tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN March 30, 2017 12:00am-1:01am PDT
breaking news. a source telling cnn that jared kushner's meeting with russian officials including with a head of a bank under u.s. sanctions were an attempt to find the right person to open a back channel to vladimir putin. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. in just a few hours the senate opens its first public hearing on the russian involvement in the election. we've got some other breaking news to start with. the president's travel ban in hawaii is breaking news. cnn's justice reporter, she's on
the phone with details. what do you know, laura? >> reporter: well, that's right, don. a federal judge in hawaii has planted a request for a recall of the president's travel ban. if you remember two weeks ago, that was only a temporary aderholt. it was using something that's called a temporary restraining order which typically expires after 14 days. so they asked for it to be converted into a longer-term prelimary injunction so it could last through trial, and the judge agreed tonight. on theimators of their establishment. i know a member of that entire discussion from jauj watson just two weeks ago describing what he viewed as a violation of the constitution bhauz he used it to
revise travel bans, discriminated against muslims. >> it's interesting again. this is another blow to the white house in this travel ban, this executive order. laura, this is a more not permanent but a longer, i guess, stay on this order until there's actually trial. do we know when a trial is set or how long this will take before it goes on? >> yes. so what this will do is essentially place a pause on everything until either the department of justice appeals. and in the event they get this decision overturned, that would obviously change the equation. but assuming nothing happened, if the department of justice didn't do anything, right now that means they'd have to go through and actually mitigate the executive order. so what this does is place the
order on hold. obviously, the justice department we hasn't heard from yet and they could easily appeal this ruling to the 9th circuit court of appeals. >> a longer term aderholt on the revised travel ban executive order. laura, i want you to standby because i want to bring in carl bernstein. carl, how do you think this is going to play at the white house or is playing at the white house. >> well, i think the president of the united states gets very angry any time a judicial body or judge says that he or his presidency has acted illegally or has not followed the necessary protcalls and rules. but the president of the united states also recognizes that he has to follow the law. and all he can do here is file a
series of appeals and hope that he prevails. >> here's what it reads, carl. and the plaintiffs ask for it to be converted into a longer-term prelimary injunction and the guj agreed wednesday night. the court concludes that on the record before it, plaintiffs have met the burden of having established on theimators of the stabment clausz claim. what do you read into that? what does that mean? >> it means that those who want to see this policy halted have got a real argument in their favor based on the prior, quote, legislative history or the history of how this rule and travel ban came to be. if you remember how the president and the president of the united states and those around made statements
indicating they wanted to keep muslims out of america. and i think the plaintiffs here are pursuing that as prejudicial. but i'm not a lawyer. the trump presidency has an awful lot of explaining to do here if it's going to prevail with these rules. but it's going to the supreme court eventually i would imagine, and there's no way of telling how this is going to be resolved. >> this means the justice department can now appeal the ruling to the 9th circuit if they choose to do so. >> that's right, don. now they have this prelimary injunction as you mentioned, is going to last longer which gives them something to actually appeal to those judges. and as we know there's also an appeal in the fourth circuit court of appeals out on the east
coast. so it's potentially setting up a real circuit court showdown if these two circuits courts come out any differently, then it is certainly headed directly to supreme court. >> all right, i want you to standby as we continue on with this breaking news, a federal judge in hawaii granting a request on the travel ban executive order. and i want to bring in now douglas chen a hawaii attorney general. what do you make of this. >> thank you very much for the opportunity. this is great religious freedom. judge watson here in hawaii made a ruling that upheld the first amendment right disfavoring people based upon their religion. and we now have a preliminary injunction.
