tv CNN Newsroom With Jim Acosta CNN June 12, 2022 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT
we're live in the cnn "newsroom" i'm jim acosta in washington. a deeply divided congress finds common ground on gun reform. today a bipartisan group of senators announced an agreement in principle for gun safety legislation it has the support of ten republican senators which means there's enough support to overcome the filibuster. there's no text as of yet but here are the main parts. funding for mental health resources and school safety officers. grants for states to enact
so-called red flag laws. enhanced review process for gun buyers under the age of 21. closing the boyfriend loophole. penalties for straw purchases. and clarifying the definition of firearms dealer. eva joins me now. there's a lot to unpack here but the issue is moving forward. it has the potential to become law. >> jim, it is. it could be consequential. we have not seen any real gun safety measures passed in decades in congress. take the boyfriend loophole, for instance. anyone deemed to have been in a serious dating relationship and convicted of a domestic violence charge would no longer be eligible to buy a gun. previous atempts to pass this have failed under the weight of pressure from the nra. there's also a red flag law provision that allows law enforcement to keep guns away from people who pose a threat to themselves or others, found by a
judge. but it sounds like the states would be given the choice to opt in to be given federal dollars for this effort, doesn't seem to be a requirement or mandate. there's also an enhanced review process for people 18 to 21 who go to buy a gun. a democratic aide telling cnn the federal authorities would have to contact state and local law enforcement to search for any disqualifying mental health or juvenile records. >> that's interesting because they didn't raise the age to 21 to buy an assault weapon, an ar-15, but potentially the new process might work as an extra check on those young buyers. that's interesting. tell us about what's missing in the agreement because there are some folks out there, plenty of folks out there, that want to see more, this doesn't go far enough. >> that's right. it doesn't have a widespread background check program. it doesn't have one of the
largest priorities of groups, banning assault weapons, doesn't raise the minimum age for ar-15s, that's the weapon of choice in so many horrific shootings. just 21 states and d.c. require background checks for all handgun sales as you can see in the map alone. that leaves half of states where you can buy a gun from a private seller with no check needed. there's going to be some disappointment but we shouldn't diminish we're on the precipice of some change for the first time in a long time. >> there's going to be lots of aides and senators and members of the house going through the text and trying to figure out if this is something they could support. we're a long way from the finish line. eva, thank you very much. let's discuss this now, david hogg is a survivor of the parkland school shootings and a founder of march for our lives.
i saw you were tweeting earlier about this, and your sense is this is at least something? >> this is something. this is substantially more than we've seen in decades from congress. is this everything i want? definitely not. but it is something. it's going to take a long time for us to address this issue, the same way it did with cigarettes, addressing it in a public health approach manner. but if this stops one more parkland or shooting from happening it's progress. we're showing as americans we aren't divided. the most divided people are 100 senators are capitol hill and even they are acting on it. >> i was thinking about this, sitting here with you, this appears to be the most significant legislative effort on this issue since you've been alive. >> yes, it is. >> and you're in college i'm in col college. i was born a year after columbine happened. that's how long this fight has been going on. yesterday we were in washington d.c. with well over 40,000
people right around the washington monument and people activated thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, across the country in over 450 cities across the country. the thing is, jim, the reason i think this time is different, it's not about anti-gun or pro-gun this is about what we all are, pro-peace, pro-safety, pro-responsibility. responsible gun ownership, gun safety should be mandatory not voluntary. yesterday we were marking with republicans, gun owners because gun owners are represented by the nra the same way smokers were resppresented by the smoki industry. you can still get cigarettes in our country but far less people die from lung cancer because we addressed how people got cigarettes and the culture of why people wanted to smoke and we have to do the same thing with gun. >> what part of the framework do you have your minds on that
might make a difference? i spoke with fred guttenberg, he brought it up last weekend, if there had been a minimum age requirement of 21 to buy an assault rifle that potentially his daughter would be alive today. and potentially you would not have what took place in uvalde, that's not in this legislation, or at least this framework as of yet. your thoughts on that. >> an expansion of the background checks may have prevented the instances from happening because we know these people have a history, police are aware of things they've done, even if we aren't raising the age to 21, a step to violent individuals not getting the guns is an important step. there are many people that say criminals don't obey laws. no duh. but the shooter at my high school was a 19-year-old he was not a criminal master mind, the shooter in buffalo was an 18-year-old, the shooter in texas was an 18-year-old.
