tv CNN Newsroom With Ana Cabrera CNN August 5, 2018 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT
in the cnn newsroom. hello on this sunday, i'm monica cabrera in new york. today president trump making the most definitive acknowledgement yet that his son donald trump jr. did meet with the russians in 2016 specifically to get dirt on hillary clinton. here's is his statement. this was a mission to get dirt on an opponent, perfectly legal, done all the time in politics. i did not know about it. this is opposite that the president's son released last summer.
that statement read, we primarily discussed a program about the adoption of russian children. president trump's lawyers admit that the president did dictate that misleading statement. but they did say this. >> i do want to be clear that the president was not involved in making a statement or issuinging a statement. it came from donald trump jr. that's what we know. >> why the changing stories, why did the president say that he had nothing to do with meeting with the russian lawyers when he did. >> i said that in my statement, i have talked about that before, that happens when you have cases like this. i think it's very important to point out, that in a situation like this, you have over time facts develop. that's what investigations do. >> cnn white house correspondent boris sanchez is in new jersey where the president is spending
his summer break. why is the legal team bringing up that meeting this weekend? skb >> reporter: because that meeting at trump tower in 2016 could present legal issues for the president and his son and son-in-law jared kushner. i think that trump is concerned about the source of -- and that concern is part of the reason that the president has had these agitated aggressive acts against robert mueller recently. part of that tweet that you mentioned dismissed these reports, but he essentially made clear that the nature of that meeting in trump tower was not what the administration initially signaled back when we heard from donald trump junior suggesting that it was about adoptions. look, we have heard president donald trump going from saying that to the best of his knowledge, no one on his
campaign, no one he knew had anything to do with russia, to today hearing from him and his legal team, suggesting that that meeting was not illegal, not improper and that loose is not a crime. here's more from jay sekulow, one of the president's attorneys. >> he said totally legal done in politics all the time. but the information that robert mueller has said that this was a meeting to get information about hillary clinton's campaign, how would that be legal? >> the ultimate question is how would it be illegal? the question is here would the meeting itself constitute a violation of the law? >> reporter: now anna, we learned last week, that robert mueller is really focussing on trying to secure an interview with one of the key figures involved in that 20167, and that
-- so this investigation is moving forward full steam ahead despite calls from the president and his legal team for robert mueller in rudy giuliani's words put up or shut up. >> boris sanchez, thank you, so what if any impact could the president's ever changing story have on the russian investigation. we have defense attorney mark geragos. mark, again, you're a defense attorney, when asked why he originally said trump did and d dictated that statement, jay sekulow said i had bad information in that statement translate that for us? >> that means i screwed up and that's one of the reasons that we have got other lawyers actually doing the heavy lifting here. this is at a certain point, you don't want the lawyer to do what's called an adoptive admission, which is you impute what the lawyer says to the
client, in this case, the president. and i think the less talking they do as lawyers and the more they leave this to the spokes people, they're probably better often. this does not help the situation, but jay does have a certain point, they have got to link this to some kind of a statute or some kind of a violation of law in order to make it meaningful. just because there was a meeting, just because they want opposition research, all of that is true that you can do that. the problem is when you say that you gwinnett kn you didn't know what russia had something to do with it, but then you go out and make a statement very close in period of time, that becomes a problem. >> when they say they had the meeting to collect dirt on hillary clinton. you bring up that maybe there wasn't anything illegal about that, but it doesn't necessarily explain why they keep changing their story, if they're certain
there was nothing to hide? >> i think you get this kind of morphology or evolution of stories is because they understand or the lawyers understand that what is happening here is that you can stake out a position from a public relations standpoint, but at a certain point, there's evidence that's going to corroborate the prosecution's story. and so when faced with that, because there is -- you do a parallel investigation yourself when you're on the defense side, and as you come across the facts, whether it's emails, whether it's what people have testified to under oath, remember there's all kinds of joint defense agreements here so they know what other people are saying either when they go into a grand jury or go into a house committee meeting, or they're getting feedback from the house itself. they understand what the facts are or what the record is and what people are testifying to under oath. and that's very hard and
