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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Trump Jr., Kushner, Manafort Scheduled To Testify In Russia Probe; New Details About 8th Man In Russian Meeting At Trump Tower. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired July 19, 2017 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:03] ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OutFront, breaking news, Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, now scheduled to testify before Senate investigators. What will they reveal about that Trump Tower meeting with Russians?
Plus the White House refusing to give details about the second hour- long meeting between Trump and Putin, (INAUDIBLE) Russian dissident chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov is out front.
And more breaking news. Devastating new numbers on the Republican's plan to repeal Obamacare as Trump changes his tune at least twice in two days. Let's go out front.
Good Evening, I'm Erin Burnett. We begin "OutFront" tonight with the breaking news. We are learning Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort are scheduled to testify before Senate investigators next week.
Three of Trump's closest advisers during the campaign, his son, son- in-law and former campaign chairman now subject to senator's questioning. Jared Kushner will appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Monday in what a source says will be a closed session.
Now, Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort are scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee two days later. And it is unclear at this hour whether those testimonies, where they agree to appear. So we're going to find out more about that in the next three minutes here. All three of these men, of course, are crucial players all the way along in the whole Russia questioning but also now in that infamous meeting with the Russian lawyer during the campaign.
That meeting was set up with the explicit promise of providing incriminating information on Hillary Clinton sourced to the top levels of the Russian government. Manu Raju is out front. And Manu, what are you learning? Obviously, this is going to be a crucial set of testimonies.
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Yes, that's right. The Senate Judiciary Committee really setting the stage for dramatic testimony next Wednesday hearing from both Paul Manafort and Donald Trump Jr. If they do appear in a public session, Manafort for one has been the center of several investigations on Capitol Hill as well as the special counsel's office. And this testimony comes after the Senate Judiciary Committee leaders made sure it did not conflict with Bob Mueller's investigation special counsel's office.
Now Jared Kushner going behind closed doors also very significant. He had been going back and forth with the Senate Intelligence Committee for weeks and weeks, giving records, and talking to that committee. Now they're going to learn exactly his context and his admitted meetings that he did not include in his security clearance form. The questions, did he resolve those questions that a lot of investigators have. And Erin, of course, this is under oath as well. They do scheduled to appear, it will be their answers will carry a lot of weight. They have to tell the truth to Congress, Erin.
BURNETT: They will. They will be held to account for that, if they don't. Now, do you anticipate others at that Trump Tower meeting? We know there are -- in addition to those three, at least five others in the room. Do you expect them to come forward?
RAJU: That's exactly what the Senate Intelligence Committee leaders told me today. They do plan to bring forward other people who are that Trump Tower meeting, Richard Burr and Mark Warner, one of the top two leaders in the committee, told me they want to talk to that Russian attorney who said herself today she would be willing to talk to the Senate Intelligence Committee.
They say they're willing to talk to her as well, as well as anyone else in that meeting. So, expect this meeting the Trump Tower meeting not to end any time soon as more and more questions are raised about it. And also whether or not we'll see if these people agree to testify. Paul Manafort, the one who at that meeting, Erin, they're saying the representatives are telling me tonight, they received the invitation to testify next week before the Senate Judiciary Committee but they are not commenting any further. Erin?
BURNETT: And that, obviously, is the crucial question. Getting an invitation one would assume they would appear since they've all said they're willing to but we haven't yet heard formal confirmation that they will do so on this date. Manu, thank you.
We're going to talk more about that in a moment. I want to get to our other top story though at this moment.
The White House refusing tonight to give more details about that one on one, one-hour meeting between President Trump and Vladimir Putin, of course the president of Russia, a top adversary of the United States. That meeting, of course, was revealed just yesterday 11 days after it took place at the G20. There were no other U.S. government officials present. There was not even an American translator to witness the meeting.
Now the details of what happened at this meeting, it's not mundane, it matter, American intelligence officials, top diplomats need to know. It's not a matter of whether the president feels like sharing the conversation. It's a requirement. Yet this is what the White House is saying today.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: No act as if this was some secret is just absolutely absurd.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BURNETT: Jason Carroll is out front of the White House. And Jason the Trump Administration says there is no story here. If there is no story, then why will they not offer the details of what was discussed?
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's a good question. And when you speak to administration official, they'll tell you, look, we didn't offer any details because we didn't think this was such a big deal. You've got the deputy press secretary basically saying, look, this was a social gathering. The president is supposed to be interacting with these other world leaders, but Erin when you look at the optics of what happened here, this is what is raising so many eyebrows.
[19:05:05] You've got the president one on one with the Russian president speaking for an hour. The White House says this interaction between the two was brief. We're hearing it was more like an hour, not a brief conversation. There seems to be no real record of what the conversation was about, where are the details here? Simply because as you said, there was no U.S. translator, only a Russian translator present during this and then you also think of what happened here at the White House in May. That's why there is a lot of concern here as well.
You will remember, that is when the president inadvertently revealed classified information to Russian officials, happening here at the White House. And so earlier today, you know, the press was asking the deputy press secretary, look, can you guarantee there was no classified information that was passed on during this meeting, and she said, look, once again, I haven't had a conversation about the details. But I can tell you the nature of that evening was a social gathering. Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Jason, thank you very much. And of course, you know, one-hour meeting, there is no question what the protocol would be. There would be another person present. There would be a record. And it would be shared with people in the administration, security intelligence officers.
