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tv   New Day  CNN  June 16, 2017 4:00am-5:01am PDT

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sad. we will be angry. >> i mean guilty. >> oh, if it becomes back guilty. oh, i think we will be dancing in the streets because we will feel vindicated and validated. >> we wait a long with you. lilly and victoria. >> the work goes on. >> understood. you made that clear. thank you, ladies, for being here and willing to talk this morning. we are watching along with you. thanks to the international viewers for watching. for you "cnn talk" is next. for the u.s., "new day" continues right now. >> this is cnn breaking news. >> good morning. if you are just joining us, welcome to "new day." we are following breaking news. russia claims it may have killed one of the most wanted terrorists in the world. isis leader abu bakr al bagdadi. russia's defense ministry says it is investigating if one of
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their air strikes in syria took him out. they are using qualified language. so are we. >> we should tell you, we had many reports in the past about al bagdadi's death that have not turned out to be true. we are approaching this with caution. his whereabouts have not been known for some time. if this is true, it is a major blow to the terror group. let's start with clarissa ward. she is live for us in london. she has reported extensively from the war zone in syria. what are your thoughts with this news, clarissa? >> reporter: gewe are getting me information from the russian defense ministry as to what they think happened. they say on may 28th they carried out an air strike targeting in raqqah. they say during the course of the air strike, some 330 isis personnel were killed. among them 30 mid level or what they describe as mid level field
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commanders. already, alisyn, that raises a red flag. isis is savvy now. they have been dealing with air strikes and drone strikes for years. they understand it is not visibadvis adviseable to move around in large groups or congregate in large groups. that sounds strange. the russian defense ministry heard from various challennnelst abu bakr al bagdadi was attending the meeting. they are now looking into trying to confirm that. of course, it is very difficult to confirm that. how do you confirm that without some dna evidence? is there even a dna sample of abu bakr al bagdadi out there? would they be able to recover the body if it was 330 people killed in a single strike? that is a very large amount of people to be killed in a single strike. sever certainly a lot of questions to be answered, alisyn. i would say if it turns out that they have indeed killed abu bakr
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al bagdadi, this would be a huge boom for the russians and huge blow to isis. chris. >> we know the immediate effect is exactly that. it is a pr reward for russia, especially in light of this loose promise that we have been getting they could be helpful in the fight of isis but they are boosting the assad regime in syria. how will we know if they really did take out the isis leader? cnn's barbara starr is live at the pentagon with more. o optics are obvious. >> reporter: chris, look, without a dead body and a recognizable face to show the world, how on earth would you know if al bagdadi has been killed or still in hiding somewhere? what u.s. intelligence will have to do now is what they plan to do if they got any kind of reports of al bagdadi being killed. they will look on social media for evidence of isis chatter about this. they will look at intercepts and
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communications. eavesdropping of people they talk to of people on the ground. they will look to confirming evidence. right now, they don't have it. this whole area of syria that we are talking about is extremely interesting for u.s. intelligence and u.s. military. let's put up a map for a minute. raqqah. this city, isis self declared capital, has been undergoing assault from the air and by fighters on the ground for several weeks. it is isolated. they have isolated some isis fighters in the city. we know over the last couple of weeks many isis leaders have fled south to a town called al mayadin. it is in that region that u.s. intelligence is looking carefully to see if they can find evidence of isis leaders on the ground. chris. >> barbara, thank you for the reporting from the pentagon. let's bring in analyst
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lieutenant general mark hertling and arwa damon in irbil, iraq. general, what is your take on the reports? >> alisyn, this is very high skepticism. this is without the russians giving us where the information they are getting. this has been reported over of the past couple of years. one report that he was killed in iraq and before that, another report. there have been multiple killings of mr. al bagdadi. they all have been false. there is a reason he is called ghost. there is too much to the story that makes me skeptical. 300 people in one strike. that doesn't make sense. that would have been reported if it happened on may 28th. the second day of ramadan. we would have heard about that. we have not seen anything that
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proves the strike hit some place. he hasn't been seen in the last two years since he made this speech at the mosque in mosul. >> pawing cruickshank. it is great to have you on here. you are a constant source of information and intel about the issues. much of our skepticism has been fueled by your insights this morning. highlight the points that people need to keep in their mind about considering whether this could be true. >> yeah. that needs to be deep skepticism about this unless there is corroborating information that comes out. one of the reasons is intelligence indicated that much of the isis leadership has relocated to the town of mayadin on the border with iraq. barbara was eluding to that. unlikely he would be in the area south of raqqah. unlikely he would meet with the isis fighters. they don't do that.
