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Chaos in Moscow's Streets; Raining with Praises; Jeff Sessions Testifies; Theresa May Strengthening Her Base. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired June 13, 2017 - 03:00   ET



[03:00:00] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN HOST: Russian authorities crack down on protestors and throw their organizer in jail.

We are live in Moscow for the latest. Jeff Sessions to testify under oath on Capitol Hill. The tough questions the attorney general will face from lawmakers.

And Britain's embattled Prime Minister makes a pledge to her party's leader after a bruising defeat in last week's elections.

Hello and welcome to our viewers all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church and this is CNN Newsroom.

And we begin in Russia where mass demonstrations have swiftly led to mass detentions. Nearly 1400 anti-corruption protestors have been arrested according to a monitoring group. They have been coax on to the streets by this man, opposition leader Alexei Navalny seen on the left there.

Now he used his YouTube channel to call for rallies across Russia, an action that has landed him in jai for 30 days.


ALEXEI NAVALNY, RUSSIAN OPPOSITION LEADER (through translator): Everything that has happened again shows us that large masses of people, large groups of people cannot be repressed and that the authorities cannot really do anything with tens of thousands on the street. Therefore we must continue taking part and actions peacefully. But it won't let us take part, then regardless one should still go out and not wait for people's permission.


CHURCH: Jill Dougherty is in Moscow and joins us now with more. So Jill, most of these protestors are young people, aren't they? How significant is that and what impact will the 30-day detention of their leader have on the future direction of these demonstrations.

JILL DOUGHERTY, CONTRIBUTOR, CNN: Well, you know, one article that I read this morning in fact in a financial journal put it at 70 percent, seven-zero percent of young people at these demonstrations. And when we were on the street here in Moscow I have to say it was at least that.

So, Navalny's followers tend to be young. They are picking up on his message of anti-corruption. It has I would say a broader significance too. It's not on the economic corruption and the signs were anti-Putin a lot of them, "Russia without Putin," "Putin out of here." Things like that.

But they also kind of look at it I think more broadly that even though this is the man, President Putin who helped improved the living conditions of their parents, for them they expect this. They live in a Russia that is richer, they have a pretty good life and they want more.

And so at this more they feel they're not going to get more. They feel that corruption is stealing their future and that's really what they want. They want a better life and less control.

So I think on Navalny I don't think this is going to stop him. He will probably once he gets out find some other way to bring people out because you know, Rosemary, there was a lot of political significance because as we know he is a self-declared candidate for president. Even though at this point there's not a lot of chance that he will be allowed to run because he was found guilty of embezzlement.

But whether he does or he doesn't he wants to show that he has support. And so these thousands who were 5,000 according to official statistics on the streets of Moscow alone he wants to show that those people are willing to come out again.

CHURCH: Yes, and of course, we understand about 1400 of those people were arrested. What will happen to them and how courageous are they in the Russia of today to come out against President Putin?

DOUGHERTY: Well, you know, some of them were, let's say, physically brave because they came out and some were roughed by the police and taken away. When they're arrested it could go on their record so it could have an impact in the future.

It could have an impact for their families that the parents if they're under age the parents might be get a visit from authorities wh say you are not carrying out your parental responsibilities with the implied threat that we could take away your children if you continue to allow this.

There are lot of implications, but I think they're all, you know, they are young people they don't always think about the consequences and this is not a majority.

[03:05:02] We have to say this is a small minority, but they do have strong feelings about these things.

CHURCH: Indeed. President Putin enjoys, what, about 80 percent or so support there, so just a very small portion out on the streets.

So, Jill Dougherty joining us there from Moscow, just after 10 in the morning. Many thanks. All right. I want to turn to Washington now in the investigation into the trump campaign ties to Russia. A friend of President Trump says he thinks the man now leading that probe, Robert Mueller may be out of a job soon.


CHRISTOPHER RUDDY, NEWSMAX CEO: I think he's considering perhaps terminating the special counsel. I think he's weighing that option. I think it's pretty clear by what one of his lawyers said on television recently. I personally think it would be a very significant mistake.


CHURCH: White House spokesman Sean Spicer says President Trump has never discussed Robert Mueller with Christopher Ruddy. And we will have more on the surprising claim in the just a minute with CNN political commentator Matt Lewis. But first, we could get a lot more inside into the Russia investigation when Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday.

CNN's Jessica Schneider has more.


JEFF SESSIONS, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY GENERAL: It's an honor to be able to serve you in that regard.


JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Attorney General Jeff Sessions praising the president in today's cabinet meeting.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You're right, Jeff. Thank you very much.


SCHNEIDER: It follows weeks of tension between the two over Sessions recusal from the Russia investigation in march.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Raise your hand, please.

SCHNEIDER: Sessions will testify tomorrow before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Sources say he tried to arrange a closed hearing but after objections from democrats agreed to speak publicly. The White House is still weighing whether to exert executive privilege to preclude some of Sessions testimony.


