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tv   CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin  CNN  February 12, 2020 12:00pm-1:00pm PST

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you tell me? >> yeah, there's a lot going on, and the president is even talking about this right now in the oval office as he's welcoming the ecuadorian leader. he is defending these tweets saying that he doesn't believe they were political interference in this, but then he's going back to thanking the justice department and those top officials for getting involved in all of this. brooke, what he's not saying is whether or not he's considering a pardon for his long-time friend roger stone telling reporters just a few moments ago he didn't want to weigh in on that, we'll likely hear more about what it is the president said once those reporters leave the room. yes, this is all part of this ongoing situation. this jesse liu part is just one small part of this. this is really notable. she is someone who ran the u.s. attorney's office here in washington. she was nominated for a top job at the treasury department. her confirmation hearing was going to be in just two days, but last night the white house abruptly pulled that nomination, and i am now being told by sources it is directly tied to the fact that she ran the u.s.
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attorney's office here. of course, when it was the office that was in charge of the prosecution of roger stone. it also played a role in several of those other major ongoing cases that came out of robert mueller's investigation, and that is the reason why president trump made the ultimate decision to pull her nomination, essentially surprising several treasury officials who believed she was on track to be confirmed for that job. now, of course, there are questions going forward about who was running that office now. it's currently being run by a close associate of the attorney general's tim shay, that is someone who's now going to be in charge of these cases going forward as roger stone is set to is gaining momentum that could help him with the crucial voting be snnsed next week by this judge the president is attacking bloc, african-americans, and he has picked up endorsements from on twitter and accusing her of bias. three members of the critics say they believe he's congressional black caucus and the most notable is the champion trying to intimidate her and get a more lenient sentence for roger stone. >> the president just said in after losing her own son to gun the oval office thrks , he said oval office he did not ask the department of it justice to violence in 2012, jordan.
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intervene, but he tweeted but after audio surfaced of him publicly. >> right, that has been their defending the new york city's controversial stop and frisk party line essentially you're seeing coming out of the white policy, bloomberg said moments house. they're saying he it not have a ago that he is the best direct conversation with the candidate to beat donald trump. attorney general with this. he didn't have to because he tweeted about it multiple times >> even though donald and i from calling it a disgrace, saying he new york, the truth is that we believed it was unfair, and then of course it was just hours could not be more different. later that the justice department got involved in fact, i bill myself as the un-trump, but as this election overresuove overruling their own prosecutors saying they believed that is too important for our party sentencing recommendation was to have the kind of the too lengthy and now they're not divisions that we have saw back giving a rec essentially leavin in 2016. >> cristina alesci is there, and it up to the judge. of course the ultimate question is going to be whether or not it what is his pitch for locking up the nomination after he skips matters, dend depending on the first four states? whether or not the president is >> his pitch is that he is going partying him. he's faced intense lobbying by stone's allies, and of course to defeat trump and he is the the question is if the president candidate to do it, but this is does decide to pardon, when does it he do it? does he do it next week or does first appearance since the tape he wait until after the surfaced of his callous comments election. some people are telling the president if you do pardon roger of stop and frisk and so the
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stone, it's going to be press was asking him why he used politically harmful for you. the words specifically, but he did not have a direct answer for >> wow, things that perhaps he is weighing indeed. thank you very much. lets go straight to evan perez. that, but reiterating that he he's with me now. does not feel the same way today you've been reporting about that he did five years ago, but these four prosecutors who michael bloomberg and the team abruptly quit just a week out trying to counter the narrative that they have a tough time from stone's sentencing. winning over the these are career justice department officials who have african-american voters. been working on this case for an as you mentioned they scored three endorsements from the high entire year, evan. so tell me more about them and profile black members of congress today and in addition to that in chattanooga, he was endorsed by the local chapter of just the reaction to their the naacp, and so clearly, they withdrawal inside the department. >> look, i think it doesn't are trying to fight the narrative. mission here. also, notably, michael bloomberg there are a lot of people who are shocked about the events over the last 24 hours, brooke, stuck to the stump speech, but the idea that the prosecutors he did reiterate the promise to who make a recommendation and then the justice department just support whoever gets the nomination. undercuts them and disavows listen. >> in this race, everybody is a essentially everything that they had done, it just doesn't happen good person and people that i am at the justice department. running against are good people, and if one of them wins the at the same time, i think nomination, god forbid, i will there's a lot of surprise about exactly what went on here. support him or her. it seems all the stories that are going on behind the scenes, the explanations just aren't >> brooke, it is obvious that
