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THE SITUATION ROOM
Giuliani Changing Time Line about Length of Trump Involvement in Moscow Tower Talks; 'Seductress' Who Claims Knowledge of Election Meddling Apologizes to Oligarch; Giuliani Walks Back Statements on Length of Trump Tower Talks; Trump Slams Dems after They Reject Wall- Funding Deal; Interview with Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA); Sen. Kamala Harris: 'I Am Running for President'; Satellite Reveals Activity At Secret North Korean Base. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired January 21, 2019 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST/ANCHOR: -- there and our coverage on CNN continues right now.
[17:00:14] WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, breaking news. Tower of confusion. Presidential lawyer Rudy Giuliani keeps changing his story about Donald Trump's involvement in talks to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. After first saying those talks went right up to the 2016 election, is Giuliani intentionally now trying to confuse the issue?
Shutdown shutout. As nearly a million federal workers face another payday without pay, Democrats reject President Trump's proposal offering temporary protection for some immigrants in exchange for border wall funding.
Announcing her bid. Senator Kamal Harris declares she's running for president, joining an already crowded field of Democrats hoping to make it to the White House. Does Harris have a message that could help her stand out from the crowd?
And seductress changes tune. A woman who bills herself as a professional seductress and claims knowledge of the Kremlin's election meddling is now in a Russian jail. Why is she apologizing to a Russian billionaire at the center of the Mueller probe?
I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BLITZER: Breaking news, President Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, may be walking a tight rope as he tries to walk back earlier statements about Donald Trump's involvement in talks on a Moscow building project. After first saying those talks lasted until the 2016 election and then saying the president has no recollection of how long the talks lasted, Giuliani now says his recent comments were just hypothetical. All of this coming ahead of public testimony by former Trump fixer Michael Cohen, who has admitted lying to Congress about the timing of the Moscow tower talks. I'll speak with Congressman Gerry Connolly of the Foreign Affairs and
Oversight Committees. And our correspondents and analysts are standing by with full coverage.
But let's begin with Rudy Giuliani, once again trying to clean up earlier comments, this time on the president's role in talks about a Moscow business deal.
Let's bring in our senior White House correspondent, Pamela Brown, and our senior justice correspondent, Evan Perez.
Pamela, first to you. What is Giuliani now saying about what Trump knew during his campaign about progress on a deal for a Trump Tower in Moscow?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, yesterday, Rudy Giuliani was on a media tour. Today, it appears he is on a clean-up tour. Because what he said yesterday about discussions involving Trump Tower Moscow during the campaign had serious implications for President Donald Trump.
So let's go back and take a look at what he initially said. "The New York Times" reported that he recounted a conversation he had with Donald Trump, where he said, apparently, that the discussions on Trump Tower Moscow were going on, quote, "from the day I announced to the day I won." So very definitively, "The Times" quoting him about this conversation he had with Trump.
And here is what he told NBC yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI, DONALD TRUMP'S LAWYER: It's our understanding that -- that they went on throughout 2016. There weren't a lot of them, but there were conversations. Can't be sure of the exact date, but the president can remember having conversations with him about it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Throughout 2016?
GIULIANI: The president also remembered -- yes. Probably up to -- could be up to as far as October, November.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: So now today, Rudy Giuliani is saying he was just talking in hypotheticals, that actually, Donald Trump doesn't have a recollection of when those discussions took place and when they may have ended during the campaign. He says there is no record of that. So clearly walking back those comments from yesterday.
What is consistent that he is saying is he says that the talk of Trump Tower Moscow was viewed as insignificant by Donald Trump. That is the point he's been trying to make yesterday and today; that it didn't matter anyway, because it wasn't really a big deal.
But Woof, I think what you could take from this is that Rudy Giuliani wants to leave some wiggle room, in case new revelations come to light about when those discussions happened about Trump Tower Moscow.
BLITZER: But, you know, he directly quotes the president in that interview with "The New York Times." That doesn't sound hypothetical, a direct quote from the president.
BROWN: Right. He's sort of been all over the map when it comes to this issue. He said previous it may have happened during the campaign.
Then, what made "The New York Times" story really stand out is that he is quoting, apparently, what the president told him, that it happened -- I quote again -- that "It was going on from the day I announced to the day I won." So through election day, which certainly changes the time frame from what we previously knew. June of 2016 is when Michael Cohen said those discussions ended, Wolf.