SEAN SPICER, UNITED STATES WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It depends on the scope of the questions and it will be hype to get in to hypothetical at this point it would be premature.


SCHNEIDER: Sessions faces a long list of questions from lawmakers.


ANGUS KING, (I) UNITED STATES SENATOR: What were his contacts, if any, with Russian officials during the -- during the period of the campaign. I think that's -- that's certainly a question that we need to ask.

Secondly, a question I'm interested in this is what role did he play, if any, again in the Comey firing.


SCHNEIDER: CNN has told James Comey to senators in a closed door briefing last week that Sessions may have had a third undisclosed meeting with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in April 2016. Sesssions could also come under scrutiny for Comey's claim that Sessions did not respond when Comey told the attorney general he felt uncomfortable being left alone with the president.

And questions linger about Sessions left Comey alone in the Oval office on February 14th when Comey contends the president directed him to drop the investigations into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Donald Trump, Jr. seems to confirm Comey's account of that conversation.


DONALD TRUMP, JR., DONALD TRUMP'S SON: When he tells you to do something?


TRUMP, Jr.: Guess what? There's no ambiguity i it. There's no, hey, I'm hoping. You and I are friends, hey, I hope this happens but you've got to do your job. That's what he told Comey.


SCHNEIDER: Comey's memo about his interactions with President Trump could be turned be over to the Senate judiciary committee this week. Columbia Law Professor Daniel Richman, a friend of Comey's who share the contents of the memo with the media has copies the committee wants.

The president continues to criticize Comey via Twitter. "I believe the James Comey leaks will be far more prevalent than anyone ever thought possible, totally illegal, very cowardly."

Senator Lindsey Graham suggested that could get the president in trouble.


LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R) UNITED STATES SENATOR: I don't think what was said amounts to obstruction of justice. Now what the president did was inappropriate. But here's what's so frustrating for republicans like me.

You may be the first president in history to go down because you can't stop inappropriately talking about an investigation that if you were just quite would clear you.


SCHNEIDER: Meanwhile, former Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara says like Comey, he, too, received quote, "unusual phone calls from the president." One of which he refused to return. Bharara was later fired Trump after refusing to resign.


PREET BHARARA, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK: It appeared to be that he was trying to cultivate some kind of relationship. It's a very weird and peculiar thing for a one-on-one conversation with without the attorney general, without warning, between the president and me or any United States attorney.


SCHNEIDER: Attorney General Jeff Sessions will deliver his public testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, that's Tuesday at 2.30 p.m. and right now senators are still deciding whether or not they'll ask for a classified briefing that would happen after the public testimony.

Jessica Schneider, CNN, Washington.

CHURCH: Matt Lewis joins me now from New York. He is a CNN political commentator and a senior columnist at the Daily Beast. Thanks so much for being with us.


CHURCH: So now we are learning that a friend of President Trump, Christopher Ruddy has revealed that the president is considering perhaps terminating special counsel Robert Mueller. But Christopher Ruddy added that he thought it would be a significant mistake if he did that.

[03:10:04] What would be the ramifications of just such a move, and do you think Mr. Trump would actually do this?

LEWIS: Well, it certainly possible that Donald Trump it's really hard to rule anything out. If he were to do this I think there would be huge ramifications certainly the media world would explode. I think it's possible that you would have senators call for the return of an independent counsel and Mueller might -- the current, you know, counsel might be reappointed if the Senate were to do that.

But I do think it's less likely that this will happen because it's being talked about, you know, when Donald Trump, when President Trump fired James Comey, the FBI director it was a surprise. In this case it sort of a trial balloon, people are talking about the possibility that Mueller could be fired.

And I think almost universally people are condemning the idea, so that might make it less likely to happen.

CHURCH: Interesting. And then of course, on Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions will give his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, what are you expecting to see come out of that, and will he perhaps be questioned about Mr. Trump apparently considering terminating special counsel.

LEWIS: Well, I certainly think that the senators will have to ask that question and it will be interesting to see how Jeff Sessions handles it. There's a possibility that he could invoke executive privilege which would basically say that he would not have to answer certain questions like that.

The fact that Jeff Sessions is a former U.S. senator means he'll be questioned by former colleagues, many of whom, you know, like him personally. So it will be very interesting to see what the dynamic is like. We saw last week that there was contentious hearing with some of the intelligence chiefs decline to answer certain questions. They say they didn't feel comfortable answering them.

We'll see if the senators who are doing the questioning in the judiciary committee -- or I'm sorry, in the Intel committee how much they have tolerance they have for people who just decide they don't want to answer questions.

CHURCH: Yes, and we will of course all be watching very closely. We also witnessed a rather awkward moment Monday when President Trump met with his cabinet. Let's just take a quick look.


