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tv   CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield  CNN  February 3, 2018 9:00am-10:00am PST

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rock. also 32,000 bratwursts and hot dogs. 26,000 pounds of cheese kurds. no one is going to go hungry. also first we need to talk a lot of football. hines ward, two-times super bowl champ, on kickoff in minnesota. cnn bleacher report special hosted by none other than this man right here. >> and j.j. watt, nfl superstar, talks about raising $37 million for the victims of hurricane harvey. but we almost left out the drinks. this might give you a hint of who we're taking in the super bowl. i've got the midnight green punch. >> and i'll take the wicked green. cheers to that. all right, hello again, and welcome this saturday. i'm fredricka whitfield. the memo is out.
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the assessments are under way. and what does this all tee up? what divisions might have it -- might it have sowed between the white house, congress and top law enforcement? the president now at his mar-a-lago, florida, home, claiming today the memo proves his innocence, tweeting this, this memo totally vindicates trump in probe, but the russian witch-hunt goes on and on. there was no collusion and there was no obstruction. the word now used because, after one year of looking endlessly and finding nothing, collusion is dead. this from the president. the white house declassified the controversial 3 1/2-page document, allowing the memo to go public, despite strong objections from the fbi and justice department. calling the memo misleading. the republican document alleges leaders of the fbi and doj abused surveillance laws to spy on former trump campaign official carter page. democrats claim the memo is incomplete and partisan.
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critics of the memo worry the white house will use it to discredit the russia investigation and use it as an excuse to fire deputy attorney general rod rosenstein. cnn white house correspondent abby phillips is joining us now from washington. abby, you know, what is the white house saying about whether this memo justifies any sort of changes at the fbi or doj overall? >> well, fred, the white house is saying essentially a lot of words like troubling and concerning when it comes to what the memo says about the department of justice and the fbi. they are pushing back on the notion that president trump is poised to make big moves at the top echelons of those agencies. specifically the fate of deputy attorney general rosenstein according to the white house is pretty much safe. listen to the deputy white house press speaking about the rumors swirling over the last 48 hours about whether rosenstein is on
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the chopping block. >> well, i'm saying it on behalf of the white house. and that's that, you know, no changes are going to be made at the department of justice. we fully expect rosenstein to continue on as the deputy attorney general. >> now, all of this is happening as there is an ongoing campaign among some conservatives and grassroots groups to push rosenstein to resign or for trump to fire him. we also note according to sources we've spoken to at cnn this past week that the president has been increasingly angry at rose steen, seeing him as someone who enables a probe that he has repeat ledly called witch-hunt. at the same time, the white house is pushing back in part because a lot of republicans and democrats have made it very clear that if there is a move to remove rosenstein from his position, rosenstein is in charge of overseeing the mueller probe, that could be a really catastrophic move that would prompt congress to really step in and pushback on efforts to
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undermine the mueller probe. at the same time, the president this morning, from his mar-a-lago resort, has been tweeting all about his poll numbers. saying that they are closer to 49% now. his poll numbers have gone up, but they're not quite that high according to the polls we go by here at cnn. the president seems to want far more credit for the improvement in his public standing that he's been receiving from the news media, fred. >> all right, abby phillip, thanks so much. all right, so because of this memo, morale at the top law enforcement agencies just might be suffering. the document is very critical of the leadership of the fbi and the justice department. the fbi director was adamantly against releasing the memo and now christopher wray, fbi director, is telling his staff to stay focused, not be swayed by the political fallout. cnn justice correspondent jessica schneider is following this for us now. so jessica, what did the
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director say and how did he convey the message? >> fredricka, the fbi director, he put out a video message to the 35,000 members of the fbi. this was just after that memo was released yesterday. it really was christopher wray's way of showing support for the bureau that has come under this constant attack from the president. and director wray's words that were largely symbolic. he said this. he said, the american people read the newspapers and watch tv, but your work is all that matters. actions speak louder than words. implying it is the actions that matter more than the president's words. continuing in that, saying he knows it's been a tough unsettling time but he is inspired by the men and women of the fbi and all the work they do. when it comes to defense, it wasn't just the fbi director. that also seems to be the mode of attorney general jeff sessions. as this memo, again, came out yesterday, jeff session was at the department of justice here in washington. he was leading an unrelated
