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tv   CNN Newsroom With Alisyn Camerota and Victor Blackwell  CNN  January 14, 2022 11:00am-12:01pm PST

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mucinex dm relieves wet and dry coughs. hello, everyone, thanks for joining us on "newsroom," i'm alisyn camerota. >> i'm victor blackwell. a short time from now the leader of the oath keepers is due to appear in federal court. stewart rhodes is one of 11 defendants who are charged with sedition for involvement in the january 6 insurrection. >> these are the most significant charges in the investigation so far. prosecutors say rhodes and others used encrypted
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communications to coordinate actions leading up to january 6. and prosecutors say rhodes was planning for violence well beyond january 6. they say in the week after the attack, on the capitol, he spend more than $17,000 on weapons and equipment and ammunition and before inauguration day he tried to organize local militia to oppose by force the transfer of power. >> ed lavendera joins us from plano, texas, outside of the courthouse. what will we see. >> reporter: well stewart rhodes is scheduled to appear in the next hour. it is a brief hearing for his initial appearance. the day after stuart rhodes was arrested in a suburb of the dallas-fort worth area and according to the 48 page indictment he is facing five criminal charges including that most serious carnal of seditious
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conspiracy and federal prosecutors are saying that rhodes and others spearheaded an attempt to oppose the peaceful transfer of presidential power and plotting to prevent this transfer of power using force. in that indictment they detailed some stunning and new allegations that we have heard. the most we've heard in the last year. the federal prosecutors say they intercepted communications that were used through the encrypted app signal in those text messages that they got and captured, prosecutors say that stewart rhodes texted we'll have to do a bloody, massively bloody revolution against them. that is what is going to have to happen. we are not going through this without a civil war. prepare your bond, mind and spirit. and the indictment going on to outline as he drove from texas up to washington, d.c. prior to
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january 6, that on january 3rd he bought firearms and firearm gear here in texas. on january 4th he stopped in mississippi to buy more firearms and gear. and also as you mentioned, alisyn, a week after he spent more than $17,000 on more firearm gear. we were at the home where stewart rhodes was arrested yesterday and watched fbi agents remove carfuls of evidence and equipment from inside of the home, exactly what it was we don't know. but an attorney for stewart rhodes said that despite all of the evidence outlined in this federal indictment, that the prosecutors still have a long way to go to prove their case. >> i read the indictment. it said that they forcibly pushed past police officers. this they used force. >> right. and the video shows that they did not. and the prosecutors know that we know that they're lying. we have the video. we have the documents. including nonpublic documents.
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but the charges are a very serious hurdle for them to overcome. >> reporter: and if stewart rhodes is convicted of the five criminal charges for the seditious conspiracy charge he alone he faced up to 20 years in prison. >> thank you, ed. now we're getting new insight into the justice department process that led to these charges. merrick garland balked at bringing the conspiracy charge. >> evan perez is here. why didn't he want to charge sedition originally. >> i think one of the factors was this is a charge so rarely brought in by the federal prosecutors. i talked to one prosecutor who told me that they don't even know if they have anybody who has actually previously brought this kind of charge, who is
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still here working inside of the building. so that is one of the complications with simply that, you know, before doing something like that, the attorney general wants to make sure that all of the additional work was done and that is what i'm told happened in the intervening seven or eight months that this investigation has continued. we have additional information that you see in some of those pages. including the fact that this went beyond just january 6. that this was a conspiracy according to prosecutors that began the day -- a couple of days right after the election and continued well beyond january 6 where stewart rhodes and some of his other oath keepers talked about a civil war 2.0. talked about constituting militias that would resist president biden after he took office. that is part of the conspiracy that is being charged here by federal prosecutors. look, i think it is going to be a very interesting case to see whether this stands up in court.
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it is so rarely brought. but if you read the law, it does seem like it fits what is being alleged by federal prosecutors here. >> okay. evan perez, thank you. >> joining us now former federal prosecutor and jonathan whack row and gloria borger, welcome to you. ronaldo, let me start off with you, that the a.g. balked at this charge of seditious conspiracy. first, when you look at the evidence, is it going to be an uphill climb to prove this or is it clear in the indictment they have a very strong case? >> well i think there is plenty of evidence. the statements we heard from the defense counsel i think were very foolish a minute ago. i think there is plenty of evidence that they forcefully were entering congress, that they were engaging in that sort of activity. the evidence in the indictment is more than sufficient to prove that.
