tv CNN Newsroom With Ana Cabrera CNN December 15, 2018 1:00pm-2:00pm PST
the chief of staff, there's a new person in that position after a lot of names bounced around, and today the secretary of the interior announces he is out. his replacement? nobody knows yet. details with a live report from washington in a moment. also, this weekend a federal judge knocks down the health care act known as obama care. not part of it. all of it. saying it is unconstitutional. president trump obviously happy that something he has railed against for years is you should attack. how this sbrakts your health care coverage in a few minutes. a look at all the fast-moving developments from special counsel robert mueller. we have seen 12 shocking days of revelations since thanksgiving. the latest, a rupture between mueller and his star wish, mielk flynn. the first national security advisor who lied about what he discussed with a high profile russian ambassador close to vladimir putin. ripping a suggestion by flynn's
lawyers that flynn lied to the fbi because he was caught off guard when approached by fbi agen agents. also this week, the president's former fixer, mielk cohen, speaking out after being sentenced to three years in prison. cohen saying trump absolutely directed him to pay off a porn star and a former playmate so they would keep quiet about their sexual history with then candidate trump before he was electriced. >> he directed me, skps as i said as well in the plea, he directed me to make the
payments. he directed me to become involved in these matters. plus, we have a brand new investigation to add it this list. the trump inauguration is now being looked at for what federal prosecutors describe as possible financial abuses. they are reportedly looking into whether the committee accepted donations from people in foreign countries looking to gain influence or access to the incoming administration. so here's where we are right now. investigations linked to trump's world are really piling up fast. the president's administration, his business, the trump organization, his transition team, his foundation, his campaign, and now trump's inaugural committee spending all under investigation. with us to discuss garrett, the author of the threat mate rigs inside mueller's fbi and the global war on terror, special agent -- cnn legal and national security analyst, and former fbi supervisory special agent josh campbell. garrett, you have written about robert mueller. you have studied how he works.
>> we've had three weeks now of pretty intense date to day revelations here, and i think what we are learning is -- they are all pointing in the same direction, that mueller's investigation is building towards a larger case. something that we have not imaged the full scope of quite yet. not glimpsed the full scope of quite yet. but that it's beginning to appear that these two conspiracies, one that the campaign finance violations and the other, the russian attack on the 2016 election, are not necessarily two separate cases, but are, in fact, one big case wrrks there is no real difference between the business collusion and the election collusion.
>> where do they stand now with whether trump and the campaign colluded? what do we know that we didn't know one month ago, for example? i agree there are going to be some business practices before trump took office, including not just the campaign payments, but also the trump moscow tower deal that's kind of bleeding into his activities once he becomes president in terms of sanctions and our foreign policy stance towards russia. i also just want to point out that there are now investigations coming from a lot of different fronts. it's not just the mueller investigation. there is the southern district of new york, and they are looking at the trump foundation. there are investigations closing in on him from a number of different directions.
>> we have the special counsel that has stayed largely silent amidst all the political noise, and slamming the narrative of mielk flynn as a victim of over aggressive fbi agents. special counsel prosecutors saying mielk flynn is responsible for his false statements to the fbi, saying he made the decision to lie about his communications with the russian ambassador two weeks before his interview with the fbi. why do you think this was the moment for such a public rebuke like that? >> that is a question, and that was a dramatic development. can i say at the outset how much of a pleasure it is to be on this fbi power panel here. we've got asha, counter intelligence expert, and kbram -- it's a pleasure to be here. to your point, it was a mueller smackdown to michael flynn, and i don't know how much general flynn is paying his lawyers, but i think they really -- they -- they misstepped whenever they decided they were going to attack investigators. he was obviously on the road to possibly not getting a sentence.