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symposium. and here's what he had to say about deputy attorney general rod rosenstein, along with the associated attorney general rachel brand. >> rod's at 27 years in the department. rachel's a number of years in the department previously. they both represent the kind of quality and leadership that they want in the department. >> so an interesting stance there by the attorney general. just as this memo is coming out. sessions coming to the defense of rosenstein. after what is definitely been a rocky week, even a rocky year for the department of justice and the fbi. fred. >> all right, jessica schneider, thanks so much for that. let's get the democratic response to the release of this republican memo. joining me right now is congressman david sis linney, the democratic representative from rhode island and also serves on the house judiciary and foreign affairs committees. good to see you, congressman. >> good to see you. >> you were on cnn yesterday. you accused the republicans of being accessories to a crime by
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releasing this memo. you actually say that they are complexette in obstruction. do you still believe that? >> i didn't use the word "crime." i think that was the question. i said, look, the democratic judiciary committee members issued a statement condemning the release of this. let's remember how it was prepared. it was prepared by devin nunes who has already displayed such partisan behavior he was removed from using the investigation because of his trip in the dark of night to the white house and the charade that follows. he reports through a summary of classified documents that he's never read. department of justice and fbi both cautioned against releasing this because of its material omissions and its misleading nature, of missed important facts, critical facts. it's all designed to undermine the investigation. they release it. at the same time, they refuse to release the democratic memorandum that actually was prepared by someone who read the underlying intelligence reports and actually refutes step by
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step. so you can't help but to think there's something going on here. this isn't about transparency. this is about an absolute campaign by the house republicans working with the white house to undermine this investigation, to undermine robert mueller, rosenstein, to ultimately stop the investigation, to fire these two individuals so the american people will never know the truth. whatever you want to call that, it's wrong, it -- >> -- like being an accessory, also being a participant in obstruction -- >> well, they're participating in this -- >> -- that would be a crime but, you know, just to press further on that notion because i spoke with a republican congressman, brad wine compastrup last hour the memo, about what the objective was, and this is what he had to say about the whole thing. >> we have been stalled from ourselves. with top secret clearances from see things. you know, we have oversight against fbi and doj. it's not the otherway around. they were ignoring subpoenas. that's not right. i'm deadly serious when i tell
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you if the political roles were reversed, i'd be saying the same thing. because it's the right thing to do. >> do you agree with that? because he's talking about the openi openings, oversight, there needs to be more transparency, the bottom line is the fisa court is not transparent enough and thereby justifies the memo's release of even portions of the process. >> there's no question the judiciary committee has oversight responsibility. we've begged our chairman to engage in meaningful oversight. we've had no oversight hearings. that's not what this is about. this is about a campaign to undermine in this investigation, to undermined the integrity of these extraordinary professionals. remember, this was released, pieces of it released to favorable news media before it became released. they refused to release the democratic memorandum prepared by adam schiff that goes point by point.
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there's a civil liberties oversight board. there's a process to return to the fisa court. that's not what this is about. i only wish my republican colleagues had as much concern about getting to the bottom of russian interference in our elections as they do and the concern they have about carter page. this is -- there was a process in place. there's no evidence that the fisa court did anything wrong. the democratic memorandum will make that very, very clear. but people shouldn't be confused. this is not about concern about the fisa court. this is a concern -- this is an effort which has been ongoing. i see it in my committee virtually every time we have a hearing where our republican colleagues are attacking the men and women of the fbi, attacking the department of justice, trying to undermine their activities. why, because they want to stop this investigation. it's getting closer and closer to president trump. they think they can stop the american people from learning the truth. it's disgraceful. >> bottom line, do you believe this was just a distraction or do you believe it has undermined or is undermining the mueller investigation?
