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tv   CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin  CNN  August 9, 2019 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT

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they did just like they were trained to do. i'm very proud. very proud. >> the dayton fire department going beyond the call of duty. i just wanted to say a massive thank you to the men and women at dayton fire for having us out this week and for everything you do every day. thank you. this is cnn breaking news. >> we continue on, top of the hour. i'm brooke baldwin. you're watching cnn. we have breaking news in the el paso mat shooting investigation. "the washington post" is now reporting that the alleged gunman told police his intended target was, quote, mexicans, and confessed to police that he was the shooter. doou during interviews he -- driving
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nearly 600 miles because he told police he thought it would be wrong to commit the attack in his hometown near dallas since he said he didn't want his family and acquaintances to find out he did it. the alleged gunman was arrested on the day of the attack s surrendering at an intersection just north of the store. any tangible action likely will not come for at least a month. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell told a local radio station he will not call lawmakers back from vacation to work out a solution. >> you're not calling people back in early to address this gun legislation? >> if we did that, we'd just have people scoring points and nothing would happen. there has to be a bipartisan discussion here of what we can agree on. if we do it prematurely, it will just be another frustrating experience for all of skpus andr the public where people are just
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trying to score political points and not trying to get an outcome. >> agreeing with leader mcconnell, president trump is also taking a vacation before leaving for the hamptons for a fund-raiser. today the president admitted the country needs better background checks, but he didn't offer anything specific. >> frankly, we need intelligent background checks. this isn't a question of nra, republican or democrat. i will tell you i spoke to mitch mcconnell yesterday. he's totally on board. >> cnn's kaitlan collins is live at the house. kaitlan, what is the president actually considering? >> reporter: well, the president said mitch mcconnell is totally on board and the president was calling for more extensive background checks, but whether or not that's the case with mcconnell is still an open question. he's back home in kentucky. he did that radio interview yesterday when he did talk about pursuing newlation, looking at new legislation when congress
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does eventually come back from their august vacation, but he didn't endorse any specific legislation and his office made that pretty clear issuing a statement after the president spoke this morning saying that no, he did not endorse any legislation. so though the president sounds optimistic that republicans are going to be on his side, we've not heard a wealth of senate republicans come out on the record endorsing interest specific kind of background checks measure. that's something they've opposed in the past. whether or not the president can get them on board is still another question. one other group he's also hoping to persuade is the nra. he's been speaking several times with the nr aa's chief and thiss what he's taking away from the conversations. >> i had a good talk with wayne and i like wayne. they supported me very early. far earlier than anybody thought possible, especially me not being a politician. there's been no president that feels more strongly about the second amendment than i do.
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however, we need meaningful background checks so that sick people don't get guns. i think in the end, i think in the end wayne and the nra will either be there or maybe will be a little bit more neutral. that would be okay too. >> right now the nra is not there. making that clear not only in phone calls to the president but also in a statement saying they do not support the recent calls for extensive background checks. >> thank you. a contributing op-ed writer. welcome to both of you. i want to ask you quickly of the news we've just been getting. "the washington post" is reporting the suspect said he was targeting mexicans. >> not surprising at all. it's a white supremacist terrorist. if you read his 4-page machine f -- manifesto, it spells it out.
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after reading the manifesto of the christchurch where he killed 51 people in march, including a 3-year-old boy and they used all the terms used by donald trump. invasion, right? cultural replacement. that the white race and the white identity will be replaced by these immigrants, these criminals, these terrorists. if you simpl simply replace christchurch, it's almost an kpkt co exact copy of the -- i want to remind people, donald trump promoted this white supremacist conspiracy theory of the invasion to win the midterm elections. when he did that, people forget this, around that same month, robert bowers walked into the tree of life synagogue and shot and killed 11 people because he wanted to punish the invaders. connect the dots. >> you mentioned the president and the report says that his campaign -- his officials on his campaign actually welcome some of the 2020 democratic
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candidates for publicly calling him a white supremacist. >> you've been very clear you believe the president is a racist. is the president a white supremacist? >> he is. he's also made that very clear. he he's sought to dehumanize those who do not look like or pray like the majority here in this country. >> he is not only egging on white supremacy and white nationalism, but he is one himself. >> at some point when he has been so embraced by the white supremacists and has not distanced himself, then he's there. >> do you agree as elizabeth warren has said that he is a white supremacist? >> i think you should ask him that question. >> why are so you hooked on that? i just want me to say the word so i sound like everybody else. he is encouraging white supremacist. you can determine what that means. >> this is going to be you first, but this is the thinking from trump allies.
