tv Don Lemon Tonight CNN August 7, 2021 12:00am-1:00am PDT
women. his lawyers attacking an investigation by the state attorney general as flawed and biased just as one of governor cuomo's accusers files a criminal complaint against him. also tonight with the number of new covid-19 cases surging to nearly 100,000 per day, hundreds of thousands of bikers gathering for the giant sturgis motorcycle rally in south dakota, which experts fear will be a superspreader event. we're going to hear from some of the bikers just ahead. and new focus tonight on a trump ally at the doj pushing the big lie and trying to overturn the election by claiming, without evidence, hacking by chinese intelligence. i want to bring in now cnn's senior justice correspondent evan perez. evan, good evening to you. so we are hearing more each day about what trump ally jeffrey clark was doing within the doj to overturn the election. this latest development may be the most wild of all of them. it involves -- listen to this -- a bogus claim about special
thermometers from china. take it away. >> reporter: right. i know. you can't even say it with a straight face, right? this is what he believed. he said -- this is jeffrey clark. he was the head of the civil division at the time, the acting head of the civil division of the justice department in the closing days of the previous administration. and he said that he had this information from his own secret sources that said that the chinese intelligence had some kind of special thermometer that they could use to alter vote totals. the answer, of course, is they don't. but he asked his superiors at the justice department, jeff rosen, who was the acting attorney general and richard donahue, who was the deputy attorney general at the time, for permission to get a special high-level classified briefing from the director of national intelligence to try to check this out. he went over for that briefing, don, around the turn of the year and was told that the intelligence showed that there was no such thing. there was no evidence that there
was foreign interference that altered the vote totals, something that of course we've known. and he came away not convinced. he kept pushing this idea, and of course we know he helped try to orchestrate a coup at the justice department, trying to get trump to fire rosen. in the end, trump did not do that, but it shows you how close things came there in those crucial days. >> it's -- it just -- everything -- it grows more absurd by the day. >> reporter: yeah. >> cnn is learning that the january 6th select committee is weighing whether to go after call logs from the trump white house on the day of the riot. what would that tell them? >> reporter: you know, there's a lot that they can learn. one of the things that i think the investigators want to know is what were the calls -- who was calling whom at the white house, including from the pentagon, including members of congress. we know mark meadows, for instance, had another nutty theory that he pushed the justice department to investigate. for instance, he said he wanted them to look into whether
italian satellites were being used to change vote totals. this is the kind of thing that we know what's going on at the time, and some of these call logs could tell you a lot about what other witnesses they need to hear from, don. >> we have chinese thermometers, italian satellites, and jewish space lasers. >> reporter: can't make it up. right. >> oh, boy. have a good weekend. thank you, evan. joining me now, cnn's fareed zac zacarias. the former president was laying the groundwork for the big lie even before the election. he and his cronies pushed it right up to the insurrection. it is clear from everything that we know that he was attempting a coup. do you have faith that our democracy will hold up if this happens again? >> i think you're touching on
the most worrying part about the trump legacy, which is the post-truth society that he has built. >> yes. >> you know, trump recognized that what he needed to be able to do was manipulate the truth, manipulate the message. and he went at it by essentially saying there is no such thing as truth. there are no such thing as facts. i facts i don't like are fake facts. now, that is really attacking the core of the western enlightenment project, the kind of values that america was built on, the enlightenment and the scientific revolution. when you start to go into that world of a kind of never-neverland where there are no actual facts, january 6th didn't happen, or it happened in a completely different form, yeah, i worry a great deal because what is the bulwark if you can't establish that actually what happened there was a violation of our constitutional principles and
traditions? where do we go because, you know, it's not as though the trump republicans are saying, yes, it was a violation. yes, we agree with these facts, but we're not going to punish him. actually black is white. what you thought you saw actually didn't happen. it's the most bizarre head fake, you know, that i can imagine. >> what i've been saying i've noticed over these last couple years, fareed, and maybe this is beyond our pay grade. i'm not a psychologist or psychologist. what it has done to people's psyche and their mentality, the way that they think, they think differently. i wonder if in a way it's somehow rewired people's brains to believe in lies or just to be able to create their own reality to fit what they want it to fit because i can't explain just the absurdity of it all and just the lack of people being moored to any sort of truth. >> well, you're seeing a direct
line. so to confirm what you're saying, you're seeing a direct line between the post-truth message that trump has sent out for the last four years and what is happening with vaccines. you have a group of americans, something like 20%, 25%, maybe 30%, who despite overwhelming scientific evidence, despite overwhelming scientific expertise, weighing in, telling them, pleading with them to get the vaccine, who simply won't get a vaccine. so they are denying themselves the treatment, the cure against a deadly disease that has killed 600,000 people, almost twice as many americans as died in world war ii. they're denying themselves the cure for that because they have come to believe the series of falsehoods, lies, myths, conspiracy theories. so it's a pretty powerful belief system that makes you do things that are actually going to harm your own health.
