tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN April 28, 2018 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
do. >> reporter: bill weir, cnn, phoenix. hello. thank you for joining me. i'm ryan nobles in washington. a montana senator says he's not going anywhere after the president calls for his resignation. john tester issued this statement. quote, it's my duty to make sure montana veterans get what they need and have earned. i'll never stop fighting for them as their senator. that came after president trump basically blamed tester for derailing his pick to be the next va chief, dr. ronny jackson. here's the president's tweet. allegations by senator tester against admiral dr. ron jackson are proving false. the secret service is unable to confirm, in fact deny any of the phony democrat charges, which have absolutely devastated the wonderful jackson family. tester should resign.
the great people of montana will not stand for this kind of slander when talking of a great human being. admiral jackson is the kind of man that those in montana would most respect and admire. now for no reason whatsoever, his reputation has been shattered. not fair, tester. some of those allegations include improperly dispensing prescription drugs, drinking on the job, and crashing a government vehicle after a party and overseeing a hostile work environment. the white house says it has documents that show that some of these allegations are false. cnn's boris sanchez traveling with the president today. he's in washington township, just north of detroit. that's where the president will hold a re-election rally tonight. of course, counterprogramming to the white house correspondents' association dinner. boris, what's going on? >> reporter: hey there, ryan. yeah, quite a big crowd gathered behind me, awaiting the president's arrival. he's not set to speak until 7:00 p.m. some of his supporters are
bearing some 30-degree temperatures outside, awaiting the president's speech. it could go anywhere tonight. if history is any indication, the president often goes in a number of different directions. of course, this is his comfort zone, speaking to his supporters. last time we were at one of these, it was in cleveland. the president abruptly announced that american troops would soon leave syria, something that was unexpected by not only officials at the pentagon but also within his own white house. so stand by for potential breaking news tonight. any announcement the president might make. we can expect he will likely talk about john tester and the allegations that were made toward his nominee to be the secretary of veterans affairs, ronny jackson. you mentioned those documents put out by the white house. some of them contradicting accounts we heard not only from 20-plus sources that john tester apparently got these stories from, but also stories that were told to cnn. i can tell you that specifically on the notion that ronny jackson drunkenly crashed a government
vehicle, the white house provided cnn with documentation showing four years of records detailing three separate incidents that jackson was involved in, all minor traffic accidents, no indication that alcohol was involved in any of them. separately on the notion that jackson maintained a grab-and-go culture when it came to prescription medications being available to members of the administration, the white house indicated that there had been six audits done on the storage of prescriptions by the white house medical unit. now, that report doesn't clearly state what jackson's approach was if he indeed had a lax approach to offering these medications to people within the administration. and lastly, ryan, the question of jackson being intoxicated while at work, so much so that some indicate that at some points he was nonresponsive. when he was reached out to by
officials in the administration, these documents by the white house don't answer some of those allegations, ryan. >> all right. boris sanchez live in michigan where the president will be tonight. thank you for that report. meanwhile, we know the russia probe is also on the president's mind. he's also tweeting about that today saying, quote, witch hunt, and that there's no collusion after republicans on the house intelligence committee released findings of their russia investigation. this comes as the committee's top democrat says the russian oligarch and russian lawyer who were key players at the trump tower meeting in june of 2016 also reached out to the president's team after the election. congressman adam schiff says they were trying to overturn a key piece of legislation. cnn chief national security correspondent jim sciutto has the details. >> reporter: the russian lawyer who met with trump campaign officials in 2016 touted as having dirt on hillary clinton now admits that she has closer ties to the kremlin than she previously disclosed. in fact, she calls herself an
informant for the russian government. "the new york times" reports that she once worked with russia's top prosecutor. i am a lawyer and i am an informant, she told nbc news. since 2013, i've been actively communicating with the office of the russian prosecutor general. just last year, she said just the opposite. >> have you ever worked for the russian government? do you have connections to the russian government? >> translator: no. >> reporter: the trump tower meeting is of interest to special counsel robert mueller for two potential reasons. first, to see if there's evidence the trump campaign colluded with the russian government during the campaign, and second to see if the president attempted to obstruct justice by helping to draft a misleading explanation for what was discussed in the meeting. ranking democrat on the intelligence committee, adam schiff, said the lawyer's revelation makes russia's intentions clearer. >> what is the importance in your view of this admission by this russian lawyer that she wasn't just a private attorney
