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tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  May 8, 2019 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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news. contempt of congress. the battle between house democrats and the trump administration over the mueller report escalates dramatically as the judiciary committee votes to hold william barr in contempt. blocking access. president trump asserts executive privilege refusing to give congress the unredacted mueller report with the trump team stone walling lawmakers on one multiple fronts one calls it a constitutional crisis. the senate intelligence committee orders donald trump junior to return and testify but sources say he is considering invoking his fifth amendment right or just ignoring the subpoena all together. how will this stand off end?
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heroic students. new details of the latest deadly sco school shooting including how students jumped the gunman preventing greater loss of life but costing one student his. tonight emotional parents are speaking out. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." we're following multiple breaking stories this hour including the vote by the house judiciary committee to hold attorney general william barr in contempt of congress with jerry nadler calling the stand out of over the mueller report, i'm quoting him now, a constitutional crisis. also breaking, president trump adding to his administration's sfotone wallin by asserting executive privilege over the entire report and setting stage for a courtroom
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showdown. also tonight, cnn has learned the senate intelligence committee has subpoenaed the president's son, donald trump junior. sources say he's considering refusing to testify citing the fifth amendment or simply just not appearing at all. we'll talk about the breaking news and more. our correspondents and analysts are standing by. first, let geese 's go to capit. the full house of representatives must vote on whether to hold the attorney general in contempt of congress. >> reporter: that's going to happen in just a matter of days. after that court action will then ensue. the big question for democrats is now that the president is invoked executive privilege, how will that affect their investigations going forward. the house judiciary committee told me moments ago that such a move could have a quote chilling effect on his investigation into potential obstruction of justice and he said this quote tir ran
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c -- tyranny cal power must not be allowed to stand. the house judiciary committee today voted to hold attorney general bill barr in contempt of congress. >> we did not relish doing this but we have no choice. >> reporter: for defying a f subpoe subpoena. >> there could be no higher stakes than this attempt to irrigate all power to executive branch from congress and away from the american people. we have talked for a long time about approaching a constitutional crisis. we are now in it. we are now in a constitutional crisis. >> reporter: it's a move that came hours after the president took the dramatic step of blocking the release of the records by citing executive privilege. something bound to spark a drawn out court fight. >> this isn't about executive privilege. it's about burying the evidence.
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if it was about executive privilege, the attorney general would not have offered you to be able to view the documents and then tell you that you can't tell anyone what you saw. i thank for not taking the latest trump hush offer. >> reporter: some democrats said the move to defy congress on all fronts means the house should start to take up impeachment. >> do i think we're inching closer to it every day the president has a blanket privilege or saying he will obstruct the congressional investigation, for me, we're inching towards it. >> you think they should start talk about impeachment? >> i think we have to talk about it. >> reporter: in a letter to congress, the justice department argued it could not comply with democrats request without violating the law and said the president has asserted executive privilege over the entirety of the subpoenaed materials adding that jerry nadler made this
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necessary. house republicans defended the white house and attacked nadler. >> we're manufacturing a crisis. >> reporter: saying nadler acted in bad faith after refusing to view a less redacted report which has already publicly released the vast majority of mueller's report. >> i think it's about trying to destroy bill barr because democrats are nervous he will get to the bottom of everything. he will find out how and why this investigation started in first place. >> reporter: about whether mueller will be prevented from testifying before the house this month. nadler not as optimistic as he once was. >> we're still planning to have mr. mcgahn before us, have mr. mueller appear before us. the president has made that more difficult by ordering mueller not to appear. >> reporter: i asked if we are
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in a constitutional crisis why not pursue impeachment. why are you resisting and he said the short answer is that may not be the best answer in this constitutional crisis. he says there are a lot of considerations for that. not all democrats are on the same page. some want to push for impeachment right now. a sign of the divide about what to do next now that the white house is defying the request on all fronts. >> thank you. let's get some more on the breaking news about the president's son. they want him to testify. how is he responding? >> this is the republican led intelligence subpoena. they have asked him to come in to testify. donald trump junior's camp is saying this is essentially going to become a stand off. sources tell us that it's possible that donald trump junior pleads the fifth or he
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doesn't show up at all. kate lynn kol lcollins said no r would agree to allow their client to participate in an obvious pr stunt from a so called republican senator too cowardly to stand up to his boss and the rest of the democratics on the committee. it looks like the standoff will not reach any resolution and he will continue to fight this appearance before congress. >> he's not his boss. that was in that statement but it's dramatic the republican chairman of the senate intelligence agreeing with the democrats, calling donald trump junior to come before the committee a day after the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell said it's over. case closed. it's time to move on. stop all the investigations. >> i think this is telling us that is not how the senate intelligence committee feels. they don't agree with mitch
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mcconnell on that. if you remember don junior spoke with the senate intelligence committee and house judiciary in 2017 but he refused to speak to robert mueller. so much more information has come to light. senate intelligence still conducting their investigation. they had jared kushner and adviser come back in recently. they are asking for don junior to come back and it seems like the stand off will stay where it is where he's not going to answer any questions. i think the issue is what we see is that the real concern here is that this just a potential perjury trap. they are trying to get him tripped up on some of these issues. he comes up in the report around the trump tower moscow discussions, the meeting with the russian lawyer. it seems like the legal risk is too great for don junior to come in before the committee. >> the latest on that front. a dramatic development.
