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tv   CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield  CNN  October 20, 2019 11:00am-12:00pm PDT

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whoo-hoo! great-tasting ensure. with nine grams of protein and twenty-seven vitamins and minerals. ensure, for strength and energy. i am totally blind. and non-24 can make me show up too early... or too late. or make me feel like i'm not really "there." talk to your doctor, and call 844-234-2424. hello, everyone, and welcome this sunday. thank you for joining me. i'm fredricka whitfield. we start with breaking news and a cnn exclusive out of northern syria where the largest u.s. troop withdrawal is now underway. this is new video from cnn's cameras on the ground as u.s. troops prepare to withdraw from eastern syria. and in a surprise visit to
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afghanistan today. u.s. defense secretary mark esper said about a thousand troops are withdrawing on the ground and in the air and are now being repositioned to western iraq from northern syria. the troops are not headed home, contrary to how the president has been selling it. u.s. secretary esper said they will be in operations to defend iraq and to conduct counter-isis missions, according to esphe ie. a brokered cease-fire in syria seems to be holding, however, one syrian and civilians have been killed, violating the agreement. under the agreement the syrian kurds have until tuesday to abandon a large piece of land in a buffer zone along turkey's border. secretary of state mike pompeo defended the agreement. >> this was about getting a
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cease-fire, a secure area, and this, in fact, will save lives in that very space. that was our mission set. we accomplished it, and now we need to make sure that the commitments that were made in that statement are honored. >> earlier this month president trump announced the pullout of u.s. troops in the area, and just days later, turkey launched a military offensive to force kurds out of the area. nick is there in northern syria. nick, what have you been witnessing? >> you saw that video. we came across possibly hundreds of these u.s. vehicles gathering at a base near hasika, rallying at various different points of the country, many of them from the kobani landing zone. this is outside a cement factory in kobani which was u.s. headquarters in the fight
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against isis. they will be pulling out today circulating movements to this base from hasika from which i understand they will continue their journey at some point in the hours and days ahead into iraqi kurdistan. that is where they will deploy potentially to attack isis or this broader moompvement as a whole. this is the largest ground movement they've done since they've been in syria and is deeply symbolic for those troops. it kind of brings an end, to some degree, these last couple of weeks. it's an honor to be moving, because remember, there is an expanding changing presence of the regime here. sometimes acting as peacekeepers
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and then this enormous syrian rebel force backed by turkey which is moving around, taking areas of the syrian kurds. a changing dynamic here today, but the key one here today, u.s. troops in a large withdrawal, essentially the big withdrawal here, which got underway at some point today and will continue in the hours and days ahead. a very symbolic moment for those soldiers, for the syrian kurds who lost more than 10,000 sons and daughters fighting against isis. there is a mixture of sadness to see those soldiers go. i think many realize the decision to part has not been that of the soldiers personally but that of president trump. mixed feelings by the kurds feeling that america betrayed them. still, this large convoy on its way, america's withdrawal here. back to you. >> nick paton walsh, thank you. >
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. >> the president indicated he was going to pull out whatever number of troops there were in that buffer zone, which as i understand it, was far less than 50? is that what it was? >> well, it's not so much the 28th. what i was concerned about is, number one, the president did not give turkey the green light to invade syria. but he didn't say red, either. he gave a yellow light, and you don't give a yellow light in the mideast. >> i'm joined now by fareed zakaria, host of "fareed zakaria gps." fareed, good to see you. was there a green light to pull out of syria? >> there's no question it was a green light in the sense that erdogan called asking for the green light. there is no circumstance they would have invaded if there were u.s. troops or turkey had to fire on u.s. troops.