but she was working in effect for the russian government? >> well, it really corroborates what we have seen of her contacts within the russian government as well as her persistence in terms of one of putin's top priorities would indicate this is not a solo agent, this is someone working on behalf of the kremlin. >> reporter: notably, she reached back out to trump aides after trump won the election. >> you're saying it has the impression of a quid pro quo. >> it certainly does. certainly the russians thought they had reason to believe after the campaign that they now might get the help that they sought in that meeting in trump tower. >> reporter: the revelations come as republicans on the house intelligence committee released a redacted report concluding that they found no evidence of collusion between the trump campaign and russia. the republicans, however, did fault the campaign for meeting with the russian lawyer, saying it, quote, demonstrated poor judgment. and they criticized trump's repeated praise for wikileaks
stating it found, quote, the trump campaign's praise of wikileaks to be highly objectionable and inconsistent with u.s. national security interests. president trump praised the republican report. >> we were honored. it was a great report. no collusion, which i knew anyway. no coordination, no nothing. it's a witch hunt. that's all it is. >> reporter: in other findings, the report revealed that michael flynn, before he joined the trump campaign formally, and his son, contacted the russian government earlier than previously known in 2015. meeting with then-russian ambassador sergei kislyak at his residence, a meeting requested by either flynn or his son. quote, the meeting was later described by general flynn's son in an e-mail to the russian embassy as very productive. also in 2015, trump's personal lawyer michael cohen and russian-american business associate were involved in efforts to cement ties between then-candidate trump and russian president vladimir putin.
during an e-mail exchange about building a trump tower in moscow, he wrote to cohen, if, quote, putin gets on stage for donald for a ribbon cutting for moscow, donald owns the republican nomination. and more revelations contained in the democratic version of the house intelligence report. evidence of communications from russians involved in that june 2016 trump tower meeting, reaching out to the trump family and associates days after trump's election, including discussions of possible business deals. certainly information, certainly communications that the special counsel robert mueller would be asking questions about as well. jim sciutto, cnn, washington. >> jim, thank you. let's discuss these developments with my panel. republican strategist kevin scott, democratic political strategist howard franklin, and cnn reporter politics jeremy herd. let's start with jeremy first. exactly what were the russians looking for when they reached out after the election? do we know the answer to that?
>> so the russians were interested in overturning the magnitsky act, which is a 2012 u.s. law passed that sanctioned russian officials for human rights abuses. that was what ended up being the subject of that trump tower meeting. donald trump jr. was expecting dirt on hillary clinton. instead, the russian lawyer, she talked about sanctions and adoptions and getting this overturned. so what we learned yesterday was there was follow-up after the campaign, after donald trump was elected from both her and a russian oligarch involved with organizing that meeting as an attempt to see if the trump campaign that was turning into the trump transition would look at overturning those sanctions. >> howard, do you view that as a significant development? could this have an impact on the mueller investigation? >> it absolutely could have an impact. it is significant. obviously communications going beyond the campaign cycle and into the transition will have implications for the white house. bifurcating what happened in 2016 and how it might impact
trump's governance is a development. >> kevin, do you see this more as a partisan interpretation of, this or do you think there's some there there? >> i think it is a very interesting development. i want to call balls and strikes regardless of who's pitching. i think this is very concerning. it's going to be something of significant interest to the mueller investigation. at the same time, we know russians' interest in the election is to kind of mess up, to sow seeds of distrust. if this is somebody tied to the russians, the meeting is bad, but her wavering back and forth and stirring this up, i don't think that's any surprise to any of us. >> kevin does make a good point there. seems as though she had a different story at different times. she now is saying that she's an informant of the russian government, whether or not that means she's a full-blown agent and had ties to the putin regime is a whole other matter. but how important from the aspect of the house investigation are these revelations about her role in all of this? >> well, i think there's been