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i do think, though, that as evan was saying the justice department has reason to be concerned, there is not a of case law regarding the statute so i could see they're being legal hurdles. i certainly think that the defendants could potentially serve certain legal challenges. as to the bottom line facts here, they're very strong and the justice department charged a number of different crimes here. so even if they aren't able to make out the seditious conspiracy charge, there are a number of other charges as well. >> jonathan, there are so many chilling details in here that we haven't known. it could have been so much worse. as horrible and deadly as it was, it could have been worse. i'll just read you a portion of the weapons trove that they had. while traveling rhodes spent approximately $6,000 in texas on an ar rifle and included sights,
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mounts and triggers and he spent approximately $4,500 in mississippi in firearm equipment including a magazine and various fiermts parts. and there was a hotel room in virginia where they have gathered this catche of weapons and it has to send a shiver down your spine. >> just as you're reading that, all of the viewers should feel that chill. this is exactly how we have described this group who glorified the para military ideals and one of the dangers of this group, the dangers is that they believe in this apocalyptic revolu revolu revolutionary ideology and to achieve that they have spent years studying military and police tactics. they've spent a lot of time
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training with weapons and firearms to prepare themselves for battle. we are seeing now the evidence of that. where before we knew that they were violent groups through their own rhetoric but and this should be concerning but members of the oath keeps and the far right extremist groups are walking among us every day. they're hiding in plain sight. the charging documents that we saw yesterday are a signal that this justice department and law enforcement are not going to tolerate that within our civil society. >> gloria, let's take this to capitol hill. what does the new indictment mean to the committee and for the broader competing narratives of january 6 in congress? >> well, look, i think that the committee would welcome the indictment we saw yesterday. because it means that merrick garland is ready to throw the
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book at people. and they're saying there at the committee and kind of wondering where is the justice in this -- the justice department has not yet spoken on that. they're waiting for supreme court ruling on executive privilege. the archival materials i want to look at is in litigation. so the news they got today is, okay, maybe merrick garland was a little reluctant but he came down on the side of being tough on these people. so i think it gives them hope that when they say that people should be held in contempt, they might be backed up by the justice department. it is not a slam dunk. nobody knows what merrick garland and the justice department will do about meadows for example. but i think they would say, you know, this is how we see the narrative. this is how we see these people, they are domestic terrorists and they are seditious and we ought to treat them as such.
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>> ronaldo, i want to play another portion from stewart rhodes's attorney and he was speaking to brianna on "new day" and speak to his logic on how he's going to defenda his clien. >> they do believe they have will have to respond to antifa or be called up by the president. but they left it in virginia. so if they were going to do any of those things, they would have brought weapons with them into the capitol and they didn't do that. >> okay, the sound bite that i was thinking of this is what they believed. they were acting on what they believed. is being gullible a good defense? >> well, what you have to work with, obviously if you have as a defense attorney and i do represent clients on the defense side, you have to work with the facts you have. i think what he's trying to
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argue, sure they have this dastardly violent plan but they didn't carry forward with the violent plan, they left the guns behind and carried forward with plan b. which is totally different and nothing at all to do with the sinister sounding messages and preparation beforehand. according to mr. rhodes, i don't think average people will look at it that way but you work with what you got. >> jonathan, we know that committee has issued subpoenas to youtube, twitter, reddit, parent companies for google and facebook to get answers about the misinformation that led to the insurrection. this case about the oath keepers is about a finite group and amount of time. but if you want to keep this from happening again, what do you need to know from the social media companies? >> well what we want to know is really the volume of the messages. how much is -- like how wide is the dissemination of this really
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hate that they are trying to push out into all aspects of the society here in the united states but also abroad. their ideology is something they key upon. but right now, their messaging has gone essentially unrestricted for the last year. since january 6. january 6 was a win for the far right extremist groups. why? because they dpidn't have any culpability for their actions. no one held them accountable for their actions. that stopped yesterday. we're going to see a shift in the way that messaging goes out online and it is going to disrupt the ability for these group to get new members, to bolster support around what they're doing, i mean think about it in one instance they say they're trying to protect the constitution but they tried to take our democracy down, they attacked law enforcement.
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so their actions in what we now have evidence of their actions and pre-planning of that, are telling and they'll stop that narrative moving forward. >> jonathan, ronaldo and gloria, thank you. >> thank you. well it has been a bad week for president biden from a supreme court loss on vaccine mandates to a major blow on voting rights by members of his own party. what some say the white house needs to do to turn things around. he invited people out to the white house. time out. he needs to hold a press conference and let them know either you're by my side and with me and getting rid of the filibuster or i'm gasing up the jet on your behind. >> and in less than two hours, tennis champ novak djokovic will be interviewed in australia. will they toss him out of the country? gets a little old.
