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

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good evening. the very best this country can be was on display today as 15 migrants flown to martha's vineyard shared a state government promising to shelter them and provide emergency services. today they were sent to a military base on cape cod after locals had donated man power and tens of thousands of dollars to help and also greeting them. cnn has spoken to more than a dozen of these venezuelans, all of whom say they're fleeing repression in their home country. they're all claiming asylum and have hearings going forward in cities across the country. the man who's taken credit for what president biden has called playing politics with human beings, florida governor ron desantis, promised these flights are only the beginning. >> so they've been in texas identifying people trying to come to florida and then offering them free transportation to sanctuary jurisdictions, and so they went from texas to florida to martha's vineyard. it was a flight. there's s also going to be buse and there'll likely be more e
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flights.s. but i'll tell you thisis, the legislature gave me $12 million. we're going to spend every penny of that to make sure we're protecting the people of the state of florida. >> governor ron desantis along with the governor of texas are transporting migrants to well-known liberal enclaves. critics say they're being used as props. the governors and their supporters say it's a protest of what they say is an inadequate federal response of crossing the border. more on the politics of this debate in a moment. cnn's miguel marquez has been on martha's vineyard and has their story. >> reporter: after less than 48 unexpected hours in martha's vineyard, nearly 50 venezuelan migrants were given a warm send-off. volunteers embracing each person as they boarded buses, then ferries, and onto the next part of their long journey.
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their announced arrival wednesday all part of a campaign by texas governor greg abbott and florida governor ron desantis to send migrants to see called sanctuary cities by surprise. >> all we're trying to do is offer transport to sanctuary jurisdictions free to the alien, but certainly not mandatory, and that way they're able to go and these sanctuary jurisdictions can put their money where their month is. >> reporter: these immigrants were picked up in texas. all of them say they were taken to a hotel to wait and then boarded planes. well, we didn't know until last minute our destination such as new york where our relatives reside, he says. we came with, as i say, the idea of reuniting with them. other immigrants we spoke to here say they were promised all sorts of things including jobs and housing, things that never materialized. we were told it was humanitarian aid by a foundation that in this case remains unknown, he says. they didn't tell us the benefactor. they just told us that the
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person wanted to help us. while volunteers and officials in martha's vineyard promptly responded and cared for their unexpected guests, lawyers insisting saying the stop did nothing but detour already desperate people. >> it is sickeningly cruel throwing obstacles in the way of people fleeing violence and oppression, some of whom walked through ten countries in the hopes of finding safety. it is shameful and inhuman. >> reporter: the incident which governor desantis proudly took credit for slammed by some massachusetts officials. >> if this was about sort of alleviating capacity in border towns or helping migrants seeking a better life, you know, you don't do it by essentially a surprise unannounced transport, right. >> reporter: you guys obviously stepped up, but how much more complicated was it because they were sent here? >> my heart breaks for them because they were not the first priority. i hope they feel exceptionally
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welcome. they're in my heart forever. don't know what else to say. >> cnn's miguel marquez joins us now from vineyard haven on martha's vineyard. what happens next to these people? is it clear how long they're going to be at that military base on cape cod? >> reporter: well, so one thing people here on martha's vineyard and others across the country have done is raise a lot of money for these people as well. even though they've left the island there is going to be money available to them, almost $200,000 today from people here on the vineyard want to continue to support them. now they're on this military base a lot of them have hearings in other cities, los angeles, washington state, cincinnati, back in texas to washington, d.c. they're going to meet with lawyers here, hook them up with lawyers in other places and get them to the place they need to go so their asylum cases can be heard and they can remain here
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legally, which is what everybody wants. >> and just to be clear right now their status you say you've spoken to 17 of them, they all say they're applying for asylum. that's a legal process that they declare at the border, correct? so they are here. they're allowed to be here while that process goes through. >> they are allowed to be here. they are legally here. you know, governor desantis has spoken about the repression in venezuela. they are fleeing that repression. they've come here looking to take advantage of their asylum status, and that is what they are now on track to do. >> miguel marquez, appreciate it. speaking now on all this we go to the former governor of massachusetts. what do you think of governor desantis sending migrants to martha's vineyard, and what is your reaction to how the people on the vineyard and cape have responded? >> on the first question,
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anderson, i think probably my reaction is like most americans from either party and no party at all. we don't think -- most of us don't think it is right to treat human people -- to treat human beings as cargo, to treat them as props in a political stunt. it's wrong. these are folks who have come to this country seeking asylum, which is a legal process, by the way. it is not an illegal entry. and the governor of florida has apparently gone out of his way using what money, whose money i don't know, but to charter a flight to go to texas to bring folks to martha's vineyard without any forewarning to local officials or preparation. the leaders here have been residents of martha's vineyard who have stepped up in marvelous ways and demonstrated what grace looks like. and i believe what patriotism looks like.
