tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN May 16, 2018 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT
a which can programming note: i'm going to be traveling to england and reporting live from windsor on 360. while you enjoy your tea and crumpets, enjoy the team with live coverage starting at 4:00 a.m. eastern on saturday morning. i'm not sure if you have tea at 4:00 in the morning. time to hand it over to don lemon. cnn tonight starts now. >> this is cnn tonight. we have break being news on the mueller investigation. rudy giuliani is telling cnn the special counsel's team has concluded they cannot indict a sitting president and the source goes on to tell cnn trump's legal team will claim that means the president can't be subpoenaed. we're going to have more on that in just a moment. we are also learning a lot more tonight about that infamous trump tower meeting between donald trump, jr. and several russians in june of 2016. and when i say a lot, i mean a lot. the senate judiciary committee today releasing nearly 2000
pages of interview transcripts with people who were in that meeting including 23 two-pag2 p testimony from donald trump, jr. some of the most testimony has to do with trump junior what he says he spoke to his father about. he never spoke to his father including conversations between the president and then fbi director james comey. comey's firing, comey's testimony to congress after he was fired, michael flynn's firing, the fbi's investigation into russian interference in the 2016 election, congressional russia investigations, possible pardons for individuals charged and the president's very evident frustrations with the investigation. trump junior saying, nope, i never talked to my father about any of that. really? given the fact the president talks and tweets about russia all the time, calling the investigation a witch hunt, and reportedly venting about the investigation 20 times a day, you've got to wonder what they
do talk about. we are also learning that trump junior apparently didn't inherit his father's great memory. remember when he characterized it this way? >> one of the great memories of all time. >> one of the greatest memories of all time. but his memory must have failed him when he said this aboard air force one in april. >> mr. president, did you know about the $130,000 payment to stormy daniels? >> no. >> then why did michael cohen make that if it was -- >> you have to ask michael cohen. michael is my attorney and you'll have to ask michael. >> do you know where he got the money to make that payment? >> no, i don't know. >> huh, well, trump junior seems to have no trouble admitting his memory is not so great, telling senators he didn't remember or couldn't recall more than 171 times in his testimony, including saying he doesn't remember much about that trump tower meeting since he, quote,
didn't give it much credence at the time. and then there is this. on june 6, just three days before that trump tower meeting, donald trump, jr. made a phone call to a blocked number. a phone call that lasted 11 minutes. when asked whose number that was, the president's son said he couldn't recall. but here's an interesting fact for you. corey lewandowski testified to the house intel committee that candidate trump's primary residence had a blocked number. all of that just scratching the surface of those nearly 2000 pages of testimony, a very thorough investigation, not as a president likes to say, a witch hunt. all this comes on the day the senator richard burr, the chairman of the intel committee was just wrapped up its own investigation says this. quote, there is no doubt that russia undertook an unprecedented effort to interfere with our 2016 elections and there is this from fbi director christopher wray. watch. >> you sit at your confirmation
hearing that russia investigation was not a witch hunt. it's been ten months, far more immersed in the details of the fbi. is that still your opinion? >> yes. >> so, you heard the fbi director, not a witch hunt. this is an investigation into what may be the greatest threat to the american democracy in our history. and every american deserves to know the truth. so, let's get to the show now. i want to bring in cnn's chief national correspondent jim sciutto, editor at large chris soliza, legal analyst laura coats, and security analyst steve hall. sorry, chris. got a little tongue twisted there. it's god to have a it's good to have all of you. good evening, jim. what do we know about rudy giuliani and trump's interview? >> rudy giuliani, the latest
