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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  February 20, 2018 6:00pm-7:00pm PST

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no, please, please, oh! ♪ (shrieks in terror) (heavy breathing and snorting) no, no. the running of the bulldogs? surprising. what's not surprising? how much money aleia saved by switching to geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more. welcome to the second hour of 360. at the end of a truly remarkable day, children acting like adults and adults acting like children. on the table tonight, students gunning for change, not children but young adults, push for gun control as their classmates go
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on. we have more with the effect it's having on how the president actually governs. jeff zeleny joins us from the white house. jeff, this was the first shooti white house briefing since the shooting. >> it was the first briefing and it was not long enough to answer the questions hanging over us tonight. remember the tweet the president made over the weekend for blaming the fbi for missing the warning signs in florida. sarah sanders tried walking that back. she said, look, this was the act of a deranged individual, in her words, and she said the president essentially didn't mean that. but she went on to say that the fbi's attention on what she called a hoax, the russian collusion situation, has dominated their time. but then she went on to say in
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greater words than the president has that russia did, indeed, meddle in the election. but it was a split screen conversation, still talking about guns as well. and that's what the president addressed from the east room of the white house shortly after the white house press briefing. let's watch. >> a few moments ago, i signed a memorandum directing the attorney general to propose regulations to ban all devices that turn legal weapons into machine guns. >> so we heard the president there really somewhat of a surprise. the white house had not telegraphed that. this has been coming since the las vegas shooting back in september. they had not talked about this much at all since then. clearly the white house wanting to be part of this conversation on guns. you heard the president there signing a directive. unclear exactly, though, what that will do. we're not talking about new laws here, just existing laws, anderson.
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>> the president is weighing in again tonight on twitter about background checks. what's he saying? >> he is, indeed. another sign the president has -- as we were talking about over the weekend and yesterday, has been effectively, at least, paying attention closely to that florida shooting. he was talking about how it's everyone's responsibility here to do something on guns. this is what he said a short time ago on social media. he said this: whether you are a republican or democrat, we must now focus on strengthening background checks. this sounds a little bit like the donald trump of yesterday when he was for strong background checks before he was running for president. do you remember when he was thinking about running as a reform party candidate? he was for gun control. all that fof that changed in 20n he was being supported by the nra. certainly the president wants to be engaged this this conversation on guns. less clear if he will actually
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lead his party to something here. the house and the senate are out this week, so the president is sort of alone in these conversations. but keep an eye on that, because advisers say they have even been surprised by how interested he seems in doing something on this. again tomorrow here he'll be talking to some students at the white house, some other school leaders as well. so the new person in this equation is the president. we'll see if he leads on this, anderson. >> as the president at least alluded to tonight, preventing another mass shooting is their responsibility. they went to parkland, some through tears, as they banned them from the high school. are you on a bus there?
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>> yeah, we're on a bus. we're about an hour away. >> when you heard them not support a bill to ban assault rifles and high-caliber magazines, i wonder what you thought? there is a long battle ahead of you. >> to be honest, we're all super pissed about that and don't think we're not gloing to addres it tomorrow. >> i hear it was an overwhelming vote not to proceed on this. >> i don't know how that's possible considering this happened in their own state, and there are kids that are dead from their own state, along with kids that were there from our school, and they just -- they don't care. >> governor rick scott, obviously the governor of the floor, held what he called an emergency meeting tonight to find solutions to protect students and said that he would
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put forth a gun proposal policy on friday to, quote, move the needle forward. do you buy that? does that give you any kind of hope? >> i'll have hope from the governor when i hear it myself and when he actually takes some action on it. because he may have an a-plus rating from the nra but he does not have an a-plus rating from us. >> the vote was 36-71 today in the state house. on a national level, the president announced a plan to move towards banning bump stocks, which is something that was talked a lot about after las vegas and then sort of disappeared. is that a big enough step forward, in your mind? >> no. they should have banned bump stocks a long time ago, and that wouldn't have prevented anyone from my school dying. >> if you had the chance to introduce your own bill, what would be in it? have you thought that far ahead?
