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Candidate Trump Didn't Dismiss Idea of Putin Meeting; New Details on Manafort Indictment; House Intelligence Releases Samples of Russia Facebook Ads; Trump: U.S. a "Laughing Stock" Handling Terrorists; John Kelly Feels Backlash for Civil War Comment. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired November 1, 2017 - 14:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


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[14:31:44] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Coming up on live pictures, reporters getting in their seats. White House briefing set to begin momentarily. You know the press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, will be talking questions from the White House press corp.

We'll be paying close attention to what she says about George Papadopoulos, the former aide who lied to the FBI about contact with Russians during the campaign. A source says he not only attended this one meeting, as Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters, but two meetings as a member of the Trump campaign. In the first meeting, Papadopoulos proposed orchestrating a meeting between then-Candidate Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. But today, CNN learned that then-Candidate Trump did not dismiss the idea but Jeff Sessions ruled it out.

Also new today, shocking court filings about former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and his international travel this past year.

So I have CNN chief national correspondent, Jim Sciutto, sitting next to me, and CNN senior politics reporter, Dylan Byers.

So on the Papadopoulos Trump/Putin meeting this is a big deal. Right. Because we had thought that Trump hadn't perhaps wanted to have the meeting, and an according to our sources, he did, but Sessions said no.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Big picture, it also gets to the point of them dismissing him as a coffee boy --

(CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: Not a coffee boy.

SCIUTTO: -- since his guilty plea. We know he was appointed to a foreign policy role and the president said so in "The Washington Post." We know he showed up at one of the meetings sitting between the president and Jeff Sessions, who headed this foreign policy meeting or group. And in that meeting, he suggested this meeting with Putin in Russia, which Trump was present. And didn't immediately knock it down. Sessions does knock it down. Which does speak to the campaign saying we didn't jump on this idea right away. But at the same time, that idea didn't die then. Because you have Papadopoulos in a series of e-mails, which the FBI has, over the succeeding months and weeks saying what about this meeting and that meeting. And there is --

BALDWIN: Meet with the British as recent as 2016.

SCIUTTO: Exactly.

BALDWIN: Again, doesn't look like the coffee boy.

SCIUTTO: Exactly. At one time, in the court papers, a campaign -- senior campaign official says to him, I would encourage you to take this trip to europe, or to Russia, to meet with Russians when it is feasible. So there were others -- first of all, the meeting didn't end on that day in March when he proposed it. Brought up many times again and spoken about among campaign officials. And not always knocked down. Because there was one where point campaign official saying to him if the trip is feasible do it. And a quote in one of the e-mails, "Great Work." So wasn't summarily knocked down.

BALDWIN: I want to talk to you, Jim.

Paul Manafort had three passports. That cannot be legal.

SCIUTTO: Well, it's not -- I don't know that -- I have two passports. You can get more than one passport for reasons of convenience if you travel a lot. One might be embassy while you travel on the other one. So that by itself is not an issue. But what the FBI is taking issue with, and in fact this was part of the prosecutor case with him to have this large bail and have passports surrendered he would travel with a fake name. So they put that all together and say here is someone who is not trying to out-right conceal foreign travel but trying to make it difficult.

[14:35:30] BALDWIN: So three passports fine, but the fake names may be questionable.

SCIUTTO: Questionable. But again, the FBI is putting all these facts together to make a case that here is someone doing a lot of trips and there were times it appears when he didn't want these trips to be known.

BALDWIN: OK.

To you, sir, you have Facebook news.

DYLAN BYERS, CNN SENIOR POLITICS REPORTER: That's right. So lawyers for Facebook, Twitter and Google have been going through public hearings. They are now in front of the House Intelligence Committee. Reason that's important is House Intelligence has been tasked with releasing 3,000 Facebook ads in question. Representatives Conway and Schiff, they started showing the ads, actually brought out boards, so the public is getting its first look at what these ads actually look like. The plan now is for the House to release a sampling of those ads to the American public. Looks like we won't get the full 3,000 ads, but we'll get what they describe as representative samplings. That means if you were one of the nearly 150 million Facebook or Instagram users who may have been affected --

BALDWIN: 150 million?

BYERS: Yes. Right. By the way, well over half the voting age population in the United States. So it's a wide number. You are actually going to start looking at what those ads may have looked at and you may see an ad that may have targeted you.

