tv CNN Newsroom With John Berman and Poppy Harlow CNN August 9, 2018 6:00am-7:00am PDT
pg&e wants you to plan ahead by mapping out escape routes and preparing a go kit, in case you need to get out quickly. for more information on how to be prepared and keep your family safe, visit pge.com/safety. top of the hour, good morning everyone. i'm poppy harlow in new york. the special counsel wants to question the president and the president, from all indications, is ready, maybe even eager to comply. with the latest counteroffer from rudy giuliani sitting on rural's desk, three questions are looming larger than ever --
one, will an under oath face-to-face history-making interview ever take place? negotiations have now dragged on for eight months. two, what will mueller do if and when the president and/or his lawyers just say no? and, three, with all the public pressure in the trump legal team for mueller to wrap things up, is that really what the president wants? rudy giuliani suggest to cnn that his client, and i quote, needs something to energize his voters in the midterms. we'll dig into that this hour. abby phillip is in new jersey outside of the president's golf resort where he is on a working vacation. there are so many mixed signals about the urgency of this. what are you hearing? >> that's exactly right. it seems the president's team has settled on something different than they were saying before. a few days ago rudy giuliani was saying mueller needs to put up or shut up. in the letter he sent he said
they hoped the investigation gets wrapped up quickly but now he's telling dana bash that there is a possibility if that if it is not wrapped up quickly that this could be one of the tools the presidents and republicans use to galvanize the republican base in the midterm elections after modest results tuesday, this could be according to rudy giuliani one of those tools they use to get voters to the polls but that could be an acknowledgment on the president's team's part that they don't have control over the situation. they have sent back a response to the mueller team saying we are open to an interview, open to rhetting the president answer questions in person but we want questions about obstruction of justice to be on paper and we want those questions to be limited and not be what he calls a perjury trap so the back-and-forth is not getting the two sides any closer here to a resolution it seems poppy. >> what is the bottom line
hangup? the trump team is worried about what they keep calling a perjury trap. you don't have those issues if you tell the truth. >> it would seem that would be the case. if you don't lie to prosecutors, you don't have to worry about a perjury trap. but this could be a way potentially of trying to kind of push back on mueller and push this into the later part of this investigation. now giuliani has been talking about this perjury trap issue and i want people to listen to how he's explaining it himself when he spoke to sean hannity last night. >> the reality is, he doesn't need to ask a single question on obstruction, he has all the answers. they're not going to change. the president is not going to change his testimony so stop the nonsense. you are trying to trap him into perjury because you don't have any a case. >> again, i think that leads people to wonder whether or not there are any questions about obstruction of justice that his
lawyers will allow and if all of this specifically just pushing mueller to a deadline perhaps september 6 when we were in the 60-day window before the midterm elections and the pressure is on muell mueller. it will end up bag questi-- >> abby phillip, let's go to shimon prokupecz and let me start with you on that. to abby's point about the 60-day mark, you heard rudy giuliani on fox news saying mueller can't take this past september and he said there would be a "very, very serious violation of justice department rules if he does." is that accurate? >> absolutely not, poppy.
there is nothing at the department of justice that indicates that they didn't do overt acts and these investigation investigations 60 days before elections. it's customary, usually around the time of an election they won't do what is called overt acts, that i won't bring indictments or subpoena people or do anything publicly as to try to not sway the election. the idea that we here in that time frame or approaching it is simply not true. i think what we know, poppy is that we expect mueller will continue in september and there may be a quiet period come octob october, a month before the election. >> as we saw from james comey in the hillary clinton e-mail probe, things can be reopened days before an election. >> that is something that mueller and his team would be conscious of.