>> until this goes to trial it also means they could appeal this ruling to the 9th circuit should they choose to do so. so take us what happens with this? >> right. well, now in all likelihood the u.s. government will be appealing this. i think that's pretty much expected. and i think what's significant about this order is that the federal judge here is also the part of the order that extends refugee recognition. so it actually keeps those refugee programs intact, keeps the status quo the way it is. the judge in maryland has only stopped section 2. but this order joins section 2 and section 6. >> so each time they try to get this ban put into place, someone
puts a aderholt on it. what does this say to you about the underlying principle of this ban? >> well, you know, ultimately i think what's happened here is time after time in the court they're pushing back and saying that the constitution is something that you have to look at. and that was one of the points we actually made in court today is there a statement where donald trump talks about muslims are pouring into the country and syrian refugees are converting our children to isis. one of the statements he then made was i refuse to be politically correct. we're not actually criticizing trump for being politically incorrect. we're criticizing for him being constitutionally correct. he's not making statements or
introducing policies that are in line with the constitution. >> what about his advisers? what about what they said? >> well, then you had his surrogates who were also talking about how the policy was designed in order to be able to disguise a muslim ban instead of pretext under neutral language. and then of course two weeks ago president trump himself as the president spoke on national tv. and we all heard him. he said this is just a watered down version of the first version. and if i had my way, i'd want to go back to the first. well, if that doesn't sound like pretext, then nothing else does. that's exactly what he was trying to accomplish. >> i'll ask you the question that i asked our justice reporter laura. how long do you think this is resolved? what do you think for time line? >> oh, i have the impression
that there's going to be -- we're already in process with the government attorneys, and so i have an impression we're going to be seeing an appeal fairly soon. and of course as you already mentioned there's a second circuit appeal going on. it also impacts the refugee mission protection. >> from the trump side they keep saying this is not a muslim ban. in your estimation, you think this is a ban of muslims and that's why the very underlying thing here is that it is unconstitutional. >> absolutely. and i think what the 9th circuit has said in the washington case and what we're arguing is context matters. the government has repeatedly says is they think nobody should
look beyond thefore cornerers of the document. but the supreme court and other cases have said if you have an somebodiment cause violation of the first amendment, we simply cannot quote. if there is a religious and discriminatory purpose behind it, there's no way you can't just look at that. and here you don't have just these statements. you have statements over two years where he's just laid this antemuslim bias. >> standby. also joining us carl bernstein political analyst. and also laura jarrett, our justice reporter. having listened, carl, to dogilous chen wheres what's your assessment of this and what's next for the administration? >> well, obviously, an appeal is
next. i think it's very difficult to predict what the supreme court will do. but donald trump and his surrogates have laid down, as the attorney general has said, a record in which their statements have been prejudicial in a way that one might say violates the intent of this travel ban. the intent of the travel ban trump and his associates made clear time and time again was to single out people of a certain ridge, a certain demographic that was not about merit buts rather about belief. and thathat is going to cause them trouble in the courts as it has already. and evenp in a divided supreme court, which we have now, it's very difficult to foresee the court will rule in fact in favor of the travel ban. and at the same time the court
our breaking news a federal judge in hawaii has granted the state's request for a longer term halt of the revised travel ban executive order we'll keep on that story and see if there's a response from the white house in the coming hours -- in the coming moments. now to the question about possible ties to russia, not going away for president donald trump. here to discuss my panel. and carl burnstein and back with
us. so in the segment let's talk about what we know and don't know about connections with president trump and his businesses, his current and former associates, and russia. so let's start with the president. so, carl, this is what trump tweeted on january 17th. "russia has never tried to use leverage over me. i have nothing to do with russia. no deals, no loans no nothing." listen to this. >> i don't know have anything to do with russia. russia is all a fake news fabricated deal to make up for the loss of the democrats. i own nothing in russia. i have no loans in russia. i don't have any deals in russia. >> so, carl, at a real estate conference in 2008 donald trump, jr. said, quote, we see a lot of money pouring in from russia.
do you believe donald trump's statements to be true? >> no, i don't think they're true. i also think there might be an absolute literal thing he's trying to do. look, the real question here is to do with russia, the former russia of the soviet union that surround the current russian federation. we know donald trump and his family have had extensive dealings. look, what we are looking at in this whole story is a coverp. the intelligence community believes there's a cover up and the fbi. what exactly is being covered up is unclear, but it has something to do with the relationships between those in the trump campaign, at least, and those who are ethno-russians, russia itself. we're trying to get to the bottom of that in the press. the other investigations, the fbi on capitol hill are trying
to do the same thing. and what's so constickious is the president of the united states, his family, his associates in the business, are trying to throw every possible impediment in front of the investigators rather than opening the door to truth. >> as i understand you have a question for cen. what did you want to ask him? >> no, i think it's already been brought up by what you just presented. >> so we're good. okay. so let's talk about this meeting with jared kushner, met with the head of a russian bank with ties to putin and fsb. they said the meeting was a quote, relationship meeting, meant to establish a back channel to putin. do you think this meeting was about money or politics or about both? >> well, probably about both.
