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tv   CNN Right Now With Brianna Keilar  CNN  December 20, 2019 10:00am-11:00am PST

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sharply insulted trump, it made the headlines and everyone moved on. they're sticking with him and i don't know if there's anything he can do. while weaver be've been on , nancy pelosi invited to "state of the union" on february 4th. brianna keilar starts right now. i'm brianna keilar live from cnn's washington headquarters. underway right now, he's mad as hell and making demands. why president trump wants his day in court before the senate. an evangelical christian magazine says the president needs to be removed, and now he's responded. despite all of this with 76% of americans saying the economy is good, is the president closer to or further from reelection after this week? plus a new report raises the question about whether vladimir putin is literally the trump whisperer. and the wife of an american
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diplomat charged in the car accident that killed a british teenager. i'll be speaking with the family. but first an enraged president trump is now eager for vindication amid a stalled standoff between house speaker nancy pelosi and senate majority leader mitch mcconnell, and now we're told that trump is heading to mar-a-lago for the holidays fresh off the heels of impeachment as plans for his senate trial remain in limbo. let's go to kaitlan collins. she's at the white house. she has some new reporting for us. kaitlan, i understand there are some officials who are worried about the president's upcoming trip. tell us what you're hearing. >> reporter: this trip gives aides some anxiety because the president is down there, he's at his own club, he's talking to people at the club, members, his millionaire-billionaire groans e
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president goes there because his senate trial is looming. while the president is in mar-a-lago, there will be pretty critical decisions to be made about what the defense will look like when the president does get that trial. he's already irritated over it, as you heard from senator graham, that the president is mad as hell over this delay because, he said, he wants his day in court. the concern is while the president is down there, the longer he's down there, the more influence these outsiders, outsiders outside the administration and strategizing that's been happening over the last several months here is going to happen. that's really the concern here. you're going to see a lot of the top aides to the president travel with him down there for the second half of the trip. essentially he'll be pretty well staffed as they'll get ready to come back to washington for what they hope will be a very quick trial. the question is whether that outside influence changes the president's mind in the meantime, because as we've reported, he's already asking questions about his white house
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counsel pat cipollone who is pretty widely expected to be the lead for his defense in the senate trial, but the president isn't questioning people about if they think he'll be good on tv. we know that's not only critical to the president, but it's seen more as a political trial than one that would be seen in a courthouse, for example. a lot of decisions to be made in a very crucial time in his presidency, so that's something to keep an eye on while the president is in south florida at his club, brianna. >> i wonder what the mood is over there and with the president, kaitlan, just because -- i mean, obviously, this has been a tough week for the president. he was impeached. but there's also good poll numbers when it comes to the economy. what is the thinking there about how he's positioned going into this key political year? >> good numbers with the economy. they see these numbers like the ones in the cnn impeachment poll about whether or not voters believe the president should be impeached and removed from office, how they believe that's remained steady or decreased
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some over the last several weeks. they're trying to somehow square that. they keep pushing these numbers to the president saying, look what you're doing. but he is still very irritated over this deep down and kind of in a sense of disbelief that he actually was impeached. because, of course, that was something the president was incredibly resistant to which aides warned him about when he was going into the 2018 midterms saying if democrats get the house, your presidency is going to be on the line. so now essentially what he's looking for now that he's been impeached is this vindication in a senate trial. now you see with speaker pelosi, the drama going on on capitol hill, he's concerned he's not going to get it as quickly as he wants it, and of course that has put the president in a mood that most aides who have spoken to him in the last several days would not describe as a good one. >> kaitlan, thank you for that reporting. we appreciate it. i want to discuss all of this with francesca chambers. she's a white house correspondent from d.c. and a foreign official under president trump and a former cia
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case officer. francesca, you heard kaitlan's reporting. officials around the white house are worried. they're worried the president is going to this mar-a-lago echo chamber and maybe it won't be good news for the holidays. what do you think? are they in the right place to be worried? >> nearly every day when he's at mar-a-lago, he starts it the same. it's tweeting about things. it's then going to his club where we don't always see him playing golf but he's expecting to be playing golf. who knows, we're not seeing who is coming in and out of there that kaitlan noted he could be talking to. one question is, what does he decide about how he wants to respond to nancy pelosi and how he wants to respond to what could potentially happen in the senate while he's down there? we know he's still deciding who he will have representing him. pat cipollone is a leading contender for that. but he has not finalized that. before this, you and i were talking about what could they realistically do even if he wasn't at mar-a-lago? before he makes that decision,
