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Senate Republicans Reveal Health Care Bill; Trump Took 41 Days To Admit There Are No Tapes; Trump Critical Of Special Counsel Robert Mueller; Moscow Mayor Plans To Demolish 4,000 Apartment Blocks; Mark Zuckerberg Explains New Facebook Mission; Bill Cosby Wants To Get Back To Work. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired June 23, 2017 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[01:00:00] AMARA WALKER, CNN NEWSROOM ANCHOR: You are watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN NEWSROOM ANCHOR: Ahead this hour, it started with a tweet but may not end with one. On Twitter, the U.S. President confirms what many has suspected: there are no secret recordings of his meetings with the former FBI Director.
WALKER: And Senate Republicans reveal their long-awaited health care bill, but it's already falling short of many promises and support.
VAUSE: And giving back, Bill Cosby style, holding town halls about sexual assault.
WALKER: Hello, everyone. Thanks for joining us. I'm Amara Walker.
VAUSE: I'm John Vause. This is NEWSROOM L.A. Only one day after he appeared to threaten his newly fired FBI Director on Twitter, Donald Trump has finally admitted there are no tapes of their meetings. U.S. President kept up the bluff for weeks in what seems to be an effort to keep James Comey quite about the Russia investigation, instead, Comey told to investigate this in detail about the meeting leading to the appointment of a Justice Department Special Counsel.
WALKER: Mr. Trump, came clean about the tapes on Thursday saying, "With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking, and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea whether there are tapes or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make and do not have any such recordings." Another big secret is out: Senate Republican's plan to overhaul the nation's healthcare system.
VAUSE: So, a dozen of people were arrest for protesting outside Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell's office on Thursday. The bill isn't exactly getting a warm reception elsewhere on Capitol Hill either. CNN's Ryan Nobles, reports.
RYAN NOBLES, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Within hours of Senate Republicans released their health care bill, four members announcing they currently oppose the plan as the leaders make the case for its passage.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), SENATOR MAJORITY LEADER: There will be ample time to analyze, discuss, and provide thoughts before legislation comes to the floor. I hope ever Senator takes that opportunity.
NOBLES: Republicans can only lose two votes and still be able to pass the bill. And as it stands now: Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and Ron Johnson say they can't support the bill in its current form but are "open to negotiation."
SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: The intention is not to take down the bill; the intention is to make the bill better.
NOBLES: While a pair of moderate GOP Senators: Maine's Susan Collins, and Nevada's Dean Heller, both released statements voicing concerns with the proposal. This new bill allows states to waive the federal mandate on essential health benefits, which may not cover treatments for those who have pre-existing conditions. It also slows rollback of the Obama Medicaid expansion included in the House bill, delaying the start of that process until 2021.
The Senate version of the bill puts back in Obamacare subsidies for premiums eliminated from the House bill but drops a threshold from 400 percent of the poverty level to 350 percent, and it maintains a one year block on funds for Planned Parenthood. Democrats who don't have the votes to stop the bill are relying on emotion.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), SENATE MINORITY LEADER: The Senate Republican health care bill is a wolf in sheep's clothing.
NOBLES: Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer, labeled it "MEAN." Using President Trump's own description of the House version of the bill, Schumer arguing that this plan may be worse than the original.
SCHUMER: This is a nasty bill, and they're trying to cover it up with little things here and there.
NOBLES: The White House's kept its distance in this process, but today indicated it plans to play a role in House-Senate talks. And this morning, the President reacted to the Senate draft positively.
DONALD TRUMP, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA PRESIDENT: Little negotiation but it's going to be very good.
NOBLES: But there will be little time for that negotiation. House Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, has set a goal of voting on the bill by the 4th of July-holiday. If this bill is able to pass the Senate- and right now that is a big if-it will then go back to the House where it will need to be passed again. So far, House Republicans are staying hands-off with their assessment of this current piece of legislation. House Speaker, Paul Ryan, did say this though that he has yet to see any major concerns that would prevent it for making it through his conference. Ryan Nobles, CNN, on Capitol Hill.
