tv CNN Newsroom With Alisyn Camerota and Victor Blackwell CNN August 15, 2022 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
hello, everyone. i'm alisyn camerota. welcome to cnn newsroom. >> i'm victor blackwell. we are following breaking news. rudy giuliani has been told by prosecutors that he is a target of the special purpose grand jury investigating whether trump and his allies broke the law in their efforts to flip the 2020 results in georgia. what more are you learning? >> reporter: we are learning from sources, they tell sarah
murray that giuliani was notified by prosecutors that he would be a target in this investigation. as you noted, this is the fulton county investigation into donald trump and his allies' actions after he lost the 2020 election in that state. now, he was already, giuliani, scheduled to testify in front of a grand jury after being subpoenaed on wednesday. his lawyers now say that he is still going to do so, but they would not answer questions on whether or not he would invoke the fifth amendment, again, because he's now been told officially that he is a target of this investigation. at the time rudy giuliani was serving as trump's personal attorney and made efforts in multiple states regarding the 2020 election. now, of course, we are seeing how this is unfolding in fulton county in that investigation. >> okay, that's really interesting breaking news. and, also, there's some news about lindsey graham? >> reporter: that's absolutely right. this comes on the same day that senator lindsey graham has been ordered by a judge to testify in front of that grand jury.
graham and his attorneys had argued that he didn't have to do so. this was all around two calls that he made after the election to georgia's secretary of state, brad raffensperger. he argued when he made the calls they were legislative acts. they also argued, lindsey graham's team, that this was under the constitutional speech and debate clause and he wouldn't have to be compelled to testify because he was a sitting senator. the judge said, no, that he would have to testify, he will have to show up in front of that grand jury on august 23rd. he said there's nothing that shields him from doing so, and that the d.a. had made a case that his testimony was critically important, so he would have to show up. >> kristen holmes, thank you very much for that breaking news. we'll dive into the details coming up. to the expanding fallout of the fbi search of president trump's home in florida. extremist threats are intensifying against the fbi. congressional pressure is growing for more information
from attorney general merrick garland and the explanations for why donald trump had the sensitive documents in the first place, well, that all keeps evolving. >> now a new detail sheds more light on why the justice department may have felt compelled to take the unprecedented step of searching the home of an ex-president. sources say one of trump's lawyers signed a letter sometime in june, more than a month before the search, saying there was no more class fight information stored at mar-a-lago. that contradicts the publicly released search warrant, who says the fbi removed 11 sets of classified documents from mar-a-lago. some of the records were marked as top secret, sci, one of the highest levels of classification. >> cnn's senior crime reporter has been all over this. >> reporter: victor, the senate
intelligence committee and members of the house, both on the democratic side and republican side want more information around what happened here, what was taken out of mar-a-lago. they may have different motivations for asking for that, but right now we do have a recent private letter sent from senator mark warner, the chair of the senate intel committee, a democrat, and then senator marco rubio on the republican side of the same committee, where they have asked for more information and a classified briefing from attorney general merrick garland and the director of national intelligence. we also know there are two democratic house committee chairs that have asked for a briefing, also classified, and also for a damage assessment on how -- what the severity is of keeping documents after the presidency at this unsecured location, mar-a-lago. now, we may never know ultimately what is exactly in these documents if they continue to be classified, if they are indeed still classified. but as of right now donald trump
and those around him are saying he had this standing order to declassify everything that was being moved to mar-a-lago. so far we have no evidence that that is indeed the case. even his former national security adviser john bolton was on msnbc saying, no, we were not aware of anything remotely like that sort of order that would declassify things so quickly. and then also, on top of that, we do know that when the fbi removed these 11 boxes, or 11 sets of documents labeled as classified, they did have labelings at every set of classification in the system, top secret, confidential, secret, even ts /csi. we're waiting to see if there may be a response in court from the justice department or intelligence community. >> thank you very much for the update. joining us now, was
principle deputy lieutenant general and deputy assistant attorney general under clinton and a u.s. attorney, and a former fbi supervisory special agent and cnn law enforcement analyst. gentlemen, welcome to you all. let me start with you, harry, on the breaking news that attorneys for rudy giuliani say that he has now been alerted, made aware, informed that he is a target of this investigation in georgia. what is the take-away here? >> it's big. so this is a formal process that prosecutors go through to say basically, i'm planning to indict you, you are a punitive defendant in my eyes. they tell him this so he can invoke the fifth amendment, which i expect him to do. they tell him this because they think they already have the evidence to indict him. this is a 78-year-old man with a huge ego who doesn't want to spend the rest of his life in jail, in other words, this is someone who is very dangerous to
donald trump in this investigation. >> as we get more details, we will bring those to everyone. meanwhile, let's talk about these classified documents that the fbi took from mar-a-lago. we're starting to hear the various explanations. republicans who are defending former president trump are casting a wide net for why this would all be okay. so let me just play some of those explanations for you. >> this is from president trump's office, it just came in a few minutes ago. as we can all relate to, everyone ends up having to bring home their work from time to time, american presidents are no different. >> the gsa came out and said they mistakenly packed some boxes and moved them to mar-a-lago. that's not on the president. that's on the national archives to sort that material out. >> we have a list from the fbi but it's not conclusive as to whether or not this is classified material and whether it rises to the level of classified material.