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>> well, i mean, they're working hard to undermine it, that's for sure. the president actually did a tweet to say this completely vindicates trump. >> has the release of this memo done any damage by the investigation? >> i think the american people are smarter than that. i think they recognize that robert mueller is a serious man of extraordinary integrity, that the professionals at the fbi -- >> except the american people aren't doing the investigation, mueller team is doing the investigation. do you believe the release of this memo has jeopardized that investigation anyway, undermined it? >> no. i don't think it has. it is an attempt to set the stage for firing rod rosenstein or robert mueller. i think that's what the president's ultimate goal is. i think they believe the only way to stop robert mueller from doing his job and getting to the bottom of it is to get rid of him. the president has tried in so many different ways to stop this investigation. he fired director comey. he's complained and tried to get attorney general sessions not to recuse himself. he's called on senators to try to stop their investigations. i mean, this is a pattern of
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behavior. you have to wonder, why is the president -- what is he worried about? why is he so committed to stopping this. let mueller and his team finish their work. let it lead where it will lead. i think hopefully they'll see a democratic memorandum that really provides the full context and a lot more information and will really correct the record in terms of any misunderstanding from this nunes so-called memo. i think the american people are smarter than that. they won't be persuaded by this. this is a very sad day for our country to watch the politization of a very serious investigation. >> all right, thank you so much, congressman david cicilline, appreciate it. coming up, the memo creates deeper partisan trenches but has it also left lasting damage on the intelligence and law enforcement communities at all? also ahead, a driveby shooter in italy opening fire on foreigners. why authorities say it is racially motivated. this is something that i'm
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following some breaking news out of italy where police say at least four people have been hurt, one seriously in drive-by shootings that appear to be racially motivated. authorities say the suspect had an italian flag around his neck and reportedly made a fascist salute as he was being arrested. what can you tell us about what happened? this happening in a town on the eastern coast of italy? >> that's right, this is racially motivated. this is a town that the tension has been elevated recently. last week, a nigerian migrant was arrested for the murder of a young italian woman whose body was dismembered and found in a suitcase and everyone in the town says this was retaliation for that. this particular young man, 28-year-old, had been part of the northern league far right party here that's campaigning out of elections in march.
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and they're campaigning on an anti-immigrant, anti-migrant platform in which they vow to rid the country of 100,000 or more africans who are living here waiting for their asylum requests and so forth to be heard. the administrators of the town have said that obviously the retaliation for such an act is not acceptable. those members of the party have said they distanced thepz ed t from this man. he searched out african migrants, pointedly shooting at them, six, five men and one woman, two of which were seriously injured in this event, fredricka. >> all right, barbie nadeau, thank you so much, from rome. now the focus of that memo released yesterday, the release of that gop intelligence memo threatens to fracture an already frayed relationship between president trump and the intelligence community. some republicans allege the controversial memo shows abuses
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at the fbi and doj. >> let me say that i've had a chance to see the memo. our administration believes the memo raises serious concerns about the integrity of the decisions made at the highest level of the department of justice and the fbi. >> all right, joining mow know to discuss all of this, steve hall, cnn national security analyst and retired cia chief of russia operations. and shawn turner who is also a cnn national security analyst. good to see you both. all right, so shawn, you heard the vice president there who said, you know, it really raises questions about the abuses or integrity of decisions made at a very high levell lelevel. is that how you interpret that memo or the messaging being underscored by way of that memo? >> i don't think you can draw that conclusion from simply reading the memo. you know, we have to understand that what we're talking about here is the fisa process.