difficult to deal with. and so, especially when you have staked out a position that may have looked good at the time but now is completely contradicted by the facts. >> sources close to the white house say the president has been in that public frenzy over the russian investigation because he's worried about what mueller may have on his son, don trump jr., should he be worried? >> yes, he should, because it's been my obserbservatioobservati have any inside information, but my observation as somebody who's done this for quite a while is they clearly are honed in on this meeting, they clearly, the two people who are in the most jeopardy or would seem to be in the most jeopardy are jared kushner and don jr. and i always, from a personal standpoint, see a direct correlation between his witch hunt tweets and his tweets about the nfl national anthem, whenever he feels like they're closing in on his family. i mean there's a direct correlation. >> all right, mark geragos, as
always, we appreciate your expertise, so thank you for weighing in on this issue. the president now acknowledging the reason for his son's 2016 meeting with the russians at trump tower and the purpose to get dirt on hillary clinton, how are people in congress reacting? thank you congresswoman for being with us, bhoos your take on the president's tweet, for his statement admitting that he gave a completely false statement on the president's behalf because he had bad information? >> well, anna, i think everybody in this country has to be seriously, seriously concerned about what this president and his staff and his attorneys have said all these tremendously contradictory statement about the trump tower meeting. the president and his staff started by saying oh, there was no meeting, then there was a
meeting, but it was with low level advisors, well, it was with high level advisors, but it was about adoptions, but then it wasn't about adoptions, but trump didn't know about it. now trump didn't know about it or maybe he did and now it's not a crime. and there are so many problems with a president and an administration that refuses to tell the truth. that's what's coming out in these contradictory statement. jay sekulow can say whatever he wants, but he is the attorney for the president. we have to be able to rely on the president's lawyer and the president's spokesperson when they make a statement he has misled the public. that comes in the context of his continued attempts to undermine the mueller investigation, not only the mueller investigation, to just recently put out a tweet saying he thinks jeff sessions should end this entire
investigation, he has under mined the intelligence agencies, 19 intelligence agencies that said that russia interfered with our election. so all of this is in that context. and if you look at the fact that he is now, it's not clear whether he's going to sit down with robert mueller or not, you have to ask what is he afraid of. and if he refuses to sit down with robert mueller, and he does get subpoenaed, then obviously this case goes all the way to the supreme court. this is, you know, this is a very, very serious challenge to our democracy, frankly, and to the truthfulness of this administration. >> let me ask you about the fact that in this case, jay sekulow corrected the record. might that give you some hope that they're being truthful with the special counsel team? >> the problem is they're only correcting the record because something else has been said that has contradicted what he said to start with. so it doesn't really help if
someone lies or misleads, and then the truth comes out and they're put in a position where the only thing they can say is well i didn't know. i thought that was true. i made a mistake. that also poses challenges for the president himself for his legal counsel to essentially be admitting to whatever it is he's admitting to. so on every level it doesn't help at all and i'm not sure that jay sekulow had another option other than to say that, but he looks absolutely uncredible, as does sarah sanders, and donald trump jr. i think is in big trouble. donald trump jr. testified under oath before the senate judiciary committee. a lot of things about this meeting that are now coming out to be untrue and i do think that your previous speaker who said when he sees a correlation between the president's details about the nfl and what is happening around the mueller investigation closing in and donald trump jr., you know, that is true, i mean the other area
that he does that with is immigration. i mean the minute something starts to get hot for the president, he turns his ire to immigrants and tries to use other divisive images to try to sway the public's view and perspective than on the actual crisis. >> his base likes the issue of immigration as far as the policy itself. before i move on to immigration, i do want to ask you about this phrase we're hearing from rudy giuliani and others, collusion is not a crime. technically you' eethey're righ. you can't be charged with a quote, unquote collusion charge. do you think that's a strong defense? >> no, and again, this is, you know, they are trying to mislead, because that may be technically correct, but what they're not saying is that
