tv Cuomo Prime Time CNN November 18, 2019 6:00pm-7:00pm PST
it just gets awkward. you know what i mean? it's like when your relative repeats the same sentence minutes after he's already said something. intimidating a witness is easy. but being one, that's not, in congress or on the ridiculist. >> and the news continues. i want it hand it over to chris for "cuomo prime time." >> we have breaking news literally coming in right now. there is new witness testimony that provides a window into this week's impeachment storm. and other news on how the president may be hoping to retaliate against those testifying. this is the week of the heavy hitters in the impeachment inquiry. if it doesn't make sense at the end of this week, it never will. so we have breaking news. let's get after it. >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. >> all right, first, we can get
past the headline about the diplomat who overheard the eu ambassador, sondland, on the fo phone with the president, okay? we know a lot more about that experience, about that reaction, about why it mattered. phil mattingly is on capitol hill. we don't usually do this but i don't usually get this kind of information that i can't process alone. phil, thank you for jumping up for me on this. what do we know about mr. holmes? >> we got a look at the ten-page opening statement on friday night and it was explosive and at various levels explicit as well. the one key thing that david holmes was unveiling to lawmakers was this launch he had with ambassador gordon sondland where he overheard gordon sondland call president trump and he overheard president trump talking explicitly about investigations and about the relationship between president trump angd ukrainian president jens. we don't know how he was able to hear all of this and how is his
recollection so crystal clear. he made sure they could hear president trump because president trump spoke so loudly that gordon sondland moved the phone from his ear. this was an extremely distinctive experience in my foreign service career, i've never seen anything like this, someone calling the president from a mobile phone at a restaurant and having a conversation of this level of candor, colorful language. there's so much about the call that was so remarkable and i remember it so vividly. chris, that's the explanation, no notes, no recordings but remembers it vividly and says he recounted that call several times to several officials making clear when he testifies publicly come thursday, which was also just announced today, he is going to have a vivid picture to give to lawmakers, laid out in the 200-plus pages of this deposition. it's not just about the call, chris, it's about several elements of the u.s.-ukraine foreign policy that he goes in depth on with an on-the-ground perspective. >> so holmes is thursday,
sondland is wednesday. so that means that sondland will not have the benefit of what holmes said this time. remember what a difference that made for sondland, right? he gave one story in closed session. then they came back to him after there were the other closed sessions, he had to modify in a huge way. once again, he can't bank on what holmes said, even with reporting like yours, phil, to guide his own testimony. that's really interesting. stick with me for a second. let's bring in jim baker of fbi fame. one question first is the obvious, what is the relevance of the new detail from mr. holmes? >> it's more detail about that conversation that was quite shocking when we first heard about it and it lays out exactly why he remembers it so clearly. and so it makes him, i think, a very effective witness who is going to be hard to attack at the hearing. so it just bolsters and makes
more effective the significance of his testimony. it makes him a better witness. >> i'm no jim baker but one question he's going to have to answer is why didn't you tell taylor? when he came in and we were asking him, what do you do you know? phil mattingly reported he told other people about the call but it just department get to taylor? >> that's a legitimate question and he should be asked those kinds of questions. look, i mean, i don't know. based on what we've heard before, it seemed like this was kind of crazy town with giuliani and the three amigos running around and so on, as they've been described. in that crazy world, this probably at the time seemed like just another one of those, another one of these things that was going on. that may be the explanation. we don't know, i'm speculating but he will have to answer that question. i think it's a good question for him. >> it's going to come early and often. >> stick with me. we have a rare opportunity tonight. you have a reporter breaking the
news, me as the anchor trying to figure out how it fits in. you know who it really matters to is someone who may have to make the call on the president, we have senator chris murphy from connecticut listening along. thank you for being here. >> good to be here. >> sorry, this is the new normal. things just come up. holmes says to you as someone who may have to be a juror in this, i remember it crystal, never heard anything like it, had to move the phone away. that's how i heard and they discussed the investigations and this guy will do whatever you want. impact. >> well, it stands to reason that gordon sondland, someone who has never been a diplomat before, someone who made a million dollars for his post in brussels wouldn't wouldn't have been acting on his own. he's clearly not going to engage in a complicated extortion campaign with a foreign government unless he's confident he's operating under orders from his boss, the president of the united states who gave him this