OutFront now the Democratic Congressman, Joaquin Castro, he's a member of the House Intelligence and Foreign Affairs Committee. Congressman, thank you for your time. Look you we heard the White House defense of this second undisclosed meeting between President Trump and President Putin. Deputy press secretary said it absurd to say the White House was trying to keep this meeting a secret. Of course they did not disclose it until 11 days after it happened and only then when someone who does not work for the White House found out about it and talked about it. What's your response when they say they weren't trying to keep eight secret.
REP. JOAQUIN CASTRO (D), INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Well, first that kind of meeting is not normal. Bear in mind this is after they had reportedly a two-hour meeting earlier in the day, and so now to have a meeting for another hour where nobody else is present, not even an American translator and not disclose what they talked about what kind of deals they may have made, what may have been offered in terms of foreign policy or otherwise, to not share that with the American people is unacceptable.
And so this can't be accepted as the new normal in terms of how a president conducts himself or herself with leaders of foreign countries.
BURNETT: Now, congressman, obviously, given the committees you sit on, intelligence, foreign affairs, as far as you know, has the president debriefed his national security adviser H.R. McMaster, that be the first person you'd likely do so or any other intelligence leaders about what was discussed at this meeting? Did he immediately afterwards tell those people who needed to know or not?
CASTRO: I'm not aware of that. It's possible that he did. I'm not aware he has.
BURNETT: So have you at the White House at this time, congressman, for a full readout of the president's version of what he and President Putin talked about?
CASTRO: Yes. We certainly intend to do that. We want to know exactly what was discussed from the reports. It's apparent there was a Russian translator oftentimes in these meetings, because I have been in many meeting with basically leaders of foreign nations where the translator for not only translating but also keeping notes of what was said in the meeting. So what I'd like to see is whether that translator kept notes or transcribed exactly what was said.
BURNETT: Now, in terms of a meeting like this and I think it's important to say, it's not uncommon for a president to pull aside a foreign leader, in fact, there are plenty pull asides that the American public never knows about. But they are planned and they are scripted, right? There is something they need to talk about that earlier meeting. The president is trying to find President Putin. He can pull him aside. We may never know about it. But you can bet H.R. McMaster does and he is there or someone like that.
Is it possible congressman this Trump-Putin meeting was not just the president being spontaneous but possibly planned?
CASTRO: Well, that's a question the president is going to have to answer. Again you are right, when there is a pressing issue of foreign affairs, usually you will have your secretary of defense, your national security adviser, secretary of state, somebody else who can help you on that issue so for the president to go spend an hour alone talking to Vladimir Putin, particularly with all the issues going on right now with respect to Russia, and then not disclose that for 11 day, and not have any other American there with him is quite bizarre.
BURNETT: So the Russian lawyer, I want to ask you about who was at the meeting in Trump Tower. This is obviously relevant to all these testimonies we will have next week from Mr. Kushner, Mr. Trump Jr. and Mr. Manafort. She says she is willing to come to Washington to testify. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NATALIA VESELNITSKAYA, RUSSIAN ATTORNEY: Let's put it this way -- I'm ready to clarify the situation in today's mess hysteria, only within the legal field through lawyer or by testifying in the Senate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are ready to go to the Senate?
VESELNITSKAYA: Yes, if I'm guaranteed safety. Today, I have to think about the safety first and safety of my family, my four children.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:10:16] BURNETT: She says she is willing to testify if her safety is guaranteed. Is her safety in question, congressman?
CASTRO: In the United States, absolutely not. No she should feel perfectly safe, returning to the United States to testify before the House or the Senate. If she is talk about her safety in Russia, that's a question for her leader Vladimir Putin.
BURNETT: So let me ask you one more question about this. I spoke last night with the lawyer that represents the Agalarov father and son and as well as the eighth person that we know was in the room, congressman. I asked the lawyer about a phone call, right, a phone call that is implied in those e-mails to have occurred between Donald Trump Jr. and the Agalarov son about whether the Russian government had information on Hillary Clinton or not. It could if it happened be a very crucial conversation. Here's a part of the interview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT BALBER, ATTORNEY FOR RUSSIAN FAMILY & 8TH MAN AT TRUMP TOWER MEETING: I've read the e-mails obviously now. My client has no recollection of such a call taking place. We are going back.
BURNETT: You client meaning Agalarov who doesn't recall.
BALBER: No recollection. And I've heard that Donald Trump Jr. has no recollection of a call taking place. We are going back to try to identify what phone it could be, checking phone records and the like.
BURNETT: And you're going to give all those if those phone records of any phones he may have, all of phone that Agalarov may have.
BALBER: We are looking at everything he may have, exactly. He was on tour that day, we know that. We don't know that a conversation took place.
BURNETT: So he doesn't know a conversation took place, he's implying that one didn't, right. He's pretty clear his client doesn't recall. He went on to say he, himself the lawyer has three cell phones, so, you know as a way of saying how hard it would be to say whether a phone call happened. Emin Agalarov of course is not American, so you can't subpoena his full cell phone records. Is it possible we will over in know whether such a crucial phone call happened?