it was a very significant meeting. he's a banker, and thairn talking about money. money goes to the heart of it. if you follow the money, well donald trump never built a hotel in moskow and doesn't have investments over there, correspondingly the russian oligarchs and invessers, oligarchs from the former soviet union basically bailed out the trump organization a number of years ago after they were bankruptcied by the casinos. and if they pull the plug on the trump organization and its various real estate projects at any point in time the entire organization could collapse. so while literally he doesn't
have investments over there, in a very real financial sense the russians in a broader sense own trump. >> what do you think about that? is this about politics or money or both? >> with jared kushner, it's usually about money. it has been historically about money. now he has this role in the trump administration, and now of course his wife and trump's daughter in her role now has gone officially in the administration, i think it's increasingly about power, too. i can't really reconcile donald trump's statements with what donald trump, jr. said that we see lots of deals and opportunities. >> we see money pouring in. >> we see lots of deals, money pouring in. i just don't see how the two are reconciled. and again whether it's paul manafort and laundering that
money has been alleged, buying real estate. i think what carl said is so interesting to me because, you know, he's the expert on where pulling strings take you and where things lead. and we're beginning to see this slowly unravel. it's fascinating. >> you mentioned manafort. you have some reporting on the real estate trance action in new york including one propertyt at trump tower. what do you know? >> there was a pattern in which an llc associated with manafort purchased a property for all cash, meaning no financing. and then many years later or years later transferred it to manafort's name and he borrowed quite a bit of money against it. this is not necessarily an unusual thing in new york. the real estate is so valuable. but what we found is that federal regilators have become
increasingly concerned because as the new york market blows up, it becomes an increasingly attractive place to store money, sometimes ill-got. and what law enforcement experts said to us is that because of all the other allegations and scrutiny, looking at paul manafort and his dealings with the russian oligarch, dealings with ukrainians, innow he's under scrutiny for a bank for possible money launlderring, when you put all these together, it raises flags for investigators. >> so, ken, i want to ask you this because cnn has been able to confirm some of the real estate actions. he says i'm sorted of disappointed but my personal investments in real estate are all ordinary business trance
actions. it is common practice to use an llc to -- my identity was disclosed. in fact my name is right there on the documents in one of today's news reports. so the concern raised by andrew's reporting and that others have looked at is that this could be -- it could be some time of trance action used to lobby money. and i say could be. so explain these trance actions and are they potentially suspicious or are they, as he said, normal trance actions? >> these trance actions have all the classic earmarks of money laundering. and the purchase of the trump tower properties are right around the time that we now know that paul monfort entered into a $10 million a year deal with a
russian oligarch deripaska. so you have an all cash deal. you have a transfer of the ownership, then, in that or other properties you would have him then cashing out of the deal by taking large mortgages out and then buying other properties. and a lot of the money flowed through the cypress banks. so what you have is really tens of millions of dollars, and this is just one person, manafort, acting like much a russian oligarch, moving a lot of their money and using the loopholes in our money laundering -- antemoney laundering laws to buy a lot of real estate. >> and we need to point out we know how much money there is to be made in new york real estate. i mean these could just be good
investments? >> they very well good be. he got paid this money and decided to turn it into manhattan real estate. but this happened -- i mean, to your point, this is guy who was an advisor, paid consultant to russian oligarchs who then becomes donald trump's campaign manager. and this is guy who donald trump cannot say a bad word about vladimir putin. he's probably the only person in the world who hasn't said a bads word about it. our president of the united states is deeply troubling. and is this another string that needs to pulled onto see how this whole puzzle of russia fits together. >> we just don't know if any lines were crossed. but there are quite a few flags
here. for example in addition to the manhattan property, there's a townhouse in brooklyn where manafort took out $7 million in loans on a house that's worth 4 or $5 million. so the trance actions are maybe fine, but there's certainly something that looks odd. yes, we found them. it wasn't super easy to find them. for example, the trump tower apartment was purchased in the year of 2006, the same time he signed the deal with the russian oligarch with john hannah. so it was not easy to put together. although, yes, if you dug down through the layers of documents, you could find it traced back to