job. we've always understood this had to come from trump and what we believed and what i believe is that the reason why the white house is preventing people like rudy giuliani and mick mulvaney for testifying before congress is because those are the people that were getting the orders from trump. now we know that sondland was getting these orders as well and was potentially having multiple conversations with the president. and so you have this window into trump's decision making and the orders that he was convaing to his team but it's only a partial window because everybody else executing on the president's orders are being prevented illegally for testifying before the people inquiry. >> and sondland, his friend, tells holmes and the others oh, yeah, the president doesn't care about ukraine except for the investigations, not the best thing he could have said to try to protect his friend, the president. now we have more breaking news. let's go back to phil mattingly. now we also have an understanding of what another
big witness, who the republicans wanted because they think it will help their case. this is a man named hale, ha h-a-l-e -- who works and there are too many names and too many of you tell me you're too confused. hale works for pompeo, has information about pompeo. what do you know, phil mattingly? >> he's undersecretary for political affairs. one of the biggest questions last week was why didn't secretary of state pompeo do anything about it. mike pompeo not only spoke to rudy giuliani twice during the time frame that the smear
campaign was ongoing, he also reached out to sean hannity. this had emerged on his show at one time or another as they were pushing the narrative that the ambassador was a bad character. hale also knows there were two phone calls with rudy giuliani. he says he doesn't have the details or transcript of what any of those calls were but it came during the time period of the campaign to oust maria yovanovitch. pompeo said at least according to hale he wasn't going to do anything if there wasn't anything he needed to take action, meaning he didn't believe that any of the allegations rose to the level of being true and therefore he wasn't going to say anything. state department officials who have testified and we saw two career state department officials testify last week said that was a problem in and of
itself, that he wouldn't come out and defend. there does seem to be some behind-the-scenes work to try and address this. it didn't have enough much of an effect. but pompeo was doing something. what is still a question. how much obviously state department officials, many, feel like he didn't do enough. >> pompeo says hale reached out to hannity about yovanovitch. up don't know what his disposition was, was he telling to lay off yovanovitch, was he saying he wanted to help get yovanovitch. tell them to tell me in the control room and i'll come right back. you can't make it up. once again, i've never heard of anything like this before. i know hannity. if i don't know what's going on, i leave him out of it. it's weird for a secretary of
state to be calling somebody like me or a hannity to talk about an ongoing story. i got to know more about that and i'm sure you do, too. why he's calling makes all the difference. but the secretary of state, who did not back yovanovitch, who did not defend taylor, and he named none as deserving his support. your read. >> it was mike pompeo let maria yovanovitch hang out in the wind and ultimately mounted no serious defense. so it's very clear that the secretary chose the political interests of the president, his efforts to extort the ukrainians for his reelection goals over the reputation of his employees. but what i think is also important here is that it's just further confirmation that rudy
giuliani was really the point person when it came to ukraine. mike pompeo's name didn't come up with that july 25th phone call with the president. he referred the president of ukraine to rudy giuliani and it appears that through these phone calls mike pompeo was either coordinating with giuliani or perhaps taking orders from giuliani because the president had identified and continued to identify giuliani as the person who ukraine policy was going to go through, who is representing the president's personal political interests, not the national security interests of the united states. that's unacceptable in a democracy. >> you could apply the same rationale to his having to testify now. i don't know how he cannot go in front of congress. and if you had a trial, i don't know how he escapes not being compelled to be a witness. he's obviously too central to what was going on. phil mattingly is helping us process the information. two big pieces of information. we understand a lot more about
why holmes who is testifying on wednesday, he said i heard this guy gordon sond land with the president. we now know why he remembers it so well and now we have someone with the secretary of state saying he spoke to rudy twice and sean hannity at least once about what to do with his ambassador, yovanovitch. big news, what does it mean? our best minds right after this break. ♪ applebee's new sizzlin' entrées. now starting at $9.99. tothe problem is corporationsfix anything. and the people who run and own them have purchased our democracy. here's the difference between me and the other candidates. i don't think we can fix our democracy from the inside. i don't believe washington politicians and big corporations will let that happen. the only way we can make change happen