CASTRO: That's certainly possible, but hopefully Bob Mueller, the FBI and both committees in the House and Senate will do everything possible to get to the bottom of that question. And from Donald Trump Jr. and the others in that room, I would like so tee them testify under oath and also sign legal affidavits after the equivalent of a request for production for example that they have no further information with respect to any prior phone call, if they're willing to testify under oath and also sign a legal affidavit saying that, then, you know, then that's obviously satisfies a certain legal requirement.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much. I appreciate your time, Congressman Castro.
Next, a man tied to a probe of Russian money laundering had a seat at that table with Donald Trump Jr. at that crucial meeting with the Russian lawyer. Why was he there?
Plus breaking news, President Trump putting the squeeze on senators after the health care fail. But could the just released numbers about how many Americans can be affected kill talk of repeal? There are some shocking new numbers from the CBO this hour. We'll have them.
And Donald Trump behind the wheel, pretending to put out fires.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everyone is like, "The fire is behind you in the White House."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:16:49] BURNETT: Tonight new details about the eighth man at the Trump Tower meeting involving Donald Trump Jr. and the Russian lawyer. He believe it would have an incriminating information about Hillary Clinton from the Russian government.
CNN learning that that man, Ike Kaveladze, was previously tied to a congressional probe of Russian money laundering. This at the top Democrat in the House Intelligence Committee says the people in the meeting were shady at best.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Kaveladze who has a history of opening bank accounts that the GAO suspected was used from money laundering of Russian money. You have the second person of Russian-American lobbyist who has a history of litigation of employing Russian hackers to steal e-mails and discredit a rival company and then you have a lawyer, Veselnitskaya, with a history of working to repeal U.S. sanctions against Russia for human rights abuses that's who is in this meeting where the promise is to deliver dirt.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: To be clear, Kaveladze was never charged and he and the lobbyist deny any wrongdoing. Tom Foreman is out front.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is exclusive video obtained by CNN of future president, Donald Trump, in 2013, and the backgrounds, that's Ike Kaveladze, now know to be eighth person at that meeting last year between team Trump and the Russians. His lawyer effectively says, so what!
BALBER: Before that day, he had not met any of the other people in that room. Prior to one hour before the meeting, he had no idea what the meeting was going to be about.
FOREMAN: But investigators are curious because Kaveladze 's history is not in politics, campaign research, or anything else allegedly discussed.
BALBER: When I learned that he was the eighth guy in the meeting, it really cause me scratch my head and say, "What's going on here?" And this could be coincidence or it could be smoke. Bug for me I always like to investigate smoke.
FOREMAN: So where is the smoke? Ike Kaveladze is in real estate working with a rich Russian family which inturn has ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Kaveladze was linked to a U.S. government accountability report back in 2000 on money laundering.
That study found thousands of shell companies in Delaware where formed that it helped Russians move more than a billion dollars. Investigators say such actions are typically to hide the source of money or evade taxes. Whatever the reason, Kaveladze says he legally set up those companies and former Democratic Senator Carl Levin called him the poster child for that practice. Now members of Congress are intrigued.
WARNE: I doubt if this individual who had a history of setting up thousands of fake accounts in Delaware was really there to talk about Russian adoptions.
FOREMAN: His lawyer says he was there to represent his clients the wealthy Russians who set up that meeting and perhaps to interpret, once more --
BALBER: What Mr. Ike Kaveladze did back 20 years ago was absolutely unequivocally legal. It was never any allegation of him engaging in criminal activity.
BURNETT: He was not charged.
BALBER: He was certainly not charged or anything criminal or regulatory and did absolutely nothing wrong. FOREMAN: Indeed Kaveladze once (INAUDIBLE) calling the probe so many
years ago a witch hunt aimed at demonizing innocent immigrants like him, instead of addressing Russian corruption and flaws in the American law.
[19:20:14] The Russian businessman and the Russian-American have become stock villains from central casting.
FOREMAN: But with Kaveladze's history, there's just no doubt investigators want to know more about how he came to be sitting down with Donald Trump Jr. and the others, so that he can decide on their own what a guy like this was doing in a meeting leak that. Erin?
BURNETT: Tom Foreman, thank you. And that is the big question. OutFront now, former White House ethics lawyer under President George W. Bush, Richard Painter, White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, April Ryan, and the former CIA chief of Russian operations, Steve Hall. Steve let me start with you.
Kaveladze was under scrutiny in this helped report about thousands of shell companies have helped Russians move nearly a billion-and-a-half dollars, companies like that often use to hide money and evade taxes. Now here he is in a meeting with Don Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner when Trump was the presumptive nominee for president of the United States. What does the context tell you?
STEVE HALL, FORMER CIA CHIEF OF RUSSIAN OPERATIONS: You know the big question is, Erin, why was he in the meeting. But I can tell you if you are sure, this is the way Russia works and it's very different than the way things work in the United States. You've got Vladimir Putin, of course, the head of the government. And then (INAUDIBLE) you've got all of these oligarchs. And clearly Mr. Kaveladze works for one of those oligarchs. He's the money man.
So he got these connections that are directly back to a fairly high level of power broker in the Kremlin. You know, was he there because there was some thought that there was going to be, you know, some sort of monetary or financial thing that was required? Possibly. Was he simply there as a translator? Possibly.
