tv New Day Saturday CNN May 20, 2017 4:00am-5:01am PDT
saturday morning. i'm christi paul and we have a special guest -- >> i'm martin savidge in for victor blackwell. nice to see you and as always with you. this morning president trump is in saudi arabia kicking off the first day of an ambitious international trip but here at home a world of new problems unfolding for the vows, live pictures by the way. >> as the president is greeted there by king salman and the leader there is in saudi arabia, but there are reports this morning that the president bragged to the russians about firing the fbi director, director comey there, and those issues seemed to be following him to riyad. this hour you see him again receiving this royal welcome. this is at the official arrival ceremony, in about 15 minutes they will go to a coffee ceremony there, and a few hours ago, the president stepped off air force one to a red carpet military band and a jet flyover as well. that is on your right-hand side. live pictures there on left.
saudi king salman greeted both the president and first lady with a handshake. the president and the saudi king will hold bilateral meetings. more in a moment. we want to give you a sense for what's happening this morning as the president arrives to his first foreign trip and he chose saudi arabia for it. but first let's get to cnn's ryan nobles, he is in washington with the latest on the flood of leaks involving the president, russia and the fired fbi director. ryan? >> martin, good morning to you. we'll continue to watch the live pictures of president trump with the saudi king greeting some members of the military there in saudi arabia, but even though the president is out of town, the cloud surrounding the investigation into russia's attempt to intervene in the u.s. election remains and the white house wasn't really thrilled with the idea of a special counsel being named but there was some hope it would rein in the drip, drip, drip of reports
and accusations, but at the last 24 hours, if they are any indication it seems as though the leaks will continue. first the explosive report from the "new york times" that says that trump bragged to the russian foreign minister and the russian ambassador about his firing of james comey, even used some pretty strong language to attack comey calling him crazy and a nut job, and we're also hearing reports from our own sources, pam brown hearing from a source very close to james comey that he believes personally the former fbi director believes personally that the president was attempting to influence his judgment on the russian investigation but whether or not that rises to the level of obstruction of justice is an open question. so the president and the white house to a certain extent were hoping that this trip to saudi arabia would change the conversation. he's going to be in a number of other countries as well, show him as the leader of the free
world, doing presidential things, but there is so much happening in washington right now surrounding this russian investigation, even though robert mueller is in place as special counsel, his investigation is just at the front end and so there is a lot that's going to happen over the next couple of months that the white house has to deal with. martin? >> ryan nobles thanks for the view from washington. let's get back to the view from saudi arabia, it is history, as we point out and jim acosta is live there in riyad. jim, what have we been watching and what do we expect further to see? >> reporter: we've been watching the president welcomed by the saudi king, king salman here in riyad. it's been a pretty colorful spectacle, this official welcoming ceremony for president trump here in riyad. you'll see more of that pomp and circumstance over the next 24 hours as the president meets
with saudi officials and other gulf leaders. he's delivering a big peach to the muslim and arab world tomorrow. during that speech he'll call on the muslim world to do more in the fight against terrorism. even though the president looks pretty fresh, looks rested in these pictures we're told by reince priebus, the chief of staff, the president did not get a lot of sleep in this flight from washington over to riyad. so it will be interesting to watch the president's movements because this is gk to oing to b grueling for the president on his first foreign trip. some interesting color as you noted melania trump was not wearing a head scarf when she arrived in riyad, sort of not really in keeping with norms, tradition am norms here in saudi arabia. evan kra tru
ivanka trump not wearing a head scarf. at the same time, this is a president who has really defied conventional wisdom in the past and he'll do it here i assume on this foreign trip. martin it's interesting to watch how the president conducts himself on the first foreign trip. as you heard from ryan nobles he has so many controversies swirling around him in washington and no escaping those controversies when you get on the road. >> all right, cnn's jim acosta, thanks very much. very good to fill in the color for us there and give us a clearer understanding of who is doing what and when. joining us now to talk further about this as we continue to watch these images and we will continue to show them to you as we discuss matters that may be domestic as well, joey jackson is part of the cnn legal team, analyst and criminal defense attorney, paris dennard, and alex pappas, "washington examiner" and breaking news editor. let's tart first with president
jump in saudi arabia right now. i imagine that he is not only hoping to reset relations with the country but maybe trying to get away from all that is happening politically back home here in the united states. ♪ do you think i guess do all of you, it's going to work? in other words is he go to be able to use the world stage to distract what what's happening in washington? joey first. >> good morning, martin. that's a question largely up to him. remember we have a president who takes on his enemies and not afraid to do so, tweets and speaks his mind freely. i think it's about staying on message. if he makes this about international relations for the united stat united states improving lives at home the narrative could shift to that. make no mistake these are interesting and trying times back at home. to that ekt tent when you have all of the things that are
swirling about an independent investigator, riussian meddling his statements of comey being a nut job it has us talking about domestic issues when you see him there in saudi arabia. the bottom line is if the president continues to be presidential on the trip and makes it what he's doing and how it affects america at home by improving relations yes, i think the narrative can shift. otherwise if he continues to be baited about i his enemy answer take that bait and tweet about it or get involved in it we'll be continuing to talk about the significant issues we have at home as it relates to his significant legal troubles. >> let me ask paris, do you think that -- sources are telling cnn white house lawyers are researching impeachment. what kind of evidence is needed forever impeachment and how seriously do you take the fact these lawyers are brushing up on what to know?
