Return to Transcripts main page


Alleged Russia Trump Connections Examined; Russia Used Trump Advisers To Infiltrate Campaign. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired April 21, 2017 - 22:00   ET



[22:00:00] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: That's it for us. Thanks for watching. Time to hand things over to Don Lemon and CNN Tonight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is CNN breaking news.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Breaking news. New exclusive information on how Russia tried to influence the 2016 election.

This is CNN tonight. I'm Don Lemon.

U.S. officials tell CNN the FBI gathered intelligence last summer suggesting Russian operatives were trying to use Trump advisers, including Carter Page to infiltrate the campaign.

That investigation looming over President Trump's first 100 days in office. A milestone the president now calls, quote, "a ridiculous standard." But he sure seems eager to rock up victory on healthcare, on tax reform, and on avoiding a government shutdown. It sounds like a very busy week.

Plus, Britain's royals as you have never seen them before. Kate, William and Harry in a candid conversation about what it was like for the princes to lose their mother Diana.


PRINCE WILIAM: I always thought to myself, what's the point in bringing up the past, what's the point of bringing up something that's going to make you sad. And it's not going to change it, it is not going to bring her back. And when you start thinking like that, it can be really damage to me, you were who said to me, you know, you've got to sit down, think about these memories. But for me, it was like, I don't want to think about it.


LEMON: We're going to get right to our exclusive breaking news now. CNN has learned that Russia tried to use people claiming to be advising Donald Trump to infiltrate his campaign.

Our justice correspondent Pamela Brown has been following this from the very beginning. Pamela, what can you tell us? PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Don we've learned that

the FBI gathered intelligence last summer that suggested Russian operatives tried to use Trump advisers including Carter Page to infiltrate the Trump campaign. This is according to most U.S. officials.

One factor in this was Carter Page's critical speech of U.S. policy against Russia in July 2016 at a prominent Moscow university that is part of what raised concerns in the bureau that he may have been compromised by Russian intelligence.

But the new information as to this emerging picture of how the Russians try to influence the 2016 U.S. election, not only through the e-mail hacks and the propaganda, sometimes referred to as fake news, but also by trying to infiltrate the Trump orbit.

This intelligence led to the broader FBI investigation into the coordination of Trump's campaign associates and the Russians were told, and what we've heard from FBI Director James Comey. But the officials we have spoken with made clear that they don't know whether Page or the other advisers were aware that the Russians may have been using them because of the way Russian spy services operate. Page, for one, could have unknowingly talked with the Russian agents. Don?

LEMON: Very interesting, Pamela. So what is Carter Page saying about this?

BROWN: Well, he dispute this whole notion this idea that he has ever collected intelligence for the Russians, actually saying that at times he helped the U.S. intelligence community.

He told CNN, quote, "My assumption throughout the 26 years I've been going there," there as in Russia, "has always been that any Russian might share information with the Russian government as I have similarly done with the CIA, the FBI and other government agencies in the past."

But Don, U.S. officials say this intelligence suggests that Russia tried to infiltrates and influence the Trump campaign by using back- door channels to communicate with people in the Trump orbit, people like Carter Page.

It is important to note here that within the Trump campaign, Page was viewed as someone who had little or no influence but he is one of several Trump advisers whom U.S. and European intelligence detected in contact with Russian officials during the campaign. Don?

LEMON: All right, Pamela, so where do we stand now with this investigation?

BROWN: Well, it's ongoing and it's no telling how long it could take before it wraps up. I mean, intelligence analysts and FBI investigators continue to analyze various strands of intelligence from human sources to electronic intercepts, financial records and travel records. And they found suggestions of possible collusion between the Trump

campaign and Russian officials. But we are told by officials at this point there's not enough evidence to prove, to show that crimes were actually committed. And part of the challenge for the investigators has been that they've lost their opportunity to conduct this investigation in secret after several leaks last year revealed the FBI was looking at people close to the Trump campaign.

And after those reports, people that the U.S. was monitoring then changed their behavior making it more difficult for the FBI. Don?

LEMON: Pamela, thank you for your reporting. I appreciate that. Now I want to bring in Matthew Murray, former deputy assistant secretary of commerce for Europe, the Middle East and Africa for the Obama administration. Also, Bob Baer, CNN intelligence and security analyst.

Good evening, gentlemen. Thank you for coming on this evening. Matthew, I'm going to start with you. What's your reaction of Russia trying to use Carter Page and other trump advisers to infiltrate the Trump campaign?

[22:05:02] MATTHEW MURRAY, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF COMMERCE FOR EUROPE AND EURASIA: I think the question is what were they using him for and I think there's a distinct possibility that it was on the one hand to coordinate with the Trump campaign in a way that might amount to collusion.