forei foreign -- essentially if donald trump jr. met with the russians in order to get opposition research from the russians on a hillary clinton, then that is a foreign government providing information, that is a crime. there are all sorts of crimes tied with what they are saying is happening. it may pull the wool over people's eyes just for a little bit until it comes out that there are lots of crimes tied into this meeting and what is now being uncovered about what happened in that meeting. so they can continue to say that, honestly they keep saying things they then have to go back and change later, the president's tweets, which i can't imagine any attorney that is actually -- has any influence over the president would have told them that was a good idea to tweet that. but we know this president doesn't listen to advisers or attorneys. >> based on what rudy giuliani
is saying the president has control over the public relations part and attacking the lawyer. let me move on to this immigration issue. there are close to 500 parents who were separated from their children who still have not even been located. a federal journal sludge slamme trump administration for -- the reality is that for every parent who is not located, there will be a permanent orphaned child. that is 100% the responsibility of the administration. congresswoman, what kind of a wakeup call has this situation been for the administration and their zero tolerance policy, has it moved the needle at all? >> it really has not moved the needle. the reality is the administration has missed every court ordered deadline. the judge is absolutely right that there are almost actually 600 children who have not been reunited and it's outrageous,
prepostero preposterous, i can't even find the words for how outrageous it makes me for saying now it's the aclu's fault, or not fault but responsibility, but they said responsibility for reuniting them. this administration instituted the zero tolerance policy. and as a result there are hundreds and hundreds of children who may be orphaned and whose parents have been deported to other countries and the trump administration has done nothing to respond to that situation. and as you know, ana, i was the first to go and meet with some of these parents just south of seattle, so this has shaunt hau. their stories, what has happened to them. and now we have to acknowledge the stories of those that are coming out of these detention centers and the stories of being
told that they were abang d baby their parents, by their mothers, i heard that directly from a child. and stories about children who were abused in these facilit fa sand a 6-year-old child who was asked to sign a paper that said it was her responsibility to stay away from the person who abused her in that facility. this is kidnapping of children, and frankly it is state sponsorsponsor ed violence. these families and these children deserve to be paroled in. it because frankly they are victims of the state sponsored violence. >> congresswoman, thank you for your time, i appreciate it. >> thank you, anna. still more questions than answers about what the president knew and when he knew it regarding that meeting at trump tower with russians. and then questions surround that
russian spy who's been getting invited to family holidays with prominent conservatives, that story is next. ♪ keep it comin' love. if you keep on eating, we'll keep it comin'. all you can eat riblets and tenders at applebee's. now that's eatin' good in the neighborhood. stop fearing your alarm clock... with new*! zzzquil pure zzzs. a drug-free blend of botanicals with melatonin ...that supports your natural sleep cycle... ...so you can seize the morning. new! zzzquil pure zzzs. just for a shot. with neulasta onpro patients get their dayr back to be with family, or just to sleep in. strong chemo can put you at risk of serious infection. in a key study neulasta reduced the risk of infection from 17% to 1%, a 94% decrease. neulasta onpro is designed to deliver neulasta the day after chemo and is used by most patients today.
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new information this weekend about the young russian woman who is now in jail accused of using her connections to spy on the -- high profile republican lawmakers, governors, leaders at the nra. her lawyers and russian official s insist that buttina is nothing but a gun rightsed a slow cat. she is a spy who managed to get into the same room as donald trump. >> i'm visiting from russia, my question to be about foreign politics. >> reporter: that's how close this accused russian spy got to
then-candidate donald trump in 2015, at freedom fest in las vegas, her name is maria buttina. >> i believe i would get along very nicely with putin, okay? >> reporter: that same woman now being charged with conspiracy as an agent of the russian government. the 29-year-old russian law student of an american university, used -- buttina, once posed with a pistol wearing stilettos and leather for risque russian "gq" magazine shoot. and at the nra convention, she managed to meet gop candidate scott walker and at a prayer breakfast, once again in the same room as donald trump. buttina has pleaded not guilty,
and her lawyer insists she's no spy, just one looking to create a better relationship between this two meetings. but prosecutors tell a different story. they say buttina came to this country in 2014, not earlier, sle she was issued a student visa in august of 2016. >> cnn national security correspondent matthew rosenberg is with us now, he is also a pulitzer prize winning reporter. on the front page of today's "new york times." so matthew, i'm so glad to talk to you. this young woman, just 29 years old, she was meeting, taking photos bobby jindal, skocott waters, how was she able to get inside this republican political circle? >> i think we have to understand that she had two americans she was very close with.
