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Putin: Russia Not Involved in Hack, Trump "Agreed" With Me; McConnell: Will Work with Dems If GOP Can't Agree on Health Care Bill; States Push Back Against Trump's Voter Fraud Commission; Federal Appeals Court Denies Hawaii's Request to Rein Trump's Travel Ban; Putin: Russia Not Involved in Hack, Trump "Agreed" With Me. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired July 8, 2017 - 13:00   ET



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The next hour of the CNN NEWSROOM starts right after this.

Hello, everyone. I'm Fredricka Whitfield, in the NEWSROOM.

The president has just left Hamburg, Germany, wrapping up three days of international diplomacy at the G-20 summit. One major dispute will likely follow him to the U.S. Vladimir Putin is now giving a different firsthand account of his face-to-face meeting with President Trump. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the president confronted Putin about interference in the U.S. election. But Putin says he and Trump are in agreement that Russia was not involved.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER (through translation): Did Trump agree with your position that Russia had not intervene in the U.S. elections?

VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT: Well, he -- let me repeat -- he answered all the questions. And I think that he noted it and he agreed with it. But I think it's better to ask him exactly what you've asked, rather than me.

(END VIDEO CLIP) WHITFIELD: And reporters would love to ask the president of the United States, but he's already on Air Force One, heading back to the United States, having not had a face-to-face meeting with reporters.

Let's go to CNN White House correspondent, Sara Murray, who is live in Hamburg.

Sara, how is the White House going to try to clarify the mixed message?

SARA MURRAY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, we saw the White House break with tradition yet again. Trump did not hold a press conference before he was leaving. So at this point, we have no response from the Trump administration to Putin's comments.

Everyone agrees that President Trump went into that meeting, that he brought up Russia's meddling in the 2016 election. The key question of course is does he agree with Putin's assessment that they both believe that Russia really had nothing to do with this and it's time to move on?

Yesterday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson offered his view of how this conversation went in the meeting. Here's what he had to say.


REX TILLERSON, SECRETARY OF STATE: The president pressed President Putin on more than one occasion regarding Russian involvement. President Putin denied such involvement, as I think he has many the past. The two leaders agreed, though, that this is a substantial hindrance in the ability of us to move the Russian/U.S. relationship forward and agreed to exchange further work regarding commitments of noninterference in the affairs of the United States and our democratic process as well as those of other countries.


MURRAY: So you hear Tillerson saying there, look, we went in, checked the box, and brought up Russian election meddling, both sides know that is an interactable issue, and then we moved on. President Trump has said repeatedly he wants a better relationship with Putin. He wants the U.S. and Russia to have a closer relationship. And I think the meeting was designed to sort of la6y the groundwork to move in that direction.

We do expect to hear more about that meeting, as well as President Trump's other meetings with world leaders. We're expecting from senior administration officials, possibly aboard Air Force One. That has not happened yet. As soon as it does, we'll let you know.

WHITFIELD: Sara Murray, in Hamburg, Germany, thank you.

I want to bring in my panel to talk more about this now, CNN political analyst, Julian Zelizer, a historian and professor at Princeton University; CNN political commentator, Alice Stewart, the former communications for Ted Cruz; and Basil Smikle is the executive director of the New York State Democratic Party.

Good to see all of you.


WHITFIELD: Julian, does this kind of mixed messaging, Putin having a press conference, does this undermine the president of the United States?

JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It does. Look, there was a few minutes or a few hours of some good press after the meeting, both in terms of the deal that was reached and the reports from Secretary Tillerson that President Trump said something about the intervention. But not much longer after that happened, we now have conflicting reports about what happened. And also conflicting signals from what the president seems to have said in the private meeting and what he said at the press conference in Poland. And so many people are left confused and that undercuts the ability to sell good news from the White House.

WHITFIELD: Basil, there is a tweet that came from the president of the United States, at least his handle, saying, you know, the president of the United States and I -- I'm sorry -- this coming from Melania Trump, "Enjoyed our visits to Warsaw and Hamburg. A lot of work was accomplished, friendships made." You know, headed home.

But, Basil, in your view, how important is it for the president of the United States to address the mixed messaging, these conflicting reports?

[13:05:16] BASIL SMIKLE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: That's the key. When he comes back to the United States, how much is he going to tow the line that he himself spun, or the narrative he spun when he was there in Europe, that, yes, even though he sort of dispersed some of the blame, he did indicate that Russia had something to do in meddling in the election. Does he continue to forcefully push that and be able to say that, yes, I was in the room, I pushed stronger sanctions, if this were to continue. Does he come out that forcefully here at home in front of his own supporters?

