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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  January 28, 2022 3:00pm-4:00pm PST

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library directing people to the birth place. he broke the color barrier in 1947. this sunday on cnn "state of the union" dana bash talks to top two senators on the committee. bob menendez and james risch at 9:00 a.m. and noon eastern. the coverage continues now with one wonderfulf blitzer in "the situation room." breaking news, president biden says he will move u.s. troops in nato allied countries in the near term. this as the pentagon warns russia now has the capable to attack ukraine with potentially horrific consequences. the january 6 select commit tee subpoenas 14 republicans.
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aimed at overturning voting results in multiple states. i'll ask congressman adam schiff what the witnesses might reveal. as many as 75 million americans are now bracing for life threatening winter storms. parts of the east coast under states of emergency with risk of being hammered with snow, hurricane force winds and a bomb cyclone. we want to welcome the viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." we begin with the breaking news on president biden's new plans to begin moving u.s. troops to eastern europe soon. let's go straight to the senior national security correspondent.
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>> reporter: president biden asked moments ago when he would be moving more u.s. troops to europe. there are some 8500 on stand-by to go and support nato operations in eastern european nato countries saying that the troops would be moving to europe in the near term. >> i'll be moving u.s. troops in the nato countries in the near term. >> reporter: the thousands of u.s. troops heading to europe. we saw a rare joint appearance by two of the most senior load esches at the defense department. it highlighted how serious this crisis is. >> i don't think this is about trusting putin. this is about allies trusting us. >> reporter: the senior lead irs warning an invasion is painful and devastating. >> if that's unleashed on y
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ukraine it would be significant and amount in instant amount of casualties. >> reporter: secretary of defense and general milley trying to make the point to vladimir putin a mover across the ukrainian border would be a terrible mistake. >> mr. putin can do the right thing, as well. there's no reason that this situation has to devolve to conflict. he can order the troops away. he can choose dialogue and diplomacy. >> reporter: u.s. troops are putt on alert but austin said no u.s. forces are moved yet. >> this is larger in scale and scope than anything we have seen in recent memory and i think you have to go back quite a while to see something of this magnitude. >> reporter: the pentagon says russia continues to amass the
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forces along the flanks but ukraine's president is far less alarmed than president biden who warned an invasion may be eminent. today president zelensky said he understands the situation better and the situation isn't worse than what ukraine has seen in the past. in russia today -- russian foreign min stir lavrov said he doesn't see room for compromise and russia would not let the rights to be trampled but doesn't want war he insisted. the u.s. boor ambassador to moscow said the actions say something else. >> if i say i come in peace and put a gun on the table, that's threatening. that's what we see now. >> reporter: what comes next? the diplomatic efforts continue.
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the u.s. expects to hear back from moscow on a written response on their security priorities but we did see a preview of what they think today. russian foreign minister lavrov saying the u.s. response is full of itself and feels embarrassed for the people that wrote it. wolf? >> thank you. let's go live to ukraine right now. sam kylie is on the ground for us. as president biden plans to move troops to eastern europe the ukrainian president publicly pushing back on the threat. what is the message? the ukrainian president zelensky. what's the message for president biden? >> reporter: i think he sounds a little childish in many ways particularly the over $600 million worth of aid to the country of ukraine over the last
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year. 200 million announced. large numbers of weapons pouring in for this country militarily. there's something more nuanced going on rather though he put it r rather firmly. >> translator: i'm the president over ukraine and based here. the president should know the situation from me and not intermediaries. >> reporter: what he means by that really is not too sound rude and can be abrasive but ultimately what he's been also saying by talking up the danger of invasion and the imminence of invasion that's having an economic impact on ukraine. there's capital flight from the country. last year did really well raising international capital
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investment. he doesn't want to see that being undone because that plays straight into the hands of the kremlin. that's part of warfare combined with cyber attacks and potential political instability to form part of the whole conflict map being used by the kremlin. wolf? >> sam kylie in ukraine for us, thank you. let's get perspective from the former nato supreme allied commander retired general wesley clark and with us evelyn farkas. general clark, you heard president biden said he is moving u.s. troops to nato's eastern flank in the near term. how critical is it right now to see this ramping up, this deterrence ramping up as the threat of a russian invasion
