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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  June 16, 2022 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT

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for the last few days before coming to us. 40 days without any access to food, hardly any access to water. valerie was good with the dogs, we gave her in her mom a job. which we are excited about. and a target through the 40 days of her life, and she held the dogs through the worst 40 days of their life. >> to learn more about the journey with the dogs, go to, and while you're there you can nominate someone you think that should be a cnn hero. thanks for watching everyone, our coverage continues! good evening, it was billed as an examination of the pressure put on then, mike pence, and in today's testimony before the january six committee hearings, it was certainly that. but in a sense, it was also a revelation of just how thoroughly those were pushing to over turn the election knew that what they were doing was constitutionally dubious, and
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possibly a crime. they knew, and according to a testimony today, they do it anyway. and the testament knew that. he also in new in realtime that the actions that he was taking, or about to take with his 2:24 pm tweet the -- he had been told exactly how that it was at the capitol. >> although the presidents chief of staff, mark meadows, is refusing to testify before the committee. mr. meadows aid, ben williamson, and white house press secretary, sarah matthews, testified that mr. meadows went to the dining room near the oval office to tell the president about the violence of the capitol before the president's 2:24 pm tweet. >> it was clear that it was escalating, and escalating quickly. [noise] >> so then, when that we, than mike pence's tweet was sent out. i remember saying that that was
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the last thing that needs to be tweeted at that moment. >> pete aguilar says the committee's investigation shows that immediately after that tweet, the crowd in the capitol search. two minutes later, the secret service evacuated the former vice president from the chamber. coming within 40 feet, according to the committee investigation of the angry mob. the committee put out images today, the location that pence was later taken to a loading dock. where he was forced to shelter until control of the capital was restored. the photos are new, and so is a testimony that knowing what he knew, the former president still sent out a tweet that former white house press secretary testified was quote, like he was pouring gasoline on the fire. and the legal theory that was touted by john eastman, seen here whipping up the crowd at the january 6th rally that day. he argued that that they, he could've objected votes from
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states the trump teen was challenging. -- instead, this is what he mostly told the panel. >> i assert my fifth amendment right against the u.s. and against myself. fifth, fifth, fifth, fifth. >> according to committee member john eastman, he had v 100 times. but michael, the widely respected conservative judge, had this to say about the legal theory. >> there was no basis in the constitution, or laws in the united states at all. with the theory espoused by mr. eastman. at all. none. >> that's what he told mike pence, whose own legal staff also researched the question. founded bogus. and get this, told eastman so
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directly. >> the history was absolutely decisive. and again, part of my discussion with mr. eastman was, if you are right, don't you think al gore would have likely known in 2000 that he could just declare himself president of the united states? do you think that the democrat lawyers did not think of this obvious court to do that? and of course, he acknowledged that he did not and should not have had the authority at that time. >> so i respected judge and legal scholar knew that this was bogus. the vice presidents own lawyers knew it was bogus. the vice president's counsel also told him he knew it was bogus. and there was also testimony that eastman knew that he was pushing a challenge that would go down in flames in the supreme court. >> we had an extent of discussion an hour and a half to two hours on january 5th. and when i pressed him on the
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point, i said. john, if the vice president did what you are asking him to do. we would lose nine to nothing in the supreme court. wouldn't we? and he initially started it with well, maybe it would be 7 to 2. after some server discussion he acknowledged that yeah, we would lose nine to nothing. >> in this testimony, it means that despite admitting that the plan was unprecedented and unadvisable. and most certainly legally indefensible, he still press forward and january six. so did rulli giuliani, and the former president. he made the formal call to this vice president on the morning of january 6th. one final call to pressure him and ultimately insult him. >> and what you hear? >> so as i was dropping off the note. my memory, i remember hearing the word wimp. he called him a win. i remember he said you are a warmth. when is the word i remember. >> did he share it with you any
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more details about what had happened or any more details of what have happened in the oval office that morning? >> that they had just had an upsetting conversation with the vice presidents. >> the wording is wrong. i made the wrong decision for five years ago. >> in that the word that you relate to the president, call the price president, i apologize for being impolite, pretty remember what she said? her father called him? >> the p-word. >> then, a short time later knowing the man was in harm's way from refusing to carry out the plan he knew was wrong, and thought was wrong. the president sent out a tweet attacking him, whipping up the crowd. according to the testimony today, he had every reason to know what he was doing was wrong. and according to the testimony, they were pushing john eastman's plan to overturn the election. and according to testimony