But the other distinct possibility, Don, is that sanctions were on the table. It is very clear that Russia had a very strong and high incentive to find sympathetic voices and leaders in the United States that might be willing under circumstances where they acquired power to lift sanctions against Russia, which are clearly very hurting their economy and have been effective as an instrument of U.S. national security.

So this -- the activity in question, how high did it reach? Who were the other officials in the Trump campaign that they were using Page to get to? Page is kind of a weak link here, actually.

And there were other people who obviously had more influence over the way the candidate was thinking and how successful were the Russians in getting to those other parties and, if so, did they get sanctions on the table as a point of discussion, and is this what explains why President Trump said in late December or early January of this year that he knew Putin was a smart guy when Putin did not respond to Obama taking some punitive actions towards the Russians.

LEMON: And you mean weak link meaning he didn't have a high enough position or big enough position within the Trump campaign?

MURRAY: Absolutely. And that's really not the point. In fact, the Russians probably appreciated the fact that he was a weak link and were using him to sort of have eyes and a filter on the critically material issues that were being discussed, including what the republican platform was going to say about Ukraine.

LEMON: I got you.

MURRAY: And including the Trump administration's policy towards sanctions would be.

LEMON: I mean, Bob, would it be surprising -- I mean, shouldn't it be surprising if the Russians didn't try to use spying techniques? I mean, how consistent is this with Russia's spying techniques?

BOB BAER, CNN INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY ANALYST: Well, absolutely, Don. If I were in Lubyanka that's the head with FSB is located. Their headquarters and they're looking at this new president, unpredictable, he seems to be sympathetic to Russia but you need to know that from the inside.

And Carter Page's name is put out there as an adviser to Trump, you go and try to recruit him, either as a source of information. I mean, the Russians didn't know he could have ended up in the White House close to the Oval Office or an agent of influence. Either way, they would have gone after this guy.

Classic recruitment effort And I think that's what the FBI stumbled across and that's why they got a FISA on Carter page. But they were also looking at Manafort who was effectively taking Russian money in the Ukraine and General Flynn as well who did take Russian money from the Russian government.

So they had a lot of sources in the Russian camp -- in the Trump campaign and, you know, this doesn't surprise me at all and it doesn't surprise me at all that the FBI was had to look into this as much as they regretted that they were put in this position and they are doing what they should be doing.

LEMON: OK. So Bob, Matthew said, you know, he referred to Carter Page as a weak link saying but they probably like that he was a weak link. But I'm sure you have seen some of the interviews with Carter Page over the past couple of weeks. Many of them, I'm sure. Do you get any sense whether he was an active participant with Russia in this? And again, the Trump campaign said Page had little influence and never met with the president directly.

BAER: Well, you know, let's be fair here. He is sort of goofy and he wouldn't be an ideal agent of the FSB. But yet, the FSB needs any source it can get and he was probably susceptible to their whispering. He spent a lot of time there. They knew him. They had his rooms tapped when he went to Moscow. He was naive and he's the kind of guy you try to recruit. The weak link.

If he turns out to be a dud, you move on to the next one. Or you get Carter Page introduce you to somebody else. I mean, I did this as a career and I know exactly what they're doing. And the question is who else in the Trump administration was involved with the Russians and what degree and we still go back to the hacking which was evidenced all over the board that there was collusion in the hacking when they were predicting Podesta's e-mail would be hacked and it was. I mean, that's a red flag for me, Don. LEMON: Matthew, hey, I have to run. But do you think he's going to

testify because he's offered to testify? And if so, when do you think that will happen?

MURRAY: I think they'll probably want him up very soon and sort of to get him out of the way in a sense because they need to get on to the people who were making decisions. They need to get on to the Jared Kushner's, the Flynn's, the Manafort's and people who were shaping the environment.

[22:09:59] LEMON: Matthew Murray and Bob Baer, thank you, gentlemen. I appreciate it.

MATTHEW: Thank you.

LEMON: When we come back, a long to-do list for the president next week ahead of the 100-day mark to meet a deadline he calls "a ridiculous standard." We're going to talk about that right after the break.


LEMON: President Trump made a lot of promises about his first 100 days during the campaign but now he is changing his tune somewhat.

Here to discuss Bill Kristol, editor-at-large with the Weekly Standard, CNN political commentator, Jason Miller, a former communications adviser to the Trump campaign, and political analysts -- plural - Kirsten Powers and April Ryan. Good evening to all of you. Thank you so much for joining us.

Jason Miller. OK, so, this morning, on day 92 of his administration, President Trump tweeted this. "No matter how much I accomplish during the ridiculous standard of the first 100 days and it has been a lot including S.C., media will kill." But this is what he said on the campaign trail just three days before the election. Watch this.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Just think about what we can accomplish in the first 100 days of a Trump administration.