personal lawyer, told my colleague dana bash the special counsel's team informed them they have concluded that they cannot indict a sitting president or that a sitting president cannot be indicted. now, this is not entirely new. that was -- those were the guidelines that were drawn up and followed during the watergate proceedings, applying to president nixon. again, reaffirmed in 2000 regarding president clinton when he faced that possibility as well. so, in line with past practice here, it appears that rudy giuliani is saying that the special counsel said they're not going to break with past practice here. that, of course, would not leave the president in the clear if the special counsel were to find evidence of criminal wrongdoing because then he would report to congress, to both parties in congress, in effect leave it to them, leave it to an impeachment proceeding to carry forward which is of what what you had with nixon and clinton. one of the lawyers who helped draw up those regulations in
2000 has been tweeting, though, about this tonight saying that it is also possible the special counsel could go to the deputy attorney general in this case and ask for exception and say, i've got the goods here. i would like to indict. will you give me that approval? and if the deputy a.g. says no, then they would go issue the report and go to congress. >> laura, i want to bring you in now because a source is telling gloria borger this deals with the subpoena issue the trump team believes that to justify an interview, it has to be the president's crime. not somebody else's crime. are they setting in motion a way for trump to evade an interview with mueller, you think? >> they are, but it's not an effective strategy. indictments and subpoenas are two very separate notions simply because there may be a case you could not indict a sitting president which frankly there is a lot of controversy and disagreement about whether that is in fact true. but if you really cannot indict a sitting president, well that has nothing to do with whether you can subpoena somebody to testify in a case if the only way you could subpoena somebody
through a grand jury was if that person could ultimately be indicted. you would never have a grand jury for any reason. most of the time, if not 99.99% of the time, you would never actually have a defendant testifying in a grand jury setting. so, if that's the case, everybody else who would be a witness before a grand jury would not be somebody who ultimately be indicted in the case, but they can still provide testimony and that whole concept of above the law and who is above the law, the basis for the court and supreme court saying that is the president cannot evade due process of law and can simply not thumb his nose for things like subpoenas. it is completely an inept argument. >> so interesting, so much to talk about. one, rudy giuliani has presented himself as the floater now. he floats information. we talk about it. then sometimes it comes true, sometimes it doesn't. but at least he puts it out there in the ethos. back to the issue of the indictment and whether or not they can give one to the
president, even without an indictment, mueller could still make a recommendation to the house of representatives. >> yep. >> a lot of political fall out. they can recommend impeachment, on and on and on. what trouble could that cause for the president? >> yeah, so i think it is really important and laura always does a good job of differentiating here. there is a legal path, right, and that's sort of the indictment path. and then there is a political path and that's the impeachment path. look, we're not at either of those paths yet. but one and the other are not terribly related. impeachment can go forward. that is a political matter, not a legal matter, right. that's what would go to congress. i think that if you saw hard and fast conclusions from mueller regarding the white house, particularly regarding donald trump, i don't think the fact -- the legal debate over whether or not he could be indicted is somewhat immaterial, i think, to the political path that it would
take. are there people within congress who would say, bob mueller, that guy, a bunch of democrats. there are, reminder bob mueller isn't a democrat, but whatever. would it be a majority of the republican conference and the house and senate? i don't think it would be. obviously, don, dependent on what that mueller report showed. so, this potentially closes down the legal path, potentially. >> right. >> it does nothing to the political path. >> steve, let's turn to these transcripts now, surrounding the trump tower meeting. that's one of the biggest mysteries, is that 11-minute phone call that donald trump, jr. made to this blocked number, and he says he can't recall who it was. the question is, was it donald trump? >> you know, based on their track record in terms of telling the truth and being completely forthcoming, it's first of all difficult to take donald trump, jr.'s word whether or not he