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that is what was holding them back for five years. there is no doubt that the united states exceeded to this. president trump later tried to deny that he exceeded to it, but he absolutely exceeded to it. and, you know, in a sense it is part of his plan. just get the hell out and let the locals kill each other. >> is it irreversible? >> it's very hard, i think, to now get back to unravel this. this is one of the great tragedies of what trump has done, because he's given the turks this kind of safe haven, this sphere of influence in syria that they have long wanted. they've wanted it because it allows them to push the refugees that they have in turkey and it allows them to keep the kurds at a distance. it also benefits assad in syria, iran, russia. and the most important thing is, how would you get the kurds to trust you again? these are the people who fought and died for the united states.
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they were literally the ones who fought and died to defeat isis, and we've totally betrayed them. can you imagine going back to them and saying, okay, guys, will you trust us again one more time? very hard to imagine that happening. >> there are current and retired u.s. military generals who are saying not only is the u.s. credibility threatened, but years of work of either strangling or containing isis has now been undone, that you really can't put that jegenie bk into the bottle. are they right? >> the most important sense in which they're right is this. almost certainly in one of these ungovernable spaces, probably in syria, one of these terrorist groups, a version of isis will come back. we have found this beautiful formula where we got the kurds to do the fighting for us while we provided air power, while the united states provided air
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power, intelligence, logistics and things like that. but the actual fighting was being done by the syrian kurds because they were better at it, they knew the place, they knew the language, and they were not foreign occupiers. the biggest problem the united states has had is when it goes into these places and then it owns territory in the middle of the middle east. think about iraq, afghanistan. that's always a problem. so the united states is going to have to take this on without a local force, because what local force is going to trust your back. you would have to be a fool to believe washington given what just happened. >> you mentioned iran and russia being empowered. house speaker nancy pelosi told trump in that contentious white house face-to-face all roads lead to putin. turkey and russia are meeting this week. what is likely to be forged or perhaps even solidified? >> more than anything else, what i think these countries want is greater influence and, you know,
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kind of unilateral ability to be involved and dominate the middle east. the biggest obstacle has been the united states. so by america withdrawing, what it means is it gives russia a free hand, it gives turkey a free hand, and many of these places have interests in the united states. the united states will have to get comfortable with the middle east. it looks a lot less amenable to the middle east, israel's security to stability of air flows and such. they have always been able to shape the geopolitical balance in the mideast to make sure those things have been taken care of. now we'll be a spectator. >> fareed zakaria, host of "fareed zakaria gps," thank you
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so much. this breaking news out of fort stewart, georgia where three soldiers were injured in a training accident. the injured soldiers have been taken to the wynn army hospital where they've been treated and evaluated for their injuries, and we'll keep you updated as soon as we find out more. still ahead, white house chief of staff mick mulvaney still playing cleanup over his admission that there was indeed a quid pro quo on the call between trump and ukraine. this as cnn learned of an inside effort to push him out. we're live from the white house, next. plus, elizabeth warren is just moments away from speaking at a town hall after getting slammed again by her democratic rivals for her medicare for all plan. can she pinpoint exactly how she plans to pay for it? and an oregon coach hailed a hero for disarming a student with a loaded gun.