We're going to have the biggest tax cut since Ronald Reagan, even bigger. She's going to raise your taxes. We will eliminate every unnecessary job killing regulation, such a big thing, such a big thing.

Cancel every illegal Obama executive order. We are going to protect religious liberty. We will rebuild our military and take care of our great veteran.

[22:15:05] We will provide school choice and put an end to common core. We bring our education local. We will support the men and women of law enforcement. We are going to save our second amendment.

(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON: All right. Is he done? Because that's so much. Listen, all candidates make promises but that was a lot. And he said he is going to do it in his first 100 days. He set the standard there. How many of those things has he done?

JASON MILLER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, he also said there in the segment that you're showing the very beginning he said he will start putting these things in motion. And they had started putting these things in motion. Are they all going to be done during the first 100 days? Clearly they are not going to have all of them done but they've had great progress on them.


LEMON: So you can see that he hasn't done all that in the first 100 days.

MILLER: He started putting them in motion. They're not all the way done yet.


MILLER: But there's some other things that he didn't mention there that I think are really worth mentioning. Talk about our standing on the national -- the international stage, we're standing up to North Korea, obviously with taking on the Assad regime. I mean, these are things that he didn't talk about in a speech in Gettysburg with very important things that we've seen. And I think--


LEMON: But there are things that he's done that he hasn't mentioned but I want to -- he is now saying that it's a ridiculous standard. He set the standard. Because if you look at this, this was his 100-day action plan to make America great again. And again, it has many of those things on if you look at this.

Now he's saying the 100-day standard is ridiculous but he actually used this as a standard himself. So what gives?

MILLER: Well, again, when he gave those remarks, he said that we'll start putting these things in motion. But I think also, there's a little bit of -- you know when you go to the carnival and there's a 20-foot basket and you try to shoot it and magically it just never goes in? That's the way that President Trump is--


LEMON: It works for me.

MURRAY: We have problems with that.

MILLER: Maybe we don't have air Jordan person here.


MILLER: But the media is going to move the hoop no matter what happens here.

LEMON: I don't think the media is moving the hoop. I actually -- I mean, I'm just -- I'm just being honest. I think he's moving the hoops. He set the standard for the first 100 days. He said he was going to do all of those things. By holding him accountable for what he says, that's not holding the hoops. Is that moving the hoops?


MILLER: In many -- many of them they have, I mean, right out of the gate we got a great Supreme Court justice, Neil Gorsuch, pulled out a TPP.


MILLER: And a number of other regulations. In fact when you combine the executive orders plus laws signed, the combined toll under President Trump, you have to go all the way back to President Kennedy to get the number that's the high between the two.

LEMON: OK. For executive orders I think President Truman had more executive orders.

MILLER: Plus laws aside.

LEMON: Go on. Do you want to--


BILL KRISTOL, THE WEEKLY STANDARD EDITOR: I'm just reeling from this thing that he never makes those baskets. You know, I got to find land the rope. I make them all the time. But anyway, that's Jason's problem, you know.

Look, I'm happy that a lot of things that President Trump though said he would do and promised he would he hasn't done. In a way one of the big stories is he's backed off from some of the really irresponsible things that he promised on immigration.

And suddenly the DREAMers, they are fine. They deported one fellow the other, that was kind of a big story and they screwed about that. But didn't he said in the interview, I think it was yesterday, right? Actually, yes, they were leaving those guys alone. Real protection--


LEMON: But in response--

KRISTOL: Real protection is trade policy, not so much

LEMON: But in response to the--


KRISTOL: (Inaudible) with NATO not so much. LEMON: But in response to specifically what we're talking about here, what he said that the media is moving the hoop was. Weren't these his promises and his to keep?

KRISTOL: Sure. Sure. I mean, to be fair a lot of candidates makes promises.

LEMON: Yes, exactly.


KRISTOL: And Jason is right, I think he's going in the right direction, if the economy gets stronger, he'll be fine. But as I say I think the big story, if you step back and say what's surprising, 90 days in here. He said the most dramatic changes, the things that were not traditional republican policies, the protectionism, the isolationism, really tough fears kind of immigration stuff, he's backed off from either willingly or sort of under pressure and it does look a little more, especially in foreign policy which Jason mentioned, look like a traditional republican administration now.

LEMON: Let me get to Kirsten. Kirsten, President Trump is setting big goals next week. Just listen to one of them.


TRUMP: We'll be having a big announcement on Wednesday having to do with tax reform, the process has begun long ago but it will uniformly begins on Wednesday.


LEMON: So is he feeling the pressure in the first 100 days, Kirsten?

KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, I think he is. And I think the fact that he's also sort of trying to downplay the first 100 days, now saying that it's, you know, not that big of a deal and, you know, sort of painting it as though the press is going to make him look bad and it doesn't really matter even though he was just saying he had the best 90 days ever, you know.

So I think he's now trying to actually show that he's going to maybe get some things done is not particularly realistic that tax reform would be done by in the first 100 days, you know, considering that they haven't really even started the process.

Same thing with repealing Obamacare. It seems unlikely that it would get done in the first 100 days. But you know, all that said, even if he has had a sort of underwhelming first 100 days, which I think he has, it doesn't mean he can't have a good presidency.

LEMON: I agree.

POWERS: It just means that he got off to a bad start.

LEMON: And the only reason is because he sets such a high mark -- marker, and it's not, you know, the first 100 days I think many people will say, well, you know, who really cares that.

[22:20:03] April, it's not just tax reform on the table, healthcare as well. Listen to the president.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you speak to us briefly about any legislative action that you're planning next week, how are you going to accomplish that?

TRUMP: It's going to be great. It will happen. It will happen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you going to do healthcare--


TRUMP: We'll see what happens. No particular rush, but we'll see what happens. But health care is coming along well. Government is coming along really well. A lot of good things are happening.

Thank you, folks.


It doesn't matter if it's next week. Next week doesn't matter.


LEMON: So he says it doesn't matter. I mean, the 100-day mark is looming. The government shutdown is looming as well.


LEMON: I'm sure he would like to get these things done within the first 100 days. I'm sure already he's looking at legacy because that's the kind of guy he is. Do you think it matters in the next week for him?

RYAN: It does matter, but he's also again dialing it back because he knows realistically, let's take health care, for instance, Don. You know, the freedom caucus is saying, OK, yes, we've got this working out but then you have the other part of the Republican Party. That's not necessarily happy about the fiscal piece of it.

So that's going to be a hard piece to put together before the first 100 days. And then when you talk about tax reform and all these other issues, tax reform is going to be a high price tag yet again and this is something that is going to roll out over time. He's talking about cutting taxes, cutting tax rates, individually and for businesses. And there is going to be a high price tag.


RYAN: And he's banking on the economy to help -- to help push this through and we just don't know about the economy as of yet.

LEMON: Yes. OK. So what do Mark Cuban and President Obama have in common? We're going to talk about both of them in our next block.


LEMON: One of the president's billionaire friends is speaking out -- I guess we can call him a friend, right? What he says is not exactly complementary.

Back now with my panel. Would you call Mark Cuban a friend do you think?

MILLER: Probably not.

LEMON: Probably not. All right, here's what he said on New Day this morning.


MARK CUBAN, THE DALLAS MAVERICKS OWNER: I call it political chemotherapy, right. And some of -- one of my friends who I always thought was really smart, I'm not saying he's dumb but he had a different viewpoint on why he voted for Trump. I didn't expect him to vote for him.

He said, Mark, I've voted for politicians my entire life. He's in his 50s. Right? You know what the definition of insanity is? Doing the same thing over and over expecting different results, and so I voted for Donald Trump. Is he poisonous in a lot of respects? Yes. This is our chemotherapy. You know, we hope he's going to change the political system.


LEMON: OK. So Mark Cuban is saying, Jason, that basically he is poison to the political system but he hope, you hope he kills the bad cells only. Right? What do you think?

MILLER: Well, at a surface level, again right to it I think throwing out this political chemotherapy line is really disrespectful and I think it just -- it just falls fat. I don't think it's really good.

But here's the thing. Ladies and gentlemen, there's a new face of the Democratic Party and it's Mark Cuban. Nobody knows who the chair of the DNC is. And so, if Mark Cuban is going to be the face of the Democratic Party, great. Folks are going to be begging for Hillary Clinton to come back.

LEMON: What's your response?

KRISTOL: I think Cuban is interested in running possibly. I mean, he's one of several billionaires who saw what Trump did and thought, hey, I know more than Donald Trump. I have a better business grid than Donald Trump. Why is Donald Trump nominee and then president of the United States and not me.

So I think he was a serious political guy. Actually he knows quite a lot about politics and he's I think Jason is right, that he's saying things that if you're a democrat, you think, yes, he's saying it like it is.

LEMON: He's looking forward to 2020.


LEMON: OK. So, let's -- I want to move on now to the former president. Because we heard a political speech from Hillary Clinton last night.

And on Monday, President Obama, April, is going to give his first public speech since he left office. That timing is pretty interesting. The former government is going to emerge from his jet set vacations all around the world just as President Trump approaches his 100-day mark. What do you think of that?