(END VIDEOTAPE) WALKER: And a lot to talk about. Joining us now: CNN Political Commentators and Democratic Strategist, Dave Jacobson; and Republican Consultant, John Thomas.
VAUSE: Also with us Senior Reporter for Politico, David Siders. OK. So, we have this confirmation now that these recordings just - of the conversations between Donald Trump and James Comey just don't exist. We can also confirm there are no fairies in the White House garden and the rest that you just heard from Donald Trump with. Still, we're going to find out if in the, I mean, the lake, can get or if it leads to Narnia. But John, it's always actually a good look when the President knows something is misleading or untruthful, and he leaves it dangling out there for 41 days for God knows why?
[01:05:07] JOHN THOMAS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATORS AND REPUBLICAN CONSULTANT: This is something, certainly, should have put to bed earlier. I mean, you're right, it doesn't look good. I didn't interpret it as a lot of people do, saying it was - that he said he had recordings. I think it was more of a threat to Comey, that if Comey did have tapes, then he better not leak those tapes. But regardless of what it was, it's befuddling to many of - even on his side of the aisle, as to why he waited this long.
WALKER: And talking about the Russia investigation now, because President Trump is making news; he spoke with Fox News, and he said that he hasn't exactly made up his mind on whether Robert Mueller, the Special Counsel, should recuse himself from the investigation. Here's what he has to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Should he recuse himself?
TRUMP: Well, he's very, very good friends with Comey, which is very bothersome, but he's also - we're going to have to see. I mean, we're going to have to see in terms that there has been no obstruction, there has been no collusion, there has been leaking by Comey, but there's been no collusion, no obstruction, and virtually, everybody agrees to that. So, we'll have to see. I can say that the people that have been hired are all Hillary Clinton supporters.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALKER: Dave, do you think President Trump might still be considering finding ways to get rid of Robert Mueller?
DAVE JACOBSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR AND DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I don't - I mean, he just said to Fox today. I think this is a highly combustible situation because just weeks ago you had Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, a number of other high-ranking GOP officials in the House and in the Senate, endorsed the idea of Robert Mueller continuing his investigation in getting to the facts. And I think if you have Donald Trump who ultimately moves forward and fires Mueller, you could see Congress potentially hire him on board as someone who's leading the charge of the Congressional investigations. So, I think this is potentially an explosive situation for the President. WALKER: Yes.
VAUSE: And David, is this some, you know, another bluff, if you like, coming from the President? This could - you know, I'm considering, you know, to fire the Special Counsel.
DAVID SIDERS, POLITICO SENIOR REPORTER: I certainly wouldn't attempt to get into his mind, to know whether it was a bluff of not. I think it's a serious situation, and of course, the legality of it, he would have to make a move on Rosenstein or, you know, pressure him, rather, to remove the Special Counsel. I think that's unlikely just given the political support from both sides of the aisle for that investigation.
VAUSE: It would be like the Senate at mess though, in here for the mixing error, right, if it happens?
SIDERS: Yes. I think it would be - it would explode the entire situation, and I think you would see both sides: Republicans and Democrats, coming after the President if he did that.
WALKER: And David, we just want to get your take on President Trump, you know, and his (INAUDIBLE) after, you know, kind of intervening that there might be tapes out there in the oval office. And now, you know, several weeks later, he's saying actually there are no recording of the conversations. I mean, what does this do to the Presidency, and President Trump's credibility?
SIDERS: I'm not sure that his credibility is in anymore question today as it was three or, you know, four weeks ago. When reporters at the White House would talk to staffers and say, well, what about those tapes? There was laughter. I think people there knew, and most viewers knew that there probably more tapes. What was interesting is how he - I think it's time to diffuse this with a couple of carefully crafted tweets today, instead of say, as he's done with previous big news announcements either with a big rollout and a lot of suspension around them-like he did when he announced that he was dropping his false claims about President Obama's birthplace, or throwing them out unexpectedly at a rally, for example. He didn't do that last night in Iowa.