one was her boyfriend, who is a 50-something republican operative from south dakota, who had long served on the american assertive union. she also had become close to george rockefeller, who kind of wants to pull america out of its wars and thinks we should have better ties with russia. what was she actually doing? it's hard to say. if she was a russian agent, she wasn't very good under cover. facebook, instagram, she's checking in from russia house, not exactly a subtle place. she was riding shirtless on a horse. so it's a very confusing case, and the evidence the government's presented so far, is if not unconvincing, it's not, doesn't quite say oh, yeah, obviously she's working for the russian government. her lawyer says she was never paid by any russian government
official, she never took any money from russian government officials. >> as you point out, her facebook as a picture of a shirtless vladimir putin. she would brag about her contacts with the russian government. so she was open about her russian connections. but i know you got a hold of some of her emails, do they give a himpnt on what her intentions were. >> no, but it really gives a hint on what these men's intentions were. from mark stafford as you pointed out. so many others, to the point where she has pictures, a picture of her with don jr., donald trump jr., in 2016 in louisville at an nra dinner. and there was a man she worked closely with, he tried to set up
a meeting. you really get the sense of somebody who net worked really well, and kind of worked her way quickly up to the very top of the republican party. just how close was she to the trump campaign, because i know she had some interactions with j.d. gordon because she was an aid on his national security team. >> she went to a stix concert with him a few days before the election. her boyfriend, hapaul erickson his name, he kind of formally helped a vised on people who could fit into a trump presidency, but wasn't really at the center of it. >> the question is why would she want to get close to all these people. your piece was quite descriptive
about what she was doing and what she was up to. the carr fire in arizona has left seven people dead. we'll tell you the cause to one of the most destructive fires in that state's history. the digital divide is splitting this country. we have parents who are trying to get their kids off of too much social media and computers, and then we have parents who would only hope their children have access. middle school is a really key transition point, right. the stakes start changing. students begin to really start thinking about their futures. what i like about verizon's approach is that it's not limited to just giving kids new tools, it's really about empowering educators to teach in different ways, and exposing kids to more active forms of learning. giving technology is not a total solution. teaching technology, now that is.
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below. people should expect a very long rush hour tomorrow morning. a new threat now heading toward hawaii. hurricane hector is churning toward the big island right now where residents are already dealing with three months of volcanic eruptions. at last check hector is a category 4, and just south of the big island where it was yesterday. it's hard to say if hector is on a collision course with this island that has already had people evacuated because of a volcano. right now california, fire officials are trying to put out the carr fire, it is now
believed that sparks from a carr fire emitted sparks that started the fire. this fire is only 41% contained. officials say the carr fire is the fifth most destructive wildfire in california history. cnn dan simon returned to santa rosa where entire neighborhoods were wiped out by last year's tux fi tux -- tubbs fire. >> reporter: the tubbs fire, the worst wildfire in california history, it destroyed more than 3,000 homes, almost half of them in one neighborhood, coffee park. >> it's like, wow. just -- >> devastating. >> you can't put words to it. >> reporter: we met john weber and his wife jody last fall as
they walked through the charred remains of the house they lived in for the last 30 years. >> what's the most devastating aspects. >> everything is gone. it's unbelievable that a fire could destroy a whole subdivisi subdivision. >> reporter: but now 10 months later, coffee park is on the rebound. the ashes and twisted metal have been removed and one by one the houses are being rebuilt. hundreds of homes are currently under construction, with hundreds more slated to begin with the next few months. no one knows how long it will take for the community to fully recover. but the wreckage has been r replaced with power tools and equipment. >> i prefer this to the dead silence, it was like eerie, surreal. >> reporter: the story of coffee
park's resurgence perhaps could be an inspirational one to the community of redding, california, now grappling with ro another devastating wildfire. for the people who are feeling hopeless right now. what do you tell them? >> reach out to your neighbors, friends, family, comfort each other, reassure each other. >> reporter: what really helped, he says said is his neighbors formed a support group called coffee strong to discuss all aspects of the ruining of their homes and their lives. >> if you want to cry, go ahead and cry, but group together with your friends and neighbors, and you might be able to pull some strings from them. >> set out meaningful advice from someone who has been there. dan simon, cnn, redding, california. the reward for information
about a missing university of iowa student is growing. $260,000. up next we'll talk to her family and bring you an update on the search. bundle and save big, but now it's time to find my dream abode. -right away, i could tell his priorities were a little unorthodox. -keep going. stop. a little bit down. stop. back up again. is this adequate sunlight for a komodo dragon? -yeah. -sure, i want that discount on car insurance just for owning a home, but i'm not compromising. -you're taking a shower? -water pressure's crucial, scott! it's like they say -- location, location, koi pond. -they don't say that.