>> well the white house has denied the claims and they are claims that they, the counsel's office is looking up the terms for impeachment and what that means. we know in the past when impeachment trials have happened, things such as obstruction of justice and lying under oath. what we have to keep in mind is what i think bob woodward said quite correctly that the media and a lot of reporters are binge drinking on the anti-krooptrump kool-aid. had is more leak focusing on what we know to be true, that there is no evidence of any collusion between the trump campaign and russia. dianne feinstein, the senator from california has said there's no proof or evidence of that, we should take her at her word, and
senate lindsey graham has said that. this is not about the trump white house. this is about the campaign and alleged collusion, no proof or fact of evidence of that being said and the russian government. so what we see now is the president focusing on what he's supposed to do. he is focusing on his international trip. it is important to remember when president obama wept there, the king did not greet him at the airport. totally different scenario here. you see the saudi arabian government roll out the opportunity. this president has an aunt too reset relations with saudi arabia and how the american and saudi arabia and whole region focuses on getting rid of isis and islamic radical islam. very important thing. >> i want to bring in alex before we run out of time. alex, we know that the president had been highly critical of muslims during the campaign, and we also know of course what's
playing out domestically as far as politics. how does this weigh into the thought process of the saudis? do they look at a president who has just arrived and say he's already damaged? >> a good question and one when trump makes the big speech to muslim leaders s is in saudi a tomorrow. lot of conservatives and liberal will be interesting to see if if he uses "razical islamic terrorism" something he made a big deal about the campaign, before he ran he criticized hillary clinton and barack obama for not talking about that phrase in terrorism. trump plays to his audience. it's something he'd say talking to republicans or conservatives. now that he's in vosaudi arabia will he use that phrase? i think immediately that's a big
thing people will be looking for when he gives that speech tomorrow. >> you're looking at live pictures of the coffee ceremony how it's described in the time line here. just another example of one, the opulence of the saudi kingdom and two the warm welcome it appears president trump is receiving. stick around. we'll have more to discuss. we're going to continue to follow the pictures here and the moment here. we'll let you just sort of listen to what it's like to be in the room and what a large room it is. >> it's interesting, you see first lady melania speaking with one of the leaders there. >> jim acosta, she didn't have her head covered. saudi arabia is a very
conservative news limb natio it appears that is not a practice commonly done that the american would show with the head uncovered. nic robertson will join us after a quick break, let's continue to watch him quickly and we'll be right back. dear predictable, there's no other way to say this. it's over. i've found a permanent escape from monotony. together, we are perfectly balanced, our senses awake, our hearts racing as one. i know this is sudden, but they say: if you love something... set it free. see you around, giulia ♪
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as is ivanka his daughter and senior adviser to the president, jared kushner, also his son-in-law. you can see the plethora of photographers that are there. rex tillerson, secretary of state we also saw him in the crowd as well, and here they are leaving to go to a meeting, this was the official coffee ceremony that we saw. what is really going to be watched closely is what happens tomorrow as the president will address 50 muslim leaders according to the national security adviser general h.r. mcmaster the leaders of the muslim countries will be hearing a speech and the topic will be the need to confront rodical ideology and the president's hope for a peaceful vision of islam to dominate across the world. nic robertson is in riyad. talk about what's happening today but the intention for this speech tomorrow and the
significance of it. >> the intention is to deliver a message, a nuanced message, one of respect but the leaders listening to president trump and this is what he'll explain to them, should and need to communicate to their faithful the people of their countries muslim, arab, regional leaders that islam is a faith of peace and tolerance and that's what he'll be communicating to them and that is what we've been hearing from government spokesmen and heard it from people on the street. just looking at those pictures of how the room was arranged and where everyone sat, because of that, that is so key in figuring out who is in, who is out, who is powerful, but look at the way they were sitting there having the coffee. king salman on his right-hand side president trump. on the king's left-hand side,