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apparently rises? >> very important. i welcome that announcement. that's what we have to do because mr. putin escalated the forces and the nature of the threat. for the deterrence to hold the president has to show resolve and bring the resolve from the united states and nato. this is u.s. leadership seeing it in action. right now if you look at the gives and the takes in this you would say the united states and nato are doing extremely well. nato is holding together, pushing back and showing resolve. it is the right strategy. >> at the same time, evelyn, how disturbing it to hear that the build-up is bigger than anything since the cold war? >> it is important. thank you for having me. back in "the situation room." what he is trying to do and gets
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at the discussion with sam is to really make it clear to the international community, to everyone who doesn't want to pay attention to what's happening, what's at stake and how dangerous this is. that's why it's important for the president and the leaders in the pentagon to raise this. otherwise there might be an interest and a desire that we have seen in the past to ignore it and a real danger to ignore it now. >> there certainly is. you're concerned of russia taking escalating actions. what would that look like potentially? >> probably would look like first an attempt to kidnap the president or announce that he resigned. you would have crowds in the street, russian operatives in ukrainian uniforms. people would be confused and a period of on fis case and then
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somebody would visit the russians in. tv would be off the air and then russia would say they've restored order. i'm sure that's a scenario vladimir putin would love to achieve. >> what do you think? kidnapping a president zelensky of ukraine. >> i think as the general said it is completely in the realm of the possible and probably a scenario they would consider. having said that, it is incredibly risky because the ukrainian people especially in the capital kyiv are nationalistic. they're the ones that wept to the streets in 2014 and shed blood to join the european union. they will go to the streets again and the situation will become very messy very fast for the russian government. >> thank you very much. we'll stay on top of this worrisome story. more breaking news.
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we have exclusive cnn reporting on a january 6 select committee for a subpoena for an aide that served in the white house and 14 people with knowledge of a plot to install fake electors. we've all had to find new ways to keep going. and cue has made that easier. with cue, you get lab-quality covid-19 test results in just 20 minutes. speed and accuracy. it's just for the nba; it's for you too. cue health. the official covid-19 home test of the nba. go cue. go you.
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the former president donald trump 'was in the white house and in the west wing both on january 5th and january 6th and the activities those two days that they're concerned about. they want to know about any role that deer played in formulating the white house's response to the january 6 insurrection including the video that the white house produced that's put on the president's twitter feed asking people to leave the capitol. they wanted to know if he has early drafts or outtakes and interested in a meeting of january 5th with a number of people and trump reportedly said to the group what are the ideas to get the rinos to do the right thing tomorrow? how do we convince the congress? they ask for dire to come forward and he currently works
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for the united states congress, a deputy chief of staff to a united states senator, republican senator. we have to see how it plays out as the committee attempts to compel him. >> republicans in name only. this january 6 select committee also issued 14 new subpoenas related to this fake elector scheme that we're learning more about. give us the latest on. >> reporter: wolf, everyone investigating january 6 is more and more interested in this plot to send in an alternate slate of electors in the hope to replace the duly impanelled electors sent by the voters of seven states and the committee sent subpoenas to 14 individuals that serbed as the chairpersons and secretaries on the alternate slate to ask them what they know about the plot and when's
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interesting is they point out in the letter that not only did they go to the national archives to the congress and mike pence, as well. seems if there's a way to stand in the way of the process to use this alternate slate of electors to keep donald trump in office. obviously didn't happen. was this a criminal act? we know that this is something the department of justice is looking into. >> first, on the issue you raised in terms of fraudulent certification is reported. we have received the referrals. the prosecutors are looking at those and i can't say anything more on ongoing investigations. >> reporter: it is interesting how the posture on this plot has changed. initially people laughed it off as a joke and symbolic.