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there's not very much they could be doing because those are the people who will be arguing the case. >> kevin, as the president is now looking from the white house at what's going on here with the articles of impeachment not heading over to the senate yet, a harvard scholar, noah feldman, who we saw testify before congress, wrote this today in a bloomberg op-ed. he says, if the house does not communicate its impeachment to the senate, it has not actually impeached the president. if the articles are not transmitted, trump could legitimately say he wasn't truly impeached at all. and he makes the case that -- i mean, yes, there's been the vote but that's not the end of impeachment. so even just to say the president is impeached just sort of shorthand, bull legally these articles have to be sent to the senate. do you look at that and think that the speaker knows that? is she making a mistake here? >> i think she is making a mistake and the professor is making a novel argument.
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they don't say anything speckly abo -- specifically about the managers in the impeachment. it just says the chief justice will be charge if the president is the defendant. i think they are making a mistake in not sending it over. if they wanted to do a censured resolution, they could have done that. it would have been a lot simpler. but now the impeachment course has left the house barn. it's in the senate corral. >> this could be music to the president's ears. you say it's a novel argument. but the president and his advisers must be saying, this is the guy democrats brought forward to testify as a constitutional expert, and he's saying, technically i haven't been impeached yet. >> i think they're baffled. they're like, what's happening right now? one thing white house officials told me was that they think first nancy pelosi said that there was a sense of urgency, that they needed to do this
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impeachment really quickly because the president was a clear and present danger. but now this process could be being delayed further into january than was originally expected, so they're questioning, okay, either it's urgent or it's not urgent. they're questioning that, but they're also confused about this idea that nancy pelosi -- first they wanted to use it as average, democrats did, and now she says, i want to see what the senate does first. i think they're very confused about what's happening right now. it's hard to respond to something until they know what the next move is, too. >> who isn't confused? kevin, it's kind of confusing right now. >> it really is. the way the constitution is set up and the system is set up, it's virtually impossible for the house to force the senate to do something or the senate to force the house to do something. i used to be a house staffer. they look at it as kids at christmas dinner. it's not likely speaker pelosi will be able to have that much influence on what leader mcconnell will do on his side of
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the capitol. >> it's left of the house barn and it's in the senate corral. while the white house is embroiled in impeachment, the president is enjoying some of the strongest economic numbers in his presidency. according to a cnn poll, americans are taking notice. 76% of those polled see the economy as strong. gina joins us now to dissect all of this. gina, you've seen the economic report that show the gdp tick-tock in the final quarter. what does this say about the overall economy? >> i think one of the important numbers in that gdp number was just how strong consumer spending was. we know that growth was looking okay, not solid, but pretty decent in the third quarter. we saw student spending get revised even higher, which is
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just a piece of what we've been seeing, which is that the consumer is really driving things forward. it seems like everyday households feel very comfortable opening their wallets and going out and buying restaurants and services and all sorts of things. >> 76% of americans saying they feel the economy is strong. that's a huge number. this is the best we've seen in 20 years and it's really a sign that if they see the economy as strong, they're feeling it, right, on this very personal level. what do you make of this optimism? >> i think one thing that's important to keep in mind when you think about those are really solid confidence numbers, is that, a, they are echoed across a broad range of data. several confidence numbers showed consumer numbers are really holding up across this expansion. and b, consumers are a big part of the economy. they make up more than two-thirds of spending in the economy, so the fact they're feeling so strong and looking so
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robust really does bode well for this expansion, which as you guys note often on this show, is already well past its all-time record. this is the longest expansion america has ever had. >> we're watching a lot of green there right now on the board. jeanna, thank you so much for breaking that down for us. the president is fighting back against an evangelical christian magazine that says the president is immoral and needs removed from office. there is a stunning new report we'll take a look at. and the wife of an american diplomat charged in the car accident that killed a british teenager. i'll be speaking with a close friend who speaks for the victim's family, ahead. so we're making it easier than ever to become part of our family. man: that's why our chevy employee discount is now available to everyone.