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how far do you want to go? >> we would address mental health, we would address background checks, we would address some kind of waiting period, maybe, and we would also address banning assault rifles. >> for you that's essential, some sort of ban on assault type weapons? >> at least make it not easy enough for an awful, awful person to buy one with no problem at all. >> have you been involved in this issue or thought about the activism you're now involved with prior to what happened at your school? i spoke to so many in your school who said this made them rethink possibly the trajectory of their looifives or the trajey of their future. i talked to one young lady who thought about becoming an actress and now she's thinking about getting into politics. have you thought about this? has this been life changing for
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you? >> definitely. i've always been an activist for gun reform but never to this extent. i was one of the people that would kind of forget about a mass shooting after it happened, which is awful, because you don't really get how it feels until it happens to you. but we're going to make sure that nobody forgets. >> we talked to david hoge in the last hour, and some people have been writing about him, some conspiracy websites, some far right websites suggesting maybe he was a crisis actor, which is obviously a ludicrous notion, he's obviously a student from the school saying his dad who had been formerly with the fbi may have put him up to it. when you hear comments like this that come out of the wake of a school shooting, does it scare you? does it anger you? does it diminish your desire to be involved? >> honestly, i think the reason people are saying those things is they're in disbelief and
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they're scared because there are 17-year-old kids who are way smarter than them. and david hoge is not a crisis actor, i promise. >> sofie whitney, i appreciate your time tonight. i know it's been a long trip. we'll continue to follow you. >> thank you for having me. >> i want to get to my panel. kirsten, when sarah sanders said today that the president did not try to use the florida school massacre to attack the mueller probe, that's just not true. and when he said -- when he made a link between the fbi agents spending too much time focusing on russia and not enough time -- because they were -- it doesn't make any sense. >> it's exactly what he said. jason miller last night was saying they were two separate thoughts but they really weren't two separate thoughts. he was essentially saying
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because they were spending too much time investigating him, they dropped the ball on the shooting, but that's not really how the fbi works. they have people who would be responsible for that and who, by all accounts, did seem to drop the ball are in florida. they have nothing to do with the russia investigation, so for him to conflate it and mix it skpupd make it about him is totally inappropriate. >> we have the tweet from today. very sad the fbi missed all the many signals sent out by the florida school shooter. this is not acceptable. they're spending too much time trying to prove russian collusion with the trump campaign. there is no collusion. get back to the basics and make us all proud. should there be a random tweet from the parent that is factually inaccurate and just a lie? >> we know that sarah sanders probably has a lot on her plate
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and this wasn't a great criticism of hers. it is valid, but i do think the fbi does owe everybody an explanation. not just here, but if you look at dale ruth, the charleston massacre that killed 10 people, there was also a glitch in the background check which the fbi could be held responsible for. he was arrested for marijuana, he should not have been allowed to buy a gun. the guy named kevin neal in texas killed seven people and he also had an assault record. >> there is no reason any law enforcement agency should be held responsible for glitches. but you deny that the fbi was spending too much time on russia that they dropped the ball? >> i agree with that. rush limbaugh had said it previously. i think he said it friday, and he was saying as rush limbaugh has the ability to do, saying it
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in kind of a snarky way. >> so rush limbaugh was saying whatever the president was? >> no, i think rush limbaugh would like to see the fbi really focus in on this and say, we really can't have this again in a situation where you had two really good tips plus 36 calls to the house and all that. >> the president is lying by saying it had anything twod the russian probe. there's 35,000 people working for the fbi. >> so tough to see the distinction between those young people who are so clear, so forthright. disagree with them, don't like their policies. if you feel that way, that's fine. but if you look at the character of these young people, how clear they are, how forthright they are, how much integrity they have, and to have that right up against these presidential tweets, you couldn't imagine a more juvenile response to a mass killing of children than to use that opportunity to try to stick