SESSIONS: Mr. President, be here and celebrate this group.

ALEX ACOSTA, UNITED STATES LABOR SECRETARY: Mr. President, my privilege to be here, I'm deeply honored. And I want to thank you for keeping your commitment to the American workers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't thank enough for the privilege that you've given me and the leadership that you've shown.

ELAINE CHAO, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION: I want to thank you for getting this country moving again, and also working then.

REINCE PRIEBUS, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: On behalf of the entire senior staff around you, Mr. President, we thank you for the opportunity and the blessing that you've given us to serve your agenda and the American people.


CHURCH: Matt Lewis, what did you make of that? What is going on here and how carefully choreograph this is?

LEWIS: The last one that was Chief of Staff Reince Priebus at the end talking about what a blessing it is to serve your agenda. It sounded like a prayer to me honestly. It sounded like the kind of reference in deference as usually reserve for the Almighty not the President of the United States.

And I think we should obviously respect the president, we should pray for the president but not pray to the president. And this is sort of the dear leader mentality that Donald Trump apparently insists that his subordinates treat him like he's even higher than a president. I think it's a little bit disturbing.

CHURCH: So you feel this was engineered by the White House?

LEWIS; Well, I don't know it was intentional. Obviously this is the first full cabinet meeting I think that they've have or least in a very long time and the idea to have it televised or to tape it I think was interesting. I don't know if they decided if somebody decided let's go around the room and praise Donald Trump.

But I think that's the message you get if you're in his cabinet you get the message that that is what you're supposed to do.

There was one exception today which was General Mattis, the Secretary of Defense who when they came to him instead of thanking the president and sort of praising the president he thanked, you know, the men and women in the armed services for their hard work.

That was the one I think lone example of somebody who didn't bow to this president.

CHURCH: Yes, some are suggesting he was the only one who walk away with his dignity for that meeting. We'll continue to watch this very closely. Matt Lewis, a pleasure to speak with you. Many thanks.

LEWIS: Thank you.

[03:15:01] CHURCH: And Senate democratic leader Chuck Schumer pounces on the opportunity to mock the president's cabinet meeting. Take a look.


CHUCK SCHUMER, (D) UNITED STATES SENATOR: I want to thank everybody for coming. I just thought we would go around the room. Lucy, how did we do on the Sunday show yesterday?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your tone was perfect. You were right on message.

SCHUMER: Michelle, how did my hair look coming out of the gym this morning?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have great hair. Nobody has better hair than you.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now before we go any further, I just want to say thank you for the opportunity and blessing to serve your agenda.

SCHUMER: I want...


CHURCH: Clearly they had a lot of fun there, didn't they. Schumer posted the video on Twitter and at last check had 74,000 likes and 30,000 re-tweets.

Well, the British prime minister is keeping her job for now at least. Next, what she promised her own party and why her fate could depend on a small party from Northern Ireland.

Plus, he's defended his past trips to North Korea as basketball diplomacy. Now American Dennis Rodman is heading back to Pyongyang. Details from the North Koran capital coming your way in just a moment. Stay with us.


CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, the political fate of the British prime minister could now depend on a small party from Northern Ireland. Theresa May is expected to meet with the leader of the Democratic Unionist to form a coalition government. Those negotiations could delay Brexit talks schedule to start next week.

Later, Mrs. May heads to Paris to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron. It's her first international trip since a snap election backfired on her last week. The prime minister has apologized to members of her party furious they lost the majority in parliament.

This is what she promised her colleagues.


JACOB REES-MOGG, MEMBER, CONSERVATIVE PARTY: She recognized that it would be beneficial to me more a prominent of 10 Downing Street to have been a bit close and that's what she's going to do . It's really impressive and good performance.

ANDREW BRIDGEN, MEMBER, CONSERVATIVE PARTY: Theresa May said that she got to hint to the situation and she's (Inaudible), so we're going to back up.


CHURCH: All right. Well, Oren Liebermann is at 10 Downing Street, and our Nina Dos Santos is in Strasbourg in France following what the election results could mean for Brexit.

So Oren, first to you, how long can Theresa May hang on to power and what's expected to come out of her meeting with the leader of the Democratic unionist of Northern Ireland. Does she tries to form this coalition government?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, Theresa May has made it to day two of week one, which after those disastrous election results there's no small accomplishment. It seems like she's secure for now for the immediate future. The question still hangs over her tough, how immediate she has the support of some of her chief rivals within her own party, and she's gotten the support of some of the back benchers, many of the other conservatives.

[03:20:04] But critically, as you point out, she needs Arlene Foster, she needs the dem U.P., the Democratic Unionist from Northern Ireland as a sort of de facto coalition. It won't be a formal coalition perhaps but on a vote by vote basis she'll have the vote she needs and support she needs to remain in power.