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if the democrats use words like white supremacist to describe the president, it might actually turn off more moderate republicans and independents who might otherwise be inclined to vote for them. today the president pushed back on that thinking. here he was. >>. >> i don't think it helps. first of all, i don't like it when they do it because i am not any of those things. i think it's a disgrace and i think it shows how desperate the democrats are. for them to throw out the race word, racist, racist, racist, that's all they use. they call nancy pelosi a racist. she's not a racist. they call anybody a racist when they run out of cards. >> here's the question. if the real goal is to get gun reform on the federal level and the democrats need to work with republicans, is it productive to call him a white supremacist? >> well, you know, i don't know
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what exactly productive would mean when it comes to donald trump, because donald trump is all over the place. he has his own agenda and sets his own rules, his own norms. he has his own reality. one of the things we've seen come out is that increasingly, when we think about legislation, we have to think independent of donald trump even as we continue to know that donald trump will play a role at some point. so if you're thinking about something like gun legislation, i think you're much more thinking about what are the kinding of alliances, what are the kinds of coalitions we have in the house, in the senate? where can we get inroads? something like -- thinking about donald trump's most recent comments about maybe we'll have background checks, again, that might be real. it might not be real. it might be symbolic. it might have teeth to it. we don't actually know any of that. i think what you're seeing the democratic candidates doing is, one, doing -- pushing towards the moral element of this thing. pushing towards the emotional element. pushing towards the logical, the
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right thing to do. but also really thinking through political calculations and recognizes that actually this is something that their base wants to see. this is something their base does believe. >> to that point, it is the trump campaign who reportedly thinks that being called a supremacist is politically advantageous. do you think it is? >> can we just sit there for a second and just marvel at what you just asked me? isn't that amazing in 2019? >> that the president of the united states is being labeled a white supremacist. >> look how he ran his campaign. muslim ban. the wall. obama birther conspiracy. me mexicans and rapists. he tripled down on one talkin point. not the economy. not jobs. invasion. caravan of rapist and criminals. that is a white supremacist conspiracy theory that was mainstream by trump and the
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white wing media. now the latest poll shows a majority of americans think that donald trump is a racist and they think he's more racist than george wallace of alabama who famously said segregation today, tomorrow, and forever. for some strange reason, donald trump thinks this is a win. i just want to remind people just today for the fourth week in a row, he retweets katie hawkins who, brooke, is an extremist who calls for a final solution on muslims. said that migrants are cockroaches and she blames jews for their own massacre in the tree of life synagogue because their rabbi was pro-migrant. this president after everything that just happened retweets this woman again for the fourth week in a row. how is this a winning strategy for america? >> you could apply that question to what i'm about to ask you next. this photo of this baby boy in el paso. this is a photo that the first lady tweeted out. this baby in this picture 2 months old.
