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tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  February 22, 2018 3:00pm-4:00pm PST

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news. new indictment. stunning charges just reveal ed against former trump campaign manager, paul manafort, and rig gates. the special counsel playing hardball with two figures in the investigation. arming teachers. president trump is arguing that attacks on schools would have educators carry concealed weapons. tonight, he's all over the map, tossing around proposals to address gun violence. are his ideas practical or potentially dangerous? spoiling for a fight. nra leaders are sounding defiant despite mr. trump's call to action. the gun lobby throwing new red meat to its members with over-the-top attacks on democrats and the news media. and ivanka's agenda. the president's daughter is heading to the winter olympic games for the closing ceremony. is she on a mission to send a message to north korea after the vice president famously gave kim jong-un's sister the cold shoulder? we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and
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around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." breaking tonight, a new 32-count indictment as the special counsel, robert mueller, follows the money in the russia investigation. a federal grand jury piling on more charges against former trump campaign chairman, paul manafort, and his associate, rick gates. manafort accused of laundering more than $30 million in income with gates' help. this hour, i'll get reaction from former u.s. attorney, preet bharara and congressman hakeem jeffries, a democrat on the judiciary committee. and our correspondents and analyses are all standing by. first, let's go to our justice correspondent, jessica schneider. jessica, you've been poring over this lengthy indictment. what are you learning? >> yeah, wolf, this indictment outlines a detailed scheme where manafort and gates allegedly hid
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bank accounts, failed to pay taxes on income for more than a decade, and then when that money ran dry, prosecutors say they resorted to bank fraud to secure millions of dollars in real estate loans. these amount to 32 new and additional counts in a different court, in virginia. and it really amps up the prosecution of both manafort and gates and does raise some new questions on whether or not gates may be on the verge of a plea deal. more evidence special counsel robert mueller is not letting up. tonight, cnn has learned a virginia grand jury has returned a new indictment against president trump's former campaign chairman, paul rick gates. there are 32 new charges and they are separate from the charges the pair faces in d.c. federal court, including money laundering, failing to register as a foreign agent, and failure to report foreign bank accounts. in this new indictment, prosecutors describe a scheme where the two longtime business partners failed to pay taxes for almost ten years, and then used real estate they owned to
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fraudulently secure more than $20 million in loans. the indictment also alleges manafort, with the assistance of gates, laundered more than $30 million, income that he concealed from the united states department of the treasury, the department of justice, and others. the charges were announced just hours after rick gates was spotted leaving this d.c. federal courthouse, wi. with this long list of new charges, it appeals any plea deal from gates may have fallen apart. cnn reported that gates has been in plea negotiations with the special counsel's team for the past month. and if he pleads guilty, he could testify against paul manafort. >> i think these lawyers are putting so much pressure on these guys, with so many high stakes that the ultimate decision is going to be, i've got to protect myself and my family, and they're going to cooperate. >> reporter: in addition to tonight's new charges, "the wall street journal" reports mueller's team and federal prosecutors in new york are also examining up to $16 million in loans to manafort, from federal savings bank, a bank run by a
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former campaign adviser to president trump, steve koch. the special counsel is reportedly looking at whether the loans were made as part of a quid pro quo. manafort got the loans and steve koch was promised a job in the trump administration. while new york prosecutors are investigating possible money laundering. both manafort and koch have not commented. koch did not get a spot on the cabinet, but was a member of candidate trump's economic advisory council in august 2016. manafort who served as the trump campaign chairman, until he stepped down three months before the election, sought in the past to distance candidate trump from russian money. >> to be clear, candidate trump has no financial relations with any russian oligarch? >> that's what he said, that's what -- that's what the position is. >> reporter: manafort left the campaign for the payments he received. when it comes to rick gates, he
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is scheduled for a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. that relates to his lawyer's efforts to withdraw from his case. in the meantime, after weeks of working with rick gates, prominent white collar criminal defense attorney, tom green, he has officially entered an appearance as gates' attorney. that happened today. now, this is significant, because tom green has been talking with mueller's team about a potential plea deal for gates more than a month behind the scenes. so a guilty plea could still be possible. in addition, mueller's investigators were scheduled to interview former trump campaign adviser, sam nunberg today. he was an early adviser to the campaign, but was fired in august 2015 for racially charged facebook posts. but it's very interesting, in terms of a rick gates possible paralegal, we understand from several sources, he's rejected a few possible deals. however, today, those talks are still noiongoing. so this is still in flux, it could still happen. >> and if he cops a plea, the pressure will build on manafort to do the same thing. we'll see how this unfolds. lots going on, jessica, good
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report. thank you very much. let's bring in cnn's senior legal analyst, former u.s. attorney, preet bharara. preet, thanks so much for joining us. what do these new charges mean? i assume you've gone through this lengthy document. >> i have. they mean a few things. they mean that bob mueller and his team, if people didn't realize it before now, are incredibly serious, are incredibly thorough, and are going to keep looking. so just because you see charges filed against one person or another, it doesn't mean that that's all there's going to be. this is the first superseding indictment. i think it's possible there could be additional superseding indictments against manafort and gates as they continue to look at the paper trail and the money trail. and so, you know, every day or week that goes by with someone like rick gates choosing not to plead guilty, is another week where the mueller team is continuing to look at his background, continuing to look at his finances, and so many charges could be in the offing in the future. >> so, big picture, preet, how do you see the special counsel's strategy unfolding?