BLITZER: You know, Evan, it's interesting, because the president has already said -- and I'm quoting him now -- "Even if I did negotiate while campaigning, so what?" And listen to what else he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There would be nothing wrong if I did do it. I was running my business while I was campaigning. There was a good chance that I wouldn't have won, in which case, I would have gotten back into the business. And why should I lose lots of opportunities?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[17:05:13] BLITZER: So he was negotiating a potential deal for a Trump Tower in Moscow throughout 2016, until the election, November of 2016, but he was also talking about the U.S.-Russian relationship and how he wanted to improve it.
EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Right. I think that's the reason why this matters. I think the context here, Wolf, is that you have the standard bearer, one of the two candidates who are running for president of the United States, talking about one of the most important, consequential relationships, foreign relationship that the United States has. He is undermining NATO at the time, talking about how it's irrelevant, how it's outlived its usefulness. He is praising Vladimir about -- and the way he manages Russia.
And at the same time, his personal attorney is pursuing a business deal that would have netted the Trump Organization probably hundreds of millions of dollars, if it had gone through. So that's the reason why it matters.
Here's a listen, a little bit of what the candidate Trump talked about during that time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. (END VIDEO CLIP)
PEREZ: And of course, that's a reminder of some of the things that the president, that the then-candidate was talking about. He was certainly out there encouraging the Russians.
And if you're the Russians and you are carrying out an operation to interfere in the United States, undermine Hillary Clinton and to help Donald Trump's election, as the U.S. intelligence community believes, I think that's the reason why. That's the context of why this matters.
BLITZER: You know, it's interesting. And this is all related. One of the -- Moscow's biggest real-estate developers, with whom the president, as private citizen co-hosted the Miss Universe contest in Moscow, he was going to go on a tour with his band here in the United States. What happened?
PEREZ: Right. Emin Agalarov, he's a big pop star in Russia. And as a matter of fact, then-candidate Trump actually made an appearance in one of his music videos. I think we're showing a little bit of it right there on air.
Well, he was trying to launch a tour of North America, Canada and the United States. His lawyers were in negotiations with the special counsel, Robert Mueller, as well as the congressional committees for him to provide testimony. In the end, they could not reach terms, according to the lawyer, who told Kara Scannell that, essentially, they could not reach an agreement whereby he could get -- he would -- he could appear voluntarily without a subpoena.
Now, that's important, because if he appeared with a subpoena, he would perhaps expose himself if he did not provide all of the documents, perhaps, that the special counsel and the congressional committees were looking for. So I think that's the context of why this matters.
So look, I think this means that, Wolf, you're going to have to make summer concert plans that do not include --
BLITZER: I've already -- I already had my tickets. I know, Pamela, you had your tickets ready to go.
BROWN: Big fan.
PEREZ: Cardi B. is still going on.
BLITZER: All right. Well, we'll get some other tickets.
That video, by the way, that was sort of fake video. That was an actor playing Donald Trump. That came out after he was already elected. But the song is good, if you like that kind of music.
PEREZ: It is a good song.
BLITZER: I liked it. All right, guys. jrStick around. There's more news we're following.
Pamela and Evan, thank you very much.
The federal government is closed for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. But for nearly a million federal workers, the government has been closed for a month with no end in sight.
Let's go live to our White House correspondent, Kaitlan Collins. Kaitlan, no deal, no talks. What's the latest?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And no closer to reopening the government either tonight, Wolf.
Now, we know President Trump is growing frustrated by those polls that show more Americans are holding him responsible for the government shutdown than they are Democrats. So in turn, the White House and Republicans are trying to put Democrats on defense.
That's why you saw the president lay out that proposal on Saturday that Democrats said didn't go far enough and the president's immigration hardline base said went way too far. Essentially, Wolf, as far as talks go, we're right where we started 31 days ago.
COLLINS (voice-over): President Trump making an unannounced visit to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington today.
TRUMP: It's a great day. It's a beautiful day. Thank you for being here.
COLLINS: But declining, during his two-minute-long trip, to answer any questions on the longest government shutdown in history.
(on camera): Please come and talk about the shutdown at all?
COLLINS (voice-over): Now 31 days old, when 800,000 federal workers bracing to miss their second paycheck.