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thank you very much. president trump has just added another obstacle to democrats effort to see the full mueller report by exerting executive privilege. let's go to jim acosta. the president and his team seem to be defying democrats at every turn. >> reporter: that's right. as for the news on donald trump junior, the white house at this point is not expected to comment on that news. we don't expect that to happen. you never know what will happen at a trump rally as the president will be on stage in a couple of hours from now. we'll have to wait and see if he wants to comment on the latest developments regarding his eldest son. the president does appear to be heading toward a constitutional crisis with house democrats. the white house is defending the white house use of executive privilege as the president appears to be turning the art of the deal into the art of the conceal. playing a game of hide and seek, president trump is pulling out all the stops to keep the full
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mueller report out of the hands of democrats. >> the the mueller report clears you, why not let congress see all of it, sir. >> reporter: the president is now asserting executive privilege to block the reports unreleased materials from house democrats after sew dijudiciary committee sought to hold william barr in con cement tempt of con. in a letter barr told the president in the circumstances you may properly assert executive privilege with respect to the entirety of the department of justice materials that the committee has demanded. the white house is all but taunting nadler to take the matter to court. >> you would think for an attorney chairman nadler would be a bit more up on the law. i'm not and i feel like i understand it better than he does. he is trying to violate the law. the president and the attorney general are the ones that are upholdsing it. >> reporter: the stand off over the mueller report comes one day after the administration instructed former white house counsel don mcgahn to refuse to cooperate with nadler committee prompting nancy pelosi to drop
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the i word. >> the president is goading us into impeachment whether it's obstructi obstruction, obstruction, obstruction of having people come to the table with facts, ignoring subpoenas every single day. the president is making a case. he's becoming self-impeachable in terms of some of the things. >> reporter: as for his other big secret, the president is defending his practice of avoiding paying taxes after a new york times report found he suffered more than one billion dollars in business losses tweeting real estate developers in the 1980s and 1990s were entitled to massive write offs. you always wanted to show losses for tax purposes. almost all real estate developers did and renegotiate with banks. it was sport. the new york times reveal mr. trump was able to avoid paying taxes for much of that ten year period. the president has bragged about his ability to avoid paying
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taxes in the past. >> because the only years that anybody's ever seen were a couple of years when he had to turn them over to state authorities when he was trying to get a casino license and they showed he didn't pay any federal income tax. >> that makes my smart. i have a tremendous income and the reason i say that is not in a bragging way. it's about time that this country had somebody running it that had an idea about money. >> reporter: mr. trump's steep losses call into question his main pitch to voters in 2016 that he was a business geniugen. >> our country needs a truly great leader. we need a truly great leader now. we need a leader that wrote the artic art of the deal. >> reporter: the president is eager to get down to this rally
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for one of those events with his supporters who remain very loyal to the president. the president's supporters are just as feisty as administration officials back in washington who seem also eager to take this stand off with congressional democrats over the mueller report over all these other areas from the hearing room to the courtroom. >> thanks very much. let's get some more on all of this. steve cohen is a member of the judiciary committee. he was there throughout the day. congressman, you just voted to hold the attorney general in contempt. did you accomplish really anything practical today or was this simply a political stunt as your critics allege? >> it was a proper activity for the judiciary committee to take. bar has been contemptuous of us last week of not showing us. he was contemptuous today by not