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adding up. michael bloomberg has a lot of you have, of course, the idea work to do from here on out, that the president tweeting, which is not helpful. because super tuesday is going to be competitive with the poor the tweet, not only the one in performance with joe biden out the middle of the night that of new hampshire and iowa and sort of criticizes the prosecutors, but also now both of them need to do well. they are both going to be thanking bill barr and doubling down saying that he's done the competing in the same lane for the super tuesday voters, and we right thing, none of that is helpful for the justice department because even though will have to see how it plays the president is the boss, there out, brooke. is this idea that the justice >> thank you. fast moving developments as department is supposed to be run president trump is defending his free from politics, and the president's words are not friend roger stone and attacks helping. look, behind the scenes, there's the prosecutor and the judge who a lot of tension going on over is going to be handing down the sentence. not only this case but also the it begins by being privately owned. case of michael flynn, the former national security with more than 85 years of experience adviser. if you remember, you know, he is over multiple market cycles. awaiting sentencing, and some prosecutors wanted to go harder with portfolio managers who are encouraged to do what's right on him. they essentially wanted him to over what's popular. go to jail, and in the end the focused on helping me achieve my investors' unique goals. justice department has decided can i find an investment firm to atstand by its original that gets long term the way i do? recommendation, which is no jail time for michael flynn. with capital group, i can. so what i'm told behind the scenes is there's been this sort for investment risks and information. of, you know, similar to what's happened in the roger stone case, there has been a little
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bit of a dispute over how to i need all the breaks as athat i can get.or, with capital group, i can. handle that, and so you can see at liberty butchemel... cut. now some of these politically liberty mu... line? cut. charged cases that the president liberty mutual customizes your car insurance really cares about, have become so you only pay for what you need. sort of envelope instead politics, and it makes what the cut. liberty m... justice department does that am i allowed to riff? much what if i come out of the water? liberty biberty... evan, thank you. cut. we'll dub it. let's discuss all of this. liberty mutual customizes your car insurance i've got john avlon with me, a so you only pay for what you need. cnn political analyst and sarah coin is a former u.s. assistant only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ attorney for the eastern district of new york. welcome to both of you, in one of the papers, this is the quote that jumped out, former justice department official david loughlin tweeted his reaction, shocked cram town political int intervention in the criminal justice process, we are now truly at a break glass in case of fire moment for the justice department. sarah and then john. >> it's been a remarkable 24 hours, i think, for the justice department, brooke. you know, the sentencing guidelines are created by a bunch of judges and practitioners to try to come up with a way to sentence criminals
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for the same conduct committed in the same way around the country to the same type of sentences, and that comes out into a range, congress approves that range, and then the government always says pretty much virtually always we'd like a sentence within the range. because that keeps it consistent around theot allows the department to be able to say to any specific defense attorney, hey, you think the sentence is too high, these are the calculations. there's nothing we can do. take it up with the judge. here what's so remarkable is that you have the department taking the position of the defense attorney saying these are too high. my guy doesn't deserve this. we agree that these overstate the seriousness, and that's not just for this case, but you can bet that every defense attorney going forward is going to say, well, hey, you took the position in the roger stone case, take it here. it's going to hurt them. >> meanwhile, before i get your two cents. we had someone last hour saying in any high profile case, you
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would have some of the folks from the u.s. attorney's office having a conversation with doj hq, they would have been privy to what that recommendation was. for them to come out and say they were shocked and it's excessive makes you runner. >> this is banana republic level stuff. this is a moment where the guardrails seem to be coming off. the st is departmejustice depar on the ideal of impartial justice. that justice is blind, that it's done impartially. certainly partisan calculations don't impact it. that's how it keeps our faith. that's being underminded because bill barr seems to be intent to act as the president's personal lawyer, and the president's sending directives and undercutting his own prosecutors and attorneys and seems to want to surround himself with yes men even in the discharge of justice, especially when it concerns prosecutions of his cronies. this is very serious stuff, and we shouldn't be fooled into thinking it's a new form of normal. it's not. it's a complete assault on basic assumptions of justice and the independence and integrity of our justice system. >> so i have many more questions