But it forces her to make concessions. First, the DUP, and that also to other interests within her own party. Misplaying any of that could mean that Theresa May is out longer -- before long, so everything here becomes very sensitive. The DUP could put demands on her in terms of the negotiations in terms of how to make the government work.

First of all, they could ask for money for Northern Ireland, second, they could force her to take a softer approach to Brexit as opposed to the hard Brexit that Theresa May had been speaking out until now. That meeting between Arlene Foster and Theresa May set to take place here at Downing Street.

It will be interesting to see what comes out of it and how it forces Theresa May to maneuver as she tries to remain prime minister here. Rosemary?

CHURCH: All right. Thanks so much for that. And Nina, to you now in Strasbourg, Theresa May will hit to power as later for a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron as we mentioned. What is expected to come out of that exchange and what impact will her diminish power have on Brexit talks.

NINA DOS SANTOS, CORRESPPONDENT, CNN: Well, it's interesting, Rosemary, because she was probably hoping to go into that meeting a week or so ago when it might have been planned looking strong and stable. That was her mantra as she called that snap election that she didn't need to call, and of course, it's the political gamble that went spectacularly wrong.

On the other hand though, the leader who really is looking strong and stable is Emmanuel Macron. He managed to score what looks like a landslide victory in the legislative elections for the national assembly, the French parliament in the first round. There's a second round of voting and it seems as though he may well for equally well.

And remember that this is a candidate whose purpose put Europe right at the forefront of his plans to reform France. Remember that France is not just second biggest economy in the Eurozone. It is actually the official seat of the European parliament which is where I am today. Strasbourg is in France, the second seat of the European parliament is actually in Brussels.

So it gives you an idea how important Europe is to Emmanuel Macron when it comes to the issue Brexit you can bet that he is probably going to take no prisoners here with Theresa May, especially given how we can position. But if you think that perhaps the weaken position of Theresa May will lead to a softer Brexit and that could lead to a softer tone from European officials, well, be warned. That isn't necessarily the case.

And this brings me to what Michel Barnier, the E.U. negotiator has had to say he's responsible for negotiating Brexit for the E.U. sides so he wants to guarantee the rights of the E.U. citizens and also remind the U.K. of its financial obligations when it signed up to as per the last E.U. budget before the U.K. voted to leave the bloc.

Well, he's come out with two negotiating papers and documents that were sent to the British contingency yesterday to remind the U.K. of their obligations of these two key points.

This also give an interview to the Financial Times and other newspapers taking this as an opportunity to urge Britain to stop wasting time on these negotiations once finally they have a strong and stable government, maybe it won't be strong maybe it won't be stable but it might be stable enough to negotiate what needs to be negotiated.

He said, quote, "My preoccupation is the time is passing -- excuse me, quicker than anybody believes and the subject to negotiate are very complex." This is to keep, he bet says, quote, "I cannot negotiate with myself."

So that gives you an idea of the Europeans position that seems to be unchanged despite the outcome of the U.K. elections being very uncertain here and the U.K. dealing with the teacher future of the hung parliament potentially a weak government with the DUP.

The E.U. says we are ready to negotiate the talks that supposed to officially start on June 19 which is just six days away eve if the deadline slips a couple of days people here in Strasbourg and in Brussels may not be too worried about that but what are they are worried about is that now the U.K. irrevocably en route towards leaving the E.U.

And there's a deadline of March 2019. So, in two years' time for that to happen. They're worried that the U.K. make get into another electoral cycle and then the waters will be muddied even further and that creates more uncertainty that distracts Europe from its own reform agenda, let alone the U.K. from Brexit. Rosemary?

CHURCH: Yes, certainly a lot going on. Many thanks to Nina Dos Santos in Strasbourg, France and Oren Lieberman at 10 Downing Street for those live reports, Well, former basketball star Dennis Rodman is heading back to North

Korea. CNN spotted Rodman at Beijing International Airport on his way to Pyongyang and asked him about his trip.


DENIS RODMAN, AMERICAN BASKETBALL PLAYER: I just want to open the door. Open the door, that's it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you going to talk about the detained Americans?

RODMAN: Well, it's not my purpose right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's not your purpose.

[03:25:00] RODMAN: Not my purpose right now. My purpose (Inaudible) to North Korea. So, that's the main ting, so I hope...


CHURCH: Rodman has visited the country at least four times before but now he will arrive at a time of heightened tension between the U.S. and North Korea.

CNN's Will Ripley has the latest.

WILL RIPLEY, INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: This is certainly a surreal turn of events here in Pyongyang. Few people expected Dennis Rodman to be returning to North Korea after that infamous visit back in 2014 when he was captured on camera and a documentary acting out of control.

The trip described is a train wreck for a Rodman often being drunk and often going on anger rants including famously yelling at CNN's Chris Cuomo during a live interview.

