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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  March 9, 2018 5:00pm-6:00pm PST

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investigator when he we want missing. levinson's family received haunti haunting proof of life photos. today the family releasing a statement that reads in part, 11 years later no one has been able to help us. how is this possible? we will never stop doing whatever it takes to get bob home. ac 360 starts now. only on this program, stormy daniels attorney speaking out. as an addition to the evidence he produced tomorrow morning. something that we said on the program last night. this is about the payoff and not the affair. parietal infidelity is nothing new not for americans, not for
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donald trump. it is not new for washington, d.c. either. what most republicans, democrats or fleas do not do is pay to hush it up. keeping it honest to continue to follow the money. michael cohn trump organization employee. attorney general cohn put out the following statement, neither the trump organization nor the trump campaign was a party to the transaction with ms. clifford and neither reimbursed me for the payment. either directly or indirectly. the payment to ms. clifford was lawful and was not a campaign contribution. $130,000 of his own money cohn
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claims which today he said he raised from a home equity credit line. nothing to do with the trump campaign or told the candidate. here is how jeffrey toobin assessed those claims. >> lawyers don't do that. they don't do that with their own money. it is not ethical. it is not proper to do that without talking to the client. and it also doesn't make any sense. i mean, it is just one thing if he was just a billionaire and he had $130,000 sitting around. the idea that he had an equity line is not believable. >> not to have informed his client about it at all. even if what he says is true, that he did out of loyalty.
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how do you explain the "wall street journal" report not being reimbursed. cohn sent a two-word response, fake news. what they show are a bank sending michael cohn at his trump organization e-mail address this note, the trumps have been deposited into your checking account. forwarding that message to stormy daniels. all of this to handle the payoff on candidate trump's behalf 11 days before the election. did donald trump know about the business cohn was burying.
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here is press secretary sarah sanders today. >> we've addressed this extensively and i don't have anything to add. >> here she is on wednesday. >> look, the president has addressed these directly and made very well clear that none of these allegations are true. >> so keeping them honest, the one thing she nor the president or the white house has done is address the allegations. it is the one thing they have not done. michael cohn has spoken out several times. with all of that as backdrop, michael avenatti joining us now. can you explain what the document is? >> absolutely. and thanks for having me on tonight. this is yet another e-mail that shows that throughout this negotiation period, this period during which attorney cohn was negotiating on the president's
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behalf. >> with stormy daniels' then attorney. >> that's correct. he was routinely using his e-mail address at the trump organization and his e-mail signature block to identify that he was doing this on behalf of the trump organization. >> so this is a new e-mail that you have given us tonight which is from michael cohn using his trump organization, e-mail address and describing himself as an emissary of donald trump. >> that is correct. and if you look at the e-mail, the last e-mail in the string it talks about how the office is closed for yom kippur. and if i can set the stage, mid-october was around the time period that the payment was to
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be made. it was not amamade and the deal fell apart. now why is this important to reference to yom kippur and the office? it appears to be innocuous when you look at it. and we assert that it is not innocuous. if in fact the payment was being made personally by attorney cohn, he wouldn't need his office open in order to effect s shuate the payment. >> and what he is talking about is the trump organization. >> that is the office he is referring to. if you look at the signature, he identifies himself as the executive vice president and special counsel to donald j. trump. >> and this is an e-mail he sent
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to the attorney basically around the time explaining why the money hadn't yet been sent? >> that is correct. and if this was a personal transaction as your viewers know, when you are conducting personal business, you don't have to go to your office to conduct personal business. >> if the office is closed you have more time to conduct your personal business. >> exactly. >> earlier today you released e-ma e-mail correspondence. >> we believe this is pivotal for the following reason. the initial e-mail in the string which is at the bottom of the page is an e-mail from a representative of the bank to
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mr. cohn alerting him that they have effectively laid out his wishes. he turns around then and forwards that e-mail to himself. >> and that e-mail from the bank was sent to his trump organization e-mail account? >> absolutely. he then turns around and forwards that to his personal e-mail account which is the next e-mail in the string above that. >> so that is what is being shown on the screen basically says the money is in the account. >> correct. it is from the bank employee to mr. cohn. >> and why would michael cohn then feel the need to forward that e-mail to himself to his private e-mail address to then communicate with stormy daniels' attorney? >> i don't have an explanation for that. if there was nothing to hide
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with this e-mail string, mr. cohn could have forwarded this e-mail directly to mr. davidson and would not have had to take the interim step of going to his personal e-mail account. what we believe happened and this is speculation, but good speculation is that he sent it from his personal e-mail address, he forgot to delete the middle portion of the e-mail that showed the communication had been taken place with his e-mail at the trump organization. >> michael cohn has gone on defensive today. >> i often use personal e-mails for personal business. i don't think that is unusual.
