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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  February 24, 2018 12:00am-1:00am PST

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trains our firefighters on the gas or electric aspect of a fire and when we have an emergency situation we are going to be much more skilled and prepared to mitigate that emergency for all concerned. the things we do every single day that puts ourselves in harm's way, and to have a partner that is so skilled at what they do is indispensable, and i couldn't ask for a better partner. this is cnn tonight. i'm don lemon. the it's 11:00 p.m. on the east coast. live with the breaking news on the florida school shooting. sources telling cnn that three broward county sheriff deputies were outside the school during the rampage but failed to enter. that's in addition to the armed school resource deputy who also stayed out white 17 students and teachers were shot to death. a latest in the disgraceful
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record at every single level. missed tips and opportunities. and all of those failures led to the deaths of 17 people. here are some of the missed warning signs. cnn obtained documents that showed officers were called to the shooter's house 39 times. florida state services agency investigated cruz in 2016 after he posted violent videos on snapchat and instagram. they closed the case determining he wasn't a threat to himself or others. one month ago the fbi received a call with an ominous warning about nikolas cruz saying i know he is going to explode. i think about -- i just think about, you know, getting into a school and just shooting up the place. that's a quote. well the caller tells the fbi he had pulled a gun on his mother. and on instagram he says, i want to kill people. cnn also obtained newly released
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911 calls from the last november when cruz got into a fight with a family that took him in after his mother died. he claimed his host family son came after him. >> i got mad and i started punching walls and stuff. and then a kid [ bleep ] came at me and threw me on the ground. and he started aching me and kicking me out of the house. and. >> the host family said that it was their son who was the victim. >> he kind of hold him just so he doesn't punch and put him down. but he kept punching and my son threw him out. he is getting his weapon process i know that. he is going to get his guns. >> tonight we learn the coral springs police officers responded to the active shooting at marjorie stoneman douglas high school they were surprised to find four armed broward county sheriff's deputies
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outside the school. one was the armed school resource officer, scot pederson, who failed to go in the school and help protect students when the shooting began. and there were three additional sheriff's deputies on-site who stayed outside crouching behind vehicles. and under 10 minutes a shooter shot and killed 17 people. 12 of them inside the high school. 14 others were wounded, 5 with life threatening injuries because the school's video surveillances system hadn't -- had an inexplicable 20-minute delay. officers didn't enter until a well after cruz was gone. >> what i saw was a deputy arrive at the west side of the building 12 take up a position. and he never went in. there are no words. i mean these families lost their children. we lost coaches. >> unarmed coaches, who put their bodies between the gunman
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and students, sacrificing themselves so some children might be spared. unarmed teachers huddling in closets with kids texting loved ones for help and to say goodbye. and four armed deputies with pistols drawn sat in defensive positions outside. not one of them went into the school. they instead waited for nearly -- nearby coral gables police to lead the charge and to do something. so what happened? i want to bring in now cnn national security analyst juliette kayyem, a former homeland security official and cnn law enforcement analyst josh campbell, a former fbi supervisory special agent. good evening to all of you. i don't want to second guess officers or people who responded here. because we -- we want to know exactly what happened. and we should wait for all the information to come out. but according to the sheriff and what has come out now, josh, the transcript of the call to the fbi in january is downright damning. the caller was worried nikolas
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cruz would get in a school and shoot it up. they said i know he is going to explode. how does this slip through the cracks. >> well this is heart breaking on so many different levels. and as my colleagues here panelists in the security sfree owe industry know very well be, one of the hardest things is after an event something that impacts people, results in loss of life maybe, the population will always look to government and say what could you have done to make sure this didn't happen? were there warning signs? is there something you could have done? the problem is in the security business is often times there aren't warnings. you are left explaining that to the population that there really was nothing we could do in the situation. in is not that. this is different. and the reason why it's so heart breaking is because we see time after time that the system failed the victims there in florida, the system failed family members and it's something we have to get to the bottom of. again there are so many dots
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here. and no one wants to be the armchair quarterback that says we should have done this. but at some point there has to be a big -- a very robust review that looks into this in order to ensure that these type -- this type of incident doesn't happen again. >> so listen, here is another part from -- this is a transcript okay neil, this is from you from the tipster. he is only 18 but has the mental capacity of 12 do 14-year-old if you do to the instagram pages you see all the guns. i want someone to know about this so they can look into it. i know i have a clear conscious if he takes off and just starts shooting places up. i mean these were explicit, very specific warnings. if something this serious don't break through what's the point of a tip line? >> well, there is no point if you can't respond appropriately. you know, josh said that the system failed at many many places.
