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tv   CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield  CNN  May 28, 2022 10:00am-11:00am PDT

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hi, everyone and thanks for joining me. i'm jessica dean. fredricka whitfield is off today. and we begin with haunting questions in uvalde, texas ahead of president biden's trip there tomorrow. heartbroken parents demanding answers and accountability after a gunman murdered 19 of their children and two teachers at robb elementary school. authorities are facing scrutiny over conflicting information as well as the police response time. we now know that the gunman was not confronted by police before
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entering the elementary school. and we know more than an hour passed between the first 911 call and when the shooter was killed. police now acknowledge that tragic mistakes were made. >> the decision was made that this is barricade the subject situation, there was time to retrieve the keys and wait for a tactical team with the equipment to go ahead and breach the door and take on the subject at that point. that was the decision. it was the wrong decision, period. >> the incident commander has been identified as uvalde school district police chief pedro pete arredondo. he made two brief statements to the press on the day of the shooting and is not spoken since. texas governor greg abbott faced questions about the praise he initially offered the first responders after the shooting and he said he was misled. >> i was misled. i am livid about what happened. there are people who deserve
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answers most. and those are the families whose lives have been destroyed. they need answers that are accurate and it is inexcusable that they may have suffered from any inaccurate information whatsoever. >> president biden travels to uvalde, tomorrow, he will meet with victims families and other members ever community. cnn's boris sanchez is live there in uvalde this afternoon. boris, tell us more about the message the president is expected to deliver to these families tomorrow. >> reporter: jessica, tragically, it is a message that we have heard this president deliver far too often already. remember, we're just a fewdays removed in next following a mass shooting in buffalo.
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a racist massacre and trying to ensure the american people that something will be done to prevent those kind of tragedies from happening. we expect a similar message tomorrow in uvalde, texas, when he tries to console families here and again try to assure them that something will come from lawmakers in washington. that could perhaps prevent a similar atrocity in the future. meantime here on the ground, there is a sense of shock in this community. people are still processing everything that unfolded here on tuesday. not only the grief of losing 21 people, 19 of them small children, most of them no older than 10. and also this investigation, the response from law enforcement where investigators have acknowledged that officials responding to this attack made mistakes on the ground. keep this in mind. this attack happened two days before the start of summer break and in this community instead of making plans for vacations or
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summer camp, these families of second, third and fourth graders are now planning funerals. we are hearing more from the survivors of the shooting as the children are starting to express fears about returning to the classroom again. survivors afraid this may happen again and they may be targeted. let's bring in cnn's adrian proudous joining me here in uvalde. give us a sense of what these kids are feeling and what are they sharing with you about the trauma they experienced. >> i spoke with a 10-year-old who was down the hall from where the shooting was happening. he told me it was terrifying. he described it as awful. and he said, i don't want to go back to school because of what happened to me. and i asked are you afraid something like this will happen again? and he nodded his head and said yes and quickly followed up and
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said, i know it will happen again probably. that student was 10-year-old jaden perez. here is what he said about that day. >> what happened to your friend? >> the shooter shot through the window and hurting my friend and my teacher. my teacher got hurt on right here, i don't know which side, but she got hit like on the side and then my friend got shot through the nose. they both had to get surgery. >> so jaden said he and his classmates were hiding in the classroom, the moment his teacher heard gunfire she quickly raced to the door and locked it and told them to be quiet and hide. and he told me still doesn't stop his friend and his teacher from being injured.