remembers who he was calling. personally i would think on a matter of something like this, you know, it seems to me that it would be rational and reasonable thing to call his father about that. one thing is for sure, though, is that i believe technically it is not going to be difficult for mueller to actually get to the bottom of this. i think the technology that is out there, at least my understanding of it is we should be able to determine or at least mueller should be able to determine probably with fbi resources exactly who was called. so, i don't think it is unknowable. it's problem zbably going to ta technical digging on the part of the mueller team. >> i'm wondering jim, do you think mueller has the information? the house is saying they want to subpoena and get the records. the question is does mueller already have this information? >> well, mueller has tremendous powers to get this kind of information. i think it's a pretty fair bet that he does have access to that information here. this is a place we've been often in this investigation, right, where we are getting kind of smoke signals rising through the
surface, not coming from mueller himself because that's a tight latched box. from witnesses, testimony, like we have the transcripts today, and piecing that together. i mean, the fact is when mueller issues this report, if he does, or takes another legal recourse, we're going to know much more than we know today about many of these questions. and frankly on some of them, he's not going to find anything, right, or not going to be able to substantiate anything. on others i think we can be pretty certain or have a very reasonable expectation that he has more detail than we know now and would be if there is something there there able to substantiate it. >> laura, then there is this bit from rob goldstone. he is the middleman who helped organize the meeting. he thought there would be a smoking gun. okay, so, here's what it says. after a few minutes of this labor presentation, jared kushner who was sitting next to me appeared somewhat agitated by this and said, i really have no idea what you're talking about. could you please focus a bit more and maybe start again? and i recalled that she, meaning the russian lawyer, natalia
veselnitskaya began where she began last time, word for word which seemed by his body language seemed to infuriate him even more. it seems to contradict what we heard from kushner who basically described himself as bored in the meeting. what do you think? >> it doesn't entirely contradict it. it says he was bored. infuriate is the word of somebody else. either way, you have somebody in the big controversy what may be conflicting testimony is how long he entertained this. whether he was infuriated or bored or not, how long did he remain in the meeting. he actually said -- he didn't testify in front of the senate. he provided written responses. and in part of that, kind of a curious blind date sort of scenario asked his assistant to text him or calling him so he can get out of the meeting because he couldn't -- he found no other way to be able to leave a room that infuriated him or bored him in some way. you have all those things happening. at the crux of the matter it still places him in the room, receptive and eager to find
information. in the absence of that information, infuriated him. you have information on why everyone was there, another trump campaign in orbit who would have been looking for information and yet another reason to question why if a room full of manafort, jared kushner and donald trump, jr., how could none of those conversations lead back to ground zero, the president, now president of the united states? it's completely implausible. >> chris, what did you want to say? >> can i add one other quick thing to laura's point? i was struck by don junior's testimony in which he's asked, did you ever have a follow-up -- let's take donald trump out of it just for a minute. did you ever have a follow-up conversation, ever, with jared kushner or paul manafort about this meeting in any way, shape or form, and the answer is no, which seems to me a little odd because i would think you would -- let's say it was not the meeting they thought it was, which by all accounts it was not, according to all the testimony they thought they were getting one thing and got something else or didn't get
anything. wouldn't you say, man, can you believe that meeting? i've been in meetings before, not at cnn of course, but i've been in meetings before where you think it's going to go one way and it goes another way. there is a little bit of commiserating. let's not get in that scenario again. it struck me in reading don junior's testimony odd that they never spoke of it. they sort of leave the room and it's as though it never happened. >> that was a nice save, chris. >> i do what i can. >> yes. i want you all to stick around. we have much more to talk about. when we come back, i want to talk about another big revelation from the trump tower transcripts, the meeting donald trump jr. unexpectedly walked into with another russian.