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it's a classified and exceedingly complex process. this really puts the fbi in a tough position. because if the memo as christopher wray and the fbi suggest contains fundamentally misleading information that impacts the accuracy of the memo, the problem for the fib and the problem for the intelligence community is that the fbi simply must let that inaccurate information stand. because this process is classified and because they can't simply come out and say here's the other mountain of information that -- >> too risky to dispute it even for the fbi. >> yes, it absolutely is, it's too risky to challenge it. >> so then, you know, steve, this memo for people who are still trying to understand what it is, the memo really constitutes a conclusion based on information that these house members were able to look at, extrapolate and then, you know, kind of put together a finding of what their discoveries were. but it doesn't tell the whole
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picture. senator john mccain has weighed in on this while he is in arizona. and he is saying -- and he's, you know, battling, you know, his health issues. and he says these latest attacks on the fbi and the doj serve no american interests, only putin's. do you see it that way? >> absolutely. there's no doubt that basically what you're seeing vult ing is results of a successful operation by the russians seeking to exploit the differences, the fissures really, in our political system, in our sigh siociety in which w. the memo is really just a tiny piece of probably hundreds of panels of information that went through a very complicated and very thorough process, having seen some fisa warrants myself. i think you'd have a lot of people who have explains, you know, how it would have to happen that somehow bad
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information, you know, managed to hoodwink four different federal judges. the thing that concerns me -- >> and a number of, you know, deputies. because it wasn't rod rosenstein's who's the only one who sign eed off, but his predecessors as well. it's presented at each time of renewal, at 90 days. >> they have to start from zero every time they go back to the judge. it's not like hitting update your apps on your phone. you can't just say yes i agree and on you go. you have to prove it all over again. so it is a very complex thing. the thing that concerns me most, though, about this memo, it's a little bit reflective of some russian tactics i've seen. you put out a memo and you say this is what i'm alleging. but to get to the bottom of it, you would have to declassify all of those hundreds of pages to somehow get a clear idea. that's something that putin did very recently when he said meddled in your elections, where's your proof.
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russia knows our proof is classified. it's kind of a freaky thing. >> there's no way, in order for the fbi or anybody to offer real clarity here, it mean exposing further and that undermines everything. >> right. moreover, fredricka, the fbi would have to take that classified information that would help shed light on this memo, they'd have to take it to the president to be declassified. so the chances that the president would look at that information that's going to undermine this memo and declassify it to put it out to the public is just very unlikely. >> talk about putting people's lives on the line. all of these agents and people working in law enforcement who are doing very dangerous work and they don't need to be further exposed. so former fbi director james comey tweeted as a result of this memo, memo's release, and he says, that's it, dishonest and misleading memo wrecked the house intel committee, destroyed trust with intelligence community, damaged relationship with fisa court, and inexcusably exposed classified investigation
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of an american citizen, for what? i mean this really kind of speaks to, steve, what you were say, this is the kind of modus operandi of russia. this may have been the exact goal and the u.s. did it for it. >> yes, all of these things, you know, the russians don't make this stuff out of wholecloth. they take a look and they see okay where are the fissures in society, also throughout europe, and how can we, you know, minimize, you know, the efficiency of these democracies. i think they're particularly pleased that the fbi is right now in the crosshairs. because of course the russian equivalent, the internal security service, the fsb, is a really big deal that operates basically at the behest of putin. the russians are seeing this through their lens and saying, wow, look what we just did, we caused reverberations to go through. a video to all hands on the workforce. that's a real measurable success i think for the russian
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propaganda. >> how comforting might that be, that wray's message would be sent out, you know, to all of his colleagues, to give some kind of reassurances that, you know, your work speaks for itself, you know, and that is very meaningful? i mean, how is all of this, the white house backing this release of this memo, what is this doing to the psychology of those in the ranks of law enforcement and the fbi and beyond? >> yes, you know, fred, it's a challenging time at the fbi and across the intelligence community. i think what christopher wray did was absolutely the right thing to do. i think that because of all the, you know, upheaval at the fbi with the firing of jim comey and christopher wray's -- i think he's done a good job on refocussing the fbi on their mission. there's been a lot of talk about whether or not christopher wray should walk away in light of this, or whether or not rod rosenstein should walk away. i think it's important to just
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point out that it is absolutely not the case. that these leaders at the top of these important agencies walk away. we think about what christopher wray did. when he knew that the president wanted this memo released, he had the courage to stand up and say to the president, i disagree with you. he did his job. he spoke truth to power. what we need right now more than anything is for people in those positions who are willing to do that. not to benefit left or the right, but who are just willing to call it out when they see something that's wrong. we need those people to stay in those positions. if that bothered the president, if he doesn't want that, then they should let -- they should force the president to fire them, because that says more about the president than it does about the officials. >> it sounds like perhaps chris wray just did that. tantamount to saying i'm staying by sending out that video message and saying your actions speak louder than words. jeff sessions did the same thing, throwing his support behind rosenstein by also singing praises of him and saying this is the kind of
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quality and leadership that this department needs. >> absolutely. >> pretty extraordinary. all right, steve hall, shawn turner, thanks to both of you, i appreciate it. >> thanks. all right, still ahead, partisan bickering reaches new levels over that republican memo. why fighting is being fueled over what it says and what might be in it. new year, new phones for the family. join t-mobile, and when you buy one of the latest samsung galaxy phones get a samsung galaxy s8 free. yahoooo! ahoooo!