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and this is something that he's processing and still living with and boris, what is interesting, i asked him when you were able to reunite with your mom, what is the first thing you told her and he said, i told her i forgot my water bottle at school. that speaks to his innocence and despite this magnitude of what happened, he still was concerned about making sure he brought home his water bottle at the end of the day because a reminder that we get from our parents, don't forget your boots, your shoes, your homework, he still haven't dealt with what happened inside of the school. >> it is heart-wrenching and it speaks to the ramifications of something like this happening. because it is something that that young man is going to have to process for the rest of his life. and seeing so many other incidents like this happen, it is a burden that stays in communities forever. in addition to that anguish, there is now a series of questions that the community has
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for law enforcement. bring us up to speed on latest on the timeline of what took place and the response from police. >> parents are frustrating. quite frankly, they're upset. after hearing the timeline revealed right here out at the school, the first call came in around 11:30 in the morning. from a panicked teacher who was inside. shortly after that, around 3:00 a caller, a young girl who identified herself, she was in room 112 of the building, she whispering and letting the 911 dispatcher know there is a shoot tler. she calls back and tells the dispatcher that multiple people are dead. and at one point, she calls and said, eight to nine students are alive. and that was key. she's letting the dispatcher know, please, help us. people are still alive. a different caller called and then at one point a caller said, please send help now. she said that at least twice.
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and so, parents are now wondering, boris, what if our kids were inside, they did what they were taught to do, when there is trouble, you call 911 for help. and someone will be there. >> it is excruciating but not only there were 911 calls in pleading for police to breech the room as 19 officers waited outside. but you're loose hearing from parents who rushed here after they heard there was a shooting and they heard screams and they heard gunshots inside and yet officers stood by. adrianne broadous, thank you very much. and i do want to share with you that earlier i spoke to state senator roland gutierrez here every day since the unthinkable happened. he became emotional a earlier as he was walking to the memorial that is behind us. there was a family, a young boy that came from out of town, here
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he is. and he asked if he could leave flowers at this memorial alongside his mom. the state senator becoming very emotional about that seeing that this young man, similar age group to the children that were impacted by this tragedy wanted to make a connection, wanted to give his respects to those who passed. we want to you listen to what state senator roland gutierrez shared with cnn earlier today. >> his father had asked me and saw the shirt and asked me if they could take their little boy over there. they're from del rio which is a few miles down the road. and he asked his parents, he said i want to pay my respects and you saw his trepidation. we asked the rangers to allow him to go over there and dps and he went over there and he was so heartbroken, this little boy. i mean, he just -- he doesn't know anybody here. but it is just heartbreaking experience to be here with all of these families.
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>> and you were sharing with me a moment before we came back on air that there is something unique about this community, there is something about families and latino communities. >> you know, we're all -- it is all -- latinos, there is something very humbling about us. i'm the son of migrants. and he strived to be in this country and you come up and we try to -- we work hard and this community is an incredibly hard-working community. multi-generational americans here. four or five generations of hispanic americans. and they're just such wonderful people and i'm just heartbroken for them all. >> that resonates so much as money migrant myself. my parents made sacrifices to offer my sister and i an
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education and they said this is for you. we're doing this for you and we've heard from multiple members of community now talking about the youth, the children here in uvalde, being at the center of the community. what is your message to those folks who are grieving, children and innocent children like the boy that you met this morning? >> so to the families that were directly effected, they're just destroyed first off. it is hard for me to talk to the few that i have been able to talk to and tell them they're going to be okay. because they're just -- you and i both know they're going to be destroyed for so long. i have to make sure that we have the mental health resources in this community long-term and i've asked the governor to drop $2 million immediately into a community health clinic. i've not gotten a response back. that is the resource side. so the people of uvalde, i'm not leaving. i've got a vast district from san antonio to alpine. we're putting the district office here. we're going to make sure that state resources are hear
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long-term. all i can say is that we love you and we're here for you. and we have to, we must create change at the capitol. certainly i've asked my republican colleagues for that. we'll see what unfolds in the next few weeks and months. >> and you have put out the request directly to the office of governor abbott to invest in a mental health resource here in uvalde. >> there is a nonprofit here, it is a clinic and serves the people of the community. 11,000 patients. >> that tells you how many people are underserved in rural texas, there is only one psychiatrist in uvalde and it happens to be at this clinic. the therapists have to do telemedicine. teletherapy. that is not what needs to happen. we need to have therapists here in place so they have to compete with the big city wages to get folks to come out into the rural area. and so i've asked them to develop a budget.