My guess is he's probably there's simply as another trusted set of eyes. And by trust I mean trusted by the Russian oligarch class to sort of find out, OK, what we have going only here with the Trump campaign, are there any opportunities for us? Just another perspective, Erin, would be my guess from a counter-intelligence perspective.
BURNETT: So April, let's give some key headlines here. Now that Steve lays out how he sees from a counter-intelligence point of view. This is a meeting arranged by a Russian billionaire, attended by a Russian lawyer, a Russian-American lobbyist and two Russian billionaire representatives, right?
Why would three of the people closest to Donald Trump, again the presumptive nominee for the president of the United States when this meeting occurred ever take a meeting. When you look at that list and you look at clearly alleged ties to the Kremlin, ties to Vladimir Putin? You look at this background with the congressional inquiry?
APRIL RYAN, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, AMERICAN URBAN RADIO NETWORKS: Well, Erin, you want to think that this is just something you want to blame on the fact that they are still novices to this game, the game of politics. But when the stakes are high the president did say, you know, anyone would take this meeting. It's about opposition research and they still are going against Hillary Clinton.
So, you know, in the e-mails it showed if this is exactly what you are saying, I love this, so I love it. So, Donald Trump Jr. took the meeting according to president for opposition research to gain information on Hillary Clinton so they could, indeed, make sure, a sure win. Remember, they were shrewd businessmen before they became politicians. And they are just a few maybe a year or so into politics.
BURNETT: And, of course, Paul Manafort with what, four or five decades of experience at the top level of politics. So for him to certainly can't say there was naivete there.
Richard, you just heard Senator --
RICHARD PAINTER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE ETHICS LAWYER FOR PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Do you think they know that.
BURNETT: Yes. Senator Mark Warner is the top Democrat in the Senate Intelligence Committee and a moment ago we heard him say, I quote him, I doubt that this individual who has a history of setting up thousands of fake accounts in Delaware was really there to talk about Russian adoptions. He is referring of course to Ike Kaveladze. Do you think he's right?
PAINTER: Well, I don't know. There are a lot of suspicious characters here at this meeting. And Bob Mueller can figure out who did what, when or where? But the basic deal or quid pro quo is obvious. The Russians had at least three people there very interested in getting these sanctions lifted against Russia. The Russian oligarchs and very upset about those sanctions because targeting them.
The adoption issue was a very small piece of the whole debate over sanctions, so it's clear that was being discussed. And then the other thing, the crawl of the deal is the dirt on Hillary Clinton that was promised to the Trump campaign in the e-mail.
So this is a deal. The deal is we will give you the dirt on Hillary Clinton if you will promise to lift the sanctions if you win the election. We know the dirt on Hillary Clinton was pushed into WikiLeaks. We node (ph) that deal was upheld. And right now Vladimir Putin is rightly upset that the Trump teams are part of the deal is not being upheld, which is relieving the sanctions, but that's obviously what was going on here. And anybody that denies that is a fool.
BURNETT: So Steve, let me ask you about the quo.
[19:25:01] Because when you look at this, you take a step back from this meeting, at least for the people who are in the meeting, and maybe people are lying or not, who knows. At this point we know they have all said is that quote, didn't happen in the meeting. They didn't get this amazing dirt on Hillary Clinton. Is that significant to you? Does it indicate they didn't have it or they weren't acting on behalf of the Russian government or the Russian is holding back for later? What does that say to you that the quo wasn't there?
HALL: Well, the first part is it -- I think it's much less importance that should attach to the quo. There's been a lot of analogies that have been thrown around in terms of well, you know, if somebody is trying to brake into your house, but they're unsuccessful at it. Is it still a crime?
Look, they took the meeting because according to Donald Trump Jr.'s own e-mails, they took the meeting because they expected and hoped to get something from a foreign government the Russians, not the Brit, not the French, not any friendly governments, but a very unfriendly government, the Russians, that's what they want the information for. So that's the critical thing to focus on I believe in terms of the importance rather than what they got out of the meeting.
BURNETT: And April, what do you expect from these testimonies in next week? I mean, you know, presumably they could be opened. Bob Mueller has said, go ahead, make it open testimony. So why not? They're going to have a lot of moments like this?
RYAN: Well, you know, we don't know. We are just anticipating and waiting for what happens next week. But what we do as reporters, we will listen intently and closely for new information. Because I believe the story could be advanced, you know, from those hearings.
But at the same, you know, we want to see how high and how wide this goes. We could learn more information. But then again at the same time we could hear key words what I recall, what I somewhat remember, what have you, along that line. Because, again, if you don't specifically say I did not, I did, you know, you give yourself some wiggle room so that you can at least have that omission and that be OK.
BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you all very much. Of course, Steven, when it comes to whether there was a phone call between Donald Trump Jr. and Emin Agalarov, at first it was categorical it didn't happen. Now is I don't recall. We're hearing a lot of I don't recall at least right now.
Next, breaking news, senators and White House officials meeting at this hour to plot their next move on health care. The President has changed his tune dramatically.
And one of Putin's biggest critics and arguably the most famous Russian dissident sound off on Putin and Trump, chess Grandmaster Gary Kasparov is "out front" tonight.
[19:30:56] ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Breaking news, 32 million more Americans uninsured by 2026. So, that is at this moment the Congressional Budget Office estimate of what would have under the new Senate bill that would repeal but not immediately replace Obamacare.