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we are learning a lot more tonight from the trump tower transcripts especially from the 232 pages of testimony from the president's eldest son and name sake don junior. back with me now jim sciutto, chris soliza, laura coats. jim nailed it. there is another big thing we learned in these transcripts that there was another meeting in trump tower between michael flynn, jared kushner and russian ambassador sergey kislyak. why are we just learning about donald trump, jr. walking into this meeting now? >> listen, this is yet another case where donald trump, jr. is,
at best, inconsistent or at worst misleading. it's a meeting he was asked in his testimony, did he know about any contacts between trump campaign officials or transition officials and russian officials. initially he said no. then he said he only knew about one of these meetings after it was reported in the press. the meeting, specific meeting between ambassador sergey kislyak, then russia's ambassador to the u.s., michael flynn of course became trump's national security advisor and jared kushner. don junior claiming he only learned about that after it was reported about in the press. then he recalled coming out of the gym, he said, in trump tower, he walked into a meeting between kislyak, flynn, and jared kushner, but said he did not take part. so, another case where he has changed his story, but presumably that final answer arrived on something on the truthful one. but it was interesting to read
the transcripts and see how often he did -- made little adjustments, one might say in his answer to that question. >> steve, there is also a text message from publicist rob goldstone to m. aguilera. i hope this favor is worth it for your dad. it could blow up big. that's what he's sent after news broke about the meeting. what is your reaction to that, steve? >> i think it's quite clear this is something, the topic of the meeting, the meeting itself was a priority for the russian side of this meeting. obviously it was a priority for the american side, too, because we, of course, have donald trump, jr. and several others saying yes, we were interested in the dirt on hillary rodham clinton they hoped to get. this was focused from the russian side as well. one thing that's quite clear, regardless of what questions that come up with regard to the meeting and what the russians were really up to, here's one thing i'm pretty confident about, and that is the senior
most levels of the russian government were aware of this. probably through one of these oligarchs or one of those folks. this is not something they were just freelancing. it was not like veselnitskaya said, hey, why don't we give this a shot. give them a call, shoot them an e-mail see if we can see them. this is something the kremlin would have been aware of and watching carefully. you're not just walking into anybody's office. this is trump tower, potential future president of the united states. this is something the kremlin would have been watching carefully in my view, don. >> let's take the 30,000 feet view of this if you look at these transcripts, chris. does this seem like trump's team -- does it seem like the willingness to collude but they left empty-handed or they just weren't sure of how to do it? how to connect the dots? >> -- or close? >> i skimmed -- by way of context, i skimmed everyone's transcripts. i read don junior's full 23
two-pages. so, i'm speaking primarily from don junior's testimony there. what it strikes me as is the story that don junior wants out there is essentially that rob goldstone was a guy he kind of sort of knew but he thought was a little bit of a flim-flam artist. but they were sort of acquaintances. when rob goldstone reaches out and says, hey, can we set this up, he's willing to take the meeting because he is interested in the dirt. he may not be aware of the legal, ethical questions there. but he also doesn't know goldstone has anything. so, he's trying to essentially say, there were a lot of things up in the air. i was willing to do the due diligence to meet with him if anything serious came up, then i'd sort of deal with the repercussions of it. nothing serious ever came up. the issue there, and jim touched on this, there is a fair amount of inconsistency in the story that don junior told to the
senate intelligence -- judiciary committee versus the public one. his public story changed a few times. what he told the senate judiciary committee under oath has changed and that's where you get into trouble. it's what one do we believe? presumably we believe the one under oath, but that does contradict several things he said publicly prior. >> laura, there is also an e-mail. this e-mail was sent from the mooch, anthony scaramucci. i don't officially start until the 15th, rob. i wanted to drop you a line to say if you ever need to pick my brains, my door is always open. obviously there is still pressure on all sides, but if we remain consistent and united, i don't envisage any issues we can't ride out. so, scaramucci has told other outlets this had nothing to do with russia. what is your read on this, hoe? >> this kind of reminds me of what happens when you have a pool of boys and everyone sees a broken window and everyone says,
if we all stick to the same story and no one sees the baseball in our hands, no one can be blamed for breaking the window. the whole thematic thing all's well that ends well, if nothing came of the meeting, if we can say nothing came of the meeting if our narrative can be consistent, then nobody can point in our direction or give us any or assign any blame. but that doesn't work when there are crimes that are contemplated in our u.s. code about crimes that involve endeavoring to commit a crime. endeavoring to obstruct justice. endeavoring to try to cover up the tracks in a nefarious way. all the things you're seeing here is a buildup of the anxiety that all the people who were tangentially and intimately related to the trump campaign were fearing about the meeting being public. and that goes to the heart of the discussion had on air force one between hope hicks presumably and the president of the united states about how to deal with that anxiety. all of these things raised the suspicion of mueller in the criminal probe and it delays it
even further because with every contradiction, you probably add weeks to the investigation trying to figure out, okay, well why did you lie about it? what are you trying to cover up? because, boys, we see the broken glass and there is a baseball in one of your hands. even if you have the same story. >> okay. that's it. thank you all. i appreciate that. and laura, at least you get a murphy bed. i only get a couch. if you guys want to know what we're talking about, go to the laura coats on twitter and you'll figure it out. thanks, everyone. i appreciate it. when we come back, donald trump jr. told congress he never talked to his father about the investigation. which is hard to believe given the president reportedly vents about that investigation 20 times a day.