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but what is unusual is the routing of the e-mail to his personal e-mail account and making sure it send it to his personal e-mail account. >> michael cohn has come forward clearly and said this is something that i did out of loyalty. i used this, and today saying it came from his home equity line that this had nothing to do with the trump organization. and we still don't know where the money came from. what do you make from his contention that it came from his own equity line? >> there is a word in italian. basta. enough. ever changing, it is nonsense. your legal analyst is running out of superlatives, guests on every net work, all out of
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superlatives, we are out of words to describe what mr. cohn is trying to sell to the american public. anderson, it is impossible, it is so out of the well many real possibility that this attorney under took all of this work, this tonda took hours. it is a detailed document. this is why some people hate attorneys because they spend so much time looking at documents like this and billing their client for the time they spent. this took a long time. the negotiation, the drafting, the route of the payment. hours and hours.
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what mr. cohn and the administration now expects the american public to believe is that he went off half-cocked on his own without guidance or communication whatever with his client. he decided he was going to do this, draft the document, negotiate it and draft the document with places for his client to sign. >> again, i am not a lawyer, but i know that if somebody is making a contract in which i am named and have other people sign it and they are signing it and representing themselves, and i don't know about the document, that seems highly unethical. >> highly unethical and it can result in what we call within the industry getting your ticket stamped and what that means is you lose your license. >> michael cohn also, the white house has said look, the president's attorney won in
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arbitration in california that you say michael cohn set up this arbitration just kind of quickly, you weren't informed, stormy daniels wasn't informed and they got a ruling that you say is invalid. did you not know that michael cohn was doing this arbitration. >> this arbitration has so many problems. i don't think we can describe them all. but i will take a shot to describe few of them. first of all, the arbitration was not brought in donald trump's name but in the llc. name that the attorney set up. in legal terms it is called standing to proceed in the arbitration. second of all, mr. cohn was required by the bar rules in california to be a licensed
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attorney in california or to have a licensed attorney as to what is called local counsel. he did neither. that's a misdemeanor under the law. >> so wait, michael cohn isn't licensed to practice law in california? >> we haven't been able to find any record of him being licensed in california. that is a misdemeanor to be practicing law in california. no different than if i came to new york or washington, d.c., i am not licensed. >> we have to take a break. but i want to ask you, the bank itself, when they received the $130,000 that was going to be moved to given to stormy daniels' attorney, they raised a red flag. again, where did this money come from. the conversation continues with our legal panel.
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stormy daniels' attorney. about the money. today mr. avenatti revealed that cohn used his trump corporate account. mr. avenatti showed us a new e-mail from mr. cohn showing the office being closed for yom kippur. if he was doing this all on his own the office would be irrelevant. our focus is for following the money. and i have talked to your client for "60 minutes." there was something called a sar report. when they got $130 from mr. cohn who says it was from a home
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equity line of credit, there was a suspicious activity report put out. can you explain that that means? >> there are treasury regulations in the united states that are in place to guard against money laundering and financial crimes and these regulations holds that when a bank particulates a series of financial transactions that are suspicious they are obligated under the law to prepare and file a suspicious activity report otherwise known as a sar. at some point after the date of this transaction in late 2016, first republic bank prepared a sar relating to this transaction, relating to the payment of $130,000. they transmitted that sar to the financial crimes enforcement
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network, a division of the u.s. treasury. we don't know happened to that point. very often they would disregard the sar or send them to the fbi. we don't know what the sar shows because it is not public information. here is what we do know. we know the president and his appointees, the treasure secretary control this. and if mr. cohn does not have an objection to it, if he doesn't believe anything was untoward about this. then release the sar, it is a fairly brief document but going to be illuminating as to the details relating to this tran
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transaction. if there is nothing there, then there is nothing there. >> i sense release the sar is going to be your new rallying cry. >> it is very simple. a straightforward document. >> the bank that we have been seeing the e-mails from that michael cohn has moved from one account to the other, that is the bank that said something was suspicious? >> that is correct. that e-mail that was on the screen earlier from first republic bank, the e-mail saying the money has been placed in this new account from which it was ultimately wired to ms. daniels' attorney, that is the bank that prepared the sar and transmitted it to a division of the u.s. treasury and we want it released. >> has not addressed this notion
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of potentially unethical behavior of claiming to represent his client in an agreement with stormy daniels without his client's knowledge. he went after you today, saying you clearly allowed your 15 minutes of fame. >> well, fortunately, i am a little under the weather, but i don't think i need a doctor. and second of all, i have been fortunate in my career over the last 18 years, i think i exhausted my 15 minutes years ago. i want to keep this about the facts and i want to keep it about the truth. because anderson, quite honestly, i don't care if you are on the left or the right or in the middle, the american people deserve straight talk not spin on this issue. they deserve facts.