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today, so did eastman himself. as for what he did after january 6th, today the select committee says they have an email that he said to rudy giuliani to be included on a list of -- . the committee argues that he knew his actions were potentially criminal. joining us, is the voice of the legal political landscape. and senior political adviser george conway. and senior political contributor. david axelrod, what was the -- ? >> well look, clinically. the revelation that in the president's presence, the person who was advising him on the strategy acknowledge that it was illegal. and that the president pressed heavy with it. and was quite a revelation. the fact that, the degree to which he knowingly unleashed this violence on his own vice president was a revolution. but anderson, this was some one
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thing that really struck me. it was a conversation that eastman recorded, his last conversation with pence. knowing all of this, knowing that they were asking pence to do something unconstitutional. something illegal. he called pence a wimp or worse. for not going along. and this is been the concern about donald trump's very beginning. it's not about his policy positions. i disagree with many of them. it's that he doesn't believe with rules, laws, norms, institutions. he believes that people who do are suckers. and he resents that pence, in history, was being a wimp am a sucker instead of doing what they thought he could get away with. to try and salvage this. the presidency for him. i think there is a really deep insight into how donald trump approaches the world. >> george, the allegation that then president trump has torpedoed him. and try to overturn was illegal,
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and try to do it anyway. could that be criminal liability in the justice department? >> yes. absolutely. i think as they would point out, trump did not care about the facts. or the law. he only cares about what he can get away with. and what the two hearings this week have done is shown, essentially, to separate, but related, but separate and independent ways to show criminal intent. monday, they showed that donald trump did not give a hoot about what the charm was. the facts. you had the former attorney general barr saying that no matter what he said to trump. trump did not care about what the actual facts where. you had richard donahue, the acting attorney general saying that he would shoot down one crazy factual quickly, and then he would just throw out another. he didn't care. he is blind to the facts. and today, the presentation was about how he was willfully blind to the illegality of
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having vice president pence violate the 12th amendment, his oval office, and the electoral count act. and even in that way of showing that trump was willfully blind to the facts, or to the law. either one of those would have suffice to establish criminal intent to the points that the judge made in his witness statement when he said about the accountability of trump stealing the election. he said willful blindness to the law is not a legal defense. and he referred to it as criminal liability there, but that was clearly what it was talking about. >> i want to play an exchange. let's listen. >> the vice president meant calls to check on the safety of others, it would his own life that was in danger. mr. jacob, did donald trump ever call the vice president to check on his safety? >> he did not. >> mr. jacob how did the vice president react to that?
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>> with frustration. >> david, is that defensible for the president not to check on his safety, as we also heard, for him to have sent that tweet i think it was 2:24 pm, knowing the attack is underway, knowing his vice president is in danger, a tweet which is read by the mob and spurs on the mob? >> anderson, clearly it is reprehensible. clearly, you know, the president, the presidents phone call to the vice president earlier, it was recounted there, in a previous clip, he called him some harsh names and raised his voice, were counted by several people who heard the conversation. mike pence is an honorable man, served his country not only not to check on him but
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stir the pot, it is reprehensible. it's indefensible. >> he emailed rudy giuliani about receiving a pardon after january six, he pleaded the fifth some hundred times. do you believe he could face some criminal liability here? >> absolutely, anderson. there is no question about that. the very fact that he acknowledged his own legal blueprint was illegal, tells you the state of mind. he definitely faces crimwould ee
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supreme court and even in his initial suggestion that the vote would be seven to, he seemed to feel like there were two votes that would go into his direction despite the fact that it was so obviously illegal. so, you know, i think we need to understand that he was a very central part to this, and he was acting in concert with donald trump. >> these witnesses were hardly liberal trump antagonist which i think is important to point out, they were top pence aides, and they said the former president and his allies are still quote a clear and present danger to american democracy. do you think this has any impact on politics in this country? >> you know, i would love to say yes, anderson, i think that we are so hardened and polarized, when only 30% of
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republicans say that they believe president biden was properly elected and they think that it was -- it shows you how deep this polarization runs, and you wonder how many of those people can't be persuaded by why compeg testimony. i would hope, yes, but i doubt it, and i don't think we will see a big shift in attitudes about politics or about trump as a result of this. we will see, there are still several hearings to go and a final report. i just want to say one other thing, i was thinking about this when you asked dave reuben about pence, at the end of that day, three hours after the mob descended on the capitol, the president finally yielded to urgings and issued a video link, in that video he addressed the