melania, sitting next to her the crowned prince, the interior minister, the second most powerful man in the country. after him on his other side you had rex tillerson, followed by the deputy crowned prince, the king's son. sort of the main power players in the country. the king with president trump, one side melania trump on the other side and on the other side of president trump ivan ka and jared kushner with and with both entourages in the huge room. the amount of time the king is giving to president trump here, the amount of time they're spending together, the length of the photo opportunities we're seeing, the detail that we're seeing, the amount of time they're walking around the palaces together we don't normally get this much, the saudis don't normally provide
this much insight and time with a visiting u.s. president. this is symbolic in the way it's managed and we're getting insight into the importance of the way the saudis are treating this but absolutely as you say, that message on saturday, and in front of 50 or more regional and muslim arab leaders very important in the way it's nuanced. we heard from the malaysian prime minister who has written for a newspaper in saudi arabia, the malaysian prime minister a key player and a key person will be listening to president trump tomorrow, he sees this as an opportunity, president trump's opportunity to take the western and arab muslim relationship to a new level and he said it's very clear we must communicate to our people that terrorism is not islam. so certainly what president trump is hoping to say and what is expected to say is being amplified and reciprocated by the leaders who will be attending. when it this is something that president trump wants.
this is the message he's delivering. we need to separate out the good from the evil, the terrorism from islam, and that's what we're expecting to hear. nuanced version. >> nic, you gave us a great sense of what was happening in this coffee ceremony in terms of the seating placements and time given publicly we're able to watch here. talk to us about the intention of the event. why would king salman want to be so public with all of this? is it attached to the proposed arms deal between the two countries? >> reporter: absolutely. there's business. there's politics. if we look at the regional politics, the saudis want president trump and the united states to strongly back them against iran. they think they have a kindred spirit in president trump. they want and believe that can he because he's a president that
traits outside the box, doesn't always listen to his advisers he can shift the dialogue on the israeli/palestinian piece. rather large hope. the foreign had inster described donald trump as courageous. we'll hear a lot of praise heaped on president trump but yes, the business part of it. the saudis looked at what president obama do z during the arab spring and nuclear deal with iran upsetting the balance in the region. they felt the united states didn't support it, the regional allies the with a i they used to. they invested in defense and security and now the world's third largest security spender. 21% of their budget next year will be spent on weapons and defense. their defense contracts with the united states are bigger than with any other country around the world, and that will be a key part of what we can expect to be a number of business deals that could be signed while
president trump is here. it doesn't matter which administrati administration, the saudis have been buying weapons from the united states for a long time. it's a competitive market and the deputy crowned prince wants the saudi to develop their own weapons industry. who will they turn for the expertise and help doing that, likely also the united states. not just in the next year but years going forward that's what president trump hopes to get a stake in and what is initially on the table as he meets with the kings and the king's immediate deputies. >> i bring in alex pappas "the washington examiner"'s breaking news editor. alex, you heard nic sort of break it down there. let's remember the kind of falling out that the previous administration had, in part it was over the iran nuclear deal and also over the war saudi arabia is waging in yemen. where does trump stand, this
administration when it comes to that particular conflict? >> the question of why would the king be so interested in talking to trump. obviously he sees the availability for a reset here with the new administration. it's interesting to see details and things of their going out of the way to make trump comfortable, having well done steak with ketchup on the side to make trump as comfortable as they can to talk about the issue answer push them on the things they want to change. this is no easy thing for trump coming in on a big trip like this and not even just because of the scandals that are back home that he's having to deal with. any president, any politician that goes overseas, there are so many delicate things you have to deal with and just accidentally offending your host could completely trample any message you have. the white house has a message that they want. 'going to be i think pretty difficult considering everything in the world that's going on for them to push that.