the reward for information about missing student molly tibets is now at $260,000, tibets disappeared just over two weeks ago after she went for a jog in the small town of bristol, iowa. molly's friends and family have no doubt she is still alive. >> kind, smart, feisty, a fighter, an exceptional writer. these a all words to describe mollie tibets.
we can now add the word missing. 's just small town iowa and this doesn't happen here. >> here is brooklyn, iowa, a small sleepy county with rows of corn field and stocked with people who all know each other and had become a foundation of a family. >> my sister is trying to spread the word as mump as we can. >> just trying to hold it together as they fight to bring mollie home. >> it's when you're alone and you talk to mollie about herself. >> laura talks about how she can feel mollie's presence, about how she feels like she's sitting on her shoulder. do you have that sense? >> when you talk to mollie and you know why we're fighting, she's out there, we just feel it. >> reporter: do you ever feel like you hear back from her? >> i don't want to talk about
it. >> reporter: last week, mollie was dropped off at a boyfriend's house to dog sit while he was out of town. later she was seen jogging. but neighbors say they used to see her all the time. >> she would come down the road and if i was over there working on my flowers, i would, you know, she would just wave and say hi and off she would go because that's the house right down there. that's where her boyfriend lives. >> right down there, that white house. >> it's just like this girl right now. now i pay attention to what they have on, you know, she's got a headband, she's talking on her shoes. >> but before we never would pay any attention, we would just glance and wave. >> reporter: they were some of the first volunteers who searched for molly. >> which went to corn field and walked corn field searching and question didn't turn up anything. >> we wanted to find her so bad,
but then we were afraid to find her. i mean, you know. >> well, if we had found her, we were praying that she was tied up. we wasn't thinking of the worst. >> her boyfriend dalton has a hard time being at his house now. >> i don't go to my room anymore because that was, you know, our shared space. i don't do that, i have been sleeping on the house since she went missing. >> reporter: and he's had to deal with the scrutiny of people thinking he had something to do with it. >> i have been totally honest with people and i don't square wh -- care what they think. ive the guy that did it is standing right here, pay attention to suspicious activity. because if you're not helping, you're hurting at this point. >> every day i feel mollie's presence with me, sometimes i
just feel her sitting on my shoulder. >> hang in there, mollie, we're fighting like hell, the whole country is in love with you, pie, we'll find you. >> reporter: where does pie come from. i have called her pie since she was a waib. -- baby. >> reporter: and mollie's dad says it's not too late to do the right thing here, if you have informatio information, call police. attacks on prominent black politicians, sports stars, jo m journalists, but are the president's problems only skin deep? we'll discuss, next. ♪ but it's all coming back me. ♪ baby, baby, baby.