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for you too. hang on just a second. we are going to get the tape now from the president's comments from the oval office on this whole firestorm. let's sneak a quick break in. we will be back in just a moment. so skin looks like this and you feel like this. aveeno® skin relief. get skin healthy™
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the lack of checks notes oversight hearings. we've had fully 67 oversight events this session. we'll keep doing our job. now, up next is jake tapper with "the lead." >> has the president learned his lesson? that depends. "the lead" starts next. and now, helping felon friends ♪ and how are the republican senators feeling after one week post impeachment trump? the amount of student loan debt i have pressure campaign 2.0, and the i'm embarrassed to even say democrats are calling for i felt like i was going to spend my whole adult life another investigation after president trump pats the paying this off thanks to sofi, attorney general on the back for intervening in the criminal case i can see the light at the end of the tunnel against trump pal roger stone. as of 12pm today, i am debt free and plus, the momentum swing, ♪ and the 2020 race moves on the we have no debt, we don't owe anybody anything, and it's fantastic way the south carolina. ♪ can sanders convince a group of critical voters who have yet to have their say. this is hal's heart. this is cnn breaking news. it's been broken. and put back together.
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welcome to "the lead." this is also hal's heart. and his relief, i'm jake tapper. we begin with breaking news. knowing he's covered by blue cross blue shield. it is exactly one week to the day that the senate acquitted president trump with the this is hal's heart. and it's beating better than ever. republican this is what medicare from blue cross blue shield does for hal. and with easy access to quality healthcare, imagine what we can do for you. this is the benefit of blue. you spend less and get way more., so you can bring your vision to lif.
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for small prices, you can build big dreams. spend less. get way more. shop everything home at wayfair toda. we're back, you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. a defense official tells cnn right now that there is, quote, no army investigation of lieutenant colonel alexander vindman. of course, he's the key impeachment witness who was publicly dismissed from his high level job at the white house this past friday in what democrats say was an act of retribution from the president. today the president had this to say about colonel vindman. >> and so we sent him on his way to a much different location, and the military can handle him
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any way they want. >> back in november, the secretary of defense mark esper vowed that there would be no retaliation against vindman. we should point out that secretary esper's promise did not keep security from escorting vindman from white house premises friday. retired brigadier general who served as vindman's supervisor for two years while they were in russia. an honor to have you back twice in one week. first, your reaction to the president's comment? >> good afternoon, brooke. first, if the president stays on target with the first part of what he said, but earlier on it said that the military will take a look at some of the issues, if you will, which we have a term in the military, remember i'm retired, though, of if you will undue command influence by hint
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or inference signaling. i am very glad that the military has come out with a statement that the -- that there will not be an investigation. this issue, challenge if you will litigate it inside of congress, i think that vindman should be able to move on with life and his career as he wishes. >> one moment, general, here is president trump. >> nine years recommended by four people that perhaps they were mueller people. i don't know who they were, prosecutors, and they -- i don't know what happened. they all hit the road pretty quickly. look, you had somebod he got two months. he got sentenced to two months for leaking classified information at the highest level. they treated roger stone very badly. they treated everybody very badly. if you look at the mueller
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investigation it was a scam because it was illegally set up. it was set up based on false documentation and false documents, you look at what happened, how many people were hurt, their lives were destroyed, and nothing happened with all the people that did it. where's comey? where is comey? what's happening to mccabe? what's happening to lisa and peter struck, and lisa page, what's happening with them? it was a whole setup. it was a disgrace for our country, and everyone knows it, everyone. including nbc which gives a rot of fake news. the fact is roger stone was treated horribly and so were many other people, their lives were destroyed, and it turns out, you look at the fisa warrants and what just happened with fisa where they found out it was fixed, that it was a dirty rotten deal, so when you look at that and you see what happened to roger stone, but think of it, a man leaks classified information, highly classified, they give him two months. roger stone for doing -- nobody