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he, especially, doesn't do that. he has taken elaborate security precaution over the last few years as general hertling pointed out. the last time he was spotted was the mosque in mosul in the summer of 2014. also there has really been total silence from isis publicly on this and also we heard nothing from u.s. intelligence to suggest that they picked up any chatter whatsoever or communications within isis to suggest some concern that their own leader has been killed. this claim coming from the russians who have every interest and portraying as taking the fight to isis when most of the air strikes have been against other groups in syria. so i think keep skepticism about the claim until proven otherwise. >> arwa, give us perspective from iraq. >> look, the points have been
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very well made in how we should be viewing the possibility that abu bakr al bagdadi was even attending a high level meeting that would have had many of his senior lieutenants added. it is worth adding this to the conversation. when we have in the past seen key leaders killed, whether al qaeda in iraq's leader, which is, of course, the previous incarnation of what is now today isis. when we saw osama bin laden killed. that did not necessarily hamper the organization's operations to the degree that then saw them disintegrate. these are organizations, especially when it comes to the expertise like isis has. they have leadership in place to move in and take over. there is as has been mentioned they are savvy when they move around and key operatives continue to be able to carry out
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what it is that is necessary. whether they are giving direct orders or not. when it comes to the specific battle field at this stage inside mosul and the start of the battle for raqqah itself, those efforts are just as intense as they always have been. as also has been pointed out if in fact this did take place at the end of may, we have seen significant attacks that have been claimed by isis where individuals at least inspired by isis have continued to carry out these kinds of attacks. it is worth again emphasizing that even if the leader of isis has been killed let's not assume that it means an end to the organization itself. >> arwa, important perspective. she is in a place with active warfare going on. general, i want your take on something. reports are 4,000 more american fighting men and women are going to be deployed to afghanistan. we know that the white house
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word has been we are not winning there. we heard that from general mattis. that means we will have over 12,000 troops back on the ground. they are called advisers in support. as you know better than any of us, that doesn't mean they are not in harm's way. should the president have to make the case to the american people and congress should vote on this kind of move before that mean people are back in harm's way? >> i do, chris. i said so many times before. if you look at the clause and principles of waging war. you need a strong force and support of the government and you have to have the support of the people. we have a strong force in and out of afghanistan. we have not seen the support of the people through the vote of congress and now we're giving more authority to the secretary of defense to make troop movements to afghanistan without considering a whole of government approach. without making the commander in chief responsible specifically for those moves.
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yes, right now there is no end state. not a new strategy as the president promised. i'm very concerned we have one individual, although i trust james mattis explicitly having one making the decisions without pulling the rest of government together and without getting the support of the american people through congress. >> arwa, paul, general, thank you very much for all of the perspective on this possible breaking news. we will follow it throughout the morning. now to the other top story. we had the horrible shooting in virginia. the hope was that there would be something better out of our politics afterwards because we learned that everything is too fragile. we should be at our best. the president is sending a different message. he is once an again lashing out being personal and insulting. not just saying reports that the obstruction of justice reports will lead to nothing, but series of tweets attacking
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hillary clinton seven months after the election. suggesting the special counsel is up to no good. cnn's athena jones at the white house with more. this is not the approach to unity the president promised just 36 hours ago. >> reporter: chris, that is right. the last tweet was on the baseball game last night. he sent out a lot of tweets. the white house is refusing to answer any questions. sarah huckabee sanders dodged such questions eight times during the off camera press briefing. referring all questions to the outside legal team. the president himself ignored my shouted questions during an event in the roosevelt room. he has not been entirely silent on the issue. taking his anger over the probe to his favorite medium twitter. president trump lashing out on a day when many saw to overcome
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partisan bickering. sending out a flurry of tweets blasting the russia investigation. attacking special counsel robert mueller and his team though not by name as bad and conflicted people. denouncing the possible obstruction probe against him as a witch hunt. and lashing out again at hillary clinton 219 days after the election. >> i think it would be good for donald trump to watch his tweets more carefully. >> what do you think of it? >> not what he says. i heard that a long time ago. >> reporter: the president's campaign also attacking democrats in the fund raising e-mail. an hour before the congressional charity game. saying in part, democrats have absolutely nothing to offer our country. all democrats have done is obstruct president trump and