Hopes to end the stalemate remained slim this weekend as Trump blasted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as a "radical Democrat" who's lost control of her party. Those tweets coming after Pelosi immediately rejected Trump's latest proposal to restore three years of deportation protections for some immigrants, including many of those brought to the country illegally as children, in exchange for 5.7 billion for his border wall.
[17:10:03] TRUMP: No. 1 is three years of legislative relief for 700,000 DACA recipients brought here unlawfully by their parents at a young age many years ago.
COLLINS: Democrats declared the offer dead on arrival.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), MINORITY LEADER: If he opens up the government, we'll discuss whatever he offers. But hostage taking should not work. It's very hard to negotiate when a gun is held to your head.
COLLINS: And immigration hardliners dismissed it as amnesty, including Ann Coulter, who tweeted, "We voted for Trump and got Jeb Bush."
The president pushing back on that criticism from conservatives, saying amnesty isn't part of his offer now but might be later on in a much bigger deal.
And on the eve of the Martin Luther King holiday, Vice President Mike Pence likening the president to the civil rights icon.
MIKE PENCE (R), VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: One of my favorite quotes from Dr. King was: "Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy." You think of how he changed America. He inspired change through the legislative process, to become a more perfect union. That's exactly what President Trump is calling on the Congress to do.
COLLINS: Martin Luther King Jr.'s son pushing back on that comparison.
MARTIN LUTHER KIND III, SON OF MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.: Now, Martin Luther King Jr. was a bridge builder not a wall builder.
COLLINS: Now Wolf, ending this shutdown is going to come down to President Trump and Nancy Pelosi. But if their feud was not evident last week when Nancy Pelosi essentially uninvited the president from giving his State of the Union address, and the president invited her to fly commercially into a war zone, it's continuing now, even on the president's Twitter feed.
He tweeted just minutes ago, saying that, quote, "If Nancy Pelosi thinks that walls are immoral why isn't she requesting that we take down all of the existing walls between the U.S. and Mexico? Even the new ones just built in San Diego at their very strong urging? Let millions of unchecked strangers just flow into the U.S."
Now Wolf, he's talking about new walls being built in San Diego, but no new wall has been constructed. Only existing wall has been replaced. But Wolf, this gives you an indication that the president and the House speaker are no closer to ending their feud over this government shutdown.
BLITZER: Kaitlan Collins with the very latest from the White House and that tweet that the president just posted. Thanks very much.
Joining us now, Democratic Congressman Gerry Connolly of Virginia. He's a member of both the Foreign Affairs and the Oversight Committees.
Congressman, thanks so much for joining us.
REP. GERRY CONNOLLY (D), VIRGINIA: Great being with you.
BLITZER: You want to react quickly to that tweet the president just posted? "If Nancy Pelosi thinks walls are immoral, why isn't she requesting that we take down all of the existing walls between the U.S. and Mexico?"
CONNOLLY: Well, I think he's sort of conflating a number of things here. I think when Nancy referred to his wall as immoral, remember, he's talked about a concrete wall, all 1,900 --
BLITZER: Well, he's changed that position since then.
CONNOLLY: Yes, he's changed --
BLITZER: Now it's steel; it's not concrete.
CONNOLLY: It might be --
BLITZER: It's not from sea to sea, as he says.
CONNOLLY: That's right.
BLITZER: He's moderated his position.
CONNOLLY: Right. Well, he moderates his position a lot. And so we're not quite sure what we're dealing with.
But I think she was referring to the fact that the wall he wanted, or still wants, is a metaphor for a lot of things we find toxic. His xenophobia, his nativism has outright appealed to sort of the baser instincts and outright racism and anti-immigration stereotyping.
I think most Democrats find that immoral. And it's almost an impossible proposition, to ask us to support it. I think that's what she was referring to.
BLITZER: All right. Let's get to Russia right now. You're on the Oversight Committee. February 7, Michael Cohen, the president's former lawyer and fixer, is scheduled to testify. Are you going to press Cohen on all these most recent developments surrounding his false testimony involving the Russian -- the Moscow tower, the Trump Tower that the Trump Organization wanted to build, for example?
CONNOLLY: Yes. I think we have an opportunity to clear up a lot on the record. Mr. -- Mr. Cohen will be under oath, and it will be the first time he provides public testimony under oath. So we have a chance to maybe, you know, fill in the blanks.