RYAN: It has nothing to do with the president's first 100-day mark. In looking back in history, when former President Bill Clinton left office, his first paid speech was in that February right after he left office.

Then, when you look back at former President George W. Bush, his first paid speech was in March after the inauguration. And then when you look at this president, he's doing something in late April.

I'm going back to something and thinking about something that former first lady Michelle Obama said, when they go low, we go high. I do not believe that they are looking in their rear-view mirror and Donald Trump every day like this White House seems to focus on them.

So I believe it's a different dynamic for President Obama. He's doing something that he said he was going to do in his post-presidency. He wanted to focus in on building and growing the new crop of young leaders.


RYAN: And focusing in on young people, particularly in his home town of Chicago.

LEMON: OK. Kirsten, what do you think we're going to hear from the former president and how do you think this current president is going to react?

POWERS: I'd be very surprised if President Obama he said anything to Donald Trump. He seems pretty committed to the idea that you have one president at one time. He's obviously an extremely classy person and I don't think that these speeches have anything to do with Donald Trump.

I think April is exactly right. This is him starting his post- presidency sort of term of, you know, moving on to issues that he cares about and that he wants to focus on. I just don't think that this is in any way about Donald Trump.

LEMON: It certainly was a great vacation, though, if you look at the pictures.


RYAN: Were you on it?

LEMON: No. But I was very jealous of it. I've been sitting here at this anchor desk every night. Thank you all. Have a great weekend. I appreciate it.

POWERS: Thank you.

LEMON: When we come back, my next guest won a Pulitzer Prize for reporting on the president's charitable giving or lack thereof. What that can tell us about how he governs in the White House. You'll be surprised.


[22:30:00] LEMON: President Trump's 100th day in office is just around the corner and the pressure is on to live up to the big promises that he made.

Here to discuss now is presidential historian, Douglas Brinkley, the author of "Rightful Heritage: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of America," and contributor David Fahrenthold, a reporter from the Washington Post. David, first off, congratulations. You won the Pulitzer Prize last week for your excellent reporting on President Trump.

Look at he's beaming there. The 2016 election and whether he was following through on his promises to donate to charity over the years. The answer was typically no, right?

DAVID FAHRENTHOLD, WASHINGTON POST POLITICAL REPORTER: That's right. I spent a lot of time trying to find any evidence, especially trying to prove Trump right when he said he had been giving millions and millions of dollars away and I couldn't.

I look back over a period between 2008 and 2015. I called 450 charities trying to find some proof that money was out there. I found one gift out of Trump's own pocket and I found for less than $10,000.

LEMON: And in terms of how and went President Trump gave money when he didn't, you're seeing similar patterns in his decision-making now and how he's going to be in the White House, right? How so?

FAHRENTHOLD: A couple of ways. One is that he often relied on the idea that if you've made a promise, people would never follow up on the promise because they would assume that no one would make a public promise and then forget about it.

[22:34:58] So many of these times he would say, I'm going to give the proceeds of Trump University away, I'm going to give away the proceeds of the "Celebrity Apprentice," and rely on the fact that people would assume those promises had been kept and we see that repeating in his, often in the charitable cases he didn't follow through on those promises. We see that repeat now with him in the White House where he says next

week I'll give you more information on Russian hacking, next week I'll give you my tax plan, you know, I'm going to promise to cyber plan 90 days. People get those promises. They assume that a president wouldn't say that and then not follow up and then he doesn't follow up.

He sort of tries to exploit that gap. The problem is that now he's president and there's a lot more scrutiny on him than when I was a private citizen. Promising money and you're starting to see that show up in his poll numbers.

LEMON: Interesting. Douglas, David points out that President Trump's decision-making guided by personal relationships, short-term goals, not long-term strategy. If you look at health care, right, he backed off his promise to take care of everybody and says he wants a policy win. Do you think this strategy works in the White House?

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: No. I think it's very fickle. He says one thing one day and does something the next. I mean, the only advantage it has for Donald Trump is that he's the only one who knows what he's going to be doing.

FDR used to say I never let my right hand know what my left is doing. I'm a juggler. And there is some advantages of doing that. But with Donald Trump, he just seems to be misleading the American citizens about what he's going to do.

I mean, there were going to be a repeal and replace Obamacare. He tried it and it didn't happen. You know, we're going to do the wall, we might have a shutdown now because Mexico is not paying for the wall where the taxpayers are going to have to. So I think it's a problem for him.

LEMON: David, here's how you make the comparison for Donald Trump the businessman. You put it this way. You said, "A man who loves putting his name on things wound up with almost no physical evidence of his charitable giving. I search for any items that a charity had named in Trump's honor and came up with a theater seat in New Jersey. A theater seat in Florida and a park bench in New York."