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maniacally scream russia until they are blue in the face. this as they review into the issues and business dealings with jared kushner. >> you see mueller is expanding the investigation. >> reporter: sources have stressed to cnn there are no allegations kushner committed wrongdoing. his lawyer says any scrutiny of his business is standard practice. cnn reported last month that the fbi has been looking into kushner role into the trump campaign. including the involvement in the data analytics operation, his relationship with fired national security adviser michael flynn and his contacts with russians. the justice department issuing an unusual statement thursday night. deputy attorney general rod rosenstein warning americans to exercise caution before accepting as true any stories based on the anonymous officials. among the developments, vice president mike pence hiring a
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priority lawy private lawyer. the decision was in the works for the weeks and not prompted by anything in particular. as part of the congressional probe in the matter, dan coats, the director of national intelligence met in closed committee yesterday to clear up a number of questions he could not or would not answer in the op open, the public session last week. the committee held a similar closed session with mike rogers on monday. alisyn. >> athena, thank you very much. what do president trump's tweets mean to the russia investigation? we discuss with our political panel next. a tewhen wn y. you can see exactly when we'll arrive. i'm micah with safelite. customer: thanks for coming, it's right over here. tech: giving you a few more minutes for what matters most. take care. kids singing: safelite® repair, safelite® replace. won't replace the full value of your totaled new car. the guy says you picked the wrong insurance plan.
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tthat's why at comcast,t to be connected 24/7. we're always working to make our services more reliable. with technology that can update itself. and advanced fiber network infrastructure. new, more reliable equipment for your home. and a new culture built around customer service. it all adds up to our most reliable network ever. one that keeps you connected to what matters most. president trump lashing out against anybody in his way. hillary clinton, the russia probe, the special counsel, the democrats, us. a flurry of tweets literally calling special counsel robert mueller's investigation a witch hunt. saying the people investigating these things are bad and up to no good.
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this comes as the washington post reports that mueller is now looking at jared kushner's business dealings. let's bring in the political panel. analyst david gregory. abby phillip and cnn political reporter and editor at large chris cillizza. david gregory, i know none of this is unusual. we have seen it all before. but after virginia? after his speech which was well intended and appreciated. not 24 hours later he is back at it and you could argue worse than ever. >> i think that's right. i suppose in his mind he would separate it out, you know, from the general discourse in the country. there's no question that he is back at it and it's hurtful. i think from the president's point of view he is doing two things at once. he is, you know, politically minded how he can lash out at everybody coming at him with
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regard to the investigation and keep cementing the idea this is wrong and some conspiracy and a real constituency for that. the other side is that he simply doesn't have any discipline and he is self destructive. we are seeing both of those at once. it is such a contrast to, you know, the congressional ball game last night and when something horrible happens, there is the ability for us to look at our representatives in congress and washington and see their humanity. i thought the best moment of the week out of a horrible moment was the piece about who is steve scalise. who is he? what does he care about? what about his children? what kind of guy is he? it reminds us whatever political differences there are in washington of people serving and raise up the importance of institutions. >> that was on display. each the conversations we had in the moments after the ambush.
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you saw mo brooks. he was on with us. jeff flake was in front of reporters. there was such a letting down of the guard. at the most core vulnerable humans. that is something we will carry with us for a long time. abby, in terms of president trump's tweets. what do they matter? the investigation continues at pace. >> yeah, they seem to be moving closely to the talking points that the republican party has put out to try to defend the president. they do very little except to point to a couple of things. one that this russia investigation is something that is on his mind constantly. he is tweeting early in the morning and tweeting late in the afternoon when there is nothing on his schedule. he is tweeting. that defies what the white house wanted us to talk about this week. they keep saying this week is
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about apprenticeship. the president says when he has the microphone that this week is about russia. it is about going after the people leading the investigation. so it is really problematic for that reason. it is also problematic because to david's point, the president has never identified the connection between his own rhetoric and the kind of discord we are seeing out here in the public. he doesn't seem to see a connection between those two things. i think his tweets yesterday in particular highlight that for him they are separate. but for the rest of the country, that rhetoric contributes to the overall environment and it was telling that less than 24 hours after the enormous tragedy that is where the president's main me megaphone went. >> chris cillizza, let's be clear why the president has done this. it is not his opponents want to say he's not smart. he's very smart.