SCIUTTO: Can't say enough about that story. Because early on, you remember Mark Zuckerberg, right after the election, said it's a crazy idea that fake news would have had any impact on the campaign. And in fact, social media companies were downplaying the extent of it, as were members of the Trump circle. So 155 million people, that's half the U.S. population. That is an enormous scope for these ads.

BALDWIN: Jim and Dylan, thanks so much. Thank you.

Back to breaking news here. We have new details into the deadly terror attack in New York City. What police are resealing about other weapons found near the scene of the attack. And how long the suspect planned the attack. What neighbors are revealing about this 29-year- old man accused of carrying it out. We'll have a live report for you coming up.

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[14:41:38] BALDWIN: President Trump says when it comes to terror suspects, the U.S. justice system is, quote, "a joke." The president wants the wheels of justice to spin much faster for terror suspects and deliver stronger punishments.

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DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We also have to come up with punishment that's far quicker and far greater than the punishment these animals are getting right now. They'll go through court for years. At the end, they'll be -- who knows what happens. We need quick justice. And we need strong justice. Much quicker and much stronger than we have right now. Because what we have right now is a joke, and it's a laughing stock. And no wonder so much of this stuff takes place.

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BALDWIN: Let me bring in CNN senior legal analyst, Paul Callen.

Paul, your reaction to president timing here ripping the U.S. Justice system 24 hours after the deadliest attack on New York since 9/11.

PAUL CALLAN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: I would say it's amazing but it's not. Because every day he says things that no other president has ever said. And that are really shocking. Calling somebody, you know, in a criminal case, as president of the United States, an animal, maybe the guy on the street thinks that and a lot of people think that. But the president of the United States has to stand with a little bit of dignity when representing the country. And what he is suggesting, I think, Brooke, in saying what he did is that we should take them out and shoot them. Because, you know, justice system is a joke. And it's going to take months. And the punishments are inadequate.

Well, looking at the punishment that this New York terrorist, alleged terrorist is facing, these phrasing the death penalty under federal law. If the death penalty is not imposed he's facing life in prison in a place like the Colorado Super Max, which is probably one step below torture for the rest of your life. Confined to a room without a view. And in solitary confinement most of the time. So the punishment is extremely severe. Death or solitary confinement may be for the rest of your life under U.S. law. And we have this little thing called the Constitution of the United States that says everybody gets a trial, a jury trial, regardless of who they are, and regardless of who is president.

BALDWIN: Left wondering if he's calling the justice system a joke, what, you know, what people think at DOJ, Supreme Court justices, federal prosecutors, you know, you name it.

Before I let you go, we heard, there was a question he answered, asked about whether or not he would consider sending this suspect to Guantanamo Bay, and he said he would consider that. What did you make of that?

CALLAN: That suggestion has been proposed in the past. And it's kind of treating domestic terrorists as enemy combatants as if they were picked up in the Middle East or Afghanistan or some other case. It's been proposed before. Lindsey Graham has proposed it. You can make arguments about doing it. I think it's a very bad idea. I think we can get tough justice against these people.

And then you have a broader question, Brooke, if you are going to do it with this guy, what about white supremacists with guns who kill Americans? They are domestic terrorists? Are you going to go after Black Lives Matter because there are claims that Black Lives Matter has instituted or inspired riots in the United States? So once you start picking up Americans, people living in the United States or American citizens, I think it's a really dangerous precedent and sending them off to a military prison someplace. Makes us sound like a tin-pot dictator.

[14:45:41] BALDWIN: Paul Callan, thank you.

CALLAN: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Thank you.

Let's get back to our breaking news, specifically on the investigation of this attack in New York City. We tracked down an acquaintance of the suspect. Here what he saw and observed about this man. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [14:50:21] BALDWIN: White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is feeling a wave of criticism and backlash after he said the Civil War happened because Americans couldn't compromise. But in his remarks, he never mentioned or made clear what the compromise was all about. It was slavery.

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JOHN KELLY, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: I think it's very, very dangerous. It shows you how much of a lack of appreciation of history and what history is. I would tell you that Robert E. Lee was an honorable man. He was a man that gave up his country to fight for his state, which in -- 150 years ago, was more important than country. It was always loyalty to state first back in those days. Now it's different today. But the lack of ability to compromise led to the Civil War. And men and women of good faith on both sides made their stand where their conscious had to make their stand.

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BALDWIN: So those were his original comments. And when CNN political analyst, April Ryan, tried to ask Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders about it. This is what happened.