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even knows what he did. in fact, they said he intimidated somebody. that person said he had no idea he was going to jail for that. that person didn't want to press charges. they put him in for nine years it's a disgrace. they are to apologize to a lot of people whose lives they've ruined. next question. go ahead. >> mr. president. >> yeah, please, steve. wait, wait, wait, what? >> are you considering a pardon? >> i don't want to say that yet, but i tell you what, people were hurt viciously and badly by these corrupt people, and i want to thank -- if you look at what happened, i want to thank the justice department for seeing this horrible thing, and i didn't speak to them by the way, just so you understand. they saw the horribleness of a nine-year sentence for doing nothing. you have murderers and drug addicts, they don't get nine years. nine years for doing something that nobody even can define what he did. somebody said he put out a tweet, and the tweet, you based
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it on that. we have killers. we have murders all over the place, nothing happens, and then they put a man in jail and destroy his life, his family, his wife, his children, nine years in jail. it's a disgrace. in the meantime, comey walks around making book deals. the people that launched the scam investigation, and what they did is a disgrace, and hopefully it will be treated fairly. everything else will be treated fairly. >> yes. >> so we're going to pull away, the president of ecuador sitting with the president of the united states there, and you know, he was defending roger stone, his good friend again, saying how badly he was treated. and the key line he keeps saying is he never talked to the department of justice. i never talked to them, i never told them what to do, but again, the man has 74 million twitter
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followers, and so he said how he feels very publicly. john avlon with me, and also by the way, you know, roger stone was convicted of very specific crimes, witness tampering, obstruction, lying to congress. >> lying to congress. >> yeah, these are very specific defined sort of things. >> he was sort of brushing that off. >> the president may not care about the details, but you know there's a pattern of lying and intimidation that he engages in fairly regularly as well. maybe he doesn't recognize the severity of those accusations. at the end of the day, this is about the president going to bat for one of his political cronies, and he doesn't have to give a direct order to the justice department to your point. this is basic. if he bellows that this was, you know, he doesn't want to see this and starts attacking the judge and attacking the prosecutors, if you have an a.g. who believes it's part of his job to advance the president's agenda, he'll take the note. and the reason they hit the road quick is because they were so disgusted apparently by what the justice department undercutting their case. that's a protest.
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>> do you want to add to that? >> yeah, you know, it's the timing of this, right? there are of course times in the department where management and the line assistant who's very invested in the case particul particularly when they try it have a different view of what the appropriate sentence should be, and they debate it, but that's behind the scenes. to come out and file your sentencing submission to only have it pulled away and a complete 180, that is publicly humiliating for those. >> here's what i want to understand, with the department of justice under bill barr, do they go from sort of being on the defense, right, protecting trump's allies, to then offense and going after and arresting his enemies? that's what i want to know. >> yeah. >> look, i think that's a big leap from where we are now. i think the real risk is -- >> did we think we would be where we are now? i've been in this seat a long time. >> the credibility now of the department before the bench is really threatened. now you have judges saying,
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wait, last night you sought a guideline sentence. today you say that's too high. what's going on? who's making the decisions there? that's frankly a greater cost than this particular case. >> often what happens internationally is we see a slide into autocracy, ha is based not necessarily on persecuting the innocent but protecting the guilty, and creating an environment where the incentives are all put in place to drive decent people out of politics because they feel the whole thing is so corrupt and messy and a kleptocracy emerges where a person in power's cronies feel like they can get away with almost anything. that's why we don't politicize the justice dmepartment, and that's what too watch out for right now, that's what this had is harbinger of. >> how about these republicans, i want to get your reaction to the political fallout. so senator sherrod brown, a democrat had some strong words for his colleagues today after several republicans declared president trump learned a lesson after being impeached. watch this. >> it's pretty clear the