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hello, again, everyone. i'm fredricka whitfield. the memo is out. the assessments under way.
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the just released gop document on the fbi surveillance of former trump campaign aide carter page claims partisan interference. house intel chairman devin nunes accuses the government of using the infamous trump dossier to obtain the fisa warrant. >> the dossier was presented to the court as it was -- as if it was true. the court was not told that the democrats actually paid for this. they got a warrant on someone in the trump campaign. using opposition research paid for by the democratic party and the hillary clinton campaign. that's what this is about and it's wrong and it should never be done. >> all right, joining me right now, former majority staff director for the house intelligence committee michael allen and cnn legal analyst page pait. good to see both of you. while that was a fairly simplified answer from devin nunes, we know it's really not that simple, because there were a lot of component, right, page, that this fisa court entertained and carter page was being looked
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at for a very long time because of his dealings with russia as far back as 2013. there were warnings from the fbi about what are you doing, you might be a candidate that the russians are looking for to recruit. so then fast forward, bring it to this, nunes says, this memo helps demonstrate that the fbi, the fisa court, was bending a lot of rules in order to make things happen based on partisan lines. is -- does that explanation, that oversimplified explanation, make matters worse? does it undermine the ongoing mueller investigation? what does this potentially do to the ongoing russia probe? >> i don't think it undermines the investigation in any way whatsoever. we've seen president trump is already using it to try to, you know, cast some doubt on the credibility of the folks who are running the russia investigation. and why don't we go ahead and shut it down, you know, it's a
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witch-hunt. but in reality what we've seen here in this memo is just a glimpse, just a little bit of the picture that the fisa court considered when issuing these warrants. i mean, when you're a fisa judge, you don't just listen to part of the evidence that the government brings you. there's going to be a totality of circumstances. all different types of information. and without seeing the underlying documents, without knowing exactly what this judge relied on, we have no idea what part this dossier may have played. >> which likely nobody will -- the general public will never see. because that would compromise so much about fbi investigations, fisa court, et cetera. so then, congressman schiff had a different take on what's behind the memo's release and why. >> delivering a single criticism of the fisa application and cherry-picks the information that doesn't tell the reader the whole of the application and as the doj and fbi have said, deeply misleading.