doubt among investigators, both on the hill and with robert mueller, that she was telling the truth, that she didn't have any sort of connections, that she was doing this independently. she admitted, as we saw yesterday in the interview with nbc, that she was an informant for the russian prosecutor. stuff like this may continue to come up. the house concluded its investigation into the russian meddling. when we have talked to lawmakers, they said we are open to considering reopening this. that's republicans we've talked to. but yesterday when we -- this co did come out, there wasn't any indication it would move the ball in either direction. >> when you look at the admissions that took place in this meeting, we know at one point the trump campaign thought they were getting dirt on the hillary clinton campaign. pretty much everyone agrees that's not what was revealed in that meeting. if that type of information did not pass from these russians to the trump campaign, did they really do anything wrong? >> you have to ask the question as to what's the threshold for
collusion. i don't know that we necessarily close the door just because every report we've heard thus far doesn't justify it. i think really the central premise of the trump presidency is that you had a man who had all this global experience and reach. he had all these resources at his disposal. you would have thought for bringing all those resources to bear on the presidency, he can make better decisions. i think what the issue here is a question of judgment. you know, why would you engage with a foreign actor without any knowledge of what you're getting or how it might impact the white hous house. >> is that criminal, though, kevin, if they were just naive? >> no, i don't think so. i think the fact this is what people keep bringing up shows that our focus is different than where most of the american people's focus it. people are looking at things like a meeting in south and north korea and trying to figure out what their taxes are going to be, and we're still talking about russia. i think most of america is ready
to move on from this. until robert mueller concludes his investigation, then it's important. otherwise, we're just having the court of public opinion here, and i think most americans are tired of it. >> a lot of speculation, no doubt about that. the president himself is obviously very focused on this. he has not specifically commented on this russian lawyer, but he is talking about the findings from the house intelligence committee's investigation into russian election meddling. quote, house intelligence committee rules that there was no collusion between the trump campaign and russia. as i've been saying all along, it's a big hoax based on payments and lies. there should never have been a special counsel appointed. witch hunt. jeremy, republicans are saying it's over. democrats have a much different view than the president, right? >> they do. they issued their own lengthy dissent that said the republicans improperly failed to investigate. they didn't call certain
witnesses, didn't subpoena the right people. so this isn't over in the democrats' minds. they're going to continue doing this investigation. what the report gives the president is ammunition to point to the committee and say, look, they found no collusion. the president, of course, neglects to mention it's only republicans who reached that conclusion. >> right, okay. unfortunately, the investigation not over but this segment is. thank you so much for being here. we appreciate it. kevin, scott, and howard, we appreciate all of your perspectives. president trump's personal attorney michael cohen scores a win in court after a judge puts the stormy daniels case on hold for now. what we know about the man call the the president's personal fixer, next. hey allergy muddlers: are you one sneeze away from being voted out of the carpool? try zyrtec® zyrtec® starts working hard at hour one and works twice as hard when you take it again the next day. stick with zyrtec®. muddle no more®.
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pretty big fixture in the med lines. how close is he to the president? cnn's gloria borger reports. >> reporter: lately, michael cohen has been in the news almost as much as his famous client, donald trump. but their relationship goes back more than a decade. in the soap opera in which a porn star accepts a payoff to keep quiet about her affair with donald trump, there's got to be a guy who gets it done. >> where is michael cohen? >> where's mr. cohen? >> where is this guy? >> reporter: michael cohen is where he's been since 2007, standing behind donald trump or closer, in his back pocket. >> michael was, i'd always like to say, the ray donovan of the office. he took care of what had to be taken care of. i don't know what had to be taken care of, but michael was taking care of it. he's the guy you could call at 3:00 in the morning when you have a problem. >> do you know stories of donald trump calling him at 3:00 in the
morning? >> donald trump has called him at all hours of the night. every dinner i've been at with michael, the boss has called. >> reporter: but cohen did not call the boss, he says, when he decided to pay stormy daniels $130,000 out of his own pocket. 11 days before the election. >> i think it's ludicrous. >> so you believe 100% donald trump. >> 100%. >> there's not a meeting that takes place, there's not an expenditure authorized that he doesn't know about. >> reporter: cohen wouldn't go on the record for this piece, but his friends claim it's all part of his job in trump world, giving the boss deniability and protection. >> if you know the relationship between the two people, he took care of a lot of things for mr. trump without mr. trump knowing about it. that's part of the overall structure, that michael had great latitude to take care of matters. >> reporter: in michael cohen,