>> tom, it was a mistake or everyone brings their work home, or maybe they weren't classified after all. which of those are legitimate explanations? >> or all of the above, perhaps. i think each explanation has its challenges. the question of whether or not the president actually declassified these materials before he left the white house, color me skeptical. there is a process by which presidents can declassify materials, but it requires a process. the president can't just unilaterally say as he's walking up to his bedroom at night, i hereby declassify the documents in my hands. you have to follow a process. i'm not too confident that the trump white house followed this process. and i would add that it's not directly relevant to a lot of the charges doj is looking at as to whether these materials were classified at all. >> that's an important point, the three statutes that have been named in the search warrant, not one of them requires these documents to have been classified, that they are government property and should not have been at mar-a-lago. but, peter, before i come to you, harry, i want you to drill down on declassification.
is there a law, not a norm, not a tradition, not a prudent procedure, but is there a law that requires documentation of declassification? >> of course there is. there's regulations, because people who use it have to know whether it's classified or declassified. all the arguments here would be, a, i did this in my head, preposterous for the reasons tom says, and, b, my law that tells me otherwise is unconstitutional. so that's what he has to be trying to stand behind and it would be against all kinds of laws, including the standing order would have had to go through all kinds of review in the government. it never happened. >> peter, i promise we will get to you. what is the process? when you say there is a process, you can't just make it up in your head to declassify, what is it? >> typically if it involves an
agency declassifying, the president would direct the head of the agency to declassify the documents. that would result in a written finding. people have to know if something has been declassified. if the president announces it unilaterally in the secrecy of the white house, it's like a tree falling in the forest. no one knows it. there's a separate process for declassifying information concerning nuclear weapons, that requires others than the president. again, there is a process. i'm not too confident it was followed in this case. >> peter, now to you. the former president says that some of the documents that were taken as a result of this search warrant were protected under attorney/client privilege, executive privilege. i imagine when there's a crime suspected that's out the window but correct me if i'm wrong. what is your take on the president's claim that some of the documents were protected and he wants those returned to him? >> anything that's taken via a
legal search warrant that's not relevant as evidence should be returned back to the owner. we used to do it all the time in the fbi. they still do it. but the documents that are potential evidence in a crime need to stay. classified documents are not going to be attorney/client privilege, top secret documents, sci, secret documents and confidential documents, are not going to be part of trump's lawyer's argument. anything else that's not relevant to the crime gets returned. it may not get returned right away, but it will get returned in time. >> one of the astonishing things is how many republicans we've seen come out and cast aspersions at the fbi, the party that used to claim the mantle of law enforcement or supporting police, and now you hear people, you know, in the so-called freedom caucus saying things like, destroy the fbi, using words
words like that. what happens when we know there's an unprecedented amount of threats because of language like this? >> alisyn in the 108 years the fbi has been in existence, since 1908, both sides have tried to disparage the fbi. the political aspects have been taken. and the fbi is not without sin and not without scar. however, what is not right is politicians need to be leaders. politicians need to support law enforcement. whether it's the fbi or any other law enforcement. but fbi agents to a tee act, for the most part, act without any political favor, they do not show any favor or should not be intimidated by politicians trying to influence their jobs. our job, we swore an oath to the constitution, not if you're right or left or in the middle, do our job and support and defend the constitution and investigate laws that are potential violations of title 18 and federal statutes, and we would hope that politicians as
leaders would support us in our activities. >> harry, on this new cnn reporting that we delivered at the top of the show, this statement that was signed by a trump attorney back in june confirming that there was no additional classified information at mar-a-lago, that clearly was not true according to the property receipt, what is the expansion, if any, of legal exposure because these documents were discovered on monday? >> whoever signed it, if they know it's false, it's a separate crime, but that person is now possibly the second most dangerous person for trump in america. if he did it knowingly, he's a target to try to turn, as if giuliani. if he did it unknowingly, he will be brought in and will tell everything. one quick follow-up, it's right things go back to the owner. every single document here, the owner is the people of the united states.