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>> reporter: well, the first bit of strategy and approach for any prosecutor, special counsel or otherwise, is to get at the entire truth and to find out, in as thorough a way as possible, who should be held accountable for what. and so, in the course of doing that, of course, you're trying to get as far up the food chain as you can. so if rick gates has more exposure, he's more likely to plead guilty and he's more likely to cooperate up the food chain against paul manafort. and if paul manafort can be accused of more things legitimately and that can be proven in court, then paul manafort has greater and greater incentive to cooperate further up in the chain, as well. so, the overall strategy is to figure out who has done what, why, whether you can prove it, and it's also clear that the mueller team is not, you know, sort of doing everything all at once. fit finds something they're prepared to charge someone, whether it's mike flynn or rick gates or anyone else, that doesn't mean it's the end of the line for that person. >> so your assumption is that mueller is pressuring both gates
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and manafort to cop a plea, to plea guilty, to fully cooperate, because they potentially have useful information about what? >> it could be a whole number of things. paul manafort was a significant figure in the campaign for a substantial period of time. even though people in the trump white house like to discount him, like they do everyone who runs afoul of the law, or runs afoul of the boss, he could have information about dealings with other countries, he could have information about potential quid pro quo s that went on. he could have information about the interactions with russia. the sky is the limit with respect to how much paul manafort could have possibly known. and so they're doing everything they can, you know, as they like to say, turn the screws, to see if they'll cooperate. >> and they already have michael flynn, the president's former national security adviser, he's already pled guilty. so, presumably, he's cooperating. he knows a lot about what's going on as well, right? >> yeah, he does. i mean, the odd thing about the flynn plea, as i've said before,
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is it's a plea to, you know, a false statement to the fbi. given all the information that's been swirling around about the kinds of activities he was engaged in, including with respect to turkey, and not just russia, people were expecting more. so, you know, i don't want to speculate overly, but i still think it's possible we see additional charges against michael flynn, if at some point he's going to be asked to testify against someone, with respect to conduct that he himself participated in, i would expect further charges against flynn as well. i wouldn't rule out further charges against anyone, including flynn. >> preet, he was the national security adviser, for only a month, but served as a top adviser during the transition and during the campaign as well. the white house argues, at least previously, it's suggested, that paul manafort and rick gates had really not much to do with president trump at all. what do you make of that? >> it's a -- it's a common strategy, generally, to try to, you know, throw off to the side people who are in trouble and you want to distance yourself from, and it's a particular
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strategy of this president. you know, anybody who runs afoul of the law or the boss, as i said a second ago, is someone that they say was just, you know, a coffee-getter or someone who ordered lunch from time to time, didn't know anything about them. they've even said the same kinds of things about steve bannon. when someone is out of the loop and they don't like them anymore or they think they're in a position to provide damaging information about the president or the white house, they say they weren't really connected to them. and obviously, the evidence shows otherwise. >> you agree with jeffrey toobin, our legal analyst, that based on these 32 counts, these additional 32 counts, if convicted, paul manafort, who's 70 years old, could potentially wind up spending the rest of his life in prison? >> yeah, i always like to agree with jeff toobin and i agree with him there, as well. the other point to the make, though, is the nature of the charges are certainly serious and they're very numerous, but they're also pretty straightforward. you know, some of the charges have to do with whether or not he declared income, and whether
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or not they lied about having foreign bank accounts. those are fairly simple things to prove. pretty straightforward. if he had income and didn't declare it on his tax returns, it's a very hard defense to make in response to that. and the same is true with respect to the bank accounts in other countries. i know a little bit less about the facts relating to the bank fraud and the loans. but, you know, cases like that can be made fairly quickly and straightforwardly and there's not much you can do about it. >> it's really amazing, if you go through the document, and gone through it, how much detail the special counsel and his team, they've collected. they clearly have gone ahead and followed the money. but i suspect what we know publicly right now, and all the various indictments is a relatively very small part of what they know. do you agree? >> i completely agree. and i think it's a point worth reiterating over and over again. at various points in this investigation, it hasn't even been that long, the mueller team surprises us. you know, nobody saw coming -- i don't think anybody saw coming last week the indictment of 13 russian nationals and three