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your finger in the eye of the people who you didn't like before, anyway. this is a breakdown that can hopefully lead to a breakthrough. those young people are extraordinary. i've been hearing marketers talk about this high school generation. they are very different than the college students. there's something happening with these young people. those young people are better spoken than most of us on television. they've never been on television before. so if there's any hope in the country, it's in this generation that's rising. i just want to say to stand over the bodies of children and poke your finger in the eye of your a adversary is as low as you can possibly go in public life, and it's a shame the president did that but i'm proud of these young people. >> the thing that's bad about that tweet, not only is it factually incorrect, but he takes this platform to once
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again provide sympathy and facts and prayers and then made it all about him because the russia situation is all about him. that being said, i'd like to think that will be yesterday's news tomorrow because we are talking about ways to stop this. we are talking about let's make some changes to background checks. i think the girl you just spoke with was spot on. the abc poll says, what could have prevented this? better mental health services, stricter gun control laws, and possibly allowing teachers or school resource officers to have guns. overall, the quinnipiac study says 90% of americans want stricter background checks. that is what the president is talking about. i imagine governor scott is talking about that with people in florida. they want change. >> you suggested the students who were advocating for gun control have been hijacked by left wing groups and there is no way for them to escape without
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left wing help. >> i've been to many, many high schools all around georgia talking to children, and i think when they're in an emotional state -- and they deserve to be heard, they deserve to be listened to, and i expressed that on the show also that i believe they're sincere. this is a horrible tragedy. their hearts are broken. but also know that the state senator from there is facilitating their bus trip up to tallahassee which, when i was in the general assembly, was illegal to do something like that, to pay for somebody to lobby. the democrat party there is doing it. >> you think they are being hijacked by left wing politics? >> i was talking about the left rally. it would shock me if 17-year-olds around the country -- and i agree with you, van, very articulate, very sincere. but it would shock me if they did a nationwide rally and the
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pro gun control left took their hands off. >> why does it even matter? let me just ask the question. if there is a group of people who are supporting of what they want to do, what would be wrong with them working with them if they have some knowledge about how to get their message out? what you're suggesting is somehow they've been used like some people went in and told them what to say. >> which, by wathe way, there a these allegations which is just ridiculo ridiculous. >> i did not say that and did not say that today. i said their hearts are broken and they are sincere, i'll say that. but i can say this. as rahm emanuel famously said, don't waste a good crisis. >> come on, jack. >> they're trying to enter into politics, they're trying to change the debate that is a political debate. you cannot criticize high school
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students engaging who are engaging in politics. >> i'm not criticizing them. >> when you were a young person and you wanted to change policy, what did you do? jack, just give me a second. when you were a young person, i assume you became a politician because you wanted to effect change in america, right? you joined the republican party. you're attacking these kids for having political allies? >> van, what were you going to say? >> when you say something like that, it's so bad. i'm going to tell you why it's bad. first of all, these young people don't have to have anybody tell them, you, me, democrat or republican, that something has to change. when we went to school, i was scared of bullies that might take my lunch money. i was not scared of getting killed. we have no ability to wonder what it's like to go to school every day and wonder if you'll get killed. if anything, the kids are using
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us, but i don't think we're using the kids. here's the thing, it's not fair to you -- you're sprinkling out there that maybe these kids are illegitimate and that's wrong. >> those words did not come out of my mouth. >> we're supporting these kids here and around the country. later the president has claimed that he's done more with russia than president obama did in eight years.