trump hired a version of his long-time mentor, the lawyer roy cohn, an aggressive defender of all things trump, no questions asked. after dantonio finished his book on trump, he got the cohen treatment in what turned out to be an empty threat. >> then he got mad, and it was, well, you just bought yourself an "f'ing" lawsuit, buddy. i'll see you in court. >> reporter: in 2011, michael cohen described his job this way. >> my job is i protect mr. trump. that's what it is. if there's an issue that relates to mr. trump that is of concern to him, it's of course of concern to me. and i will use my legal skins within which to protect mr. trump to the best of my ability. >> reporter: cohen, a sometimes democrat, first came to trump's attention after buying apartments in trump developments. then went to the mat for trump against one of his condo boards
and won. >> trump loved him for it. that was the beginning of it. and then after that, they became close. it was much more than an attorney/client relationship. it was something much deeper, almost father and son kind of thing. always hot and cold. donald trump could be yelling at him one second and saying he's the greatest person in the world the next second. donald trump knew that michael always had his back. >> reporter: for trump, it wasn't about pedigree. cohen, who is 51, got his degree from western michigan's cooly law school and had initial success in the less than genteel world of new york taxicab medallions. >> if you look where michael came from in his legal career before he started working for trump, it wasn't like he came from a white-slhoe law firm. he came from a hard-nosed new york trial firm.
trump has an eye for talent. this was something that he used to call his bulldog, his tough guy. >> reporter: at the trump organization, he's done a bit of everything. running a mixed martial arts company, securing real estate branding deals, and even taking care of transportation. >> the famous trump plane, there was an engine issue that he actually took care of and got a really good deal on. >> watching him is -- it's like a reality show. he's got three phones. he's got the hardline. he's got two lines he's texting. he's on the computer. >> you can almost say this is donald trump's mini me. for a guy who started really in the middle class on long island to now be quite wealthy himself, known internationally, and yerks he's in a bit of a jam with the russia scandal. >> reporter: in the eye not only of stormy, but now under criminal investigation in new york, including a stunning raid on his home, office, and hotel
room with a search warrant that mentioned not only cohen's businesses but the president himself, causing a fight and a circus in court. not to mention the continued interest from the special counsel and congress. >> i look forward to giving all the information that they're looking for. >> reporter: during the campaign when trump said he had no contact with russia, cohen was privately trying to cut a deal for a trump tower moscow. it never happened, but mueller has asked about it. >> the sad reality is that michael pursuing that trump tower deal in december is just another factor that goes into this whole russian narrative. >> reporter: cohen's name was also in the infamous dossier, which alleges he travelled to prague to meet with russians. he's completely denied it. >> it's immeasurable, the damage that has been caused to him, to his family. >> i will faithfully execute -- >> reporter: when trump became
president, he did not bring his brash wingman to washington. >> do you think he wanted to be in the white house, be white house counsel? >> there must have been a part of him that was dreaming of a great job at 1600 pennsylvania avenue. but he's also the guy who not only knows where all the bodies are buried, he buried a lot of them himself. and that ironically disqualified him. >> they say i'm mr. trump's pit bull, that i am his right-hand man. i mean, i've been called many different things around here. >> reporter: now he may be called to testify with the stormy daniels case in federal court. >> i know michael cohen for over 21 years. i know that he will not rest. he will not sleep. he doesn't sleep anyway, right, until he recovers every single penny from stormy that's due the llc. >> i've seen a lot of attorneys use intimidation tactics. the problem is if that is your
speed and if you are a one-trick pony and you use that in every case, when all the sudden you run up against somebody that doubles down and that isn't intimidated, well, then you're lost. >> reporter: cohen flew to mar-a-lago to dine with the president the night before stormy daniels appeared on "60 minutes." because if you're michael cohen, you've always been the ultimate loyalist. >> the words the media should be using to describe mr. trump are generous -- >> reporter: and that loyalty is what the president and his allies are counting on as cohen faces the feds. we'll just have to wait and see who wins that test of loyalty. gloria borger, cnn, washington. >> thank you, gloria. a historic show of unity as north and south korea agree to end a war that has lasted for more than a half a century. is there a chance of lasting peace on the korean peninsula?