>> all righty. alex, stand by. stay with us here. nic will as well. we'll take a quick break and be back in a moment as you look at live pictures from saudi arabia of president trump's first foreign trip. whoa! you're not taking these. hey, hey, hey! you're not taking those. whoa, whoa! you're not taking that. come with me. you're not taking that. you're not taking that. you're not taking that. mom, i'm taking the subaru. don't be late. even when we're not there to keep them safe, our subaru outback will be. (vo) love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru.
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these make cleaning between myi love easy.sy. gum brand for healthy gums. soft picks, proxabrush cleaners, flossers. gum brand. so grateful to have your company as always. i'm christi paul. >> and i'm martin savidge in for victor blackwell. president trump's first international trip under way, being overshow sha douadowed by into possible ties to russia. the quote "great pressure" he felt from the russia probe had been taken off. >> now this of course as the president starts an eight-day trip through the middle east and europe, and you see here his meeting with the saudi king just
moments ago. the goal here is to reset relations with the muslim world. >> i want to bring in cnn sceneor white house correspondent jim acosta, live in riyad, and contributing writer for cnn and alex pa las "washington examiner" breaking news editor. let me start with you, jim. you've been watching this ceremony, this is video from moments ago, and just remarkable to see who is in the room, and how formal this is playing out especially because we get to see it all. >> reporter: that's right. some stunning images coming out of saudi arabia of the president, first lady, members of the first family, ivanka trump, jared kushner also in the room and seeing some top level officials in the trump administration, the commerce secretary wilbur ross, national security adviser h.r. mcmaster, chief of staff reince priebus
and so on and as you're watching these pictures i think it's remarkable to see and i think a lot of americans are probably watching their tvs this morning and thinking the same thing. there is president trump on his first foreign trip overseas and he could not be perhaps in a more interesting place meeting in saudi arabia, meeting with the saudi king embarking on a very ambitious eight-day foreign trip. past presidents have gone to mexico or canada as part of their first foreign trip. you talk to foreign policy experts and diplomatic experts they'll say that is the more cautious conservative approach to take a president and drop him into a diplomatic setting that is perhaps less challenging than going to the middle east but this president if you talked to his top officials he wants to take this on, and so that's why you're going to see the president deliver with is a very interesting speech to the muslim world tomorrow, his chief
speechwriter steven miller has been working on this. worked on it, on air force 1 with the president during their trip from washington to riyad. of course there will be a lot of talk and so far that's obviously the undercurrent when you're looking at the pictures, a lot of talk of how this president talked about muslims generally throughout the course of his campaign and into the early days of this administration. remember, this is a president who proposed a muslim travel ban in the u.s. when he was a candidate and then when he came right into office, proposed a travel band from majority muslim countries which got tied up in court but when you took to the foreign policy experts we heard from a number of them as the president was preparing for this trip. the president and the saudis do have some foreign policy subjects and topics and priorities in mind, first and foremost, providing a check on iran in this region. the president and the saudis,
the u.s. and the saudis are just as concerned about iran's reach into this part of the world, and they want to provide a check on that, so that's a big part of the conversations here but no question, this is a huge, huge diplomatic challenge for the president. he's going to be not only talking to the muslim world but traveling to israel and the vatican after this, so this could not be a more ambitious trip by any stretch. >> jim, thank you so much. i want to bring anushah into the conversation and play some video of a stunning moment, jim was talking about the publicity of this, and how much we're seeing that you see that chain around, the gold necklace around the president trump's neck there. saudi king salman presented that to the president, it's a gold medal, the color of abdul aziz al saoud.