mueller was -- i mean, comey was in trouble for that. that is something they are considering. >> for sure in their minds. dana bash got the scoop from rudy giuliani and he told her that republicans could benefit from this dragging on past the midterms. even though he's saying wrap it up, he says if it goes longer it would benefit. let me read it to you. now i am thinking the contin iif the investigation would help. what do you think. >> well, the president's non-stop assault, rudy giuliani's frequent attacks, off declining faith among republicans in the mueller probe. you've seen the poll numbers go down and if the prospect of impeachment of him, you'll see
more democrats to come after the president. it could lead republicans to say we think this is unfair. now i don't know that many swing districts and suburbs and states like michigan and virginia, that the mueller probe will be top-of-mind to voters. it's hard to believe it would be but you could see the president's allies with ads saying hey, vote for republicans or they're coming after your president. >> i want your take on devin nunes who has been such an ardent supporter of the president. rachel maddow on her show played this tape that was taken inside a private fund-raiser of devin nunes. we have the audio. he said a lot. but here's what he said about the president's statements on twitter as it applies to the mueller probe. >> they know it's ridiculous to go after the president for obstruction of justice but if they tell a lie often enough and put it out there and say oh, look at the tweets, you've got a
lot of tweets, sometimes we love the president's tweets, sometimes we cringe on the president's tweets but they're trying to make a political -- >> he's saying you have to keep republicans in control of congress because we'll see an impeachment. it's not that different than what he said publicly but what is the significance here? >> i think the idea that any of this is politically motivated by mueller is probe ridiculous. the obstruction issue is very real and something the president's lawyers are concerned about. i think it's on the top of their mind and what they're trying to get mueller not to ask the president about. two things are constant, one being that mueller wants a sit
down. the other being that giuliani says they want this wrapped up by september so presumably in the next few weeks we could have some answers here. the next step is whether or not mueller goes to the extreme step of subpoenaing the president but it's obvious to all of us the lawyers don't want the president to be asked questions about obstruction. they said fine ask about collusions. but what is it about the obstruction matter that concerns the lawyers so much? >> huge questions about obstruction, intent. when you fired james comey what were you thinking? when you had the conversation about michael flynn, what were you thinking? all right, josh stick around. we have a lot of biline in the "washington post" this morning so let's start with the front page on the dilemma you argue and report out that the gop is having right now after the
tuesday election. when you look at the ohio 12, still a tossup, kathy mcmorris rodgers not getting 50% of the vote. the huge turnout records since 1978 for democrats in michigan. what are the lackluster results for republican this is week doing to the party conversational roell? >> we're 90 days out. the president saying he wants to have an aggressive stance going forward. he wants the campaign three, four, five days a week. he wants to go into dozens of districts and talk about the economy, talk about immigration, talk about trade. to republicans that cuts both ways, the presidents energizes his base but in many places his numbers are below 50%, including key districts where republicans need to win to keep the house and senate as well. but particularly the house republicans are very concerned about. >> i thought it was telling the quote you had from kevin mccarthy, the republican
congressman who said you can't half embrace the president's agenda. this is the dilemma the candidates are dealing with. on russia, people should know that the white house has -- is drafting an executive order and what it would do as it pertains to russia is that it would call for more sanctions, it would give the president authority to do that. my question is is this something with thooet or discelt their and an optics play? >> it's an eight page peckive the order and something the president's staff, kirstjen nielsen and dhs, the intel community, all of these agencies have been sounding alarm bells about interference in the past few weeks. you heard in the cross hairs, the lights are blinking red and you have a president who continued to say this is a hoax and question his intelligence community so you're seeing many
vocational in his administration are pushing him to take drastic steps and show he's doing something and you have a president who has been reticent to do that even as his aides say he authorized a briefing on interference on the podium, that he know this is executive order is being written, he still have to see will he sign it and put teeth on it? when the president gets fixate head puts teeth on it and goes after folks for doing things he doesn't like them to. we have not seen him do that with russian interference. >> so interesting the reporting that you have that he is telling white house aides to continue to talk publicly about election interference as he continues to talk about it being a hoax so great pieces, josh, thanks. >> thanks for having me. still to come, new york congressman chris collins under indictment for securities fraud, insider trading. he is fighting on, staying in the race for november and offering a glimpse of what his defense will be. also, in that compound in new mexico we're learning more about the cruelty that unfolded
against these children and the plans police were able to thwart. later, unspeakable pain in yemen as children again fall victim to the country's visht problem nima elbagir is there. and providing local support to those living with the disease and their caregivers. but we won't get there without you. join the fight with the alzheimer's association. it's a pea-protein, gluten-free pâté.gman? (whistles) it's a burrito filled with plants pretending to be meat. here we see the artist making an attempt to bare his soul. it's just a gray dot. there are multiples on the table: one is cash,
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he is facing 150 years in federal prison if convicted of the fraud counts against him. i'm talking about new york republican congressman chris collins but he is refusing to step down and is still campaigning for reelection in november and insisting he will be cleared of the charges against him. he represents a ruby red district in upstate new york and was the first member of congress to endorse donald trump. allegedly tipped his son to dump stock in an australian drug company called innate immunotherapeutics once he found out a bad drug test trial.