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organizations. these things happen at the pace and with the intensity with which the mueller team wants to bring them. and there are lots and lots of things that are happening behind closed doors with the mueller lawyers that we have no idea about and i'm sure we'll be back to talk about them when they happen. >> yep, i agree. preet bharara, thanks, as usual, for joining us. >> thanks. let's get to other breaking news we're following on president trump. escalating his call to arm up to 40% of the nation's teachers. hays promising action in response to the florida school massacre. so far, it's a lot of talk today that doesn't seem to be changing a lot of minds over at the national rifle association, the nra. let's go straight to our senior white house correspondent, pamela brown. pamela, the president has seized on this idea of arming teachers. >> reporter: yeah, that's right. he has told his advisers, wolf, that he wants to lead on the gun issue, unlike his predecessors, and one of his solutions is putting more guns in schools by arming, quote, highly adept
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teachers. and he even suggested the idea of giving those teachers bonuses. >> there's a tremendous feeling that we want to get something done. and we're leading that feeling, i hope. but there's a great feeling, including at the nra. >> reporter: president trump is pledging action on gun violence in the wake of the shooting at a florida high school last week that left 17 dead. >> for many years, where people sitting in my position did not take action, they didn't take proper action, they took no action at all, we're going to take action. >> reporter: but what that action will be is still unclear. trump unleashed a series of tweets on guns this morning, saying, i will be strongly pushing comprehensive background checks with an emphasis on mental health, raise age to 21, and end sale of bump stocks. congress is in a mood to finally do something on this issue, i hope. the president says he is working the phones to rally support for his ideas. >> i've called many senators last night, many congressmen,
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and jeff and pam and everybody in this room, i can tell you, curtis, they're into doing background checks that they wouldn't be thinking about, maybe, two weeks ago. >> to stop a bad guy with a gun, it takes a good guy with a gun. >> reporter: even as wayne lapierre, the head of the national rifle association, blamed democrats and the media for turning a tragedy into a moment for political gain. >> the elites don't care, not one whit, about america's school system and schoolchildren. if they truly cared, what they would do is they would protect them. their goal is to eliminate the second amendment. and our firearms freedoms. >> reporter: despite those objections, the president says he believes the nra will join him in reforming the country's gun laws. >> i don't think i'll with going up against them, i really think the nra wants to do what's right. i mean, they're very close to me, i'm very close to them. they're very, very great people.
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they love this country. they're patriots. the nra wants to do the right thing. >> reporter: at the same time, the president is doubling down on his position that some teachers should have guns at schools. an idea raised during a listening session with parkland students and parents at the white house wednesday. >> if you had a teacher with -- who was adept at firearms, they could very well end the attack very quickly. >> reporter: today, trump insisting attacks would end if teachers were armed. adding that they would need regular training and would get paid bonuses. >> these people are cowards. they're not going to walk into a school if 20% of the teachers have guns. it may be 10%, it may be 40%. and what i would recommend doing is the people that do carry, we give them a bonus. >> reporter: the president saying schools that remain gun-free zones are open targets. >> i think we need hardened sites. we need to let people know, you come into our schools, you're going to be dead. and it's going to be fast.
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and unless you do that, you're going to always have this problem. >> reporter: that idea echoed by the nra today. >> it should not be easier for a madman to shoot up a school than a bank or a jewelry store or some hollywood gala. schools must be the most hardened targets in this country. >> reporter: but the white house says, it doesn't expect to agree with the nra on every issue. >> is he willing to go against the nra ultimately? because the nra is standing firm that it does not support age limits for semiautomatic rifles. is the president willing to stick with his -- >> he's willing to do what's right to ensure safe -- to ensure we have safe schools. >> reporter: so tonight the president remains at odds with the nra over the issue of raising the age limit for those buying semiautomatic rifles. meantime today, the president said he opposed active shooter drills in schools.