it's the nation's highest honor. what is the symbolism there? what is the intention as he gives him that honor, because already what we are seeing, the grandeur of this welcome is so difference from what we've seen with past presidents. >> i think donald trump has always taken a softer stance when it's come to shab. they were left off of his famous muslim ban list and also executive order barring muslim immigrants from the u.s. and despite saudi arabia being one of the greatest exporters of islamic radical islam, donald trump has always taken a softer stance on them and let's not forget there's $109 billion arms deal also on the table that he has to seal with the saudis. there couldn't be a better time for donald trump to be out of washington and escape the
seeming-like atmosphere he's facing back at home and be in saudi arabia but at the same time this ambitious trip is full of diplomatic land mines. >> i want to ask but that, can president trump speak with authority to these 50 muslim leaders about the religion of islam and the relations based -- in the wake of everything he has said about muslims as he was a candidate prior to the presidency. >> you know, frankly, christi, i this it's offensive for donald trump to be pontificating on islam especially in saudi arabia, the birth place of islam and the place of some of islam's holiest sites. he should take this opportunity not to preach and lecture but frankly apologize and listen and learn. let's not forget that this president ran his entire political campaign on anti-muslim rhetoric,
anti-muslim sentiment and i really don't think he's the right messenger for a message to bring a message of peace and unity to the middle east. >> alex papas, what do you think of that? is he the right person or do the sawed ease care so much about what was said during a campaign. can they write it off saying he's just saying that to get elected. >> they by what he has to say about this, whether he'd use the phrase radical islam in this sort of speech, a lot of people are thinking perhaps he'll take a moderate tone because the president does play to his audience. jim acosta makes an interesting point that steven miller is one of the guys who is one of his aides helping him write the speech. he's a former aide to jeff sessions. he's a true believer. if he has a really strong hand in this speech, that would be an indication trump is not necessarily going to take the most moderate tones and would still speak in ways he did
during the campaign. >> so i want to take a look at the placement, the seating arrangement that nic robertson was talking about. we have king salman in the middle of this coffee ceremony, president trump to his right, the first lady, melania trump to his left. anushay, a lot of families do business together in saudi arabia. is that a commonality that saudi families see with president trump when we see in the contingent he has taken there, his daughter, ivanka, is with him. his son-in-law, jared kushner, also his senior adviser, is will w him. is there a commonality that they share that saudis are focusing on? >> there say commonality but i don't think it's one that you want to highlight. we're not talking about a great example of democracy when it comes to saudi arabia.
women are still fighting for the right to drive, still fighting for the right to vote in saudi arabia, and you notice ivanka trump is not wearing a head scarf, which is something that a lot of foreign dignitaries and their spouses don't necessarily have to abide by but in saudi arabia women are legally required not only to have a male guardian for simple things a lowed to travel or seek medical attention but they also have to be covered from head to toe so interesting note neither melania or ivanka are have chosen not to wear the head scarf. >> alex we know that the king and the rest of the royal family are now in meetings with the president and those members of his administration on this trip. we're going to be talking about security, but our two countries may look at security differently. president trump will want to talk about the battle against isis and yet of course saudi arabia is more concerned about
eye rap. could that be a problem that different way of seeing things in the middle east? >> and news out of iran, too. donald trump as his aides and advisers indicated is interested in talking about terrorism and i think that will be a thing he's talking about tomorrow. we've been talking about the message this morning, whether it will be able to break through considering the crises home he's dealing with. i'm skeptical he'll control his message and get out what he wants but these images are incredible and compelling considering everything donald trump said during the campaign. think to the press conference calling for a shutdown of muslims. fast forward today it's incredible. >> it is. saudi arabia is conservative and likes to control what takes place within its own country, true of the president's visit as well. it's possible he may be saved
from himself by the way the saudis carefully orchestrate and even manipulate to some extent the visuals that you see and the message that comes from within their own kingdom when it comes to this meeting with the president of the you state. we're going to continue to follow all of this. we'll take a break and be back after that. hello mom. amanda's mom's appointment just got rescheduled - for today. amanda needs right at home. our customized care plans provide as much - or as little help - as her mom requires. whether it's a ride to the doctor or help around the house. oh, of course! tom, i am really sorry. i've gotta go. look, call right at home. get the right care. right at home.