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not just the systems but people failed. so, you know, and these are two different things. i find it hard to believe that after so many years of dealing with in issue -- and we hear about all the things that have been put in place, all the safeguards that had been put in place, the attention we continue to give to this that something like this failed when you had so many indicators. clear indicators. teachers were doing their job, right. people were reporting at that level. but as you got into the organizations, the police, the fbi, the other processes then failed. but then at the end, you know when it really got down to this thing kicking off, to have our -- our law enforcement officers who have been
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trained -- they failed. they failed to act. and i know it's complicated. i know it's difficult. but still, this is what you signed up for. >> um-hum. juliette you say every -- earn failed these children. but you don't think we should focus on law enforcement right now. why not? >> no, i think we could o we should focus on laughter. i'm going to be the monday morning quarterback. there are red alarms going off all the time leading to the mass murderer. and then the activities in that hour are just shocking. i mean, look, i'm not a police officer. i know from my experience a lot was learned after columbine. and everything changed after columbine in terms of active shooter. that was ha that you stop the assailant immediately. you just go in. you're not there to protect other people. you are not interest to save those who may be wounded. you go in and you -- and you stop the threat. so clearly something has gone wrong, whether training, fear, whatever else. but -- and this is -- you know, there is those failures. and then there is another conversation that the students of the school want to also have,
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which is one of the problems here is how quickly someone with a gun like that can kill people and make response that difficult. right, because you just -- the amount of time it takes to kill that many people now how quickly it is, how -- how outarmed he was -- so i think both conversations are important. i'm not forgiving any there are alarms everywhere and should be an assessment appear broward county shouldn't do the review. they need to step back and independent party needs to step in and be critical, recommend firings whatever it's going to be but also continue the conversation about guns and access to guns that is an important conversation that we're finally having in this country. >> um-hum. listen, i think you're welcome to have your own opinion. that's why we have you. i don't want to -- i don't know exactly thousand played out. niece are reports we get from sources say whatever i want to see the transcripts. i want to see it play out. it looks damming from the sheriff is saying. >> but don i agree with you that's why you want an independent assessment.
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i think broward county given the conflicting narrative and what happened and some of the challenges that are- and also this is very political at this stage. broward county should hand the review -- this happens in a lot of cases. you hand the review to an independent party. people come in and do the review that's it. i agree with you it's just very -- it's very hard to know at this stage. broward might not be the best entity to do that review. >> here is what the report something, josh. four broward county sheriff's deputies didn't go in the school as the shooting was unfolding. does that make any sense to you? >> it doesn't. unfortunately knows are some law enforcement who are trained to not only physically respond but were constantly told that until you're actually in that situation where you face deadly
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force, where your life could be on the line in order to serve and protect someone else. you don't know what you're going to do. we train physically. but we're also told to continue to train mentally to go through the motions, through that planning, what would i do in this situation? somehow would i act? i would say as we've seen the psychological training is just as important as the physical training. because you don't know what you're going to do. i think that the point was raised about training is something that's very important. this isn't just about politics not about policies we have to ensure that we train our officers to a certain standard so they understand what they're signing up to do. it's different. those in law enforcement understand it's a different calling, and when they're called to act they need to act. >> well, neil, listen if they were -- if they knew they heard it was ar-15, knew they didn't