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just a day after the historic summit between north and south korea, president trump is weighing in on plans for his own talks with north korea's leader, tweeting out, a long and very good talk with president moon of south korea. things are going very well. time and location of meeting with north korea is being set. also spoke to prime minister abe of japan to inform him of the ongoing negotiations. the agreement between the two countries committed to a declaration of peace and denuclearization of the korean
peninsula. i want to bring in cnn's will ripley. he is live for us today from seoul, south korea. will, is it impossible for the meeting between president trump and kim jong-un to take place if we don't get this first step of the meeting between the leaders of north and south korea? >> reporter: it needed to happen because president moon jae-in and kim jong-un needed to talk about inter-korean relations. the two koreas want to determine their own path forward. they were divided back in -- at the end of world war ii by the former soviet union and the united states. the wars that were fought, it was essentially a proxy war as well. now they want to have a hand in their own future moving forward. so step one, the inter-korean summit. the very important step is the summit with president trump, the first meeting between a north korean leader and a sitting u.s. president because that is going to decide whether the koreas can accomplish things like denuclearization and a peace treaty formally ending the
korean war. >> there's obviously some other pretty powerful players in that region who are going to want to have a say in these discussions, including the prime minister of japan, shinzo abe. is he in support of these meetings with north korea? he obviously has been in contact with president trump. >> yeah, prime minister abe was certainly blind sided by president trump's quick decision to accept a meeting with kim jong-un. japan really dug in their heels on a more hawkish approach, that they thought the trump administration was taking. in fact, they were, until they weren't. but prime minister abe did go to mar-a-lago. they had a good meeting. i think the prime minister of japan feels more engaged right now. he's also organizing a trilateral meeting expected to happen within the next couple weeks in tokyo. president moon will fly to tokyo for that. also, they'll have a representative from china there as well to talk about north korea as well as other regional issues. >> and of course kim jong-un talked about reunited korean families as part of this agreement. is that an important issue for
south koreans? >> reporter: it absolutely is an important issue on this peninsula because there are so many families who have been divided since the end of the korean war, since that armistice that was signed in 1953. a lot of these family members, you know, brothers who haven't seen their sisters, they're getting older. they're dying without ever having these reunions take place. so time is of the essence. one of the agreements made at the inter-korean summit is the family reunions are due to happen again. they have happened periodically over the years because they're going to try to make them happen again probably sometime this summer. >> all right. will ripley with the view on the ground in seoul, south korea. thank you for that report. still to come, details on three marines charged with sexually assaulting two women. a live report on that investigation straight ahead. we do whatever it takes to fight cancer. these are the specialists we're proud to call our own. experts from all over the world, working closely together to deliver truly personalized cancer care. expert medicine works here.
three u.s. marines are accused of sexually assaulting a tulane university student and her friend earlier this month in new orleans. 20-year-old alexander davenport, 18-year-old antonio landrum, and 18-year-old jared anderson are all facing rape charges. cnn's polo sandoval joins me now with the latest. >> reporter: ryan, these are three men who have defended our country, now defending themselves against some very serious allegations here of rape. you mentioned those three men now identified as private antonio landrum as well as lance corporals jared anderson and alexander davenport. these charges stemming from a mid-april incident in which a tulane university student and one of her friends claim to have been sexually assaulted repeatedly by these men, allegedly. i looked over these police reports, and it does make mention of at least one of these sexual encounters being
consensual. however, eventually, according to the victim, either one of several of these men then allegedly forced themselves on these women. so that is what authorities are investigating right now. the marine corps certainly on this case as well. they've released a statement here recently about their three service members here saying, quote, the marine corps is aware of the alleged incident that may have involved marines stationed here, obviously louisiana. we cannot comment specific details due to the ongoing investigation by the marine corps police department and new orleans police department. the statement goes on to say these allegations are being taken extremely seriously by the marines and they're fully cooperating with authorities. we've learned these three men are recently listed back in 2017. we've also learned that though this incident reportedly happened off the tulane university campus, the campus took steps to keep their student body up to date, even sending out an alert for some students or at least information about this incident, just giving them a heads up, essentially about
what had taken place here. again, ryan, we can confirm these three young men are facing rape charges in new orleans. >> all right. polo sandoval, thank you for that report. the president and rapper kanye west loses millions of twitter followers after publicly supporting president trump. is the backlash fair? and how does that square with past criticism west has leveled against republican presidents?