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it is more clear that they took it seriously and now the committee, the justice department and others trying to find out if there's something bigger or a crime. wolf? >> finding out fairly soon presumably. thank you. let's discuss with a key member of the january 6 select committee, congressman schiff. thank you so much for joining us. what can you tell us? what is the committee hoping to learn through the 14 new subpoenas to the key players in what's called this fake elector scheme? >> there were multiple lines of effort to try to overturn the election and this appears to have one, that is having the alternate electors to present themselves to the congress and the national archive and where
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they did go and have the vice president use these alternate, false certify kates to justify the delay or count the alternates and not the real ones so we know these people that were the chairs and the secretaries who have been asked to come in from the seven states have information about it. in particular we want to know who was organizing the effort? who brought them together and assembled them? what role did the trump campaign play? how much is centralized organized? so many look identical with other states. so we want to know about the level of coordination and what was really running this show. >> as you heard the deputy attorney general of the united states lisa monaco told our evan perez this week that federal prosecutors are investigating the fake elector certifications. potentially. i want your assessment.
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was a crime potentially committed here? what is your opinion? >> i would say in terms of lisa monaco's statements she was careful in the words and i'm reading less into the words. they're looking at the referrals. that doesn't mean they opened a n investigation into the false electors. i don't know if there's an investigation or will be. and we are trying to fully flesh out the facts so i'm not ready to opine on whether it justifies a referral by the congress. our role is oversight and reform and legislation. it is not as a prosecutor. but of course i have a background and take a particular interest in what the justice department is doing. >> let's see what you learn. cnn exclusively learned that your committee subpoenaed the
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former deputy white house press secretary in the trump administration. what gaps can he fill in your investigation? >> you know, those days of january 5th and obviously january 6th are key to the investigation and we believe he has information from the moment. january 5 is a large gathering on the mall and january 6 that gathering would be violent. january 5 reportedly the president in the oval office with judd deer and others listening to the crowd and how angry they sound and commenting on it and then having a conversation about how do we get the republicans in name only to do the right thing urks meaning presumably republicans in congress the following day in the joint session. so he was reportedly asked his
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thoughts by the president or others in the room to get congress to stop the trabs fehr of power. the following day mr. deer was repo reportedly involved in the response. whatever the president was thinking and doing and not doing while we were attacked in the capitol he could shed light on. >> we'll stay in close touch. thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you. coming up, states of emergency going into effect up and down the east coast as a blizzard threatens to dump up to two feet in new england. the storm is rapidly gaining strength right now and has the potential to become what they're calling a bomb cyclone. stand by for the latest forecast. x-rays free
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a states of emergency declared as a powerful and lifer threatening storm threatens 75 million people from the mid atlantic to the northeast. brian todd is working the story for us in atlantic city. weather officials are warning that the storm could develop into a bomb cyclone. with hurricane force winds and blizzard conditions. >> reporter: that's right. here along the boardwalk in atlantic city temperatures are really starting to drop quickly. you see the boardwalk and the hotels. it's near deserted as people
