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CNN NEWSROOM

Trump Associates Possible Coordination with Russians; ISIS Claims Responsibility For London Terror Attack; Interview with Representative Jackie Speier; Jason Day Quits in the Middle of Tournament; Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired March 23, 2017 - 10:30   ET

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


[10:30:00] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: My question to you is very simple. How serious is that if in fact it's true and how difficult would it be to prove?

ROBERT BAER, CNN INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY ANALYST: It's very serious, John. A couple of years ago I worked for the United Nations in an assassination investigation. We were using metadata, not human sources. And once you take this metadata and you compare it with the e-mail hacking, visits, credit cards and the rest of it, you can get an indictment. At the very least on RICO. So if they're looking at the leaks and the -- I mean, the e-mail hacking, visits to Carter Page, Roger Stone and the rest of it, you can pretty well draw a picture and reach the conclusion that there was collusion.

This is very serious. And exactly what the FBI is doing. And this is not to mention the National Security Agency probably has at the very least incidental collection on the Trump aides, which gives you a whole picture. And this could be very serious. And of course we're not seeing the evidence, but we will eventually.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: And this reporting does not, you know, prove collusion, right? This is the FBI having information that indicates these connections and a potential effort to hurt the Hillary Clinton campaign. But John McCain was asked about this, this morning. Here is what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I've been around this town long enough to know when there's something of this consequence and this enormity, there's always additional information that comes out before it's concluded. And I'm -- and we're already seeing that, by the way. This morning with the, quote, "allegations" that there was coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russians. And I've seen them before, Matt. And so there's more to come.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW: He says there's more to come. This is also the same senator that said, you know, there are more shoes to drop just a few weeks ago. You have such in-depth experience in the intelligence community. How often have you seen a lot of smoke, no fire? BAER: Rarely. The FBI hates these fishing -- hates fishing

expeditions, I don't think this is one. They wouldn't be pursuing this unless they had evidence. They would have dropped it a long time ago. They hate investigating a sitting president or his aides. And you know, there's other parts to this investigation that we're not looking at. Like Deripaska, the oligarch that was paying Manafort. He's essentially an arm of the Kremlin. He may be a private businessman but he has deep intelligence connections with the FSB and is an arm of the FSB in so many ways. So Manafort was getting paid in essence from the Russian government. He can deny it all he wants, but anybody who knows these oligarchs will tell you the same thing.

BERMAN: You know, Paul Manafort does deny he was being paid by the Russian government. We did a piece on him in the last hour, there's a lot going on with that. But let me ask you about this Devin Nunes situation right now, the House Intelligence chair, who yesterday said that members of the Trump team were picked up in incidental communications.

How unusual is it from your perspective for him to then tell the president that, and does that call into question the ability of this committee to do what it's supposed to do?

BAER: Well, my opinion is he's providing cover for the president, for his claims that the GCHQ, the British intelligence service, was tapping his phones, or Obama. Incidental collection is misunderstood by a lot of people. It happens all the time. Your phone, my phone, has probably been at one time in the last couple of years, at least once, subject to incidental collection.

It's the other person that we're calling or calling us whose phone is tapped. So this has nothing to do -- I mean, this is a red herring, to mix a metaphor, that's not going to hold water in the long run. Incidental collection is just unimportant because the fact is that nobody was tapping Trump's phone.

BERMAN: All right. Bob Baer, great to have you with us. Appreciate your perspective on this, sir.

BAER: Thank you.

BERMAN: All right. We do have breaking news out of London right now. We learned just moments ago that an American man, an American, is among those who were killed in the terrorist attack. His wife was injured in that attack. And now ISIS is claiming responsibility.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:38:46] HARLOW: We do have breaking news right now out of London. We've learned that an American is one of the victims of the attack outside of parliament.

Kirk Cochran of Utah was killed in that attack. You see him there with his wife Melissa. She was injured in the attack. They were in London celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary. BERMAN: Other news on this today, ISIS is now claiming responsibility

for this attack, saying one of its followers was behind it. Britain's prime minister says the person who carried it out was born in that country.

Nick Paton Walsh following all the developments for us on the streets of London right now.

Nick, what are you learning?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: John, this very close to the horrifying spot where Kirk Cochran lost his life. This is Westminster Bridge. Only in the last hour reopened. And it was down this bridge that the one attacker, a British national, who's said to be known by British security services for previous links to extremism but considered, quote, "a peripheral figure." That's according to British Prime Minister Theresa May.

That is where he drove his Hyundai 4x4 car. Now up onto the pavement at one point. This is presumably where he hit Kirk Cochran, where he also hit Melissa, his wife. Just imagine, they're on their 25th wedding anniversary celebrating here in London, this very popular tourist spot.

[10:40:04] She is now in hospital with a broken rib and other injuries to her limbs and a cut to her face as well, we understand. This also, too, where the third victim we know of, a Spanish citizen, a 43-year- old, Aysha Frade, a Spanish teacher who'd lived in the UK for some time, lost her life as well. And then further down here is where that car continued and crashed into the fence.