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president of the united states did learn a lesson. the lesson he can do whatever he wants, whatever he wants, he can abuse his office. he'll never, ever be held accountable by this senate. that was the lesson. we cannot give him a permanent license to turn the presidency and the executive branch into his own personal vengeance operation. you all know it's happening, even the senator that just walked out knows that it's happening. if we say nothing, it will get wor worse. his behavior will get worse, the retribution tour will continue. we all know that. >> the retribution tour will continue, john thune, republican senator this is what he said, a member of leadership. tells cnn, quote, i think it's always best to allow the legal system in this country to work the way it was intended. we'll see what happens. i guess i'm wondering like when will the other republicans, a la mitt romney as you and i were talking about him a week ago today, hold the president accountable? >> don't hold your breath. we haven't seen a lot of
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profiles in coloneurage. that's one of the reasons mitt romney's speech stood out so much. it's been one week since the president was acquitted. look at all the vengeance. what's happening is -- and what sherrod brown referred to there is there's an atmosphere of fear that z even reached inside the senate where people will say one thing in private but be afraid to say it out loud in public. that's not the full exercise of freedom. that's not what the founders wanted senators to do. that is being undermined. we need senators to stand up and call out when something is right. instead they're thinking in terms of partisanship, and it's a narcotic and it's dulling their senses, and it's dangerous for the republic. >> john avlon and sarah coin, thank you both very, very much. now to new hampshire, democratic voter turnout in new hampshire is on track to hit a record and it despite senator sanders finishing first, a
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. hello, america. i'm amy klobuchar, and i will beat donald trump. [ cheers and applause ] >> we're feeling great, we think we're on a path to victory. we'll win the no, ma'am natimin >> just as we came from zero to top two finishes in the first two states, we believe we will be able to develop, build, and grow a fantastic base of support in states like nevada and south carolina, and of course, super tuesday is not far behind. >> we're talking about 2% of the delegates. they're good people, a lot of good friends, but they are not -- that's not the -- that's just the first -- not just the first inning, the first batter. >> new hampshire, check, senator bernie sanders pete buttigieg continue to lead the democratic field following the nation's second primary, but 48 states are still to go, plus dc and u.s. territories meaning there's a lot of room for change.
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while sanders and buttigieg are hoping for more of the same, others like joe biden are betting on dramatic shifts. both iowa and new hampshire voters are more than 90% white. tom foreman has been mapping the road ahead. tom, how does it look? >> it looks long, brooke. honestly, to look at these two tiny contests here and say that this is a big determinant is like watching a guy who jumps out for the first hundred yards of a marathon saying he's leading. nevada, south carolina come weighing in there. everyone's looking at the tea leaves here saying what does this amount to? and yes, you would benefit by carrying some kind of momentum out of this. look at march, now you're talking about a lot of states, super tuesday, 14 states, the next tuesday a pile of six states over here, and then on and on. these really start mounting then. this month is when about half the delegates will be sorted out in the party. then you'll have a real sense of
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where everyone stands. look at the numbers right now, when you consider all those, this is what we have in terms of the delegate count at this point, 23 for buttigieg, 21 for sanders. they're the leaders, warren eight, seven, six, the main thing to bear in mind, yes, some momentum over here, that matters. some momentum that is not here that they would like to have here, that's what they need to win. that gives you an idea of how much is ahead in just the next two contests. you can see there are a fair number of delegates that can be scooped up. the big question really is going to be as you head into the next month, who has the mojo, who has that energy going in there so they can start scooping up a lot of those march votes and, brooke, that's where a lot of eyes are going to be on mike bloomberg because he really hasn't been playing so far. when there's a lot on the table, suddenly he's going to open up his cards and say let's play. will that work for him? we have no idea, but you know that every candidate is looking at that right now because right now it is still very, very early
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in the process. >> yeah, i like how you said that, the mojo, who has the mojo is right, tom foreman, so first in the nation caucus is done, first in the nation primary, and now we move on as you point out to nevada and south carolina. with me now, yes, yes, with me now for more analysis on where we're going with regard to these democratic candidates, cnn political director david chalian. so bernie sanders and mike bloomberg, obviously they have pretty deep pockets. like do other candidates have the financial resources to really hang in there? >> well, let's be clear. mike bloomberg has much deeper pockets than bernie sanders does. they're not quite in the same category. you are right, bernie sanders, he is just a money making machine, money raising machine off of these small dollar donors. he raised his campaign said $25 million alone in the month of january, and in february so far, i think they have had 600,000 donations to their campaign. so they do know how to sort of print the money to keep going.