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it is around $2 million for the next two years for behavioral health and that is the space that -- that is where i'm at. if i can't get it from the governor's office, i'm going to get it from the private sector. >> sir, don't want you to speculate, i don't expect you to answer for an ongoing investigation, whatever decisions were made by law enforcement, but specifically for the families that we have heard from who are questioning the police response, who are angry, what would you say to them? >> we're all angry. law enforcement is angry. i had a long conversation this morning on the way in with steve mcgraw and he was crying to me and i'm crying to him. and everybody is frustrated about the failures of what happened. he has assured me that we will have a detailed report including ballistics by next week. i want to know when each agency was here. moving forward, never be -- he
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assured me that never again will dps stand down for any law enforcement agency. i hope that that's true. >> state senator roland gutierrez, thank you so much for sharing some time with us and for being candid. we hope that we'll keep lines of communication open and be in touch because we can't let this get swallowed up by the news cycle. we can't forget about what happened here. >> i would ask, i would simply ask that when the new cycle is over here, next week after some funerals, and when you guys leave town, america needs to understand that no community should have to ever deal with this kind of tragedy. no community anywhere in the united states should have to deal with this. how an 18-year-old could access militarized weaponry anywhere is beyond me. and so, please stay engaged.
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please stay engaged. because all of this -- >> we'll be in touch. thank you so much for the time. we appreciate it. his message so vital and it speaks to the fear that we've heard from others in which community that this tragedy among so many others may soon be forgotten. the murder of the 21 innocent lives at the hands of a single gunman. we want to share with you their images. their faces. "cnn newsroom" will be back after a quick break.
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the french president and german chancellor held a call with vladimir putin today and pressed the russian president to open negotiations with ukraine
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and pressed for an immediate cease-fire. that call coming as russian shelling continues in the southwest and eastern parts of ukraine. as cnn's nick paton walsh explains, the russian assault is taking its toll. >> here is how it feels when russia is coming. this is near donetsk in putin's cross-hairs. only one bridge left in from here we're told on which anything that moves is shelled. across that river, next in line is here, it is a twin city. the remnant of its once 100,000 people facing an enemy they rarely see. only hear and feel the loathing. police are here helping evacuate the last needy.
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>> this is a bid to collect as many people with disabilities who need as much help as they can could get them out. >> reporter: for katarina, the world has swarmed around her one world flat and now it is final tor her and her husband go once and perhaps for all. [ speaking foreign language ] >> those moments are the correct way to measure putin's invasion. not in tanks lost or alliances forged or building hammered. but in twilight days up rooted in tiny moments of unconsolable
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panic. this briefcase carefully packed by valentine contains all of thur documents for whatever it is that comes next. but here, close to russian backed separatist areas of ukraine, loyalties are not that simple. and in large young family like so much of the town has relatives in russia but no gas or electricity. seems to prefer an outdoor stove and nights in the basement to leaving. they do not seem to perturbed despite the blasts and say they want peace. sometimes you feel they don't want you to know whose side they're on, especially this man. when we mentioned america. [ speaking foreign language ]
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but still their world is underground with flying dust in the damp air. they're kitten born into the war. their children sleep broken by shelling. at the cemetery, the cost is starker. it has three types of mass grave. this line already filled with some of the 160 dead whose relatives can't bury them yet. this one half filled with the bodies collected daily. they're names recorded on each bag. and this one, empty, a sign of the savagery they know is to come. nick paton walsh, ukraine. nick paton walsh in ukraine. thank you so much. still ahead, there is a familiar movement on capitol hill. a push for gun reform in the wake of yet another mass
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shooting. but for years decades legislation has been stalled in congress. will it be different this time. we'll discuss ahead. an innovator in all of us. that''s why we build technology that helps everyone come to the table and do more incredible things. ♪ ♪
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in theaters june 10th. whenever there is a school shooting in america, the gun reform gathers momentum and then hits congress. bribe todd has more. >> reporter: another slaughter of children inside of a school. another instance where a shaken president pleads to an end to inaction. >> when in god's name will we do what needs to be done.