>> the charges that have been levied against me are meritless and i will mount a vigorous defense in court to clear my name. i look forward to being vind vindicated and exonerated. >> with me now, bob mccarthy, political reporter for the buffalo news in his district. phil mattingly is back with me. thank you both for being here. phil, let me begin with you. total defiance, not dropping out, still running. he knows his district and the race against the little-known democrat there, even with these charges against him, maybe he has a shot. this is significant to watch because it's in a district where the margin of victory he saw, 60% to hillary clinton's 35% was the largest of any of the new york house districts so what do you make of his calculation to stay in this race?
>> he thinks he can win. >> phil, sorry quickly and then i'll get to you, bob. >> bob would have a great idea of how the district is laid out but if you look at the district and his standing in the district, he's in a good place. if you look at the none he has in the bank compared to his oppone opponent and the support over the last couple years, it's very clear but he believes he can run and win. it's not without precedent. there was another new york republican michael grimm who was indicted, ran and was reelected. it just depends on how close they are with the district so that is is calculation. but there's no discussion, i'm told, based on people on capitol hill about him leaving. >> but michael grim didn't win the second time around. >> very true. >> there you have it. >> and he went to jail. >> there's that. so your beat, bob.
this is your district, what you report on. what are the constituents saying? >> the constituents i think are amazed because they are very much behind chris collins and president trump and that's why chris collins has been such an ardent supporter of the president. he's been on your network and the other networks more than 100 tim times as a real cheerleader for the president so i think they are dismay ed but i bet anythin you'll see chris collins mounting a pro-trump campaign and that will resonate with people. >> what's so interesting now that we know the charges against him is looking back at the words and language he and his supporters used when the house ethics committee was investigating the holdings he had in this pharmaceutical
company, his supporters called the ethics probe in the house a witch-hunt. he himself called media reports that anything he did would be a violation of the stock act fake news. it's exactly the language the president uses. >> and that's by design, pop py. he know this is district, he knows what resonates with people and that's why you'll hear trump, trump, trump throughout this whole campaign. >> phil, i wonder what you think about the white house is going to do. mum on it now but this is the first member of congress to endorse the president. last october when the ethics committee found there was reason to believe he violated ethics rules at a minimum, mike pence the same month traveled to buffalo to help him fund raise. does the white house stand by their guy, phil? >> good question. >> i think you'll see many white house officials traveling to
help him any time soon. the wild card is the president. the president knows his supporters and who his most vocal supporters have been. as bob notes the president knows who's been on tv supporting him so you can't calculate what he's going to do in his 280 character platform. i think the white house political operation is keenly aware of the map and that they don't have the money or resources to put into a plus 26 plus 27 republican district even if they wanted to so they'll try to stay away but you never know if the president decides he wants to wade into it. >> bob, before we go, it seemed to me like you were seeing the crafting of the defense by collins and this is hey, i lost money, there's nothing to see. what's your read? >> throughout this entire thing he's insisted he has played by
the rules and abided by every possible rule even when the congressional ethics office mounted their first investigation and said there's reason for concern here so he has led this slide away and say this is not a problem, nothing to see here, folks, keep going on and that's kind of what it's been. >> something tells me you two and your colleagues will keep doing your reporting so thank you for being here. new york city is cracking down on uber and lyft, those taxi-like vehicles and we all take them but there are new rules. it's significant. it has to do how many can be on the road and how much the drivers have to be paid. christine romans is here. this is fascinating. >> this is the first city and a big city for them to do. this it was a congestion concern and a wage concern with this new
package of bills that passed. a $17 minimum wage assured for the drivers. there are a lot on the roads, poppy. 80,000 juno, lyft, uber and via drivers and 14,000 taxes so you can see the boom and the city wants to pause the new for hire licenses for a year. no new ones for a year while they figure out congestion and patterns and whether they can lift the wages. taxi drivers have complained for a long time that they have seen the value of a medallion go down from a million to $200,000 and there are a lot of drivers competing out there. uber and lyft need as many drivers as they can. lyft said these sweeping cuts to transportation will bring new yorkers back to an era of struggling to get a ride for communities of color and in the outer boroughs so the ride share