you know, the investigator said he had provided so much cooperation. then they said, no, we're going to take a page from president trump's playbook. mueller came back and said, no, you're not going to do that. you know better. a 33-year veteran of the armds forces, a former intelligence chief. you don't have to have someone tell you that lying to the fbi is wrong. bob mueller is an impatient person, and i imagine when he saw that he said, no, i'm not going to stand and i'm going to speak out telling mielk flynn you are out of line. you should have known better. >> utd i'll let you jump in and finish the question later. >> i think that sort of one of the things that got overlooked in that smackdown from middle schooler, which is sort of as close to a mueller exclusion of temper that we have seen in court documents yet, is the story that mueller was telling, which i think is central and important to this investigation
and where it's going. what mueller was saying was that basically, no, no, no, it wasn't that he lied to fbi agents. it was that he was lying to everybody. that his lies were actually kipt over several weeks to different people in different forums, both public, private, to fbi agents, to vice president pence, and that is actually a really interesting and important question about if mielk flynn thought what he was doing was okay if it was above board, if it was something that was fully authorized by the president that the president was happy with, why was mielk flynn lying about it behind closed doors to everybody who asked him about it. >> what does your intel experience tell you? >> when i have gone and
interviewed people, usually, you know, people bend over backwards to try to be as honest as possible because they know that they are speaking with fbi agents. i find it completely implausible that he didn't know that it was a crime to lie to the fbi. >> i do think it's interesting that the filing drops the names of andrew machine kab and peter struck and attacks the fbi. these are trigger words for the president, and i almost can't help, even though he is going to do little to no time, likely, i wonder if there's sort of a bid here for the president to pardon him or exonerate him once this is all said and done and to be able to now have a narrative to use to justify doing that. i can't see any other reason why his lawyers would throw this in after he has already pleaded guilty. >> there is a transparency aspect to what we saw in mueller's latest filing, josh,
and we talk about the perception of the sbeg integrity of this investigation. he laid out what the process was early when flynn was interviewed, and i know you have some new reporting on something referenced in this new flynn filing. you say that the fbi director at the time was concerned with how mielk flynn and him being interviewed by the fbi could be politicized. >> once sally yates, the acting attorney general, was actually briefed, she wasn't happy. now, my colleague and i were doing some reporting and spoke to people familiar with that conversation between comey and yates and learned what you said.
it was actually jim comey who sent agents over to the white house to interview michael flynn and didn't tell officials in the justice department. his rationale was just what you said, that he wanted to exert some independence. he noted to get past a possible perception that maybe this was a last ditch effort by the obama administration because -- he was going to send agents over and tell sally yates afterwards. she was not very happy about that because she was obviously interested in the investigation and the chief law enforcement officer. one thing that's interesting, too, in full disclosure, i worked for comey and the fbi, and this is something that's a close hold. didn't know at the time. a lot of people there in the fbi didn't know at the time. it was kept a very close hold. as we've been talking to people with this discussion, it's interesting to see how this all played out and yet another example of comey trying to distance himself, setting up that independence of the fbi from this perception of political influence. >> there has been more fall-out
this week also from mielk cohen's case, ami we've learned now cooperating with investigators. we're learned trump was in the room when they discussed the hush money payments to karen mcdougall and stormy daniels. if the president did not tell the truth about knowledge of hush money payments ahead of the election, does this prohibit any increased as it let's to whether he has told the truth about want having knowledge of russian election interference? >> ail of these are -- ultimately, this is a question of did he act with willfulness and knowledge? i think if he is in the room, it becomes more and more implausible for him to suggest that he did not, a, know these payments or, b, was not making them with the intent of influencing the election. it's important to remember that that does not have to be the only motive that he had.
it just needs to be a primary motive, and the timing of the payment, which was just, you know, a few weeks before the election really points in that direction and is putting him directly in the target of a criminal charge. >> thank you so much, asha, josh, garrett. great to have you with us. really appreciate it on the weekend. thank you. did he resign, or was he asked to resign? under investigation interior secretary ryan zinke is now leaving the cabinet. straight ahead. wisconsin's republican governor may have lost the election, but he is leaving office with one last win for his party. it's infuriating democrats. live from the cnn newsroom. [clap, clap] ♪ hey, jen, which tie says, "trustworthy but also fun"? gold down, oil up. oil down, gold up. this is too busy. we need to make sure people can actually use this stuff. which one says, "hours of free live streaming coverage without cable or subscription fees"?