>> yeah, and your own well-being. it's like this isn't really true, but i want it to be true, so i'm going to grab it to try and shape it into or make it into my own reality. it's bizarre. the former president and his allies didn't really care about truth, right? they were intent on weaponizing parts of the government to build up a false reality and then stay in power. what is it going to take to restore the damage from all of that, or can we do it? are we too far gone? >> it's a great question, don, and it's one, you know, i don't really have a good answer. but i do think that when we confront problems like this issue of vaccination, i think we have to stop trying to coddle people who are simply willfully denying facts and truths and science. >> have you been watching my show, fareed? >> you're not going to be able to persuade them. you have to get tough. you have to start making it very, very difficult for people to be around in a country where
they're spreading a disease or they're potentially spreading a disease. look at what macron did in france. despite all the protests, vaccination rates have surged in france because he just said, look, you know, life is going to be tough for people who refuse to do this. >> fareed, i hope you've been watching the show because i've been saying that over and over every single night, that at a certain point, some people are just not convincible. you can't convince them, and you have to put your focus on the people who are actually doing the right thing and protecting the people who are playing by the rules and are getting vaccinated and are actually helping their fellow man and themselves. >> look, you did the most -- to the extent one can persuade, you did the most extraordinary thing in getting that person who had not gotten vaccinated, got covid, and then from his hospital bed is sending a message through you to tell people to get vaccinated. maybe that can work. but i think the most important
thing at this point is to try and create a set of policies that, as you say, just say to people, look, you know, when you buy a car in america, you are forced to, required by law to wear seat belts, to drive observing the speed limit, not to be drunk when you're driving, to get insurance, to get regular inspections. we mandate vaccines, for goodness sakes. no kid can go to public school in america without getting a whole slew of vaccines. this is part of your responsibility as a citizen in a free society. >> it's just interesting to say, isn't there going to be a vaccine passport? would you call a driver's license a driving passport? in order to do certain things in society, you have to have a license or go through certain hoops for it. that's how democracy works. >> do you call your car inspection sticker an inspection
passport? guess what? we've got a lot of those passports. when you buy a home, you have to have an insurance passport. yes, you have documentation to prove that you are observing the law of the land. >> yeah. it's absurd. fareed zakaria, thank you. it's always a pleasure to see you. it's always a pleasure to watch you on fareed zakaria gps. thanks again. i want to turn to new york governor andrew cuomo's legal team fighting back against sexual harassment allegations against him. joining me now, cnn political commentator errol louis. thank you. here we go. we've been having these conversations since i said anything is possible in new york politics. have i not said that? >> you have said that. >> i have said that. what was your reaction to the approach of his attorneys that they took today, attacking the accusers and the investigation? what did you think? >> it was a little bit surreal. it was very tone deaf.