And then fast forward to Donald Trump, the President. "The result, after nearly 100 days, is a familiar one, Trump's list of presidential achievements so far looks like the policy equivalent of two theater seats and a park bench."

So, I mean, if that's how he operated as a private citizen, it doesn't seem like he's going to change how he operates now.

FAHRENTHOLD: That's possible. It's possibly true. One of the things I saw looking at his charitable donations, right when he was, when the spotlight wasn't on him, where did he actually give his money? And he didn't -- he didn't have one big cause, it wasn't like a lot of wealthy people who choose a university or cancer charity or a hospital and devote enough money to that particular cause that he would help it in a material way but also they would honor him by naming something big after him. Instead, he would give it out sort of dribs and drabs. Friends being

honored by some charity, he'll give a little money. He gets invited to this group he buys a table for $10,000. He spreads the money so widely, that there's not much impact in a philanthropic sense and certainly no monument to what he's done.

And we're seeing that in the way he ow uses his time. It's not money, it's the time that is so scarce now and he douse it out a little bit of time on a wide variety of people trying to maintain these relationships with no evidence of an obvious sort of big, unifying goal that he's always working for.

LEMON: Douglas, you used a couple of words to describe the president's first 100 days. You said 'near disaster' and 'nightmarish.' And I wonder why to you, the successes he's had, which is, as he said Neil Gorsuch, a well-received speech at the joint sessions of Congress, air strike in Syria which many people supported, you said that why don't they do enough to redeem them?

BRINKLEY: Because it started day one when he lied about the crowd size and said, you know, he had a bigger crowd than Obama. Then he embarrassed himself at the CIA. Then, you know, he had a Keystone copper team going with Sean Spicer, on and on.

But he's under criminal investigation by the FBI right now. His big legislative push, which should have been doing the bipartisan bill for infrastructure, bridges and roads, instead it was repeal and replace Affordable Care Act that blew up i space in a disastrous way.

His National Security Adviser General Flynn caputs. He's had a cloud, a dark cloud over him. And it's not me, Don. Sixty-five percent of the American public, maybe 60 percent are say he's doing a bad job. He's got to figure out something the second 100 days because it hasn't been very good so far.

LEMON: Yes. There's a criminal investigation into possible collusion but he himself is not?

BRINKLEY: No. But his administration has been under the heat of it.

LEMON: Yes. All right. Thank you. Thank you, Douglas. David, thank you and congratulations again.


LEMON: Very nice.

When we come right back, a rare glimpse into royal life. William, Kate, and Harry in a candid conversation. What they said about the death of Princess Diana.


LEMON: Britain's young royals speak in a very candid conversation. William and Harry talking to Kate about their struggles after the death of their mother Diana. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAM, PRINCE OF BRITAIN: But you know, even Harry and I over the years have not talked enough about this our mother, you know.


KATE MIDDLETON, DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE: Doing this campaign has made you realize that?

WILLIAM: Yes, I think so. I always thought to myself, you know, what's the point of bringing up the past, what's the point of bringing up something that it's only going to make you sad and it is not going to change it and it is not going to bring her back.

And when you start thinking like that it can be really damaging. And you who said to me, you said, you know, you got to sit down and think about those memories. But for me it was like, I don't want to think about it.

HARRY: But it's I think -- what happened with us must happen with others, as well. You have to prioritize your mental health. You have to say to yourself at some point because it's very easy to run away from it, you know, to walk away from it and avoid it. You know, someone has to lead and has to be brave enough to force that conversation.


LEMON: That videotaped at Kensington Palace is part of a campaign encouraging everyone to speak freely about mental health.

Let's discuss now with CNN royal commentator Victoria Arbiter, also Ken Druck, expert on traumatic loss and resilience and the author of "Courageous Aging, Your Best Years Ever Reimagined." I need to read that. Thank you both for coming on.

Vicky, first of all, I've never seen anything like this with a royal family, you know, sort of stiff upper lip and you just, you know, you don't do those things. It's very intimate. What's your reaction?

VICTORIA ARBITER, CNN ROYAL COMMENTATOR: Very intimate. You know, for generations, the royal family motto has been never complain, never explain.

LEMON: Right.

ARBITER: And of course that has a place in some -- in some arenas.

[22:44:59] But really, this is such an important conversation. And over the last few weeks William, Kate and Harry had sports stars, movie stars, television stars all sharing their personal struggles with their own mental health issues as well as regular folk.

And so by having everyone else do that, they stepped up to the plate and they shared their own personal experiences and I think this really is just going to blow the conversation wide open.

LEMON: Ken, I want to bring you into the conversation because William and Harry say that they never talked about their mother's death. What would that -- what would that great a loss do you think have on them at 15 and at 12 years old? What does that do to you emotionally?