he shouldn't have taken a single document in the first place. nobody should have because they weren't his to take. >> thank you all for your expertise. we're going to have much more on the search at mar-a-lago, including a split in the gop as some republicans defend the fbi, while as we've been discussing, the trump loyalists attack them. >> and today marks one year since the fall of kabul and the taliban return to power in afghanistan. we are live from kabul with more on what life is like under taliban rule. my grandma never mentioned this, but her first job was working at a five and dime, when she was only 16 years o. it'sll right there in the census. sewhere a few details can lead with the 1950 census on ancestry.
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kabul this morning. they drove through the city carrying weapons and waving the white flag of the islamic emmett of afghanistan. >> the u.s. withdrawal led to thousands of afghans rushing to leave the country as that 20-year war came to an end. cnn's chief international correspondent clarissa ward is in kabul. what is the country like today, especially for women living under the taliban? >> reporter: well, i would say it's a very mixed picture, victor. it really depends who you talk to and where you are. here in kabul, particularly with educated women, the last year has been incredibly painful and incredibly challenging. young girls are no longer allowed to go to school once they reach sixth grade or about 12 years old. there is no secondary education. the taliban has repeatedly said this is only a temporary suspension but so far nothing has really been done to lift the ban. in the 1990s when the taliban was under control, girls were not able to be educated.
women have been largely sort of marginalized and pushed out of public life, particularly in high-level government positions, so girls who had dreams of running for parliament, for example, those dreams have very much been snuffed out. but if you are living in rural areas, some of the places that we've spent time, front line positions under heavy bombardment day in and day out for many years, where girls' education simply isn't a priority anyway, their lives haven't changed that dramatically, except for the fact that it is now much safer in afghanistan than it was. so many people, of course, as well feeling that it has been a positive thing to have the taliban take over and u.s. and allied forces withdraw. one thing that both sides seem to agree with is the very real humanitarian crisis that is playing out here, the economic crisis and the focus for many afghans at this stage, honestly, is just about trying to put food on the table to feed their families. >> that's such important
context. clarissa, i remember so vividly how often we talked exactly a year ago about what the fate would be for all of the fixers and the helpers who worked with the americans over the last decade and what would become of them, if the taliban would instantly kill them if they identified them. so what has happened to all of them? >> reporter: well, tens of thousands of them are still here. they are trying to get their special immigrant visas processed. that is proving to be a very complex and slow-moving process, partly because it requires an in-person interview that would have taken place at the u.s. embassy here. that is no longer open for business. so the state department saying as many as 160,000 afghans are eligible for siv status, but because it's moving at such a glacial pace, they say they may not be able to process those by the end of president biden's term. and i have to tell you, not a week goes by that i don't get
contacted by afghans who worked with the u.s. military, who worked with the u.s. embassy, who are frightened for their lives, desperate to get out. even today at the taliban celebration at the center of town, a man came up to me and said i'm a little nervous to speak to you here. he gave me his phone number and name, he said i was an interpreter, i'm desperate to get out. this is a very real problem and it doesn't have a solution in sight. >> clarissa ward, it's so helpful to have you there, as always. thank you very much for your reporting. joining us to discuss, we have cnn military analyst and retired lieutenant general mark hertling. i want to start with this report that house republicans have put out now, a year later, about all that went wrong with the evacuation and some of the headlines are that there was a complete lack of proper planning for withdrawal by the biden administration, basically they didn't start planning for the evacuation until mid-june, so not enough time. there were only, according to the report, 36 state department officials to process 100,000
plus afghan evacuees, meaning basically one officer for every 3,400 evacuees. the evacuation flights were taking off at 50% capacity, which is obviously gut-wrenching because we saw all of those people crowded around the airport desperate to get out. one in only four evacuees were women and girls, though we know women and girls were the ones most likely to become instantly sub you gated. the biden administration says they're cherry picking and some of this is inaccurate. how do you see this? >> i read the summary of the report online, alisyn, and i would actually agree with that cherry picking. if you try to really conduct an after-action review of a 20-year war using only congressional staffers and not getting input from the various departments that contributed forces or people to that campaign and