it involved victim blaming and some really strange departures into trivia frankly, minutia. they're trying to impeach the credibility of one of the accusers by showing some strange timeline, proving that she was, in fact, in the executive mansion where the governor was on a day when he was there. i'm not sure what they were trying to do, but it seemed to backfire. really what they were doing, don, is acting as if they were in a court of law, complaining about some pretty abstract procedural complaints that they had. but there's nobody to complain to. this is not a court of law. there is no judge to appeal to. this is a report that the governor himself had requested. the attorney general undertook the investigation and presented the report. the report is not what they like, and it doesn't make him look very good. but these are the facts that they found. and so they're going to -- they signaled really that they're going to fight in every way
possible even when it doesn't quite make sense. that's kind of where we are right now. >> you said they're acting as if they're in a court of law. but isn't this about the court of public opinion, no? because he's trying to stay in office. you say that you believe -- your words -- that these attacks on the victims or whatever, this strategy will backfire. why are you saying that? >> yes, yes, yes. listen, we're in a different place than we were even five years ago, let alone 10 or 20. core democrats in new york will not put up with women being attacked. in order to refute the 11 separate allegations by 11 women who are in completely different positions, in many cases don't know each other, he's going to have to come up with 11 different nefarious motives that all of these women independently enacted and rose up to try and use against the governor for some odd purpose. it's just not very plausible,
and i don't think most new yorkers are going to think that that's what happened, that 11 separate political plots by 11 different women were all concocted at great cost to them, by the way, in many cases and that it was all made up. it's just -- >> let me jump in here because i'm going to put up the polls here. before i put the polls up, because you said the majority of new yorkers, look, quite honestly i have heard people say, well, i don't think it was that bad, or i don't think he should resign. i'm sure you've heard that. you're out and about. >> yes. >> i've heard that even -- let's put the polls up. there's a quinnipiac poll that shows a majority of new yorkers all across the party think he should resign. again, he is defiant. what do you think of that, the folks who say, nope, shouldn't resign because we don't know who else is going to go. you heard all of it. >> yeah, i've heard it. there are people who are making what is, in my opinion, an immoral argument, saying that this is a good governor. he helped us get through covid.
some of us owe him our lives. he's a really good public servant. therefore -- therefore what? therefore 11 women should put up with harassment and have their personal dignity and their careers derailed or turned into like a play thing for somebody engaged in predatory behavior? they should, quote, take one for the team or something like that? it's not a moral argument. the reality is the law specifies and i think custom now, an evolving custom in new york and around the country is that people's personal dignity does matter, that not being harassed in the workplace is important, and that it's just as important as doing a good job if you're the leader of the state. and so those two things are actually not incompatible. it doesn't have to be one or the other. he could be a really good governor who did some really crummy things to some women for which he's going to be expected to pay the price. >> yeah. again, back to the court of public opinion today. you don't think he did himself
any favors -- i should say his attorneys did him any favors today? >> no, no, no. they left him worse than he was to be honest, don. >> didn't change any minds? >> certainly didn't change any minds. gave maybe some talking points to people who are already determined to defend the governor. we haven't seen any of them in public, but there are probably some people out there who voted for him and still think he's a pretty good guy and remember what a good job he's done over the years and in particular during the covid crisis. on the other hand, when asked direct questions, because it was a press conference, there were reporters who had some really simple questions, especially about the 11th accuser, the one we never knew about before, the trooper who was on his personal detail, and says that the rules were changed, that he met her briefly and then asked to have her on the personal detail, and that he did untoward things and touched her in a way that was sexual and suggestive and made all kinds of comments that she didn't like and she felt very uncomfortable about. so when asked about this, how
could he have done this, the lawyer didn't really have any answers. what she said was he met her briefly. he liked the fact she made eye contact and was assertive. and then he did all of these things to get her on his personal detail. she basically ended up confirming what the accusers had said, which is that after a very brief meeting, the governor went out of his way to change the rules, long-standing rules to put this woman on his personal detail. they did not do him any favors with that. >> i got a quick question if you can answer quickly. i'm not sure. i may be setting you up here. sorry if i'm doing that. the other thing i'm hearing, and i'm sure you as well, the legacy. there's, you know, the political legacy of the cuomo family, that andrew cuomo should be more concerned about that at this point than anything in trying to save or rescue that. is that a fair assessment? >> it is a fair assessment.
there were a lot of veterans of the mario cuomo and andrew cuomo administration who are part of the larger political family who are shaking their heads. they're devastated by this. they're saying this will affect the legacy. you've asked me each night, don, what would it take for the governor to just walk away from all of this. and really the answer is his blood family, his real family, his brother, his mother, his sister, his daughters. if they come to him and say, listen, this is -- this is doing damage beyond just you, beyond just your attempt at a re-election, beyond, you know, even your legal problems, there's the question of what the cuomos have meant to new york. and that's something we know that the governor takes very, very seriously. so where others have not been able to get through to him, that particular argument might resonate with him. >> errol, fascinating conversation as always. we'll have you back. errol louis, thank you, sir. and i see your tan suit, and i raise you an almost tan suit.
thank you very much. is this the next superspreader event that you're looking at right here? hundreds of thousands of people expected at south dakota's sturgis motorcycle rally this weekend. hear what some of the bikers have to say. that's next. expected heartburn... frank is a fan of pepcid. it works in minutes. nexium 24 hour and prilosec otc can take one to four days to fully work. pepcid. strong relief for fans of fast.