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he does this because it works for him. it works for him two ways. one, it does bash what he believes needs to be bashing and it provides a great distraction. i don't think it is wrong for him to approach the russia investigation in his mind because it works for him. we're not talking about the fact that he just hired his son's wedding planner to oversee new york housing when she has no housing experience according to the daily news. it's on the front page. you can read it. we are not talking about the maniacally secret health care deal that is going on right now. him talking about russia may seem self destructive. it is politically constructive. >> i'll add one more to that which is, chris, i do think that you have seen donald trump since the special counsel was appointed via twitter and occasionally in other rhetoric, mostly via twitter do what he
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can to begin to raise questions about why is this special counsel exist at all? why is he asking questions? why are they not focusing on hillary and not me? i think what he is doing there -- i guess i'm skeptical what he is doing is building a case to fire bob mueller. even donald trump understands the peril in that. if the findings of the special counsel do not comport with what donald trump wants them to look like what he is doing is laying a long-term case to say we knew this was a witch hunt from the start. i told you. they knew what they would conclude before they started investigating. so i think he is doing some of that. i'll add one other quick thing. i think donald trump likes to be liked. he wants people to think or be praise worthy of him. twitter gives him a direct and immediate response in that way.
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sure people respond to his tweets with negative stuff. there are plenty of reason for donald trump to like. people really do like my message no matter what the media says. this is an instant gratification loop for him. >> let's talk about the unity we saw last night with the baseball game and both sides coming together. obviously talking about colleague steve scalise and praying for his speedy recovery. we saw something unusual. a joint appearance by the leaders of both parties. paul ryan and nancy pelosi. they don't come on television together. in fact, they usually come on to criticize each other. here they were last night on cnn. >> tonight we're all team scalise. >> what we are trying to do is tone down the rhetoric and lead by example and show people we can disagree with one another. we can have different ideas without being vitriolic.
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>> he has the nod to scalise with that logo. >> now the onus is on them to walk that walk. >> look, it is on all of us. i think that this is not specific to the trump era. we lived through times, i'm obsessed with the civil war at the moment because i'm reading a classic book about it. you talk about times of great peril in how divided we were. it is not close. we survived political violence in this country. we have to take these moments to remind ourselves that we have a common humanity as citizens we do. we have to assign some of that to political leadership. our political leadership has the opportunity here and the need to lead us in that and not demonize each other. out of something horrible, maybe give that momentum. >> you hope the recognition we call humanity is certain things matter more.
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that comes in the sharp focus when someone is trying to take your life. panel, i appreciate it. you know who communicate indicates this message better than anyone we could hope to? the man who is on the show with us next. he is calm in a moment of crisis and who took us through what was gong on. congress member mo brooks. he is with us again to talk about the game and talk about how he's doing and what we should all do moving forward. great to see you, sir.