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>> is this do you think from governor desantis and the others we've seen do this just a publicity stunt ahead of the mid-terms, a way to get attention and, you know -- >> well, i think so. the leaders ought to be about solving problems. this doesn't solve a problem. we have a serious challenge at the southern border as we all know in terms of immigration. what we need are solutions. what we need are better rules. we have rules, but we need better ones. this administration, the biden administration is trying to develop those rules. that's leadership. the biden administration, by the way, needs republican partners to help develop those rules and improve them and strengthen them and make them as effective as possible. that is leadership. what we've seen from the governor of florida and the governor of texas is not leadership. it's showmanship. and sadly, anderson, we get a whole lot more of that in
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politics today than americans deserve. >> what actual solution have they offered? none. everybody can see that. it's just another kind of chance to poke somebody else in the eye and poke each other in the rear. so i don't know what it is we decided to turn office -- offices over to bullies, but that is apparently what we've done in parts of the country. >> these governors, they've all made statements to the effect their states are overburdened with people crossing their borders and they're doing this to call attention to the fact the federal government is not doing enough to secure the borders. obviously you don't agree with the tactics. do you think more should we done to assist border states with immigration? >> i think we have a serious immigration problem and it requires a comprehensive solution.
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if there is more that the federal government needs to do for those states to address particular issues in those states, then the federal government should do it. and we should acknowledge that there are people particularly in border communities in and along our southern border who are anxious about this, who are are worried about this, in some cases afraid because of the surge from time to time of immigrants over the border. that's an issue, and leaders need to show comfort and support around that. that's not what we're getting from these governors. i'd like them to tell us and more to the point tell the federal government the support they feel they need, because most asylum seekers as is the case here in massachusetts, are supported by volunteers, by agencies of one kind of another, sometimes by family members, distant relatives, not by government support. so if there are specific needs, sure. they know the phone number in the white house and how to make those calls. but spending money on airplanes
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and other ways to take people to dispoint places and lying to them in order to get them on those planes, it's just immoral. >> governor deval patrick, thank you. >> thank you. >> i want to take a close look now at the two republican governors behind the flights and busing of migrants, governors ron desantis and greg abbott of texas. here's cnn's ed lavandera. >> reporter: while residents of martha's vineyard hugged and cared for a group of about 50 venezuelan migrants sent to the island from texas on chartered planes courtesy of florida's republican governor ron desantis, a group of venezuelan and latino activists gathered in miami to lash out. >> he has to stop. we demand him to stop using our pain, our suffering, and our desperation for his political gain.
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>> this was a publicity stunt that is the lowest common denominator of human decency. >> reporter: the son of cuban exiles and a former republican state representative from miami. he says at this point it's not clear yet if desantis has angered the reliably republican political base of cubans and venezuelans in florida. >> from what i've heard on cuban radio today they haven't mentioned it which is probably the fact they don't know how to deal with it. so there probably will be a negative side to this. this may be the step too far. >> governor desantis vows to keep as many migrants out of florida as possible through his relocation program. >> i've got 12 million for us to use, so we are going to use it. and you're going to see more and more, but i'm going to make sure we exhaust all those funds. >> reporter: florida is home to the largest populations of cuban and venezuelan immigrants fleeing socialistic dictatorships. but there are deep divisions in
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these communities. there are venezuelans who are hard core trump supporters, and basically these are folks that believe that there should be a hard line on everything. >> reporter: for several months texas governor greg abbott has put 11,000 migrants on some 250 buses with some going to cities of democratic leaders like washington, d.c., chicago, and new york. texas division of emergency management figures show it has cost the state more than $12 million. abbott has repeatedly appeared on fox news to showcase the busing program. >> most of america has not really understood the magnitude of the problem we have on the border until we started sending these buses up to new york. >> for any politician that uses this issue in the ways these two gentleman have, it is the worst kind of cynicism that we have in politics today. >> reporter: a former state democratic representative from the texas border town of eagle pass. his home overlooks the rio grande into mexico.