However, Dennis Rodman is one of the few Americans to have spent time with North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un who happens to be a big basketball fan just like his father. Dennis Rodman has visited this country at least four times. Three of those trips happening between 2013 and 2014 when he organized a basketball tournament for the North Korean leader in honor of his birthday, even singing happy birthday to him.

And we know that Dennis Robin also knows President Trump very well having appeared twice on "Celebrity Apprentice" and Rodman reportedly said in March that he would be willing to return to North Korea to negotiate on behalf of the United States if President Trump ask him to do so.

This is a very tense time on the Peninsula. North Korea has launch more than a dozen missiles so far this year on tracked the busiest year of missile launches ever, also North Korea continues to hold four Americans, two professors of the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, a University of Virginia student and a naturalized U.S. citizen All of these men being held on various charges could Dennis Rodman be acting as a go-between, between the United States and North Korea given his relationship with Kim Jong-un.

We don't know but the State Department did say they are aware of this trip that Rodman is not acting in any official capacity.

Will Ripley, CNN, Pyongyang, North Korea.

CHURCH: For the second time in three years the Golden State Warriors are NBA champions. They beat LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers 129 to 120 Monday night in game five of the NBA finals. It's the third straight year these teams face each other in the finals. This time around the Warriors had superstar Kevin Durant who joined the team last summer thinking his first title. He was also named the finals most valuable player.

Another U.S. court rejects President Trump's travel ban. We will see why the White House still thinks it will be vindicated, that still to come.

Also, a look at the president's track record on telling the truth under oath, the phrase alternative facts comes to mind.

You're watching CNN Newsroom. Back in a moment.



[03:30:00] ROSEMARY CHURCH, HOST, CNN: A very warm welcome back to all. I'm Rosemary Church. Let's update you now on the main stories during this hour. Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is facing 30 days in detention after calling for nationwide protest. Navalny used his You Tube channel to encourage Russians to take a stand against corruption. The authorities cracked down on the demonstrations. Among the groups there, almost 1400 people have been arrested.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions will testify in public before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday. Senators want to know about his contacts with Russian officials while he was part of the Trump campaign. The White House says Sessions may refuse to answer some questions citing executive privilege.

Conservative British lawmakers say they are not looking to replace the prime minister. Theresa May reportedly told members of her party, I got us into this mess and I"m going to get us out of it. The presentation of the legislative agenda would be delayed because Mrs. May is still trying to nail down backing from a northern Ireland party.

Panama is breaking diplomatic ties with Taiwan and opening door with Beijing instead. The move reduces the already small member of countries that recognize Taipei as representing China rather than Beijing and it could pave the way for other nations to follow. Taiwan is angry about the decision.

A second U.S. appeals court has ruled against President Trump's revised travel ban. The Ninth Circuit judges say the executive order exceeds the scope of the president's authority. And they even used his recent tweets against him. The White House says the Supreme Court will ultimately rule in its favor. But Hawaii attorney general explained why he thinks the ruling is correct.


DOUG CHIN, HAWAII ATTORNEY GENERAL: In the executive order, what they do is they say that these are -- we are trying to protect the country from terrorist entry into the United States. And so the examples that they give are one example of somebody -- excuse me, two examples of people from Libya and one example of somebody who came into Somalia 10 or 12 years ago as a child. And it just goes on to say that there are 300 people who are refugees, who were at one time or perhaps even now under surveillance for possible terrorism connection or something like that.

But that's it. That's all they say. And so what the three panel of judges in the Ninth Circuit focus on, they said that's not enough to be able to find that there is a reason to (inaudible) 180 million people from these six countries from being able to come into this country or to be able to say presumptively that those folks are -- anyone from those six countries is presumptively a terrorist.


CHURCH: CNN legal analyst Page Pate joins me now. Always a pleasure to have him here in the studio. So, let's start with the ruling on the travel ban because now, of course, we know Ninth Circuit has decided to block this, to continue blocking this revised travel ban. What are the legal ramifications of that?

PAGE PATE, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, that means a ban will stay in place. But the ban was already going to stay in place because of a decision made by a different court of appeal, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal. In that case, just like in this case, there was a nationwide injunction that stop the ban everywhere. So, legally, this doesn't really change anything. But what it does do, it presents another opinion that the administration can try to take up to the Supreme Court.

But normally when the Supreme Court decides to hear a case, it is because there is disagreement. There is one court saying one thing, a different court saying something else. Here we have two courts that are saying basically the same thing. They got there in different ways. But the bottom line is they find the travel ban unconstitutional or violation of the presidential power. So, this may be a case even though the administration wants the Supreme Court to hear it, the Supreme Court may decide not to.

CHURCH: Oh, that's interesting. And of course, this is what Attorney General Jeff Sessions had to say about the matter in the statement he put out. I am just going to read it out. "The Executive Branch is entrusted with the responsibility to keep the country safe under Article II of the Constitution. Unfortunately, this injunction prevents the president from fully carrying out his Article II duties and has a chilling effect on security operations overall." So, is Jeff Sessions right?