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we're talking about students taking action in the wake of the parkland tragedy. >> jack is outnumbered on this panel but he's in the majority in the united states congress, in the state legislature of florida, in the state legislature of most states. gun rights are the defining issue of the republican party today. more than immigration, more than abortion, they are going to do nothing. they are going to do nothing regardless of what these young people demand, because this is the issue that unites the republican party. donald trump used to be for gun control, but today maybe we'll do something about bump stocks some year. this is an issue that unites the republican party against any sort of regulation. you know, for ten years in this country, guns just like this, ar-16s --
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>> ar-15. >> ar-15 -- were illegal. we still had george bush under this, but in the second amendment we have access to guns like this. that's exactly what happened in 2004 after the brady bill expired, and that's the kind of country we ever now because republican legislator was want that way. >> to jack's point, is it wrong that a group of students have been very vocal and very is well-spoken are contacted by gun control groups and who want to help sponsor a rally? is there anything wrong with that? >> of course not. jack is out there being tainted by the political parties, people who can actually organize and help them move legislation. cpac is this big conservative meeting happening in washington this week or next week. do you know how many kids are bussed in from around the country to join cpac and to talk
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about -- >> let me repeat this. they're not under duress of a horrible life-changing tragedy, and i would say for those kids, you got to give them a little space. >> their parents are fine with them being involved, and frankly, being involved helps them move into grief and try to turn grief into something positive, who are we to say how they should grieve? should they stay home and grieve and that's the only way to grieve? >> let me say again as i said this morning, i don't doubt their sincerity. their hearts are broken, i understand that. but i also think that sometimes when somebody goes through that that you don't want to inject politics into it immediately. let me give you a couple -- let me say this. >> this is a mass shooting. >> there is a shooting every few
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months. just pretend we're talking about guns in the wake of the las vegas shooting. did that happen long enough ago that we can talk about gun policy? because if you have this rule we're not allowed to talk about gun control -- what's the time, 30 days, 60 days, 100 days? >> the republican house in december passed a bill sponsored by richard hudson. the man's 180-day review to look at bump stocks and get rid of them if necessary. it also had to do with a background check which corwin and murphy are talking about in the senate. i want to say this because i know gun control debates fairly well having gone through many of them, but the democrats, jeffrey, had the opportunity to reinstate the assault weapons ban, and they're not really assault weapons, not according to the u.s. army. they're weapons that look like -- they are semiautomatic. that might be a technical term.
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but why did the democrats -- >> should they have? >> i would say they should have if that's the belief of their party. >> should they have? >> no. >> then what difference does it make? >> i'm saying they didn't have the opportunity -- >> let's not talk over each other. van, what did you have to say? >> we have the great recession of two wars. everything you guys criticize us not doing in the 18 months we had to control the government -- >> of all the things -- we could sit here and argue all day long, but one of the most compelling things i heard from one of these students was, you weren't there. you don't know what it felt like. you weren't hiding under a desk or in the closet, you don't know what it felt like. if this helps them in their grieving process, let them get on a bus or train and go to tallahassee. >> jack, have you ever been to a pro-life rally? >> yes. >> have you ever heard a young person get up there and talk
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about abortion, somebody who recently has been affected by it, maybe because she had a classmate who had an abortion? >> no. >> you never heard a young person in the pro-life activist movement. >> no, i haven't. >> you've never heard young people being involved in the pro-life movement? >> that's not what you asked me. you asked me if i heard a young person talk about the abortion movement. >> come on, you're involved in politics. we have to take another break. we're going to take a break and continue talking during the commercial break, apparently. we'll be right back.
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our conversation continues about young people, gun control and politics. it seems to have lasted through the last break so let me continue with the panel. one of the things general mcchrystal said, i think he said this after the wake of one of the shootings. he said a .223-caliber round, when it hits the human body, the effects are devastating. it's designed for that. he talked about he didn't think there was a need for that kind of weaponry on the streets. that was after newtown.
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what's wrong with your comment, jack, when you think there should be a period these kids should mourn and it doesn't become an issue about gun control, i often think we don't focus on the reality of what an ar-15 does to a child. if anyone has been on a battlefield and you see what a weapon like this does to a soldier, if people actually saw this ask saw tand saw the reali this, it would open people's eyes. we all say, oh, these children lost their lives. they didn't lose their lives, their looifives were ripped out their bodies. their brains were on the floor, their intestines were hanging out. it was sickening. we're talking about this in an a antiseptic way, but these kids are hiding in the closet while their friends are dead. >> and that's why the law enforcement people are standing by the young people saying, we
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do need to do something different. republicans are saying, these democrats, they're emotional, they're irrational, they're exploiting kids because they want to grab all of our guns. they're actually the ones being rational and sane. the kids hiding under the desks and the cops going to save them are saying the same exact thing, that it makes no sense at all for this to be the reality in america. they have a thousand excuses. and i have to say, whenever this thing happens, if it's a muslim, they want to politicize it within seconds. if iltst's a mexican, build the wall. if it's a black person, more cops and prisons. if it's a white person, it's mental health. why is it that when some people take a life, you got a thousand political ideas, and when other kinds of people take a life, you got nothing to say and you're mad that people are upset and you want them to have a cooling off period. there should not be a cooling off period for these kids. and i want to say one last thing. i do want to hear from other
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people. but i do feel that we have a situation where a generation is terrorized. we've never had this for all the kids in america. some neighborhoods, yes. some racial groups, yes. you now have all the kids in america who have seen this and they're drilling on a weekly basis about how not to get their brains blown out in their classroom. this is a national tragedy. it's an emergency. and the fact that young people are standing up, everybody should stand at attention. we argued and fought because some football players wanted to kneel and beg for the killing to stop in black communities. these kids are not disrespecting any flag, they're not disrespecting any anthem. they are going down to their government and they are petitioning for redress of grievance. if anybody got on their case and said, you're too vulnerable, sit down and cry and don't say anything. this is despicable on the part of people in this country.