And you are forgiven if you are confused about what possible bill we're talking about because it seems to change every day. They got a new bill out today. And this number is 10 million more Americans than the CBO score of the previous Senate bill that would have repealed and replaced Obamacare. OK?
So repeal only, 32 million uninsured. Repeal and replace, 22 million additional uninsured.
This new score shows average premiums for individual policies purchased through the marketplace or directly from insurers would increase by about 25 percent next year, 50 percent in 20 and be a full double by 2026. Now, of course, it's an estimate, it could be wrong. But this is the best estimate we got right now.
And at this moment, White House officials are on Capitol Hill, because the president told GOP senators they must keep their promise to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Phil Mattingly is OUTFRONT on Capitol Hill.
Obviously, a crucial meeting, and now it says if they are racing, putting the accelerator down, a lunch today with the president, now this big meeting. These number, though, 32 million uninsured Americans, how big of a problem will they be to lawmakers who have already balked at numbers leak 22 million?
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Erin, at least according to aides I have been speaking to, it's kind of a clarifying moment. Those who couldn't figure out a way to get to yes on the replace, well, this is what you're faced with, this is what Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said would be coming up, repeal only, and these types of numbers, it's the type of thing that we've already seeing Republican senators saying absolutely not, I will not vote for that, I won't even vote to proceed on that. And it's in part the spark that's having meetings like what's starting to go on behind me right now, these administration officials and senators start to file in, see if there's some kind of organic way to revive the replace option.
But I think it's important to note here, Erin, as all of this starts to happen, as this lunch happened today and certainly there is some positive momentum, at least compared to what we have seen over the last of couple weeks, I'm told from senior GOP aides, be skeptical, be very skeptical, that's a quote, because the reality on replace is there is a reason it collapsed originally. The ideological divides are very real, but effort right now to try and revive it -- well, they're going to see what they can do, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Phil Mattingly, thank you. And I want to go now to the former Republican congressman, former
senior adviser to the Trump campaign, Jack Kingston, who joins me along with the former White House communications director and State Department spokesperson, Jen Psaki. Thanks so both.
Congressman Kingston, you know, you had a lot of people who went 22 million came out, and granted, a lot of those were going to lose coverage because they opted out, because they'd be allowed to opt out. But that 22 million number was enough to get a lot of Republicans to say they couldn't go forward. Now, you are looking at 32 million.
How damaging are these numbers to the White House that is desperately now trying to convince senators to get on board?
JACK KINGSTON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You know, I think they're damaging to the extent that everybody will use CBO either for them or against their argument one way or the other, and this case, I think this is what happens when you hold out, you hold out for perfection in a bill. And I think that what the majority leaders do, they say, look, we're going to -- we are going to do this repeal only bill and all it does is keep the discussion going. It gives us two years to come up with a replacement and that would be our plan.
KINGSTON: But do you want the process to continue? Or are you going to cut and run?
BURNETT: The thing is, you got seven years. So, if you repeal with a two years replace, that gives you nine years, we all agree by God should be enough, OK?
KINGSTON: I agree.
BURNETT: Jen, this is a part of the problem here, right? Buying more time would make sense if you hadn't had a lot of time already?
JEN PSAKI, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: That's true. And not just seven years, but even just the last six or seven months, and Donald Trump is great at making proclamations of what's going to happen, what's going to be one? We're going to get a bill passed. But what I think many Republicans have learned and seen over the past couple of weeks with health care specifically, is that he can't build a coalition, he's not going to learn the details of a bill, essentially the emperor doesn't have any clothes on.
So, a lot of people will not be following him down this new road just to get a win I think.
[19:35:01] BURNETT: So, Congressman, let me ask you about this, whether people, GOP, can count on their president on this, right? In 48 hours, he said radically different things, Congressman Kingston.
First, on Monday morning, he tweeted Republicans should repeal failing Obamacare now and work on a health care plan that will start from a clean slate, Dems will join in. So, that's the repeal now, replace later. Then, yesterday, he came out and washed his hands of the whole thing. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm not going to own it. I can tell you, the Republicans are not going to own it. We'll let Obamacare fail and then the Democrats are going to come to us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OK. And then today, forget not going to on it. And it's dead. He's now all in again. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We have no choice. We have to repeal and replace Obamacare. Inaction is not an option.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: So, Monday, it was repeal only. Tuesday, it was let it fail. Today inaction is not an option. Is this a problem for the GOP, that they're worried he could completely change his mind tomorrow?
KINGSTON: No, I can tell you the message going through to the American voters the people out there who voted for Donald Trump and have a cynical view of Washington, they say -- they see a man who's trying his best to get something done, trying to push along a reluctant Congress, House and Senate members who aren't cooperating.
Now, when I was in the House, we actually had an ad that we ran against Bill Clinton talking about balancing the budget. He'd say, we can do it two years, no, maybe five years, three years. We thought it was a hilarious ad, but it actually came out as a guy who was trying his best. And so --
BURNETT: Yes, that's what you think will happen here.
KINGSTON: Inside Washington, I think there are people who are going to say, isn't the president just turning right, you know, back and forth? But the reality is, he's trying in the face of the U.S. Senate and it's extremely difficult right now.
BURNETT: So, Jen, I wanted to switch gears here, we have a new report I want to get you both to weigh in on, the president just telling "The New York Times," I quote, Sessions, obviously, the attorney general, should have never recused himself. And if he were going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job, I would have picked somebody else.