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>> so, michael, was this all a distraction? does it change anything as it pertains to the way the fisa court works or the way the mueller investigation will proceed? is there an impact? >> well, time will tell. i'm unexcited about what's happened in the last couple of weeks because i worry it delegitimized or seeks to delegitimize a perfectly legal process that we need in this country to eavesdrop upon russian spies, chinese spies and the rest. but let me just say about the nunes memo. to me, it would bother me if true. there's so much more we need to know. as page said, we want to be able to find out what else accompanied the filing. i suspect the fbi had other sources, human intelligence and signals intelligence, to help bolster the case that they needed to surveil carter page. >> and that's the presumption
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based on precedence because that is what's required in order to get that kind of warrant. that's what you're saying. >> the court has a very, very high standard. you have to have probable cause in order to listen in on someone's conversation. it's a rigorous standard because we don't treat that lightly here in the united states in order to eavesdrop upon a u.s. citizen. so you have to have a serious, you know, in other words you have to plead this with particularity. they aren't just going to apend a dossier to a particular application and say, all right, let me eavesdrop on this guy. >> you don't just get caught up in an american simply because you had some contact with an adversarial country or player with an adversarial country. it now has to go through this fisa court. there has to be all kinds of evidence presented to s substantiate why the intelligence agency wants to
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look further at this particular american who had contact. the president still tweeted this morning, as a result of this memo released, and said totally vindicates, that he is totally vindicated now, totally vindicates trump he says, in this probe, which he again continues to call a witch-hunt. then listen to what the house speaker paul ryan had to say about it and whether a democratic version memo would be released. and should be. >> this memo is not indictment of the fbi, of the department of justice, it does not impugn the mueller investigation or the deputy attorney general. >> so ryan advocates that there should be the democratic version and he also says that, you know, the objective is not to undermine. but in the end does it? >> i think it could. especially if the president's going to continue to criticize the special counsel's investigation based on a fisa application that has really nothing to do with the special counsel's investigation at this
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point. i am all for transparency. and there's legitimate criticism that the fisa process is not transparent at all. >> what do you mean when you say you're all for transparency? how transparent? >> that's the problem here. you either got to be completely transparent or not transparent at all. >> which means all of it? >> exactly. if you're just going to have the democrat spin on it, the republican spin on it, we never know what the judge considered before issuing this warrant, it's misleading. >> in other words, not have anything classified. >> it really doesn't make sense. so respect the fisa process. congress authorized the fisa process. there's special prosections for american citizens in that process. but that process is classified. putting your spin on it, issuing a memo about what you think may have been considered by the judge i think is more misleading than promoting transparency. >> all right, we'll leave it right there. thank you so much to both of you. all right, coming up next, the father of three daughters who were sexually abused by larry nassar lunges across the
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i believe in god almighty. i believe in heaven and hell. and i can only hope when the day comes that larry nassar has ended his days on this earth, that he will be escorted to one of the deepest darkest hottest pits in hell. >> that's the father of three girls who were abused by larry nassar, delivering that message about the disgraced doctor.
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that father tried to attack nassar in court, but was quickly restrained. his violent outburst came after more than two weeks of detailed accounts from young women who were sexually assaulted by nassar over the past two decades. people heard that in court. this father was moved by it. cnn correspondent calee hartung joins us with more details. a lot of people so emotional disturbed about what so many of these young ladies have been through. hearing it during court and now sentencing phase, this dad just snapped, right? >> margraves says he lost control. now, many people are calling him a hero for his attempted attack on larry nassar. but he says he disagrees with that characterization. he says his three daughters, the many victims and survivors of nassar's abuse, they're the real heroes. >> you [ bleep ] -- >> reporter: this father's anger -- >> as part of the sentencing, to grant me five minutes in a locked room with this demon.