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on. another things that holmes, the diplomat and i know there's so many names. we're going to put up a big board when we get to a crisis point about voting and everybody. i know their names. there are too many names. holmes worked with taylor. there's a picture of it if it helps. if says he can verify firsthand information is that ukraine was definitely aware of a pressure campaign by the united states and them, okay? you can call it quid pro quo. i don't because that is a nonsensical term. everything is a quid pro quo. senator murphy, if you come in tonight, i'll ask you about the news and i'll ask you about impeachment, okay. okay. that's a quid pro quo. but there's no corrupt intent. they wanted a meeting, ukraine, and they were talking about what they had to do to get the
meeting. then when the president met with putin instead of meeting with them i guess in warsaw, that was to them, a signal that if we don't do what they're asking to us do, we may see him move towards russia. >> so what happened was that trump was supposed to go to warsaw and meet with jezelensky. he did not. he thought it was a message. i met with zelensky and much of that meeting was dedicated to this topic, how do we get zelensky in front of trump, break down this impasse? at the time we knew the aid had been withheld but we didn't know for certain the extortion campaign was being effectuated by the ukraine team. the number one priority for zelensky was getting in front of this president so he could try
to get the president what he wanted because this was life and death for zelensky. he had soldiers dying on the front in eastern ukraine because the united states wasn't there to support them. and so this wasn't a matter that he could sit quiet on. he literally had troops, their lives, depending on this aid being turned back on. >> question mark. from the trump defense perspective, zelensky to your recollection did not mention i'll do these biden investigations. he never brought that up. >> right. >> their argument is if it was so important, such an attempted bribe or extortion, why didn't he mention it to you? >> well, he was very interested in how he could get the aid turned back on. i'm not sure he's going to admit to two united states senators that he is being extorted behind the scenes by the american president. but what was interesting about the meeting was that normally
they start with some diplomatic formalities. this meeting had none of those. zelensky sat down and wanted to immediately talk about the aid and express to us how dire the situation was on the eastern border and how we needed to do everything possible to get that aid turned back on. but i don't think it's shocking that he wasn't prepared to reveal to us the demands that were being made on him. >> now, you and johnson were there but weren't together the whole time. he is now, it seems, the new flank against vindman. they tried the, you know, vindman kind of cozy with the ukrainians. that blew up in their face. now it's ron johnson, senator johnson saying, you know, this guy cut me off in a meeting and started putting certainly forward like it was all his opinions and he didn't agree with the administration and he seems to be the exact model of the deep state guy that's out to be against trump. what do you think of that? >> this is certainly part of the republican narrative, that there is this deep state of anti-trump
bureaucrats that are part of some grand conspiracy in order to topple the president. that is simply not true. these are civil servants who saw corruption happening and saw the president engage in illegal behavior. they raised questions privately and now when ask $ to testify, they are telling the truth. you have an obligation to follow orders, unless those orders are unethical, illegal or unless they are corrupt. in this case the story is being cold very clear will i what they were being asked to do was vout side of the bound of ethical behavior. >> at this point and what you understand so far, zpleer eto ten, where is the needle of this president acted with corrupt intent, this was an attempted bribe and he put himself first before the united states with ukraine? >> i think the president of the united states is given massive powers. the one covenant that he makes with the american people is to use those powers for the
national security benefit of the united states, not to be used for his personal political or financial gain. the president broke that covenant. >> how confident are you of that? >> i think the story is completely crystal clear. >> 100%? >> i think this testimony from over a dozen witnesses makes it clear that the president was using a meeting at the white house and taxpayer dollars in order to try to get a foreign government to benefit himself politically and help destroy his political rivals. you cannot do that in a president of the united states. that's not allowed in a democracy. what separates the united states from dictatorships is we don't allow the president o to use powers for their own political benefit. if this isn't impeachable behavior, i'm not sure there is. >> i'd like to apologize, but this is the reality. this is how the information comes in and how we have to process it realtime. >> we're going to get ba being
to phil mattingly after this break. there's also from david hale, he works from pompeii owe is huge. and we have jim baker from the fbi to help us make sense of what the news means in terms of fitting the understanding of what was right and what was wrong next. sinex. eathe freely fast, ws my congestion's gone. i can breathe again! ahhhh! i can breathe again! ughh! vicks sinex. breathe on. we make aspirin to help save lives during a heart attack... so it never stops the heart of a family. at bayer, this is why we science.