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his quid pro quo admittance. >> i never said there was quid pro quo because there wasn't. >> did you ever offer or think to offer the president your resignation? >> absolutely not. >> was that ever discussed? >> absolutely, positively not. listen, i'm very happy working there. did i have the perfect press conference? no. but, again, the facts are on our side. >> cnn's jeremy diamond is at the white house for us. jeremy, how is mulvaney now explaining this quid pro quo admission and is it as a result of that meeting at camp david yesterday with republicans? >> well, fredricka, the white house chief of staff, mick mulvaney, was repeatedly
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confronted with his words after he made that admission that ukraine was in part, at least, frozen because of the investigative matters related to the 2016 election. when he was faced with that admission, mulvaney stuck by his denial of the words that he said. >> one of the things that you, again, said a few seconds ago that i said there was a quid pro quo. i never used that language because there wasn't a quid pro quo. >> reporters will use their language all the time, so my language never said quid pro quo but let's get to the heart of the matter. go back and look at that list of three things. things that it was legitimate for the president to do. >> the chief of staff's defense now appears to be that he didn't use the words quid pro quo even if that was indeed what he was describing. when he went on to say what those three things were, one of those things were, indeed, once again he said the president's
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interests in that investigation into that debunked conspiracy theory about the server in the 2016 election. >> and what about these reported plots about his ouster? >> multiple sources are now telling cnn that there were efforts to oust mick mulvaney before even all of this impeachment saga came to be. sources telling us that top aides to the president began reaching out to at least two potential replacements for the white house chief of staff because of some internal dissatisfaction with mulvaney's position. and, again, fredricka, this came before this latest matter, this briefing in particular in which the chief of staff has really prompted some concerns among even his own colleagues at the white house. but, of course, much of those efforts were put on ice, it appears, as this impeachment saga has really consumed this white house. that being said, fred, it's been ten months since mick mulvaney
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has been chief of staff and he still has that acting word before his title. >> he also holds a different cabinet position, office of management and budget. i appreciate it, jeremy diamond. white house editor and wall street reporter for the "wall street journal." it's quite terrible to talk about whether someone's days are numbers but the white house did respond to that inquiry, so is this moment the prelude to his possible firing or dismissal given the pattern of events that usually unfolds at this white house? >> reporter: well, fred, i think because of previous chief of staff's experience at the white house, everyone knows that they serve at the pleasure of the president and if their days are numbered, they might find out when everyone else does. i think with that as the caveat, there were, in fact, some folks
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inside the white house who felt like mulvaney had overcorrected for john kelly. john kelly ran a very tight ship, one that ultimately president trump struggled to get out of the chains of, and mulvaney's attitude was very different which was like, i'm here to support the president, i'm here to do whatever he wants to do. there's some people outside the white house who feel a little more restraint is required on the president. there is also a factualization between the white house counsel right now, and many people at the white house including the chief of staff, so there's friction there. mulvaney has taken over more charge of responding to the impeachment process, but on the flip side, there is a real question for president trump. does he want the optics of pushing out yet another chief of staff, and who would come in to replace him, and is that where they really want to be in the middle of an impeachment probe? i think mulvaney, like any other chief of staff, probably
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understands that things change very quickly there, but on the flip side, there really are all these other considerations that kind of make this a hazard one to predict what happens next. >> sabrina, would it do more harm than good if he were removed or steps down, however way it were to happen? >> well, look, i think that, as margaret pointed out, to lose your chief of staff in the midst of an impeachment inquiry just adds another burden at a time when the president is already struggling. it also would certainly give off the impression that mick mulvaney was pushed out for what many people believe is acknowledging what the white house has been trying to deny, that there was some kind of quid pro quo, that the reason the administration withheld aid to ukraine was because the president wanted the ukranian government to investigate joe biden and his son hunter biden and to also try to discredit the mueller probe.
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i think the challenge mick mulvaney ran into is the same as his predecessors, which is the chief of staff has played a critical role in messaging at the white house, but in this particular administration, it's the president who calls all of the shots and routinely has a tendency to undercut his aides, including his own chief of staff. and so ultimately, it's a job that not many people in washington, frankly, want. i do think, though, that everyone saw the tape for itself. so as you look at mick mulvaney repeatedly trying to say i never said there was a quid pro quo, that's the media's characterization, most people will look at that setup he's describing and very much describe it as a quid pro quo. >> yeah, so margaret, let's talk about some cracks in the republican support. republican congressman francis rooney recently announced he won't be running for reelection.