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mob that was threatening pence 's life and he said, you are very special, we love you. but he didn't pick up the phone to call his vice president who had served him loyally for four years to see if he was all right. that is an appalling just position. >> mike pence's family reading that tweet, and there's our photographs of them in what looks like a loading dock, reading that tweet that the president sent, and you have been fleeing for your life, and they see this tweet from the president, you know, twisting the knife. >> yeah. >> george, go ahead. >> i was just going to say, anderson, i don't think that a cheerful call from the president would have made any difference. to axles point, people being dug in, i think one of the most important thing is that in the legislative branch, is the
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electoral count act, it's being revisited and couldn't be amended. this will never be a question again and we will never have to face anything like this. i mean it's not as sexy as these hearings, but it is very important that we fix that. >> george, if you have secretaries of state around the country who basically aren't willing to subvert the election process based on conspiracy theories and you have many of them running now, i don't think the threat will come and go. i think the threat is still with us. >> i don't disagree, david, i think you will see a constitutional crisis that you would've seen on january six again. >> george, you wrote an op-ed in the washington post how the hearings -- in this case the failure to invoke, how much you think we will learn in future hearings about those amendment hearings behind the scenes? >> i think we're going to hear, we're going to hear at least
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one hearing date devoted to what the heck was donald trump doing 487 minutes? they alluded to that a little bit today, and representative cheney, vice president cheney talked about how they were gonna talk about the fact that multiple members of the cabinet and we're talking about invoking the 25th amendment, i think that all comes together about what his state of mind was when he was, for three hours, doing absolutely nothing, watching tv, watching tv, we have heard in press reports, gleefully, we may hear live testimony about that we.
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particularly irked the president since january 6th. when he told him he was banning him from the white house. when he was, of course, former president mike pence that day. i think before that he was pence's chief of staff. he was the legislative affairs director. he worked closely, helped manage relationship with workers on the hill. and so, he has certainly drawn the former presidents i or ever since january 6th. because trump has told people he believes that marc short convinced the vice president at the time, of course, not to meet his demands. not to subject to the certification process on capitol hill. so you'll find today that president trump has complained to people, former president trump, that all the testimony on capitol hill has been negative towards him. and i don't know if there are people who have testified, people who are still in trump's orbit that have tell him more positive things that have not been used in these hearings.
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but he is complaining that all the testimony has been negative towards him. and you see marc short going and testifying today, that he notified secret service the day before january 6th, because he was concerned about pence's safety. because they disputed, when he put out that -- have what pence could do on capitol hill that day. as you saw, of mark short and jason miller testifying that they did not believe that was the case. that was not that pence had communicated to trump at the time. he had basically said the opposite. >> he reported on break down relations between the former presidents and the former president. what's stands out? >> it is dramatic. because these are two people who used to have lunch together once a week. they were very close. you often saw pence closely aligned to whatever trump was saying when he was in office. and the breakdown of the relationship has been incredibly severe. they have not spoken in over a year from now. of course, you saw aids testifying today about what that conversation was like on
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january six. when trump was in the oval office. he they called pants. he was talking to him about pence. he had never sought heard her father speak to pence as they did. -- but for pence on the other hand. it was this fine line. this tightrope, given that he is someone who has challenged trump at times. to maintain what he did that day. that it was the right thing. but he also said that he was eyeing the presidential run in 2024. and now he wants to court trump's base which is so dear to him. so it's been this fine line between the two of them. so he's been trying to downplay the rest between the two of them. so they haven't spoken in over a year. >> appreciate. it still not knowing what the justice department will do with what the select committee is uncovering. they want them to turn over -- to we know specifically what the justice department wants
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from them? >> they want everything anderson. they want the transcripts of all the thousands of interviews, witness interviews that the committee says that they have. done the justice department first asked for these transcripts in april. and we learn today in a court filing that they asked again this week. and the reason for that is that there are a group of the proud boys, a members of this extreme group that has lead the charge into the capital. and under the rules, under the law, the justice department is required to turn over everything in this possession of the government. in the government's possession that could be relevant to those people's defense. that includes transcripts that the committee has. >> so why wouldn't the committee just hand them over? >> so far we have only heard very weird things from the committee. including that this is their work product. truman thompson was asked by reporters. here's what he had to say. >> we are not going to stop. what we are doing, to share the