manafort. >> and one thing that's very important here and that is the associates press did a remarkable reporting in which they found a document in which manafort made a proposal on behalf of his consulting firm in which he actually stated that he wanted to further the policies of vladimir putin in the united states and with officials here. what we are seeing is a president of the united states promise to drain the swamp. instead of draining the swamp and telling those people around him and inhis campaign and his in family, hey, let's open up all our books, the records of the campaign, and l let's do an transparent organization here and get past this. he instead has got a sewer backing up into the white house. this is not draining the swamp. this is not cooperating with investigators. and this is why there's a belief
that some kind of coverup is ongoing. although it's not clear yet what's being covered up. but certainly some of the things we're talking about tonight appear to be part of it. not to mention general flynn who was in charge of national security policy for the trufl campaign, and who was integral to what we have seen in these policy decisions made by donald trump as a candidate. >> ken, last word on this. >> sure. the evidence has shown that not only was manafort moving tens of millions of dollars that he obtained from oleg deripaska, but a lot of the money he got was for lobbying efforts for these foreign nationals and governments in washington without registering. so you have a combination of
money laundering and lobbying possibility of it. >> this is getting outside of the scope of the reporting weave here on cnn. but go ahead and finish your thought. >> but it really has all the classic earmarks of money launder, which he did not only with oleg deripaska and others. and he actively went out, as carl said, to solicit hundreds of millions of dollars from these foreigners to bring it into american real estate with the sales pitch that this is the way to bring tainted money in, sell the apartments, keep them. it really doesn't make much difference whether you make money or not, when you sell it -- >> this is why we need credible investigation. thank you all. i appreciate it. coming up president trump speaking about supporting women
lady melania trump both talking about empowering women today. here to discuss my panel. so good to have all of you on. thank you ladies. i really appreciate and look forward to this. >> my administration will work every day to ensure our economy is place where women can work, succeed and thrive like never before. that includes fighting to make sure that all mothers in all families have access to affordable child care. [ cheers and applause ] >> we want every daughter in america to grow up in a country where she can believe in herself, believe in her future and follow her heart and realize her dreams.
[ applause ] >> and we want a country that celebrates family, celebrates community, and creates a safe and loving home for every child, every child. that's what we want. >> so i'm going to start with -- let's start with you. do you give him credit for those sentiments about women? is that hard for you to -- >> this is one time where i need for him to not lead. this is space right here as a father and daughter if you're going to be -- where is the natural sentiment? where is what comes to you naturally when you're talking about the uplift of women? because if we're to go by your record, if we're to go by what
you did with the affordable care act, at this point if you want me to believe you, i've got to hear something that doesn't sound like somebody just gave you five minutes before this live. >> we've seen his comments about women, about his comments on howard stern, his access hollywood comments. those are off-the-cuff remarks. so they have to script him on this because we know he's capable of talking about how he really feels. all of those things. i heard tat, and thought to myself where i would like a world where my daughter and girls grow up where you don't have to explain to them that the president of the united states got elected after he admitted grabbing women by their genitals. that's what i want. this is an embarrassment that he was able to get away with those
things and get elected. >> i know it agitated the left so much that they have to default to bring up his past, a past he has apologized for with regard to access hollywood tape. but i like to look at actions. i like to look at the records. i like to look at the fact the first female campaign manager was kellyanne conway. i like to look at the fact there's many female executives in the trump administration. but those are all things the left want to overlook because they want to find negatives with president donald trump. >> we know last month for black history month hbcu president went to the white house to meet with him for a very uncomfortable picture not just
because kellyanne conray was in the middle of it but also -- >> they weren't very happy about the meeting. there were several who were fine with it, and there were several who thought he didn't meet the standard. but in the middle of black history month, when he does sound genuine, he is talk about what terra is saying. when he is not reading from the propertier he's talking about -- but the point is this is someone who doesn't come across your point is genuine at all when he's reading the prompter. >> you mentioned april ryan and also we'll --
>> bad andre to bad hombre. i'm back with my panel now. so terra, the first lady melania trump gave the first keynote speech today p/e women encourage awards. and she said in her speech this. >> we must continue to work towards gender empowerment and respect for people from all backgrounds and ethnicities. remembering always that we are automatically members of one race, the human race. >> do you think that she can be an asset to her husband when it comes to women? >> i think that she needs to grow into the position of first lady. she's clearly uncomfortable in this position.