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perhaps that's why he's felt more catty about his points of view on things. listen to what he said today about mulvaney's quid pro quo. >> i don't see how you walk back something that's clear. i would say game, set, match on that. >> is that impeachable? >> that's the question. the question is, is it of a great enough magnitude to justify impeachment? i want to learn more about that, i want to get some counsel, and i want to talk to the democratic leadership about what they have in mind. i think this is a very egregious situation in the ukraine and syria is even worse. >> margaret, he said a lot there. a lot was said there about meeting of the minds among republicans and even, you know, crossing the aisle with democrats. >> he said a lot, but it's that last part that i think in the final analysis, it seems to be the most important. it is actually the president's moves to pull the u.s. out of northern syria, to almost kind
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of invite turkey to come in and then to try and undo it -- you know, everything that's happened in the last few days on that policy is really what's created this major riff with the president and the republicans. it is often the republicans in the senate that will be much more important than the republicans in the house for the president's fate if the house were to vote on impeachment. even though if what happened in syria undercuts what's happening in ukraine, it is affecting his position on syria, it is affecting his joint chief of staff and it is shaking the confidence of even folks like mitch mcconnell. most of those republicans in the senate not saying they support the impeachment investigation, but the major, major erosion of goodwill and support and any level of trust or consultative is a real thing and it will be something to watch in the days to come.
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>> it's syria and the g7 being hosted, at least for a hot second, at a trump doral property in miami that really kind of touched a nerve with a lot of republicans. now there is this stunning reversal by the president that says next year's g7 summit will not be at trump doral. in a tweet he said this based on both media and democrat-crazed and irrational hostility, we will no longer consider trump national doral, miami, as the host site for the g7 in 2020. we will begin the search for another site, including the possibility of camp david, immediately. thank you. it was doral that went above and beyond, but now camp david is a possibility? >> it's a possibility. it's a place where president obama hosted a summit, and we know this president has a tendency to want to do the opposite of his predecessor. i think what's more striking in the tweet is he pinned the blame, as he always does, on the
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media and on outrage from democrats, but he heard pushback from a lot of members of his own party -- >> about the emoluments clause. >> from the emoluments clause, because it would be really difficult for any members of his party to defend what would clearly be an example of the president in some way profiting from the office he holds, although he denies he would profit from holding the summit there, it would certainly be a good deal of publicity for one of his properties, and there are certain fees and costs that these foreign governments would obviously have to incur that would go toward his business, and this has been a prevailing theme of his presidency which members of his own party are now raising concerns about. >> it would open up new layers of investigation, new hearings, no requests for information, new audits --
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>> why wouldn't he have thought of that beforehand? >> i think they probably did, but their strategy was to show they were going to double down on their strategy and some feedback, perhaps, from lawyers inside that that's probably not a good idea. >> people were raising eyebrows and decided to move forward, anyway, only to backtrack. margaret talev and sabrina siddiqui, thank you very much. >> thank you. would the diplomats set to testify bolster the whistleblower's claims? ♪freedom from big cities, ould the diplomats set to testify bolster the whistleblower's claims? could th testify bolster the whistleblower's claims? nywhere,
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welcome back. democrats are setting the stage for another week of major testimony in the impeachment empire inquiry as several diplomats and officials are set to testify and give depositions. this comes after a full week of testimony of diplomats who bolstered many of the whistleblower's claims. joining me right now, a harvard
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professor who served as president obama's regulatory czar and author of the book "impeachment colon a --: a citizen's guide." >> was this critical testimony? >> he said something that he tried to walk back but it didn't have the kind of enthusiasm and clarity that one would like if one were president of the united states today. >> that with the backdrop of this week, lots of depositions are planned. bill taylor, the acting ambassador to ukraine, is set for tuesday. if you recall, he's the one who raised concerns in text messages
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saying, quote, i think it hurs y to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign. what do you expect him to testify to? >> i think he will say that it was actually keconnected to investigation of a political opponent. he may have some sort of insight into what was actually happening. it's a pretty simple question, and he might say i don't know, but his texts suggest that he kind of suspects. >> wasn't his text damning enough? >> it was. people are in various moods when they write texts, we all know that. sometimes what we say in a text won't reflect what we think on reflection. he's had a lot of time to think about it which might mean that
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he will color it in a way that is favorable to the president, or he might know that he's under oath and this is a pretty historic moment, and that if something not good or actually very, very bad happened, it's his oath of office obligation to say so. >> harvard professor cass sunstein, thank you very much. good to see you. up next, senator elizabeth warren expected to speak at any moment now in iowa. will she address the backlash over how she would pay for medicare for all? we're live next. anyone can deliver pizza. only marco's can deliver america's most loved pizza. hot and fresh, and right to your door. dough made from scratch, every day. sauce from our original recipe. and authentic toppings like crispy, old world pepperoni™. because the italian way is worth celebrating. every day at marco's, get two medium, one-topping pizzas for just $6.99 each. hello to america's most loved pizza.