[03:35:03] PATE: Well, he's right that the president has a lot of authority under Article II to protect the national security. But what he's missing there is there is another article in the constitution, Article I. And Article I give the power to control immigration primarily to congress. And so the Ninth Circuit found that the laws that were passed by congress limited the president's ability to be consistent with the constitutional power given to congress to control immigration.

So, we have one court, the Fourth Circuit, saying the travel ban is completely unconstitutional. We have another court, the Ninth Circuit, saying the president has gone too far in using his power and he has violated the laws of congress. So, he is wrong that this is improper, but he's right that it does limit presidential power as supposed to.

CHURCH: Right, interesting. And of course, there is another problem facing the president. The attorneys general from Maryland and the district of Columbia, they have filed a federal lawsuit, this was done Monday, relating that the president of the United States has violated the constitution. Let's just listen to what they had to say on this matter.


KARL RACINE, COLUMBIA ATTORNEY GENERAL: Never in the history of this country have we had a president with these kinds of extensive business entanglements. Or presidents who refused to adequately distance themselves from their holdings.

BRIAN FROSH, MARYLAND ATTORNEY GENERAL: You know, the emolument clauses are a firewall against presidential corruption. And the one thing we know about President Trump is he understands the value of walls. This is one he can't climb over and is one he can't dig underneath.


CHURCH: So, what is your legal view of this? How do you think this lawsuit is likely to fit? And, I guess the big question, has the president of the United States violated the constitution?

PATE: Well, it's a closer call here. I think the travel ban is pretty clear here. I'm not so sure because there has not a lot of law trying to interpret this particular provision of the constitution. I mean, to decide what it means, you really have to go back to the constitutional convention to say what the framers were talking about when they put it in. They intended this clause to prevent a foreign government from having undue influence in the United States, from basically giving a present, a gift, a title to someone in power to influence that person for their own reasons.

So, we know here, I think it is fairly clear and undisputed that Trump is going to profit from money being spent into the Trump organization, from representatives of foreign governments, from our own government. He is going to make money. But the question is, does that violate the constitution? And the argument from the Justice Department, from the Trump's side is no.

All these people are doing is giving fair market value for services that they receive from the Trump organization. He's not unduly profiting from that. It's not a gift. It's not a present. So, it's okay. But the other argument is, it presents a real conflict of interest. Do you want your chief executive profiting from the office? And I think that's the question of course we have to determine.

CHURCH: And presumably, they know that legally this would be very difficult to prove. So, what will be the point of this lawsuit?

PATE: You know, a lot of people have said it is primarily to get access to the task returns because if this suit goes forward, there will be a period of discovery when you can get information from the other side. And I am certain that the point is here, will ask for the task returns, and it will be up to the judge whether they will allow to see them.

CHURCH: Page Pate, great to have you.

PATE: Thank you.

CHURCH: And it's worth noting this lawsuit is just the latest to be filed against Mr. Trump and his administration. Many of the lawsuits are related to the travel ban we have been talking about. Others oppose Mr. Trump's plan to withhold funding from sanctuary cities. He has ordered directing federal agencies to eliminate two rules for if renewal issued and alleged violation of the emoluments clause.

Environmentalists have filed suits challenging Mr. Trump's approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, plans to build a border wall, his lifting of a ban on arctic oil drilling, lifting protections on wildlife, and opening public lands to coal leasing, and atheists have filed suit against religious liberty executive order, they say, gives unconstitutional support for religious organizations.

The president says he is willing to testify on the oath in the Russia probe. But if there's one thing his past depositions prove, he has his own unique version of the truth. CNN's Randy Cake explains.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: December 2007, Donald Trump under oath in a courtroom deposition. And if it was a test of honesty, the future president didn't fair well. Even the simplest of questions turned tough to answer. Lawyers asked about Trump's boasts regarding how much he was paid for 2005 speech he gave at New York City's Learning Annex. Trump: "I was paid more than a million dollars." He said the same to Larry King back in 2005.


[03:40:04] LARRY KING, TELEVISION AND RADIO HOST: You make appearances, you got million dollars. You got million dollars for appearance with the Learning Annex, right?



KAYE: But it wasn't. What Trump didn't reveal until he was pressed during the deposition was that more than half of the one million dollars he claimed he was paid for that speech was actually just his own estimate of the value of the publicity that came along with it. The lawyer asked, how much of the payments were cash? Trump: "Slight. Approximately $400,000."

Trump was also exposed for not coming clean about his stake in the Manhattan real-estate project which Trump had claims for 77-acrre project was 50 percent. The lawyer asked, Mr. Trump, do you own 30 percent or 50 percent of the limited partnership? His answer? I own 30 percent. After a confusing explanation, he was asked, are you saying a real estate community would interpret your interest to be 50 percent, even though in limited partnership agreement it's 30 percent?