all waited until they were legally old enough to get an ar-15 and use it. these people are not criminal master mind, they're barely adults. no law is perfect but a reduction is good because that reduction could be your kid for those watching at home, it could be your best friend. >> i wonder if part of the strategy here, maybe you can comment on it, is showing to the republicans, showing to people who just have been flatout opposed to gun safety legislation, that you can pass new restrictions without going and grabbing people's guns. there's nothing about gun confiscation or getting rid of the second amendment, any of those stale talking points you hear from that side of the equation. is that part of it? showing the other side, listen, you can have common sense regulation without this notion you're grabbing people's guns. >> for too long the conversation is you're anti-gun or pro-gun. really what we need we are all pro-gun safety, all pro-peace,
no democrat, gun owner wants their kid to be in danger in their school or community. we all want communities to be safe not just in schools but outside too where the majority of kids end up dying from gun violence. i think what can be difference about this time is affirming that. we had former congressman joe walsh marching with us yesterday. if we can do that, change can come but we need people to stay engage. so text next to 954954, that is next to 954954. >> i suppose you and others in your movement are going to be on capitol hill to make sure this makes it to the finish line. as we were talking about this with eva a few moments ago when the text comes out -- >> the devil is in the details. >> -- the devil is in the details. what we need help, the march for our lives is a group of survivors growing up with drills going on.
we're on tv a lot but people think they have a lot of support financially but we don't. for anyone who would like to help us show up on capitol hill, donate at marchforourlives.com. >> do you think it's good they provided the mental health provisions? >> yeah. >> from your side they'll say there are mental health issues all over the world. the issue is the accessibility of the weapons. >> it's both. you can put as much mental health funding as you want in the country but it's not going to address the fact that the shooters are white supremacists. racism and hatred are not mental illnesses. we need to address the fact that black and brown communities go through this on a daily basis and the trauma they go through is not covered a lot of time. that's where we need to talk about mental health not as a scapegoat for not addressing white supremacy in our country.
but the communities that don't get on the news that are affected by this every day. >> you're right. that's a huge part of the issue that we don't talk about enough. david hogg thank you very much. in less than 24 hours, the january 6th committee will have the nation's attention once again working to prove that former president donald trump was at the center of an attempted coup. why is a former fox news staffer testifying? that's next. no ink! ugh! i need you to print, i need you. you think you're empty? i'm empty. do you suffer from cartridge conniptions? be conniption-free, thanks to the cartridge-free epson ecotank printer. a ridiculous amount of ink you're mocking me. not ain! the epson ecotank. just fill & chill. i grew up an athlete, i rode horses... i really do take care of myself. i try to stay in shape. that's really important, especially as you age.
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and i think potential for fireworks based on who is on this witness list for tomorrow. >> it's going to be a big day, jim. it is. we got the full list from the committee. i'll go name by name and tell you why the people matter. bill stepien, he was the trump campaign manager in 2020. we didn't even really know before today that he had contact with the committee that he was cooperating with the committee. he's under subpoena, he's poised to show up tomorrow. look, we'll see how cooperative he is, if he has anything big to reveal but the fact he's going to be there is important because other top trump aides made a different decision, refused. so bill stepien the fact he's there tomorrow in the room, that's significant. also a guy named chris tirewalt, a fox news contributor those are the guys behind the scenes
making the projections who won, who lost. it was a big deal when they projected biden won arizona. it was a whole big issue. he has since lost that job, fox says it was because of restructuring but it's hard not to draw the conclusion. he's on record saying trump tried to steal the election in 2020. there's ben ginsburg as well tomorrow. well known republican election lawyer. he was the top lawyer for bush/cheney in 2000, 2004, litigated bush v gore, not a liberal. so the committee is going to say, probably i would expect them to say if you don't trust me, benny thompson, think we're ha hacks, listen to ben ginsburg. in 2020 he disavowed trump, the lies, all of the disinformation that the republicans were
spewing. it's a big panel, jim. two more names, bj pak, the u.s. attorney in atlanta, a trump appointee, this is a big one. we know what he's likely to say. he told lawmakers that he was pressured by the trump white house to help overturn the results in georgia. and that that was one of the reasons why he abruptly, unexpectedly quit during the transition. this will be the first time that we will hear from a u.s. official describing, under oath, how the trump white house pressured him to overturn an election. and finally, there's al schmidt, former city commissioner from my hometown of philadelphia. also a republican and he was there helping oversee the election in philly. it took a long time to count all the mail-in ballots which gave trump an opening to smear the process, the lie, but when they
finished counting the votes trump lost, al schmidt was there to debunk the lies. that's the theme for tomorrow, exposing trump's election lies, debunking them and driving home the point like they did on thursday that he knew, like you said a minute ago, he knew and did it anyway. >> i remember from talking to my sources leading up to january 6th, they told him over and over again, you lost. and at first he seemed to acknowledge that. and then for weeks and weeks and weeks was starting to listen to some of the crazier voices coming into the white house and that started to change his views. what's so fascinating about this, yes, we want the committee to get to the bottom of what happened on january 6th but it's the events leading up to january 6th that are so important in all this. >> so much bigger than that one day. it was a multistep, multimonth attempt to steal the election. >> let's bring in john dean.