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they deserve the truth, evidence. this is not complicated. and the questions are simple. did mr. trump know about the negotiation of this agreement? did he know about the payment? did he sign the document? did he facilitate or pay the money or did he have somebody else pay the money and what was that relationship? this could be cleared up simply. and quite honestly, i don't know why it hasn't been cleared up. release the sar, answer the questions and let the american people decide. >> we have to take a quick break. we will come back with our panel. we'll be right back. it's all po, but it gets pretty intense. -ahh. -the new guy. -whoa, he looks -- -he looks exactly like me. -no. -separated at birth much? we should switch name tags, and no one would know who was who. jamie, you seriously think you look like him? uh, i'm pretty good with comparisons.
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talking tonight with stormy daniels' attorney michael avenatti and the new e-mail he shared with us. the claim that michael cohn paid for his silence him himself. mark, you heard him lay out his case. what do you make of it? >> the idea that they went into arbitration, they got a tempora temporary restraining issued. i litigated it last year when i was suing the state bar. so that is one problem and i know the judge who issued this. and i have a great deal of
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respect for her, but that is one of the reasons that you don't do these things ex-parte, just one side. the other problem they have got just from a practical standpoint, is many of the issues michael has raised is they are in front of judge fefer. and my feeling is when she says this she is not going to give a whole lot of shrift. i am sure he will say, and i won't mention the name, but i have a pretty good idea as to who their local counsel will be. it is somebody they have used before in other litigation. >> what about the notion of negotiating a contract involving a third party, he is claiming the third party doesn't know anything about? >> that is a real problem and i
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have been in a situation where i had a client that i represented multiple times where i told the client he needs to settle or told the client she needs to settle. and literally have tentatively settled. and i am not in michael's shoes and i feel his pain, probably feels like he was doing the right thing, but no good deed goes unpunished. and in this case, i don't know if i would be more angry at trump or my banker who dimed me out to the treasury. >> asha, does it make sense that a sar report would be filed or i don't know what the term is, for $130,000 for someone who is banking at their bank, money transferred one account to another? >> banks and other firms and
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institutions are required to do these when there is a certain monetary threshold, it might be $5,000 or $10,000 and the point is to allow the treasury department to detect patterns of money flow to allow them to see, for example, money laundering or to terrorist organizations which are likely not implicated here. you honed in on the bigger problem here which is, you know, if you take michael cohn at his word and donald trump and no one else knew anything about this, this contract has three parties that were all supposed to be agreeing to the fundamental terms to it. and the best case scenario is exactly what stormy daniels is claiming in her lawsuit, this may not be a valid contract. if no meeting of the minds of all three parties that were to be a part of it, she may be free to talk. as we heard before, we have potential violations of campaign
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finance laws. john edwards was criminally prosecuted by a third party helped to pay for his mistress -- i don't think this has a good option. >> michael, what are your option as soon s? what do you do next? >> well, begin discovery and start issuing subpoenas and try to find out the who, what, when. and part of the process is going to be a pursuit of determining what the president knew and when he knew it. and that is going to be critical. >> do you know who you would like to subpoena? >> we do. we are not going to announce it. they are going to drag us into
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the proceedings. they pulled the wool over the judge's eyes. we weren't invited to the party or present any evidence. we don't even know if they disclosed to her who the true parties were. they may have just disclosed the aliases. we don't know what story they may have told her. so we don't want to pass judgment on her determination quite yet. but they are going to be attempting to drag us into arbitration and this is an important point. they don't want this to take place in the public. they don't want the public to know what transpires in connection with this. they want to do it in arbitration which is a private proceeding in an office building. it has security. you are in a conference room. and people from the outside are not allowed in. it is confidential, generally. on the flip side, we want to proceed with this in a public
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court of law, a courthouse owned by the people where you can't padlock the doors and keep people out and peep can view it and observe it and judge for themselves based on facts, evidence and document what happened. >> mark, would you ever take out a $130,000 line of credit for your house for a client? i know you are dedicated attorney. >> i am very dedicated to my clients and i can't imagine a situation, maybe an emergency situation where it is a repeat client, i have bailed people out for instance. i couldn't find a bondsmen, i have done that. so i admit to doing that, and that is a first cousin of this. the interesting thing about what michael says, the irony of this because i keep going back to bill clinton, is you know, it is
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jones versus clinton which is the authority that michael will have, he is not going to mention who he is going to put on his deposition list, and who is front and center is dennison. the holding by the u.s. supreme court would not interfere by the president's discharge of his duty and therefore subject to civil process. that is a real problem. he can't escape from that unless he says i wasn't a party to this. if he says i didn't do this, then michael cohn has issues and i know he feels like it isn't breaking news, but obviously it is. no different than jones and bill clinton or broderick. >> there can be civil penalties.