KEN DRUCK, "COURAGEOUS AGING" AUTHOR: Well, you know, Don, they literally lost their mother a year after I lost my mother. So I've been on the same timeline. However, I was of course much older.

For kids, developmentally, they are slowly starts hitting them over time. They are cognitively and developmentally able to really absorb, she's not coming back, this really happened. They begin to come out of that shock and denial and avoidance and reality sets in and that's when they need help. That's when they need time and support to process everything they're going through and they are doing that now.

LEMON: Vicky, Prince Harry told the newspapers that at royal engagements he felt himself battling fight or flight impulses, he said. Did anyone know how much pain he was in?

ARBITER: Certainly not publicly. And I think actually when you look back now at those years where he was labeled the party prince, the wild child, it's actually quite heartbreaking because now in hindsight we know that was the time he was experiencing what we call total chaos.

That's what he really was flailing and out of control. And it was only in talking to friends and with encouragement from his brother that he finally sought help. Sixteen years after the event. So you can't imagine what must have been going on in his head at that point.

But by him admitting what he went through and seeking help, people can say, well, you're a prince. Lady Gaga talked about it this week. Steven Price talked about it. Well, that means it's OK for me as well.

LEMON: Well let's listen to a bit of another part of this extraordinary video.


WILLIAM: But the pressure is on children nowadays is more than it ever was for us.

HARRY: Huge.

WILLIAM: Each generation can say that. You've got so many things to worry about, whether struggling with exams, whether you're struggling with home life, whether you're struggling with friends, then you have the social media angle. You can understand why that coupled with the fact that you don't get out of the house because we're staying on the screen the whole time. There got to be a lot of issues that is going to build from there if you're not careful and managed.

HARRY: And it's always as though everybody else's life is perfect.


WILLIAM: That's the problem.

HARRY: And therefore you think if everyone else's life is perfect, there must be something wrong with me. If you can have a family environment where you can talk openly about your issues, that makes for a better family, a better corporation, probably working better at your job, doing better at school and da, da, da. You know, it just goes on and on.


LEMON: I think this is great that they are doing this. Ken, I have to ask you, Prince Harry says that ever since his mother's death, he buried his feelings. Then at 28, he felt like punching someone. How common is that reaction?

DRUCK: It's very common and it's not only punching. I mean, it's lashing out. It's saying, I'm tired of sitting with my hands and legs folded and repressing, hiding, denying everything that's going on inside. I'm thinking about my mom. I miss my mom. I feel like I'm still standing in the ashes of plan a.

Plan a, was that I was supposed to grow up with my mom and now I'm standing in the ashes looking at plan b. And for the first time accepting that reality and what do I begin to do. And the grief illiterate culture and we are cultures really turn away from loss and grief, whether it's the life loss of a mom or a child or whether it's a living loss.

A living loss is a divorce that we've gone through, a loss of a job, it could be aging, the fact that we've lost our younger self. So the fact that these gentlemen, these princes are talking about, they're making it safe for us to open up and to process these things to create conversations with the people we care about means everything.

LEMON: This I'm sure a big part of this is a natural maturation process, Vicky in this. But my -- but my -- what I really want to know is how are people -- because, you know, we're across the pond.


LEMON: How are people over there reacting to this? Is it being received well?

ARBITER: There's been a dramatically positive response. Of course when you're in the public line you talk about it, of course there will be some negativity. Some people have said, please, can we please stop talking about mental health now.

But this will tie into the fact that heads together their charity is the chief charity partner of the London marathon which is taking place on Sunday. So, that enable this big push this week. But this conversation has to continue. And people are going to get the help that they need because of the bravery of the three royals.


LEMON: And we have to take the stigma off of it. Let's hope that people in the U.S. and really all over the world are listening and they're helping to facilitate the conversation.


LEMON: Yes, quickly. And I have to get to the break.

DRUCK: Don, very quickly. There are five honoring. The way we honor a loss in our life is by taking care of our self, by doing something good in the name of the person we've lost, by developing a spiritual relationship with that person so it continues.

[22:50:07] And the last thing, the most important thing is to summon the courage to write new chapters in our lives and to do something good in their name which these beautiful young men are doing and so many people are going to benefit now.

LEMON: Thank you both. I appreciate it. Very well said, Ken. Thanks a lot.

And now I want to turn to CNN Heroes. We need you to help us find them to nominate people doing extraordinary work to change the world. Meet some of the nominators who got a chance to make their heroes CNN heroes.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I met my hero when we were volunteering. He's making a big difference.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For kids in our area.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She is my second mom, my mentor.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I felt like it was very important for people to know about Sister Thiessen.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel honored that I was able to honor her in such a significant way.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was so proud of myself because, I was like, my goodness, for everything that she's done for me, I did something for her, you know?