john, what do you make of this list of witnesses for tomorrow? former trump campaign manager under subpoena, a former federal prosecutor who trump may have been trying to oust and putting pressure on. a former fox news editor. there might be some fireworks tomorrow. >> could be, i think marshall is right on when he says that we actually know most of what these people have testified to or will testify to, because they either have stated it publically or they've actually testified over in the senate in some preliminary proceedings over there, that aren't quite the same focus as the january 6th committee. so this is a strong, republican-based witness list. this is not a bunch of democrats speculating about what happened in the vote. these are republicans who know what happened. so that's why -- that's going to add power to the fact that this isn't a partisan witch hunt,
which is trump's principle defense, it seems. >> it's partisan in the sense that all republicans. we're going to be hearing from a lot of republicans in this witness list tomorrow. john you testified in the watergate hearings offering firsthand accounts of the extensive corruption inside the nixon white house. will this january 6th committee succeed without its own john dean figure or do you think we might see one? >> i think that any time somebody could decide, hey, it's time to come forward that may be happening behind the scenes. we don't know. i have not seen a good indication yet. what i did was a process that took many months before i was -- before i appeared. i had actually worked internally to try to end the cover up at nixon's white house. so my position was well known. there's nobody that seems quite in the same to position is that
i know of. but there are people who are truth tellers, and they may likely come forward and tell what really did happen. and that's what we need, are truth tellers. >> absolutely. and the truth is not partisan. and showing trump's intent and state of mind has become a part of this -- a crucial part of this investigation. here's what republican committee member adam kinzinger said about that today. listen to this. >> i think if anybody truly believed after what you see, after what the attorney general says, after every piece of information comes in, if you truly believe the election was stolen then, if the president believes it, he's not capable of being president mentally. this was all about keeping power against the will of the american people. >> you know the catchphrase follow the money because of watergate. could the catchphrase for this
january 6th probe be follow the lies? >> that's a tougher road, actually. there's so many of them. you know, "the new york times" did a piece this morning on the front page of the print edition, anyway, that talked about how it appears like the january 6th committee is trying to push the issue of a prosecution by the department of justice. i don't think that's the case at all. i think they're doing their investigation. i think the department of justice is full hands on investigating this. and i think they'll make a very solid decision at some point. can trump be prosecuted? one of the big defenses of one of nixon's aides, john erlichman was he claimed he had no criminal intent in breaking into daniel elseburg's psychiatrist
office and no criminal intent to cover up the watergate. that's a question for a jury. and he could not sell that to two juries and he was convicted not only of conspireing in those actions but also of perjury in several instances. >> and watergate is such a clear parallel for this moment, the scandal kicked off 50 years ago this month and you were at the heart of it all, and the new cnn original series "watergate: blueprint for a scandal" you tell your firsthand story, it's fascinating. i know you and i talked about it many times. let's show part of this. >> secrets and lies are far too common in politics, i have, from my experience, learn in the long run they don't work. the truth has its own way of coming out and will come out. the weekend of april 14, 15, 1973 is when the watergate cover up imploded.