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cnn's adrian broad us is there. >> it's a massive roar that encapsulates our entire valley here. >> reporter: a defiant roar drowning any fears of the pandemic. >> you know what? i don't think about it. if it happens, you deal with it. i've never taken any vaccines since i was 6, so i'm good. >> reporter: sturgis, a town of about 7,000, is home to the largest motorcycle rally in the world. and once again, despite the rising number of covid cases, the pandemic won't keep an estimated 700,000 people away. >> if it were to cancel, that would have a massive ripple effect that would affect a lot of business owners as well as individuals. >> reporter: about 460,000 people hailing from all corners of the u.s. attended last year's rally. in a recent study, cdc researchers said at least 463 primary cases, including one death, were reported within two
weeks of the ten-day tradition. and another 186 were identified as secondary contact. cases were reported as far as florida and maine. are y'all concerned about covid at all? >> no. >> what was that? >> i'm vaccinated. >> my wife stayed home because she has covid right now. >> i already had it. >> are you concerned about covid this year, the delta? >> no. >> [ bleep ] no. >> no. i had it already. i kicked its butt. >> i wouldn't be surprised if you have a superspreader event there. >> reporter: this doctor with monument health fears a rise in cases and hospitalization starting ten days from the rally's start. >> there's no easy way to hold a mass gathering event. so the sturgis rally unfortunately is unstoppable. i think the best way around would be to get more people vaccinated and to hope that everyone will wear a mask because we don't have mask mandates here.
>> repor >> reporter: but carol and mike fellener aren't taking any chances. carol is packing their bags. >> our choice is to leave. we're still of the age where we can leave. we did not feel we had the choice to leave last year, so we stocked up, and we stayed home. >> reporter: as this couple escapes the constant rumble, others see sturgis as an escape from covid restrictions. but when everyone leaves again, the felleners fear covid will stick around. >> the people who came in for the rally are going to go home. it's not just it will spread here. it's going to spread far and wide. >> we do feel like the best solution for us in our stage of life is to leave, not be a part of it. >> reporter: meanwhile, south dakota's governor, kristi noem, is expected to participate in a charity ride on monday.
meanwhile, a lot of folks might be wondering what is the big deal? this rally is happening outside. well, health experts say the concern is when people leave from outside and go into bars. for example, if they're shoulder to shoulder or on crowded party buses. that's when there's an increased risk. think about it. last weekend there was a big music festival in chicago. but in order to get inside, even though that event was outside, people had to show proof of vaccination or a negative covid test. that's not required here. and it's a little quiet here right now, don. that's because riders are a few blocks away at a concert on a 600-acre campground. don? >> i do have to say, adrienne, it sounds fun. it really does, but be safe out there. mask up. i'll see you soon. thanks. officials worry that this will be a superspreader event. so what's going through the minds of some 700,000 people going to sturgis? i'm going to ask someone who has
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joining me now, public health expert brian cass true chi. he is the president and ceo of the debeaumont foundation. thank you, brian. thank you for joining. i want to start by getting your reaction to what's happening in sturgis. are you concerned about this, people from all over the country, many likely unvaccinated? you think this is going to be a superspreader event? >> i'm very concerned. the slogan this year for sturgis is "we're spreading our wings," but i'm concerned they're going to be spreading a lot more than just their wings and that this could be a real serious turn for our country. when you look at some of the data that's come out about the delta variant, this should be very concerning. governor noem has said there's a risk with everything we do in life. that doesn't mean we court risk. we don't do that to justify smoking or binge drinking. if you and i were sitting on a beach and there were sharks in the water, we wouldn't run in and say, life has risks.