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in the space of a few hours this weekend, president trump dragged the names of three prominent african-americans through the mud, either outright or simply calling them dumb. nba superstar lebron james after a replay of his cnn interview friday night, president trumpbl trumpbl -- trump insulted him and my colleague don lemon. and he went after one of his regular targets maxine waters saying she has a low i.c. anna navarro is with us now, and an anna, these are your words,
trump called lebron james and maxine waters dumb. one is from cleveland, one's on tv, one is in congress, oh, wait. then you have added this brown hand. so you clearly felt this was the trump dog whistle on race. explain. >> if you don't see this as racist, i would ask you to please go get your vision checked. it's also -- remember, we're not talking this, you know, in a vacuum. it's not the one instance when donald trump has said something that is a dog whistle, a racist dog whistle. let's not forget the shithole comment about countries with predominantly black populations. let's not forget saying about football players, "get that son of a bitch off the field." he went after lebron james and don lemon because of an
interview about an s.t.e.m. school that lebron james has founded in a community in need, an at-risk community in his hometown of cleveland. neither lebron james nor don lemon started life with a million bucks from their daddy. neither don lemon nor lebron james started life because their daddy got them dressed. these are guys that came out of poverty, that did it on their own, that worked hard as hell, that are smart, that don't lie to the american people on a daily basis and are finding ways to make america great today and do things to contribute to the community they're a part of. i have seen don lemon, who is a friend of mine, do so much for charity work, for philanthropy. lebron james is another one. >> no doubt they are successful people. you bring up so many good points
about the character of don, of lebron james, who i admire, i don't know him personally, but trump supporters i've seen on twitter arguing that this isn't about race, he's an equal opportunity attacker, he doesn't just attack people of color. he called steve bannon sloppy steve, he attacks his attorney general. do you think this is different? >> yeah, i do. it seems to me that when it comes to african-americans, when it comes to black people, he seems to go to the low iq dumbest person in the world attack quite often. it is his go-to when it comes to african-americans, that they are dumb. that is certainly not the case. don lemon and lebron james have got far better vocabulary and grammar skills than donald trump does. look, forget whether they are -- what they are, and everything they've done. donald trump is the president of the united states. and he's going on twitter, this platform with 50-some million people that follow him, to
attack a man like lebron james and don lemon who are examples of what makes america great, who are examples of americans that give back, who are examples of americans that persevere, who embody american values and the american dream. how dare he. how dare he. you think about it and you realize, look, there's only one thing that donald trump cares about, and that is his base. pandering to his base, energizing his base. >> because you are a long-time republican, but one that has broken with trump. so i know you're not surprised to see these comments by this president. but are you surprised by how many in your party, 87% still support this president and have stood behind this president despite his divisive approach to race? >> i am surprised. and frankly, less about the divisive approach to race and more about the fact that they look the other way when it comes
out that he's having an affair with a playboy bunny and a stripper at the same time just after his wife gave birth. and they look the other way. certainly if they look the other way about something that is such a pillar for the republican party, the idea of family values and religious beliefs, it's not surprising that they would look the other way on something like race division. i have been heartbroken time and time and time again at just the kind of things that the republican party base will look the other way about, will pretend did not happen, will say it's not what we are seeing, do not believe your lying eyes. whether it's charlottesville, whether it's tweets like this, whether it's his personal values, whether it's his slobbering over russia, whether it's his calling the european union foes, whether it's his attacks on the free press. and yes, the republican base, it
seems to me there is no bar. there is no bar high enough. there is nothing that he can do that at this point will turn off that base. i think they are emotionally invested in him. they see him as their ugly baby but it's their baby so nobody better tell them he's an ugly baby. they see it as a tribal fight, us versus them. >> are you going to vote democrat in the coming midterms? >> i think so. certainly in some districts. i think it's going to be a cost. here in florida where i am, it seems to be practically every race, whether republican or democrat, hinges on donald trump right now. the republican primaries are about who is more trump-like, who is more liked by trump. in the democratic primary, it is about who will confront trump the most. i'm talking for even things like governor. there's dead fish washing up on the shores of florida by the
thousan thousands. there's a contest about who is closest to trump. >> ana navarro, thank you so much, i always appreciate your points on the show, thank you for joining me. we're getting new revelations from the president himself about why the trump tower meeting took place. coming up, we'll talk about this new development and what the white house is saying about it. we're the most isolated population on the planet. ♪ hawaii is the first state in the u.s. to have 100% renewable energy goal. we're a very small electric utility. but, if we don't make this move we're going to have changes in our environment, and have a negative impact to hawaii's economy. ♪ verizon provided us a solution using smart sensors on their network
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