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have the weaponry to go up against it isn't that -- doesn't that make the case or the point that maybe these sorts of weapons should not be legal on the street because even police officers have to go -- even they're outfun o gunned by enemy? >> well we all- there are many different opinions about whether the weapons should be legal, available on the street, who can buy them what age limit all this stuff. i hope we get down to a serious conversation and meet somewhere with a compromise, left, right, everyone in between and start moving this issue in the right direction. but as far as that police officer and the others that were there hearing any -- and you can tell the difference of a handgun between an ar-15, at least most police officers can. but still, you know, we're not talking about confronting this individual in an open field and that's where the earn with the long gun has the advantage. you're talking about a school,
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hallways, class rowe classrooms, a short distance between you and the assailant when you do come in contact with that person. but, again, you've got teachers sacrificing lives for these kids versus a trained police officer who knows about the strategy, who has been trained in active shooter scenarios. i don't know a cop in this country that hasn't had that training. and again, the mental part of it, the visualization we're trained to do this all the time, so that you are prepared we something like this happens. but i mean -- but just to -- i don't know, i'm just having a difficult -- a difficult time here with this and not just him but the other deputies that responded. and then -- it's tough to think about this. it really is. >> don can i just say that on that note, when it gets -- we get to the issue of who should be responding and who should have the weapons we have too an honest conversation. and you know this isn't an anti-gun statement. but if you look at the response
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by law enforcement we had highly trained people trained to carry firearms that did not at least it appears did not act the way that they were supposed to, that they were trained. what are teachers going to do in that situation in i mention that because that's been -- we center a lot on that debate we need to arm teachers. if we have highly trained law enforcement officers who go through the motions know what to expect, know how to manipulate a firearm, if they are in a position where they're not going to act, i think -- i find it hard to believe that we're going to ask the same of teachers who don't have that same kind of tacticed background and whose focus is on education not protection. >> i had a teacher e-mail me last night saying where am i supposed to keep the gun in the class and the ammunition and keep the students away from it? and what happens if one of my students gets ahold of it? am i responsible? or if someone comes in the classroom and i don't care of it? am i blamed? or if swuns comes in the classroom and i get the gun and shoot the wrong person, there is so many variables in there. it's not a smart idea. and i don't think we need to discuss it. it's a silly idea. juliette let's talk about the governor rick scott with came out gun proposals today. >> yes.
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>> raising the age to buy a gun -- any gun in the state, 21, tough background checks and longer waiting periods to buy firearms and then to the sale of bump stocks giving the government power to place mentally ill individuals in custody and millions for mental health services and fortifying schoolless. i do have an issue with the mentally ill part because i think lump in a whole lot of people. people who have mental issues aren't usually violence. any usually have violence cast upon them. i think we shouldn't stigma advertise mental issues. saying someone is angry, someone who is misguided, someone bent on revenge, someone having an issue doesn't mean they have a mental illness. but is this -- >> right. >> are all these steps in the right direction? >> yes, i mean, it's -- i think just the governor should be applauded. i think that these are practical solutions. they don't, you know, take away
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your second amendment rights. >> right. >> these are practical solutions. they are what rational common sense people can understand. and when you can buy a beer you can get a gun. the bump stock makes no sense. get rid of it. the governor should be applauded. for those of us advocating for strict are gun laws, if this governor can meet halfway maybe it gives us hope that other governors who have a lot of power in this gun issue will begin to too. and that gives me some solace after a week plus of -- of a lot of pain for a lot of people. >> well said. thank you all. have a great weekend. i appreciate it. >> thank you. when we come back trump versus reagan. we will talk to the man who says we've gone from the gipper to the grifter. when i received the diagnoses, i knew at that exact moment ... i'm beating this. my main focus was to find a team of doctors.
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from mourning in america to making america great again. president trump likes to compare himself to ronald reagan. but a lot of people aren't buying that.