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he says if there's a political price to pay for these political stunts, abbott and desantis haven't experienced it yet. there are a lot of people who criticize abbott and desantis and say what they're doing is inhumane and not right, but do you think for the average voter out there it matters? >> i think it may not. >> reporter: a university of texas and texas politics project poll this week found that abbott's busing of migrants has about 52% support among texas voters including 50% support among independent voters. >> the response they got was exactly what they wanted, which is what are you doing, why are you sending them here? it looks like a border town. that's what they wanted and they got it. >> reporter: and the governors of texas and florida say they'll continue to do more of the same. ed lavandera, cnn, dallas. still to come tonight cnn's nick paten walsh joins us from ukraine and shows us some of the true horrors of war uncovered, a mass burial site with hundreds
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repugnant and horrifying, those are the words today by the white house to describe the discovery of the mass burial site containing hundreds of bodies in an area of ukraine recently occupied by the russians. our nick paten walsh is there we want to warn you some of the images he saw are obviously disturbing. >> reporter: here is where the horror gets names and numbers. russia's unprovoked invasion killed many. but only now in liberated cities like izium are we finding out who and how. and even this rain cannot erase the smell and how death haunts these pines. it's important to point out this was a military position. these are tank positions around the city, presumably for the
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russians when they occupied it. burying these bodies where their troops were laid to rest to defend the city. ukrainian officials have said over 400 bodies were buried here, even children, all showing signs of a violent death. through the day they have been exhuming dozens of bodies, most individual graves, numbered and orderly, one bearing a number as high as 398. but this, we are told and can smell and see, is a mass grave where 17 dead were found, a policeman here told us. ukraine officials said bodies found include a family killed in an air strike, ukrainian soldiers shot with their hands bound and bodies showing signs of torture. >> some of the graves are marked just by a number, and others have someone's full history.
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who looks like he died age 82, buried here. >> reporter: this investigator tells us what he found in this spot. here are civilian bodies and military ones, further along he said, over 20 have been examined here and will be sent for further investigation. it seems to be the hurried extension of the long-term cemetery nearby. wreaths, coffins, candles. some people knew who they were burying, others next to this invader's campsite, likely not. the russians first hit the graveyard with an air strike and then moved in. >> translator: we tried not to go out because it was scary where they brought their special machines, they dug some trenches for their vehicles. we only heard how they were destroying the forest.
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when they left i don't know if there was fighting or not. we just heard a lot of heavy trucks one night a week ago. >> reporter: we saw multiple refrigerated lorries leaving town but were asked not to film the contents of this one. part of where the history of russia's brutal occupation will be written, and nothing can wash this site clean. >> nick paten walsh joins us now from kharkiv. what else can you tell us about the scale of what's happened there in the region of izium? >> reporter: yeah, i mean certainly this singular burial site in izium is horrifying to observe, but it's been referred to by ukrainian president volodymyr zelenskyy as something potentially in the same sentence as what we saw around bucha, the ukrainian capital of kyiv, a district
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around there where clearly it seems russian war crimes shooting civilians dead. what seems to be here slowly exhumed may possibly end up being evidence of war crimes, but there were also other suggestions people may have died there in other ways. one said they weren't sure when people died, perhaps they died during the ukraine defense of the city or the russian occupation. so there is work still to be continued there, but a very clear series of strident allegations from ukrainian officials we are seeing evidence thereof atrocities by russian troops. so many of the graves there yet to be exhumed. it's the early stages of this, although early stages that show clear signs of the horror, frankly, russia has inflicted. i should point out all the deaths that occur in this war ultimately you could hold moscow responsible for. >> nick paten walsh, appreciate it. just ahead new details what the president's legal team told the national archives last year, a special master has set his first hearing for next week.