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in the trump tower transcripts, donald trump jr. revealed a laundry list of things he never talked to his father about including the russia investigation. i want to bring in now cnn political commentators, anna navarro, scott jennings and simone sanders. anna is here. why couldn't you guys come here? >> they're lazy. >> are you still in harvard,
scott? >> are you guys still in harvard having a good time? >> harvard sadly is over for me. >> it is the most expensive phone call ever. you guys catch up. don junior said he never spoke to his father about the russia investigation, the infamous meeting at trump tower, firing of former director james comey, the steele dossier. first, do you believe that? >> no, don. and neither do the american people. clearly the senate judiciary committee didn't believe it. i'm just trying to figure out if the trumps think we are stupid. if they really think the american people are not paying attention. donald trump, jr. and big don, as i like to refer to the president today, i'm pretty sure they discuss everything. and i find it hard to believe that they didn't discuss the russians having dirt on hillary clinton. this is just laughable. >> scott, let's remember. this is a weekend of february 17th when president trump wasn't golfing and was at mar-a-lago.
he tweeted over 20 times, going off on russia, russia, the meddling, obama, the fbi and more. donald trump, jr. and eric, they were there with their father, they had dinner together. that is according to the washington post. so, are we supposed to believe the president was tweeting about all of these topics and they had dinner and none of this came up? >> well, i mean, look, none of us were there so none of us know whether they did or didn't talk about t. here's what we do know. donald trump jr. walked into a committee room, went under oath and answered questions. when you do that, that is obviously a much more serious engagement than just popping off in an interview, for instance. >> but he retweeted some of his father's tweets that weekend. >> i'm sorry, let me just finish. k before i go off calling someone a liar which in this case would be calling them a criminal, i need a little more.
we can speculate and we can guess, but we don't know that he's not telling the truth. now, bob mueller may know. other people may bring evidence forward that prove the speculation correct. but honestly, when someone goes under oath and you want to call them a liar, you're calling them a criminal. i think it's a bridge too far. i'm not going to get into a speculation game when we just don't know that for a fact. >> scott, i understand what you're saying. but by saying -- basically you're saying what are the odds they didn't talk about it. that's all i'm asking you. if he's retweeting his father -- >> sure. >> his father is ticked off during the day. they have the meeting together. are we really supposed to believe they didn't talk about it? come on, what are the odds? >> oh, i think, i think there is a chance that they did talk about it and i think there is a chance he either doesn't remember it or remembers it differently. and i also think there is a chance that if he's not telling the truth, that will become known, he'll have to answer for it. all we know today is he went under oath and said these things. when you say things under oath it's pretty serious. we have to lend some credibility
to those words because they were under oath. >> okay. donald trump, jr. indicated he wasn't as involved in conversations about the presidency as jared and ivanka who of course work in the white house. does that mean that they are talking to the president about these things? this is for you, anna. what do you think? >> it reminds me of the song, it wasn't me. it wasn't me. >> shaggy. >> the shaggy song he got caught red-handed, it wasn't me. that's what this entire thing makes me think about. listen, donald trump, jr. couldn't remember. i think the washington post put out a report today. there was something like 54 things he couldn't recall. i mean this boy needs to take himself some coq 10, something that helps memory loss. he has a serious problem either that or he's lying. but this entire discussion is somewhat, i think, premature and unnecessary because, you know who can actually answer it dee finntively? >> donald trump. >> and bob mueller.