i had talked to hadarman and erlichman the fact that we were breaking the law. i showed particularly erlichman being a lawyer, the statute involved and why i thought we were violating it. he said, i disagree, john. he said i have no criminal intent. so i didn't violate these statutes. i can't believe that a man who went to law school, had to miss school the day they talked about criminal intent. >> there you said the truth always comes out. right now, regarding trump's election conspiracy theory, the truth is coming out. but millions of americans aren't hearing it because they watch fox. how do you think watergate would have played out if there had been a fox news back then? >> i think it would have been very different. we don't know for the what ifs are tough. there was no defender of nixon like there is of trump.
and it can influence. but i still am one who either am foolish to believe the truth may seep through and people get it. may they may deny it, not want to believe it but they'll know in their heart they're not really based on solid evidence. this gets abroad and people know what's going on. so i think, ultimately, whether donald trump will be prosecuted or not, i don't know. that raises all kinds of difficult, very difficult issues like fair trial. so we're just very early in this process, jim. and i think it's fascinating and hang on because it's going to get more fascinating. >> buckle up, as they say. john dean. thanks so much, john. we appreciate it. make sure you watch tonight the epic conclusion of cnn's timely original series, plenty of parallels you'll see for yourself, "watergate: blueprint
for a scandal" right here at 9:00 on cnn. president biden struggling in the poles he has enough problems on the right but will he have the support of his fellow democrats in 2024? not so fast says alexandria ocasio-cortez. that's coming up next. great divorce guys. yeah... search 100s of travel sisites at once. kayak. search one and done. your record label is taking off. but so is your sound engineer. you need to hire. i need indeed. indeed you do. indeednstant match instantly delivers quality candidates matchi your job description. visit indeed.com/hire moderate to severe eczema still disrupts my skin. despite treatment it disrupts my skin with itch. it disrupts my skin with rash. but now, i can disrupt eczema with rinvoq. rinvoq is not a steroid, topical, or injection. it's one pill, once a day, that's effective without topical steroids.
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something is better than nothing after years and years of nothing on gun legislation, a bipartisan group of senators has reached a compromise on a new bill to address gun violence. for now it has the support of at least 10 republicans, enough to break a filibuster, that is critical. let's break it down with senior
political analyst and author john avalon and political commentator, margaret hoover. guys, thank you so much for doing this, as always. you know some of these measures will certainly make the country safer it appears, boosting the red flag laws, closing some of the gun purchase loopholes. no universal background check. they didn't raise the age for buying these assault weapons like ar-15s. so it's a mixed bag. we had david hogg from march for our lives earlier on the program and he was saying hey, this is something. this is the first time they've done something this big that is potentially going to get through the congress since he's been alive. what do you think? >> i -- look, we have spent so much time, jim, right here on this segment on this program talking about how jaded americans are because congress can't get things done when we need them to.
that i think it would be going in the wrong direction to criticize that this bill doesn't fit the perfect standard of any one of us here on this program or watching. i think it is remarkable that finally we're seeing congress do the thing they were designed to do, which is negotiating and bargaining with each other to get something done to meet a critical need of the american people. so that's a win. i will take a win. i don't want to get ahead of ourselves because this is just a framework. but it's a real step. and i think it's a step in the positive direction. >> the other step, in addition that number one, never make the perfect the enemy of the good. the ten republicans here, six of them aren't running for re-election that's fine. >> five. >> john cornyn is taking a risk taking a leadership role in this, he deserves credit for that. even though these provisions are broadly poplar, they're attacked by the base. the assault weapons ban when it passed in '94 didn't get
filibustered, passed with 54 votes. it was a different era. this is a departure of the blocking of any progress we experienced since sandy hook. good for the senators on both sides of the aisle. >> it would be disappointing if this doesn't work out in any way when you have the president tweeting his support, mitch mcconnell is putting out a statement saying maybe this might work. when do we have that in washington? tomorrow promises to be another fascinating day in front of the january 6th committee, the hearing begins at 10:00 a.m., and the witness list is endlessly interesting, bill stepien, the former trump campaign manager is slated to testify. he's under subpoena. he's going to be there. chris stirewalt, part of the famous arizona call for fox that he essentially got fired for. and then bjay pak is interesting