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this baby will be growing up without either of his parents because his mother and father died shielding him from the gunfire in el paso. the baby had been discharged from the hospital. was brought back to meet the president. the family says they wanted to share their pain with the president which they have every right to do, but for the president to flash a thumbs up? >> you know, i rarely get angry, brooke. i'm not even going to look at the photo. i get so angry. because this is a man who utterly devoid of empathy that he bring a child back to get a photo op and a thumbs up sign. he's a man so devoid of empathy. it's a simple ask. a child could do it. don't tweet anything bad. console the victims, talk about the victims. what does he do? he talks about and brags about his crowd sizes. he mocks every other politician. then he brings a child, a baby back and does a thumbs up sign. he blames mental illness. he blames video games. right now he blamed hollywood. he's going to do nothing on gun
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control. paer apparently his administration is doing nothing to -- according to the fbi and white supremacy, so as a father i see that and i get incensed. i go what's wrong with this country where they have a man, donald trump, with zero empathy and somehow some people think this man will make them feel great again when he can't even console victims of a domestic terrorist attack. maybe it's just me, but it makes me -- it riles me up. >> they have every right to meet the baby and all they have every right, but it's the smiles and the thumbs up that just -- i have a really hard time with that as well. as far as action, the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell has just used some seemingly significant language on background checks, but then minutes later his spokesman issued a statement saying the senate republican leader didn't endorse anything specific in their conversation on thursday. so which is it? and by the way, when everyone
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comes back from recess in september, that is an entire month. leah? >> yeah. you know, i think the thing that we have to be aware of is that we haven't seen any movement on republicans on this, particularly in the senate, from mitch mcconnell. we are unlikely to see it. at least in this case the nra is being completely honest in their opinion that they are not going to support anything around the second amendment, any kind of regulation, any kind of control. what's interesting here is that the majority of americans support common sense gun reform. this includes nra members. this includes some republicans. >> i just had an nra member on my show who said the same thing you just said. >> exactly. but i think what is important for us to remember here is that anything that donald trump is doing in this arena, realistically, is going to have to go through mitch mcconnell. he is saying right now that that's not going to happen. so realistically, what is
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probably happening is donald trump is doing a lot of symbolic gesturing, but very little, if anything. >> so you think it's empty words from trump and mcconnell? because they are talking background checks. believe it when you see it sort of thing? >> they're talking about it, but will they actually do anything about it. >> don't forget, they're hoping we forget. they're just waiting, dragging this out, hoping there's going to be another tragedy and some other chaotic thing that trump tweets so that next week like a dog whistle. like the dog from "up". squirrel? look the other direction and that's what they're praying is going to happen. they're trying to avoid talking about these three things. gun control, white supremacy and trump's racism. if they can somehow survive this week and divert the attention, they're thinking most americans will forget. i don't think most americans and the people of dayton and gil rye
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and el paso will not forget what happened this week. >> it is on all americans to keep this issue front and center. thank you both so much. >> thank you, brooke. still ahead here on cnn, president trump doubles down on the tactics used in that massive i.c.e. raid in mississippi calling it a very good deterrent. meanwhile, we are hearing from children who are still separated from their parents. plus as president trump considers a pardon for illinois's disgraced former governor, cnn has the inside story on how these decisions are made.
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we learned this week that president trump is considering a pardon for former illinois governor. there is reporting about how a kosher meet kingpin won clemency under president trump. the former ceo of america's largest kosher meet processing plant. he was convicted in 2009 of a series of fraud charges and interestingly after his iowa operation was the target of one of the largest immigration raids at the time, he was serving a 27 year sentence when president trump commuted it in december of
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2017. vicky ward is with me. a pleasure to finally have you on. welcome. >> thank you, brooke. >> so you learned that the president's son-in-law jared kushner was instrumental in this case. >> pivotal. that's really the point of this story, that at the time the c commutation of the sentence, the first -- this was something presented as a bipartisan initiative. there had been letters from nancy pelosi, loads of legal experts, the now attorney general bill barr had written in support of this. but in fact, it wasn't those letters didn't have any sway at all. it was all jared kushner whose father charles had also been lobbying the new york legal community as soon as the president -- president trump won the election. jared kushner again and again went to see president trump
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about this case and actually faced a lot of pushback from don mcgahn, john kelly, then chief of staff and rob kelly who were very worried about the messaging. because the case was so connected to the immigration. it was against the trump administration's position on immigration. he had been -- his whole case centered around the fact that all these undocumented workers were found at his kosher plant in iowa. >> okay. so it's kushner who plays this pivotal role so why in the end did the president's advisers not put up more of a fight against this commutation? >> the question i say in the story, pick your battles. they felt that it was precisely because there was so much bipartisan support. it was precisely because it did
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seem as though the sentence was extraordinarily severe. 27 years, it was two years longer than actually the prosecutors had asked for. there were questions as to whether the judge in the case had been involved in the raid. those kind of issues is what made them think there are battles to fight with jared kushner. this may not be it. clearly an example of favoritism, but this is not one to fight him over. >> how did this compare to the president's predecessor and their use of pardons in the first two years of their term? >> this is what's so interesting. jared kushner went to the president and said this is going to be really good because you're going to win over the orthodox jewish community if you do this. a different part of his base with the other pardon. it appealed to tough on immigration members of his base.