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the white house later clarified that he was talked about the branding wi ing branding, the name, not the actual drill, saying that the name would be traumatizing for younger students and suggesting the idea of safety drills, instead. wolf? >> pamela brown at the white house for us. thank you. let's get some more on all of this. congressman hakeem jeffries is joining us. he's a democrat who serves on the judiciary committee. congressman, thanks for joining us. >> thanks for having me, wolf. >> so we just learned that the school resource officer who is armed didn't actually go into the high school building where the shooting happened. what would be the impact of president trump's proposal to have more trained and armed teachers in schools all across the country? >> reporter: well, it seems to me to be a very unreasonable knee-jerk proposal, that if he was going to float this out there publicly, at least he could have had some consultation with the actual teachers who would be compelled, not just to be responsible for the education of our children, but under the trump model, to be required to
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train, to carry a gun, and to intervene to the extent that a school is impacted by a mass shooting. seems to be wildly irresponsible. john wayne-like, something that only president trump could propose in the midst of a national tragedy. >> he also tweeted this. i'll put it up on the screen. i will be strongly pushing comprehensive background checks with an everyone size on mental health. raise age to 21 and end sale of bump stocks. congress is in a mood to finally do something on this issue, i hope. will you support the president on those measures? >> well, those are reasonable steps. and democrats have always been in the mood to do something. we were in the mood to do something in the aftermath of the tragedy at sandy hook, in the aftermath of san bernardino, in the aftermath of charleston, in the aftermath of orlando, in the aftermath of las vegas, in the aftermath of sutherland springs. the problem has been, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, led by the speaker of
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the house and the current majority leader, have refused to do anything reasonable, even such as enact comprehensive background checks, which the overwhelming majority of the american people support. we could use some presidential leadership on this issue, to finally be able to get something done. >> this is interesting. the radiologists for some of the parkland high school victims says the wounds she saw from the ar-15-style rifle were completely different from the handgun wounds she had seen so many times over the years. she wrote this, and i'll quote her. "if we can see the different impacts of high and low- hlow-vy rounds clinically, then the government can also draw such distinctions." do you agree there are serious distinctions between let's say a handgun and an ar-15-style assault weapon? >> absolutely. and let me make the observation. one, the overwhelming majority
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of gun owners in america are hard-working, law-abiding, patriotic citizens who grew up in a gun culture that was often taught to them by their mother or their father, their grandmother or their grandfather, their older brother or their older sister. it was a family affair. and they have learned how to shoot and how to hunt in ways that are protected by the second amendment. that's not what we're talking about when we are trying to address the issue of keeping weapons of mass destruction like assault weapons out of the hands of criminals, mentally ill individuals, people with convictions for domestic violence offenses, and those who we have reason to believe may engage in a type of mass shooting that we've seen. the fact remains that an assault weapon is not used to hunt deer. it's used to hunt human beings. and it does not belong in the hands of an individual who can
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conflict such tremendous carnage on the american people. >> some florida teachers and unions, they want to divest from gun companies after bloomberg reported that the state pension plan is invested in the very company that was, that made the weapon used in last week's massacre down in florida. would that be an example of a different approach to go forward? something you would support? >> absolutely. we need to look at a comprehensive set of approaches in order to make sure that this time is different. and i'm thankful for all of the wonderful young people who have stepped forward with such courageousness and compassion in terms of fighting to make sure that we can finally get some things done in congress, in the state capitals all across this country. one of the things we need to explore is, why is it the case that the nra has such a vice grip on so many members of the republican party in the house of representatives and in the united states senate? presumably, it in part relates to the fact that they heavily
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fund so many campaigns and invest in political efforts in order to secure such loyalty. but the nra is funded by the gun manufacturers to the tunes of tens of millions of dollars. and so one of the things that may change the dynamic in this country is to make sure that the american people push back against the actual gun manufacturers, those who are funding the nra and by extension, the politicians who are standing in the way of common sense gun legislation and using penchant fund investment strategies is one effective way to do that. we've pruursued it in new york, they should look to pursue it in florida as well. >> congressman jeffries, thanks so much for joining us. >> thanks, wolf. just ahead, more on the breaking news. a major new indictment against paul manafort and rick gates. what message is the special counsel sending about the russia investigation? and we'll have a live report on the shocking revelation from
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a florida sheriff that an armed deputy on the campus of that high school during the shooting massacre stood there and did nothing. this is food made to sit down for. slow down for. put the phone away, and use a knife and fork for. and with panera catering, it's food worth sharing. panera. food as it should be. my bladder leakage was making me feel like i couldn't spend time with my grandson. now depend fit-flex has their fastest absorbing material inside,
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♪ oh, why you look so sad, ♪ the tears are in your eyes, mvo: how hard is it just to take some time out of your day to give him a ride to school and show him you support him. ♪ and don't be ashamed to cry, ♪ let me see you through, ♪ 'cause i've seen the dark side too. ♪ ♪ when the night falls on you, ♪ you don't know what to do, mvo: when disaster strikes to one, we all get together and support each other. that's the nature of humanity. ♪ i'll stand by you, ♪ won't let nobody hurt you. ♪ i'll stand by you, ♪ so if you're mad, get mad, ♪ don't hold it all inside, ♪ come on and talk to me now.