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information that we have gotten so far with the department of justice. we have to do our work. >> and so, the committee seems to be saying, wait until we are done our work in september. and we will turn it all over. >> but i mean there are xerox machines. i don't understand. why do they have to stop their work in order to give them copies of transcripts? >> it doesn't make any sense, anderson. especially when you think about, it there's all this criticism from the committee members against the justice department saying that mayor garland needs to step it up. there needs to be some more work done by the justice department to do these prosecutions. so now you have prosecutors saying, this is actually pr work. this is going to hurt our ability to bring accountability to those people who invade the capital january 6th. >> appreciated. thanks. what's advice does vice president pence get into a car while this was unfolding? we'll get to a reporter who has
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>> it dealt with the political pressure leading up to the attack, but how eminent the physical danger was to him in his family. the committee showed new images of the vice president sheltering in a basement as the rioters breached the u.s. capital, or a loading dock. demonstrated how close the mob
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got to them. >> vice president pence and his team, ultimately, were led to a secure location where they stayed for the next four and a half hours. barely missing riders, a few feet away. >> approximately 40 feet, that's all there was, 40 feet between vice president and the mob. the >> committee reveal testimony about white house aides, and president trump already knew rioters were inside the capitol before he tweeted that pence quote didn't have the courage to do what should've been done to protect our country and our constitution. joining us is caroline egg, she is the author of zero fail, and coauthor of island can fix it, donald j trump's catastrophic final year. would today reveal to the american people about the danger the pence family and their entourage were in?
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>> anderson i think what today unveiled and uncovered was how much closer to mortal danger pence, his wife, his daughter and his aides all were in. you know, we chronicled very shortly after january six that pence came within 100 feet of rioters that were storming into the building as he was spirited off the senate floor, and to a hideaway, with his secret service detail. actually, it was not 100 feet, it was 40 feet. what we also learned is the degree to which his secret service detail was pressuring him to leave, as soon as possible. because of the people chanting, hang mike pence, hang mike pence, outside. the family was aware of this but they weren't aware of just how horrible it was. greg jacobs, pence's attorney
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told the world today, he heard crumbling outside but he didn't really realize just how catastrophic things could have been. >> it's interesting, i'm not sure if we know this, but was vice president pence aware of just how close the mob was, 40 feet away from him in his family? >> no, my understanding from sources is that he knew it was close, but not that close. he was spirited to the hideaway before those riders got to the riser in between the two floors and confronted officer goodman, who brilliantly, as you know in this video, led those rioters away from, the senate floor and ultimately away from where pence and his family and his detail were in hiding. then he was taken to the basement, because his detail leader said, okay, we're done, we're out of here. pence had turned him down,
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anderson, two times, and on the third time to evacuate, his detail leader said we have to get out of this floor. we have to get to the basement, it's not safe. but of course, as you know, from today's testimony, when they got to the basement, pence was still suspicious essentially of being spirited away from the capital. he had gained a new determination, that he was going to stay, finish the work, certify the election, the victory of his opponent, joe biden. he was going to finish the work, even though, as you've shown here tonight, the president had put a target on his vice presidents back. >> and to see him, i mean again, looking into the phone, being aware of the tweet that the president had sent out in this incredibly dark moment for him and his family, that's an extraordinary moment. what other reasons based on
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your reporting made the vice president want to stay put? >> you know, what i've learned in zero fail, and the reporting of the deep dive into the secret service is that the service was very conflicted, many people who served at the right-hand of president trump were essentially maga supporters, they were all in for donald trump -- >> you may not the secret service personnel? >> yes. they took to their own social media platform, their own facebook postings, instagram postings to cheer on some of the riders as patriots. >> while! >> pence didn't know that when he is in the basement of the capital, but what he did know and what his aides knew is that the president was not caring about vice president pence's life. he had just said pence shows no courage as people are chanting,
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trump supporters are chanting, to end pence's life. and he was suspicious and aides were especially suspicious that perhaps the secret service won't calling the ball. perhaps donald trump through other secret service senior leaders in the white house was calling the ball about removing, and we asking pence away from the capital. he was determined not to do that. he decided, somewhere between, you know, the senate hideaway and the basement limousine, i am not getting in that car, i am not leaving. >> it's so chilling, that reporting, it's incredible. >> carol leonnig, we appreciate. it an in-depth look at someone that we looked earlier. why the committee is increasingly interested in her, and her response for a request to an interview. photos of the two americans in ukraine's, the photo which we can confirm appears to show them hands tied behind their