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hunker down. the blizzard warping starts in 30 minutes and said that whiteout conditions make it almost impossible to see anything. visibility will be almost impossible. we can tell you about flood warnings here in atlantic city. high tide in ten hours and worried about streets heavily flooded. we are told by the cnn weather team that the storm is like being in a hurricane with heavy snow replacing the rain. tonight 75 million people from the southeast to new england in the path of a major winter storm with the potential to be a bomb cyclone. >> this has a potential to be a historic storm, a huge one. >> reporter: 10 million people under blizzard warnings in ten states and near hurricane strength gusts predicted. >> they can be dangerous. >> reporter: massachusetts deployed 40 members of the
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national guard to perform rescued if needed. >> it will be hard to see anything at various points in time along the way. >> reporter: authorities urging residents to stop up, be prepared. don't go out. >> make things like the phone and smartphone, devices are charged have a flashlight and batteries that are handy. >> reporter: don't be stranded as hundreds did in virginia this month. >> stay off the roads. this is a very sire you stornl. >> reporter: more than 3,000 flight cancelations for tomorrow. amtrak suspending service. in places in massachusetts inundated by pa nor'easters blockdes of sandbags in place. >> i don't fill the freezer. >> reporter: plunging temperatures across the east
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could compound flooding problems. >> our concern with the flooding is the monumental drop in temperatures that we'll experience. negative 5 degrees forecasted. that water will turn into ice. >> reporter: they have been preparing for days and the mayor asks people to sit tight and let the emergency crews do the work. >> this guaranteed that the casino customers won't go anywhere. >> reporter: mayor small told us they have been warning residents not to leave the vehicles on certain streets. they will be towed. they're worried of people getting in the way of professionals who have to be out there doing the work. it is very treacherous here. >> be care. ful. it will be terrible there. thank you. let's get the latest on the very
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dangerous weather. meteorologist tom sader is joining us. tell us who's in the path of the possible bomb cyclone. >> it's mainly going to hug the coastline from the lower eastern shore all the way up through the coastal maine. you like me remember the blizzard of '78. crippling storm. the biggest storm in history until 2003. the numbers are two-day totals for boston. this is a single day storm so look at the boston record for a greatest snowfall in 24-hour period. looking at 18 to 24 inches. boston down into plymouth county and not be surprised to see a three-foot total somewhere. we're waiting for the storm to develop. the energy ejected from the rockies yesterday.
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we knew there's a storm for four or five days. that energy along with the cold front and there's snow here. snow squall warnings in kentucky and getting a dusty to an inch or two. but now the storm will crank up. the sea surface temperatures in the gulf stream in the atlantic is warmer than they should be and that's where the pressure drops in 24 hours but also those warmer sea surface temperatures will provide water vapor and that means heavier snowfall. up with to two inches a rate is heavy. we're talking about up to five inches an hour. drifts up to the second story. now with the sweet spot the warnings are in place. ten states blizzard warnings.
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from rhode island to maine. stay home. >> it's just started to snow here in washington d.c. tom, we'll stay in touch. thank you. authorities in pittsburgh are scrambling to try to figure out why a major bridge collapsed sending cars and a city bus plunging into a ravine. the pittsburgh fire chief standing by live. we'll get an update. that pushes you to be even better. and just might change how you trade—forever. because once you experience thinkorswim® by td ameritrade ♪ there's no going back. we're getting destroyed out there. we need a plan! i have a plan... right now at t-mobile customers on magenta max can get the new iphone 13
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we are learning more tonight about the collapse of a bridge that sent cars and a bus crashing into a pittsburgh ravine hours before president biden came to the city to push his infrastructure spending plan. our national correspondent athena jones is on the scene. >> this side up by the crane? >> reporter: a stop president biden didn't plan to make. a bridge that collapsed this morning. >> literally more bridges in pittsburgh than any other city in the world.