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i think republicans who can serve as good as you, first, before you say anything critical of them, defend these kids who are trying to make them seem illegitimate. >> i'm with you on that. having not criticized the kids, i again respect their sincerity, their hearts are broken. i am concerned that there are people in our country who do hijack grief and other causes, and as rahm emanuel said, never waste a good crisis. >> that happens on your side. >> if you're disgusted with it on my side, you understand. let me give you a statistic i would like to throw out. between 1991 was the most violent year of american crime stats. from 1991 to 2014, there were 160 million firearms purchased in america. from '91 to 2014, 160 million firearms purchased, including about 15 million ar-15s.
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however, the violence went down. the crime stats, invithe violen stats went down 52% and the murder right went down 54%. >> suicides shot up, didn't they? >> i don't know. >> suicide are actually on the rise. if you have a gun, you're much more likely to kill yourself. >> but if the conclusion going into an argument is that ar-15s or semi-automatics or whatever are bad, you have to figure out that stat. i'm willing to say, you know what, i am confident enough that you can put gun control on the table. but would you join me about hollywood balance or about video games or about social media isolation and about mental health? >> i think it's really important as we move forward, let's have a time for grief and then let's take action. i think after vegas, we did have
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some firm, solid conversations on bump stocks and nothing happened. >> one at a time. let her complete her thought. we don't need to jump on each other. >> i'm with you. i'm a second amendment supporter. i'm a gun owner. i think every american has the right to own a gun and they should if they want to and it makes them feel safe. here's the problem. moving forward -- this isn't just about gun control. this is about gun violence. and to really make a difference on gun violence, we have to address how guns are purchased and how violence is provoked. there are many factors that go into that. it goes with mental health, hollywood is partially to blame. there are single-parent homes, no family homes to break down the american family. all of these need to be considered. >> i'm sorry, i'm sorry, i'm sorry, i'm sorry. so john wayne didn't cause violence? this is ridiculous. the idea that hollywood is causing this? we've always had violent movies. no. this is happening because of one reason. it's the guns. it's the guns.
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it's the fact they have these guns and they can mass murder people. there is a direct correlation if you talk to people who study gun violence and mass murder. it's these guns that can cause -- whatever you want to call them and i'm not going to play your game that you don't call it by the right name or whatever. when you have guns that you can mow down people, those need to be outlawed. >> we're so concerned about mental health. why did donald trump sign an executive order in secret, not in front of anybody, to make it easier for people with mental health problems to buy guns? why, if republicans are so concerned about mental health, why did rick scott and every other republican governor say, we don't want medicaid. we don't want to expand medicaid under obamacare. if you expand medicaid, you give people mental health services. but no, we hate obama, we hate obamacare. in florida there is no -- >> i'm sorry, i have to jump in here.
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we have -- i'm sorry, repeat -- kirschner is resisting security clearance. we'll have that breaking news ahead. yes! ours is still buffering. what's happening? you're experiencing a network delay. you both need to be watching that on the iphone with verizon. the best streaming network. how long have you been here? i've been here a couple days. (avo) get the best unlimited on the most awarded network. buy iphone 8, and get one on us with no trade-in required. coaching means making tough choices. jim! you're in! but when you have high blood pressure and need cold medicine that works fast, the choice is simple. coricidin hbp is the #1 brand that gives powerful cold symptom relief without raising your blood pressure. coricidin hbp.