PSAKI: Well, you can always.
BURNETT: Let's just make sure everyone understands, we are talking about recusing from all things Russia related. Go ahead. PSAKI: Yes. You can always bet on Donald Trump to stay what's on his
mind, even if -- even to the horror of his aides. So, look, I think this is what many people had assumed all along was his point of view, that he wanted Sessions in that position because he thought he'd be a reliable ally and partner overseeing the Russia investigation, and obviously when he recuse himself, he was no longer that reliable partner and ally.
So, I think he's stating what many have suspected for quite some time.
BURNETT: Now, Congressman, let's just continued here with what he said to the "New York Times". Obviously, Bob Mueller is now in charge the special counsel and the "New York Times" writes from this discussion, interview with Mr. Trump.
They say: Mr. Trump said Mr. Mueller was running an office rife with conflicts of interest and warned prosecutor would cross a reds line if they delve into Trump family finances unrelated to Russia.
Is that smart to say about Mueller right now? And, by the way, who is the president to say what the red line is for a special counsel, right?
KINGSTON: Well, I think what happens with special counsels, they tend to go in all kind of drive directions. Who would have thought if you were a 23-year-old, 24-year-old young intern at the House that a Whitewater investigation into real estate would lead to you and your name was Monica Lewinsky, that was the crescendo of a long investigation. And I think that's worrisome about a special investigator or special prosecutor. They can go almost anywhere they want and they keep searching and searching until they get somebody's scalp.
But I think what the president believes and I believe as somebody who was involved in the campaign is, there was no collusion with Russia and we do think that this is a waste of time. This is because people can't get over the election. And --
BURNETT: And, Congressman, why don't they put everything on the table? Why do we find out about these emails from Donald Trump Jr. when the "New York Times" gets it, so he's forced to put them out? And at that time, Jared Kushner discloses a meeting which he has failed to disclose for five months, six months on his security forms, right? If there is nothing to hide, why put it out there? Why coming out saying the "New York Times" and tell the special counsel where there is a red line and where there isn't?
KINGSTON: Well, Erin, I share your frustration on that. I think that meeting because nothing came from it was quickly forgotten, but I think when you go into the administration, you got to disclose absolutely everything and you got to dig and dig and dig and recall everything that's out there.
So, you know, I'm in agreement with. But, remember, this investigation hasn't been going on over a year. It -- actually, the FBI knew there was Russian hacking in 2015. And yet nothing has come that shows any collusion.
I mean, this meeting which everybody is anti-Trump is very, very excited about and has a lot of hope on --
BURNETT: Well, there's a lot of Republicans who are very concerned about this meeting, Congressman, let's just be clear, right?
[19:40:03] KINGSTON: Well --
BURNETT: The e-mails are pretty clear on what Donald Trump thought the meeting was about.
KINGSTON: But I think Republicans are frustrated that it wasn't disclosed. But they're not frustrated that there was collusion and all this nefarious stuff that they have been accused of.
And, really, I mean, can you really believe that eight people would have been in a meeting where they would plot some kind of, you know, conspiracy with Russia? In one of your previous, the Bush special counsel actually said and we know that this was linked to the WikiLeaks e-mail disclosure. That is absolutely not true whatsoever. And yet, he was an ethics lawyer who said that.
He should be the first one to say, you can't necessarily say that A is connected to B just because you want it to be connected to B.
BURNETT: I just want to get another nugget here from this interview with the "New York Times," which is literally just crossing, so I want to bring it in here.
Jen, Mr. Trump in the interview with "The New York Times" says Mr. Trump believes Mr. Comey told him about the dossier to implicitly make clear he has something to hold over the president.
And this is a quote from the president: In my opinion, he shared it so that I would think he had it out there, Mr. Trump said. As leverage? President Trump was asked by the "New York Times". Mr. Trump responds, yes, I think so, in retrospect.
Jen, what do you say? Is it possible that's what Mr. Comey was doing when he pulled the president of the United States aside in that little pull aside and said, hey, you should know about this dossier?
PSAKI: I was in the government at the time. I can tell you, that's a very cynical view of how any agency government would work during a transition.
Obviously, I wasn't in touch with Comey, nor were political appointees in the White House, but these are processes and policies done in order to inform the incoming president about what there was -- what was out there kind of in information circles, that was being said about him. And that was a responsible action and one that was taken to do a peaceful transfer of power. So that's a pretty cynical and pretty serious accusation. BURNETT: Congresswoman, would you agree, it's a serious accusation,
and is it one the president of the United States should be making about an FBI director?
KINGSTON: I think Comey has been all over the court. I think that it's not cynical at all. I think it's very probable.
And I want to point out that Susan Rice who was involved in some of the unmasking, we think she was a political appointee and she was involved in talking to James Comey. So, we can't say that that firewall was very high between the Obama administration --
PSAKI: Jack, unmasking is not illegal. No one suggested anyone from the Obama administration has done anything illegal. That's the difference.
KINGSTON: Well, they are having to testify for that very reason. It would be illegal if she unmasked it for reasons that disclosed it. So, Susan Rice is somebody should get a lot more spotlight. So far, she's been given a pass.
BURNETT: So --
PSAKI: That's sad. Go ahead.