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the justice department is expected to file an appeal at any time after a judge this week ruled against them, drastically slowing down their criminal probe. new revelations about what trump's team told the national archives when they first tried to get those boxes of documents back, stored at mar-a-lago. jessica schneider joins us now. what's the latest you know about this appeal by the justice department.
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>> we know the they could appeal at any moment. that's because they told the judge in this case they plan to appeal by the end of the week. here we are. of course last night we heard the judge issuing her ruling where she said essentially she'll not back down and she'll not let the doj use the classified documents they recovered at mar-a-lago in continuing their criminal investigation. so obviously doj wants to appeal all that. doj also has to wait until the special master that's been named has reviewed all the classified documents to use them. presumably here there's a lot for doj to appeal. you know, not only did judge eileen canon say they couldn't continue their investigation, but she also cast a lot of doubt that their existence at mar-a-lago may have imperilled national security. so at this point doj lawyers, they're likely parsing through the issues they actually want to appeal and could appeal really at any moment, any day, any hour before the 11th circuit here, anderson. >> there's also new reporting about what the former president's team told the national archives about what he
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had in his possession. >> that's right, our jamie gangel is getting this information in. she's learned the then deputy white house council, he told the archives in september 2021 that trump's then-chief of staff, mark meadows, assured him that the boxes remaining at mar-a-lago only contained newspaper clippings, nothing classified. and he also said he'd been told no documents had been destroyed. so this conversation, it came as part of what was an extensive back and forth between trump's team and the archives. remember they were trying to get those boxes of presidential records back. of course we know eventually they did get 15 boxes back in january. what we've learned from the unsealed affidavit it was a lot more, of course, than newspaper clippings. it notably contained highly sensitive classified information that included human source information that could put those sources in danger if it's revealed. really, anderson, this is another piece of information
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about how there was this very extensive back and forth between trump's team and the archives. and, you know, trump and his team perhaps not being completely forthright when it comes to what remained at mar-a-lago. and then one last thing, anderson, i want to mention that we have learned tonight. that when it comes to the special master case and moving forward with that, there will be a hearing in brooklyn at 2:00 p.m. on tuesday, and that's because the special master here really has to come up with a plan in the next ten days because the clock is ticking. you know, he has to review 11,000 documents, and the deadline is the end of november, anderson. >> jessica schneider, thanks so much. perspective now from elie honing and john dean who famously serve as white house counsel to president nixon. so what do you expect the substance to be? >> one, they could appeal everything, the entire appointment of the special master, the entire process. two, there could be a middle ground where they only appeal the part of the ruling that relates to the classified
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documents. as jessica pointed out those are the most sensitive documents and doj may say let us have those, take those out of the purview of the special master. or, three, it's possible -- not likely but possible doj decides not to appeal at all. the strategic considerations here on the one hand doj hates this ruling. they lost this ruling. they think the judge is wrong. on the other hand, an appeal takes time, takes months. and if they do appeal they might lose. if you lose on the circuit level it is much worse in terms of precedent than losing on the trial court level. >> john, what would the department of justice be looking for in the appeal of judge canon's decision? >> well, i think one of the things they'll certainly look at will be the -- where she's gone with executive privilege. she is writing law that does not exist. she's writing instructions to a special master who's going to start meeting next week that really are not clear directions.