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so the president is learning that clemency is a useful tool, very transactional. presidents obama, bush, and clinton barely used clemency at all in their first two years. this president, you know, it's who you know that matters and we see clemency being used as a naked political tool and of course right now we're all thinking about that with the case of the governor. kushner pushing that it's being reported by "the new york times." what's the political benefit? >> clemency a naked political tool. you are a writer. we will look for your piece. >> thank you. one school district in mississippi was right. missing 150 students in the wake of the massive i.c.e. raids in mississippi. many children still unsure when
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they'll get to see their parents again. i'll talk with an activist who's trying to help her community. also, more on our news. just in on the el paso mass shooting suspect. we have now confirmed he told police that he was, in fact, targeting mexicans. you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. [farmers bell] (burke) at farmers insurance, we've seen almost everything, so we know how to cover almost anything. even a "three-ring fender bender." (clown 1) sorry about that... (clown 2) apologies.
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defending his record setting immigration sweep. at least 377 undocumented immigrants detained in the nation's largest single state raid remain in custody. but it's not clear as of this moment just how many children have been left without their parents. the president, though, was four focussed on sending a message to the families who have yet to reach u.s. borders. >> i want people to know that if they come into the united states illegally, they're getting out. they're going to be brought out. and this serves as a very good deterrent. when people see what they saw yesterday and like they will see for a long time, they know that they're not saying here. >> in the meantime, cnn has learned about how families are coping after being torn apart by the raid. immigration and scustoms enforcement say some were released so people could take care of their children. >> they don't have their
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parents. they're upset and scared. they're little kids. maybe i can understand more, but elementary kids don't know anything. he said to my mom take care of the kids because immigration has now captured me. i started praying to god to let them go. i hope you come back. that god protects you. >> she didn't do nothing wrong. she isn't a criminal. hispanic people, they don't come here to hurt or injure anybody. they come here to make a better future for the kids. >> and the fallout in the immigration crack down is disrupting school. one district in florence, mississippi, had to go into lockdown after suspicious calls following those raids. another district, scott county, says 154 students were absent yesterday. that is 25% of the county's latino student population. a director of the people's advocacy institute, a community activist organization based in
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jackson, mississippi, mississippi's largest city. her brother is jackson's mayor. thank you so much for joining me today. first just i have these children on my mind. have you met or spoken with any of these kids who have been separated from their parents? and how are they doing? >> i haven't had the opportunity. first of all, thank you for having me on the show. thank you for your attention to what's happening here in mississippi. this is very painful for all of us here. i think it is really important that the world pays attention to what is happening. and so thank you for continuing to talk about what's going on. today i had the opportunity to go and wait at the bus station while we waited on some immigrant families to come in. immigrant families come in every day here to our bus station and we want to be there with the mississippi immigrants rights alliance to provide them with
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support and food as they wait to journey on to their next location after leaving a detention facility out in texas. what i do know is that people are struggling in the areas, the seven towns that were hit. the people that were literally stripped from their jobs, stripped from their homes, ripped from their families literally were working folks who did nothing wrong but go to work. and what people don't realize, what hasn't been talked about is the fact that the majority of the folks that were even picked up by i.c.e. came to work at those factories with legal visas. and it has been the corporation's failure to renew the visas in the way that they should have. >> let me jump in, because this
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is what cnn has learned. cnn has learned that i.c.e. was working to release many detainees from the raids because of childcare issues. i can't speak to the visa situation. but this was as long as they were not being criminally arrested. can you speak about the status of some of these separations? what do you know? >> yeah. what we know is that mississippi wasn't informed. child protective services was not informed that these raids were going to occur before they happened. our school districts were not informed. that everybody had to go into crisis mode to figure out how to care for these children and whe i.c.e. came in and ripped their parents away. what we do know is this was a horrible example of how to do anything within government in a proper way. what we do know is that this was actually an act to terrorize the people of our state. it was not an act to right any wrong.