>> secretary of the interior says he is leaving his job. the ryan zinke. he announced today that he will leave the cabinet by new year's eve. cnn laura sanchez is at the white house. he adds his name to a very long list. let's look at the faces and the names of men and women who have passed through the trump white house revolving door. what is the specific reason he is claiming for his departure? of course, he is facing an investigation by the department of justice in allegations that he misused his role as the head of the.
the general secretary for the minister was looking into allegations that zinke spent lavishly on his own travel, that he had suspicious connections to a casino deal in connecticut. that he was having inappropriate negotiations with -- it is serious allegations. it is a broad investigation. cnn still working to perform that. it's easy to know that they will look into some of the allegations against zinke. keep in mind, this investigation has had issues like this before with tom price and others. questions about unethical behavior.
>> this is a sudden change. >> the timing does not appear to be a coincidence here, anna. we can see the secretary of the interior david burnhart, and that's a name that's been floated out there. he is a name that's taken over by zinke. he is certainly a contender. another is nevada senator dean heller. he is someone who may be interested in the position. obviously, he lost his race for re-election in that state. he could be a name that's out there. as far as when we'll find out, the president simply said soon. >> soon. any day. any time. thank you. boris sanchez at the white house. let me bring in curt to join the conversation. he writes for huffington post and usa today. he was also an advisor and a spokesperson for congressional republicans sflo knowing for the
first time in two years, this was an administration that would have to be subject to congressional oversight from democrats. the last two years, they've gotten the pass really from the republican on the oversight committee, but that's not going to change as we have this new leadership coming in january. democrats have been very, very vocal about how they plan to be aggressive, how they're going o to. this is the time that if anyone has any baggage in the trump or ryan zinke, they should think about resigning right now because come january, democrats are going to go after them with a furor. >> and you say you have your eye on four others who are likely to be the subjects of investigations when democrats take over in the house. walk us through each one you see as targets and why. >> this is something that democrats have been vocal about
wanting to investigate. we know someone has died. it's probably not the only time this has happened. that's going to get investigated very thoroughly. commerce secretary -- >> we don't know if there's been wrong doing for sure, as you point out, though. it will be investigated. please continue. >> it's already launched letter after letter asking for documents and information about that process. he is going to go after that first thing in january as well. then you have to look at the education secretary betsy devos who after a very famous "60 minutes" interview earlier in the year there were concerns even within the administration that maybe she wasn't up to the scrutinizing job in congress. now we're going to have those questions come, and i think
donald trump more than most presidents cares about how people perform in those type of settings. she's going to come under fire, and if she doesn't perform well, trump could be very quick to want to push her out. finally, hud secretary ben carson is somebody i think that will come under scrutiny. particularly from earlier in the year there was a controversy over the $30,000 dining room table that he says his wife authorized a purchase of. congress will look at what spending will be at hud and what spending appointments, and people who hire that don't have experience in housing and what their roles are. that's going to be scrutinized very heavily. >> i know you read through the transcript from the last round. why do you think republicans are calling him back again, curt? >> this is really interesting. and comey is coming back on monday for round two. he spent six hours a couple fridays ago with the oversight
committee and the judiciary committee with a joint scloesd door testimony. >> it's why it's important that it's completed. talking about how damaging the president's attacks on the fbi and the justice department have been. it really provoked trump, and it just raised a question of what are they really getting out of this by doing. it seems to just annoy trump and send him into a twitter flurry. >> thanks for laying it out there for us. good to have you with us. thank you. although thousands with preexisting conditions might disagree. a federal judge has struck down obama care. what now? live in the cnn newsroom. l you , but when you book at hilton.com,
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up being decided by the supreme court. today president trump reacted to the judge's ruling during a visit to arlington national cemetery. watch this. >> it will be a great health care. we'll sit down with the democrats of the supreme court. >> highly, highry respected in texas. . the assumption that the supreme court upheld. thank you very much. >> again, for now obama care remains the law of the land. now, in just a few weeks wisconsin's new democratic
governor will take office, but tony evers is inheriting a position that has been stripped of some of its power by the outgoing republican governor. scott walker -- several of their campaign promises. this kind of thing isn't just happening in wisconsin. governor rick snyder also signed john kasich of ohio -- >> it's outrageous. you lost -- when you lose, you say you lost. i mean, you don't go to try to -- you can't try to reverse the election by manipulation. it flabbergasts me to see what people are willing to do in pure partisanship and pure power. >> let's bring in cnn political reporter rebecca buck. rebecca, what is going on here? democrats are outraged. we hear from republican governor also outraged.