The attacker then jumping out, running around the corner. And then that's where his third victim was killed, PC Keith Palmer here, killed by a knife injury, we believe, to the chest.

Now this is the scene of horrifying acts of brutality. We've achieved some video which in fact showed some of the victims flung into traffic here by the car, another in fact fell into the River Thames nearby, rescued within the hour afterwards. But this also a crime now claimed by ISIS, by their AMAQ affiliated news agency. They've used that in the past to claim various sort of disgraceful acts that they wanted to have their name attached to.

We have no idea, frankly, if this one attacker had previous connections with ISIS or simply this is that group trying to attack their branding to this sick crime. The phrasing they use does suggest a little bit more distance perhaps between them and the attacker than you might normally have seen.

The scene behind me here, really I think gives you an idea, almost exactly 24 hours ago, the scene where this crime was committed. Tourists here, relaxed, some of them frankly oblivious as to what's gone on 24 hours ago, it seems, just making their way towards Big Ben, that enormous clock in the center of the United Kingdom, a pendant to the heart of democracy and government here, the Houses of Parliament, the scene 24 hours ago of this devastating crime, the worst to hit the United Kingdom since 2005 -- John, Poppy.

HARLOW: Nick Paton Walsh reporting for us live in London, thank you very much for that.

And coming up for us, the House Intel Committee fractured this morning after the panel's Republican chairman tells the media and the president that the president's personal communications may have been taken in, may have been monitored. But some of the chairman's colleagues are asking, why didn't he tell us first?

One of those Democrats on the committee will join us, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:46:40] BERMAN: All right. Breaking news. House Intelligence Committee chair Devin Nunes apparently issued an apology to members of his own committee. This for some of his actions connected with his release yesterday of his claim that Trump team members were picked up in incidental communications. And this just happened in a meeting. Democratic Congresswoman Jackie Speier of California was in that meeting.

Representative, thanks so much for being with us. Exactly what did the chairman apologize for?

REP. JACKIE SPEIER (D), CALIFORNIA: Well, that's not clear. Certainly when we went into the hearing room, we asked that the room be cleared so we could talk to the chairman and the other members of the committee. And Adam Schiff first, you know, raised the issue, why didn't you tell me, why didn't you go through channels here within the SCIF? That's a secure area we have to do our business. And after a few minutes, Devin Nunes did apologize in a generic way.

HARLOW: Did the chairman, Congresswoman, show you and your committee members the evidence, the intelligence that he says he looked at yesterday that made him so, quote, "steaming mad," according to our reporting, that he ran to the White House to tell the president? Did he show your committee that is investigating all of this that evidence?

SPEIER: That evidence is supposed to be with the committee tomorrow. So we'll be able to look at the evidence. But I think we've got to go back in time to March 15th, when on Tucker Carlson's show, he said that he was submitting something to the committee that would somehow vindicate him relative to the wiretapping. I think --

BERMAN: The president, you're talking about.

SPEIER: I'm talking about the president.

BERMAN: You're talking about -- OK.

SPEIER: I think this is a badly produced play, and the president is no William Shakespeare.

HARLOW: OK. So it seems to me, and correct me if I'm wrong, that you're indicating here that you think that the White House gave this to Nunes and that this was somehow coordinated. Nunes said in his presser less than an hour ago, you know, that, I'm not going to talk about sources here, but he said this isn't from the White House, and the White House didn't call me.

SPEIER: Well, if it's not from the White House and it's from someone within the agency. And you might recall that at the hearing earlier this week all the Republicans could talk about were the horrible leaks coming from the intelligence community. Now he's using a leak from an intelligence community as he sees fit. I'm absolutely convinced this either came from the White House or it came from the CIA.

BERMAN: So -- well, those are two wildly different things. First of all, if it's the White House, there may possibly be a political connection there. If it's from the CIA, maybe it's the CIA responding to a request from the chairman. I mean, you say you think. Do you know?

SPEIER: No, I don't know.

BERMAN: I mean, have you seen evidence?

SPEIER: No, I don't know.

BERMAN: OK.

SPEIER: I would suggest it would be either Mike Pompeo or the White House.

BERMAN: But again you're saying that. But you've seen --

SPEIER: That's my --

BERMAN: I just want to be crystal clear here, and we appreciate you weighing in because obviously you are an expert on this committee and the subject. But you have no evidence that it was either Mike Pompeo or someone within the White House.

SPEIER: The only evidence we have is a statement by the president on a FOX TV show in which he said, I am submitting something to the committee in a number of days. And he repeated it at the end of that interview as well.

[10:50:04] HARLOW: I understand that. But that doesn't -- that doesn't, you know, connect the two, that doesn't mean that what Nunes is talking about came from the president. But I do want to also get your take on this because, as you know, CNN's exclusive reporting that the FBI has new information that indicates that associates of President Trump communicated with Russian operatives with the intent of harming Hillary Clinton's campaign. Can you corroborate that? Is there any evidence of that that you've been seen?