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>> to hear it from the president, he says it was a very good deterrent, his word for undocumented immigrants. you hear the pain in the children's voices. thank you so much for being a voice. i appreciate you in jackson, mississippi. i want to move on to what we've learned this afternoon on el paso. we have now obtained the arrest affidavit of the suspect there. we can tell you what he told police and why he has now told them he carried out his anti-latino attack. stand by. wednesdays. at outback, they're for steak and beer. walkabout wednesdays are back! get a sirloin or chicken on the barbie, fries, and a draft beer or coca-cola - all for just $10.99. hurry in! wednesdays are for outback. outback steakhouse. aussie rules. and my side super soft? with the sleep number 360 smart bed you can both...
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just in to cnn, new details au on a white house plan to regulate social media content. shaping how twitter and facebook and other large tech companies create what appears on their website. brian is following this one for us. please explain. >> well, according to a summary of this draft order that we've received, the white house is considering asking the fcc for new regulations that could shape the way that companies like facebook and twitter curate the content that's on their platforms. now, at the same time, this draft order according to the summary would also affect the federal trade commission and ask them to take these new policies, these new regulations written by the fcc into account as the fcc pursues its own actions against
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enforcement of companies that has broken the law. legal experts i've spoken to say it's not entirely clear how this proposal could work in practice given these two agencies existing missions, but at the same time, there could be first amendment questions that are raised here also. but if this proposal does get approved by president trump, it would represent a significant escalation in terms of his campaign against tech companies and social media websites overall. >> to have the government be in charge. follow that for us, please. appreciate you. coming up next, an incredible moment that played out at dallas airport. southwest airlines pilot flying home from the remains of a fallen vietnam war veteran. >> i remember as a kid watching every single p.o.w. come off those airplanes and i watched every one of them.
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after weeks of tragedy, this is a story we all need to hear about a homecoming more than five decades in the making. davis love field with military hones for a fallen vietnam war pilot. he was shot down in 1967. it is already an unforgettable moment, but more incredibly he was blown back by his son, southwest pilot ryan knight. knight flew his fathers remains back to the last place they saw each other when he was a little boy, dallas love field. >> january of 1967 is the last time i saw my father. i was 5 years old and that was at love field in dallas, texas. when i first got the call, it was almost surreal, because i really didn't think it woud ever happen. wow. he's really coming home. he's really -- we're going to be able to bring him back. we're going to have a place where we can honor him. >> southwest 1220, we got a
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message for you. >> i'm ready, sir. >> on behalf of regional approach, we welcome your father, colonel knight, home. he will never be forgotten. >> wow. news correspondent jackson prosco was on his way home to washington, d.c. from covering that tragic story in el paso and was there to witness and record all of it. he tweeted out the poignant play by play of people taking it all in and jackson is with me now. my goodness, so you're at the gate at the airport. tell me everything. >> we walk up to the gate for our connecting flight and the gate agent comes on and tells us we're about to witness this very special arrival, but he doesn't quite say what it's going to be yet. the staff from southwest started handing out american flags and immediately it became clear this was going to be something special. as the gate agent told the stair you just told about this
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5-year-old boy who last saw his father at that airport and then mentions that he's flying his father home on that plane, it was just silence that fell over the terminal. >> what were people doing around you? >> some people burst into tears. how could you not have a lump in your throat at hearing a story like that, about hearing about the pilot waiting to pull up to the gate. immediately everybody in the gate area stood at attention. there were hundreds of us there because the flight waiting to board was a full flight. then we saw staff from the tsa, other pilots in the terminal all standard at attention. i looked out the window as we all crowded around and you could see the gate staff standing at attention as well waiting for that plane to pull up to the gate. >> see, we do have our moments, america. i know the response to this story has been stunning. it's my understanding you got a reply from someone who had been wearing a p.o.w. bracelet with colonel knight's name as a child. keck those dots for me.