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at the time, legal experts debated whether that was an appropriate prosecution to bring, but the point is that there is precedent and essentially precedent for characterizing this kind of payment as being something to the benefit of the campaign. and just to the point with the clinton v jones, the president facing two. his show down with mueller. so he has got a lot of legal problems coming. >> let me say this as it relates to, and mark wasn't hanging it out there when he said obviously we are going to seek the president in this case. most depositions as mark will tell you, some last more than a
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day. in california we have a limit of 7.5 hours. i will make this guarantee right now, we will limit the deposition of mr. trump to less than one hour. we will take it any place in the world at any time. any time, any place, less than one hour >> you think you can do that in an hour. >> i do. i do. even though from time to time he has a tendency to like to talk. i have actually allowed that in my estimate. because that is how simple we think this case is. >> thank you. more ahead, the white house seeming to tread carefully about the planned meeting between the president and kim jong-un. hours later, well, never mind, we are keeping them honest in that next. does this map show the peninsula trail? you won't find that on a map. i'll take you there. take this left.
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at the white house plenty of mixed messages about the possibly historic meeting between president trump and kim jong-un. still, at first she said north korea had to show they had taken ha they described as concrete actions. later white house officials said in effect, never mind, the invitation was offered and
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accepted. vice president pence chimed in saying quote, all options are on the table. keeping track of this is jeff zeleny from the white house. >> reporter: certainly a very busy couple of days, certainly the last day of domestic shuttling here. the question remains will that meeting happening. the president weighing in a short time ago on twitter. he says the deal with north korea is very much in the making and will be if completed a good one for the world. time and place. he says by early may. not a lot of time here for what is the biggest diplomatic gamble here. >> there was a sense that the president may have gotten ahead
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of his staff, is that still the sense today? >> reporter: it is the sense and i was in the white house briefing room when the president came out. the smile in his place was clear that he wanted this deal to happen and now his staff is left to make this work. the question here is what conditions this will happen under. is he giving up too much here by saying he will go over there for that meeting? and he is taking a big gamble. and democrats have seldom given him a nod on this. if this works it will be an amazing bit of diplomacy and if not, the u. is giving up a lot. president clinton came close. everything stopped after that. i am joined by former nsa and cia director general michael hayden who knows a great deal about north korea.
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the white house saying they made no concessions, is agreeing to meet is a sort of concessions? >> i think that was a big deal and the first thing i noticed when the announcement was made. i negotiated. and they made every effort to isolate me to make this appear to be a talk between the north koreans and the united states rather than the north koreans and the united nations command for which i was apart. they have been driving with this dialogue with us. this equality with us, and i fear that the most powerful image that is going to come out of this is the president of a real country ours standing next to the president of north korea with him enjoying the legit
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massy that our president brings with him. >> is that something that -- >> absolutely. kim is trying to do two things and we need to understand this because we want to leverage it. he is trying to improve the quality of life within north korean standards but also made the nuclear program a touch stone for his rule of the people. all about the march to this nuclear reach that they have and so what this is going to appear to be to the north korean people is that they have arrived at their destination and that has caused the american president to make a pilgrimage to talk with their powerful leader. i want to be hopeful. and i hope this turns out but
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this is complicated and we are making serious concessions going in. i fear the wheels will start to fly off and we may make conflict more likely in the long-term. anderson, just think now, how much both presidents are invested in this meeting and if the wheels fly off in this meeting and end up in a bad place to what are they going to turn? and as it started in the level of chief of state, they are not going to turn to diplomacy. >> the white house says the president will not have the meeting -- intelligence community. i mean north korea has been resisting any kind of verification process for decades. >> that's right and we will have a real problem with verification
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and any kind of deal. and based upon my background in intelligence, i would not promise the president that i could detect north korean cheating on the arrangement. but anderson, we have a more fundamental problem. what is the meaning of denewau r denuclearization? i am convinced it means it leads to an undefying future. their threat environment has stopped largely because we have given them a piece treaty and backed away from our commitment to defend south korea and largely because we have withdrawn our forces. sad to say, and i hope i am wrong but i don't think we see any significant reduction on the part of the north koreans
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without our changing our strategic equation on the peninsula. >> there is still unfilled position in the state department that are key to laying the ground works in this talk. >> yeah, that is another more specific tactical problem. look, we are going to have to load up the president here with an awful lot of knowledge and understanding. he has assumed the rank of chief negotiator because we are starting at the top and we want him to be very knowledgeable and very careful so he doesn't make a missteps that the north koreans exploit. and again, i want to be hopeful here. but it is going to be hard. >> appreciate your time. thank you. >> thank you. >> there is more breaking news.