agencies don't love this but the city wants to look at congestion and wages. >> and the $17 an hour wage is much more a livable wage. still not enough for a lot of people to get by. >> look, the wage thing is importa important. you've seen this move for a $15 wage for restaurant workers in new york city and new york state. so there's been a trend and now they're talking about it for drivers. quick check of the markets because we're close to an all time high for the s&p but i don't know if you'll get it today. the trading ranges have been tight so it doesn't look like a gang buster of a day. strong earnings, strong economy countered by worries of trade wars. >> everyone is on vacation except for us. >> go on vacation, poppy. >> i'm trying. romans, thank you very much. stunningly disturbing details in the rescue of these 11 children from that compound in new mexico.
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trained to carry out school shootings. two men, three women arrested at the compound were arraigned in court yesterday on 11 counts of child abuse. scott mclean has been following this story in new mexico and has much more. there are text messages that you've obtained? >> yeah. that's right, poppy. this complaint or accusation about the school shooting stems from the criminal complaint that was filed in district court yesterday and i'll read you part of it. it's against all five of the defendants on this compound. it says the foster parent of one of the 11 children stated the defendant had trained the child in the use of an assault rifle in preparation for future school shootings. it's important to point out this accusation has not been proven in court, the defense attorney says take it with a brain of salt. the local sheriff called the folks who live on this compound
extremists of the muslim belief. when pressed he didn't elaborate but he told a local newspaper in santa fe that he got the detail from the fbi. we're at the back part of the compound right now, we have the overhead shot to show you and there are guns found on this property. there were a couple handguns, there were an -- an ar-15 was found and there salt lake city a shooting range. we can see bullet holes in the propane tanks that had the tire retaining wall and then you can see there's actually these makeshift targets for target practice. it's odd because it looks like the outline of a human that was drawn by a child perhaps, poppy, though it's not uncommon for people to own guns, we're out in the middle of nowhere. >> that is stunning to see and
to think 11 children were being held there dirty and stamping and now allegedly being trained for this. scott, thank you for continuing your report iing. let's talk about this more with art roderick. how can it be that 11 children are held on this compound? i get that it's in a rural part of new mexico, but 11 children? for a long time, and the authorities didn't know. >> this is a very strange case and troubling to say the least. we've got 11 counts of child abuse already. there's going to be more charges coming out at some of these other accusations that have been made proved to be true. not only do we have 11 children that have been neglected and abused but now we're hearing that one of them was trained to be a school shooter. this whole connection to an extremist of the muslim belief and this connection to this imam
in new york, it's good to hear the fbi is involved and that they've done some background checks on this particular group and these individualings. i'm sure the joint terrorism task force in new york is coordinating a lot of this information with the joint terrorism task force in new mexico to figure out exactly what this group. if they had any radical terrorism groups we know about overseas so there's a lot of questions to be answered here and a lot of questions that i've got just looking at the information that we have right now. >> let me read you these court documents. say there is a substantial likelihood that the defendant may commit -- one of the defendants may commit new crimes due to his planning and preparation for future school shootings. you're not privy to all of the material gathered here by the prosecution but what would they have had to find that would indicate to them there's
substantial future planning? >> well, they very well could have looked at past school shootings and found information on the compound concerning that. we've seen that in the past, where the parkland school shooter studied school shootings to figure out tactics in what would work and give them the greatest body count so this could have been the type of information that they did find on this particular compound. >> art roderick, we'll keep everyone posted and hoping for the best for those 11 children. dozens more killed when air strikes hit a bus taking children to summer camp. this happened in northern yemen. these are saudi coalition strikes. we'll have a live report on that next.