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♪ hey, what you got to hide? ♪ mvo: it's a calling to the nation of how great we are and how great we can be. ♪ i'm alive like you. ♪ when you're standing at the cross roads, ♪ ♪ and don't know which path to choose, ♪ ♪ let me come along, ♪ 'cause even if you're wrong ♪ i'll stand by you. ♪ i'll stand by you. ♪ won't let nobody hurt you. ♪ i'll stand by you. ♪ even in your darkest hour, ♪ and i will never desert you. ♪ i'll stand by you. what's critical thinking like?
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a basketball costs $14. what's team spirit worth? (cheers) what's it worth to talk to your mom? what's the value of a walk in the woods? the value of capital is to create, not just wealth, but things that matter. morgan stanley there's breaking news in the florida high school shooting massacre that left 17 people dead. the broward county sheriff has just revealed that the armed school resource deputy waited outside the shooting -- waited outside the school as the
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shooting unfolded and never actually entered the building. cnn's martin savidge is in parkland, florida, for us with details. martin, this is truly a stunning and such a disturbing development. >> reporter: yeah, it is, wolf. it's a horrific change in the narrative here that we're getting. and this is coming from the sheriff of broward county now, scott israel, who says that he first was going to suspend scott peterson, but now that deputy has resigned. we're going to play for you the news conference in which sheriff scott israel explains what peterson, who is the school resource officer -- this is an armed deputy, in uniform, assigned to this campus, who was on the school that day, as the gunfire breaks out. you could tell the sheriff was deeply distressedrelayed the information. there were a serious of questions asked. here's how the information is put together by the sheriff. >> scott peterson was absolutely on campus through this entire
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event. he was armed. he was in uniform. but what i saw was a deputy arrive at the west side of building 12, take up a position and he never went in. i think it was upwards -- i think he remained outside for upwards of four minutes. he went on his -- i think he got on his radio at a point in time and he took up a position where it looked like he could see the western-most entry into the building and stayed where he was. never went in. devastated. sick to my stomach. there are no words. i mean, these families lost their children. we lost coaches. i've been to the funerals, i've been to the homes where they sit and shiver. i've been to the vigils.
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it's just -- there are no words. >> wolf, as you know, it is standard practice with law enforcement ever since columbine in 1999 that any officer on scene with a weapon must go in and engage the gunman at the time a shooting taking place. you can't wait for backup, you can't wait for the s.w.a.t. team. that was the deadly consequence of columbine. the lesson learned. but in this particular incident, the sheriff said that did not happen. there was an armed deputy, a good guy, with a gun. there was a bad guy with a gun on the inside, and it did not work the way it was supposed to. and remember, wolf. these families were told just days ago by the fbi that they had received a tip that this gunman was very likely going to carry out an attack at this school. they didn't act. now those same families are being told there was an armed officer on campus outside the
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building where the shootings were taking place. and again, those families are told, as their children were dying, that law enforcement did not act. wolf? >> truly shocking, indeed. martin savidge on the scene for us in parkland. martin, thank you very much. let's bring in the panel. jeffrey, you know, it's stunning to hear that, because the whole purpose of having an armed deputy at a school, god for bid, if something like this happens, is for that deputy to do something. >> but doesn't it show that a good guy with a gun can't stop this kind of activity. yes, it's true, he should have gone inside. but if you have someone inside with an ar-15, how many armed officers, even if they're doing their job, can stop it? i mean, this just shows, if you have assault weapons in schools, in the hands of lunatics, it doesn't matter how many people you have. >> i mean, but it does change a narrative here for the president, you know, to a
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degree. i don't know that it will. but, you know, the president talked about hardening the defenses inside the schools by either having the teachers be armed, 20 to 40%, or having more armed guards in. and then you hear this story. and first of all, your heart just breaks for the parents. and the relatives of these children, because not only have they gotten the news about the fbi falling down on the job, but now this. and it just -- i mean, i don't know how you process that, to be honest. but this whole notion that if you arm teachers, who, by the way, are not trained like this officer was, and then suddenly they're going to do what this officer did not do, i think it raises a lot of questions about, about whether that's the right route to go. >> it is sickening, when you hear that kind of stuff. it makes all of us nauseous. >> it definitely does. and there's also a national security angle to this, right? we know after parkland that
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russian bots and trolls went into overdrive, re-tweeting different pieces of this, conspiracy theories, and all this finger-pointing and all of these different narratives about who's to blame. and i think over the coming weeks, as the department of justice looks at where the failure was, as different people try to come up with solutions, the troll pharmacy afarms are g working overtime. >> you know, you've got to wonder if they're going to be able to learn lessons from this and really change things, or is this just going to go on and on and on? >> well, i think one big lesson, wolf, is that there are a lot of components to this my brother-in-law is a police officer who has received commendations for his actions in life-and-death situations, but he has said to me, you don't know how you're going to act until you're in the moment. and i think when you look at talking about arming teachers or putting more guards in schools, that is not a foolproof solution to all the variables that are going on in these situations. >> let's talk specifically. there are 3.5 million teachers
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in schools in america. if you're going to arm 20 to 40% of them, you are arming 700,000 to 1.4 million teachers. that's a great new market for gun manufacturers. they're going to like this idea. but how many teachers want to have guns? how many teachers are qualified to have guns? does this idea make any sense at all? it strikes me as complete insanity. and i just -- i don't see any way this is going to happen or that it could happen. >> the president is pretty firm. you know, you heard what he had to say today. he thinks this is a really potentially good idea. a deterrent -- >> he thinks it's a good idea -- >> -- to a mad killer, if that killer knows that there are armed teachers inside the school, maybe that will deter. >> conceal/carry, he likes that idea, it's an idea the nra likes, you heard wayne lapierre talking about that today. but the president is talking about a lot of things right now.