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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kanye west has been public about his support of president trump since his candidacy was announced back in 2016. he even appeared with him at trump tower. this week kanye told his followers, quote, you don't have to agree with trump, but the mob can't make me not love him. we are both dragon energy. he is my brother. i love everyone. i don't agree with everything anyone does, that's what makes us individuals, and we have the right to independent thought. president trump responded with praise for the rapper on fox news. >> we want to get to kanye west. he tweeted that he loves you, that you're his brother. >> he's got good taste. >> and the left goes ballistic. what's your reaction? >> well, they do. you know, i have known kanye a little bit. i get along with kanye. i get along with a lot of people, frankly. but kanye looks, and he sees black unemployment at the lowest it's been in the history of our
country, okay. >> and joining me now to discuss this, lisa france, an entertainment writer and producer for cnn.com, asia connors from the arizona republican party, and howard franklin, a democratic political strategist. i'm told all three filled with dragon energy and prepared if this panel. i appreciate that, guys. thank you. lisa, let's start with you. there's a lot of backlash, both culturally and politically for kanye. where do things stand right now? >> there may not be as much backlash as people think. it was widely reported he lost millions of twitter followers, but a twitter spokesperson told us it was a fluctuation because he left twitter and came back. at the end of the day, kanye has a personality much like the president of the united states. for a lot of fans, as long as the new music he brings us is amazing, people are apt to forgive what he says, even about trump. >> howard, why has there been such backlash from democrats? is it impossible that a rapper could support the agenda of this
president? >> absolutely not impossible. you know, i think the question is more along the lines of why kanye chose now and what policies or what results he's seen from the trump administration that make him want to come out in support of this president. reading the tweet, it sounds more like he's saying he sees much of himself in the way he communicates in president trump. i think he's less informed or less qualified to be making pronouncements of political nature or policy nature based on, you know, his support of trump via twitter. >> and he hasn't really talked at all about policy, just more about trump the personality. asia, kanye famously ripped into president bush during the hurricane katrina crisis declaring this on national television. take a listen. >> george bush doesn't care about black people. >> i distinctly remember when that happened. that was an enormous statement for kanye to say at that time. what do you say to people who
ask if he could say that about president bush, then how can he support president trump now? >> well, president bush and president trump are two different people, and like the panel has mentioned, i think that kanye likes trump as a person, and i think that this is a really great situation that's happened because now we're able to see the hypocrisy on the left. kanye comes out and supports trump, and all the sudden everyone abandons him and leaves him. everyone says trump's a bully and everyone says trump attacks, yet people are leaving kanye because he had the courage to come out and promote free thinking. i support what he's doing. i think it's very genius. we all know he's got an album coming out. i think it's pretty clear why he's doing this now. so i'm really happy that him and chance came out and they're able to help the black community have this open discussion about what it means to be black in america and that we don't all have to think alike. >> asia, i distinctly recall, you know, this is not something that happens just for performers that support republicans.