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>> but there f there is any new movement in washington after the uvalde, texas, mass shooting, my movement to cut back the bans of assault weapons and strengthen background checks could join a heartbreaking list of past attempts following horrific school shootings that failed. >> we must do more to keep guns out of the hands of children. >> that was bill clinton three days after columbine in april of 1999 when two students killed 12 fellow students and a teacher. it was proposed to close loopholes for background checks at gun shows an it failed in congress. >> for president after president since bill clinton, there are tragedies, there is a call to action, there are efforts at legislation and that legislation falls short. >> reporter: the sandy hook elementary school shooting in new tourn, connecticut, in december of 2012 when 20 children were gunned down along with six adults was a moment so horrifying that democrats and republicans said something had
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to be done. >> this time the words need to lead to action. >> reporter: many believes tighten gun laws had a real chance of passing. they didn't pass. not a proposed assault weapon bans, not a bipartisan measure for expanding background checks. president barack obama was still upset years later. >> every time i think about those kids, it gets me mad. >> reporter: four years ago after a gunman killed 17 people at marjory stoneman douglas high school, donald trump went against the nra and called for sweeping gun legislation. >> we want to be very powerful, very strong on background checks and especially as it pertains to the mentally ill. >> reporter: that movement lasted about a day at the federal level. father of a parkland victim following the texas shooting on tuesday remained pessimistic and angry. >> it is so infur ating, because all of these instances, we know the next one is going to happen because we haven't done anything to fix it. >> reporter: one analyst said
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there is plenty of blame to go around. and not just among politicians who point fingers at the other side of the aisle. >> the public has not demonstrated a will to put this issue above everything else at the ballot box. are they willing to prioritize that above voting on inflation or the pocketbook. >> reporter: and now after this school shooting, a similar conundrum in congress. house democrats passed legislation strengthening background checks and now democrats in the senate can either try to ram rod that through quickly with a likelihood that it would lose or take more time try to negotiate something bipartisan with republicans with the outcome of that far from certain. brian todd, cnn, washington. and here now to discuss the latest efforts, editor of the atlantic ron brownstein and from the houston chronicle, lisa fallberg. ron, i want to start with you. i read your newest piece for the atlantic and you write about the
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stalemate over gun control legislation and gun safety law legislation and you talk about how it is directly linked to what you call the growing crisis of majority rule in american politics. can you explain that to us? >> sure. i've been covering the gun control debate since the passage of the brady bill and the assault weapon ban under bill clinton and what has happened is a combination of geography and ideology has made it impossible for majority opinion to exert itself through legislation. as you noted, there is substantial majority support for many of the key ideas to restrict access to gun ownership, university background checks banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines. that is important, not only by a majority of democrats but a majority of republicans who don't own group. the own gruel that opposed those ideas are republican governors and yet they have a veto. the republican party has moved to a position of total
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opposition of gun control. in 90is there were 54 house republicans that voted for the brady bill and 38 voted for assault ban and the parry has moved to that opposition and at the same time they've become dominant in the smaller rural states where gun culture is stronger and because that dominance, they are able to use the filibuster and in the senate to prevent any action. that is what we saw in 2013 after sandy hook and that is what we're almost certainly going to see again in 2022. >> they're able to exert that control. and lisa, texas governor greg abbott said he's not going to commit to signing any new gun laws in the state. he wants to increase funding for mental health and for school safety. is that what you believe the majority of texans want? are they looking for more here or do you think acceptable to the majority of texans? >> what is frustrating about this debate is it seems to be an either/or proposition. i think the majority of texans,