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he's talking about enhanced background checks, talking about banning bump stocks, he's talking about raising the age at which you can buy a gun like this, he's talking about mental health. so this is part of a whole group of things that he is talking about. and there is a lot of pushback now from teachers. and i'm wondering whether teachers' unions are going to get involved in this. and whether you're going to -- people who go into teaching, and we heard this at the town hall last night, from teachers, who were saying, you know, i went into teaching to teach. i do now have to become a guard? do i now have to learn how to use a weapon? and i think we heard some of that pushback last night. so i don't think this is the end of this debate. i think it's the beginning of it. >> so we haven't yet heard from the deputy, but we did hear from the broward county sheriff, scott israel. you just heard what he said. you saw how devastated, how upset he was that an armed, an
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armed police officer, for all practical purposes, was standing outside during the killing and never bothered to go inside the building. there are no words, he said, these families lost their children, we lost coaches, i've been to the funerals, i've been to the homes where they're sitting shivering, i've been to the vigils. it's just -- there are no words. and there really are no words. there are no words. and i think we are hearing so many red flags were missed by the department of justice. we're hearing about various breakdowns along the process. and deplogloria, we're hearing president make some really wild proposals, just like this proposal to arm teachers. and you have to sit back and ask, what's he actually doing? he's making a lot of statements. a lot of them are ludicrous and terrifying, like this most recent one. but we haven't actually heard him come up with a plan to take action. and i don't think that's an accident. >> but he has taken action. he did take action. in february of last year, he signed a bill overturning an obama attempt to make it harder
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for people with mental illness to get guns. so the president is on the record making it easier to get -- for people with mental illness to get guns. so, so, you know, he has a record on this. history didn't start, you know, with this -- >> and he gleefully accepted, more so than recent candidates in recent memory, the endorsement of the nra very early in his presidential campaign. to your point, sam, i think what the president is doing and what the nra is doing, they know they can't do nothing, they know they can't say nothing. >> why not? they've. doing nothing for years. >> well, they have to say something in response to this outcry. but wanting to find a solution, as laudicrous as the arming teachers thing is, that doesn't involve taking away or restricting guns. >> let me play a little clip, gloria. this is the path speaking about this sensitive issue earlier in the day. >> i think we need hardened sites. you let people know, you come
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into our schools, you're going to be dead and it's going to be fast. >> he's pretty determined on this. >> and that's why the news that we're just talking about, about this resource officer standing outside -- >> an armed resource officer. >> an armed one changes what the president is saying. because -- and we need to hear from the resource officer. we need to hear what was going on. and we don't know that side of the story, but we did hear the sheriff say that he was devastated by this and he was sickened by this. so we're assuming that he's heard it. so now the president has got -- this is a case where you did have someone. and the president might come back and say, you needed to have had more. >> or that this guy was incompetent and he should be prosecuted -- >> that's right, that's right. and you can't just have one. you need to have more. and if the teachers had been armed, maybe it would have been -- you know, maybe it would have been different. so the argument will continue, but it will not only continue from the president, but it's going to have to go to congress. and, you know, there are going to be people in congress who say, arm the teachers, because that's what the nra wants.