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fighter jets and warships, more than $100 billion in conjunction with the administration's america first platform the deal is expected to boost u.s. manufacturing jobs despite possible economic benefits it's receiving criticism widespread from both sides of the political aisle. all of this happening while the president's business eyes in the middle east continue to complicate his diplomatic outreach. >> here to discuss this is rana faroohar. >> good morning, how are you? >> good. the administration would like to head it off right away, a win, not on the ground and already pushing $100 billion deal here. that's probably the max. i heard some say it goes up to maybe $300 billion but my point is, should we really be so overwhelmed with a wonderful
deal? >> historical context, the u.s. has been doing big business deals with saudi arabia for some time now. in fact donald trump is really in some ways just taking that relationship back to the status quo. president obama had been trying to orchestrate a little bit of a pivot away from saudi arabia being our main ally in the region along with israel. he had been trying to warm relationships with iran. donald trump is really just going back to businesses ausual trying to do as much as he can in arms deals and health care, i.t., private equity. saudiaramco is looking to go public so executives from the banking community, from the new york stock exchange to close those deals on this trip and i think for donald trump this is really about resetting the idea that he is a pro-business president. there's been a lot of complaints in recent weeks and months from the business community about when are we going to get the
pro-business agenda. going to saudi arabia and closing deals is a big win just on paper for him. >> and a touting of jobs created or reinforced as a result, but there are usually deals or in these deals explain saudi arabia are making some of the armaments because they want to get more and more into that business in their own country. >> absolutely. it's important to remember a lot of times the president announced deals and said look how many jobs i created, these are jobs in the pipeline and it's important to remember that u.s. manufacturing regardless of what deals get signed in saudi arabia is not going back to its glory days. lot of the jobs that will be coming to the u.s. are going to be done by robots, going to be done by software. there's a lot of disruption in manufacturing, so one trip to the middle east is not going to solve this problem by any means. >> the pushback we talked about for the deal saudi arabia is
embroiled in a war in yemen next door and criticism as to the lack of certain for civilian casualties. part of the problem is the u.s. looks like it's arming an ally that is doing harm to civilians. >> absolutely. if you remember last year former president obama pulled back on a $400 million worth of arms deals with the saudis because of the concerns about civilian casualties. this also draws the point again that the saudis and iran are on very different sides of almost every conflict in the middle east, the conflict in yemen, the conflict in syria. this is going to be very interesting doing more business with saudi arabia, this being the president's first interest imin terms of what that signals to iran about the u.s. position and its relationship with the u.s. going forward. >> and can i ask you real quick, you know, we remember president obama he made a trip to egypt when he wanted to send a message to the muslim world. of course donald trump goes to saudi arabia. what do you think will be the
difference in the message? >> well it's interesting, because the obama was trying to say look, we support the arab spring, we support reform in the middle east. we're not going to get more involved in middle eastern affairs but we're supporting this reform. president trump is saying look we're supporting the status quo. the saudi relationship is problematic because saudi, the wahabi strain of islam in saudi arabia has been associated with the rise of terrorist groups, with the sort of ideology behind a number of terrorist groups so this is not a clean and easy relationship, and it certainly brings into question, you know, how committed the president is to business, versus fighting radical islamic terrorism. >> right, they're intertwined but in an awkward kind of way. rana, thank you very much. >> thank you. up next, late night taking aim
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mr. trump on his first overseas trip, a medal, the highest honor from saudi arabia, visiting dignitaries he is being given. they have a long history with one another, the other is to restart the relationship, under president obama there was some falling out with the saudi kingdom over the war in yemen and the deal with iran. you can see that saudi arabia is doing everything it can to make it look very good so far. >> and a lot of people paying
close attention to the trip, including late night hosts. they haven't been too easy on the president this week. turns out this will be no exception. >> packing his bags to the long flight, plenty of material to mock the president. here we go. ♪ >> flight to saudi arabia is actually 14 hours. trump was ready for the long flight. before getting into his seat, formed his hair in a neck pillow. trump will have lunch with leaders of 15 countries. >> never fails. saudi arabia as we said rolling out the red carpet for the president. they might be having fun with
it, but seems like he got the kind of welcome we have not seen for an american president in quite some time from saudi arabia. >> a very big deal. ahead, coverage continues for trump's first visit abroad. big arms deal, the controversies back home and other countries still to be visited. all ahead. what if technology gave us the power to turn this enemy into an ally? microsoft and its partners are using smart traps to capture mosquitoes and sequence their dna to fight disease. there are over 100 million pieces of dna in every sample. with the microsoft cloud, we can analyze the data faster than ever before. if we can detect new viruses before they spread, we may someday prevent outbreaks before they begin. ♪ pressure. i feel it everyday. but at night, it's the last thing on my mind. for 10 years my tempur-pedic has adapted
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