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there's no doubt about that. but it is michael bloomberg who has put more than $300 million on the air, $350 million on the air, brooke. bernie sanders has only spent a tenth of that on advertising. so what you have now out of this is not some clear this is who the democratic nominee is going to be the way we've seen in some past contests with al gore or john kerry or, you know, and even in past contests like 2008, we saw, oh, this is now going to be a battle between barack obama and hillary clinton all the way to june. we don't even yet know who will be in the final battle, but we do know out of these first two contests, bernie sanders and pete buttigieg are the two to watch, and they each have mission critical now. bernie sanders needs to expand his coalition beyond just the consolidated progressive base that he clearly has done probably to warren's detriment, but at the same time pete buttigieg and amy klobuchar as well have to prove they can run
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their coalition to non-white voters. nevada and south carolina will be that proving ground just ahead. >> what you have talked about, i'm going to give you a ton of credit, what you have talked about for many months is we do know it will be a battle between a moderate and a progressive, right? the rough math, you look at new hampshire, the moderate candidates, david, accounted for more than 50% of the vote last night, progressive candidates right around 35%. do you read anything into that? >> it's always tough to add up, you know, votes for candidates and think that voters would just behave that way. i don't think they're as rigidly in those lanes. i do read something significant out of new hampshire last night. the democratic primary electorate there was a bit more moderate than it was four years ago in the sanders/clinton battle. we saw fewer people identify themselves as very liberal, and what we see, you are right, that moderate vote is splitting, buttigieg, klobuchar, biden, we have to see, can one of those
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candidates emerge and consolidate the way bernie sanders has really been consolidating the progressives? if that happens, there will be a whole new dynamic in the race. if the moderates continue to split, bernie sanders even in close contests like last night or like in iowa, he's going to be able to accumulate delegates still at a clip because of the way that they get awarded. they get awarded proportionally. if he's the only one out there winning the progressive piece of the pie and the moderates are splitting what may be a larger pie piece if you will, but they're splitting it among many candidates, sanders is going to be able to accumulate delegates and once you get a pledge delegate lead, it's very hard for somebody to overtake it. >> and then you get to those winner take all states. >> no winner take all states in the democratic race. it's all proportional. >> all proportional. schooling all of us every day. thank you so much. president trump doubling down on his criticisms of the doj and the impeachment process
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in the white house moments ago. hear what he had to say when he was asked if he has, quote, learned any lessons in the wake of his acquittal. when it comes to autism, finding the right words can be tough. finding understanding doesn't have to be.