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in a stunning and sharp rebuke, a christian publication is calling for president trump to be removed. christianity today, which is a magazine founded by the late evangelist billy graham, wrote
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in part, this president has dumbed down the idea of morality in his administration. he has hired and fired a number of people who are now convicted criminals. he himself has admitted to minimal actions in business and his relationship with women, about which he remains proud. his twitter feed alone with its habitual string of mischaracterizations, lies and slanders is a near perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused. what is your opinion of this op-ed? >> this is 25% of the electorate. in the last election, 80% of christians donald trump. his approval rating in the latest marist is 75%.
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so he's won their votes and they are morally supportive of him, so he doesn't want to lose their ground in this base. i don't think this will make any impact, and the reason that is the case is there is no new information in it. evangelical christians, they already know about this about president trump, and what matters to them the most is what they're getting from him in terms of remaking the federal judiciary. his 50th appellate court pick was confirmed a week ago. that's 50 in three years. barack obama only got 55 in eight. and he is appointing lockstep conservatives to the federal judiciary, and in the end, that will matter more. >> i do want to note the president's criticism of this magazine. it's a prominent evangelical magazine. like i said, it was founded by billy graham. but it gets this backlash from him. he calls it a leftist magazine when really it's a centrist magazine. what do you think about this, that he courts evangelicals, but
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when he gets even this whiff of criticism from this publication, he really slams them and actually lies about them. >> i think he's giving fodder to his supporters so they have some kind of a response. it's almost akin to that single-spaced, six-page letter that he released just on the eve of being impeached. he always wants to make sure that his talking points are represented. and, frankly, i think you'll probably hear that parroted now even if it's not the case. >> he gets impeached and he gets a trade deal. 70% of americans say the economy is good. when you look at all of this as a whole, do you think the president is further from or closer to being reelected? >> this is not a copout on my part. i would answer it this way. he is exactly where he would be otherwise. what was most stunning to me
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this week was the data that showed that as the hearings progressed, hearings in which many observers thought, wow, they're actually putting together a cognizable claim here of abuse of power, those wanting him impeached, their numbers actually declined both in the marquette survey of wisconsin and the gallup survey of the nation generally. what i'm amazed at is this wall that seems to exist between the dysfunction in d.c. and the economy and market forces, you know, with the dow continuing to be on fire. it seems like none of that which we've been paying close attention to is having any impact on the economy, or in some strange way, it's having the reverse impact on the economy. >> very interesting, michael. thank you so much, michael smir c -- smirconish, and we will make sure to catch your show.
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files have just been charged against a british teenager who was in a motorcycle involving the wife of a u.s. diplomat. she fled the u.k. and i'll be speaking to the family members ahead. as the tension seems to grow, i'm told it's because of the, quote, new blood coming into the party. we'll talk about that, ahead. o. olay's hydration was unbeaten every time. olay, face anything. billions of problems. dry mouth? parched mouth? cotton mouth? there's a therabreath for you. therabreath oral rinse and lozenges. help relieve dry mouth using natural enzymes to soothe and moisturize.