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forgive my voice for cracking a little bit. the adrenaline and emotion is still high. there were a number of congress men and staffers who help us lying on the ground. one of them was wounded in the leg. took off my belt and myself and other congress men, i don't know who tried to put on the tourniquet to try to stop the bleeding. >> that was congress member mo
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brooks. he was talking to us moments after the worst day of his life. a day in which he showed what we would all hope we would do at our best in a moment of crisis. he was on that field. part of the gop baseball team practicing when that mad man came and tried to gun them down. the game went on. it was played last night. republicans and democrats united on bended knee. praying for steve scalise. his doctors say he made improvements after the second set of surgeries. congress member mo brooks joins us. we said to you before, thank you for helping us understand the first moments and doing what you did for your fellow man on that field. how are you doing this morning? >> i'm better. i got a good night's sleep last
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night. i did not do well the previous evening. i would be remiss if i didn't thank you, chris and alisyn, you didn't have to do this. after the events of wednesday, you got in touch with me. via text or telephone call. i want you to know those off-air communications and expressions of sympathy were very much appreciated. >> congress member, i cannot tell you how many people around the country have come up to us both and tell us how gripped they were by your vivid and clear headed recall of the moments of that ambush and the attack. what have these next 48 hours been like for you? >> well, we tried to play a baseball game last night. a lot of bipartisanship before the game. we went from the first base to the third base position. republican and democrat and republican and democrat to try to communicate to the american people that while we fight vigorously on the house and
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senate floor, we're friends outside of that political arena. i will add that as i was standing there in the group from first to third base, i saw david bailey, the capitol police officer on crutches near the third base dugout. and something compelled me to go over there. i asked if i could hug him. he said yes. and i'll always remember him and sacrifice and courage that he showed on behalf of the members of the united states congress and staffs and other people who were there. the bipartisanship before the game was wonderful. i'll tell you once that first pitch was thrown, the bipartisanship ended. democrats just abused us. cedric richmond had his curve ball. it was on. they were hitting ropes off our pitchers. our fielding was not as good as it should have been. hence, it was an 11-2 beating.
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i asked before the game if the democrats would be easy on us. they assured us they would be. by golly, once that first pitch was thrown, that bipartisanship was gone. >> there should be an investigation into whether or not he was scuffing the ball. everybody thought the curve ball was curving too much. the trophy did not go to the democrats. where did it go? >> this is a two-edged sword. normally the winning team keeps the trophy for a year. the manager keep it is in his office. this year, we decided to give the trophy to republicans and steve scalise. that is a very kind thought on the one hand. on the other hand, we now have in our offices a year long reminder of the thrashing we took from the democrats. i'm glad it is not in my office. i would not want to think of an 11-2 beating for a whole year.
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>> very clever to the democrats to keep that lorded over you. congress member, everyone wants to turn the page on the toxic environment on capitol hill and beyond and across the country. obviously to somehow sustain this spirit of love and kindness. what is the answer to doing that? >> we have to communicate better to the american people and help them understand that in a republic, vigorous dewait bate part of the process. that doesn't mean you hate the other person although you are at odds on an issue. there are issues we agree. by way of example over the last session of congress, we passed over 500 bills through the house of representatives. majority was bipartisan. that doesn't get media coverage because the clash creates more interest than the agreement. i hope the american people will please, please understand that while we have these vigorous
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debates and while strong words are often used to express the positions we hold, after we have been in that arena, we can go out and have lunch together. our spouses and the congress members can go on trips together and we can have really good times. you have two different personalities. overall, the relationship with the republicans and democrats is quite, quite goo on a social level and personal level. we have disagreements on the policy issues. we have to get the american people to understand the vigorous discourse is part of having a republic and it preserved us well and done us well as a country for over 230 years. >> they only know what you show. when you have the ugly tweets from the president or the hostile exchange between parties. that's what they take away. the more they see the comedy you are speaking to, the better perception will be. the reason we are reaching out
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is it is nice to see something nice come out of politics. what happened on the field went beyond politics. for you to live through something like that and do what you did on the field. when i learned from williams yesterday and the kid mika who got hit in the leg. zack barth and matt mika. that's the guy you put the tourniquet on. you were helping to keep him safe in a moment like that. that goes beyond any political implications. how are you doing after what you went through on that field? >> i thank god for all of the things that transpired that prevented me from being another victim. from being able to speak with you this morning. i'm sure a lot of other congress members are thinking the same