if he wants to figure out who that blocked number that donald trump, jr. called afterwards, he can. >> don't you think he has that information, though? >> he probably does. at some point or another, we may actually know the actual answer to this instead of debating. with this, i think it's like with anything in america today. if you are a trump supporter, you live in this alternative world of suspended disbelief. and i think scott is almost too good for these folks because donald trump has no qualms about calling people in his white house traitors and liars and cowards, you know. scott is too refined a gentleman for this crew. he is the one that has lowered the bar on the rhetoric and on the things that are said and the insults and offenses and the charges that are made. and so you know, i don't think he should hold anybody else to a higher standard than you do the president of the united states. with everything else, if you're a trump supporter, you drink kool-aid in the morning, you drink kool-aid in the afternoon,
you drink kool-aid at night and live in suspended disbelief. if you are not, you think they're a bunch of lying. >> was that a backhanded compliment of the distinguished gentleman? >> he is a distinguished gentleman. >> i would like to underscore that i absolutely think scott is just too kind and too good for the trump people. i thought it's really important, the fact is we do not actually know. the senate did release this transcript today. i think in an attempt to accomplish a few things. one, to keep the conversation going, to let folks know there were some dubious things that did come out, some questionable things that came out in their questioning of donald trump, jr. and they additionally had more questions. they want to call more witnesses. too, this could be throwing a bone, if you will, to the democrats on the house intelligence committee who have been having trouble with their investigation. and three, i think they knew we would all be on television talking about it all day long, potentially tomorrow. so, job well done, senate demes.
you accomplished what you were looking for. >> i think it needs to be recognized, i think the way senator richard burr, the way they cooperated in a bipartisan fashion and took this very seriously in the senate, sharp contrast to what happened under devin nunes in the house should be a model to follow and should be commended. >> so, i have a question before we go to break. i don't want you to answer it, but was rex tillerson, was he spilling tea today or was he trolling the president of the united states? don't answer. >> he's not spilling tea. >> don't answer. we'll be back. ♪ >> vo: they want more out of life in every way. so they're starting this year's garden with miracle-gro potting mix and plant food. together, they produce three times the harvest to enjoy... and of course, to share. this soil is fresh from the forest and patiently aged to guarantee more of what matters... every time. three times the harvest.
the former secretary of state rex tillerson not exactly going quietly after his firing earlier this year. i want you to listen to what sounds like a thinly veiled swipe at president trump at a commencement address at the virginia military institute. >> if our leaders seek to conceal the truth or we as people become accepting of alternative realities that are no longer grounded in facts, then we as american citizens are on a pathway to relinquishing
our freedom. when we as people, a free people, go wobbly on the truth, even on what may seem the most trivial of matters, we go wobbly on america. >> so, back with anna, scott and simone. simone, is that a shot at president trump? >> i believe it is, but i want the former secretary of state to get a lesson in throwing shade or spilling tea, if you will. he worked for the trump administration and he was not necessarily a beacon of truth. matter of fact, the only reason he's not there right now is because he was, in fact, fired via twitter. if he thinks going out and giving some very thinly veiled shade to the current administration is going to trick the american people into forgetting what he did for the last couple months, i don't think it's a good strategy. >> the question, scott, is if that is meant for the president, why didn't he say it when he was there? why did he take the job? because the evidence was already there. >> when you're in these offices,