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>> reporter: aimed squarely at the man who a becaubused his th daughters. >> would you give me one minute? well, i'm going to have to -- >> reporter: from this angle, you can see the court bailiff quickly get nassar out of the room. more than 200 survivors in two different courtrooms over the past two weeks have provided victim impact statements in the case against nassar. enraging and disgusting the country. on friday, margraves listened to two of his daughters publicly share details of their abuse. >> you said this meant because i had back pain he would need to put the needles on my vagina, with no coverage, no glove, underwear and pants down to my thighs, my entire vaj jgina completely exposed to him. >> when i was 13, just a kid, laying on a table, and you put your ungloved hands all over my
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rear and slipped your thumb into the most private area of my body. >> to my parents, thank you for all your love and support through all of this. you have done everything that a parent could ever do. >> i really feel that my entire family has gone through hell and back these last few months because of what larry nassar did to both of my sisters and i years ago. >> my parents are heart broken and so filled with regret. >> the guilt they have will never go away. >> reporter: margraves outburst prompted praise on twitter calling him a hero. parents saying they would have done the same thing. >> you have to understand -- >> reporter: compassion and understanding too from the judge who oversaw margraves civil contempt hearing a couple hours later in the same courtroom. >> i cannot tolerate or condone vigilanteism, but as for the direct contempt of court, there is no way that this court is going to issue any type of
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punishment, given the circumstances of this case, and i do -- my heart does go out to you and your family, because of what you've gone through. >> i appreciate it, your honor, i'd like to apologize to you and the courtroom. i'm embarrassed. i'm not here to upstage my daughters. i'm here to help them heal. >> reporter: in a family press conference later in the day, an apologetic margraves tried to explain his emotional reaction, saying it was the first time he'd heard many details of nassar's assaults on his daughters. >> when i had to hear what was said in those statements, and i have to look over at larry nassar shaking his head, that's when i lost control. >> reporter: nassar who was sentenced up to 175 years in prison for similar charges in another michigan courtroom last week, is expected to be sentenced in this hearing early next week. new reporting from "the new york
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times" out today with more disturbing details of the depth of larry nassar's abuse. this report saying that as an fbi investigation went under way looking into allegations that nassar had molested three elite teenage gymnasts, this investigation beginning in july of 2015, moving at a slow pace, as investigators worked between three cities, between that time, in 2015, until the indianapolis star uncovered this scandal with their reporting in september of 2016, "the new york times" has identified at least 27 girls and teenage earns who were abused by nassar during that time. >> it is extraordinary, numbers, and my gosh what so many have gone through is troubling. all right, thank you so much, kaylee hartung, appreciate it. it was a false alarm that sent shockwaves across the world and now the man behind the rogue missile alert in hawaii is speaking out. that's next.
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all right, welcome back. a stunning admission from the man responsible for sending out the false missile alert last month in hawaii. he's now saying he was 100% sure the missile alert was the real thing and that's why he sent out the alert that caused more than a half an hour of panic in that state. our polo sandoval is following the developments. what's his account of what happened? >> the man won't share his face or name but he will share his
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version of what he believes took place that day. he says he was simply following protocol. that he simply did what he was trained to do. the employee speaking to cnn said he certainly feels terrible about what took place on that day but he also recalls on what took place january 13, that that day a phone rang, that he did not hear the word exercise repeated over and over again. i want you to hear how he explains it as to why he went to his computer and pushed that button. >> the protocol is that the person answering the call presses the speaker phone button. so everyone in the office can hear the message. that didn't happen. someone lifted the receiver. so the message -- beginning of the message was not be able to be heard. >> well, the man went on to say that he heard the words this is not a drill so that's what prompted him to go to his computer, use a pull-down menu and send out that alert, that
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false alert. the meantime, state of hawaii did fire this man earlier this week, saying that that day, that he basically froze, that he was not able to really fix the situation, prompting another one of the employees to jump in and resolve the matter, but this man says that that is not what took place, that there was nobody that room that said this was actually a drill, fred, so this is his story and he appears to be sticking to it. >> all right, polo sandoval, thank you so much. all right, so much more straight ahead in the "newsroom" right after this.
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hello, thanks so much for joining me this saturday. the memo is out. the assessments are under way. what does this mean? what divisions might have it created between the white house, congress and top law enforcement? the president of the united states now in his mar-a-lago, florida, home, claiming today the memo proves his innocent, tweeting this. this memo totally vindicates trump in probe but the russian witch-hunt goes on and on. there was no collusion and there was no obstruction. the word now used because after one year of looking endlessly and finding nothing, collusion is dead. this, as an american disgraced. that from the president. the white house declassified the controversy 3 1/2-page document. allowing the memo to go public, despite strong objections from the fbi and justice department calling the memo misleading.


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