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giving the documents. the attempt we brought will end up in the courts and it will take some time before anything happens and it could be through the election. i would rather have done it. i want to take strong action to show this attorney general, this administration, this president will not sully the constitution and the work of our founding fathers and what this country, this building where i'm in now was built upon. that's what they're doing. >> your chairman says he may pursue a civil lawsuit but is that going to have any effect on the attorney general? >> none what so ever. he is roy cohn for donald trump who is standing in the shoes of joe mccarthy. >> the justice department sed you terminated negotiations for the unredacted mueller report by holding this contempt vote today. have you undermined your own effort to get that information? >> well we'll have to see what
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happens. that's possible what they'll do. they want to stone wall everything. trump has said they will not respond to any subpoenas congress issues from any of the committees. i suspect they wouldn't complied with this one. what they offered us was just nothing. they suggested additional staffer be able to go and they said people that can participate keep their notes. that was their concessions. it's the sjudiciary committee should see the entire report and that would all be appropriate. we have legislation and powers that we have at our disposal. >> president trump asserted executive impressive leprivileg entire mueller report. is that a legitimate use of executive power? >> i think the courts will find it's not. not only have they allowed these people to testify before mr.
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mueller and testify before grand juries. they have given up executive privilege but to exert executive privilege over an entire investigation, over an entire special counsel's report is unheard of. i think the courts will rule on our side that's not appropriate. this is all part of their stone walling delaying tactics. trump is just trying to stay alive. he's staying alive. >> the chairman of your committee said discussions to have the special counsel robert mueller testify are ongoing. are your efforts better spent on securing that testimony rather than escalating this fight with the attorney general which may wind up in court and drag on and on and on and go nowhere? >> i'm not sure what will be best. i know where we are. i think we are doing what we should do because he's been contemptuous of the congress. he lied to congress. when charily crist asked about the mueller team and his
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summary, he lied last week when he was in the senate. when you lie to congress, when you're contemptuous of congress, congress needs to take action. we play too nice with this man and too nice with the russians. the russians influence the election and they are taking all the activities they can. see if they can't con the american public and their supporters into another term. that would be the worst thing that could happen to this country. it could be the end of america as we have known it. >> one final question before i let you go. you've been getting some flak for bringing the fried chicken to that hearing where the attorney general didn't show up suggesting your opinion that he's a chicken. any regrets for having done that? >> only regret i have is that i bit into the chicken because there's a lot of photographs and it's hard to bite into chicken and look real good afterwards.
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i regret that but i don't think regret doing it. we brought the fact he did chicken out. he was cowardly didn't appear before our committee and brought it to an audience that wouldn't have known it. people that don't watch "the situation room" but they might watch the late night tv shows. it got that message out and a visual is sometimes better than talking or writing. i think we succeeded in that. it was a bit of humor. i've always had humor in my life. i like comedy and i thought it was a little funny. as far as the late night tv show folks might not have been that wild about it, see if they get booked in congress. >> congressman, thanks so much for joining us. >> you're welcome. the breaking news continue next with more on the house
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judiciary committee vote to hold the attorney general in contempt of congress. donald trump junior now facing a subpoena from the senate intelligence committee. will he respond? g the sugar in your family's diet, coke, dr pepper and pepsi hear you. we're working together to do just that. bringing you more great tasting beverages with less sugar or no sugar at all. smaller portion sizes, clear calorie labels and reminders to think balance. because we know mom wants what's best. more beverage choices, smaller portions, less sugar.