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ambassador yovanovitch just testified. she was taken out. now, there is no argument that the president can remove a diplomat. they serve at his pleasure. that's not the issue. it whether or not the reason that yovanovitch was removed serves as a window into a potential abuse of power. simply stated, is her removal proof of what he was trying to get out of ukraine that she saw as wrong? that's where this reporting fits in. phil, thank you for racing through the transcript, trying to get us more context. what have you learned? >> i think you have the framing right. that is that this was considered the first chapter, the decision to oust maria yovanovitch, the smear campaign againstmer and what that led to after the fact. we've heard bits and pieces from various state department officials, most notably george kent who testified publicly is that people inside the state department were talking about a statement of support for maria yovanovitch but they didn't know what happened. it never came to fruition.
what david hale has is actual details of that process. he testifies about dual statements, one from maria yovanovitch that would be a statement of loyalty and a laying out what a foreign service officer does, loyalty to the president and to the constitution while at the same time a statement of support from the state department. he said he personally was responsible for drafting a ten-page statement that was largely laudatory in terl of who maria yovanovitch was, what she did over the course of her career and why she was an important piece of the state department and foreign service. while those duelling statements were being laid out, eventually it came to nothing. he says there was only a few people that could have possibly stopped that statement given the fact that it was at his level. he said, quote, given my position in the state department, it could only have been someone more senior to me. the secretary most likely would have been that person. he makes very clear in his eyes the only person who could have stopped that statement was
secretary of state mike pompeo. he noted one of the biggest concerns involved was that any statement of any kind related to yovanovitch would, quote, provoke the president and get a public response from him. that is what that statement idea died, chris. >> phil mattingly, appreciate it. let's bring on jim baker of fbi fame and. >> she asked them for support. they decided no. maybe because they thought the president would jump all over they will. so what? >> it's the issue with her wanted to and were ind cliend to get her out of the way unless she was willing to play ball and acquiesce in this sort of irregular channel and the goals of the irregular channel or have
her -- they were trying to achieve these other directors and this erp going to either do it by forcing the career feel go along and compromise their values quite frankly or they were going to do it through the ul and as you were saying earlier, i simply don't know how secretary pompeo is not dragged in. if he doesn't come in to talk to the impeachment inquiry, then the senate and house foreign relations committees, how were y you. >> rick: you guys don't know jim as well as i do. legal expertise of -- but they dope want any more litigation. that's why they're not subpoenaing people anymore. they're going to wait for the
cases to play out. i don't know if they're right, by the way. that's why they're not subpoenaing him. >> they shouldn't have to subpoena him, though. he's a senate confirmed cabinet official and he has an obligation to appear before congress and answer questions. he shouldn't have to be subpoenaed. that's ridiculous. >> except the president feels otherwise. >> i get it. i know that's the reality. >> obviously the answer is, no, i've never heard about, it never read about it, never seen anything like it. the only question is how we play it out, what the. >> all right. now a lot of breaking news tonight that gives us more of an understanding of why this matter
it's okay. what we're learning tonight in this breaking news, all the people from these different agencies with different titles, they're all saying the same thing, asha. now we have taylor and yovanovitch how he was going to have trouble explaining how he knew what was going on that he wasn't on, that sondland was on. forget the fact that you're using a phone that russia had probably completely wired. now he explains in detail that phil mattingly has been going through for us, i heard him because he had the phone this far away from his head because trump was yelling at him and saying i want the investigations. and then after the call i talked to sondland about it and he told me exactly that and i'll never forget it because i've never heard anything like that.