BURNETT: There is one more thing here I want to get in, as this interview is crossing. Trump also talked about the second meeting with Vladimir Putin, of course, which was disclosed 11 days after it happened. So, any tidbit from this matters a lot. Let me tell you what he is saying.
He is saying, quote: The meal was going towards dessert. I went down just to say hello to Melania, and while I was there, I said hello to Putin. Really pleasantries more than anything else. It was not a long conversation, but it was, you know, could be 15 minutes. Just talked about things, actually, it was very interesting, we talked about adoption.
By the way, Congressman, that's a pretty incredible thing for him to say, because talking about adoption, that is not pleasantries. That is at the heart of a national security and sanctions issue between the United States and Russia, right? I mean, you would acknowledge that, right?
KINGSTON: Yes, but let me say this, the Russian adoption program was very widely used. As a congressional office, we had people adopting Russian babies very routinely, most congressional offices did. I don't think we were unique in that. But let me say this --
BURNETT: OK, Congressman, that's missing the points here. The points is that Russian adoptions were stopped by the Russians in retaliation for the Magnitsky Act, which, of course, put sanctions on Russia, which Vladimir Putin desperately wants removed. So, if that is being discussed, adoptions, that is a national security and policy issue, that's not pleasantries. KINGSTON: Well, I think it's very good for officials from one country
to have a relationship to another and I can say this, many, many times in politics, you see somebody in the hallway and you do make a policy decision. You can't have a substantive discussion or the beginning of one and, you know, I mean, you want to create the atmosphere of something like G20 so that leaders of countries have that kind of back and forth, because you never know when there is an opening.
BURNETT: Jen, just to be clear, the fact that this came up necessarily, it is not necessarily a problem, right? Perhaps the president wanted to bring this up, perhaps -- you have been a part of this. Perhaps this was a plan. They were going to have more of a conversation. Then he immediately debriefed his national security team and perhaps all those things happened, right?
[19:45:03] Is it possible all that happened or do you truly think that this is a massive breach of protocol and perhaps a serious risk?
PSAKI: It's not uncommon at all for presidents of the United States or secretaries of state to have one off pull aside meetings in a diplomatic arena, and certainly not the G20. So, I think that's important to act knowledge. But what is different here is that there have been a range of reports, including ones that said it was an hour or longer about this meeting, and it sounds like it was a substantive discussion and it wasn't disclosed, and the fact that it wasn't disclosed is not common protocol. That is hugely problematic.
It is not like having a conversation between members of Congress. This is two world leaders, having a conversation, including one who is an adversary who is continuing to try to hack our systems here. So, this is a very different case and it is hugely problematic and there is reason for concern about it.
BURNETT: All right. We'll hit pause there. There are a lot of questions to be answered, though. Of course, the president saying it was pleasantries, and 15 minutes. The reports have been very consistent that it was one hour.
And obviously, adoption coming up would not be consistent with pleasantries. So, a lot more questions here raised but very crucial, the president's first comments on that second meeting.
Thank you both.
PSAKI: Thanks, Erin.
BURNETT: Next, the second Putin-Trump meeting raising a big red flag for the world's best known Russian dissident, chess master Garry Kasparov is OUTFRONT.
And a bride-to-be made two 911 calls about a possible rape before she was shot and killed by a responding officer. We have the calls tonight. What do they tell us?
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BURNETT: Breaking news, President Trump now breaking his silence on his second previously undisclosed meeting with Vladimir Putin at the G20.
Quote: The meal was going toward desert.
[19:50:01] I went down just to say hello to Melania. And while I was there, I said hello to Putin, really pleasantries more than anything else. It was not a long conversation but it was, you know, could be 15 minutes just talked about things. Actually, it was very interesting, we talked about adoption.
Adoption obviously front and center as a crucial national security policy dispute between the United States and Russia. And this comes as a White House today is refusing to offer any more details of a dinner conversation but it is raising a lot of questions at this hour.
OUTFRONT tonight is Garry Kasparov. He's a long-time Putin critic. Perhaps the world's most famous Russian dissident. He's now living in exile and, of course, he's also the former world chess champion and chairman of the Human Rights Foundation.
Garry, I appreciate your time tonight. Thank you.
The White House says this previously undisclosed meeting between Trump and Putin at the G20 was just a brief chat. Our reporting, though, Garry, indicates the two spoke for an hour, there were no other U.S. officials present. The only translator was the Russian translator who worked with Vladimir Putin.
What concerns you about this?
GARRY KASPAROV, THE HUMAN RIGHTS FOUNDATION CHAIRMAN: Even when we brush aside all information about the previous encounter between Trump's people and Russian intelligence and all the Russian stories that are surrounding our president, this meeting alone is raising a red flag. The United States president spent one hour without any U.S. representative talking to a KGB agent, a man known to be a sworn enemy of the United States.
And we know that Trump cannot be trusted. The president can't go 10 minutes without tweeting something wild and contradictory. We also know that in the Oval Office, surrounded by his advisers, he revealed some very information to Russian foreign minister, Russian ambassador.
Now, what's happened in the meeting? We don't know. And it's -- he's putting a goldmine for blackmail to explore in the future, because anything that we're learning about (INAUDIBLE) Kremlin and whatever Putin is going to say about it, whatever he's going to whisper to the ears of his friend or even worse American allies can be taken as the only recollection.