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today president biden is trying to pivot to infrastructure highlighting plans to spend billions fixing bridges and roads and improving water quality. these upgrades are part of the landmark bipartisan infrastructure bill that passed in november. >> these investments are consequential. we're just getting started. weir building back better than ever before and we've arrived at this by a bipartisan agreement. there is nothing beyond our capacity when we work together. when we get this done, we'll get back to beating the world again. we once again will be number one in the world instead of where we
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sit now, at number 13 in terms of the quality of our infrastructure. >> it is fair to say it has been a challenging week for the president. he's been unable to get members of his own party to support voting rights, and his build back better plan, the supreme court blocked a key part of his covid vaccine mandate and inflation continues to rise he's confronting the threat of russia invading ukraine and north korea continues to fire missiles in defiance of u.s. sanctions. phil mattingly is at the white house. as you know, president biden often frames himself as an optimist. what is the plan. >> i don't think we have time to go point by point in terms of what the week brought to them and how they'll address it. what we saw today was a good window into the moment the white house finds itself in. look, president after president tried to do infrastructure, large infrastructure proposal and failure. president biden succeeded at that. it's one of his cornerstone legislative achievements of the
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first year and succeeded in a american rescue plan, those are two victories and you're in the second week of his second year and all people are talking about is legislative failures on the build back better act and on voting reform or immigration or guns or any number of other things. it is the same with covid. it is something with no real parallel over the last century but omicron is here and surging and it is still overshadowing the country. on the economy, you've had a robust economy and in terms of wage growth and yet inflation is at a 39-year high and it is a conundrum they find themselves in right now. and i hadn't heard any push toward large scale changes. their addressing it piece by piece. but the slim majority in the senate ands in hout to some degree, voting is something difficult and they felt they
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needed to make the push but there was always an understanding it was unlikely at best. they will take another run, slim it down to try to address senator manchin's concerns and we've seen russia play out over the course of the last couple of days and north korea as well. that will always be on the front burner. the question for the white house is how do you implement proposals or push things forward that address a lost issues that you simply have no control over, whether it is gas prices or to some degree inflation with foreign policy issues in a midterm year, guys. >> phil, thank you. let's bring in jim kessler, co-founder of the third way and a democratic strategist and a former legislative policy director for senator chuck schumer. great to see you. earlier this week, before that litany of what you could call challenges or failures, you wrote an op-ed for "the washington post" saying how democrats could survive the midterm jinx and i'm wondering if your advice still applies or
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if would you like to revise it given there are so many road blocks that they've hit. >> well none of the road blocks are surprising to me. this is january 2022. we knew in january 2021 where joe manchin and kyrsten sinema were on the filibuster. and for 12 months we've known it. there is no surprise to me on the voting rights issues. look, the point of my op-ed wasn't to be polianish, this is a extraordinarily difficult cycle for democrats. i lived through 1994 working for schumer and 2010. but there are steps that you could take and we just heard there is a story to tell, the democrats need to tell this i believe very positive and could be persuasive for voters. >> so let's go through the i think it is five points here that you say that could help them survive the jinx. ignore the polls.