You know, one of which is a lot of controversy over the Buzzfeed story. Well, we'll ask him point-blank: "Did President Trump, Individual No. 1, tell you to lie or coach you to lie before the Congress or not?" That's a pretty simple question forward to help this pretty simple --
BLITZER: But he's an admitted liar, convicted felon. He's lied. Would you believe him, no matter what he says? CONNOLLY: Well, I think you have to look at the context. But I'm not
quite sure what -- he's going to go to jail. And --
BLITZER: A month later, he's scheduled to begin a three-year term.
CONNOLLY: Exactly. And so I don't know that he has a lot left to lose. I think he understands that the loyalty he gave to Mr. Trump has certainly not been returned. And I think he has a lot going for him to actually tell the truth.
By the way, if under oath, he lies again, he risks being prosecuted for that as a crime.
BLITZER: He may not just get three years. He could get more than three years?
CONNOLLY: Right. He could get a lot more than that. So I think the chances are his telling the truth are much higher. And he's chosen voluntarily to come before our committee and tell his story.
[17:15:10] BLITZER: The current lawyer, personal lawyer for the president, Rudy Giuliani, now says that any potential Trump Tower deal in Moscow, he says it's a minor matter. He says the president wouldn't have any recollection about when those discussions began or ended. What do you make of the president's attorney, Giuliani, now shifting his story multiple times over the past 24 hours?
CONNOLLY: It's been a remarkable thing to see, and one wonders if everything is all right with Rudy Giuliani. Or is this a Machiavellian plan to sort of cede the ground for huge retreat.
BLITZER: What do you think?
CONNOLLY: I think it's a combination. But they've retreated on the issue --
BLITZER: Let me press you. muWhen you say, "If everything is all right with Giuliani," what are you suggesting?
CONNOLLY: He sounds like a crazy old uncle, in contradicting himself and then -- and admitting things that, heretofore, the White House and Mr. Giuliani have steadfastly, absolutely denied. No collusion. Now all of a sudden, well, there was maybe collusion, but just not with the president himself.
Trump Tower, absolutely not. Nothing was going on during the campaign. Well, maybe it went through October or November. You mean when he was getting elected president, they were still negotiating?
And then the whole question of, you know, Buzzfeed's assertion that Mr. Cohen was coached to lie. And that was -- parts of that were denied by Mueller. But now we have an admission by Giuliani that maybe they were talking. We just don't know what -- and certainly, he didn't coach him to lie.
So there's a lot of retreat going on here by Giuliani that makes one wonder, are you ceding the ground for serious legal admissions that heretofore you denied?
BLITZER: What else do you want to hear from Michael Cohen?
CONNOLLY: I think one of the most important parts of this testimony will be get him on the record as to the nature of his relationship. Because the White House wants to downplay it. "He was a minor figure. He wasn't that important. He's, you know, a convicted liar."
Well, you know, did you talk two or three times a day? When did he call you fix things? What kinds of things were you called up to fix? Were you, in fact, coached to engage in what clearly could be construed or are construed as illegal acts?
We already know one illegal act he has claimed the president coached him in, and that was the campaign finance violation, where, quote, "Individual One" coached and directed that activity.
BLITZER: It will be must-see TV February 7, when Michael Cohen appears before your committee, the House Oversight Committee. We'll be watching. And maybe you'll come back that day --
BLITZER: -- and we'll get your analysis.
CONNOLLY: Love to do it.
BLITZER: Congressman Connolly, thanks very much for joining us.
CONNOLLY: My pleasure, Wolf. Thank you.
BLITZER: Up next, Senator Kamala Harris declares she's running for president. Does she has a message to help her stand out from an already crowded field of Democrats?
[17:22:09] BLITZER: Democratic presidential hopefuls and those still thinking about a run were out in force on MLK -- on this MLK holiday. And the field grew even larger today as Senator Kamala Harris of California announced she is entering the race.
Our senior national correspondent, Kyung Lah, is here in THE SITUATION ROOM with us.
Kyung, you've been covering her. How is she planning on distinguishing herself from this already pretty crowded field?
KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Essentially, she's asking Democratic voters to look at who she is and where she comes from. She is the daughter of immigrants. She is a biracial woman. She is a woman of color. And she's somebody who comes from a state that is in direct opposition to the Trump agenda. And she was the attorney general of that state, as the top cop. And she says as the prosecutor of California, she sought and fought for the truth, something she'll seek to do as a candidate. BLITZER: How will her law and order background as the former attorney
general of California play among these progressives?
LAH: That's really going to be, potentially, a weak point because, you know, the progressives are going to look at her record, her record as a top cop. They're going to look at whether or not she may have wrongly or contributed to not looking at cases where men or women may have been wrongfully imprisoned. That's something that's already come up.
And in fact, the senator actually addressed that in -- in a press availability today. Her very first press availability as a candidate for 2020.
BLITZER: She's got a lot of work to do. She's well-known in California, pretty well-known here in Washington. But in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, not necessarily all that well-known.
LAH: She says that she can actually make in-roads there, though, because she thinks that there is more connective tissue between the Midwest, and the West Coast and the East Coast in the Trump agenda, in the Trump era that she thinks that she can break through that.
BLITZER: We'll see how she does. Thanks very much, Kyung. I know you'll be covering politics for us. We're appreciative. Thanks very much.
LAH: You bet.
BLITZER: And this programming note: CNN will air a town hall with Kamala Harris in Des Moines, Iowa, next Monday night, 10 p.m. Eastern. Our own Jake Tapper will moderate right here on CNN.
And coming up, presidential lawyer Rudy Giuliani changes his story multiple times about Donald Trump's involvement in talks in a Moscow building project. Are any of his versions credible right now?
And a self-styled seductress changes her story. After claiming knowledge of the Kremlin's election meddling, she's now apologizing to a Russian billionaire linked to the Mueller probe.
Stay with us. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
[17:29:20] BLITZER: Tonight, there are lingering questions about Donald Trump's attempts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, even though the president's attorney, Rudy Giuliani, has made multiple attempts over the past few days to try to explain the time line.
Let's bring in our legal and political experts. We'll discuss the conflicting stories.
And Michael Zeldin, let me play some comments. This is Giuliani, had this exchange with our own Jake Tapper yesterday that got this -- this whole ball rolling. Watch this. MICHAEL ZELDIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: OK.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GIULIANI: As far as I know, President Trump did not have discussions with him. Certainly, had no discussions with him in which he told him our counseled him to lie. If he had any discussions with him, they'd be about the version of the events that Michael Cohen gave then, which they all believed was true.
TAPPER: You just acknowledged that it's possible that President Trump talked to Michael Cohen about his testimony.
GIULIANI: Which would be perfectly normal. Which the president believed was true.
TAPPER: So it's possible that that happened? That President Trump talked to Michael Cohen about his testimony?
GIULIANI: I don't know if it happened or didn't happen. And it might be attorney/client privileged if it happened, where I can't acknowledge it.
But I have no knowledge that he spoke to him. But I'm telling you, I wasn't there then.
TAPPER: But you just acknowledged that Trump might have talked to him about -- about his testimony.
GIULIANI: And so what if he talked to him about it?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: And now he's issued this statement, Michael. This is Rudy Giuliani in a written statement: "My recent statements about discussions during the 2016 campaign between Michael Cohen and then- candidate Donald Trump about a potential Trump Moscow project were hypothetical and not based on conversations I had with the president."
But he did tell "The New York Times," he's saying that he was quoting the president as saying those Moscow discussions, quote -- this is quoting Donald Trump from Rudy Giuliani -- "were going on from the day I announced to the day I won." That's not hypothetical.
MICHAEL ZELDIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Absolutely not. And also, on NBC yesterday, he said that the president and Cohen spoke. So he's given multiple versions. And now they find themselves in this very difficult situation of having answered questions in writing under oath on the president's part, which Giuliani said didn't talk about this.
Giuliani comes on air, says that the president and Cohen are talking at a time period that post-dates their answer in writing. And what they're creating for themselves is a confusion of the record. So if you're sitting there as Bob Mueller, and you're watching this,
and you want to talk to the president, you say, "Well, wait a second. We've got written answers that say this stops in January. Now his lawyer's saying they talked in October and -- up through October, November." Mueller is going to say, "I want to talk to the president. I'm sorry. We're not going to accept written answers any longer because of the confusion that Giuliani is creating." That's the biggest problem that he's creating for his client.
CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS WRITER AND EDITOR AT LARGE: It's just so hard. Michael is right. I mean, he's just telling a lot of different versions of the story. And this is -- he keeps having to correct himself or say.
But the thing that I come back to is "The New York Times" quote. How can you say the president said the conversations are happening "from the day I announced to the day I won" in a quote, the president said "X," and then say, "Well, I was only speaking in the hypothetical." Like, those two things don't jive.
I get the point. Well, but you can't directly quote the president of the United States telling you something, and then 24 or 48 hours walk it back and say, "Well, actually, these are hypothetical."
Well, where did the quote come from? Did he make the quote up? I mean, maybe he just made the quote up, because he was talking about a hypothetical. But you have to say, "Well, the president would have said to me," not "The president said to me."
SABRINA SIDDIQUI, "THE GUARDIAN": But if it --
PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: The humor gets better here. I mean, the humor gets -- We just heard Giuliani say that he doesn't know that conversation -- he doesn't know whether there is a conversation or not, but earlier, he says they did not discuss, or the president did not encourage him to lie. So which is it?
ZELDIN: No, but the point is --
MUDD: Which is it?
ZELDIN: I don't know what your point is, because it's all over. But the point is, if you're Bob Mueller and you're unhappy with having just had one round of written questions, and those written questions contradict what Giuliani is saying now, you're going to go back to the team and say, "I want to talk to him again," or you're going to go to the Justice Department and say, "I need a subpoena to talk to this guy."
SIDDIQUI: Well, this is the thing about Rudy Giuliani. If there's one thing he's been consistent about, it's in being remarkably inconsistent in his telling of events.
And you -- this is kind of reminiscent of when he said that the president was, in fact, aware of the hush money that Michael Cohen paid to Stormy Daniels and then later, he tried to walk that back.
I think the thing about Giuliani is his story has changed from the very beginning with respect to the Russia investigation. He first said there was no collusion. Then he shifted to saying, "Well, collusion is not a crime." More recently, he's been saying, "I never said that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow."
And what that speaks to is the way in which the president's legal team has, on multiple occasions, been caught flat-footed. Because it's very clear that they don't actually know what transpired during the course of the campaign. And so all Rudy Giuliani has left to do is to sow confusion and to obfuscate.
BLITZER: You know, Phil, let me just point out that Giuliani -- and he was speaking to a bunch of people -- he told our own Pamela Brown, he said this potential Trump Tower deal in Moscow, he said that was a minor matter, and the president wouldn't have recalled when those discussions ended.
I see a smile on your face.
MUDD: Because I mean, you look at the course of the investigation. Every single person has made stuff up, starting with Papadopoulos. You go through Michael Flynn. You go to Paul Manafort. You go to the president when he said, "I don't really know much about payments to Stormy Daniels." And it was really Rudy Giuliani. He said, "Actually" -- that's what we call a lie.
Regardless of whether you know whether this is true or not, you've got to ask a question. No. 1, as those conversations continued related to the tower, were there also conversations with people about, for example, what Russia policies should be, what the Americans should be doing on sanctions?
[17:35:05] And No. 2, based on the number of lies in this investigation, did people tell you the truth, including the president in his written responses to the special counsel, along the way? And my answer is going to be the record says, if they spoke, they lied.
CILLIZZA: And can I add a third question that's not -- not as Mueller-related? Why is Rudy Giuliani still Donald Trump's lead lawyer and lead -- lead public lawyer and lead face?
Sabrina mentioned a few of the times where he's gotten it wrong, but let's not forget the "Melania Trump believes him 100 percent." The first lady's office comes out and says, "I don't believe Melania Trump's talked to Rudy Giuliani about anything."
The collusion thing to Chris Cuomo last week. I mean, over and over again he's getting out over his skis. He's -- he's contradicting public information. Sometimes, to Phil's point, he's putting out public information we didn't know before.
We're talking about the president of the United States' face. The lawyer representing the president of the United States as it relates to an investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election and the possibility of collusion and obstruction of justice.
The idea that -- I mean, I wouldn't want someone -- forget Rudy Giuliani. Let's say someone who's representing me privately, made this number of errors in a -- in a PTA suit that I was engaged. I wouldn't want that guy to be my lawyer.