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right now 2020 democrats are out in full force on the campaign trail, and today 12 candidates are campaigning across the country, including seven in iowa. in just a few minutes, senator elizabeth warren will host a town hall outside des moines in the appropriate named warren county. warren continues to face intense criticism over how she will pay
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for her medicare for all plan. this morning her democratic rivals kept piling on. >> we need to see how this is going to be paid for, because right now, whether you copy-paste the bernie sanders math or do it some other way, there is a hole mounting to trillions of dollars in how this is supposed to work. and i'm not having these problems describing how it's going to be paid e to show how you're going to pay for things, and that was the point. i don't think any oneopy on good ideas, and that seems to be what she said through these debates. >> both those candidates raising a million dollars after their performances on the debate stage last week. we have a team following all the latest on the campaign trail. cnn senior washington correspondent jeff zeleny is at senator warren's iowa town hall, and senior editor earl sines.
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elizabeth warren talking about medicare for all, but how is she saying she will pay for it? >> elizabeth warren is rising in the polls. she was at the center of the scrutiny in all the debate last week. but talking to voters, warren supporters are warren supporters. they like her health care plan. but the question is undecided voters. there are so many voters here in iowa and new hampshire, other early states, who are still trying to sort through all this and see what is possible. of course, the top objective for democrats is to find the most electable candidate. elizabeth warren, no question, has to resolve this. she said through her advisers last week after the debate that she would be studying and
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reviewing the possible ways to pay for medicare for all. we'll see if she talks about that here today. she has not yet talked about that specifically. she'll likely be asked about it, though. health care is such a front and center issue. but she is really taking it from all sides. one interesting thing about the rise of elizabeth warren, it has created a big opening for a lot of the moderate candidates, if you will. amy klobuchar, pete buttigieg and joe biden all asking how she will pay for medicare for all. >> what is she saying today, if anything? >> reporter: well, fred, today in new york city, elizabeth warren and health care was not top of mind for joe biden. he really was focused the unite teachers federation at a union day event stressing what he
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would do as president, saying that he and his wife jill biden, who is a college professor, that they would be the best partners for teachers in the white house. he also talks about what type of education secretary he would want to nominate, insisting that it would be someone who has teaching experience. take a listen to what he had to tell these teachers here today in new york. >> four years of betsy devos is plenty. it's enough. it's enough. i've been saying this and i mean it. we're going to make sure the next secretary of education is a teacher! someone who has taught in a classroom. i'm not just saying this to make you feel better. you know better! >> reporter: now, that pledge to nominate a teacher as education secretary is also something that elizabeth warren has promoted, but biden, over the past few days, has been critical of warren when it comes to medicare for all, noting that while she
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is a candidate who has a plan for everything, she doesn't have a plan for that single most important issue. that's the argument joe biden has been making in recent days. >> and jeff, the 2020 candidates are also weighing in on hillary clinton's completely unfounded claim this week that tulsi gabbard is an agent, you know, of russia, a real asset for russia. what has the reaction been like? >> reporter: well, fredricka, this was certainly a wrinkle that was added in the campaign discussion late last week when hillary clinton did not name gabbard specifically, but she did leave that suggestion open. but take a listen to what pete buttigieg told our jake tapper as well as cory booker what they had to say about this earlier co today. >> do you think tulsi gabbard is a russian asset? >> i don't know what the basis is for that. statements like that ought to be backed by efvidence. i also think our focus right now needs to be on things that are actually undermining america.