in these appointed offices, i think you probably feel somewhat restrained about what you can and can't say. but the thing about a guy like rex tillerson is he's megawealthy, he's not a politician. he's not intending to be a politician. no one has any strings on this guy now. and so you can pretty much say what you want to say, which is the danger in swatting people out the door the way he was sent packing. i mean, he wasn't septembnt in pleasant manner. he was treated in a rough manner and rough way. what you have out there is a disgruntled former employee who no one can control and is going to speak his mind. i wasn't surprised at all to hear what he had to say. >> no skorned shade like rich white people skorned shade. >> that's country club republican shade, simone. it wouldn't measure up to our standards, but he's doing all he can, man. >> oh, my gosh, this show, this crazy show. >> what was the question? >> he said americans have to
demand our future be fact based. that seems pretty -- it seems pretty straightforward. in this climate, that's difficult to do, right? >> a year and a half late and a few dollars short, rex, really, where have you been for the 16 months that you were part of this lying pack of you know, wolves in the white house? and this administration, and being a conspirator to this? >> look, he got treated terribly. he got broken up with on twitter. you know, if he's going to actually talk truth to power, he's got a great perch from which to do it. he was actually part of the apparatus. he can talk with inside and internal knowledge and authority. and as scott says, he's got no strings. he's rich. he's old. he's not building a career. he's not building a wealth portfolio. he's got it done already. this is the time where he could actually do something for his country, do something for
democracy. do something actually to help this administration maybe. >> he has nothing to lose and everything to gain when it comes to reputation and legacy. >> rex tillerson should ask himself what would john mccain do and do that. >> scott, we talked about the president's 3,000 plus falsehoods so far in his administration as reported by the washington post. the sheer number, though, does this increase the risk of becoming numb to it all? because amidst a frals hood, a lie, a misstatement, and people sort of look the other way. >> yeah, i actually think we're having a crisis of who to trust in this country across the board. i think people sometimes don't know whether they can trust what's come out of the government. they question whether they can trust what's coming out of the media. they question what's coming out of a lot of major institutions and you do become numb to it all. and really what you do, i think people start to withdraw into trusting things that are more immediate, more local, more within their vicinity. and i think that's why we see
people now looking to their close friends, their neighbors, their local, you know, communities to find out what may be going on rather than trusting the big institutions we used to. i think we're as a country getting numb on this, not just from government, but from a lot of major institutions that it wasn't that long ago that we would have never questioned the validity. >> the question is why are we doing it? who is promoting it? don't you think the person at the top is setting the tone with that, calling the institutions fake news, criticizing the justice department and institutions, don't you think this president has some responsibility in that, scott? >> yeah, look, i think he is absolutely taking advantage of an environment that was already rising when he took office. and i think he is using it to his political advantage. i think we've been -- there was a rand corporation study that came out, truth decay. we've seen an increase in the decline in trust in institutions for a long time. i think trump actually didn't cause it, but he is certainly taking advantage of it. there is absolutely no question
about it and he's used it to his advantage in the campaign and in some ways i think he's used it to his advantage on muddying waters in controversies in his administration. >> i have to run. that has to be the last word. i'm sorry, simone. the president is supposed to be the unifier. >> supposed to be being the keyword, honey. >> it's never the wrong time to tell the truth. that's a true story. >> absolutely. when we come back, the man who blew the whistle on cambridge analytica and tried to suppress voting in the 2016 election. that's next. casual sharing can spread meningococcal meningitis.