Smart people would, Trump responded. On the subject of his net worth, author Tim O'Brien wrote in his book that Trump was worth far less than the 5 to 6 billion dollars Trump had once claimed. Under oath, Trump was asked, have you ever not been truthful about your net worth? His response was noncommittal. "My net worth fluctuates.

And it goes up and down with markets and with attitudes and with feelings, even my own feelings, but I try." It didn't stop there. In fact, "The Washington Post" found Donald Trump either lied, exaggerated or told falsehoods of full 30 times. On the subject of the number of people working for him.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many people work for you?

TRUMP: Twenty-two thousand or so. Different businesses. Over 22,000.


KAYE: In court, the lawyer asked, are all those people on your payroll? No, not directly, Trump said. Turns out, he was factoring in employees of other companies that he subcontracted. And on his claim, he had zero borrowings from his father's estate? Under oath, a different story, quote, I think a small amount a long time ago.

I think it was like in the $9 million range, he told the court. And about those fees at Trump's golf courses, Trump had said memberships have been going for $300,000. He was again proven to off-stretch the truth when the lawyer questioning him provided an internal document showing the correct figure, $200,000 for membership. Trump was cornered. Correct, he conceded. Randi Kaye, CNN New York.

CHURCH: The U.S. Secret Service confirms there is no recording system in the White House. They were responding to a Freedom of Information Act request after Mr. Trump repeatedly made reference to tapes. The White House is still being evasive.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president made clear in the Rose Garden last week that he would have an announcement shortly. I think the president made clear what his intention is on Friday. I understand and he said he would answer that question in due time. I think the president made very clear on Friday that he would get back as soon as possible on this, and his position on that conversation. He's not waiting for anything. When he's ready to further discuss it, he will.


CHURCH: And it was the president who started the controversy when he tweeted last month, quote, James Comey better hope there are no tapes of that conversations before he starts leaking to the press. Mr. Trump repeatedly dodged the question at a news conference on Friday.

The jury is deliberating in the sexual offense trial of comedian and T.V. star Bill Cosby. As expected, Mr. Cosby did not testify. His lawyers attacked the credibility of the main accuser. Andrea Constand testified Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her 13 years ago.

More than 50 other women have made similar accusations, but this is the only case that led to criminal charges. On Monday, Cosby arrived at court with his wife, Camille. It was the first time she attended the trial. If convicted, Cosby could face up to 10 years in prison for each of the three charges he faces.

We'll take a short break here. But coming up, the CEO of Qatar Airways accuses the United States of fanning the flames in its dispute with gulf neighbors. Why he says the U.S. should lead the way in defending Qatar. That's next. Plus, he made movies about Edward Snowden and John F. Kennedy. Now, Hollywood director Oliver Stone is putting Vladimir Putin in the spotlight for the series of real live interviews. We'll take a look. Back in a moment.


CHURCH: Welcome back to CNN Newsroom. The head of Qatar Airways said the United Nations should declare measures against Qatar air traffic as illegal. Al Baker tells CNN the U.S. is putting fuel on the fire in the crisis between Qatar and other gulf nations. Last week, President Trump suggested on Twitter that Qatar was funding terrorism. He also claimed credit for the gulf countries decision to isolate Qatar. CNN's John Defterios spoke to the CEO of Qatar Airways.


AKBAR AL BAKER, CEO OF QATAR AIRWAYS: The State of Qatar never gets intimidated by acts that are illegal and against international law.

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: You are early supporter of President Trump. And he has taken sides here. In fact, can be blunt with Saudi Arabia. What do you think today about that decision particularly because Qatar is home to U.S. air force base?

AL BAKER: Well, we have 15,000 Americans living here, 10,000 American troops, Central Command headquarters. It's just for the American people to judge this. I don't want to comment about President Trump. I am extremely disappointed because I never expected a country that is so dependent on its fight against terrorism on my country is treating my country with sting on the backseat. They should be the leader trying to break this blockade and not sitting and watching what's going on and actually putting fuel on fire.


CHURCH: And as the gulf crisis enters it's second week, Qatar's allies, Iran and Turkey, have been delivering aide, easing concerns many Qataris have about food supplies. There are bigger concerns about the blockade and how it could impact Qatar's future. Jomana Karadsheh reports.

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Throughout the Qatar's capital, this is what stores look like. Well-stocked with no apparent shortages. When the diplomatic crisis erupted last week and Qatar's neighbors imposed a blockade, people were worried. The tiny emirate imports most of its food supply with significant amount coming through it's own land border, the one with Saudi Arabia, now closed.

There were initial scenes of panic buying and empty shelves but the government was quick to reassure people that it was prepared for a scenario like this one.