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>> early in the broadcast, we
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were just cool seeing the wife of supreme court justice clarence thomas, they say that they want her to appear before the panel, she told a conservative publication that she is open for the idea and can't wait to clear up misconceptions. thomas is of interest in large part because of her correspondence as one of the former presidents top legal advisers at the time eastman, who we have talked tonight. he is a former clerk for thomas's husband. randi kaye has more. >> clarence thomas, the best man walking the face of the earth -- >> wife of supreme court justice clarence thomas has some explaining to do. like what about those emails she exchanged with conservative attorney john eastman, who the house january six committee says help divides a scheme to overturn joe biden's victory. it's unclear what ginni thomas, a well-known conservative activists said to easement in
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the email or if she will appear before the committee to try to explain any of it. the committee is also investigating more than two dozen text messages ginni thomas sent days after biden's victory to mark meadows, who is donald trump's chief of staff. >> the second reagan revolution is growing. >> in one text from november of 2020, ginni thomas wrote to meadows, help this great president stand firm, the majority knows biden is attempting the greatest heist of our history. in another she seemed to embrace a long held false qanon conspiracy theory, that trump had water marked mail-in ballot so that he could track potential fraud. she wrote to meadows, water marked ballots and over 12 states have been part of the huge trump and military white house sting operation in 12 key battleground states. and ginni thomas also stood by lawyer sydney powell who spread the long deep on conspiracy theory that electronic voting machines had somehow switched ballots from trump to biden.
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she wrote to meadows, sounds like sydney and her team are getting inundated with the evidence of fraud, make a plan. release the kraken, and save us from the left, taking america down. at one point, the washington post reports, ginni thomas urged meadow to watch a youtube video about the power of never conceding. in an interview, this year with the conservative website the freebie can, ginni thomas said she briefly attended the general sticks rally at the capitol, but returned home before the insurrection. ginni thomas did not respond to cnn's request for comment, and eastman's attorney declined to comment. >> my wife is totally my best friend. >> according to clarence thomas 2004 biography, ginni thomas was born virginia lamp and raised in omaha, nebraska. her father reportedly was an engineer, and her mother was an outspoken republican activists who played a prominent part in her daughter's life. according to the new york times, she joined her high school republican club in 1974.
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later at creighton university in omaha, she learned a lot of green move to washington to work as an aide for than congressman -- a conservative from the basket. she reportedly met clarence thomas in 1986, at a conference on affirmative action. they married in 1987. >> it was on my desk, don't make fun of your wife's choices, you are one of them. >> i clarence thomas -- >> in 1991, in the washington post, of friend described the couple as intellectual soulmates. the new york times reported clarence thomas described her as a gift from god. randi kaye, cnn, palm beach, county florida. we >> are learning more about what authorities say was an assassination -- and about the kind of weapons and equipment that the suspect was carrying. what's new details have we learned? >> anderson, prosecutors have laid out these new details which show that they had a long list of items with him which
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includes dozens of rounds of ammunition, the indictment shows that he had two magazines loaded with ten around each of nine millimeter bullets and 17 other rounds of basically lose ammunition that were contained in a plastic bag. he also had a black speed loader, that's a mechanism, an after market product that can help quickly reload ammunition and edition to that indictment shows that he had a black harden occult tactical club of, a black thermal imaging binoculars, tactical knife, zip ties among other items. this man, 26-year-old, is now facing one count of attempting to assassinate a justice of the united states. police say roske flew from clive fournier to maryland to target kavanaugh because he was upset over this pending abortion ruling as well as a pending second amendment ruling. he was also angered over the shooting in uvalde texas. he indicated to police that he believed that kavanaugh would loosen gun laws and he told
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police that he wanted to give his life purpose by killing the justice and then himself. police say his plan was to break into kavanaugh's house and do just that. montgomery police chief marcus jones told cnn that once he arrived at his home and sought to deputy u.s. marshals posted outside, he quickly turned around to contemplate his next move. >> he had actually arrived in a taxicab, near the residents of justice kavanaugh, at which point in time he began to walk down the street to actually see the residents, where he observed the u.s. marshals were actually there guarding the u.s. supreme court justice, and his family. and so, the individual decided to continue to walk by. if he could have, if there was the opportunity, i think he had significant plans to break into the residence.