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80% want universal background checks. and the majority of texans favor sensible gun regulation. why does it have to be an either/or prep position. we can't do mental health because of gun reform or gun reform because we're doing mental health. we want it all. why can't we have it all. why can't we look at what went wrong in this case, many other shootings and address all of the weaknesses in our site that allow this to keep happening. >> and do it a comprehensive way that comes at it from all angles. ron, i want to take us back to capitol hill and d.c. and we heard from mitch mcconnell on thursday that he had in his words encouraging texas senate john cornyn to take part in these bipartisan talks about legislation that is again his words, directly related to uvalde. we're not sure what that means in terms of are those background
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checks, what kind of legislation. but it was interesting as you well know when mcconnell said something, there is a reason for it. when he goes public with it like that. what do you make of all of this? >> well, first, could i just say, lisa is exactly right. i think the public views this as a false choice. idea that you could -- that doing gun control -- dealing with mental health recolludes the need for dealing with gun control is lewd kris krus to average people. and texas ranks 49th in the nation in the share of people with mental health who have access to medicaid according to kaiser so it is not like they are emphasizing on that front. on mcconnell, delay has always been the central part of this strategy for the opponents of gun restrictions. i mean, in every case, the goal is to stretch out negotiations, and to move -- to allow the
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legislative process to drag on past the point where public outrage is at its highest. and allow the structural advantages that they have in the system to bake in. it is worth noting, in the 2013 as brian noted in his piece, there was a vote on the senate floor about universal background checks. the senators that supported those universal background checks if you assign half of each population to each senator, they represented 194 million people. the opponents represented 118 million people. but because of the filibuster, 118 million prevailed and that i think is ultimately the goal of mcconnell and the other opponents. you delay and you allow the structural advantage to kick in eventually. >> and lisa, what do you think from your perspective, what do texans think about -- what do you think they're think about senator cornyn's efforts and are you seeing more -- is this different this time? do you feel like it is different. or do you feel like this is more of the same?
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>> of course it feels different when it is fresh. when you're looking at the grieving families, when you're -- when you're seeing all of the tragedy and feeling it in your own state, it always feels different. and i've said before i and my editorial board is just as angry as every other texan, but we can't despair. we can't loose hope. so, yes, we've been here before. senator cornyn has worked with other senators before presumably behind the scenes to get compromise and it failed and in the end he still voted against sensible gun regulation. texas is basically represented by one senator. and that is john cornyn. who actually has shown efforts to -- willingness rather to have this discussion and frankly to represent his constituents and
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be a senator. and he's our only hope. so if he's just giving this lip service and doesn't follow it through with action, we won't have any hope left. if nothing is done this time, i can't see it every being done. unless texans get out and vote. because we don't vote in this state. maybe this will wake people up. we have to elect people who represent our values. >> right. the voting ballot is where you could make your values nobody for sure and people want to stay in power. so ron and lisa, thank you both. we appreciate your time. >> thank you. >> we'll be right back. ♪ (drdrum roll) ♪
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you'll never have to wait around here again. like ever. that can't be comfortable though. shipgo.com the smart, fast, easy way to travel. enough is enough. those words from vice president kamala harris who spoke moments ago at funeral of ruth whitfield, one of the victims in the buffalo grocery store mass shooting earlier this month. >> i'm not going to say anything about reverend sharpton right now. good afternoon, church. to the whitfield family, the father of the whitfield family, mr. whitfield.