SPEIER: I have not yet been given any access to the FBI files. The only persons that have access to it are the chair and the ranking member. Our hope is that within short order we will -- the whole committee will have access to that information. BERMAN: Because the ranking member last night, Adam Schiff, said that

he's seen more than circumstantial evidence that might lead him to believe collusion. But just to be clear, so he's seen things that you have not? Have you talked to him about this more than circumstantial evidence?

SPEIER: Yes, we did talk to him about that. And he says that's why he wants the entire committee to be able to be briefed on this issue because he did say it's more than circumstantial.

HARLOW: So he has seen more than you have seen. I mean, members of this committee have seen wildly different things. And they're -- you say tomorrow you're going to see what Nunes is talking about. You also said last night on this network, "This investigation loses all credibility unless he," Nunes, "makes a profound apology." If he does not give a more direct apology than he gave today, is your committee broken? Can your committee move forward with a truly independent investigation? Because certainly politics seem very much at play in the middle of your committee right now.

SPEIER: Well, we've got to have some confidence in knowing that if we're doing an independent investigation, the chair of the committee is not going to be the White House whisperer. That would be particularly damaging to the unbiased nature of this investigation. And I think the American people would see this as just a joke. And I'm not interested in being part of a joke.

BERMAN: All right. Congresswoman Jackie Speier of California, thanks so much for being with us.

A lot there, right?

HARLOW: A lot there.

BERMAN: The apology from the chairman.

HARLOW: Yes.

BERMAN: The word that Adam Schiff -- you know, she asked him for the more-than-circumstantial evidence, he said he would provide that, and Devin Nunes apparently going to prove the committee with his evidence.

HARLOW: Tomorrow.

BERMAN: Tomorrow.

HARLOW: Tomorrow.

BERMAN: Of the incidental collection.

HARLOW: And questioning, you know, if their committee can do this job, saying I don't want to be part of a joke.

A lot of headlines there from Representative Jackie Speier of California. Still to come for us, on a little bit lighter now, golfer Jason Day

took a lot of people by surprise when he called it quits in the middle of the tournament. He had a hard time holding back tears when he explains why he walks off the court.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:57:16] BERMAN: Golfer Jason Day walked off the course in the middle of a tournament because he couldn't stop thinking about his mother who is battling cancer.

HARLOW: Andy Scholes joins us. And Andy, Day had a very hard time, you know, holding back tears when he was talking about her. What do we know?

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: He certainly did, Poppy. You know, Jason Day's mom was recently diagnosed with lung cancer and it's clearly been a really hard time for Day and his family. Yesterday, you know, he said in the middle of his round he just couldn't play anymore.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JASON DAY, PROFESSIONAL GOLFER: At the start of the year, she was diagnosed with 12 months to live. This is so hard. The doc said she was terminal and she only had 12 months to live. And I'm glad I brought her over here because -- it's been really hard to play golf lately and this year. It's been very, very emotional, as you can -- as you can tell.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHOLES: Day has been through this before. He lost his dad to stomach cancer when he was 12 years old. And after that he went through a really tough time. But his mom took out a second mortgage on their home in order to send him to a golf academy. It certainly worked out.

Day has brought his mom from Australia to Ohio where she's scheduled to have surgery on Friday. We of course wish her well.

All right. For the first time ever, Team USA has won the World Baseball Classic. This is was the fourth WBC and amazingly the U.S. had never finished better than fourth place in the tournament. The Bluejays' Martin Stroman pitching six innings of no-hit baseball. And Stroman, he could have played for Puerto Rico. His mom is Puerto Rican but he chose to play for Team USA. His mom actually got harassed on social media because of his decision but it looks like he made the right call.

The U.S. wins big, 8-0, and a huge crowd at Dodgers Stadium chanting "USA" as all the players are celebrating on the field.

All right. March Madness continues tonight. Will Michigan be able to keep their magical run going? The Wolverines have not lost a game since their plane skidded off the runway two weeks ago. They've won seven in a row. Michigan is going to hit Florida's Oregon a little after 7:00 Eastern tonight. The action also continues on our sister station TBS at 7:39 Eastern with number one Gonzaga taking on West Virginia. The late game you got Kansas taking on Purdue. And Arizona going up against the only double-digit team left in the field, Xavier.

And guys, there really was no Cinderella at the ball this year, so I guess if you're looking for that underdog, root for Xavier. They're 11th seed.

BERMAN: All right. Andy Scholes, thanks so much. If you're looking for luck, don't do it the way Michigan did either.

(LAUGHTER)

HARLOW: Yes.

BERMAN: And in just minutes, President Trump, he meets with the House Freedom Caucus. A big question, can he get enough Republican votes to pass the health care bill? We will know. Maybe soon.

Thanks so much for joining us. I'm John Berman.

HARLOW: I'm Poppy Harlow. "AT THIS HOUR" with Kate Bolduan begins right now.