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right now we are being told to, quote, get over it when it comes to the mixing of domestic politics and foreign affairs. >> i mean, again, these questions are blaordering on th absurd. we need to get what's important. making these kinds of allegations are not constructive in any way. >> reporter: so certainly no democratic candidates are taking this and wanting to talk about this. senator amy klobuchar declined to answer the question all weekend, and you could hear booker and buttigieg doing it as well. we'll see if senator warren brings it up. they try to pivot to election security and say that's the most important part. fredricka, we'll see how this develops here. congresswoman gabbard was also in iowa and she's getting looks by people because elizabeth warren's comments simply elevated her. >> all right had. jeff zeleny and earl sines,
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thank you so much. there are some surprising benefits to exercising in a cold environment. here is today's "staying well." when you walk in to burn at 50 degrees, it feels good. it doesn't feel cold, but you're not sweating because the room is too hot. >> in a normal situation, i get too hot , too uncomfortable, an working out in this cooler temperature allows me to push myself longer and harder. >> studies have shown that people in cold workouts, they're actually auto-turboing their
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newly released video shows us why a football coach has been hailed a hero. last month the coach hugged the student he had just coached.
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>> reporter: he walked into his east portland high school campus last may armed with a shotgun and a single shell. this surveillance video shows us what happened next. that campus coach keenan lowe contacting him in a classroom. he grabs the gun with one hand and reaches for the stricken student with the other. it ends up in conversationing as the police are called. he kept a low profile the last few months, only discussing that moment publicly a few times, including this interview with gma after it happened. >> i feel like i was put in that room for a reason. if i ended up getting the gun with my right hand and holding him off with my left hand and calling for a teacher to come grab the gun from me. >> surveillance accounts from
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witnesses and calms parents who were in fear on that day. last month diaz pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a firearm and was sentenced to three years' probation. as part of the deal he'll get mental health and substance abuse treatment. in a statement a deputy attorney claimed diaz never meant to hurt anyone other than himself. the d.a.'s office also determined that the gun did not fire when diaz pulled the trigger, giving the coach time to react. >> incredible hero. still ahead, acting chief of staff mick mulvaney on shaky ground? new cnn reporting on the inside effort to get him out of the white house, next. it's the easiest because it's the cheesiest. kraft. for the win win. (alarm beeping) welcome to our busy world.
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tonight cnn's fareed zakaria investigates big money in the college admission scandal. here's a preview. >> what do you want to say to your former players? >> yale's soccer coach took over $400,000. >> he pleaded guilty to taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes. >> reporter: stanford's sailing coach agreed to take over $600,000 for the sailing team. >> the fbi believed the u.t. tennis head coach was paid more than $90,000. >> in all, ten coaches and athletic officials were accused in rick singer's scheme. five have pleaded guilty and five not guilty. >> what about all these students who were qualified and cheated
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out of a spot? >> it's no coincidence that college sports is at the heart of the biggest college admission scandal in history. >> singer worked with the parents to fabricate impressive athletic profiles for their kids. >> singer knew that the recruitment of athletes was a weak link in the admissions process. >> the students' athletic credentials had been fabricated. >> singer accepted millions of dollars in bribes. >> he had millions of dollars in bribes for recruits. schools say they're addressing the problem, stressing they were victims in rick singer's scheme. but the system they created lives on where some kids get huge advantages in admissions athletics.
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i think the house is changing him... -[ gasps ] -up and at 'em! ...into his father. [ eerie music plays ] is it scary? -[ gasps ] -it's in eco mode. so don't touch it. mm-hmm. i can't stop this from swinging. must be a draft in here. but he did save a bunch of money bundling our home and auto with progressive. progressive can't protect you from becoming your parents, but we can protect your home and auto when you bundle with us. -hello? -sorry, honey. [ telephone beeps ] butt dial. hello again, everyone. thank you so much for joining me this sunday. i'm fredricka whitfield. we begin with the expanding impeachment inquiry and


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