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let's discuss with max a. fellow at council on foreign releases and the author the road not taken. you wrote a great article in the "washington post", titled reagan was the gipper trump is the grifter. you say the comparisons between the two presidents a perfectly plausible proposition if you know nothing about reagan or trump. talk to us about that. how are they different? >> well, where to start. the differences are so vast it's staggering me people try to compare them. some of the trump supporters have to the nerve to suggest he is doing more than egan which is ridiculous you have to for starters remember the situation in the united states when reagan took power in 1981. we had double digit inflation. double digit interest rates. our economy was going through a rough spell. we had been through the iranian hostage crisis. the entire malaise was in the air. the country was in a dark spot. he rebuilt the military, cut taxes at a time when the tax cut
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made sense because the economy was going into recession. now, contrast that with donald trump who took over after this long period of growth brought about by president obama, very i have favorable conditions didn't face the same crisis in the first year as reagan opinion remember among other things ronald reagan was shot in the first year in office. and he handled that adversity with dignity and grace. and then of course donald trump, i mean, just -- it's beyond the policies it's the personal differences are vast. >> why do you think he continues that lie that he inherited a mess and that he inherited -- he seems to insin eight the same %-p. he inherited a great economy, low unemployment. but yet he says he inherited a mess. >> as you know, don, he lies compulsively, five six times a day at least. why does i is a i his tax cut is the largest in history when it's like the eighth largest and ronald reagans in 1981 was the largest. he has to inflate achievements. but the significant differences between reagan and trump have nothing to do with policy or
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issues. it has to do with personality. remember reagan was a guy who did not pay off porn actresses, didn't embarrass the country. didn't call his political opponents treasonous, who did not dem demonize immigrants and racial minorities. he was a good guy. and he was president with dignity and class and grace which is not something you could possible possibly say about donald trump. >> it makes you wonder when you say those things, how small are his hands. listen in your article you mentioned this before and i want oh give the audience spoesks on the heritage foundation say talking about trump's accomplishment. 64% of president trump's ideas were implemented in the first year. better than 49% of reagan's. you explain the context of that saying that's simple not true. >> it's -- no, i mean if you look at what reagan achieved in terms of reviving the economy, cutting regulations, taxes, growing the military, reviving the nation's spirits, creating
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that morning in america mood. there is no comparison. donald trump simply is has not achieved movie of the agenda. he passed a tax cut. didn't repeal obamacare. he hasn't gotten mexico to pay for the wall. hasn't revived the military. he makes a lot of promises. he doesn't actually deliver. >> this is part of president trump's speech at c-pac today let's play it. >> honestly -- i'll use the word my administration as opposed to me -- my administration i think has had the most successful first year in the history of the presidency. i really believe that. i really believe it. i really believe it. so i mean judges, regulations, everything. and the beautiful thing -- the beautiful thing about the tax cuts is nobody thought we could do it. >> so i'm wanting to you listen
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to president reagan's 1984 speech at c-pac. >> if you take away the dream, you take away the power of the pierret. if you take away the belief in a greater future, you can't explain america. that we're a people who believe there was a promised land. we were a people who believed we were chosen by god to create a greater world. well, i think we're remembering those bedrock believes which motivate our progress. a spirit of renewal is spreading across this land. >> what do you think? >> i just feel very sad, don to be reminded of a time when we had a republican president who spoke the better is angels of our nature and sought to uplift americans and instead of donald trump, with this constant, i, i, i, i'm wonderful. ronald reagan had a relatively modest ego and spoke about the greatness of america as donald
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trump tears people down to make himself feel better because he has massive insecurities and massive ego. it's a sad contrast we have gone from ronald reagan to donald trump. >> thank you. and i just want to put -- because you mentioned this earlier. this is from the article in the "washington post". as impressive as what reagan achieved was what he didn't do. he didn't demonize the press, attack minorities or immigrants, demean the presidency, obstruct justice, accuse his political foes of treason or have his lawyer pay off a porn star. everyone should read that. thank you. >> thanks for having me. >> when we come back robert mueller flips rick gates today. we'll tell you what we know about the plea deal. plus mueller leveling more charges on paul manafort. will manafort be the next to flip? we use our phones and computers the same way these days.