really go through the fact that it spanned over four different administrations, of which the biden administration was only into their first six months, it tells you that there has have been some cherry picking of details and what they want to make known to the public. the state department, the department of defense, usaid, several other agencies within the u.s. government are in the midst of doing some very intricate, detailed after-action reviews of the afghan campaign. from a military perspective, i'll tell you that that's done with every kind of war, every kind of combat operation, and you can't do it in a relatively short amount of time using only congressional staffers. you have to get a whole lot more information. the department of defense had 11 different four-star commanders involved in this. it would be a good idea to get the span of control of those individuals over the 20-year war
and say, what went wrong? and admittedly, i'll say this admittedly, there were all aspects of wrongdoing on the part of the united states government. it was just a matter of different people being involved in a very complex operation in a society that is multi-cultural, has different religious approaches and different views of government than what a western state does. so the military messed up, the state department messed up, the president megssed up. >> are those generals talking and others? when you say that the house republicans didn't do a thorough enough interviewing process or after-action report, would those generals all share what they think went wrong? >> well, they did a few months ago on a cnn special, where every single one of them talked for more than an hour and that information was gleaned into a special where they were
reporting on what happened during their tenure of that 20-year war. the question i might add, did any of the congressional staffers interview them? i don't know. and, again, the allegation that some of these reports have been cherry-picked, from what i saw it really appeared that they were taking specifically things from the last six months of this war, this combat, that actually was started by the trump administration when they conducted their relationship with the taliban and came to the peace agreement. so, again, these are all things -- i'm trying to give an unbiased view of this. but it seems if you're only talking about the biden administration and what they did during a six-month period to prepare for withdrawal, it doesn't take into account all of the other things that happened in afghanistan. >> general, what about what clarissa just talked about? that number is staggering,
160,000 helpers and fixers, plus their families, that includes their families, i should say, that are still trying to get out on those special visas. that's just a higher number than we had and what do you think about whether or not the taliban has honored their commitment not to retaliate against them? >> well, let me start this way, by saying, no, they have not honored their commitment not to retaliate against those who worked with the united states. there's evidence of that already. what i would say is that number, and that anecdotal information that clarissa just gave, it may be true, it may not be true. i can't tell you, alisyn, the number of times, serving in a combat zone in iraq where i had iraqis come up to me and say, hey, i was an interpreter for general petraeus and you've got to help me get out. if they don't have the paperwork and haven't sdone the
interview -- and granted, those are difficult with no american embassy there. but certainly there are a large number of individuals that did not get out, but there were also a large number of individuals that did get out and continue to try and get out. but truthfully, you're talking about -- if you calculate all the individuals who say they should get out without proof of an siv, a special immigrant visa, you're talking about close to 250,000 to 500,000 people. that's an awful lot of immigrants coming out of the country of afghanistan, and not all of them worked for the u.s. or nato governments, but they do have pictures with generals or colonels or captains, and that's just sometimes the way these societies work. >> as always, really helpful information. lieutenant general mark hertling, thank you. republican candidates on the ballot in florida and arizona are criticizing the fbi search at mar-a-lago. they call it politically motivated. others in the party are avoiding
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former president and deride the fbi and justice department. >> based on who they like and who they don't like, that is not a republic, maybe it's a banana republic when that happens. >> ron brownstein is a senior cnn political analyst and senior editor for "the atlantic" and we have the republican strategist and former rnc communications director. doug, let me start with you and this reversal, this turnabout on the republican party and law enforcement. let me read from the republican party platform. page one of the definition of what your party stands for, we dedicate this platform with admiration and gratitude to all who stand strong in the face of danger so the american people may be protected against it. the men and women of our military, our law enforcement and the first responders of every community in our land and to their families. how did republicans now become the defund, destroy, don't trust