the dixie chicks, when their lead singer was critical of president bush, i remember republicans holding party where is they burned their cds. aren't democrats free to decide whether or not they like his music or not like his music based on whatever precept they have? it doesn't necessarily have to be about one line of political thinking. >> yeah, absolutely. but then you can also say on the flip side, why are people on the left saying that kanye may be mentally ill because he supporting president trump? i think that's a valid question to ask. >> yeah, and that is actually a good question to ask. lisa, to your -- from your per spes spective on this, is the criticism of kanye fair when it gets into the area he might have a mental problem? is that where we're getting into territory that isn't fair for the performer? >> people questioning kanye's mental state isn't just based on what's going on with what he's been saying on twitter. it's also about the fact he
suffered from exhaustion and had to end his tour. he's been very volatile. >> so why are they bringing this up now after he shows his support for trump? >> actually, people were talking about it. people have questioned his mental state before. >> let lisa finish. >> the thing about cann kanye p need to keep in mind is kanye is on a different planet. he's on planet kanye. he's always been this way. he's always pushed people's buttons. he did it when he jumped on stage when taylor swift was accepting her awards years ago. kanye speaks for kanye. he's come out and said he hasn't studied conservatives enough to consider himself a conservative. people want to make this about politics because it's trump and there's a lot of divisiveness, but kanye is about kanye, as he's said. he said he doesn't agree with anybody 100% except for himself. he's team kanye all the way. >> and to that point, team kanye, we know he as albums
coming out, as many as five in the near future. howard s this about downloads and selling albums more than president trump? >> absolutely. i don't think this has anything to do with president trump and getting re-elected whatsoever. i think he sees a bit of himself, as lisa said. based on the comments he's made in a number of different forums, not just politics, he's only qualified to be a spokesman for kanye west, for no one else. i don't think anyone in the hip-hop community is looking for him to grab a microphone and represent a broad dis a pra of thought its or opinions on policy from this president. >> asia, do you -- would you like to see kanye west talk specifically about what it is about president trump he likes? maybe there are some policy positions that the president has taken that kanye supports. would you like to hear from him on that respect? >> yeah, i mean, i would be interested. i just think he realizes that black unemployment is the lowest and people are starting to see in our community and people that have a platform like kanye are taking note and making people
aware of it and making people rethink their political policies. like you said, he hasn't really expressed why he likes him politically. he likes him as a person. i think it shows a genius marketing stunt that he's doing here. as we said, we know he has albums coming out. we've seen that people know if you attach yourself to president trump, people are going to talk about you. everybody's been talking about kanye and chance this entire week. so i think it's genius what he's doing. >> and let's talk more about chance the rapper, actually. he considers kanye a mentor. lisa, he came to his defense. that prompted a thank you from the president. but chance rejected that and even apologized to his fans. what are you learning about that? >> because chance said, you know, that he loves kanye and he appreciates kanye and he was just simply defending his brother. but he doesn't want to stand for something that he says he doesn't believe in, which is he does not, you know, feel as though the president of the united states is aligned with, you know, black lives matter and other things that he cares deeply about. so he came out and apologized, you know. we see also john legend, who's a
good friend of kanye's. kanye shared text messages between the two of them where john legend is really taking him to task for his stand and saying you don't want to do this type of damage. it's interesting because we're getting an opportunity to see how people can agree to disagree in a way. we saw a picture from john legend's wife's baby shower from last night where john legend is standing with kanye. kanye says it's all love. but people -- it's a very divisive thing. we see kanye being divisive over and over again. that's just simply who kanye west is. >> right. and howard, we have a very short amount of time. can they just agree to disagree in this case, or could this have long-term effects for kanye? >> i think a lot like president trump, kanye makes a pronouncement, it could be grandiose, can could be unconnected to the truth, and he'll move on. i think beyond just being divisive, i think he's a provocateur. people who have gotten to know him, who listen to his music know that's who he is and we can move on. >> all right. thank you so much. thanks for bringing the dragon
energy. very much appreciate it. enjoy the rest of your saturday. and thank you so much for joining me this afternoon. i'm ryan nobles. we appreciate you tuning in. we have much more ahead in the next hour of the newsroom with ana cabrera after this short break. have a great day. you might take something for your heart... or joints. but do you take something for your brain. with an ingredient originally found in jellyfish, prevagen is the number one selling brain-health supplement in drug stores nationwide. prevagen. the name to remember. we're finally back out in our yard, but so are they. the triple threat of dandelions,
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you are live in the cnn newsroom. i'm ana cabrera in new york. thank you for being with me on this saturday. we begin with president trump gearing up for a re-election rally tonight in michigan after a bombshell admission involving this woman, the same russian lawyer who promised dirt on hillary clinton ahead of that now infamous meeting at trump tower. she now says she worked with vladimir putin's kremlin. take a listen. >> the keyword there, informant. natalia veselnitskaya met with donald trump jr., jared kushner, and former campaign manager paul manafort. that was back in 2016. but that new detail about her kr