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so why do we pay to have 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 xfnitymobile.com. breaking news in the mueller investigation tonight. the special counsel filing charges against former trump campaign chairman paul manafort. this is manafort's right-hand man and said, rick gates, pleading guilty to a pair of criminal charges. >> i want to bring in cnn's
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national security analyst who was a senior adviser to president obama's national security advicer. cnn legal analyst michael zeldin, a former special assist to robert mueller at the department of justice. samantha, the gates charging documents out tonight. what stands out to you. >> these are the most detailed accounts we have yet of the pathologile swindles by gates and mafrpt as well. but we knew a lot before the documents came out, right? we knew that manafort had two really important longstanding relationships. one was with russia via ukraine. and the other was with donald trump. so now i think we have to take a step back from the national security perspective and say what kind of influences did russia have throughout the campaign via manafort and gates, and what impact did that have on the policies put forward during the campaign and into the administration. >> so in some way -- i don't know how -- if you would know if
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trump knew or did he invite -- >> i think that donald trump invited russia on this campaign the minnesota he brought paul manafort in and the minute he brought gates in. this was open source knowledge. it was no secret that paul manafort and gates had the relationships with the ukraine, had a relationship with putin allies. so at that point russia had an open door on the campaign. >> michael, the guilty pleas and indictments are piling up today. rick gates flipped, the third trump administration official to cooperate with robert mueller. how damaging is this to his long-term business partner paul manafort. >> well, it's very interesting. i was reading tonight the statement of offense. they file, you know, the plea agreement. they file the charges. and then the statement of offense. which is a narrative description of what happened. and in that statement of offense in the third paragraph it says that gates with manafort's cooperation did all of manafort as tax preparation work. he talked to the accountants.
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he filed the final returns. he made the misstatements on the forms, all of them working together. which tells me that gates can convict manafort essentially on his own of the entire virginia indictment. they don't really need anything but the documents, the tax returns, the certification that there was no foreign bank account report filed. and gates's testimony. so how manafort -- leaving aside what samantha said about the conspiracy to did he fraud the united states and the collusion within, and all which is valid. but when you look at mafrpt's jeopardy on the basis of gates' plea. gates convicts him of everything in virginia. and virginia carries 30 years in prison for him. before you even get to the broader conspiracy thing. if you're manafort you have to know you're not finding yourself free of criminal liability and conviction out of virginia. and that's 30 years. therefore you have to work out a plea. >> yes.
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>> this tells me that manafort, for all his braf add o has to come to his senses if he wants to see his family again. >> and considering all the charges gates was up against -- he got a good deal. what does gates have that mueller wants. >> i think gates based upon his role in the campaign. >> hold on wasn't gates -- gates was part of the campaign a lot longer than mafrpt was part of the campaign. >> and gates had a substantive role. if you think about what this role would do on a campaign, he should have known about every meeting that was taking place, for example with the russians the at the trump tower, name the meeting. and the financial transactions that were happening. and so there are so many unreported -- unanswered questions we have right now about who met with whom, when, what they talked about, and whether, again, russia had any undue influence on the campaign. i think that gates is well
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positioned to have answers to those questions as well as, by the way, any business transactions that were going on that we no are already the subject of mueller's investigation. >> interesting. so miebl, after the gates plea manafort issued a statement and it read notwithstanding that rick gates pled today -- rick gates pled today i continue to maintain my innocence. i had hoped and expected my business colleague would have had the strength to continue the battle to prove our innocence for reasons yet to surface he chose to do otherwise. this is not altering my commitment to defend myself against the untrue piled up charges contained in the indictments against me. so he -- is talking a good game. but today mueller announced even more new charges against manafort. the pressure has to be immense right now. >> i would think so, don, the -- when you take into consideration manafort's age, the severity of the charges, how many of the charges -- the tax and the
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failure to report the bank accounts overseas are pretty straightforward. they're not complicated like the conspiracy to defraud the united states or the international money laundering component of the indictment, the first indictment. when you see that he really does not have a strong defense unless he can make gates out to be a stone cold liar, then, you know, what's he -- what's this braf add o all about? it might look great for the press. maybe he is angling for a pardon to say to the president, you know, i'm not going to cave. if you give me a pardon i won't testify. but of course that's not true also. he can be pardoned and still required to testify. so i think in the end -- i mean predicting the future is always dangerous with this white house and with these characters. but in the end i can't imagine, don, how manafort doesn't come to his senses if mueller wants his cooperation he will make an offer for him -- he can't refuse. >> great conversation but i have to run. thank you all. i appreciate it.