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breaking news tonight on the petition son-in-law who is a top adviser and apparently doesn't have top security clearance and hasn't this whole time. there was an effort recently to curb the access of such people of classified information. joining us by phone is david hirs hirschfeld. talk about for our viewers who have not heard this story, talk about what you have learned. >> well, john clikelly, the chi of staff, put out a memo on friday saying he would basically change the policy on security clearance in the white house. one of the things he's going to do going forward is essentially revoke the high-level clearance that folks who are currently serving in the white house have if they have not yet cleared
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their background check, and it's been pending for several months. he put a cutoff date of june 1st. there is some debate over whether that applies to jared kushner or not, but it's clear that because jared kushner is one of the high-level officials in the west wing and serving with an interim clearance that this is going to affect him in some way. he's been trying, as have other officials in the west wing, to figure out how this is going to affect him exactly. what we've learned is that he is concerned that he doesn't want to have to give up his level of clearance that he has right now which allows him to see the presidential briefing and other materials, and there is sort of this quiet internal struggle going on over whether he's going to continue to have the level of access that he has enjoyed and whether others, and we don't know necessarily what their names are, are going to continue to have access to the kind of information that they have had, even though they haven't been cleared for a permanent clearance by the white house
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office that's in charge of doing that. >> i was only able to skim your story very briefly. part of what stood out to me is that you write about that general kelly has been dismi dismissive, i believe is the word you used, over jared kushner for some time, and i'm wondering, a, if that is true, and b, is this a particular effort against jared kushner in some way? >> well, you know, general kelly would say that this memo wasn't targeted to any one person in particular, but it had been clear for many, many months that jared kushner was one of the, if not the, highest ranking official in the the west wing who, like rob porter, had an interim clearance and access to top secret information. and whether or not it's the case, jared kushner has felt like this is targeted toward him. he has been uncertain about how it's going to affect him, and it's clear that the issuance of the memo and it becoming public on friday put something of a
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spotlight on jared kushner because everyone knows and has known for some time, again, that he has an interim clearance. so there is a little bit of a power struggle going on. and when general kelly came in, one of the things he was trying to get a handle on was that there were a lot of officials in the west wing who had access to president trump, ready access without any kind of filter, any kind of organized crisis around that, and john kelly did. he really tried to limit that and that crimps jared kushner's access to the president, and it's been a simmering tension for some time now, and i think this has just brought that to a head. >> is it clear at this point why jared kushner has not been able to get a full security clearance? obviously we know he has a lot of business dealings, there have been questions raised about, you know, activities during the transition, his relationship with china, his desire to try to
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get financing for his company's big buildings in new york city, even during the transition. he had to amend his disclosure form several times, initially hadn't put down his multiple meetings, dozens of meetings with foreign officials during the transition, then he finally amended that, then he had to amend it again to include -- i think it was the june or july meeting with russian officials with donald trump jr. he neglected to put that in his amended version. do we know specifically why he doesn't have -- why he hasn't been cleared yet for full security clearance? >> we don't specifically, but all the reasons that you just laid out, particularly the omission from his original form that he submitted with all of those disclosures that were supposed to have been made in the very beginning, are a big reason. we do know that the fbi looks for out-and-out lies, they look
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for things that were ex cluclud that shouldn't have been excluded. he said he didn't intend to exclude anything or leave anything out. he submitted the form essentially before he was ready to submit it. but that certainly always will raise a red flag or always will raise a concern for the fbi. i asked about this in the white house briefing today, and there was a very swift pushback on the notion that there were any actual red flags, that is to say criminal or any hint of wrongdoing in jared kushner's record. but we do know that one of the major things they're looking for is anything that could subject a person to blackmail. so, of course, any sort of business dealings with a foreign power, anything that involves, you know, large sums of money and big transactions that are unexplained are going to raise issues that the fbi is going to want to look into further. >> julie hirschfeld davis,
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writer for the "new york times," thank you. we're back with the panel next. everyone has a thing. that binge watch over the weekend thing. that back from the dead or robot-cowboy thing. or maybe it's watching satisfyingly-satisfying things. organic avocado on everything thing. doing it yourself or tagging a friend thing. more checking-in or checking out things. like faaaaaaaaaar out of this world things. far out. more revolutions in the making thing. that play like a girl thing. is it a '4 your eyez only,' thing. more of a 'no role modelz' thing.