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just in to cnn, as his actions and department face intense scrutiny over whether he's bowing to political pressure from the white house, attorney general bill barr has agreed to appear before the house judiciary committee next month. the hearing is set for march 31st. this of course comes as the
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department of justice reversed itself on the sentencing recommendation of roger stone hours after the president attacked the decision. we just saw the president, right, at the white house addressing this whole question that republicans are largely trying to ignore since his impeachment acquittal, and subsequent revenge tour. has the president of the united states learned his lesson? here's the president. >> ms. murkowski earlier said you shouldn't have gotten involved with the roger stone case. and republicans have said they hoped you would learn a lesson from impeachment. what lesson did you learn from impeachment? >> that the democrats are crooked. they've got a lot of crooked things going, that they're vicious, that they shouldn't have brought impeachment. and that my poll numbers are ten points higher. >> jane ros psy was a former assistant u.s. attorney in the eastern district. nice to have you on. >> you just heard the president, what do you make of his reaction and also all of these republicans staying quiet? >> well, what's unsettling about
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the president's actions is we just went through a senate trial, an impeachment process where the president was allegedly committing textbook bribery, extortion, and abusing his office under the constitution, and we heard some pretty damning testimony in the senate trial and what really unsettles me is a former prosecutor for almost 30 years is when a person makes it through a storm, a criminal justice storm, and they learn nothing from the process, and brooke, you brought up a good point. he's on a revenge tour, and what also unsettles me, he's now trying to put his thumb on the scale regarding the roger stone sentencing, and i don't care what main justice says and the attorney general, his tweet to how many millions of people affected the main justice recommendation which -- >> even though the president says i didn't talk to them, the
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tweet said it all? >> well, brooke, i believe the president when he says i did not talk directly to the attorney general, but you can guarantee through his agents and his minions, he conveyed to the attorney general and the politicals in main justice that the seven to nine-year sentence recommended by four brilliant career prosecutors who were following the united states sentencing guidelines, which is the bible of the department of justice, they were following the bible, and they were criticized, and to me they are four american heroes. >> let me take you back and our viewers back to a tarmac in 2016 on a plane, right? remember this? republicans lost their minds when bill clinton, former president bill clinton met with the a.j. loretta lircynch. you laugh, but people went
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bananas over that. and yet, nothing to adhere? how is this not just total and complete hypocrisy? >> brooke, when bill clinton had a 30-minute conversation with the attorney general of the united states, i agree, that was improper. that appeared improper. he shouldn't have done it. but that -- but the republican reaction then to what bill clinton did, which was relatively innocuous, he shouldn't have done it, but compare that to what the president is doing, and we have to tell the american people this, the president of the united states is treating bill barr like nixon treated john mitchell, and we know what happened to nixon, and we know what happened you this, i've talked to many people in the department of justice who still work there, career people, and they are absolutely upset, unsettled and angry that the head of the department is
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basically afraid of his shadow and will do anything for the president of the united states. that makes me ill as a former career prosecutor. >> yeah. as far as justice is concerned, let's talk about roger stone, and we just heard president trump was asked about pardons and he said, quote, i don't want to say that yet, right? but there is this -- people are wondering about potential pardon, in fact, even some of roger stone's friends have started this public push for a pardon that's the pardon roger stone group. they've been organized to raise money and collect signatures in favor of a pardon to create an avenue for the white house to discuss clemency. any thoughts on that? >> brooke, you're asking me if i have thoughts? absolutely. here's what the law is. the president of the united states has almost unfettered discretion to issue pardons. he can't do it as part of a quid pro quo. that would be br has unfettered discretion to
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issue a pardon, and if he pardons roger stone, i don't see where there's an impeachable offense. what bothers me is he's down playing what roger stone was convicted of. i think he was convicted of seven counts, roughly seven counts. >> lying to congress, obstruction, witness tampering, right? >> he threatened to kill a witness. now, the witness says oh, it was only a joke. listen, i charged a federal prosecutor, i mean a state prosecutor, with witness tampering. when you tamper with a witness, that's a big deal. i indicted a state prosecutor for witness tampering, so what roger stone did wasn't some low level drug case, it was the major leagues. this was whether the russians infected our democratic process. it doesn't get any bigger than that, and roger stone did everything in his power to
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obstruct that investigation, which to me was right and just, and the mueller report both volumes one and two are a treasure-trove, a treasure-trove of improper actions by the president. >> gene, thank you, and as kaitlan pointed out, standing in front of the white house the real question if president trump does pardon him, is it after the sentencing, after the election? i know that may be a gamble for him. we're going to talk again gene rossi, hold your fire, we're going to have you back, all right? i can already tell. thank you very much, gene. i appreciate it. coming up next, president trump says he'd rather run against mike bloomberg than bernie sanders. the former new york city mayor looks way ahead to super tuesday. i'm a new yorker, but i'm not afraid of trump, and trump is afraid of me. see great and look great. "guaranteed" we say that too! you've gotta use these because we don't mean it. buy any pair at regular price, get one free. really!
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