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ahead, less than a month after the shooting, florida's republican governor breaks with the nra. a major loss for the nra. i will speak to a student who survived the shooting to get his take on all of it next. don't we need that cable box to watch tv?
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more breaking news tonight. the nra is suing to block a new gun law signed by florida governor rick scott, saying it prohibits law abiding citizens from exercising their right to keep and bear arms. the new law raises the age to 21 to buy all firearms and adds a three-day waiting period. it also bans the sale of ownership of bump stocks and allows some teachers to be armed in schools. this comes nearly one month after 17 students and staffers were killed at stoneman douglas high school. joining me tonight is cameron caskey, a stoneman douglas student, a survivor who petitioned for these new gun laws. what's your reaction to governor
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rick scott signing this legislation today? >> you know, governor scott is trying to look like he's taking a step in the opposite of the direction of the nra, but we know that's not really going to happen. and while seeing these two parties move in the right direction together is a positive thing, it's a baby step. if you really look at the bill, we need to ban assault weapons, and that's not happening in this bill. >> he did go out of his way today to praise the students of parkland for raising their voices. he said to the students of marjory stoneman douglas high school, you made your voices heard. you didn't let up, and you fought until there was change. you helped change our state. you made a difference. do you think he's basically -- that this is just kind of window dressing? you don't think he is really go going to keep moving in this direction? you think this is as far as it's going to go for him? >> well, no. it's nice to see that it happened, and it's nice to see there are some people thinking more for the safety of the children than for their wallets. but i do think that rick scott
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is using this as an easy way out of the situation. and while we appreciate his praise, this is not what we're looking for. >> do you have a message, i wonder, for the nra in light of the suit they have now filed against the state of florida, arguing that the legislation punishes law abiding gun owners for the criminal acts of a deranged individual? >> well, this lawsuit is just another fund-raising opportunity for the nra to pay wayne lapierre another $5 million. it's for attention. the second amendment, if you really look at it, it's not final. it's not something that's set in stone. i mean the first amendment, you've heard the fire in a movie theater rhetoric. that was written before there were machine guns, and machine guns are illegal on a federal law. the fact that the nra is claiming that they're defending everybody's second amendment rights, it's a bunch of nonsense. >> the march that's going to take place on the 24th, i'm wondering how the planning for it is going.
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what are your expectations? >> the march is going exceedingly well, better than c i could have imagined, hoped, dreamed. the only thing that's overwhelming here is that so many people are offering their help, that it's hard to keep track. but as problems go, that's a pretty good one to have. >> how is it being back at school? >> being back at school is a very -- it's very nice. i'll tell you why. i was afraid that we were going to get back together and instantly everybody was going to be breaking out in tears. and while it's been emotional and while we've all been hurting, i've never seen more school spirit, ever. stoneman douglas is an amazing community, filled with more than 3,000 leaders, and i've never been prouder to be in there in my life. >> do you think is a victory against the nra? >> i think this is a victory for anybody who is trying to go to school and not get shot. >> cameron, i appreciate your
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time. thanks. a lot more ahead tonight, an initially confusing statement by the white house secretary on the planned meeting between president trump and jim jong un. and more development in the stormy daniels saga ahead. i'm just surprised it means in my kitchen. so, that means no breakfast? voya. helping you to and through retirement.
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