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thing. a lot of other staffers. trent kelly at third base. how in the world the shooter missed him from 10 or 15 feet away with a rifle, i don't know. gary palmer from the state of alabama. trent kelly from mississippi. gary palmer at shortstop. a lot of what i'm doing right now is communicating with other members and staffers to try to reconstruct where everybody was and have a better complete understanding of what transpired by way of example. i didn't remember initially who it was that helped me with zack barth or the person next to me was jeff flake. i could not remember who that person was. are you focused on some things, but other things you are oblivious too. jeff flake, he did a great job during the five or ten minutes of terror. brad wenstrup from cincinnati, ohio. an md. he immediately rendered aid and
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may have helped save the life of steve scalise during the critical moments and stem the blood loss. the humanity there was something that i hope the american people will carry with them as they try to understand this distinction between when we're in that political arena and trying to communicate about public policy idea and the rest of us. the rest of our lives and how we interact with each other on a friendly basis outside of that political discourse. >> congressman, i want you to know that we hear you about the media also being able to do better. chris and i have been talking about this. you have inspired me to do soul searching in terms of how we can deliver things and perhaps a sometimes less snarky way. you have inspired lots of people to reach down and find their humanity today. thank you. thank you for being with us. obviously we are watching closely if this is a moment
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pivotal turning point. >> you have given me a bunch of people to turn to for those who want to attack public servants. if you want to know what they are made of, look what they did on the field. look at how many were back in suit and tie that day and next day going to work for the constituents. you were good men on the field and you did the right thing. you have our respect. we hope that you are well, congressman. >> thank you. >> we'll talk again soon. >> we'll get after it. don't kid yourself. >> you can get after it. obviously, and do reporting with somehow with a more open heart. >> you can test without making your opponent detestable. jurors in the bill cosby are heading into day five of the deliberations after telling the judge they were deadlocked. so can there be a verdict? we have a live report next.
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tthat's why at comcast,t to be connected 24/7. we're always working to make our services more reliable. with technology that can update itself. and advanced fiber network infrastructure. new, more reliable equipment for your home. and a new culture built around customer service. it all adds up to our most reliable network ever. one that keeps you connected to what matters most. jurors in the bill cosby case ordered to continue deliberating after telling the judge they were deadlocked. so can they reach a verdict?
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cnn's jean casarez is in norristown, pennsylvania with the latest. >> reporter: the latest is 40 hours. that is how long they have deliberated. they will be back here at 9:00 this morning. it was a quarter to 9:00 last night. we go into the courtroom because we are summoned. the jury comes in. they were really just -- i didn't see anything. they were like in a daze, i would say. they came in and the judge said i am so proud of you. i want to tell you how proud i am of you and then he said i have to remind you that you cannot talk in small groups. you cannot talk at breakfast among each other. i want you to get a good night's sleep. i have not heard from you since i gave you the charge to continue deliberating after you told us you were deadlocked. i leave it in your hands. coming back tomorrow. chris, here was the amazing thing. only the attorneys stand up when the jurors usually come in.
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last night at 9:00 last night, for the first time, every person in the courtroom stood up in unison and the gallery included when the jurors walked in. i don't know if they saw it or noticed it. it was very different, chris. it was like a moment in court. >> they have been through it. 40 hours a long time. the judge giving them a night off to go back to their families and compromise from normal sequester. no matter which way the verdict comes out, the reporting along the way is the analysis of how tricky this decision was on the three counts and why. again, no matter how it comes out. jean, thank you for the reporting. there was a moving moment on the mound last night's congressional baseball game. do you know who that is throwing out the first pitch? that's david bailey. the wounded capitol police officer came out and threw the first pitch. he was one of two officers shot by that gunman targeting
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republican lawmakers. cnn's alexander marquardt with more on those officers who went beyond the call of duty. >> reporter: officers in the law enforcement that most americans probably never heard of until wednesday. david bailey and crystal griner. hailed as national heroes for preventing a slaughter at the republican congressional baseball team practice. >> many lives would have been lost if not for the heroic actions of the two capitol police officers who took down the gunman despite sustaining gunshot wounds during a very, very brutal assault. >> reporter: according to the accounts of the members of congress and staffers at the practice, when they realized they were shot at, they frantically ran for cover. >> everyone was basically a sitting duck in many ways. only so many places you could
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go. especially when leaving the field. >> reporter: that's when agents bailey and griner sprung to action. running toward the danger and returning fire. >> they were taking on a guy with a rifle from 90 to 120 feet away. they had pistmis pistols. he had a rifle. the bravery they showed is inn tre credible. >> these two capitol police officers are warriors. i have never seen anything like it. both had wounds and still firing. >> reporter: bailey and griner were at practice because they are security detail assigned to congressman steve scalise. the team's second baseman, but more importantly, the house majority whip. a leadership job that comes with 24/7 protection. >> i cannot under score enough how important the capitol police were. they were there within seconds. had they not been there, i would not be standing here.