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they'll fix them all. not a joke. this is going to be a gigantic change. >> reporter: the collapse happening miles from where biden travelled to tout the infrastructure plan. >> i're talked about it every time i've come to pittsburgh and we finally got it done. a bipartisan infrastructure law. we saw today a bridge in disrepair it can threaten lives. >> reporter: residents described hearing the structure fail. >> it sounded like a huge snowplow pushing along a raw tarmac surface with no snow. >> reporter: several vehicles on the plinlg when it fell including this pittsburgh port authority bus. >> driving across it i knew it was collapsing. the bus bouncing and shaking. >> reporter: officials reported ten injuries, three transported to the hospital. >> there's no fatalities. >> reporter: described as a vital artery for the city the
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bridge's condition rated poor and inspection by the pennsylvania department of transportation in september. were it not for poore weather conditions. >> we were fortunate that there's a public school delay and the traffic could have been much more pronounced. we're the city of bridges and how many other are out there? >> reporter: the collapse in pittsburgh a reminder of the seriousness of the country's crumbling infrastructure system. the law set aside for bridges, roads and projects. according to the american society of civil engineers nearly 21,000 bridges nationwide are at risk of a potential disaster in extreme weather. >> we don't need headlines saying that someone was killed when the next bridge collapses. >> now the investigation into the cause of the collapse of the bridge into the ravine is just
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getting under way with the national transportation safety board team have arrived. and the allegheny county executive said fixing the bridge is a top priority and taking a year and a best-case scenario. >> sadly so many bridges in the country are in awful shape right now. athena jones in pittsburgh, thank you. let's get more on the disaster. joining us is fire chief daryl jones on the scene of the collapse. do you have any indication of what caused this dangerous collapse or a timeline for when you'll get answers? >> thank you for having me. we don't have a timeline. the investigation is just beginning. >> how's the survivors doing? ten injured, three went to hospital. are they all okay right now?
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>> none suffered any life threatening jish injuries. if this collapse happened a half hour, 45 minutes later it may have been 40 or 50 cars on the bridge at that time and the results may not have been so good. >> i know you met with president biden today in pittsburgh. he warned that many of the bridges in pittsburgh in his words just as old and just as d decrepid. is that true? >> i don't think we knew exactly how bad this was until after the incident happened. we have approximately 445 bridges here in this city and so there's a constant loop of
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inspections and repairs so that any money to help improve the infrastructure is greatly appreciated. >> there's now money in the new law. bipartisan law that passed the house and senate. good luck over there. appreciate it very much. thank you for joining us. >> thank you, sir. >> thank you. coming up, the former fda chief says the u.s. needs to be willing to relax covid measures as conditions improve. - wow. - uh-huh. $0 copays on virtual visits for primary care and mental health. take advantage now. wow! (vo) this year, t-mobile for business
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there's more evidence that the omicron surge is easing here
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in the u.s. the daily average of new covid cases fallen below 600,000 for the first time in 3 weeks. let's discuss with medical analyst dr. wen and dr. sanford. dr. wen, dr. scott gottlieb said the u.s. needs to be will be to relax covid measures as conditions improve. should we be willing as lift restrictions as we are to put them in place? >> yes. we should. i'm not saying that we should be throwing caution out the window. there are parts of the country in the middle of a terrible surge and hospitals are overwhelmed. we don't want to relax restrictions in those areas. there are many others where the infection numbers are coming down. hospitals are coming right and we've talked about how public health depends on trust and
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depends on knowing that when the emergency is over you need to lift restrictions and that way people go about the daily lives and then if hospitals are overwhelmed again then those restrictions can come back and i think that planning for that future needs to happen now. >> let's get dr. sanford's numbers. do you think it's necessary to relax conditions so people go along with restrictions again if god forbid another wave >> i think so but not immediately. we need to see a consistent trend. we need to share with the american people what those numbers are. are they containment levels? meaning, we're 3% or less with positivity and you see it plateau or reduce every day over several days. and you share that. and then, that way, if you have to reintroduce the restrictions, again, you can say because now, we see an uptick.
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and then, the trust is there and there is not an idea that this is flip-flopping, or mixed messaging. >> you know, dr. wen, you heard dr. fauci say he is urging americans to hang on he says for just a few more weeks. how much better do you think things will look by then? >> i think we could be in for a much better spring and summer because so many people have been infected during this last omicron wave. and also, we have many people who are vaccinated and boosted, and so the overall immune protection could actually be very high. of course, we hope that that's the case. we have to prepare for what happens if that's not, and also what happens if there is a new variant that comes along. and so, the role of our federal government should be to ramp up testing, make sure that people have high-quality masks as they are available, and in the meantime, i do think that we should be introducing off ramps for things like masking, especially off ramps for masking in schools. things that were already
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difficult for people to accept, in the first place. but now, that things are looking better. and also, i think we need to set new metrics. i don't think the metrics should only be infection numbers. we should also be looking at whether vaccines continue to provide very good protection and also whether hospitals are full. >> dr. stanford, what worries me is the death rate here in the united states is still alarmingly high. every day this week, about 2,200 americans were dying from covid. most -- mostly unvaccinated americans. when should we expect to see a drop in the death rate in the number of americans dying from covid as the number of cases and hospitalizations seem now to be dropping? >> so, it's when transmission is reduced. transmission is reduced when there is less virus in our community, and we can stop it from replicating and forming more variants. that comes from more people getting covid, which we don't want you to. or getting first and second shots and certainly boosters.