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killed, including many, many children after a bus carrying school children was hit by a saudi-led coalition air strike in northern yemen. the bus was driving through a busy market in a rebel-held province there. a pro-houthi television station showed the moments that have strike. cnn cannot verify the video's authenticity and i want to warn you it's very graphic. but here's what you can see. you see children's faces covered in blood. children on a school bus as they are carried into the hospital. look at that kid with his blue backpack on. yemen has been in the midst of a civil war for years that killed thousands and thousands of innocent people. 10,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed since the houthi rebels took other northern yemen but keep in mind that figure hasn't been updated in two years so the death toll likely much higher than that.
the fight between the houthi rebels backed by iran and the yamny government brought on a humanitarian crisis. our senior international correspondent nima elbagir is with me this morning for so many americans this is not an everyday headline for them but when innocent children are murder murdered it needs to be drawn attention to. what can you tell us? >> well, firstly, poppy, that isn't the worst of the footage. what we are airing is only what we are able to air. i have seen the entirety of that video and it is appalling. you see a truck carrying the remains of some of the dead childr children. the u.n. doesn't have a figure for how many have died but they say most are under ten and the number is in the scores, over a dozen children. you see other children whose features have been rendered
undistinguishable by the burns they received in the strike. the saudi-led coalition acknowledged that it carried out the strike that hit the school bus but they say it was a legitimatehitting at terrorists. we report on so many horrible things but that video, the portion we are unable to air is probably one of the most appalling things i have seen in a long time and that's not the worst of it. this is after weeks of pro pacted strikepact -- protracted assaults on a port in yemen. so the pictures we're see willing only get worse. we should say this conflict is backed by the u.s. and the uk, they are in full support of the saudi-led coalition's activities in yemen today. >> as you note, you have a major
$110 billion arms deal between the uk, u.s. and saudi arabia so when you talk about how the u.s. could respond, sanctions saudi arabia, for example, will that happen? does the arms deal complicated that? does the fact that they are major alleys in the middle east complicate that? >> and the fact that under the trump administration the u.s. has kicked up its air strikes in yemen. they're targeting al qaeda in the arabian peninsula and they need them to suppress al qaeda's activity there is but the reality is back in june, even the mere attempt on the part of the security council to call for a cease-fire to allow supplies to come in to relieve that pressure to bring food in to severely malnourished children, that statement for a cease-fire was blocked by the u.s. and the uk so we're not expecting to
from an officer. then he was shot, it appears in the back. the police union, those officials, argue the video does not tell the whole story. so let's go to our kt hartung, our correspondent, who joins us with more details. what are you learning? >> that's right, poppy. we received a statement from the nashville fraternal order of police. despite what you see there on video, james smallwood, the president of this police order is saying it is our firm belief that the officer acted reasonably within the confines of the law and department policies. we are confident that an independent investigation conducted by the tbi, that's the tennessee bureau of investigation, will reflect that and totally exonerate him. now, officer delk has been put on administrative leave by the city, as this investigation takes place. but this newly released video by the state's attorney general is putting a spotlight back on this officer-involved shooting from the end of july. there you see daniel hambrick
appearing to run from the officer. it is then that the officer fires his weapon. tbi saying he fired multiple times, though we're not sure how many of those shots struck the victim. it only took one to kill him on the scene. this video again raising so many questions. you can see with your eyes there. but now the fraternal order of police saying once this investigation is completed, they feel he will be exonerated. it's very interesting. we do know that a handgun was found at the scene in one portion of the video. it looks like a dark object is in mr. hambrick's hand. but it's -- you can see the quality of the video. it's too difficult to tell what that may be, though. authorities say a handgun found at the scene, poppy. now hambrick's family is calling for justice. this investigation ongoing, and these videos important to it. >> very. and the question is, that the only vantage point, are there other videos showing other things? a lot of questions remain, and the family is calling for
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blame? bill weir explains. >> reporter: normally, a voyage like this is filled with relaxed anticipation. but these days, a trip off of florida's gulf coast brings only boatfuls of dread. toxic algae is blooming like mad here. and you can see and smell the result everywhere. onshore and off. a dolphin sighting that would normally inspire wonder now only makes you worry. oh, there he is. he's right here. look at this. wow, you can really feel it in your nostrils and your sinuses and the back of your throat. it's like a mild pepper spray when this algae gets up in the air. and so if we can feel that discomfort, you've got to wonder what it's like to be a dolphin in a red tide like this. oh, there he is. their blow hole is just inches beneath the surface. 90 miles up the coast, they found two dolphins that could not survive this epic red tide.