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now to an update in the case of the british teen who was killed when the wife of a u.s. diplomat crashed into her motorcycle. she is being formally charged now with causing death by dangerous driving. harry dunn was killed in the u.k. in august after he was hit by an oncoming vehicle driving on the opposite side of the road. she fled u.s. anonymity and fled to the united states after the crash. i'm joined by a close friend of the dunn family. he's serving as their spokesperson. and brad, first just tell us how
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harry's parents are doing, how they're reacting to this news and if you've received any update on sikoulis' extradition. >> good evening from london, brianna. the parents are just as they were, still bereft and heartbroken and thinking about their son, first and foremost. they were told two months ago that there was a less than 1% chance of having anyone held accountable for the loss of their son. clearly today is a significant move away from that. you know, it's important to also say that this is now a live criminal case against ann sikoulis, so we must be very careful not to prejudice her right to a fair trial when she comes back to the u.k. that said, i've seen statements from the president of the united states and her lawyer.
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look, we would just say now the case is in the hands of the u.k. authorities, and as you've all seen, they strongly believe that they've got a case against her, and it's in the public interest to prosecute her. so, you know, we will simply await developments now. >> i do want to read that statement from her attorney. this is part of it here. it says, this was an accident, and a criminal prosecution with a potential penalty of 14 years' imprisonment is simply not a proportionate response. we've been in contact with the u.k. authorities about ways in which ann could assist from preventing accidents like this from happening in the future as well as honoring harry's memory, but ann will not return voluntarily to the united kingdom. you said when she returns to the u.k., her attorney is saying she's not going to return to the u.k. what is your understanding about how that might occur if your expectation is truly that at
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some point she comes back to britain? >> we sat in a meeting with the chief prosecutor in london earlier today when he explained to us that extradition proceedings are about to be commenced against her. now, despite what anybody is saying over there in the united states, this is going to be dealt with under the rule of law. there is an extradition treaty between the two countries, ask it's not a matter of what the accused person feels about what is and what is not proportionate. it's about complying with and abiding by the rules of the country that you live in. and here in the u.k., if you take somebody's life and your driving falls well below the normal standard, you know, you are then potentially going to be prosecuted for causing death by dangerous driving. those rules would apply to you, brianna, if you moved over here.
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they apply to me as an american who lives here. no one is above the law. no one. >> can i ask you, because the trump administration has stood by her, and it appears that the u.s. government is not poised, even as you view it, as the family's attorney views it, certainly that she should be extradited to the u.k. but that said, what is your understanding about what that means for ann sikoulis? because there are obviously a number of countries that do have extradition treaties with the u.k. is your understanding even if the u.s. protects her, she essentially has to stay in the u.s. and can't leave? >> to us it's very clear and simple. yeah, the extradition arrangements between the two countries are over 100 years old. the united states has never refused an application for
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extradition from the u.k. this would have to be decided by an impartial judge somewhere in the united states who would just follow what the extradition treaty says. i've learned to live life from harry's point of view, they will leave this now to the u.k. authorities, and they simply, wurnls, and hopefully she can get on with her life. this is not going to be dealt with by the whims of this plangs. >> radd, thank you so much. radd seiger, a spokeswoman for the dunn family. sto it is a conspiracy theory
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that ukraine interrupted the 2016 election. now it comes out where the president got that idea. from vladimir putin himself. plus the trump campaign falsely claims congressman clyburn called for trump's hanging. we're finding out that's false and we'll find out where it came from, next. t-mobile, the first and only nationwide 5g network.