in all of this. he was the u.s. attorney in georgia pressured by the trump administration to overturn the key battleground state. what do you think of these witnesses? this could be a big day tomorrow. >> it will be a big day. and i think particularly as you point bjay pak because the pressure the president was applying to overturn the votes in georgia we heard the brad raffensperger tapes. bill stepien could be enormously important because he's the campaign manager and presumably will testify the campaign told trump he lost fair and square and he was in denial about it. each of these witnesses are key if they were in the room and felt the pressure and knew the president was lying to the people and his base. >> all i'll add to this, the exercise is enormously important because we need to have a full
accounting of what happened minute by minute day by day in those subsequent days after the election. and so far the committee is doing that in a really powerful, thoughtful, methodical way. which also kind of keeping up with the times in terms of how americans are consuming television which is not what we expect of congress. so i applaud them and their work. this is important for the accounting of it. this isn't important for any of us to say is donald trump going to be prosecuted? this is important for the integrity of our processes and important in order to support the constitution and have it all out there so the american people can see. >> i'll just add to that, there is the possibility of legal accountability. you know, seditious conspiracy, defrauding the united states, we'll see if any of those apply. we'll see if they're pursued by
the justice department. but this is hopefully a step towards accountability for trying to violate our american democracy. >> it's accountability to the american people. >> and officer harry dunn who was on this program earlier today and was talking about -- this almost took my breath away, he was talking about one of his colleagues in law enforcement on january 6th was at the costco and was having a panic attack after watching the footage thursday night. this is a struggle for the people of the law enforcement community who responded january 6th. so they deserve something as well. let me ask you about this, earlier this morning on cnn, my colleague dana bash asked alexandria ocasio-cortez, who is obviously pretty well liked on the left in this country. she was asked whether or not she's going to back joe biden in 2024. and here's what she said, let's
watch. >> we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. but i think if the president has a vision and that's something we're all willing to entertain and examine when the time comes. >> that's not a yes. >> yeah, you know, i think we should endorse when we get to it. >> john and margaret? >> i mean, you know, that's definitely not an endorsement. look, aoc and the progressives have been supportive of the president up to a point but also shown a willingness to go after her own centrist colleagues even in the new york delegation. the elephant in the room, which doesn't always work when talking about democrats, is that joe biden is going to be of a very advanced age and he has accomplished a lot in difficult circumstances particularly on foreign policy, ask bush 41 if he was rewarded for that. but there's the issue of vigor,
the politics being perception, so it's not the slam dunk assumption that this president is going to run for re-election, as exists in every other presidency. that's beyond the divides of the democratic party. >> aoc said the quiet thing outloud. joe biden hasn't announced. he does say so but what we all and democrats think about behind closed doors not on camera with you, jim, is he going to run? they don't think so, or who would be good instead. that's the conversation democrats are actually having. how can aoc, what the leader of the progressive left, bernie sanders and others say they're going to support joe biden when we don't know if there's an open seat for the democratic nomination. >> and there's a question who would perform better against trump than biden, that's the question. >> absolutely. that's what the biden folks will tell, who would be better off facing trump than joe biden at this point?
but at this -- you know, at this stage with the economy the way it is. you do hear that whispering that goes on here in washington. i heard it myself. it's a parlor game that's happening but it is a whispered parlor game. thank you both very much we appreciate it. >> take care. on this weekend that a bipartisan group of senators reach a deal on gun control. dana bash sits down with former congresswoman gabby gifford, what does she think would make the biggest difference in preventing gun violence, that answer next. >> are you still a gun owner? >> yes. yes. >> wild wild west. >> you still think people should have guns, just do it safely. >> yes. yes. you're an owner. that means that yoyour priorities are ours too. our inteteractive tools and advice can help you build a future for the ones y you love. that's the value of ownersrship. pre-rinsing your dishes? you could be using the wrong detergent. and wasting up to 20 gallons of water.
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an important step forward, that's how former arizona congresswoman gabby give fordsss gifford describes today's work by the lawmakers. >> i interviewed you in 2013, just two years after gun violence almost took your life. if you were to name the number one thing that congress could do to prevent the kind of violence that you were the victim of, what would it be? >> background checks.