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>> that is my absolute favorite part of the story. this when i read your tweets the name was familiar and i realized i've been wearing that pow/mia bracelet since i was a child and asked how to get it to texas and found the information because it was there in the obituary and that is being mailed to texas we understand. colonel knight's family said in the obituary any pow/mia bracements will be placed in the casket for the funeral tomorrow. >> i've got nothing. i'm speechless. this is extraordinary. and how about you for -- thank you for calling everyone's attention to it and sharing it and may he rest in peace. jackson, thank you very much. >> thank you. it was a privilege to see and to share. >> thank you. more on our breaking news. the suspected gunman in the el paso attack told police he was targeting mexicans. what the arrest affidavit also reveals. but first, let's honor this
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week's cnn hero. woody farrah jumped in to help after the paradise fire last year and to date he has donated 65 refurbished rvs to people who lost their homes. >> as news of the fires broke and we saw more of what happened to people in the fire and how many people were impacted, that is when it really hit home that, wow, this is a really big deal. tens of thousands lost their homes, entire families were sleeping in cars, if parking lots. it was total chaos. today the majority are still displaced. when we actually hand over the title and the keys of an rv to someone who doesn't have a home any longer, such a powerful thing to provide basic human need. how can we not help when we're in a position to help. >> watch the story of how woody changed the life of a grandmother living in paradise.
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go to cnn right now. we'll be right back. (vo) the insurance institute for highway safety rates vehicles for safety, and some reach a level of top safety pick. but only a select few of the very safest vehicles are awarded a top safety pick plus. the highest level of safety possible. how many 2019 top safety pick plus-winning vehicles does your brand have? one. two. how about eight? subaru has more 2019 top safety pick plus awards than honda and toyota brands combined. there's safe, and then there's subaru safe.
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this has been a horrible week for america. i never thought in my 20 years in journalism that i would get a call last sunday morning from my boss asking me to go cover a mass shooting. and i actually had to ask the question, which one? and then for three days i stood there in dayton, ohio, on a
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street where blood was still splattered on the sidewalk in front of a bar where nine people were murdered. and there i was co-anchoring with my colleagues in el paso, ping ponging back and forth between one mass shooting to the next. that was a first for me and i am worried that it might not be the last unless there is real change in washington. today the president went on vacation, congress is already on vacation and despite calls for them to return, mitch mcconnell says it can wait until september. but here is what is happening while they're away. people of color, latinos, afraid to leave their house. >> we've seen a lot of fear in the community. because of that. and because it is real now. it is not like we can't connect
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those dots and people know that they're in danger just because of the color of their skin. >> we're being attacked and our government doesn't step in. >> they will have to wait until september. while lawmakers are on vacation, i expect we will keep seeing scenes like this. tuesday night here in -- here in new york in times square, a motorcycle backfired but that is not what people first thought. >> it was a crazy moment. i thought somebody was shooting -- shooting. >> if i didn't see the motorcycle, it would have definitely sounded like gunfire. >> that very same day, at a mall in utah, a large sign fell but that is not what it sounded like. >> we didn't know what was going on until somebody went in to tell them we need to leave the place. so we just basically ran. >> it is evidence of a national
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anxiety. and what about the children and teenagers who are returning to school next week? >> well, my message to young children going back to school is go and really study hard and some day you'll grow up and maybe be president of the united states or do something else that is fantastic. they have nothing to fear. they have nothing to worry about. >> i want to leave you with the words from a school-age child. this is skylin. she lost her mother in el paso and then she asked her grandmother, is my dad dead? yes. she had to be told her stepfather, the man she called dad was also dead. and she responded with tears in her eyes and then asked this question about the killer. is he going to come and shoot me?
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skylin is 5 years old. "the lead" with jake tapper starts right now. the check is in the mail and i promise i'll do something about background checks. "the lead" starts right now. president trump again makes a promise to get tougher on gun background checks and said congress is behind him but is this any different than the last time he said it and did nothing? into fear in america from heavily armed men to false alarms all sparking very real panic in public places across the country. a look at a nation on edge after two more mass shootings. plus several 2020 candidates now have no problem calling the president of the united states a white supremacist. the president said that is the last card they have to play. how is that all playing out in the proving ground of the election? welcome to