>> so if terms of the allegations against the president, i this i what this does is really decimates his reagan defense, the defense that he had no idea what was going on, that this was some kind of a rogue operation, that, you know, sondland and jewel janie were running without his knock knock. >> as far as the intercept, chris, i just want to note that i think it almost guaranteed that russia picked up that call. our intelligence services would not be intercepting that call unless there was advanced consent. so, you know, that's just additional leverage that russia could potentially have of something that they know that our own government doesn't know. >> right. >> so i just wanted to emphasize that. >> thank you for that clarification. ross, so let's say they he came in and you didn't have you've
got fiona hill, he was also working as a russian expert. she'll shooes going to be in live testimony this week. so will mr. holmes. she says that the u and she's said he was being pressured for the investigations with the leverage being an eight and a meeting. >> what is do and then? >> everything is coming in so far, lots of names, lot of facts. fi fill. it's not a shock he was interested into an investigation into the bidens? did trump know there was an
exchange of an investigate for aid did the president intend benefit if -- to actually address corruption issues in ukraine and viewed this as a way to do that and that's a second issue. and, three, everybody else on this? could the president be in a position to say, wait a minute, look, i did these things but i did them out in the open and i have a white house counsel and i have a personal lawyer there and a chief of staff and national security adviser and i've got an nas lawyer and all of these people. >> nobody said it was okay. >> nobody told me not to. i'm interested in seeing if that hangs together. >> asha rang gone a s s is.
>> i think with number one and number two, we have the answers. so, you know, taylor testified that the order to withholding t the. >> i think that that would be able to be verified simply call calling mick mulvaney in to testify directly. but we know that is the unlikely that -- where i think that one thing that we need to emphasize was what was being asked for here was not an actual investigation. it was an announcement of an investigation. there were actually no steps taken to actually begin any process of helping the ukrainians begin a real investigation. there is zero national
investigation into the announcement of a harr think the intent or argument slowly doesn't fold. i think they had in and i think number 3 might possibly be something that they could run with if they tried. >> those are good questions. they're going to have to be answered by the democrats in terms of whether or not they can mork it you into a but those are the right questions and that's great analysis. thank you both. all right. some big news has been buried by all this impeachment talk. the white house is standing by one of the president's closest aides whose white nationalist views have now been laid bare. there are growing calls for
stephen miller's resignation. you want to know why? i'll tell you next. did have their story. give the gift of discovery, with an ancestrydna kit. applebee's new sizzlin' entrées. give the gift of discovery, now starting at $9.99. with licensed agents availablep when 24-7,d it. it's not just easy. it's having-jerome-bettis- on-your-flag-football-team easy. go get 'em, bus! ohhhh!
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. you're probably aware that most americans are in favor of immigration reform. the problem is how this president talks about immigrants. that's what causes the division. donald j. trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of muslims entering the united states. >> remember this? the muslims ban. from the man who has demonized islam, who told you that islam hates us. it's this ugly us versus them that literally spared no one, not even children. >> and when you prosecute the parents for coming in illegally, which should happen, you have to take the children away. >> now we know you don't have to do it that way, unless you want to be harsh.
a lot of people wonder how a guy from new york, a place about diversity, the son of an immigrant mother and a man who pretended his own father was an immigrant from germany, even though he isn't, how does he now arrive at this kind of ugliness? safe bet that political opportunity is in there. but poison from stephen miller. >> at stake is the question of whether or not the united states remains a sovereign country. >> i ask him on all the time to test his arguments. he never takes the opportunity. the scary part to discuss with mr. miller is where he gets his gall. the law center says it has the answer thanks to an editor of breitbart that shared hundreds of emails from mr. miller. we can track ideas from white supremacist web sites to the
white house. the emails are from 2015 and 2016, not when he was a kid, just before miller joined team trump when he was still an aide for then senator jeff sessions. these are examples of what he was reading, what he was thinking and how it infiltrated official policy. experience one, tps, temporary protected status. it's a rule that allows people to stay. back when hurricane patricia slammed mexico, here's the conversation between katie mchugh and mr. miller.
>> wow, okay. is there precedent for this? and miller vends a the link talks disparagingly about the obama white house inviting into the united states lots of mexicans, decrying anchor babies. what is v-dare? it's a site where white nationalists, who consider themselves intellectuals -- i see that as a contradiction in terms. they share opinions with one another, the splc has designated it a hate group. how does that connect to white house policy? the president has toyed with rolling back tps for years, since miller came. and when a devastating hurricane hit the bahamas. remember when he said this? >> i don't want to allow people that weren't suppose to be in the bahamas to come into the
united states, including some very bad people and some very bad gang members and some very, very bad drug dealers. >> they never substantiated this claim. they ran away from it and with good reason. another example, mr. miller, september 6, 2015, 3:41 p.m. you see the pope saying we must in effect get rid of borders? someone should point out the parallels to camp of the saints. go google that, camp of the saints. for the record, here's what the pontiff actually said. faced with the tragedy of tens of thousands of refugees who are fleeing death, the gospel calls us to be neighbors to the smallest and most abandoned, to give them concrete hope. amen. then he called for parishes to open their doors to refugee families, as he should, as popes always have. but miller sees an existential threat and invokes camp of saints. if white nationalists had a book club, that would be their number one choice.