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he will have no idea exactly where to do -- take this, how to schedule it. and i think some of the first things they're going to have to do is narrow down exactly what his assignment is. so it's a very, very messy situation right now. i'm convinced they're going to appeal something, as elie says we don't know exactly what. >> as you heard tonight according to a source familiar with the exchange, that the trump team told the national archives back in 2021 that the documents trump obtained were just newspaper clippings. if that's correct would there be legal jeopardy to the person or people who made those claims? mark meadows reportedly was the person who told the attorney that. >> it all depends on who knew what, anderson. clearly this was a false statement. the statement to the archives that this is only newspaper clippings, no more sensitive documents, that is false,
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demonstrably false. and the question is did mark meadows know it was false when he made that statement or did someone perhaps knowingly make that statement to mark meadows? if prosecutors can prove someone knowingly made the false statement then yes, it could approve the federal crime of making false statements or obstruction of justice. >> john, did it matter the person in question did not know they were telling a falsehood? in other words, could someone say, look, i was told by the former president these were newspaper clippings, nothing was shredded and no reason to believe otherwise? >> it will. their criminal intent is involved. if they knew they were making a false statement, that's criminal. and they did not and they had no duty to make inquiry further what they did, there'll be no problem for them. it's the chain of information that has to get sorted out, but you can bet they're all going to talk about where they got this information at some point. >> and elie, the judge, the special master in this case, they scheduled a preliminary
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conference for tuesday. what are both sides going to want out of that? what are their objectives going into that when they show up at this hearing? >> well, i think the judge certainly appreciates time is of the essence here. by the way, people are wondering why brooklyn, this is all in florida. it's because raymond dearie, the special master, is also a senior judge who sits in brooklyn. he's got to keep this on schedule, on track. he's been given a deadline of november 30th to get this review done, but there's a lot of work and process to be done. but he's not given as jessica said any intermediate deadline. i think we're going to see on tuesday the judge is going to say here what each side needs to do, here's when you need to do it by. he knows how to keep his courtroom in order. >> and john, do you think the conference was announced today and will happen on tuesday shows interest on the part of the judge as elie said to keep the
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case moving along quickly? >> i'm starting to think it does. he actually told both sides to come to him and present anything they wanted on the agenda, so they're expected to come in on tuesday and do that. one of the first things that could slow this down is the trump lawyers have to get cleared for top secret information if that stays part of the review material. if it's -- if the court appeals it or if the justice appeals it, they'll probably set that aside and go forward with the nonclassified information. >> john dean, elie honing, appreciate it. up next another night in london with thousands of people waiting to see queen elizabeth lying in state. the cold is wait, the line is long and they keep coming as the city prepares for the funeral bringing in some of the world's top leaders and plenty of security concerns. y sleep. so i can wake up refreshed. neuriva think bigger. have you seen my new phone yet? it like, folds in half. i love my phone i would never even think about switching. (gasping)
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a third day in london with thousands lined up still to pay respects to the late queen as she lies in state in westminster hall. the u.k. government warning there's at least a 25-hour wait time with cold temperatures throughout the night. they're also warning that the queue is near total capacity and asking people to not join the line. this all ahead of the queen's funeral on monday. it's obviously a remarkable moment in history, bringing world leaders and celebrities
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and every day citizens all under one roof while also posing some huge security concerns. the city is preparing by taking some pretty drastic safety measures. london metropolitan police said the funeral would be the single largest policing event -- they're calling it -- they've undertaken. ahead of monday's event they've already deployed more than 22 miles of barriers across central london. joining me now cnn intelligence analyst john miller. first of all, welcome to cnn. >> thanks. >> we're happy to have you back. what is the biggest security concern in an event like this? >> well, it's really the perfect storm if you're coming from the counter terrorism world, which is you've got a globally live televised mega-event. you've got throngs of people. you've got literally every world leader on the planet. you could say that the
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leadership of 98% of the globe's population is going to be in one place at one time. you've got -- talking about plans of moving world leaders together in groups, which of course -- >> that's really unusual. >> very unusual. there's fewer motorcades, lower logistics but means higher collateral. >> world leaders sort of having a joint uber, multiple in like a people mover vehicle or -- >> i think without getting it into too much detail you're going to see something you don't often see in terms of moving them together. so i think, you know, from a counter terrorism standpoint it's a giant challenge. from a policing standpoint it's a giant challenge. anderson, you've got to look at the metropolitan police. it's not a department that's been getting bigger. it's been getting smaller. i think they have for about 31,000 people, but they've gone through many budget cuts. they've got terrible morale issues because of scandals,