BURNETT: So, because there's only going to be one version, and that's going to be Putin's version, that's why you think this could be a goldmine for blackmail? KASPAROV: Yes, but also maybe something else happened at the meeting,
because it's unexplainable, reckless at best, that after two hours of meeting with Putin, that delivered Putin a PR victory, Trump spent another hour, and I wonder how this meeting could come out and why it was a necessity. We know there was no American interest to discuss with Russia.
The question is, if Putin is not an American ally, is Putin Trump's ally? That's what we should know.
BURNETT: So, you know, we're reporting that what happened here, Garry, was that Trump went over to Putin at the end of the dinner. Now, do you think this surprised Putin? I mean, look, it is against protocol. Is it possible that Trump got the upper hand because he did something so unprecedented, so unexpected, walked over, sat down? Is it possible that Trump actually won this by acting so unusually?
KASPAROV: Maybe he won at that, but then the question is, if he wanted it in advance, why didn't he have a Russian-speaking translator at the dinner? So if Trump had that it mind, that raises more questions, because we know that what Putin did for 17 years of his little Russia, it was not in Russian national interest. He always treated Russian national interest (INAUDIBLE).
Now, same question must be asked about Donald Trump, was he acting for the United States or he's trading the national interest or the Trump's (INAUDIBLE)?
BURNETT: So I want to ask you about the meeting at Trump Tower which, of course, involved the president's son, Don Jr. You have been obviously around Russian politics for a long time. You're familiar with many of the people we now know were involved in that eight-person meeting. In the e-mail exchanges between Trump Jr. and the man who set up the meeting, that man, Rob Goldstone, promises information about Hillary Clinton that is -- and I want to quote the email, obviously, very high level and sensitive information but it's part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump.
Garry, do you think anyone in that room was truly there acting on behalf of the Russian government?
KASPAROV: Absolutely. I have no doubt about it. I cannot imagine otherwise. Approaching the president's -- OK. At that time, the potential president's team, offering information that could change the course of American history, could potentially change the nation and Russian/American relations without approval from the very top -- by the very top, I mean Vladimir Putin -- it's inconceivable in Putin's Russia.
[19:55:12] This operation to help has been authorized (INAUDIBLE). He has been overseeing every moment, especially such a crucial moment as the meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and the rest of the group when this information was offered and I believe it was one of the meetings that they had and I believe that the exchanging (ph) of this information (ph) has been constant ever since.
BURNETT: All right. Garry Kasparov, I very appreciate your time tonight. Thank you.
KASPAROV: Thank you very much.
BURNETT: And next, much more on the stunning words just breaking from the president, frankly, stunning is a fair word to describe across the board. We have much more on this interview next.
BURNETT: Tonight, we're learning new details about the 911 calls Justine Ruszczyk made before she was shot and killed by a Minneapolis police officer. According to the calls, Ruszczyk made two of them to 911 to report a possible rape, saying she thought she heard a woman screaming and crying for help.
Ryan Young is OUTFRONT with the breaking details.
RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): New details tonight on the shooting of Justine Ruszczyk, the Australian-born woman killed by a police officer responding to her 911 call.
But days after her death, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges the basic questions remain.
BETSY HODGES, MINNEAPOLIS: What happened? How is it that Justine is dead?
YOUNG: Now revealed in the just released transcript of Ruszczyk's call to 911 about a possible sexual assault: 11:27 Saturday night, Ruszczyk tells a 911 operator: I can hear someone out the back and I -- I'm not sure if she's having sex or being raped.
The operator asked if she hears a woman screaming. Yes, it sounds like sex noises, but it's go been going on for a while, and I think she tried to say help.
Eleven-forty-one, officers Matthew Harrity and Mohamed Noor pulled into an alley behind her homes. Their squad car lights off, according to a police interview with Harrity. Officer Harrity driving the car says they heard a loud sound that startled them, a moment later as Ruszczyk approaches the car, Noor shoots from the passenger seat through the open driver side window, hitting Ruszczyk.
The two administered CPR but at 11:51, less than a half an hour from her first call, Ruszczyk is dead.
Harrity's attorney has told "The Star Tribune" that it's reasonable for the officers to have assumed they were the target of an ambush, citing the recent shooting of a New York City police officer just sitting in her police vehicle.
But the mayor expressed the frustration of many that Officer Noor has refused to talk. HODGES: People have constitutional rights. We cannot compel him to
make a statement. I wish that he would. I wish that he would because, you know, he has a story to tell that no one else can tell.
YOUNG: In Australia, Ruszczyk's family and friends gathered on a Sidney beach to say good-bye, even as outrage over her killing dominates the public and the press.
CAROLINE MARCUS, REPORTER, SKY TV: It really bewilders a lot of people just generally how out of control the gun situation is in the United States.
YOUNG: Even an emotional Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull spoke out.
MALCOLM TURNBULL, AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: I mean, how can a woman out in the street in her pajamas seeking assistance from the police be shot like that?
YOUNG: And after the 911 transcripts were released this afternoon, I can tell you in this neighborhood, the big question is, where is that victim who was screaming? Everyone wants to know what caused Justine to walk outside her house after calling 911 tonight. That is still a mystery.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Ryan.
And thanks to all of you for joining us.
"AC360" begins right now.