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and they're afraid of getting primaried by more conservative opponents will be funded by the nra. so we have to see where that goes. so this is, you know, this is a conversation that the leaders have not weighed in on yet. >> yeah, i was going to say. you know who you haven't heard from at all is speaker ryan or mitch mcconnell, who will control whether any of this either gets voted on. and they haven't even -- they haven't said word one that they're going to do anything about this. >> it's interesting, sam. the president also today seemed to blame, you know, video games, where there's a lot of violence, movies for some of this gun violence that's been going on, and he also proposed not just arming teachers but giving them bonuses if they go ahead and train themselves and get ready to pack a weapon in a school room. he talked about reopening what he -- mental institutions that have been shut down over these many recent years, to put away what he calls sickos. what impression does all of that give you? >> that he doesn't actually like to take on any responsibility,
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right? he's blaming video games. video games are viewed all over the world. people don't go and shoot up schools. and we typically see the president try to take away from him having to actually do anything by blaming other people. look, he's blaming president obama for russia's ongoing attack on the united states. why not blame video games for a mentally ill person going into a school and shooting it up? >> you know, i think he's having difficulty here, because part of it is he's using the nra talking points, which is blaming movies, blaming video games, blaming everybody else, blaming school security, et cetera. and on the other hand, he's sitting there with those parents and he is thinking, wait a minute, i have to do something, because i'm the president. and you know, he never has been committed before he ran on gun -- on the gun issue. he's been all over the lot on that, on the question -- >> or almost any issue. >> right. so i think what you're seeing play out here is a president who has no set of beliefs here. >> no policy.
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>> no policy. and is trying to figure out how he can thread the needle. and the problem with this issue is, you can't thread the needle on it. it's not easy. >> yeah, not easy at all. everybody, stick around. there's more breaking news we're following. we'll be right back.
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activate your within. we use so why do we pay touters thave a phone connected. when we're already paying for internet? shouldn't it all just be one thing? that's why xfinity mobile comes with your internet. you can get 5 lines of talk and text included at no extra cost. so all you pay for is data. choose by the gig or unlimited. and now, get a $200 prepaid card when you buy an iphone. it's a new kind of network designed to save you money. call, visit, or go to the breaking news tonight, new charges against former trump campaign officials, paul manafort and rick gates. the special counsel, robert mueller, has filed 32 new counts
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against them, including money laundering more than $30 million. let's bring in our analysts and our experts once again. jeffrey toobin, you've gone through this document, a very long document. clearly, mueller and his team have been following the money. what do you make of this? >> it's very simple. the message to paul manafort is, if you don't want to die in prison, plead guilty and cooperate. to rick gates, if you ever want to see your children grow up, plead guilty and cooperate. there are now two major cases against both of them. the federal sentencing guidelines are based on the dollar value of the case involved. if they are convicted, they are both looking at decades in prison. paul manafort is 70 years old. rick gates has young children. i mean, this is a complete squeeze play on both of them to put this case behind them and tell what they know about the trump -- >> and you heard preet bharara, the former u.s. attorney tell us just a little while ago that, you know what, this may not be the end of it. if they don't cooperate and
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plead guilty, more charges could be on the way. >> well, one of the things about working for the government, when you are an assistant u.s. attorney, you have all the time in the world. you don't have -- you're not paying legal fees. i mean, these are incredibly complicated cases to defend. there are thousands and thousands of documents needed to be reviewed. so if either of them go to trial, they will need months and months to prepare. this guarantees if these cases go to trial that the mueller investigation will continue into 2019. >> so give us a sense, gloria, step back a little bit, the specific information that you think mueller is seeking. >> you know, wolf, i don't have the answer to that question, honestly. none of us do at this point. i think we wish we did. >> sure. >> but it's very clear that mueller is squeezing these people. and that these are such serious charges that the question is -- i have is, why did manafort get
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involved in this campaign in the first place? i mean, here was a man who failed to pay, according to the indictment, failed to pay taxes for more than a decade, from millions and millions of dollars he got from ukraine. >> on a pro-russian government in ukraine. >> pro-russian government in ukraine. and then when that spigot was turned off, what he did was he tried to fraudulently secure more than $20 million by refinancing real estate he had. and so he could avoid paying taxes on his fancy real estate. so he was -- he was avoiding the irs for quite a long time. >> allegedly. >> allegedly. and getting this, you know, getting this money originally from, you know, this russian-backed candidate in ukraine. so we're talking about russia here in this investigation. and so you have to ask these questions about manafort's
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links. i mean, don't forget, manafort was fired from the campaign shortly after stories came out about his leaks to this russian-backed ukrainian president. so i think that, you know, you have to try to put one and one together, but we don't know. >> he was fired right after the convention, after donald trump got the nomination. what's the message mueller is sending right now? >> i think mueller's sending a message that he's just getting started. and that despite the repeated attacks on the investigation by the administration, also by the russians, by the way, he's not deterred. the u.s. justice system is alive and well. but we learned something else from this document. to your point, it seems like no one on the campaign did a basic google search into manafort and gates and they would have known what these guys were up to a. and there is a pattern here of the president both during the campaign and while in office surrounding himself with people with secrets. these guys pathologically swindled the u.s. government for at least nine years. that's obvious.