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criticisms, political buffeting. you've got a commissioner, mark rowely, who has been there really about a week now. >> is that right? and the prime minister has been there a couple days. >> a couple days, right. now, on the good side morale problems aside, this gives the met a chance to shine. the officers are stepping up. it's a largely unarmed police department in a country that's not gun crazy. and you've got four years of planning that's gone into this. and mark rowley, the new commissioner was the former head of counter terrorism from 2018. this way of planning, knowing his way around an event like this, knowing what potential adversaries are thinking, this is what he's practiced for forever. >> one of the things i was struck by when i was there is not just a big police presence it's there were thousands of -- tens of thousands probably of i assume civilians in yellow vests who were sort of crowd -- to
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interact with the crowd and sort of keep things moving along, and they were spaced along the route that the queen's casket was going to take. maybe every 5 feet you would see these people, so it seems -- when you say the police force is only that size, they have clearly brought in a lot of civilians just to help with crowds and the like. >> and they've brought in police officers from every other police department in great britain and the united kingdom. so, you know, that's 50 departments have all contributed people. >> you also have this logistical challenge of, you know, elderly people waiting in line, elderly people along the route wanting to see everything. and people, i mean, getting injured or having heart attacks or fainting. there's a lot of -- >> layers and layers and layers. so you've got the counter terrorism overlay. that's having armed specialist teams waiting in the wings, the armed response vehicles. it means having bomb squad
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people who are not going to block off blocks and seal off areas but who can quickly resolve a suspicious package pause you've got an event going around it. you've got those minders as you were talking about also doing another job, which is they're looking at that crowd. frankly, if i was looking at it from a counter terrorism standpoint, the vulnerability -- the key vulnerability isn't really the royals or the world leaders. it's the throngs of people that in and of themselves in a country already seen ramming attacks, knife attacks in crowds on multiple occasions, that is probably the greatest vulnerability. and that's something they're paying a great deal of attention to and planning around. >> john miller, appreciate it. thank you very much. >> thanks. as the world repairs bid their final farewell to the queen, we take a look at the most memorable moments and impacts. >> the shadow of death huddled
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over king george of england as these last pictures were made. >> reporter: mid-morning on february 6, 1952 when the word came. king george vi had died in the night from a coronary thrombosis. he was 56. >> unknowingly he was bidding a final farewell to his daughter elizabeth and her husband, prince philip. >> reporter: newspapers carried the story throughout london with the headline "the king is dead." his daughter, 25-year-old princess elizabeth, flew back to britain from a royal trip to kenya as queen elizabeth ii. what followed was a five-hour blackout on bbc television and nine days of mourning. >> all over the world flags are at half mast for a man of quiet dignity who kept firm the bonds of empire. >> reporter: in 2002 queen elizabeth, the queen mother, widow of king george vi, passed away at the age of 101. she had requested that her funeral be held at westminster abbey like her husband's had,
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then she, too, was buried at saint georges chapel at windsor castle. he affectionately called his wife of 73 years lilabeth. he was 99. philip himself was deeply involve in the planning of his own funeral. he saw the design and process nearly two decades before his death. but it was the death of princess diana in 1997 that drew massive coverage. her sons, prince william 15 and harry 12, walked stoically behind their mother's horse drawn coffin with a card reading mummy on it. it left an indelible mark on the nation and the world. >> no one who knew diana will ever forget her. millions of others who never met her but felt they knew her, will
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remember her. >> reporter: when diana died musician elton john and his cowriter rewrote the lyrics to "candle in the wind" as a tribute to her. >> with beauty both internal and external will never be extinguished. >> reporter: as the queen is soon laid to rest, perhaps her majesty said it best -- grief is the price we pay for love. and now a nation stands together to grieve, to remember, and to love. randy kaye, cnn. >> i'll be back in london for cnn's live coverage of queen elizabeth's state funeral on monday. i hope you join me and the rest of our team starting at 5 a.m. eastern time. still to come tonight president biden meeting with the family of wnba star brittney griner and former marine paul whelan, both who remain in jail
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in russia. what griner's wife is saying about the meeting next. see... ys good and bad bacteria. and when you get off balance, you may feel it. the bloating, the gas - but align helps me trust my gut again. plus, its recommended by doctors nearly 2x more than any other probiotic brand. just one a day naturally helps promote a balanced gut. and soothe occasional bloating gas and discomfort. align probiotic. welcome to an align gut.