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and so, that's when you see the levels start to come down with those hospitalizations and deaths and so forth. and so, the push is still vaccination, boosters, and reduce transmission. so, when does it stop? that really depends on us. >> bottom line, get vaccinated and get boosted, as well. doctors, thank you so much for joining us. coming up, some truly bizarre moments from michael avenati's four-hour cross-examination of his former client, stormy daniels, who told the court she communicates with dead people. ♪ smooth like butte, like a criminal undercover ♪ ♪ gon' pop like trouble ♪ ♪ breaking into your heart like that ♪ ♪ do the boogie, like ♪ ♪ side step, right-left, to my beat ♪ ♪ high like the moon, rock with me, baby ♪ ♪ know that i got that heat ♪ ♪ let me show you 'cause talk is cheap ♪ ♪ side step, right ♪
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some very unusual testimony as pornstar stormy daniels wrapped up her testimony in the fraud trial of her former attorney michael avenatti. cnn's kara scannell is joining us with details. kara, another rather bizarre day in court. what can you tell us? >> yeah, wolf, another four hours of cross-examination and he seemed to focus on trying to undercut stormy daniels' credibility. he questioned about her beliefs in the poltergeist phenomena, seeing shadowy figures and visions of a woman. he also asked about her statements in 2018 when she denied having an affair with donald trump and denied receiving any hush money payments. a avenatti suggesting daniels' testimony today was a lie because she had lied in 2018. well, she said it was complete bs. now, avenatti also sought to
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bolster his claims he did a lot of work for stormy daniels and that he was entitled to the money prosecutors say he stole. he asked her about several statements she made including one to "the new york times." he said miss daniels, did you tell "the new york times" in 2018 every time i watch him work, i think this is what it must have been hike to see the sistine chapel being painted? daniels says, yes, that's what you told me to say. he also showed some financial transactions, bank statements in which he paid $100,000 he claimed on stormy daniels' behalf to buy two videos of her right before her interview with "60 minutes." one of those interviews was from a man called bubba loves sponge. now, prosecutors say they will reco rest their case on monday. avenattisy says he is consider whether he will testify, strongly leaving in favor of that and will tell the judge monday. >> kara scannell in yoshlg york for us. a powerful and emotional tribute
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to the slain new york police officer jason rivera, one of two officers who died last friday after being shot responding to a 9-1-1 call. his widow sharing her anguish over his death. >> seeing you in a hospital bed wrapped up in sheets not hearing you when i was talking to you broke me. i asked why? i said to you, wake up, baby, i'm here. the little bit of hope i had that you will come back to life just to say good-bye or say i love you one more time had left. i was lost. the system continues to fail us. we are not safe anymore. not even the members of the service. i know you were tired of these
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laws, especially the ones from the new da. i hope he's watching you speak through me right now. >> we send our deepest, deepest condolences to the families of officer rivera and fellow officer wilbert mora. may they rest in peace, may their memories be a blessing. "erin burnett outfront" starts right now. out front next. breaking news. president biden saying he has decided to send u.s. troops into eastern europe. a top military official warns a russian invasion of ukraine would be quote horrific. plus, 14 republicans who signed up to serve as fake electors hit with subpoenas by the january 6th committee. they were alleged hly on board plot to overturn the election. and china in no uncertain terms warns the u.s.

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