the book, nameless depraved refugees invade france. the fear, very real of that in the trump white house. just weeks ago, the president nearly halved our refugee program. >> the united states will not be a migrant camp, and it will not be a refugee holding facility. it won't be. you look at what's happening in europe. you look at what's happening in other places. we can't allow that to happen to the united states, not on my watch. >> that's how we were formed. that's how people like his mom came here, like my grandparents, like probably your family. there's more. miller's obsession with minority crime rates, the rebirth of seeing nationalism as a good label. the name has a toxic legacy all over the world, and the people who use it here are white
nationalists. still, the white house is defending mr. miller. i know stephen. he loves this country and hates bigotry in all forms, says a deputy press secretary. he's not the only one with kind words for mr. miller. here's america's most famous neo-nazi, richard spencer, earlier this year. >> stephen miller and i were friends at duke. i generally like stephen. we worked on an immigration debate, which we brought peter brimelow to campus. >> why is he laughing? brimelow is the founder of vdare, same group i told you about at the beginning of the argument, the one pumping out anti-immigrant hate, the group that miller was sending out links to. as for a relationship with richard spencer, mr. miller says no way. i have absolutely no relationship with mr. spencer. i completely repudiate his views and his claims are 100% false.
emails, interviews with other people involved in that immigration debate at duke, they say otherwise. let's put it to the side. the point is miller's political ideas that the president often parrots are too often un-american and ugly. you know, the president, news came out today that he wants to get rid of vindman and others who are testifying in a way that he doesn't like. basically wanting to get rid of them for wanting to tell the truth. why would he keep someone like miller, who's peddling divisive rhetoric about minorities and immigrants, who is telling lies about people in this country? you know what they say. you are the company you keep. mr. trump's oldest adviser just became one of the half dozen trumpers caught lying to feds, and a main policy adviser was known to traffic in divisive nationalism. is this a promise kept to bring us only the best? that's my argument. now, the bolo. biggest blow to the president's defense in his impeachment
inquiry last week came from his own mouth. so we got a big bolo ahead of tomorrow's testimonies. be on the lookout, next. our liquid has a unique botanical blend, while an optimal melatonin level means no next-day grogginess. zzzquil pure zzzs. naturally superior sleep. you have fast-acting power over pain, so the whole world looks different. the unbeatable strength and speed of advil liqui-gels. what pain?
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bolo. be on the lookout. potus faced a ton of blowback after his attack on former ambassador yovanovich as she was testifying last week. tonight cnn has learned trump campaign advisers have their fingers crossed that the president refrains from smearing ltc, lieutenant colonel alexander vindman tomorrow. vindman is a scholar and a decorated war vet, wounded by a roadside bomb in iraq. it may seem obvious that attacking a military officer who put his life on the line for his country, not smart. but can this president curb his kill 'em all mentality for anyone who doesn't serve his interest? we haven't seen him do it to date. be on the lookout tomorrow.
thank you for watching. "cnn tonight" with the man, d. lemon, gets an early start on the show now. >> you gave me an a whole extra ten seconds. listen, you did a great job with this. look, 213 pages for holmes' testimony. these are the highlights. what is coming out of this testimony is really quite surprising, and quite shocking, some of it confirming what we knew already and others adding to this whole scenario that there was a quid pro quo. can the democrats prove it? i don't know. but it certainly is compelling testimony from both witnesses. and then there's more taking place this week. this is a big week ahead, chris. >> this is the week. and i think that -- here's the good news. i had this moment of clarity in one of the commercials tonight. >> oh, wow. >> i was like all these names, all these acronyms, all these agencies. do i have to do a murder board. but then i realized something? they're all saying the same damn thing. it doesn't matter who you ask.
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