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the cambridge analytica whis blowers hold a senate today that the company hold efforts to suppress voting. i want to bring an a former department of homeland security official and cnn national security analyst shawn turner. good evening to both of you. julia, you first. christopher wily spoke to the judiciary today about the goals for cambridge analytica. take a listen. >> was one of his goals to suppress voting or discourage certain individuals in the united states from voting? >> that was my understanding,
yes. >> was voter suppression a service u.s. persons could request in their contracts? >> yes. >> julia, this is stunning charge. what did we learn today? >> what we learned today is a technique called psychographic frofiling. what this is essential trying to determine what motivates people to do a certain action. like in my space in counter terrorism, how do people become radicalized? so our understanding after today is that bannon wanted to turn those techniques that were being used, you know, government contracts and with the dod, being used abroad toward populations here, in particular african-american populations. because one we know donald trump won is not that he got, you know, just votes for him but
that the votes for hillary clinton were less than they needed to be for her to win. so why is that? it's because for a variety of reasons. but one allegation made today is because there was a targeted approach towards the suppression of certain minority votes, which would probably have likely gone to hillary clinton. >> shawn, our colleague shaujos green previously reported they used suppression tactics, such as facebook ads to remind black voters comments hillary clinton made. >> if you think about what chris wily said today he said cambridge analytica was eager to sew discontent and take advantage of ethnic tensions that existed in the united states. it's exactly what the
intelligence community determined conclusively thereat the russians had done in their operation, campaign and social media space. what i'm interested here is whether or not there was a connection between the two. but from an intelligence perspective, what we saw -- what we're seeing with cambridge analytica and what we saw with the intelligence community, there's not a lot of difference here. and i've got to say the fact they're doing this is absolutely unc unconscionable. >> cnn is reporting tonight that haesz subpoenaed roger stone. cnn has reported that stone himself has bragged about having a back channel contact to wikileaks founder. do you think this is what this
is all about? >> i do. roger stone can say whatever he wants, but just remember roger stone has not been asked as far as we know to talk to mueller and his team. so that's not good for roger stone because he's not a witness. he's something else. and to ask information about his data guy suggests that the contacts between roger stone who's sort of been proud of his connections with wikileaks are now being examined under one of the theories of the case of the mueller investigation, which is clearly collusion during the campaign. and where cambridge analytica is also relevant to this is not only is it in the background of what bannon was doing, it's where he worked. but remember cambridge analytica is working for other candidates like they worked for ted cruz, the new national security advisor john bolton had used cambridge analytica. and so there's just this hodgepodge of characters, i guess i would say, who had been
utilizing data to drive certain behavior. and were they motivated by information that was garnered from the russians? that's the key question at this stage. >> so shawn, does this tell us anything about the mueller investigation, where he's headed? >> i think when we look at this subpoena in particular, you know, i found this to be particularly interesting because what it tells us is that mueller understands that while this tulven guy may have been hired to help with social media, it's interesting that what the attorney for roger stone said was that he was hired because he needed to help roger stone understand social media. that what has says to me is roger stone may not be that savvy in the social media and digital space. so if he was having some sort of communication with julian assange or other individuals it would have been through some sort of secure communication. so that may be one of the reasons why he's interested in talking to him. and it does tell us he really is
uncovering every stone to make sure if there's some aspect of communications with the russians or julian assange, that he gets to the bottom of it. >> every stone including roger stone. no pun intended. thank you very much. i appreciate your time. when we come back who leaked michael cohen emphas's financia documents? only one candidate for governor
brought business and labor together to expand career training and apprenticeships, invested in transportation and helped create over 200,000 living wage jobs. antonio villaraigosa for governor. with pg&e in the sierras. and i'm an arborist over 200,000 living wage jobs. since the onset of the drought, more than 129 million trees have died in california. pg&e prunes and removes over a million trees every year to ensure that hazardous trees can't impact power lines. and since the onset of the drought we've doubled our efforts. i grew up in the forests out in this area and honestly it's heartbreaking to see all these trees dying.
what guides me is ensuring that the public is going to be safer and that these forests can be sustained and enjoyed by the community in the future. that violent crime went up 18% in san francisco. in la, mayor antonio villaraigosa put more police on the streets and cut violent crime in half. california's police chiefs trust antonio for governor. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. 11:00 p.m. here on the east coast. live with all the breaking news for you tonight. we're learning more about michael cohen's leaked financial documents. according to a report in the new yorker a law enforcement official was so worried about not being able to find two of those documents that official released the rest of them. more on that in just a moment. >> plus incredible new