SIDDIQUI: Well, I think that's -- that's how Rudy -- that's how Rudy Giuliani operates. I mean, he sort of tries -- is trying to muddy the waters. And I think that, if you look at all the various contradictions, it sort of just creates a lot of confusion for the American public in what is a very complex investigation.
And so that's part of what the president has done, too, in trying to discredit the work of the special counsel.
BLITZER: All right. Everybody, stick around. There's more we need to discuss. Coming up, a mysterious woman who calls herself a seductress and claims to know about Moscow's meddling turns up in a Russian courtroom. What she's saying now.
And later, satellite photos reveal new activity in a secret North Korean missile base. What is Kim Jong-un hiding?
[17:41:29] BLITZER: A mysterious woman who describes herself as a seductress and claims inside knowledge of Moscow's election meddling, has turned up to a Russian court.
Let's get to our senior international correspondent, Matthew Chance, joining us right now.
Matthew, so what did she have to say?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you get the impression that this woman, Anastasia Vashukevich, is doing everything she can to claw back on all the claims she's made. But it's hard, because what started out, perhaps, as an attempt at self- promotion has ended up putting her in the crosshairs of some of Russia's most powerful figures.
CHANCE (voice-over): Tonight, this model and self-styled sex coach is languishing in a Russian jail, facing prostitution charges and a sentence of up to six years. She's already apologized for publishing images of Oleg Deripaska, a Russian billionaire close to the Kremlin, implicated in allegations of collusion with the Trump campaign.
ANASTASIA VASHUKEVICH, RUSSIAN SEX COACH (through translator): No audio records about Oleg Deripaska will be published, and I no longer will be compromising him. Therefore, he needs to relax. Really, I've had enough.
CHANCE: These are the snaps that got the 28-year-old into such deep trouble: pictures of her on a yacht off the Norwegian coast in 2016 with Deripaska and a deputy Russian prime minister.
Russia's main opposition leader seized on the images as evidence of collusion, suggesting the two men, who can be heard discussing U.S.- Russia relations, link the Kremlin and figures close to Trump. Both deny any wrongdoing.
(on camera): Is it true that Mr. Manafort owes you millions of dollars?
(voice-over): But the oligarch has fended off allegations of collusion before. We confronted him after it was reported that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, who once worked for Deripaska, offered him private briefings. Clearly rattled, the billionaire told CNN he never received any communication about it.
OLEG DERIPASKA, RUSSIAN OLIGARCH: Get lost, please.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sex! Sex on the beach!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sex! Sex on the beach!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sex! Sex on the beach!
CHANCE: The model did try to get lost on a beach in Thailand, where she was hosting sex and seduction classes. But with such potentially explosive material in her possession -- she claimed to have 16 hours of audio recordings -- it wasn't long until she was found and arrested by Thai police on charges of soliciting. She managed this tantalizing message before being locked away.
VASHUKEVICH (through translator): I'm ready TO give you all the missing puzzle pieces, support them with videos and audio regarding the connections of our respected lawmakers with Trump, Manafort and the rest. I know a lot. I'm waiting for your offers in a Thai prison.
CHANCE: But those offers never came. And after months in custody, Vashukevich pleaded guilty to soliciting and conspiracy. She was then deported to her native Belarus via the Russian capital.
But this is what greeted her as she tried to transit through Moscow airport. Seized by plain-clothed security and manhandled into a wheelchair before being dragged away, struggling and terrified.
Now Vashukevich is set to appeal for bail, but now Russia finally has her in its grip, it may be reluctant to let her go.
[17:45:00] CHANCE: Well, Wolf, tonight we've spoken to the lawyer who's representing Vashukevich in that bail hearing tomorrow. He says the case against her is totally fabricated. And he's going to fight it in this court if necessary in the European Court of Justice. Back to you.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: We'll continue to watch together with you. Matthew Chance in Moscow. Thanks for that report.
Coming up, during the 2016 presidential campaign, how long was Donald Trump in discussions about building a Trump Tower?
In Moscow, Presidential Attorney Rudy Giuliani tries to clear up the timeline but only raises more questions.
Also coming up next, new satellite photos reveal fresh activity in a secret North Korean missile base. What else is Kim Jong-un hiding?