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contempt. our political and legal exerts are here with analysis. what does it tell you that donald trump junior has now been subpoenaed to come before the senate intelligence committee. >> i presume he declined be invitation since they issued a subpoena. the first is simple, they said maybe we'll have follow up questions. there's a better reason they did this. people sat down on capitol hill said what did he tell us in testimony. how does that match up with the mueller report? there's some discrepanciediscre. he can't explain those. >> the committee chairman richard burr going against what mitch mcconnell said yesterday, end all these investigations. case closed. let's move on. a source close to donald trump junior calling subpoena quote an obvious pr stunt from a so called republican senator. we're talking about richard
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burr. the republican senator from north carolina. wlooe we're learning he's considering pleading the fifth or not showing up. >> the congress will have choice. they can immunize him or accept him not to testify. the concern here is whether or not donald trump junior committed perjury. there's a couple of difference instances but things like he testify before the committee he did not inform his father of that meeting in which russians offered to give dirt on hillary clinton. michael cohen said he was present for an exchange between trump junior and senior and they discussed a meeting that appeared as though they talked about it previously. the committee would want to bring donald trump junior in to discuss that. there are some indications he may have already asserted the fifth amendment. that's a bit of a hint in the mueller report. we don't know what's behind the grand jury redactions.
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it does talk attempts by mueller's team to interview donald trump junior. they weren't able to do that. there's a redacted portion for grand jury system purposes. if he had asserted the fifth or said he was, that's the way it would present it. ultimately, donald trump junior can probably decline to answer specific questions but the indication he just not going to show up, he's not going to comply at all, that he won't get away with. >> are you surprised the republican comes from the republican controlled senate intelligence committee? >> i'm totally surprised because senator burr and senator warner on the senate intelligence committee have had better working relations than congressman schiff and congressman nunes from the last congress. it seems like this is something they can approach together and seems like this invitation started before this refusal and now that the mueller report is out, that donald trump junior has changed his position a little bit. i want to follow up on one thing. i agree with you on everything
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that you just said. i do think that donald trump junior is testing the proposition of whether he can get away with not showing up. i think he realizes this isn't game of thrones. the capitol police won't go away and pry him away from secret service detail just to enforce a subpoena. bring in some other witnesses. ask them about, like hope hicks. ask them about what took place on air force one when the president was repairing statement about donald trump's junior involvement and get them to testify and see if donald trump junior wants to revise his statement based on those other witnesses. >> what do you think? >> i think to david's point it's worth pointing out the senate intelligence committee has operated in way that's more bipartisan than what you have seen from some of the committees in the house. there are these unanswered questions and more scrutiny over what donald trump junior told members of congress when he
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testified before them in september of 2017. it's not just about that trump tower meeting in june of 2016 where he was receptive to receiving dirt on hillary clinton from the russians but also what he said about negotiations over potential trump tower project in moscow. he said at the time he was only slightly ware of that project. you had evidence to the contrary. the president's former attorney said he briefed donald trump junior and ivanak about tep times about the nature of that project. it's the first time we have seen a subpoena against one of the president's children. it's probably something the president will not he act well too. the question is what congress chooses to do if don junior defies it. >> i suspect he's very, very angry, right now. stick around. there's more dramatic development unfolding. we'll take a quick break. we'll be right back. >> tech: at safelite autoglass, we know sooner or later...
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let's get back to our specialist, our analyst. the house judiciary, a historic vote. they voted to hold the attorney general william barr in contempt. what led to this moment? >> i think given where we are, they probably not had much choice. the attorney general are
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exerting executive impressive lenl ov -- privilege over this sweeping range of this report. that's not what executive privilege is for. it's so the president can confer with senior advisers to run the got government. not to say that everything is a secret. the law is on democrats side. the problem, i think, is that the democrats have played this all by sort of queensbury rules. they want everything to be above board and good sportsmanship and that's not the way the white house and the justice department are playing this. >> is the president within his right to exert executive privilege over the full report when a big chunk detailed information before he became president. >> executive privilege doesn't apply to things that took place before trump took office. it may apply to investigative materials. what the department of justice has done is asked for the president to assert protective
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executive privilege. they are saying we will exert this over all materials. we're acknowledging some of them are not properly subject but we're making that claim because we need additional time to review that information. not just the information in the mueller report but also all of that underlying investigative materials. this really is about buying themselves more time and also to give bill barr a defense to the contempt charge that the house voted on today. ultimately we're probably going to see the negotiating process between the two branches. >> the chairman of the house judiciary committee says there's a constitutional crisis. his words. a constitutional crisis. the justice department says it couldn't comply with what the judiciary committee democrats wanted because they say they would be breaking the law if they did so. i assume there's going to be a lengthy legal battle. >> that's precisely where this was all headed. that's one of the concerns democrats have had.