VAUSE: OK. Well, the other, you know, worse kept secret in Washington was revealed on Thursday; that's the Republican draft of a health care plan. Right now, four Republican Senator oppose it, they say they will not vote it, which means it does not have the numbers to pass the Senate. Ted Cruz is among those who demanded changes; this is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: My biggest concern is under this current draft premiums would continue rise. And if premiums continue to rise after we hold the press conference claiming to have repealed Obamacare, that's a disaster. It's a disaster politically; it's a disaster substantively, it would be a failure of the mandate we've been given by the voters.
VAUSE: Dave, rising premiums are bad, but is that the worse thing about this draft bill coming out of the Senate?
JACOBSON: This is the equivalence of a political gut-punch to poor working class and disabled Americans. Obviously, it gives enormous tax cuts t0 the millionaire and the billionaire class; big corporations, pharmaceuticals, and insurance entities, while simultaneously slashing over $700 billion in Medicaid services that people really depend on. Essentially, the social safety network - net, pardon me, that lifts people up and keeps them healthy, and gives them services that they so depend on. Moreover, it completely slashes funding for Planned Parenthood, of which millions of Americans particularly women depend on not just for abortion. This is just like for basic reproductive health care.
[01:10:14] WALKER: And this bill may go for a vote next week if Senator Mitch McConnell gets his way, but President Trump sounded pretty confident that he would be able to convince the four holdouts; take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Well, they're also four good guys and they're four friends of mine, and I think that they'll probably get there, we'll have to see. You know, health care is a very difficult situation. If you look, the Clintons tried to get it and after years, and years, they couldn't it. Obamacare was more for them to get and now it's failed; it's very truly out of business. Obamacare is a disaster. And we're trying to do something in a very short period of time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALKER: So, John, do you think President Trump will be able to be a deal maker and get his first friends to support the bill?
THOMAS: Well, I didn't seem the first time in House, but then thanks to President it did get through in the House. I'm not sure if it can get through this week, but I do think the President is going to roll up his sleeves with Senator McConnell and get this done. Looking at the interview that Ted Cruz did, the extended version, it seemed to me, that Ted really did want to get to yes, but he's just not going to be there; this is the horse trading portion. Now, remember, of the four obstructionists right now, on the Republican side, they only need two.
VAUSE: OK. Well, with hope from President Obama, which, you know, obviously, hope that Obama cares a thing. He's actually waited on the health care plan in the Senate. This is somewhat he posted on Facebook: "Simply put, if there's a chance you might get sick, get old, or start a family-this bill will do you harm. And small tweaks over the course of the next couple weeks, under the guise of making these bills easier to stomach, cannot change the fundamental meanness at the core of this legislation." David, you know, having Obama come out, and you post this like the, you know, (INAUDIBLE) on Facebook, does that help him in any way?
SIDERS: I think it helps the President and Republicans who want to push this legislation forward. You have to keep in mind that these people who want to repeal Obamacare are not interested in what President Obama has to say about the health care bill, that they're catering to an entirely different phase. And so, the pressure point for them is not what Democrats think about it or trying to appeal to a broader segment; it's trying to appeal to Republican base voters who, for years, have been screaming, lashing out at Obamacare and they want action on this. And so, that's what the, you know, President I think and Republican Senators want to deliver.
WALKER: I want to talk about the daily White House briefing, John, today was a kind of a remarkable day. I think a lot of people would say because the public was literally left in the dark. I mean, the White House has banned live T.V. coverage of it and then allowed the recordings to be aired thereafter. And here's what Sean Spicer had to say about why banning T.V. cameras was a good idea.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN SPICER, PRESS SECRETARY: Multiple times prior to actually taking the job in December and January, explained it, you know, we're going to do what we can to communicate our message. We will - we have a tremendous respect for the first amendment, your ability to do your job, and report, and seek out ideas, and then we're going to work with you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Actually, that was not quite the Spicer sound bite, but the irony here is that that was the last on-cam briefing live that Sean Spicer held, to how much they respect the first amendment.