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>> reporter: more than 50 shots exchanged before the attack finally ended, but not before the shooter, james t. hodgkinson, wounded four. including scalise and special agent grine rerr. had they not been there, it would have been a massacre. >> >> officers prevented that and my family and i will be forever grateful. >> cnn, alexandria, virginia. >> thank god for those heroes. russia claims they may have killed isis leader all-baghadadi in a stand off. but why go back there, when you can stay home... ...with neulasta onpro? strong chemo can put you at risk of serious infection. neulasta helps reduce infection risk by boosting your white blood cell count, which strengthens your immune system.
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. >> this this case that almost was exclusive american combat zone against isis. i think this is the former edge of the land rush to occupy syrian land after the fall of isis. >> so help us understand that a little bit better for people who are new to this conversation. if russia is moving east, they're spinning it as, see, we do want to fight against isis. and they would have their own self-serving reasons to do this beyond optics of what they're doing in the u.s. because they have their own isis problem.
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but what does that movement mean for you in terms of american interests? >> sure. obviously this isn't a russian interest. but they haven't done much of this since they arrived in syria a year and a half ago. i think what we're seeing is a fear on the part of the russians, iranians and syrians that the americans and their friends will occupy the eastern desert and make it very difficult for the iranians to resupply the syrian regime in lebanon. so i do think is core motivation here, particularly for the iranians is to make sure that the americans or american friends don't occupy land that would make it difficult or impossible for the iranians to do what it is they want to do, which is to shore up their friends in the region. >> general, let's talk about the ongoing russia investigations because president trump just tweeted about that in the last
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couple of minutes. he said nobody has been able to show any proof. sad! you, of course, know well these intel chiefs who are going to be speaking with robert mueller. what about that? we hear that from beyond the president that the investigation is congress, not robert mueller's. but in congress it has been going on quite some time and they haven't proven any collusion. >> they don't have anything that i would call evidence, but again rob mueller's investigation is the one that's more well resourced. it is the one i think they're going to count on to get to the bottom of whether or not there was passive, active collusion or no collusion at all. you mention now that these intelligence leaders are take to talk to mueller's team.
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i know mike rogers and the former deputy director at nsa. these are all honorable and honest men. they are going to answer these questions fully and truthfully. that could only help the investigation get to the actual truth. >> how damaging to the institution is this line of criticism by the president? he's not just saying i didn't do anything wrong, there is nothing there. he's attacking the process. he's attacking the special counsel. he's calling the people involved in this bad and there is an irony with this latest one. you tell me if i'm wrong, general, but it seems like the only way we know if they have proof of collusion is if they leaked. i thought the president didn't want any leaking. is it damaging to the institution and the process and does that matter? >> it is damaging and there has been an approach and attitude coming out of the white house not to argue the data, but to
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try to delegitimize the messagers of paragraphs the other side. and chris i've got to tell you it is damaging to the american intelligence institution that the leaders of american intelligence have to be in this kind of situation. they're going to testify truthfully. they're big kids. they will handle this very well. but you realize this is all triggered by the president's phone calls to these individuals and someone should have told the president that nothing good could come out of contacting these folks who really cannot satisfy what it appears that he was asking for and has now put them in this circumstance where they have to testify and distract them from their really important work. >> general, always great to talk to you. we're following a lot of news this morning, so let's get right to it. >> this is cnn breaking news. >> and good morning everyone. welcome to your new day. it is friday, june 16th, 8:00 in
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the east. we do we bin with breaking news because russia claims it may have killed one of the most wanted terrorists in the world, isis leader al-baghdadi. they are now investigating whether an air strike took him out in syria. >> there are a lot of reasons to be skeptical of this report and even russia is going throw on this. now, there have been multiple reports of al-baghdadi's death in the past that have turned out to be not true. his whereabouts have been unknown for some time. his death is confirmed. it would be a blow to the terror group, but just about every expert says it wouldn't end isis. let's begin our coverage with coll cla ris sa ward. what do you make of this news? >> reporter: chris, i think ouere is a lot of skepticism


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