but more shocking are the beaches with drift piles of rotting, dead fish stretching to the horizon. a visit to the marine biologist at florida gulf coast university is like a visit to the morgue. and these are just two of more than 400 sea turtles found in this area alone. >> this one is able to breathe. and this one here, the juvenile. >> makes your heart hurt, doesn't it? >> you go through stages. hurts, then you're angry. >> this is the villain right here. this is the red tide? >> yep. and this one down here on the bottom. >> yeah. >> the algae that causes red tide occurs naturally in saltwater. but human activity on land can make the situation much, much worse. >> well, they love nitrogen and phosphorus. >> which are fertilizers. >> yeah. >> that's burning sugar? >> processing sugar. >> generations of sugar cane
farming has altered the chemistry of lake okeechobee and the everglades. in the wet system, it diverts into the ecosystem. in the dry season, it's great for the economy, horrible for the environment. >> you have a natural phenomenon called red tide, as mike said. but you have the nitrogen then coming in and giving it a booster shot. >> and now these scientists from florida gulf coast university are testing water up to 20 miles off shore, looking for the definitive proof that america's sugar habit is also making red tides worse. >> you're looking for the smoking gun. >> i'm looking for the smoking gun. >> i think we have to realize that collectively, we got to this point. it took 70 years, 80 years, to get to where we are now. and it's going to take a while to work our way out of it. >> reporter: back on a beach, it should be full of tourists. finally, cleanup crews.
many of them unpaid volunteers. you live in tennessee? >> absolutely. >> did you come out here just to do this? >> absolutely. >> you're kidding. really? >> i do, i do. >> have you seen red tide this bad before? >> i have not. >> and who is to blame, do you think? >> i think we all are to blame, to be honest. you know? i think we all play a role in this one way or the other. i think it goes up the chain and all the way down. >> yeah. >> i just think we need to come together, figure it out, and, you know, let the scientists do what they can do, and you know, let's try to get to the bottom of it. >> u.s. sugar is pushing back at all the criticism. they refused an interview, but put out a statement that says we share in the frustration over the lake okeechobee discharge. we want to collaborate in finding solutions, but that radicals are blaming a single company, u.s. sugar for systemic regional problems brought over 100 years of change is utterly ridiculous. that company has enormous
political sway down here, poppy. the republican-led legislature is very pro growth, pro farming. so who knows if their practices will change, and who knows how long the red tide will last. it's been going for nine months. the hurricanes may be stirring this sort of thing up. and many here are worried that this is the new normal. >> you know, bill, if it weren't for you being there telling these stories, i wouldn't -- i mean, the first time i even read about this, heard about this, was this morning, because of your reporting. for average americans watching, thinking, oh, my god, i didn't know this was happening, what can they do? >> my pleasure, thanks for having me on. ♪ good morning, everyone. i'm poppy harlow. no deal, says the president's legal team at the latest offer from the special counsel on the terms of a presidential interview. but this morning, yet ano