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now that we're entering this next phase which is likely to be a protracted legal balttle, tha process could take months if not years. there's an urgency of getting the fuel mueller report available. they were seeking the full report, unredacted report and underlying evidence and they hoped the justice department would work with them to obtain grand jury information through a court order. that's obviously what led to this stalemate. there are going to be questions about the tactics here and whether or not democrats should have gone ahead with an actual contempt vote which is an escalation between the legislative branch and executive branch. i think they wanted to send a clear message in is not one specific question brequest but when they have told the white house counsel to defy a subpoena to appear and testify on capitol hill. treasury secretary denied the house ways and means request for the president's tax return. they wanted to send a clear
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message to this trump administration that there will be consequences for ignoring the oversight demands of democrats in congress. >> chairman nadler says he's less confident that the special counsel, robert mueller, will come before his committee. are you confident we'll hear from the special counsel? >> yes. we're operating on eastern daylight time. it's mueller time. i worked for him four and a half years. i informer saw him sweat over anything. let's talk about his time frame. we have the attorney general saying the oversight committee and i have a third grade time out about whether i tiff or whether we send a full report. the department of justice oversaw the mueller investigation. if you're a seasoned pro like mueller who never sweats, you're saying they have to resolve their issues about whether the guy who will oversee the investigation now will testify before i go up there. he'll go but not until the dust settles, i think. >> it will be battle over that front, i suspect as well. stick around.
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breaking news. one of two suspects from the school shooti ining near denver colorado has just appeared.
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the other suspect has not yet had a hearing. one student was killed during the attack that left eight people wounded. scott, what's the latest? >> reporter: one of those suspects, an 18-year-old was in court. his hair was dyed purple. he kept his head down and only spoke when responded to the judge. the prosecution asked for more time. there won't be any formal charges filed until friday. police are pretty unclear about any potential motives but witnesses say there's no doubt who helped stop the shooters. a private security guard and a student named kendrick castello. >> have you had chance to talk to mr. ericson. >> reporter: tonight 18-year-old devin ericson appearing in court. a second suspect in custody, a female juvenile yet to be named. still trying to determine a motive. gunfire erupted just before 2:00
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p.m. tuesday. >> attention all units information on the shooting. >> reporter: officers responded within minutes. the stem school had a single armed private security guard who went straight to the sound of the gunfire apprehendsing one shooter as they left the room. kendrick didn't hesitate when one of the shooters walked into the class. >> as soon as he said don't you move, kendrick lunged, giving us enough time to hide under our desks. >> reporter: that's one of his classmates that cost him his life but saved so many others. his parents aren't surprised. >> we raised him to be good. because of what he did others are alive and i thank god for that. >> reporter: they go on the admit. >> there's another part of you that wishes he would have turn and ran, retreated, hid. did something to put himself out of harms way if that was possible. >> reporter: they say kendrick was always a defender of others.
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he was a soon to be graduate who was active on his school's robotics team and plan toned tho to college to become an engineer. this mother said if it wasn't for him, her child wouldn't be alive. >> how does it make you feel to hear that? >> makes me happy that she has her son. it makes me sad that mine is not here. >> reporter: in fact his parents say when they heard of the shooting, they tried calling his cell phone. no one answered. >> i was getting nothing. my anxiety and my lump in my chest was growing. >> reporter: at the reunification center they watched as parents hugged their kids. eventually realizing. >> we didn't have that. >> we have a shooter in room 107. >> reporter: a student's cell phone was recording a student's first heard this. >> attention, please. lockdown. >> reporter: and then this. her son sent these texts from inside the lockdown. he says we have to keep our
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hands free. ie eight people were injured. three of them in intensive care. >> kendrick was one of three student who is tackled one of the shooters to the ground. one of the others is brendan biley. an aspiring marine. the marines called his actions admirable. he called his friend kendrick a hero. wolf. >> so heartbreaking. thanks very much. just ahead, the u.s. intensifies maximum pressure campaign on iran. we have details of what prompted these tough new sanctions. drivers just wont put their phones down. we need a solution. introducing... smartdogs. the first dogs trained to train humans. stopping drivers from: liking. selfie-ing. and whatever this is. available to the public... never. smartdogs are not the answer. but geico has a simple tip.