a lot of other republicans are saying this is not about limiting power. >> as we saw yesterday, governors scott walker and rick snyder both signed some very controversial measures in wisconsin and michigan. measures that democrats say work against the will of voters and rejects the election outcome. tying hands of incoming who won just last month. now, there are some slight differences between what we're seeing in wisconsin and in michigan so far. in wisconsin the big issue and the issue with the measure signed yesterday by governor scott walker, for democrats is that democrats say these measures will tie the hands of governor tony ebers and limit his ability to implement some of his campaign promises by forcing himt to go through the legislature for things that the governor was able to do on his own previously. meanwhile, in michigan a
slightly different situation we're seeing there with governor rick snyder signing measures that would essentially water down measures that were originally going to be on the ballot concerning minimum wage and sick pay, and instead, republicans in the state legislature took off the ball ballot -- democrats are concerned that it's essentially what republicans are being sore losers, but it's a blatant power grab. >> they could take this into the court as well depending on what the governor assigns. their lame-duck session is ongoing. there are legal challenges in
the works by democrats in these states. they believe that's their best recourse at this point, but, of course, the governor will have executive powers at his disposal and incoming governor aaron wimer. they're still going to have republican-controlled state legislatures in wisconsin and in michigan. it's going to be a push and a pull, a tug-of-war in these states, and republicans sending a strong message to democrats as they're taking power that they're not going to give up their power without a fight. >> right, rebecca buck, thank you. the trump administration is considering a change that would make it harder for low income immigrants to achieve legal status. >> it's an impossible choice, right? you either accept government benefits, health care for your child, or -- if you do that, you're putting your green card status or visa status at risk. >> one family's story just
>> when the couple found out they were expecting a baby -- >> how i asked myself why do i have to come here? but i also tell myself just in the country apart. zoo that was 2017. now the department of homeland security is proposing a new policy for deter immigrants from using benefits, like the medi-cal assistance. they depended on it during her pregnancy. >> if i don't have that, maybe i am going to go back to vietnam. >> american-born children like their son have access to such benefits regardless of their
parents' legal sfatus, and that would not change under this new proposal from the trump administration. advocates say immigrant communities are already uneasy. >> it's an impossible choice, right? i mean, you either accept government benefits, health care for your child, or -- if you do that, you are putting your green card status or visa status at risk. >> dr. hugo is part of the american academy of pediatrics, a group that sent a strong message to dhs that this idea could harm kids. >> as a doctor, would you be able to tell these families to stay enrolled because that is okay to keep their citizen children on these programs? >> perhaps. we don't know what the final rule is going to look like. >> the proposal so far says many factors would be under the green card approval including income and a potential for future reliance of public assistance programs. >> you could be easily denied a
green card, even if you have a u.s. citizen spouse. >> the united states citizenship and immigration services says these proposed rules would would clearly define longstanding law to make sure people coming here can support themselves and not rely on public benefits. with this new proposal, the government is saying the applicant would have a better chance at legal status if a family of three, for example, makes at least $51,000 a year. in 2017 win and her husband didn't make that amount. >> we're making about $15 per hour. >> after a little over a year, things changed. >> and on december 2017, i got a job offer. >> as a business analyst. she and her husband now make at least $100,000 a year combined, and that's enough to get off of public assistance. she says they're now proud to pay more taxes. >> that money can be used to help somebody like me. >> if the new rules go into effect, the brief help they got from medi cal that gave them a