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when we come back, is america still a nation of immigrants? u.s. citizenship and immigration services seems to think it isn't anymore. oh, that's lovely... so graceful. the corkscrew spin, flawless... ...his signature move, the flying dutchman. poetry in motion. and there it is, the "baby bird". breathtaking. a sumo wrestler figure skating? surprising. what's not surprising? how much money heather saved by switching to geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more. but one blows themisturizer all out of the water. hydro boost from neutrogena®. with hyaluronic acid to plump skin cells so it bounces back. neutrogena®
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the agency in charge of u.s. immigration services updating the mission statement and removing the phrase nation of immigrants. the director of the u.s. citizenship and immigration services saying that the revised statements emphasizing protecting the homemade. i want to bring in our guests, a former co-chair of the trump campaign in virginia. good evening, gentlemen. charms i'm starting with you. this is the mission statement in the united states customs and immigration service in 2005 here is how it reading process ittis says the uscis secures the nation's promised as nation ever immigrants by providing accurate and useful information to customers granting immigration and citizenship benefits, prompting awareness and understanding of citizenship and ensuring the integrity of our
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immigration system. the agency's new mission statement reads now today, u.s. citizenship and immigration services administrators the nation's lawful grimes service safe guarding integrity and promised by effectively and fairly jude indicating requests for immigration benefits while protecting americans securing the homeland and honors values. what changed? well the phrase that described the agency as securing the america's promises as a nation of immigrants has been eliminated. we are no longer a nation of immigrants. >> well, i mean that phrase is actually a statement of fact and philosophy, right. this is how we view ourselves and is historical fact. the population of indigenous people of north america is relatively small based -- and most of the people who are here now are descendants of people who came to this country some way or another, whether forcibly or not. and in its very interesting for
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me sitting here not too far from he willis island where a large number of the people funneled through to come to this country to not think of america as a country of immigrants. and i also i believe that it is, you know, part of the erasing of truth and fact and history, kind of a revisionist history of america that we are now undergoing. and that is a problematic thing just as a fact. >> um-hum. so, john, l francis who the director zriebld it as a simple straightforward statement that clearly defines the agency's role in our country's lawful immigration system and the commitment we have to the american people. he was appointed by the trump administration. does this change the -- how the president feels and his stance on immigration? >> no. i think what they're saying is we're a nation of americans. and if you come to america we would hope that all immigrants
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who come into this great country attempt to assimilate in to america, like our ancestors did. and certainly my grandparents did. we came over and we were not able to speak italian, which my parents did or german which my grandfather did. you had to speak english. and so i think what they are saying is look we are a nation of americans. and the president, no doubt, has a very different vision for immigration in this country, which he has boldly laid out, which includes economics and other factors. and that's what he got elected on. so i don't think this should be a surprise or a shocker. and i don't really think it represents any major change other than it's 2018. >> but you just anticipatesed the question and you said no but you answered the question i said does this frkt the ppt's hard line stance on immigration?