JACOBSON: It's quite the opposite, it's an 180 obviously what we saw today. Look, I think increasingly we're saying the Trump White House strip away the press' ability to ask the tough questions, on record, on camera, whether it's the President himself answering thorough amount of question, obviously, or the Press Secretary. And I think, increasingly, our country or at least our White House is trying, you know; manipulate the system to create sort of a state government run message mouthpiece.
The President exclusively goes on Fox News, for example, right? He doesn't give interviews to any other entity: CNN included. And then you've got Sean Spicer refusing to answer the question from other networks, of course, often times. And so, I think you're seeing the sort of shift from what we've seen traditionally, whether it's the Bush White House or the Obama White House where they allow before us to ask the tough questions.
VAUSE: John, there clearly is a communications issue in the White House, right? There's a problem. The antidote is fixed the problem rather than just try to ignore it, right? Rather than just have no communications?
THOMAS: Yes. Well, I don't they're necessarily trying to ignore it. I think this is their attempt to fix; this is their attempt to reduce the temperate in the room. They're thinking that, partially, because of these cameras are hot that that's perhaps why it is more of a hostile environment because people are trying to give their name out; the reporters want to be part of the story.
VAUSE: Jim hadn't had this problem in any other administration until now.
THOMAS: Well, Trump, is a unique animal. I mean, he hasn't been hated by members of the press this much. I don't think any other presidents had this level of vitriol.
WALKER: Sorry about that. I want to get David Siders to chime in on this one on how significant this move is by the White House and they're banning live T.V. of the daily White House briefing. And of course, that, you know, the base question is about, well, why is this White House not being transparent?
[01:15:10] SIDERS: I think it's an enormous break with tradition, and I think what's interesting is the fight between the media and the Trump administration. And I would just say that I think the media, in this case, is in kind of a lonely position, the American people are not rallying to the media defense. I think reporters and journalist is not the most popular people in America and so while we care very much about issues of access and transparency, I think the Trump Administration has made a calculation probably accurately that the public is not necessarily on the media side in this dispute.
[01:15:47] VAUSE: You know, we should know that briefing is also off camera, you know, and the President hasn't held a press conference at a very long time which means he doesn't answer question about, what happened to all those Carrier air condition jobs, you know, the ones that you said you've say to that seven million dollars in government incentives to keep 1100 jobs in the U.S. which later turned out to be 800 jobs because 300 was staying anyway. Well, now Carrier has announced 600 jobs actually going to Mexico, so we've got the situation with the Carrier air conditioning factory, we've also had Ford announcing its shipping production of the Ford Focus to China. Really no jobs will be lost in the U.S. but its still shipping jobs over to China. You can't ask the administration, this or the President this John, so I will ask you what's going on?
THOMAS: Well first of all you can it's just you can't do it on camera, you can't do it live.
VAUSE: Right. But is the briefing, does the President isn't having a news conference?
THOMAS: No, it hasn't, I mean look Barack Obama did a lot of the same thing. See he didn't appear on Fox News -
VAUSE: Tell me, what side of the jobs, this is a big part of his campaign.
THOMAS: You're right, I mean, first of all, there were in Carrier deal, there are more jobs not as many as jobs we said you look at the stock market continues to hit record highs which means there's more capital deployed for job creation. VAUSE: There's 200 jobs left out of that original 1100.
THOMAS: You're right, but you know, look there are other examples of job creators deploying capital where they haven't, you're in Los Angeles artificial bird is the crane because real estate developers are going crazy. So look you're right, that wasn't as perfect as promised but I think overall, we're better off economically now than we were pre-Trump Presidents.
WALKER: David Siders is there a point where Trump basis supporters' losses their patience if the President does not deliver on his promises especially when it comes to job creation.