another person like her the - opportunity to succeed. natasha chen, cnn, atlanta. still ahead in the newsroom, a breakthrough agreement on climate change. we have new details and a live report from poland. stay with us. i can do more to lower my a1c. because my body can still make its own insulin. i take trulicity once a week to activate my body to release its own insulin, like it's supposed to. trulicity is not insulin. it works 24/7. it comes in an easy-to-use pen. and i may even lose a little weight. trulicity is an injection to improve blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes when used with diet and exercise. don't use it as the first medicine to treat diabetes,
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delegates from nearly 200 nations have reached an agreement to put the 2015 paris climate treaty into action. senior international correspondent nick payton walsh joins us now from poland with the details. we were just speaking last hour about a number of sticking points. how did the gel gats now reach this consensus. >> you know, as we last spoke, we were hearing the positive news. they were midspeech, and after we finished talking, we heard the presidents here of this climate change summit refer to a historic moment. they now have nearly 200 countries on paper agreeing to rules as to how they will limit damaging greenhouse gases. the paris agreement spearheaded by the obama administration was about setting the tone. countries saying they wanted to do something about global warming. this summit has been about the how. the rules, the transparency, and how you are actually sure the countries are doing what they said they would do. 12 years in which they keep
global warming to just 1 is.5 degrees celsius or see catastrophic change. you're seeing bits of it in the storms that are hitting the east coast of the u.s. now. a lot of that extreme weather is linked to man made change in the environment and also forest fires rounding parts of california. it's happening here with a couple of hurdles. >> negativity over things and just in the last day or so, braise ill, you are really the owners of the lungs of the planet, the amazon rainforest. they wanted a tweak or different kind of reforms to how people trade emission reductions in a complicated market here, but they really were looking out for themselves in all of that. that argument has been kicked down the road to the discussion at the next major meeting like this, and the u.s. and russian rejection of the science has been sort of ab solved by slight
tweaking of the language here. they don't welcome the science. they welcome the timely completion of the science. that's got some people here angry, but essentially the broader take-away from tonight has been that they have got this rule book underway. anna. >> nick, obviously, the u.s. is one of the nations that have pulled out of this paris climate accord, so what have the americans been doing aftt this conference? >> it's been a two-pronged approach. they're out in november 2020. they're still technically and they've said they're leaving, but we've seen a two-pronged approach. on the sidelines key u.s. political officials, they held a side event promoting fossil fuel. they were protests that shouted them down. it was a bit of a mess, frankly, but at the end the message they brought here was to promote the very same greenhouse gases which really are causing the damage everyone is concerned about. that's simply a fact that's going to do terrific damage to the planet in the decade ahead. we also have heard of a
different track where some of the career diplomats have been working on this perhaps for over a decade and were obstructive in some of the meetings. they seem to have let things continue. we spoke to a couple of u.s. officials on the sidelines here, and they had almost an allergic reaction to seeing me as part of the media. they're keeping a low profile. they don't appear to have done much actual technical derailing so far because we have got an agreement like this going through, but politically, there's been a lot of ill will, frankly. one key minister i spoke to here saying, look, it doesn't matter if people simply want to reject the science here. the science isn't going to change. it's a fact. it's been unhelpful. i think we have two things really here to look at. one, there is now a rule book for how greenhouse gases will be reduced. there are some holes in it. it's not perfect. it needs further work, but it's there now. that was something people briefly thought may not come out of this, and that would have been terrible. secondly, we're lacking something, and that's the same kind of international consensus about the problem of climate change that we've got from the paris agreement in 2015.