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the united states is i'm potion -- inpose imposing sanctions on iran. our national security kylie is here in the situation room with the latest. the trump administration clearly intensifying its maximum pressure campaign against arrir >> that could be a reason for the pronouncements that we heard from iran. today iran said it plans to scale back on the commitments to the iran nuclear deal but not overnight. it's saying you have an option here. if you ease the restrictions on our oil and our banking sectors, then we'll stay in the deal. if you don't, 60 days from now,
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we are going to be in non-compliance with the deal. this comes as you point out as the u.s. continues to ramp up the pressure. they put new sanctions on iran's medal exports today. that's a very important sector to the iranian economy, it's the third largest revenue when it comes to exports and the u.s. says that more sanctions are coming. they are not stopping here. >> and how close was iran before the nuclear deal to actually develop some sort of nuclear weapons capability? >> estimates range. so it was from about three to six months before the iran nuclear deal that experts believed that it would take iran to have enough time to develop. essentially a fuel to develop a nuclear weapon but now that breakout time with the deal in place is about a year. the question is, if iran does move forth in 60 days and gets out of the deal, then what? how do the significantries to
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the deal respond? they said over the past day they could come back with sanctions but also how does the u.s. respond? would they go after nuclear facilities in iran? >> kylie, thank you for that report. just ahead, a very different story. a royal debut as harry and meghan show off their new son and announce his name. er or lat. every chip will crack. this daughter was home visiting when mom saw a chip in her windshield. >> mom: honey is that a chip? >> tech: they wanted it fixed fast so they brought it to us. >> mom: hi. >> tech: with our in-shop chip repair service, we can fix it the same day... guaranteed. plus with most insurance a safelite chip repair is no cost to you. >> mom: really? drive safely. all right. ♪ acoustic music >> singers: ♪ safelite repair, ♪ safelite replace. morning. what are you doing? isn't it obvious? nah. we're delivering live market coverage and offering expert
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sussex introduced the baby today. max, tell us more about baby archie. >> reporter: yeah, archie. no regional history at all, really. certainly not in that form. arch perhaps but you have to go a long way to find it. they chose archie simply because they like it i'm told, harrison, very simple. they want to reflect normality in many ways and move away a bit from the regional system. natural parents in a very grand palace behind me. >> it's magic. it's pretty amazing and i have the two best guys in the world, so i'm really happy. he has the sweetest temperament. he's really calm and. >> he gets that from me. >> he -- and he's been -- he's just been a dream. so it's been a special couple
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days. >> yeah, it great. parenting is amazing. it only been, what, two and a half days, three days but we're just so thrilled to have our own little bundle of joy and we get to spend some precious time with him as he slowly starts to grow up. he's already got a little facial hair, as well. wonderful. >> our photo opportunity, a private moment. photographers brought in behind the scenes. they came up with a stunning image with doria ragland there, meghan's mother with the queen. looks really natural. almost looks like a painting. it will be on all the front pages. i can say they won't bring this baby up with a title. they want him to have his own life, his own career away from the structures of palace life, which is interesting, as well. >> really quickly, what's the reaction to the name archie? >> well, archie in this country is a very popular name.
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lots of people have it. so actually, i think it's really indear endeared the could. "erin burnett out front" starts now. the united states is in a constitutional crisis, trump invoking executive privilege for the first time to stop democrats in their tracks. is he daring them to impeach him? >> more breaking news, a republican lead senate intelligence committee subpoenas that trump junior. what exactly do they want from him right now? and standoff with iran, tensions escalating tonight. is the u.s. on a path to a new war? let's go "out front." good evening, i'm erin burnett. a constitutional crisis, those are the words of the chairman of the house judiciary commiee


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