the fbi party? >> well, one, it's quaint to remember that the rnc has a platform. under donald trump the platform was, whatever donald trump wants, and that's how we got here. just a complete loyalty to all things donald trump, and then whatever else was conservative policy or fact-based came after that. and we republicans had pushed back very successfully and had a very strong message against democrats on a lot of issues, but democrats pushing a defund the police message was something that was really palpably strong for republicans, and now because of a few republicans, enough of them who have said defund, destroy, and other things like that, they've allowed democrats to get up off the mat and have some momentum as we start approaching labor day in the political system, and everything has to be for enough republicans all about donald. >> ron, this has to be upside-down world for you, as somebody who has studied history so much, the 1960s, 1970s, so
now hear republicans be so anti-establishment, anti-police, as doug has just said. to hear them saying destroy the fbi. it is a head-spinner. do you think that it does affect the midterms? >> well, it's a head-spinner, alisyn, in terms of the traditional idealogical positions of the parties. it's less confusing if you view it in the context of how trump is transforming the republican party into something much more like what we have seen in turkey or italy, a quasi-authoritarian party that is committed, above all, to the rule of its leader. the big lesson of this entire episode is both that trump feels even more unconstrained by rule, law or custom on the arbitrary exercise of presidential power than he did before january 6th,
and that what we are seeing from the republicans in congress over the past week, i think, is a pretty clear signal that if he becomes president again, they will be even less inclined than they were the first time to impose any constraints on him. all of that is part of the transformation of the party into a vehicle of his will. we're seeing the same thing in these primary. we're going to see it tomorrow night in wyoming. the voters and elected officials in the republican party believe that trump is kind of a toxic influence in american life, have to accept the reality at this point that they are the subordinate minority in the party and the question is, what do they do with that going forward? >> doug, let me ask you a broader question. we talk about narratives of trump versus the establishment of the gop. is trump the establishment of the gop? he's the former president, a front runner likely for the nomination in 2024. every race is defined whether you were on his side or not, and maybe after tomorrow eight of
the ten congressmen who voted against him in the impeachment vote will not be returning next year, very likely. is he now the establishment of your party? >> yeah, there's a case, really, of be careful what you wish for. donald trump is everything he said he wasn't going to be. he is the establishment now. he is the swamp. it's all of these things. i'll tell you, i texted last week with one of the members who went up to visit donald trump last week after we found out the revelations about the fbi visit. and i said be very careful here for your own political purposes, but also, you know, more broadly, be careful, because we know two things about donald trump. one is when there's a revelation, two or three days later we find out, gosh, it's worse than we thought it was, and the other is politically donald trump doesn't give points, he only takes them away one at a time. if you stood with donald trump on tuesday, you better have been with him on wednesday, thursday, friday, because any cracks in that you'll be his next target. >> ron, i thought it was so interesting what the house
judiciary republicans tweeted out about the -- we can call it a raid on former president trump's home. they said if they can do it to a former president, imagine what they can do to you. yeah, if you take classified documents out of the white house, they can do it to regular people. we've seen that before. >> right. look, i mean, again, if you think about what's happening in the republican party, this very much fits the pattern that we've seen in examples of this abroad, where any kind of unearthing of misconduct or illegal behavior by the leader is immediately translated by the party into an attack on its voters. this is an argument that trump has made all the way through, because he has argued that he is the human wall against all of the changes, cultural, demographic, social and american life that the vast majority of his voters fear and dislike, and
that any time any questions are raised about him, what it's really about is silencing them. and that at the moment is the dominant strain, that's the dominant faction in the republican party. so we're going to see what happens if liz cheney loses tomorrow night, as expected. does she go forward into the 2024 republican presidential primary, trying to rally the one-fifth to one-fourth of republican voters who are not on board with the trump assault on democracy, and what does that mean? is there a path forward? clearly right now the trump critics are losing almost all of these key races in michigan, arizona, wisconsin, pennsylvania, et cetera. the question is, can they be organized into a force that exerts any influence in the party? because everything right now is pointing in the other direction towards continued transformation into something much more like what we have seen in places like turkey or italy where the party is an extension of the will of the strong man. >> ron brownstein, thank you.