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at the white house tonight president biden met for the first time with family members
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of the wnba star brittney griner and former u.s. marine paul whelan, who are both detained in russia. griner was detained in february for carrying vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her luggage. she pled guilty to drug charges and faces nine years in prison. whelan was convicted on espionage charges that he denies. he's been in prison for more than three years and faces a total of 16 years in prison. tonight's meetings at the white house took place separately. the biden administration has been pushing for the release of both americans, saying that they are wrongfully detained. and days ago, cnn reported that former new mexico governor bill richardson and his team were in moscow holding meetings with russian leadership. his group worked privately on behalf of families of hostages and detainees. joining us with more is cnn political correspondent abby phillip, anchor of "inside politics sunday." i know you spoke with brittney griner's wife late this evening. what did she say about how the meeting went? >> yeah, anderson, just a few
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minutes ago i got on the phone with cheryl griner for a few minutes, and she was generally appreciative of this meeting. remember she's been pushing to meet with president biden for a few months now. she thought that a meeting with biden would be pivotal in the process to bring brittney griner home. and she said she came out of this meeting feeling confident that the biden administration was doing all they could do to bring b.g. home. she said president biden wanted to reassure her and i think the other family members of paul whelan, who he also met with today, that he's committed to making this happen and that he was going to put forward pretty much any effort that it took. but she acknowledged that there have been some setbacks, some roadblocks in that process, not the least of which is just the dismal state of u.s./russia relations right now. >> and mrs. griner has been
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pushing for a face-to-face meeting for a long time. she told you how she felt she needed to speak to the president. does she feel like she got what she want out of the meeting? >> she wanted to hear obviously president biden say that he had been able to strike a deal. but one of the reasons that she was so insistent on having this meeting is that when it came to another prisoner who had been detained in russia, trevor reed, who was released earlier this year, his family had met with biden shortly before that release happened. and so she told me that she hopes that perhaps this meeting might precede b.g.'s release, but she healey has no idea and did not get a sense at this meeting that any deal was imminent. she did say, though, that president biden alluded to some of the reporting that cnn and other outlets have had that the biden administration has discussed with russia trading at least one prisoner here in the united states in exchange for whelan and for griner. he alluded to that but did not share a lot of concrete details about what the state of those negotiations are.
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>> is it clear to what extent or if any extent the fates of brittney griner and paul whelan are actually linked? does the griner family feel like any deal would likely be for both of them? >> i think the sense is both from what i've heard from cherelle after her meeting with biden and others that there is a sense that their fates are very much linked. the biden administration is talking to russia about bringing both of these americans home and offering to russia what they think ought to be enough to bring them both home. paul whelan has been detained longer than brittney griner, but it's this pressure that biden has faced publicly from cherelle griner and the wnba, the nba and many, many others that has really brought this situation to this point. anderson, i want to add, you know, one thing i did ask her. she's been talking to her wife via letters over the last several months. and she said that just in the last few weeks, those letters have really taken a very dark turn.
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she said, her wife is really at a breaking point. she said, she is losing it, partly because what comes next is an appeal process. that appeal process is not really likely to go brittney griner's way. and if it does not, she could be sent over to a russian labor camp. >> abby philip, thanks so much. coming up a very personal look at loss and grief and the impact it has on all of us. we'll be right back. [laughter] hey, i was thinking about going back to school to get my master's... i just saw something that said you could do it in a year for like $11k.
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i want to remind you about my new podcast. it's my first podcast. it's called "all there is." it debuted at number on apple podcasts, which i'm grateful for. if you point your cell phone camera at that qr code, you can get a link to the podcast. you can also find it on amyl podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. i started recording alone while packing up my mother's apartment after her death, and it's a process we'll all go through, as is grief.
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i realize people don't talk much about it, and that adds to the loneliness of it. loss and grief are among the most universal of human experiences. they're bonds we all share. the first episode is available now. the second one will go online next week. i hope you'll give it a listen. the news continues. i want to hand it over to "don lemon tonight." this is "don lemon tonight." the doj asking for the 11th circuit to take action, quote, as soon as practicable. now, according to the filing tonight just one day after the appointment of a special master, and i'm quoting now from the filing although the government believes the district court fundam fundamentally erred in appointing a special master the