SIDERS: Yes, and I think it is on exactly what you say which is the delivery of the promises, I don't think that it matters so much for example what the health bill includes or doesn't include or which company's jobs is winning or losing. I think he needs to get something done on these so he need to get health care done whatever it is so that he can say he has that victory. And then I think the jobs issue impark get's taken care of it, he can go to the public and say he's done something on taxes and that's of course what's suppose to come after health care and that's why there's such a immediate push to get health care done.
VAUSE: Last words, Dave Jacobson what do you think?
JACOBSON: I mean this is just, we're seeing this sort of hypocrisy from the Trump White House whether it's building the wall on day one that still hasn't been done. Obviously on the job message we haven't seen this explosion of job creation or this three percent, four percent GDP but they have promise, I mean on issue after issue repeatedly Donald Trump has failed to deliver and ultimately when it comes to the midterms in 2018, he's going to be he's not on the ballot but he's going to held accountable and Republicans I think are going to start loss seats.
VAUSE: And time, OK. Thanks to all of you for being with us it was a very big day and we appreciate all of your insights, and said enough because it's late. Thank you, we'll take a short break when we come back the British Prime Minister makes an opening play on Brexit negotiations, what she is proposing that's next also this.
WALKER: Some homeowners in Moscow fighting to stay put we're going to explain, just ahead.
[01:21:16] VAUSE: Iraq's Prime Minister says the city of Mosul will be liberated from ISIS in the coming days.
WALKER: Haider al-Abadi said this week's destruction of the 800-year- old al-Nuri Mosque and its leaning minaret by ISIS is this a mission? And the militants are losing the fight for the city.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HAIDER AL-ABADI, IRAQ PRIME MINISTER (through translator): They blew it up now and destroyed it and by that they announce their defeat, God willing we will remove their traces in Iraq and we will rebuild all the historical landmarks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALKER: Both Iraqi and U.S. officials say ISIS blew up the Mosque on Wednesday as Iraqi forces advances on the old the city. ISIS says the contrary that U.S. warplanes hit the Mosque but the U.S. in Iraq insists that claim is not true.
British Prime Minister Theresa May is making a big offer in Brexit talks with E.U. officials. She says E.U. citizens can stay within U.K. borders after it leaves the block.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Well find going to be setting out today. It's clearly how the United Kingdom proposes can protect the rights of the new system living in the U.K. and see the rights of U.K. citizens living in Europe protected. That's been an important issue; we've wanted it to be one of the early issues that we've considered in the negotiation. That is now the case but work is starting.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Mrs. May is in Brussels there as the negotiations formally get under way but as that process starts the Prime Minister is dealing with political turmoil back home.
WALKER: One such crisis, the deadly apartment fire in London which killed dozens of people last week before living for Brussels. Mrs. May spoke to parliament about preventing similar tragedies going forward.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAY: Landlords have a legal obligation to provide safe buildings and where they cannot do that we expect to return this of accommodation to be provided. We cannot and will not ask people to live in unsafe homes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Investigators identify the cladding on the outside of the building and as one possible reason for the fast spread of the fire. And that's why the government start testing hundreds of building across England to similar materials, early results have already revealed. There are more fire assets.
In Moscow, people are marching against the Mayor's plan to demolish and replace some 4,000 apartment blocks.
WALKER: More than a million people are being affected and even though they'll be getting new place to live, some say they're on the losing end of the deal, Our Ivan Watson went to ask why.
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They say home is where the heart is. For Olga Navistkaya, home is this two bedroom Moscow apartment with its cozy kitchen. She bought the place in 1998 and raised her daughter here.
OLGA NAVISTKAYA, MOSCOW APARTMENT OWNER: I'm very happy here.
WATSON: But all the fears her days may be numbered. The Moscow city government wants to demolish her apartment building. Offering her a new home in this high rise, it's still under construction and some of the tiles have already fallen off. Olga does not want to give up her home.
NAVISTKAYA: My rights are still my rights, my sleep is still my sleep and they have the right to have my voice listen too.