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rob porter, domestic abuse allegations. we have jared kushner, conflicts of interest. so many secrets, which, by the way are massive foreign intelligence targets. and it just keeps going and going. >> and just to be -- these are all allegations. right now, the white house keeps saying, you know what, these guys may have done allegedly was years before there ever was a trump campaign. >> yeah, well, if it's the case that special counsel mueller is using these guys to try to get them to plead guilty, as jeffrey says, and roll >> then what they did when is not as relevant. because if they can put into play, they can testify against other people unrelated to the things they are alleged for. >> this is only just beginning. >> and we should all point out, you know, the administration has divorced itself completely from paul manafort as if they don't know who he is. and this is somebody they say who worked for us for a few months. and the truth is the president was never close to paul manafort, but they have kind of said, well, who is he.
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>> he was the chairman of the campaign. >> i know. >> campaign manager. >> everybody stick around. stand by. there is more news we are following. the white house sparks intrigue, announcing president's daughter ivanka trump will leave to the closing ceremony of the winter olympics. until death do us part. selectquote can help you keep your promise. with life insurance starting under $1 a day. but you promised daddy. come on. selectquote helped michael, 41, keep his promise by finding him a $500,000 policy for under $26 per month. and found vanessa, 37 a $750,000 policy for just $22 per month. since 1985, we've helped millions of families by finding them affordable coverage by impartially shopping highly rated insurers offering over 70 policies. dad, don't be late.
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tonight, president trump's daughter ivanka trump is heading to south korea where she will leading the u.s. delegation closing ceremonies of the winter olympics. raising question what, if anything, will be different from vice president pence visit to the games especially if she encounters dignitaries from north korea. what are you hearing? >> white house officials are saying they don't plan on ivanka trump meeting. they are trying to move away from comparisons. they don't want it to be like comparisons to vice president pence and the sister of kim jong-un. highest round ivanka trump president daughter and adviser on her way to south korea tonight representing the united states at the closing ceremonies of the winter olympics in south korea. just two weeks after the north korean dictator kim jong-un sent
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younger sister kim yo-jong to the opening ceremonies. carefully choreographed vision to help that. younger trump's appearance somehow rivals the younger kim'ses. but some say the comparison may be unavoidable. >> i think the trump administration was looking at how sheehan delved herself in korea, the impact she had as very polished, very positive young woman, and i think they are hoping that they can get some of the same out of ivanka trump going to korea this time. >> analysts say ivanka trump could help smooth tensions created by vice president mike pence. he sat with leaders of japan but didn't acknowledge kim yo-jong who was just feet away from him at the vip opening ceremonies. while overseas he also met with
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human defectors and hammered at human right abusers, key reasons why the northerns pulled out a planned secret meeting with pence at the olympics. today pence defended his action actions. >> you know, for all the 3450ed yeah fawn go over the dictator, i think it's important to know who this person is and what she's done. sister of kim jong-un is central pillar of the most tyrannical and oppressive regime on the planet. >> white house officials say there are no plans for ivanka trump to meet with north korean officials at the olympics, although they can't rule out a chance encounter. if that occurs, the president won't meet with kim yo-jong who left several days ago but could come face-to-face with kim chul, a top official is heading north korean delegation to the closing ceremonies. believed to have master minded
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south korean navy ship that killed 46 sailors. also headed the top secret unit thought to be sresponsible for the sony hack. >> it's a signal that while north korea is now willing to engage with the south, they are not going to alter their military plans or their icbm plans or any of their programs to threaten, not only the united states, but its allies. >> analysts say the days and weeks after the para olympics end in march will be crucial. u.s. and south korea have said they'll resume joint military exercises then, which could prompt kim jong-un to test more missiles. but it could also go the other way with possible summit in pyeongchang between moon and kim jong-un summit proposed but they have not committed to. >> i suppose they'll be meeting with officials as well? >> that's right.
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she will be having with moon, ivanka trump having dinner with him, pretty shortly after she arrives. but look out for possible choice encounters because olympic area can be small place, and sometimes by chance or maybe not by chance she could meet or run into some of these north korean officials. if she medicals kim chul, that will be interesting, he's a no torus figure. >> thanks, very much. that's it for me. erin burnett outfront next. outfront next is president calls for more guns in schools, police say armed guard stood by and did nothing. plus more breaking news tonight, new charges against paul manafort and his deputy rick gates. what does it tell us about where mueller is going next? and the father who stood up to marco rubio, he's my guest tonight. let's go outfront. good evening, i'm jim sciutto in for erin burnet


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