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the breaking news just out in "the new york times" tonight, jared kushner's battle to keep his access to highly classified
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material, putting him at odds with chief of staff john kelly wanting access, even though he does not have a full security clearance. he's on a temporary security clearance and has been for the past year. >> anderson, isn't the problem nepotism? that's really what this is all about. jared kushner is not qualified for the job he's doing. his only qualification is that he's the president's son-in-law. he's a modestly successful real estate developer -- >> of his father's company. >> of his father's company, lucky sperm club, and he seems to be -- >> lucky sperm club. >> he seems to be losing the fortune that he was given through this disastrous investment in 666 fifth avenue, which is leading to some of these problems, because he's trying to get investors from china, from qatar, which we have foreign policy issues. but this is why presidents shouldn't appoint close relatives to be their top advisers. because they can't be treated like everybody else. he shouldn't have this job in the first place. and who knows if he should have a security clearance. it's absurd that it hasn't been
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resolved one way or the other. but the idea that this person is in charge of the middle east peace and the relationship with china is just absurd, putting aside the whole security clearance issue. >> also, the lack of structure. and we all know the lack of structure in the white house has been a problem from the beginning, about not having clearly defined roles. and clearly jared kushner and ivanka trump fit in that. what do they exactly do? >> on many campaigns, you have family members and friends who want to be part of the campaign. we would call them alongfortheride.comes. let them come along, but don't give them responsibility. don't let them have a huge portfolio, in charge of irani/palestinian peace and still not able to pass their security clearance. i think what's important in this article that they pointed out is that general kelly made it clear that even without availability and access to this classified information, jared is still able to carry out the duties and responsibilities of his portfolio, including dealing with the israeli/palestinian
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situation. i think i take general kelly's word that he can do his job without this and i think we should leave it at that. >> but that's crazy. that's absolutely insane. the relationship with israel and the middle east is intimately bound up with the national security agency, the cia. if you are going to be in charge of middle east peace, you have to have access to classified information. how could he possibly -- why do we have all of these agency ifs the person in charge of our relationship can't see it? it's ridiculous! >> jeff, you said that kushner is not qualified for his job. and if you start applying that standard in this white house, it's a slippery slope about where that ends, frankly. and they don't have, exactly, a large community of people to draw on who, a, want to work in this white house, or two -- >> if you bad mouth omarosa one more time -- >> i was just about to say, omarosa was an assistant to the president! >> i catch eed her work on "big
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brother" the other night for the first time -- >> i think she's very qualified for reality tv. i'm only half joking. >> i think the idea of sending your son-in-law, though, there is a certain tradition that would be recognized in the middle east -- >> kazkazakhstan, all the great democracies -- >> well make america great again. >> equatorial guinea comes to mind. >> okay, saudi arabia. don't you think that's a little bit of a -- >> they just imprisoned like half the leadership -- >> but still, it's a family business. and i'm just saying -- >> full of corruption and -- >> jack, this is a terrible argument. >> you're saying the u.s. should be more like saudi arabia?! >> our diplomacy should depend on the locus toms? like -- think about -- >> i actually think that sending your son-in-law has some symbolism that is diplomatic important in -- >> like kim jong-un sending his sister to the olympics? that makes no sense! >> she was not in the middle east. >> we should take note. we've got to take a break. we'll be right back.
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tune in tomorrw night when the students of stoneman douglas speak out in a live cnn town hall. it's hosted by jake tapper tomorrow at 9:00 p.m. eastern. thanks for watching "360." time to hand it over to don lemon. "cnn tonight" starts right now. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. we're following multiple big stories tonight. we have breaking news on jared kushner. the president's son-in-law and a senior adviser reportedly fighting to keep his access to highly classified information against the wishes of the chief of staff, john kelly. that is according to "the new york times." we're going to have more on that breaking news story in just a moment. we also have major new developments on the florida school shooting rampage to tell you about and what happened in the state's capitol today is quite frankly a disgrace. it is a betrayal of 17 innocent students and teachers who were shot to death at stoneman douglas high school just six days ago. the flo