>> it's interesting because as our reporter was pointing out, most places that have these big events, or most of these big events have that you've got to show your vaccine card. in many cases, you have to mask up and so on and so forth. but these are people who have been -- many of them, not all of them -- or i should say some of them because i don't really know the exact percentage -- who said, i'm not getting a vaccine. we're not doing it. we're not afraid of covid. i spoke with frank luntz last night. you know him, about a focus group that you did with 21 unvaccinated americans about what would convince them to get the vaccine. one of the biggest movers for people was mandates for vaccines in order to go to places like restaurants and gyms. what else did you find? >> i think it's time right now. we've done the education. we've done the messaging, and for a lot of people, it's just going to come down to a simple message. and that message is no. no, you can't get back to normal if you're unvaccinated. no, you can't go to your
university or work or that sporting event you want to go to. and i want to compliment places like disney and google and facebook who are stepping up and pr prioritizing community health over individual objection because right now, our house is on fire, and we want people to help stamp out the flames, not throw gasoline on it. >> we have to convince a lot of people very quickly to fix the situation we're in. are there any clear steps that you took from these conversations for how to get us there? >> well, actually i have some hopeful news from some data that we're going to release on monday. we just did a poll, frank and i together, on parents who are both vaccinated and unvaccinated. and this is what's hopeful. we have a confluence that's going to come together, and it's going to be the delta variant plus the fda full authorization when that happens. those two things working together create a real opportunity. from our data, 51% of
unvaccinated parents said that fda approval would increase their likelihood of getting their kids vaccinated. 56% of unvaccinated parents said that it increases their confidence in the vaccine. and then 66% of unvaccinated parents said that the delta variant makes them more concerned and more likely to get their kids vaccinated. so if we can use this opportunity when the fda goes to full authorization to really push around these are now extraordinarily safe, we've proven it, billions of people have gotten vaccinations, now let's move on and make the right choice for everyone. >> brian castrucci, i love that name. that's a good name. >> thank you, don. >> thank you, sir. we appreciate you coming on. he says that he's going to call special session after special session. texas governor greg abbott pushing to get voting restrictions made into law. that's next. and ahead, handcuffed while touring a home for sale. i'm going to speak to the black men who faced that. the sleep number 360 smart bed is on sale now. it's the most comfortable,
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56 years ago today, president lyndon johnson signed the voting rights act into law. but the road to getting the legislation was anything but easy. in 1964, three young civil rights workers murdered in mississippi while trying to register black voters. in february and march of 1965, demonstrators faced overwhelming violence as they demanded the right to vote, culminating with
bloody sunday. on march 7th, 1965, police officers attacked 600 marchers in selma, alabama, injuring dozens, including future congressman john lewis, who suffered a fractured skull. five months later, johnson signed the voting rights act into law. but in 2013, the supreme court struck down key provisions. and in 2018, a report by a federal commission found new state laws made voting more difficult for black and brown people. now the push for a new voting rights bill is at a boiling point. in texas, restrictive voting rights legislation led over 50 democratic state lawmakers to leave for washington, preventing a vote on the bill. but now governor greg abbott's calling a second special session to force a vote. joining me now, one of the texas democrats, state representative nicole collier. thank you, state representative, for joining us. i appreciate it. >> thank you, don. thank you for having me. >> i love the big texas flag behind you as well.