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fight the culture war. be like reagan on the economy. pass what you can. and brag. so let me start with the last one there, bragging. you list 99% of schools being open at the end of the year. and the 200 million plus who are fully vaccinated. infrastructure bill. but there is inflation and the cost of gas and food and clothing and so much is all up -- don't home economics supercede all of those? >> yeah. they're very important and so i'm going to go from brag to be like ronald reagan because it is not about doing supply side economics but our economic growth issue is the largest since ronald reagan in 1984 when he called it morning in america and had inflation similar to the inflation we've today and was about to win 49 states to walter mondale's one state. so inflation is part of the story. and it is a fairly major part of
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the story. but it is not the only part of the economic story here. the job growth that we've had this past year has been extraordinary. if you are one of 56% of americans who owns stock, either in your retirement account or personally, the stock market ended 2021 at an all-time high. so there is good news and inflation of course is a problem. but there is some real good news out there as well that people are experiencing. >> i should also point out that inflation was going in the opposite direction. this is going up and whos how long it will stay up. in '82 it was coming down from the carter years but i just wanted to point out that different in inflation. >> but your suggestion, fight the culture wars. isn't that seem as beneath democrats. they don't like to create these boogeyman, they like to deal with the bread and butter issues so how are they supposed to fight the culture wars? >> yeah, so i think the most important thing here is that if you look at 1994 and 2010, what
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republicans did, number one in their playbook is to take obscure culture war issues and move them from the back to the front burner. so it would be things like in 1994, things like federally funded pornographic art through the national endowment of the arts and in 2010 we think like the war on christmas or barack obama not saying radical islamic terrorism. what democrats generally did in those cycles is ignore the attacks that they thought they were absurd. and no one would -- [ inaudible ] because they're absurd you could ignore them or because there was a story on cnn or npr or the "new york times" about critical race theory that shows that it is not true. you need to define yourself on these issues earlier, you need to say who you are, especially on issues like defund the police and, you know, the so-called crime crisis that republicans
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are going to raise so you're not defined by these issues. >> want you to listen to nina turner, former ohio state senator, well-known progressive, what she said the white house needs to do now. >> now he don't wasted a whole punch of time with these folks and being diplomatic and inviting them out to the white house. and he needs to have a press conference and say either you're with me in getting rid of the f filibuster or i'm gasing up the jet on your behind and i will let the american people standing in the way of my entire agenda so president biden gas up the jet. >> they say target manchin and sinema. >> it is good to see her supporting joe biden for a change. that is welcome news. look, joe biden is going to do what joe biden does.
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you've got to do what doing to work. we spent the last 12 months trying to convince manchin and sinema that they were wrong but in certain places you have to listen. particularly on build back better. i believe we do pass build back better. it is not what the house passes. it is slimmed down. but it will be significant. and make a major difference in issues like climate and income security and health care and universal pre-k and that is a pretty good list of things to get done with joe manchin and kyrsten sinema not stopping them. >> jim kessler, thank you so much for the insight. >> thank you. after a week of tense talks, a u.s. official said they have intel that russia is preparing an operation to justify an invasion. we have details next.
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acts of sabotage against russian forces. these echoes claims made by the ukraine defense ministry. and a number of sites were shut down this morning. this laptop screen shows the threatening message posted by the hackers. it warns ukrainians that they're personal information has been hack and to be afraid. >> cnn correspondent sam kiley joins us now from ukraine. so sam, tell us what you know about the attack. >> reporter: well the hackers, according to the government here, hit about 70 websites. i have to say it is low level. they've said that there was an infiltration they believe through one of the suppliers or a number of suppliers that provide the website facilities for these government sites. it was disrupted but it wasn't catastrophic. there has been, as far as government here is concerned, no hacking of personal details, no hacking into ministry of defense
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or interior. but it is this drip feed if you like, from their perspective, of yet more pressure coming from whom they suspect most of all which would be of course russia. now of course it is very difficult quickly to identify where these pressure points are coming from and it comes in terms of cyberattacks, unless it is the case that russia wants people to know that its fingerprints are on it and which in all likelihood it does. and if it is part of the pressure campaign that we've heard increase with the potential false flag attacks. that is taken much more seriously by ukrainian authorities. they have evidence of a attack against russian troops that could be blamed on ukraine and then we have this report coming out of washington and intelligence sources telling cnn that a similar threat may be being placed in eastern ukraine, in the region already under the control of russian-backed rebels
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and theres have always been since 2014 covert and semi covert operatives from russian special forces there. >> sam kiley, thank you for the reporting from ukraine. back here, icus overflowing, covid cases still climbing and new york city mayor now open to remote learning. we've the latest on the omicron surge. and in a new cnn original series reframed, discover the life and legacy of the true marilyn monroe. it premiers sunday at 9:00. here is a quick preview. ♪ >> marilyn monroe knew she was more than just a pretty face. she wanted control of her own destiny. >> it is frustrating that people can't think about her intellect. >> marilyn challenges what it means to have agency as a woman. >> to see a woman that is sort of in charge of her sexuality is
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the united states average daily covid case rate has more than doubled in the past two weeks. and new cases are twice the number of new vaccinations each day. >> hospitalizations also continue to hit record highs and 19 states are nearing capacity in the icus. nick watt has more. >> reporter: the omicron onslaught rolls on and, boy, a bad week for president biden. we write with grave concern regarding the current state of preparedness and response to the covid pandemic five democratic senators just wrote to the white house covid response coordinator. far too many measures such as increasing access to home base
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testing have been reactive rather than proactive. >> we saw south africa getting ravaged with the virus. we knew it was highly transmissible but we didn't ramp up testing. >> reporter: plus the supreme court blocked biden's vaccine mandate for private companies with more than 100 employees. the court said the a.m.a. halted one of the most effective tools in the fight against further transmission and death from this aggressive virus. >> the obvious political leanings of the court were shown in that decision. i thought it was shameful decision. >> reporter: reasons to be cheerful? west virginia's covid governor is feeling better saying without question, the fact that i choose to get vaccinated and boosted saved my life. that is all there is to it. and this was the map beginning of last week, cases rising rapidly everywhere except maine.