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because putin told me. that is the defense coming from the lips of the president when asked why he believed ukraine was the real culprit behind the 2016 election interference. this is according to a former senior white house official. in a new piece in the "washington post," former officials detail how the president quickly seized on this theory that ukraine tried to thwart his democratic victory. thank you very much for coming on. >> thank you, brianna. it's great to be with you. >> it's great to have you, and i wonder how concerned you are that putin was able to influence not just through sort of russian meddling and trying to persuade voters or americans, but actually to influence the president in a way that has him picking what putin is saying over his own intel community. >> i think after the 2016
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elections, the gloves were really off when it came to vladimir putin's influence with president trump and the gop. because let's not forget, the gop continues to parrot not only on the floor but also going onto fox news, all of the things, the lies that putin continues to spread, blaming and deflecting everyone else on his interference in our u.s. elections. >> why do you think the president was such an easy target for putin here? >> i am afraid that vladimir putin may have something on the president, and it is the reason why the president has continued to play the handmaid to vladimir putin, inviting him to the white house and opening the doors and not having any advisers present, taking the notes from the interpreter and continuing to talk to him and continuing to parrot everything that he tells
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him. russia is no friend of the u.s. they ever never been a friend to us. they continue to compromise us sbernltly, they continue to attack our friends and our allies overseas, so we have to be very careful and we have to keep a close eye on how this continues to evolve. >> you said you think that putin may have something, meaning compromising information, compromat, as it's said in russia, on president trump? is there something specific that you're thinking of when you say that? >> there is no other reason why president trump continues to capitulate to what putin is telling him. he doesn't do that with anyone else. he doesn't do that with his advisers. he doesn't do that with his american ambassadors who are
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providing him time and time and time again. national security advisers that tell him that this is nothing but russia propaganda that he continues to not believe our own intelligence over putin. >> i know some of our analysts, a number of them say -- and our reporters who cover president trump day in and day out say he's obviously very sensitive to the idea that russia meddled in the election, so his win may not be legitimate or that there are people who delegitimize it by asking questions about that. could that be a reason rather than compromising information that the president is so gullible when it comes to putin suggesting it was ukraine and not russia that meddled? >> no, i think it was -- we are beyond 2016's election. i was present on january 20th to see president trump take the oath of office.
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and i was there because i believe in the rule of law. because i believe in a peaceful transfer of power. so we are beyond 2016. the fact that this president of the united states continues to depend on russia to win the next election that he has coming, asking not only russia, but asking ukraine and china openly on tv to investigate his political opponents who could be challenging him and who absolutely has an opportunity to win this next election i think is incomparable. we have to continue securing our elections and not only has president trump blocked us from securing our elections, republicans and congress have also done that. >> i want to ask you about something we heard from one of the scholars that testified before the judiciary committee that democrats called. noah feldman said the president is not officially impeached
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because the house has not sent impeachment articles to the senate. in your view, has the president been impeached? >> absolutely. you know, after the vote that we took on the floor and, you know, the majority of congress voted to impeach the president, he has absolutely been impeached. now, wily elected nancy pelosi as our speaker of the house because we have trust in her that she will negotiate every procedure moving forward with the senate. let us not forget that mitch mcconnell has already said that he has been in negotiations with the white house, in negotiations with the president and he will take they tell hoim moovlg this process forward. he is not going to give us a fair trial. imagine what ach-- if someone
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accused of a crime can correlate with a jury and can correlate with a judge on how a trial is going to move forward, that's unconscionable. when we raise our hand and pledge allegiance to our nation, we say "with liberty and justice for all." it doesn't say except for the president of the united states. >> congresswoman, thank you. congresswoman norma torres. >> thank you, brianna. we are learning about the investigation of those hand gestures made at the army-navy football game after concerns they signalled white hour. we'll have that next. so skin looks like this and you feel like this. aveeno® skin relief. get skin healthy™
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support, defend and fight. especially when it comes to protecting the president. a strategy many gop lawmakers adopted in the fight to present trump, which we saw during this week's historic impeachment. when it comes to the republican party, let's listen to what house minority leader said about longevity and fresh perspective. >> the thing about the republican party, we don't believe this should be your entire life. i watched steny hoyer, a dear friend of mine, he said in his