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you said no. it doesn't. but then you said yeah it reflects how the president -- so. >> i think -- i think it reflects a change in the status of where the country is in 2018 as opposed to where it was in 1818. i think that's what the difference is. and i think this is really really all to do about nothing. i don't think anybody that comes into this country legally doesn't want to be an american. that's why they're coming in. >> john, i have to say this, by- dsh listen, you're entitled to your opinion. but by -- >> thank you. >> from your logic then the second amendment no longer applies in the way it apply eyed when it was written. >> well, we're not changing the amendment, don. he is changing the -- the director change the language. and i just gave you the explanation, which. >> you said it reflects where we are in 2018 and not 20082018. >> yeah. >> and the same thing about the
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second amendment. the second amendment doesn't reflect where we are in 1818. >> i don't know how -- what the second amendment has to do. >> i'm just saying by your logic. >> i don't know what that has to do with this. >> by your logic everyone keeps saying the second amendment is sacred. shouldn't grimgts be just as sacred? if we are living at a time where that's more reflective where we are in 2018 than 1818 there are a whole lot of other things that should be changed as well? >> well, again, we're a nation of americans. that's really what's change. the country is a lot older than it was in -- in 1818 when the words were written. and the i really think you're reacting to something that doesn't mean a lot of anything. the president is not restricting immigration. he is not saying he doesn't want people to come to the country. he is changing or he would like to change the way we do immigration and change it to a
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different system, which i happen to believe is the right way to go. we had the prime minister of australia in today, malcom turnbull, aufrmts does it the exact way the president does. and by the way, the australian prime minister today said at the white house in the press briefing, that he would like to model the economic prosperity for australia right after trump's economic prosperity and his tax cut plan. >> i got to get to break. i got to get to a break. >> go ahead. >> we'll be right back. i'm lucky to get through a shift without a disaster. my bargain detergent couldn't keep up. so, i switched to tide pods. they're super concentrated, so i get a better clean. number one trusted. number one awarded. it's got to be tide was a success for lastchoicehotels.comign badda book. badda boom. this year, we're taking it up a notch.
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we're back.
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we're in the middle of a conversation. charles is back and john frederick, as well. sorry to cut you off. we had to get the break in. did you want to respond to what john was saying? >> i thought it was fascinating when john was talking about the difference between 1818 and 2018. there's a cultural blind spot in white america that does not want to acknowledge what happened around that time in 1818 and now we flung the doors wide-open to immigrants from europe for a very long time. in 1818 my ancestors were slaves and brought here because they were brought as slaves. and native americans were being removed from their lands that they rightfully owned through both forcible removal and these pacts and treaties. now that we have an american they like, now all of a sudden
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we want to slam the door shut and say, no, no, that's not who we are. that's who we were when people who looked like me were coming. not when it's people who are brown or asian or whatever. and that is a very hypocritical, insulting reversal of the ethos of america. >> john? >> charles, it really has nothing to do with that. this isn't about race. this is about economics. this isn't about the color of somebody's skin or how they come into the united states. it's about jobs. what the president simply said is we have a $20 trillion debt and we're looking for people who come into the country that can support themselves economically. so what the president has said is, if we see a need,
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economically, for pipe fitters that happen to be in nigeria, they're going top top of the list. >> if we need welders and there's welders in haiti -- >> that's a country he called a shithole by the way. >> that's why i'm using them as example. >> we're talking about the removal of this particular phrase and whether or not that phrase ever stood for something in this country, and it did. and it should still stand for something in this country. you go to the statue of liberty and read about what it means and they're asking for us to send, you know, our poor, hungry -- >> right. >> -- of europe, and when that was happening everyone was fine and dandy.
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this is who we were, this is what we wanted. and now all of a sudden this is no longer who we are. we want to build $25 million walls for nothing because we want to keep the brown people out. we want to make sure that people from haiti, the places you said may have plumbers -- >> we're almost out of time. >> -- can't come. we want to make sure that people from african countries cannot come to the u.s. you tell me that is not about race. you try to disconnect economics from the racial reality in this country. and that is a ridiculous position for you to hold and also not factual. >> you're talking about debt. the president added $1.5 trillion to the debt and you're saying he's wanting to change the immigration system -- >> he's trying to grow us out of the debt, don, through 5% economic expansion, which is going to well pay for that. >> i have to go, guys. >> you look at the economic result of the tax cuts. you can rant, rave, all you want -- >> we have to go. john, i hate to cut you off. >> thank you.
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a busy day for the u.s. special counsel. new charges against one former trump campaign staffer and a plea deal from another. in the meantime, missed warning signals in the florida school shooting add to the heartbreak. and the questions about prevention. a second russian athlete is found guilty of doping. live in pyeongchang with the details. we are live at cnn world headquarters in atlanta. we welcome our viewers here in the united states and around the world. i'm george howell. "cnn newsroom" starts now.

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