WATSON: Olga lives in what Russian called "Khrushchevki" identical concrete apartment buildings that sprouted across the Soviet Union during the reign of Nikita Khrushchev. This fulfillment of the Soviet dream celebrated in the 1962 film where a couple sings about the joy of a new apartment. A half century later the mayor of Moscow is planning to demolish more than 4,000 buildings like this as part of one of the largest urban resettlement program in modern history. Pledging to give some 1.6 million Muscovites homes in more modern buildings. Some Moscow residences are delighted to kiss their crumbling Khrushchevki goodbye.
[01:25:20] TATIANA BOWMAN, APARTMENT OWNER: We are tired to live here it's a terrible condition. We live in a terrible condition here and we would like them to leave the house. So soon as possible.
WATSON: But the resettlement program has also sparked protest. Thousands of opponents have taken to the streets, many of them think real estate developers will be the winners and they'll be the losers.
The government says they want to give people better housing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't believe it's not true.
WATSON: Among the participants at a recent protest Olga Navistkaya waiving handmade sign.
NAVISTKAYA: We should understand that we have come for the, that we have everything -
WATSON: She's one of many Russians determined to show the government that a home is something worth fighting for. Ivan Watson CNN, Moscow.
WALKER: Mark Zuckerberg says he is changing Facebook's mission from giving people the power to share to giving them the power to build community. VAUSE: He explained the change during the company's first community summit in Chicago. There he spoke exclusively with our Laurie Segall.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK ZUCKERBERG, FACEBOOK CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER: I just feel like we have a responsibility to do more in the world. When you look at the world today, you know, giving people a voice in helping connect or good and it made the world better in a lot of ways but our society is still very divided, right? And that means that people need to work proactively to help bring people closer together. It's not just enough to help a simply connect we need to work to bring the world closer together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Please stay with us for the entire exclusive interview with Mark Zuckerberg and Laurie Segall coming up next out at 7 a.m. at London. Viewers in Asia can see it later at 8 p.m. Hongkong time.
WALKER: All right, still ahead on NEWSROOM L.A., Donald Trump finally admits he did not record conversations with the FBI Director, so why did he suggest that he might have?
VAUSE: And fresh after his miss trial, Bill Cosby is planning to hold Town Halls to educate people how to avoid accusations on sexual assault.
VAUSE: Welcome back everybody. After dodging questions of six weeks about secret White House Recordings, U.S. President Donald Trump now admits there are none.
WALKER: Why the President waited so long remains a mystery, here's CNN Gary Tuchman to explain.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When President Trump sent out of the tweet saying, "James Comey better hope that there are no tapes of our conversations," he could have sent out a minute later, correcting the record. Instead, he waited over 59,000 minutes, 41 days, nearly six weeks to declare, quote, "I did not make or do not have any such recordings."
DONALD TURMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATEES: Well, thank you --
TUCHMAN: The president was asked early on about his claims.
TRUMP: I can't talk about that. I won't talk about that. All I want is Comey to be honest. And I hope he will be. And I'm sure he will be. I hope.
TUCHMAN: No elaboration from the president why he could not or would not talk about it. And weeks later in the Rose Garden.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do tapes exist of your conversations with him?
TRUMP: We'll I tell you about that maybe sometime in the very near future.
Oh, you will be very disappointed when you hear the answer. Don't worry.
TUCHMAN: Not clear what the president meant by his "disappointment" comment.
His staff did nothing to clear up the matter.
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRTARY: Wow. We've got a full house.
TUCHMAN: This, from the White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on the day of the original tweet.
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: You think you are referring to, the tweet and I have talked to the president and the president has nothing further to add on that.
TUCHMAN: This, from three days later.
SPICER: I think I made it clear last week that the president has nothing further on that. I have answered the question over and over again the same way.
TUCHMAN: And this, from the Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, this month.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Could you try to find out, people are interested, as you might imagine.
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, DEPUTY WHITE HOSUE PRESS SECRETARY: Sure, I will try to look under the couches.
UNIDENTIFIED CONGRESSMAN: Raise your right hand.
TUCHMAN: When James Comey testified before Congress, he tried to to emphasize his own credibility by saying --
JAMES COMEY, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR: Lordy, I hope there are tapes.