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[ applause ] the pain that this family is feeling right now, and the nine other families here in buffalo, i cannot even begin to express our collective pain as a nation for what you are feeling in such an extreme way. to not only lose someone that you love, but through an act of extreme violence and hate. and i do believe that our nation right now is experiencing an epidemic of hate. and as we know and scripture teaches us, when we talk about strength, the strength of personality, the strength of spirit, the strength of faith, i
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think we all know that a true measure of strength is not based on who you beat down, it is based on who you lift up. who you lift up. and it means then also in that strength understanding we will not allow small people to create fear in our communities that we will not be afraid to stand up for what is right to speak truth even when it may be difficult to hear and speak. there is a through line. what happened here in buffalo, in texas, in atlanta, in orlando, what happened at the synagogues, and so this is a moment that requires all good people, all god-loving people to
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stand up and say we will not stand for this. enough is enough. we will come together. based on what we all know we have in common and we will not let those people who are motivated by hate separate us or make us feel fear. so i'm here to say that we are all in this together. no one should ever be made to fight alone. we are stronger than those who would try to hurt us think that we are. we are strong. we are strong in our faith. we are strong in our belief about what is right and our determination to act, to ensure that we protect all of those who deserve to be protected, that we sue all those who deserve to be seen, that we hear the voices of the people and that we rise up in solidarity to speak out
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against this and to speak to our better angels. thank you. >> again, vice president kamala harris just moments ago at the funeral for ruth whitfield in buffalo, new york. both vice president harris and president biden are in opposite sides the country as they honor the victims from two different mass shootings. biden is headed to uvalde, texas, tomorrow to meet with victims, families there who are still reeling, grieving, and in shock following the elementary school massacre. we'll be right back.
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the new cnn film "julia" tells the story of the legendary and beloved culinary icon julia child. >> i'm going to try and flip this over, a rather daring thing to do. you have to have the courage of your convictions, especially if it's a loose mass like this. well, that didn't go well. >> if she made a mistake, she wasn't remotely rattled. >> i didn't have the courage to do it. you can always pick it up, if you're alone in the kitchen. who is going to see? >> she felt making a mistake was a good thing, just so she could then show you how to fix it.
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>> any time anything like this happens, you haven't lost anything because you can always turn this into something else. we'll pretend this was supposed to be a baked potato dish. >> and joining us now is jed teila, i know you come from asian food royalty in l.a., you say growing up you always wanted to cook like julia child. what was it about her that drew you to her? >> jessica, thanks for having me. firstly, like you said, i came from an asian food family so watching french chefs and french techniques seemed so out of reach. julia had the ability to talk to everybody. they didn't have to have a french background. she made it approachable and fun and showed us all, as in this clip, you could make mistakes and still push on. she was a true inspiration.
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>> it takes the pressure off, especially for amateurs like me in the kitchen, that it doesn't haven't perfect all the time. we know you eventually followed in julia's footsteps, you studied at le cordon bleu in paris also. did that give you a greater connection to her style of cooking? >> yeah, you know, without her, julia, jacques, and kind of our forefathers, in my generation, anyway, i would never have had the guts to even attempt to believe that i could, as an inner city asian kid from los angeles, you know, like we said, she made it approachable, but she also made it fun. she also gave us -- gave me an air of, you know, if she could do it, anyone could do it. she was always so encouraging. it was so positivotal for me toe those steps.
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julia was my first french teacher like so many of us and gave us terms like vichyssoise and chiffonade. with her giving me my first building blocks, i was ready to go off to french culinary school. >> thanks so much, we appreciate you making time this afternoon. >> always glad to be here. super excited about this film. >> yeah, i think it's going to be great. thank you so much. to all of you watching, you can watch the cnn film "julia" monday at 8:00 p.m. eastern right here on cnn. certified from heheadlamp to tailpipe. that's certified head turns. and it's all backed by our unlimiteted mileage warranty. that means unlimited peace of mind. mercedes-benz certified pre-owned. translation: the mercedes of your dreams is closer than you think.
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hi, everyone, and thanks so much for joining me. i'm jessica dean. fredericka whitfield is off today. right now a devastating community is demanding answers, action, and accountability after a gunman entered an elementary school and murdered 19 children and two teachers in uvalde, texas. president biden is calling on lawmakers to make americans safer as he travels to uvalde to honor the victims tomorrow. meantime heartbroken parents are preparing to bury their children in the coming days as new details fuel pressing questions and prompt real concern about the police response to the school massacre. police officials now working to clear the record, admitting they did not confront the shooter before he entered the school despite previous claims to the contrary. we also now know that more than an hour passed between the first

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