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i think he had actual plans to actually do what he was going to do. >> anderson, it was his sister who reached out to who convince them that he should call 9-1-1 so again, a very close call there based on what police have said. if convicted, anderson, roske faces a maximum sentence of life in federal prison. back to you. >> we appreciate. a danger in yellowstone is not over, the threat of more flooding and in the surrounding area, coming up next. you can't always avoid triggers like stress. qulipta™ can help prevent migraine attacks. you can't prevent what's going on outside that's why qulipta™ helps what's going on inside. qulipta™ is a pill. gets right to work to prevent migraine attacks and keeps them away over time. qulipta™ blocks cgrp, a protein believed to be a cause of migraine attacks. qulipta™ is a preventive treatment for episodic migraine. most common side effects are nausea, constipation, and tiredness. learn how abbvie can help you save on qulipta™.
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tonight parts of yellowstone are facing the threat of more flooding. this just days after raging waters washed away bridges and homes. rain could fall again and temperatures would climb into the 80s and 90s resulting in more snowmelt. >> reporter: the water plant in billings wasn't built to work when the river runs 15 feet or below but this week it hit 16.5 feet. a record high that forced it to close briefly. >> this is just unreal.
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we are just glad this one is still here. >> this is one up river that did not survive. before and after. >> just how abnormal was this rush of water? just this time last year it was running at 8000 cubic feet per second. this week it hit 87,000 feet. >> we started moving cattle to the back about noon and up front where there are higher ground. the last ones had to swim out it was so deep. it was all you can see, was their heads. >> further up, the river ran through it. left behind by floodwaters. the southern part of yellowstone park might -- a new satellite images show what little is left of the only road in.
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the flooding was field by heavy rain and high temperatures melting snow. tonight, similar conditions return. >> overnight last night was perfect. temperatures were below freezing on top of the snow. so, stopping the melting in its tracks and freezing the snow back up but then, by tomorrow, more temperatures will above freezing and more melting and even by saturday, the possibility of rain. there is more snow on top of those mountains. >> our exclusive video shows what this river has already brought. so, where has the governor been? we don't know because, he won't say. the first with that something might be strange was tuesday when the lieutenant governor, not the governor, signed a disaster declaration. one of his senior advisors just told us this evening that the governor and his wife left the state on saturday, the day before the floods.
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they went overseas on a personal trip and he will not say where citing security reasons. they are back tonight and the governor will be visiting the flooded areas tomorrow. everyone is a lot of vacation but it is the amount of time it has taken him to come back and the secrecy that has raised eyebrows. he was active on social media saying that they were closely monitoring the flooding. he did not say where he was monitoring it from but he was not inside of the state. there is a whiff of ted cruz in cancun when the power went out in texas last year but, i can end with some better news. rain and snow melt is coming but the good news, it is probably going to raise the river by 2 feet and hopefully that will not cause any more damage. >> we appreciate it. we will be right back.
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tonight an update from ukraine. a 20 year veteran of the u.s. marine corps, his family has not heard from him since late april. a photo posted on the television shows two other volunteer americans that are missing. they were captured by russian forces. we cannot verify where this photo was taken. and -- are both from alabama. they were with ukraine forces north of kharkiv.