>> that hasn't happened. >> no. no. the senate, republicans, i don't know, i don't know. divided. divided. really tough. it will be a long, hard haul, but i'm optimistic. there's so much common ground on this issue when we talk to americans of all stripes, democrats, republicans, gun owners, veterans. it's really only here in washington we see the level of divide out in the rest of the country people agree that we can and should do something more. and it's not at odds with gun ownership. >> are you still a gun owner? >> yes. yes. wild, wild west. >> you still think people should have guns, just do it safely? >> yes, yes. >> there's so much gun violence happening all the time it's hard to wrap your head around these numbers and that's why it's so important we have the 40,000 white roses behind us to represent the 40,000 americans
that died from gun violence last year and now the new 5,000 orange roses to represent the increase in one year of how many gun deaths we've had in this country. >> too much guns. no more. no more. >> meanwhile, the january 6th committee is zeroing in on what trump may have played in terms of his role in the insurrection. and we're not just talking about donald trump. we're also talking about alex jones. that's next. first, here's your before the bell report. >> hi, jim. consumers are still feeling higher prices, putting more pressure on the federal reserve to fight inflation. the consumer index rose 6.8% from the year before, the fastest pace since 1981. americans paid more for everything, including food, shelter, energy, gas prices are up nearly 50% from last year.
this red hot report may dash hopes for everyone from the white house to wall street that inflation has peaked and it means the federal reserve, the inflation fighter is all but certain to keep aggressively raising interest rates. another rate hike is expected when the fed meets this week. the central bank raised interest rates in march and may. it's a delicate balance for the fed if it raises too aggressively it could push the economy into recession. in new york, allisison kosick. power e*trade gives you an award-winning mobile app with powerful, easy-to-use tools, and interactive charts to give you an edge. 24/7 support when you ne it the most, plus zero-dollar commissions for online u.s. lied stocks. [ding] get e*trade from morgan stanley and start trading today. with best western rewards you get rewarded
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. right wing radio show host and conspiracy theorist alex jones says he spokes to investigators from the january 6th committee and repeatly pleaded the fifth. correspondent griffin spent months looking into jones. here's a preview of the special report. >> usasa! >> as federal agents zoomed in on january 6th. alex jones' influence was on display. his only employees face criminal charges from an info wars editor whose dreamed the right to info wars host owen sawyer right by
jones' side. >> 1776. 1776. >> at least 20 of those arrested either worked under alex jones or appeared on his show or followed his content. the other of one rioter believes everything alex jones had to say. another rioter told fbi agent alex jones inspired his journey. >> how did you start going to these rallies? two men linked to jones faced the most serious charges filed in the riot. seditious conspiracy. founder stewart rhodes whose phone contained an encrypted chat that included jones. rhodes pleaded not guilty. and former info wars reporter and proud boys leader joe biggs
who pushed his way through the police lines into the capitol. he also pleaded not guilty. >> usa! >> reporter: jones has not been charged. but cnn has learned that january 6th select committee investigators want to know about jones' involvement in the funding for trump's rally. the planning for his march to the capitol and jones' tie togs extremists now charged with conspiring against the government. >> i said this, my lawyer told me almost 100 times today during the interrogation, on advice of counsel, i am asserting my fifth amendment right to remain silent. >> reporter: jones says he refused to answer the questions about january 6th but told his info wars audience he knew nothing about a plot. >> they already now i didn't know anything. i was talking about everybody should be peaceful. >> he would say he was talking about a peaceful type of fight. that's not how it's translated
to the people that follow alex jones. >> reporter: jim, i think what is going to be surprising about our story, our special on alex jones is for many of us who have written him off as an internet clown to see how influential he is in all of right wing media. not just the fringe conspiracy, but how his lunatic fringe conspiracies actually end up in the main stream of politics. it's a eye opening into alex jones this kind of internet anomaly who turned himself into a major part of the right wing in this country. jim. >> very reserving stuff, drew. excellent reporting as always. we'll be watching. you can watch megaphone for conspiracy, alex jones at 8:00 on cnn. that itself the news report for washington. pamela brown takes over the "cnn newsroom" live after a quick break. for r insights on when to buy and sell.
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a senate break through as a bipartisan road finds common ground on gun reform. >> any time the senate can say yes, it's kind of a miracle. >> president trump summoned the mob. >> they have the whole premise of the hearing is that president trump is criminally responsible but in terms of criminal liabil
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