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today there is a lot less deep red. most of the northeast looking better. >> i'm very encouraged that case counts are dropping now in this area unmistakably. >> averaging nearly 800,000 new infections every day. new york city's new mayor determined to keep schools in person is now open to other options. >> if we're able to put in place a temporary remote option, we're welcome to do so. >> >> reporter: and we're waiting to here how the biden administration will get good masks out there and waiting for the cdc to give us information that is already out there. >> we are preparing an update to the information on our mask website to best reflect the actions that are available to people as you note and the different levels of protection, different masks provide. >> reporter: and to finish with a few signs of our times, walgreens and cvs are temporarily closing some stores
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over the weekend due to staff shortages. one school district in maryland is asking national guard troops to come and drive school buses. and in washington, the governor is appealing to retired health care workers to come back to work and lend a hand. guys. >> those do capture the challenges. nick watt, thank you. two families are pleading for help after their loved ones disappeared after a plane crash in panama this month. the wreckage has still not been found. i'll talk to the son of one missing woman as he's asking the u.s. government to get involved in the search for his mother. >> and a look at some of the other events that we're watching today.
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ones after a plane crashed in panama on january 3rd. two retired teachers, sue bores from illinois, and debra welleman from wisconsin were on the plane. it crashed near the coast of panama. they are mising and the pilot and two other passengers were rescued by panama search and rescue teams. the mising women's families are pleading with the u.s. government to help with the search. panama's government is also asking for assistance. jake welleman is with me now from panama where he flew to try and find his mother. jake, thank you so much for being with me. i know you're asking for help from the u.s. government, but what is the search now, is there an active search by the panamaians for your mom and sue. >> there is an ongoing search that's still active a short
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distance from where i am now. beginning with the search and rescue crew, they rescued three individuals, including my dad, have been incredible, as well as the rescue searchers. some are volunteers, out there searching every day and every night for these two people. so we're very grateful for their efforts but we know they've made it clear as diplomatically as they can that their resources are limited and so they are asking for help from the united states to help get this job done. we simply want to find our loved ones and we can take it from there. >> i understand you've reached out to the state department, to the defense department, members of congress as well, and you say that the panama government also. what has been the response to your querequest. >> that's right. many hundreds of people have been reaching out to various
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legislative offices on our behalf, and through various other channels in addition to the official request that came from the panamaian government. early last week after this happened, my parents were very well loved. my mom, as you mentioned was a retired public schoolteacher and they touched many loves. we have been getting what i can best describe as conflicting information, insufficient information. our elected officials we know are advocating for us, advocating for their constituents, but thus far, aside from some limits consular assistance on the ground and a best attempt by the embassy to relay information, it's been deafening silence. >> there's not been a we won't participate, we won't help in the search, they just aren't responding? >> well, i think the initial message was worded differently but the initial message was
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basically a no, that the assets don't exist, or that they can't be deployed which at this stage, we also don't accept. this is the united states we're obviously talking about. they're looking for help. you know, panama is a small country, and despite their best intentions, they're really asking for help and resources and to try to find these two people. >> jake, you mentioned that your father was also on this plane. i understand he had some significant injuries, had to undergo some surgery, i believe. how has this last week and a half been for you and your family? >> well, it's -- it's been a nightmare. i mean, my parents, you know, came down here to spend their winter, along with many other ex-pat families, including the ones they were celebrating new year's eve with, pretty modest
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means, and they came down here to live comfortably and they were living a dream for this last year, and it really only turned into a nightmare last monday afternoon. we are just -- it's now me, i'm here alone. my brother was here to help, accompanied by dad back to wisconsin yesterday. it's me on a beach with binoculars and well intentioned panama search and rescuers, but it has been a full-time job, more than a full-time job without sleep and frankly, without the opportunity to even start to grieve or process what has happened. we are simply doing our best to retrieve our loved ones to give them the dignity they deserve. >> jake welleman, i hope you get help and you find your mother and the bores family, i cannot imagine. it's now been 11 days, and you're still looking and need some help. jake welleman from panama. thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you. >> i really hope this helps get
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