the obama administration put everybody on the same page here. they were all singing the same song. here a lot of that has had a sort of rather unpleasant undertone of climate change. denial. the rejection of the science. also, too, some key countries very much looking out for their own bottom line and themselves here, anna. >> a bit of good news. a pretty serious cover. thanks, anna. >> indeed. thank you for your reporting, innic. a talented female drummer found stabbed to death in her apartment, and police suspect her roommate. 21-year-old sarah was a protege of former prince drummer jolly bean johnson who nicknamed her thumper. up next, hear from sarah's anguished mother. first, this week's money. the influencer on-line is becoming a big business. this entrepreneur is helping influencers cash in on their recommendations.
>> influencers or bloggers make -- it's through rewards style. today we powered the small businesses of 25,000 influencers around 93 countries. these are primarily women bho love either fashion or interiors or talking about their family or their fitness routines, and we've given them a way to monotize that. i had a personal shopping business, and my blog actually became quite famous, and so my top customers just started going to my blog, and they would text me and say i got that bag. it was the first of my friends or those are the best skinny jeans. thank you very much. that was a blog. that was $106 commission, and adding it all up, i have just cut myself out of my own business, and so we started building rewards style as that way for all the sales to be tracked on-line. the app allowed consumers to screen shot content anywhere they found it across the web. whether that was instagram or pinterest or they googled something. they could actually screen shot it, and as long as it was an image taken by one of other
influencers, they could shop that image. i think that's why you see such turbulent times in retailers. not only has your customer gone digital, but they've gone digital mobile, and that requires that you are really truly a tech company. we've continued to innovate and been the innovator leader in the market. thinking that we have peaked early is not something that's crossed my mind.
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an american student studying overseas found dying of stab wounds in her european apartment. the suspect snl a roommate we've learned has been arrested now at a train station in the netherlands. police say in the netherlands 21-year-old sarah pappenheim was still alive and bleeding heavily when they found her, but their resuscitation efforts failed. pappenheim was a well respected musician from the twin cities area. jolly bean johnson, faft, one of prince's former drummers, had a special nickname for her. he called her thumper because she hit the drums so hard. here she is playing at a recent show. watch. snoet snoet >> i'm in the angry
stage. >> pappenheim was supposed to come home for a christmas visit next week. instead, her ex-band mates are playing benefit concerts to help her parents pay for her funeral. president trump making an unannounced visit to arlington national cemetery today. he took part in an event where volunteers lay holiday wreaths to honor the sacrifice made by veterans. finally, this hour the oxford word of the year is toxic. oxford just announced their 2018 choice saying it's the sheer scope of its application that has made it the stand-out choice. according to oxford toxic strictly defined as poisonous
has taken off this year saying its research shows people are using this word to describe a vast array of things, situations, concerns, and events. just hours after being taken into board esh patrol custody, a 7-year-old migrant girl from guatemala dies. we'll tell you how officials are responding to questions about how this could have happened. next. >> watchers trying to keep track of who is running which agency this week in waub wash? the name of the trump administration cabinet doors are changing. president trump making it official this morning.
on twitter, of course a short time ago. this is part of it i cannot justify spending thousands of dollars defending myself and my family against false allegations. it is better for the president and the interior to focus on the accomplishments rather than fictitious allegations. zike referencing false allegations having to defend himself. he is talking about being the focus of several ethics investigations. >> that's right, anna. at least 15 inquiries into his behavior by the inspector-general at the department of the interior. to be fair, zinke has been cleared in some of those, but at least one of those cases was referred by the inspector general to the department of justice. >> they will be scrutinized very closely