior at 32. his 13th all-star game. >> it's amazing. i played in lebron's first all-star game in denver. to see him and watch his career and how he's not just developed into just a fantastic basketball player, the best basketball player of this era, but just a fantastic person. businessman. he knows the platform he has. he's somebody that's been a great ambassador for the nba but really a great ambassador for sports in general. the way he's conducted himself, coming in so young and just having a storied career. he's somebody that we all should applaud for how he's gone about his business. >> is there a particular message you think some of the nba
players are trying to send particularly to young people today? >> i think really just to be yourself. to be comfortable with who you are. don't feel like you have to necessarily conform. i think it really also is indicative of the spirit of that generation. and so millennials, there's sometimes some negative things said, but there's really a lot to admire. and so i think they understand the importance of relationships. they have sort of a big picture perspective. it's not sort of all work and no play. there's really great balance. i don't know. just the spirit that i see of these young play ares and how they enjoy themselves. and they're true to who they are. they keep it real. and that's something among other things to admire. >> all right. grant hill and kristen keeping it real right there. we've got much more straight ahead at 2:30 eastern time. take you back to new orleans for our nba all-star weekend special. that's coming up right here on cnn.
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weekend trip to mar-a-lago for the president. and first lady and of course, there's the first lady's rez the dense in new york. as tom foreman reports, the price tag for security is becoming a big number. >> the cost of protect iing the jet setting first family could be epic. starting with the president, the vice president, wives, confidants, children and grand kid, over 20 people from the get go. >> it's unprecedented. >> cnn security analyst says the equation is complicated by the trump family working out of so many places. the white house, the mar-a-lago club in florida, several private residences in and out of d.c. and trump tower in new york, which the first lady calls home. secret service director joseph clancy. >> when i go into trump tower, the restaurant is full. starbucks is full of people, so the challenges to a lot of those businesses to continue to operate, but in a secure manner.
>> in the work, permanently hiring out a whole floor for security operations. >> to give you a sense, that would be 13,000 square feet of prime new york real estate at a four year market value of $6 million. although the president could give his team a deal. another worry, most of trump's children are grown and involved in business, meaning lots of travel. "washington post" put the secret service hotel bill p for a son's trip to south america at $100,000 and two sons are opening a golf course in dubai this weekend. >> i would ta is most challenging trips for us are the foreign trips. >> every time a president takes off, up to 300 people go along. teams for personal security, countier assault, intelligence, surveillance, emergency response, military support, transportation, communications, staffing and more. price tag is hard to pin down, but a government study found a
three-day trip by president obama in 2013 cost taxpayers 3.6 million. so, will the total security bill be tens of millions? is hundreds? >> it's very hard to forecast. what the cost is going to be. >> other presidents have raised security challenges with their lifestyles and travel. bxz's vacations in martha's vineyard, george bush's retreats to texas, barack obama's holidays in hawaii. and cnn has told just protecting vice president biden family took nearly 50 agents. >> the next hour of cnn news room starts right after this. in a hurry? no time for a bath? johnson's head-to-toe cleansing cloths. they're twice as big as regular wipes,
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hello, again, everyone. the trump administration ruling out -- security conference in an effort to alleviate concerns of u.s. allies over seas. in a speech today, pence said the u.s. will support nato and hold russia account b. this as marco rubio hints at russia's links into the u.s. election may be forthcoming. tweeting this, i am now confident senate intel i serve on will conduct thorough investigation of
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