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SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Thanks so much, guys. Hope you have a happy and safe Halloween. Thanks, guy.

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BALDWIN: So let's talk to April Ryan.

We had to transcribe the question you were shouting as she was saying happy Halloween and leaving the room. You tell me, April, why did you ask that question? And have you gotten an answer?

APRIL RYAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, Brooke, first of all, I have not received an answer as of yet. I'm hoping to get an answer today. But I asked the question because there were so many questions asked. Sarah answered about I am saying, you know, there have been many flaws by presidents throughout history. She regaled on the names of president. Yes, every president has had a flaw, but that doesn't discount the issue at hand. What is the definition of the compromise when it came to the compromise of the Civil War? And she never answered. I think of the answers she gave she talked about historians about Ken Burns and what they showed on documentaries. I think about what she said to reporters this is not about race and mad about people trying to make it that. But when you talk about the Civil War and you talk about the fight, the fight was primarily over slavery. And that deals with Africans enslaved in America brought on ships. So that is about race to a certain extent. But the issue was about a compromise, definition, what did compromise mean and we never got it. And Brooke, I have been calling around, I talked to a historian, Dr. Mary and head of the commission on civil rights. And she said there was a compromise in 1860, and southern states would have slaves. But then the confederately started the Civil War. She said thank god for that because there is now no slavery. And that leads to the question which side of the history do you stand on Mr. President or Chief of Staff Kelly, you know, was slavery wrong? So that's why the question. It wasn't a flippant question. With everything going on and circulating, we didn't bring it up. General Kelly brought it up on FOX. So it was a legitimate question.

BALDWIN: We will see if you get to ask your question again today. We know the briefing is starting in just a little while.

In the meantime, as all of this has happened, you have harkened back to be happened to be a Halloween Day some years ago where Laura Bush took you somewhere very special, which is all related to this.

RYAN: It really is. So a couple of years ago, not a couple of years ago. More than nine years ago, I interviewed then first lady, Laura Bush, who was gracious enough to give me an interview in the Palm Room of the White House. And we sat and talked. And it was on Halloween. And we talked about issues. But at the end of the interview, it was Halloween, and I asked her just something cute, a cute little soft story. And I said are there ghosts in the White House? And she said I understand why you ask that. People say things about Lincoln, about the ghosts in the White House because of Lincoln. And so after the interview, she said, well, you ready to go? I said where go? Go to the Lincoln bedroom upstairs. She took me on a private tour upstairs and I saw the Lincoln bedroom. And I understand there is rumor of ghosts, will is a portrait of Lincoln. Everywhere you walk, his eyes follow you. But what was key in that room was the document that freed the slaves, the Emancipation Proclamation, that's encased in that room on display for those who stay in that room. And I was told by some of the guests who were at the White House, the White House Historical Association members, they said that the document was still in the Lincoln bedroom, the Emancipation Proclamation as of a month ago. So history is in this White House, history about slavery, and ending slavery is in the White House upstairs where the president sleeps, but yet, having this debate about what was the definition of the compromise.

[14:55:54] BALDWIN: What do you make of the chief of staff, of General John Kelly, now? He's weighed into politics much more than we thought he would.

RYAN: What do I think? I want to hear more about his take on history and where does he stand in the take of history. Where does he stand now after this? I take it that he supports the president and he's also doubling down on that base, that critical base for this president. Alt right, conservatives. I mean, this is a very hot potato subject. I would love to interview General Kelly to find out more.

BALDWIN: April Ryan, we'll be listening to see if you are called on in just a couple of minutes.

Thank you very much, at the White House. RYAN: Thanks.

BALDWIN: We also have, of course, breaking covering news today. An attack in New York, and his online footprint and the planning that went into this.

Also just in, an acquaintance of this attacker talking to CNN, calling the suspect an aggressive young man. Details straight ahead.

And moments away, the White House briefing set to get under way. We'll take it live. Stay here. You are watching CNN.

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BALDWIN: And we continue on. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you so much for being with me. You're watching CNN special coverage of the deadly terror attack in New York City since 9/11.

We now know the man accused of mass murder has been planning to kill for a number of weeks. New York City police say he rented a truck and ran people over on a bike path. Eight people were killed, 12 injured. One is still in critical condition. The New York Fire commissioner says one survivor had to undergo an amputation.

All of this information coming in today as the man, according to police, behind the carnage was acting in the name of ISIS. They say he left a note, a handwritten note, and