TUCHMAN: But, lordy, it now appears there are not.
Gary Tuchman, CNN, Atlanta.
VAUSE: With us to discuss the legal risks facing the Trump White House is a criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor, Austin Dove. Nice to see you. Thank you for coming in.
The wording of the statement about the denial or the existence of the tapes was carefully worded and it was questioned about why it was worded in such a way. And in the particular, that line, "I did not make and do not have any such recordings," there's wiggle room in there and it leaves open scenarios. Why would lawyers, assuming lawyers wrote it, why did they word it that way?
AUSTIN DOVE, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY & FORMER PROSECUTOR: Those lawyers are covering their tracks very carefully. They're making sure the statements they made can never be rebutted by someone saying, wait a second. I mean, he painted wide scope with that one. So much left for interpretation. It's not an, you know, unequivocal denial. Not saying I don't have, it's saying at this time and this moment. Under these circumstances. It's painting with shades of gray. And that allows a president more room for a later denial, should someone confront him or a subpoena sort of find something or a witness comes along and says, wait a second, there was a recording that was made.
VAUSE: OK, so, basically CYA stuff?
VAUSE: A ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee said the statement put out by the president on Twitter does not go far enough and he wants some answers to the question about whether or not this was an attempt to intimidate James Comey by the president. So, this tweet alone, about you know, better be careful there's not secret recordings. Does that rise to the level of intimidation?
DOVE: I think it does. So many things were happening here. So much movement around what happened with Comey, Flynn before that, this investigation. And now, you have a president, a sitting president, essentially telling the world, eluding to the existence of the tapes and then sort of back pedaling later on saying, I don't have them or I'm not sure they are in my possession. He made the elusion to tapes. It was not Comey. It was Trump. And then to say, I don't have them. It says another thing at the same time, there's a special council and special investigator, Robert Mueller is now involved. It's almost saying, hey, look don't bring the subpoena. If a subpoena comes rolling out, I don't have them, I will deny what I said before, in case you want to roll the subpoena this direction. As we know, subpoenas can be powerful, they find stuff and they find things electronically now and track them.
VAUSE: This denial by the president of something that he said, you know, then it goes to the issue of credibility, you have the president on one hand essentially saying it was, well, you know, it was misleading at best, it was a lie. Some might say. Against James Comey. He said, he said, the president versus James Comey, how does it affect his credibility in a legal case?
DOVE: Well, in a legal case, it's damning. You know the thing that every lawyer is concerned about for the clients, is the admissions. The problem for anybody who is working on behalf of Trump right now is, hey, I have to get this guy to tweet less and say less. Admissions come straight in. If you are on the other side, and you end up in a courtroom or an adversarial setting, all the information out there, they can construct the tweets and say, you admitted this and that, if you back pedal later on, you have enough out there saying, you have a lot of evidence and you have put yourself in the hot seat by your own words.
[01:35:32] VAUSE: We saw it in the case with the travel ban. Donald Trump's words from the campaign. His wording from when he was president. You know, the platform that he put out there of his policies on the website about being a ban on Muslims and the courts have considered his own words in legal proceedings. Could this be essentially another case where the president's words come back to haunt him, with fairly serious ramifications?
DOVE: That's very much a possibility. The question does remain of course how far will it go, when he has a Republican Senate and Congress right now, that's a question, whether they would be articles of impeachment drafted or an attempt to bring a criminal prosecution, that was more remote and likely, in fact, there's not a constitutional vehicle for that. But it's a problem, and what we have seen in other cases where they have had special council or a white water or the claim incident, the roll-out happens and lower heads roll sometimes, that is what happens, those individuals around him are the ones that are the targets and it will damage his credibility and it will affect the presidency and it could affect the next thing that they are concerned about, which are midterms.
VAUSE: So political ramifications and legal ramifications, and obviously, this ain't over yet.
DOVE: That's right.
VAUSE: Austin, thank you for coming in.
DOVE: Pleasure being here.