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york. rushdie is expected to survive. cnn's polo sandoval has been following the story. what have we learned about rushdie's condition and anything about the suspect? >> reporter: as some of the conservative newspapers in iran are celebrating the attack, you when you hear from the family it seems the 75-year-old celebrated author is healing, recovering from his injuries here as authorities are saying that he did suffer some life-changing injuries, but nonetheless, does continue to recover here. the big question of a possible motive, that's what investigators right now are trying to piece together, trying to see if the decade-old fatwa, basically a death threat, could relate to the stabbing itself. that's something that police will have to determine. we're also hearing from the other man who was injured on friday, the moderator, henry reese. he spoke to our colleague, brian stelter, over the weekend,
reflecting on the irony of it all, the conversation that was about to happen was about offering protections and support to writers living in exile and talking about what he hopes will be a positive outcome from this horrible attack. >> hopefully one of the positive things that will come from this is we can begin to identify and work with other cities and individuals in those cities to add new cities of asylum and protect more writers so that this happens to fewer writers around the world. >> reporter: henry reese with some injuries that are clearly visible. he's facing his own recovery. as for the suspect, matar, investigators are digging deep into his background to see what, if any sort of contact he may have had from iran. that is something that will be part of this investigation as this celebrated writer is off the ventilator, breathing on his own, and we're told speaking to his family tonight. >> thank you very much for the
update. the fda is pushing ahead with a new vaccine strategy for people at high risk for contracting monkeypox, but some local health officials are concerned about this new plan. we'll talk about it next. under budget too! and i get seven days toto love it or my money back... i love it! i thought online meant no one to help me, but susan from carvana had all the answers. she didn't try to upsell me. not once, because they're not salespeople! what are you...? guess who just checked in on me? mom... susan from carvana! [laughs] we'll drive you happy at carvana. your record label is taking off. but so is your sound engineer. you need to hire. i need indeed. indeed you do. indeed instant match instantly delivers quality candidate i need indeed. matching your job description. visit indeed.com/hire
strategy of giving smaller doses of a monkeypox vaccine between the layers of the skin in order to stretch out the supply. the vaccine is in short supply as cases increase. >> the fda issued emergency use authorization for this new injection strategy for people at high risk, but the manufacturer's ceo has expressed concern that he says the safety data available is limited. a primary care physician and public health specialist, good to see you, i know that you're concerned about this switch to
giving a fifth of the dose that was initially given out. why? does it come down to technique? >> i think it comes down to actually both. both technique and the fact that you can get few side effects. for instance, this is the small needle that is used intradermally, underneath the skin, like you would get if you went into your doctor's office to be screened for tb. this is a skill that my nurses have at the office. not everybody at the vaccination clinic will have this skill. it's something you have to learn. it took me a few weeks. it's not that difficult but if you're not going to give it the right way and you give it subcutaneously, how we normally give the injection, you are going to under dose the patient. the patient will get 1/5 of the dose and that was my concern when i got my vaccine this past
weekend. >> isn't under dosing better than no dosing, since it's in such short supply, is a little bit better than nothing? >> you know, i don't agree with that, alisyn. because you want to be well protected against monkeypox. you're not well protected until you get two doses, and you have to wait two weeks after that, kind of like the vaccines for covid. if you are under protected that could be dangerous because then you could still get monkeypox and have all of the effects, the adverse effects of having the disease. i think if this is given the correct way, which is intradermal, i absolutely have no issue with it, but i think that all the people at the clinic administering this must be trained properly. that's all. if it's done, there are studies to show that it does actually work pretty effectively. >> are you concerned about the schools and grade schools and colleges returning?
they are either back in session or will be. and people will be so close in proximity to one another. >> i am. i think it's really important for me as part of the lgbtq community. monkeypox is not a gay person disease, it has more to do with your social network than your sexuality. that's important for all of us to understand. it doesn't always have to be transmitted sexually. you can get it through non-intimate contact of skin-to-skin prolonged contact, and you can also get it from respiratory droplets. we already have spill into women and kids and now in college dormitories. i'm concerned as lots of kids get together in dorms or sorority and fraternity parties, they absolutely can be at increased risk, if only one person should have monkeypox in that group. >> dr. sanjay matthew, thank you. the fbi search of donald trump's estate is fueling an unprecedented number of threats
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