so, listen, you successfully blocked restrictive voting rights legislation in texas for now. but in just a few minutes, the first special session ends and governor abbott is already calling a second special session starting tomorrow afternoon. voting rights is still on the agenda, so now what? >> well, we knew this was going to happen. the governor has vowed to call special session after special session to get what he wants. in fact, he has used the more than 2,100 legislative employees as pawns in his game for power. so we know that he will stop at no -- [ inaudible ] >> representative collier? okay. representative collier, her shot has frozen. her skype has frozen. we will try to get her back. again, those lawmakers, some of them are still in washington. not sure if they're going to continue to stay there, if they're going to rotate in and
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client's 15-year-old son, who is seen here on police body cam video being put into handcuffs. all three were cuffed. they say if they were white, it wouldn't have happened. police say a white neighbor called 911 reporting a break-in after seeing the three men at the vacant home. this is dash cam video showing one of them leaving the house with his hands up. it turns out a different man was arrested at the home a week earlier for unlawful entry. police saying tonight in a statement, after a thorough internal review of the actions of each of our public safety officers who responded to this incident, we have concluded race played no role in our officers' treatment of the individuals, who were briefly detained and our officers responded appropriately. while it is unfortunate that innocent individuals were placed in handcuffs, our officers responded reasonably and according to department policy based on information available to them at the time. joining me now with, the prospe
home buyer. thank you for joining. i'm sorry this happened to you. let's discuss. eric, you heard what the police said. what did this feel like for you? did it feel like profiling, racial profiling? >> it did. honestly, it did. in that moment, it certainly felt that way. it's difficult to justify that type of what i felt a tactical type response. there was a strategy there, and they were surrounding the home without -- without our knowledge. we weren't made aware of their presence. so, yeah, for sure. i don't feel like -- a home had been on the market for this length of time, with the number of showings, given the climate and activity in our market, that no one else had that level of force or response. >> yeah. look, roy, i'm glad you're here
and you're healthy now, but you had to be worried that it wouldn't be the case while this was all happening. >> yeah. i was worried. i was very worried initially when it all started, you know, not knowing that the officers were out there until i saw two officers outside the window on the side of the home. once i saw the two officers with their guns drawn and i saw them doing hand signals, signaling each other to surround the house, and i noticed that, and one officer was heading to the back. and that's when i really got paranoid because i knew once they surrounded the home, they were preparing for a standoff. so my instincts told me we need
to get out of here. we need to get to where they can see that we're not a threat. but i can't say that my adrenaline wasn't pumping. i was worried, but i was just more concerned about getting my son out of that situation and getting us all out of there. >> i'm just wondering, what were the handcuffs all -- you guys walked out. you complied. i'm just wondering was there a need for handcuffs? but, you know -- anyway, samuel, i'm so sorry this happened to you. you know, just so people know, you're only 15 years old. i imagine that this was extremely frightening for you. what were your feelings after seeing all of this, after all of this happening to you? >> well, in the beginning when we were upstairs is when most of the, i would say, like shock and initial fear kind of happened because it went from, dad,
there's cops outside, to come outside with your hands up. so that was kind of like zero to 100, so that's pretty much what i felt was just like confusion and shock and fear for the most part because i had no idea why they were all down there at that time. >> yeah. roy, i understand you made sure that you put samuel behind you just in case something happened, that it would happen to you instead of him. what do you want to say to the neighbor who called the police? >> well, to that particular neighbor and any potential neighbor, my message would be, you know, we're just like you. we occupy the same space. we do the same things. we go to the same places. you know, if you see a crime,
report a crime. but if you see people, black people, any minority, don't report people doing normal things. >> mm-hmm. >> you do that, you don't realize that you can change their life or have their life taken just by you making a phone call. in this instance, it could have been three. it could have been two or one, somebody hurt. but that's my message. report a crime. don't report everyday activity. it can change my life, change my son's life. >> you may not have been sitting here. eric, the wyoming police say they have reached out to you, and they want to meet with all three of you to discuss what happened. has that been set up yet? are you open to it? >> it hasn't been set up yet, and i am definitely open to it. i've had that conversation with chief kos ter.
we haven't arranged it yet, and we need to arrange that with our counsel present. when sammy is ready to enter that environment, because i think it's critical that he's there as well, clearly we want some reform and some change here. there are things that have gone wrong. i'm sure you guys have seen or have listened to the recordings, the 911 calls, the dispatch, and the lapse in communication or what was lost in translation before those officers arrived there. those are the types of things that need to change. >> well, eric, roy, samuel, i'm sorry this happened to you. i'll say that again. please keep us updated on your meeting and what transpires after that. i'm glad you're all here to tell the story, though. thank you so much. be well. >> thank you. >> thanks, don. >> thanks. and thanks for watching. our coverage continues. press start and consider the job finished. finish quantum's three-chamber detergent
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good but not, yet, good enough. the u.s. reaches a vaccination milestone, even as covid cases surge in florida and elsewhere. also, crews battle massive wildfires in the western u.s. while a similar fight is waged in greece. plus, we are just hours away from a key u.s. senate vote on the $1 trillion infrastructure bill. we'll tell you what's at stake. live, from cnn world headquarters in atlanta, welcome to all of you watching here in the united states, canada, and around the world. i'm kim brunhuber. this is "cnn newsroom.