VAUSE: Thank you.
WALKER: And still to come, Bill Cosby has big plans for the next step in his career now that his sexual assault trial may be behind him. We will tell you what he wants to do now, next.
WALKER: Welcome back everyone. Bill Cosby is not sitting still in the wake of his sexual assault trial that ended in a mistrial.
VAUSE: His publicists say the comedian will soon hold a series of town halls on what can be considered sexual assault and how to avoid being accused of sexual assault.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDREW WYATT, BILL COSBY SPOKESMAN: This is bigger than Cosby. This issue can affect any young person, especially young athletes of today. And they need to know what they are facing when they are -- they are hanging out and partying and, you know, when they are doing certain things that they should not be doing. And it also affects married men.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALKER: All right, CNN legal analyst, Areva Martin, joining us.
I have to say that I did a double take, I could not believe what I was reading. Your reaction, you have a man here who has dozens of women accusing him of sexual assault and now he is holding a workshop?
[01:40:10] AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: The message is right, and the messenger is wrong. Educating young people about sexual assault is also a good thing to do. And his publicist mentioned athletes and that is wonderful. Hopefully the teams are talking to young men and women about the sexual assault. But the messenger is a problem. So, first of all, he is not a lawyer. When he talks about educating people about the law, that makes had me nervous as a lawyer, I don't want nonlawyers outs there talking about the law. And secondly, he is awaiting a second trial on sexual assault charges. So I know his lawyers are cringing because any statements he makes in these town halls can be used against him.
WALKER: Do you think his lawyers are cringing or do you think it's part of a strategy, again, Cosby, he is planning a five-city tour to hold these town halls. And I just happen to see Gloria Allred, who is representing the women who is accusing Cosby of sexual assault, and she was saying it's a move on Cosby agent's part to influence the jury pool.
MARTIN: It could be, but it's a dumb move. He has a very aggressive publicist that is out making statements. It's hard to know which statements are coming from Cosby and the publicist and the legal team. I know they may want to influence the jury pool. So they have to be careful about the comments and statements. The first 100 questions I can guarantee you are going to be about the charges he is facing in the second trial. So, he has to be very careful about what he says and what he, you know, communicates in the town halls because it could be used against him in the second trial.
WALKER: I want to talk about the second trial in a bit. But let's talk about the first trial where the jury was deadlocked with a mistrial.
I want to play sound of an anonymous juror who talked about the deliberations and what happened. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED JUROR: It was hopeless. From the first time on. The statute of limitations was running out.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Did that really bother you? UNIDENTIFIED JUROR: Yes, it does. I think they created this whole
thing, a case that was settled in '05, and we had to bring it up again in '17.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALKER: So, you hear the juror there saying, you know, it was hopeless from the beginning and he was questioning why the charges were brought forward, you know, a decade or so later. I guess the fact that they deliberated that long, 52 hours, it was a positive sign for Bill Cosby.
MARTIN: We are hearing conflicting statements from two different jurors. There was an earlier story reported by ABC that a juror said that they were pretty much 10-2 --
MARTIN: -- in favor of conviction and now, this juror is coming out saying, no, those numbers were not right. We were 7-5, 5-7, so we are getting different stories. One is a story of close to conviction on at least two charges and the second coming out and saying, he questioned the credibility of Constand, he was worried about the time that had expired, and he thought the civil suits had solved the issues.
WALKER: Quickly, on the second trial, what do you think the prosecution will do differently?
MARTIN: First, I would make a motion to get the fact witnesses admitted. There were 13 witnesses that the prosecution wanted to bring fourth. The judge only allowed one, Kelly Jackson. We should look for the prosecution filing that same motion and asking for more similar fact witnesses to be able to testify. That is key to this case. And I think if you had two, three, four voices telling the similar story, you may see a conviction.
WALKER: Areva Martin, I appreciate your legal expertise. Thank you very much.
MARTIN: Thank you.
VAUSE: You have been watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause.
WALKER: I'm Amara Walker.
"World Sport" is after the break.