LEMON: If you know someone who should be a CNN hero, nominate them today at CNN

And when we come right back, new developments in the Aaron Hernandez case. The family of his victim now asking the Patriots to pay them any money still owed to Hernandez. Could they get millions? [22:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: New details tonight about Aaron Hernandez's final moments in prison. The ex-New England Patriots star who was convicted of murder made sure prison guards could not get into his cell the night he committed suicide.

Here to discuss CNN contributor Susan Candiotti, and legal analyst Mark O'Mara. Good evening to both of you. Good to see you. Wish it was for a better story.


LEMON: This is awful.


LEMON: Susan, you have some new information tonight about Aaron Hernandez his final moments and what he did to make sure there would be no way to revive him. What can you tell us about that?

CANDIOTTI: Well, Don, this is really disturbing. And it seems the more information we get, the more we seem to get a better picture that Aaron Hernandez apparently took several steps and gave a lot of thought before he apparently took his own life by hanging himself with that bed sheet.

For one thing, we are hearing that he left messages and notes. The one message we told you about, the one that he had scrawled across his forehead using a red substance. A biblical verse. John 3 chapter verse 16, which more or less says that, if you believe in God, then you will be given eternal life. I'm paraphrasing that.

But we also learn that he also scrawled that message on one of his prison walls. And in addition to that, he used cardboard to try to jam up his cell door so that if the guards should come back and notice him and thought they still had time to revive him, that they would have a tougher time getting to him.

In addition to that, Don, he also left three notes behind, and they include one to his fiancee, Shayana Jenkins and one to his daughter, his 4-year-old daughter Avielle. We don't know we haven't been able to confirm the contents of those notes, but again all of these things are indications that he was thinking about this.

But what's particularly disturbing here is what prison officials have told us, and that is that he was not checked on for several hours from 8 o'clock in the evening when all the cells are -- when people are locked into their cells for the night. He was in general population. He was not on a suicide watch. And he was in a cell by himself.

But a guard didn't come by and look at him again until 3 o'clock in the morning. Now Don, that obviously gave him a lot of time to put everything together and then tie that -- hang himself with a bed sheet from the window. LEMON: That's obviously going to be a source of one of the lawsuits

here. Because Mark, an attorney for Aaron Hernandez's family expects to sue state officials for negligence surrounding his suicide.

They're upset that no one checked on him in those seven hours that Susan Candiotti mentioned and they say that they learned everything about his death through the media. Do you think they have a strong case?

O'MARA: Well, I don't think they have a strong case for this reason. Jails do not have a great deal of responsibility for constant care over non-suicide watch people. So quite honestly, once it's lights out or the cells closed up at 8 o'clock, not checking on him for seven hours is not going to be found to be that negligent.

Now, if they had concerns about suicide, great, but they didn't. It is frustrating, but it's the way the world we live in today that media finds out almost quicker than family members. And that's sad, but it's going to be very difficult to hold the jail responsible for someone who obviously planned well to end their own life.

LEMON: And Aaron Hernandez, mark, was serving a life sentence for killing Odin Lloyd when he hanged himself in prison earlier this week.

O'MARA: Yes.

LEMON: So Odin's mother now asking the Patriots voluntarily, to voluntarily give her whatever money Hernandez might still be owed. You say that, I understand you said under Massachusetts law, this is a possibility? How is that?

O'MARA: Well, it's strange, but under Massachusetts law, because he had an appeal pending for the criminal act, the murder. It sort of goes back to the first day he was arrested.

The appeal is over, but he's virtually under one circumstance legally innocent. If he's legally innocent, then the NFL or the Patriots may owe him the signing bonus and pension, which means it's now available to the Hernandez family.

But of course Odin Lloyd's family already has a lawsuit and a judgment against Hernandez and his estate, so the question then becomes what should happen to the money. Obviously, if there is money, one would think it's going to go to Odin's family.

But I have to say I don't see the Patriots or the NFL coughing up money -- as insensitive as this sounds, coughing up money to a victim's family because if they do it for this case they'll have to do it for every car accident of an NFL player.


LEMON: OK. I've to go, Mark.

O'MARA: Or anything. So it's going to have to have in the civil courts. LEMON: End of the show, thank you very much. And by the way, Susan, I'm looking forward to your documentary on this. Susan has been covering this story since day one.

[23:00:03] CANDIOTTI: Thank you, don.

LEMON: Thank you all. Have a great weekend. That's it for us tonight. Thanks for watching. CNN special report downward spiral Aaron Hernandez starts right now.