she should be honored to be in this position. i really don't have any sympathy for her. oh, it's so hard to be a first lady, and i didn't sign-up for this. you have the honor and distinction of being the first lady of the united states. she should really embrace this. guess what? this is your job now. >> do you know it's hard to be the first lady? >> sheer, it is. >> i've actually had conversations with her about this, and she's excited to be first lady. >> you can't tell. >> she has a deep heart and passion for children. >> i'm not a liberal. i've been a conservative my whole life so -- >> okay, it's unfair to say melania trump's uncomfortable.
you've not spoken to her. this is hypercriticism of someone who's doing her best, someone who has a clear vision for children. she's doing a great job. she's a mother. give her break. she has a great job. >> i think, frankly, she's traveling with the president. she's got her office in the west wing. she's taking her voluntary job -- she is closer to the white house than even melania is. and, frankly, more power to her. but the reality is she isn't really embracing. to terra's point, i think it's an honor and a privilege. i'm going to move my family into the white house so it's not costing taxpayers money. >> listen, i know the money is big thing.
if you're fisically conservative, you've got to be fisicallyb conservative. >> do it all the way. >> but you don't know what's happening in our home or what kind of commitment she's making to her child. so i think we should give her some leeway with that. but i want to say that black women who worked -- and at the white house briefing that women were disrespectful. hillary clinton spoke about it. why do you think this struck a cord? >> because spicer -- first of all, ryan is so clever. at this point he is claiming himself by himself. he's really all the actors. >> he's playing the role of a -- >> he is playing the role of someone who is qualified to do his job when in fact he is not. he is playing the role of
someone who issatensibly not someone who's supposed to be a built in racist, sexist when he is. so by body language, the fact he is singling out april ryan -- you asked me what people read. it's not really about the language. >> it was very in tune today. i want you guys to listen. >> with that we'd like to take your questions. april. >> reporter: why, thank you, sean. >> how are you today? >> reporter: i'm fine. and how are you? >> fantastic. >> reporter: well, sean, going back to what you were saying in the news, nunes is not going to recuse himself. in the midst of all of this back and forth, what does the white house say about that? >> well, april, the white house as i think i mentioned this
yesterday, he's conducting an investigation. >> so april is relentless. in typical fashion she got her follow-up. but shouldn't he relate to people every single day. that's the way you should interact. >> don, if you had to get up there and lie every day, you'd be mad, too. i really want to go back to this hashtag. it took off because april ryan, for a moment, was a glimpse of what every black and brown woman has experienced at some point in their career. and it's powerful to say, wow, this woman that stands for us in this space and occupies this wonderful seat of power as a journalist, as a black woman that's been there, she experiences what i've experienced. i think it resonated with a lot
panel. she said i am a strong black woman. i cannot be intimidated, and i'm not going anywhere #blackwomenatwork. do you think it was a mistake for him to go about her hair. >> she is a strong woman. i vehemently disagree with her, but there's no doubt she's a strong woman. >> why would he be petty about that? i really take issue with those below the belt punches that are often shot out about black woman. personally there's not a black woman i know personally that she has great hair.
so you're wrong on that count. it's really disheartening for someone of that stature, some who begs for his level of respect that he seeks daily to stoop that low. but in that case, to me, it just strikes a cord that is beneath him even. >> yeah, it seems unnecessary and it seemed like on that show it was prepubisant yucking it up about making fun of a woman. and i don't agree with maxine waters, grng, on anything. but i do understand you can't let that go. you saw her jump in and go wait a second, every woman has been demeaned that way. my boss, every time he saw me he
would be hey, girl. and go excuse me me. that kind of stuff happens. and it's up to me to handle that. >> i thought it was funny he would say that about -- it was interesting to me because what if she did wear a weave? who cares. and everyone makes fun of donald trump's hair. >> she never went after anybody looks. she talks about what he does. it was just obnox s. >> i've got to go. by, thank you. so when i found ot medicare doesn't pay all my medical expenses, i looked at my options. then i got a medicare supplement insurance plan. [ male announcer ] if you're eligible for medicare, you may know it only covers about 80% of your part b medical expenses. the rest is up to you.
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. the senate intelligence committee holding first public hearing today as questions linger whether chairman nunes should step down. >> president trump's revised travel ban dealt another blow. a hawaii judge imposing an indefinite ban. >> the assistant to the president for ivanka trump, continuing to haunt the trump administration. >> a rare show of