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speech the other day he's been here 38 years. i don't think that's what our founders designed or thought of. and with the republican party we're healthy, we bring new, new blood in. >> we bring new blood in. he said we're healthy. we don't believe this should be your entire life. mckarncartccarthy's word. long true and while the house debated on trump's impeachment the gop defending trump was mostly older white men. so i want to bring in cnn political commentator s.e. cupp positive talk about this and the host of "s.e. cupp unfiltered." a pale 1950s face to defend face. tell us about this. >> well, i think in contrast to what kevin mccarthy said the gop is not healthy, it's corroding and aging. watching impeachment over the past few weeks and months, you saw a bunch of old white guys,
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primarily. and that might be working for trump. he certainly has been trying to reach out to the aggrieved older forgotten man, but once trump is gone, i'm not sure whom the gop will appeal to anymore. especially not using the kind of 1950s language they've, they have leaned into over the past few weeks. that's not my love language. that does not speak to voters like me, well educated women, you know, under 50, who came into conservatism because it was empowering to people like me. because it -- it reached out to women and minorities and millennials and gay voters and made them feel like policies had appealed to them. that there was room for them in our movement and in the republican party and i just don't see that same messaging
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today. >> not one republican house member voted to support either articles impeachment. we saw republicans very much together on this. this appears and is this the case to you that this is the party of trump, and as you see eventually, you know, trump won't be president. where does the republican party go from there when it's become the party of trump? >> i'm not sure, because you see the, the sort of emasculation of the gop by donald trump. the only thing that matters, the only oriented principle is donald trump. it's no longer conservative philosophy or even conservative politics and policy. so once that figurehead is gone, that demagogue is although longer orienting the orient point, i'm not sure who the gop is, what they stand for anymore. they'll really have to figure that out. who they want to be after trump? keep going an the forgotten man and what happens when the forgotten man is gone, too? you're left with voters like me
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making up the majority of the voting population. you' you've -- that's a big cleanup job to do, you saw president trump formally announcing the democratic congressman jeff van drew switches parties. i want to listen to this meeting yesterday. >> you have my undying support. >> thank you. thank you very much. >> and always. >> and by the way, same way. >> thank you. >> i'm endorsing him. okay? we're endorsing him. >> from democrat to undying support for president trump. what did you think of that? >> well, lest you thought donald trump had only turned republicans in craven and unprincipled politicians, here comes jeff van drew to say, hold my beer. he made a political calculation. 28% in his re-election bid in his new jersey district. instead of saying, they're not into me anymore i'm going home to do something else with my life decided to do the most
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emasculating thing you can do in politics. disavow your own party and principles and go to washington and kiss the president's ass. that's what he's done. in a perfect world, that would not be rewarded. lose and left with nothing. i actually think today is might work for him. >> really? we'll be watching, s.e., normally it doesn't. we'll be watching and will check out your show "unfiltered" every saturday starting at 6:00 p.m. eastern. just in, nancy pelosi sends an invitation to president trump two days after impeaching him. and just in. learning the results to the hand gestures made at the army/navy football game after concerns they snignaled white power. did that? we'll have that next. we're ine town near salerno
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just in to cnn, the united states naval academy and united states military academy say that the hand gestures made by midshipmen and cadets during a broadcast of the army/navy football game were known as the circle game. not white power symbols. we've seen as ryan brown, joining us now, tell us what we're learning. >> reporter: brianna, learning that these investigations pretty
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thorough involving the fbi and cis background checks determined no racist intent behind the hand gestures that sparked controversy durings army/navy football game. this is a chance for the army academy and naval academy to showcase heritage and conditions. when the images appeared folks speculated they were a part of a racist, white supremacist hand gesture. turns out a much more inknonocu reason. you get splomeone to look at th gesture outside the field of vision you get to punch them. the naval academy issuing a statement saying we are confident the harnd gestures used were not intended to be racist in any way but disappointed by the immature behavior of two fourth class midshipmen and their actions addressed. what those are remain to be
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seen. a high-profile event playing this game so publicly, navy and army pride themselves on discipli discipline. punishments there. the army and navy heads coming out issues statements saying, look, just a game. perceptions are important and the fact this gesture should be misininterpreted should have been known. they'll work to educate on that he herb -- issue but it was just a game. >> that's if for me. "newsroom with brooke baldwin" starts right now. brianna, thank you very much. hi there. i'm brooke baldwin. you're watch aring cnn on this friday afternoon. thanks for being here. a story today. house speaker nancy pelosi extends and invitation to the president who is quote/unquote mad at hell at her. speaker pelosi asked president trump to give his annual state of the union address february 4


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