Products already in storage from the UAE and Saudi Arabia still available. And new fresh products from Turkey has now replaced the previously imported ones from Saudi. Sixty tons shipments from Turkey are scheduled to arrive every two days. With Iran too stepping in to fill the void, sending several planes with fresh goods this past week.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (inaudible) exchange. Maybe the first day, we had the (inaudible) not here anymore. Everything is available, vegetables, everything.



[03:50:00] KARADSHEH: Shoppers like (inaudible), they have hardly noticed the change. Since the start of the crisis, Qatar has opened several new trade lines. But experts warned the longer the crisis goes on, the risk for significant economic impact will grow.


RICHARD THOMPSON, EDITORIAL DIRECTOR AT MEED: I do not think there is a humanitarian issue here. I think there is potential economic impact. That will be about more complex bylines, the potential disruption for goods coming into Qatar through these more convoluted routes. And the potential inflation, the impact of finding new routes and new channels to bring goods in.


KARADSHEH: It's not just about food, but the construction boom and preparing for the FIFA World Cup in 2022. Possible shortages in construction materials imported through Saudi is a concern.


THOMPSON: I think the wider impact isn't directly on the economies of the countries imposing the blockade. I think it's more on -- the risk is more about the perception of the region. One of the great aspects of GCC region has been the sense of stability in this region where there is so much instability going on outside the region.


KARADSHEH: Despite the unprecedented events, Qatar is making sure it's business as usual. Jomana Karadsheh, CNN Doha.

CHURCH: A New York theater group is defending its production of Julius Caesar in the face of backlash and less sponsors. The play includes the bloody assassination of a character resembling Donald Trump. Delta Airlines and Bank of America have pulled their support.

The public theater says, I'm quoting here, we recognize that our interpretation of the play has provoked heated discussion. Audiences, sponsors, and supporters have expressed bearing viewpoints and opinions. Such discussion is exactly the goal of our civically-engaged theater; this discourse is the basis of a healthy democracy.

We'll take a short break here. But still to come, a unique portrait of Russia's president from a leading Hollywood filmmaker. A look at Olive Stone's "The Putin Interviews." And the congressman-elect accused of body slamming a reporter has his day in court.


CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. A Montana congressman-elect who was accused of body slamming a reporter has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault. Greg Gianforte was given a 120-day to deferred sentence, 40 hours of community service, 20 hours of anger management, and $300 fine. He has apologized to Ben Jacobs and promised to donate $50,000 to the committee to protect the journalists. Gianforte's campaign initially blamed the dispute on Jacobs saying Jacob's behavior was aggressive.

Filmmaker Oliver Stone is no stranger to controversial topics and he has managed to gain access to Vladimir Putin for two years. Now, Stone is up for the documentary presenting a different perspective on the Russian president. Jill Dougherty has more.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. Ready, action.

[03:58:00] JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Who is Mr. Putin? It has been asked and answered many times. But filmmaker Oliver Stone adds a new chapter. OLIVER STONE, FILM DIRECTOR AND PRODUCER: They say (inaudible). Did you make a mistake in Crimea? You just answered my question. Finally, you're admitting it.

DOUGHERTY: Two years of shooting, more than a dozen interviews on everything from war and peace to of course, the new U.S. president.

STONE: Why did Russia hack the election?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The NSA is really tracking every cellphone in the world.

DOUGHERTY: The Kremlin says they trusted Oliver Stone, Oscar Award winning director, with anti-establishment (inaudible).

STONE: Did you think the National Security Agency had gone too far in its eavesdropping?

DOUGHERTY: Stone have one free condition. Editorial independence. Putin's press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, tells CNN the only thing we asked him was not to pervert the words of the president, to be objective.

STONE: Three times president, five assassination attempts untold, not as much as Castro who I have interviewed.

DOUGHERTY: Stone says the film is not journalism, it's a conversation.




DOUGHERTY: It wouldn't be a movie about Vladimir Putin without some machismo and some talk.


DOUGHERTY: But someone who helped mold that image says now in a way Putin is typecast.

GLEB PAVLOVSKY, RUSSIAN POLITICAL SCIENTIST (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): He grew into this image and begin to play along with it. Like what happens to old actors. They start to play (inaudible).

DOUGHERTY: I have interviewed President Putin here at the Kremlin, watched him all these years, but the mystery of who he really is continues. And in this film, we get a flash of a more philosophical side.

STONE: What is your fate, sir? Do you know?


DOUGHERTY: The meaning of life, according to Vladimir Putin, who knew? Jill Dougherty, Moscow.

CHURCH: And the documentary does have its critics. We'll just have to watch it and make up our own minds, right? Thanks for the company. I'm Rosemary Church. Remember to connect with me any time on Twitter. The news continues with Hannah Vaughan Jones in London. You're watching CNN. Have yourself a great day.