[17:50:19] BLITZER: Tonight, as President Trump prepares for a second summit with Kim Jong-un, there's new evidence the North Korean dictator is hiding the true extent of his nuclear missile program. Let's bring in our own Brian Todd. Brian, tell our viewers what you're learning.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We're learning tonight about a secret missile base that Kim Jong-un is believed to be operating not far from the DMZ. A new report says the dictator is believed to have the ability to deploy some of his most advanced missiles from this site and threaten American forces close by.
TODD (voice-over): Tonight is appears Kim Jong-un is continuing to operate a secret dangerous web of hidden missile bases even while he corresponds with President Trump about a second summit with the U.S. aim of getting rid of his nuclear weapons.
Researchers with the analysis group, Beyond Parallel, are out with a new report showing what it says are satellite pictures of ongoing operations at this missile operating base called Sino-Ri which the group says has never been acknowledged to exist by North Korea.
LISA COLLIN, CO-AUTHOR, NEW REPORT ON NORTH KOREAN MISSILES BASE: North Korea doesn't necessarily develop its ballistic missiles here but does fuel them, prepare them for launch, and can roll them out at any time for in the case of a conflict situation. And basically, they roll them out through these underground facilities and drive-through facilities where they prepare for launch.
TODD: Tonight neither the White House, State Department nor U.S. intelligence are commenting on the new report. Beyond Parallel says Sino-ri is one of about 20 missile bases the North Koreans are operating secretly. The group says the Sino-ri base is important because it might have played a role in the development of the Pukkuksong-2 ballistic missile, one of the country's most advanced missiles unveiled by Kim's regime almost two years ago shortly after President Trump took office.
COLLINS: It could not hit as far as the U.S. mainland. It could probably perhaps in some circumstances hit as far as U.S. forces in Guam. TODD: Right now, Kim is not required to declare any of his missiles bases, but in the future, as part of the negotiations over his nuclear program, the U.S. will likely insist that he declare bases like Sino- ri. While President Trump is credited with starting dialogue and decreasing tensions with the dictator, the President's critics say he hasn't been nearly tough enough with Kim about secret bases like Sino- ri.
JAMIE METZL, FORMER NSC OFFICIAL: The North Koreans absolutely hoodwinked President Trump and President Trump wanted to be hoodwinked. It was clear from the beginning that the North Koreans were not agreeing to give up their nuclear missile programs.
TODD: A key concern tonight, Beyond Parallel says the Sino-ri base is close to where U.S. troops are stationed.
GEN. JAMES MARKS (RET), FORMER HEAD OF U.S. MILITARY INTELLIGENCE IN KOREA: He could do research and development in a location, and then roll those things out from that location and deploy them, fire them, to the south. There's no intelligence warning. There's no warning to U.S. troops.
TODD: Analysts say even if North Korea is some day required to disclose bases like Sino-ri, look for Kim and his regime to keep those bases secret as long as they can because if U.S. negotiations with North Korea break down in the future, and both sides resume a hostile posture toward one another, those missile bases would likely be placed on a U.S. target list and the North Koreans full well know that. Wolf?
BLITZER: You know, Brian, if the North Koreans were to fire off missiles from this base near the DMZ, do Americans and South Korean forces have missile defense batteries which can take out those missiles?
TODD: They do, Wolf. The THAAD missile defense batteries which the U.S. deploys in the region, they can take out some of those missiles but experts say if North Korea floods the zone with missiles, fires dozens of them at a time, those THAAD batteries are not going to be able to hit all of them.
BLITZER: All right. Brian, thank you. Brian Todd, reporting.
Coming up, Presidential Lawyer Rudy Giuliani keeps changing his story about Donald Trump's involvement in talks to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. Giuliani, intentionally trying to confuse the issue.
[17:59:33] BLITZER: Happening now. Breaking news, Shifting Timeline, was the President trying to get his Trump Tower built in Moscow up until the day he was elected. More confusion tonight as his lawyer keeps changing his story. Benefiting the oligarch, a rich and powerful figure in the Russia investigation maybe making gains from a deal with the Trump administration that supposedly required painful concessions, as Oleg Deripaska breathing a sigh of relief from sanctions.
Throwing Trump's tower, the Russian pop star involve that infamous Trump Tower meeting in New York cancel his U.S. concert tour after he fails to strike a deal with Robert Mueller.