But the truth is this was a first-time meeting. It was important because it's a bilateral meeting, not just a pull-aside. But it was a first meeting. I don't think a lot got done. A lot of things that were discussed earlier that may have just checked the box. The real question is these two men are very transactional. Did Donald Trump get anything out of this meeting? Did Vladimir Putin go in and play Jedi mind tricks on our president? A lot of that is to be determined. But A lot, with respect to Russia and the meddling in the elections, it would be interesting to see when Donald Trump comes back to the U.S. how hard does he push to say to us that, yes, I held Russia accountable.

WHITFIELD: So, Alice, you have the assessment from the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. And now you've got the -- you know, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, also weighing in on this kind of message about what really was said between Putin and Trump. Listen to Nikki Haley.


DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: You said everybody knows that the Russians meddle in the U.S. election and that the president said so behind closed doors with Vladimir Putin. If that's the case, why won't the president say this in public? It would put a lot of these questions and, frankly, the fact that a lot of your fellow Republicans are perplexed, will put it all to rest. Why won't he do it?

NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: I think that you can ask him. Everybody is trying to nitpick what he says and what he doesn't. But talk is one thing, actions are another. He confronted President Putin. He made it the first thing he talked about. And we have to now see where it goes from here.


WHITFIELD: Alice, does it add to the confusion that you people around him are speaking about it, but President Trump is not speaking about it?

ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: My first point is I don't know why everyone is so quick to believe a Russian Dictator Vladimir Putin over our own Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.


WHITFIELD: Because just a couple days prior, it was the president of the United States who said, you know, it could have been Russia, could have been other countries. He undermined the U.S. intelligence community on a world stage and then went behind closed doors with Putin.

STEWART: And he went behind closed doors and the first topic he brought up and repeatedly, pushed Vladimir Putin on the topic of Russian interference. And I think we have to remember the word of Secretary Tillerson who said that they pushed hard on this issue. And he said, if we don't resolve this issue, it will be a hindrance moving forward.

WHITFIELD: Should we now hear from the president, since you've got Putin saying one thing and Rex Tillerson saying another? Wouldn't it be more credible if we heard from Donald Trump himself on what was really said?

STEWART: I'm sure in the right time, we will hear from him. But as it stands now, our secretary of state, there's no better voice on the meeting. He was in the meeting and he gave us a readout of what they said. And they talked about the need to work together and bring together information in order to bring about noninterference in our election process in the future.

Look, I don't think the president needs to put a billboard outside the Kremlin to say what he's going to do with regard to Russian interference and I think he's made it quite clear with the development of his voter integrity panel that he's going to look into problems with our election process. And he is also -- part of that involves looking at the elections systems across the country and it will provide some necessary answers on Russian interference.


WHITFIELD: So, Basil, why are you laughing? Are you laughing about the portion about, it sounds like it's OK to not have consequences? What part of that --


SMIKLE: There are two things. One, that the most important voice that we could hear from is not Rex Tillerson. It's the president of the United States. And I think that's sort of alludes to what I was saying before. I want to hear from the president what he said to Vladimir Putin and how he's holding the Russian president and the Russian government accountable for the meddling in the election. We just have not heard that. And I think the American people deserve to hear that.

But I also laugh at the issue of going -- vigorously going after voter fraud, because I think that is really engaging in voter intimidation. But, you know, maybe that's just something semantics on my part.


Julian, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, she held a press conference and weighed in on the U.S. role at the G-20. Listen.


[13:10:02] ANGELA MERKEL, GERMAN CHANCELLOR (through translation): You are familiar with the American position. You know that, unfortunately -- and I deplore this -- the United States of America left the climate agreement or rather said -- announced their intention of doing this. So what becomes clear in this declaration is the dissenting view of the United States. But I am very gratified to note that the other 19 member states of the G-20 say that the Paris agreement is irreversible.


WHITFIELD: Julian, is the U.S. more isolated or less so after this G- 20?

ZELIZER: They're more isolated. With all the attention to the meeting between the president and Putin, in many ways, the bigger story was the friction that has now emerged between the president of the U.S. and the G-20 because of climate change and because of trade. I don't think the president left the summit with these kinds of relations healed, as you just heard. It's not simply about tension or bad relations. We now have some pretty fundamental difference, where's a lot of the other members are on these core policy questions. And it's unclear how we will bridge these in the next few years with the current administration.

WHITFIELD: Also during this G-20, you know, you saw President Trump meeting with a number of people. We talked about the trilateral, bilateral discussions. But also getting a little play is the fact that when Donald Trump got up from the table, it was his daughter, Ivanka Trump, who, you know, sat in for him. If he were going to try to circle -- she's sitting right next to Theresa May. And also on the other side of the Chinese president. The White House, apparently, saying, hey, you know, when other leaders get out of their chairs, someone else steps in.

Is there something particularly different about the first daughter that would take the place of her father, Julian?

ZELIZER: Sure. I don't think it's about her so much as the uncertainty about the expertise and the soundness of the administration was handling the summit. When you have this kind of musical chairs taking place, it makes some people nervous about what the conversations are, is he officially representing the United States. But, again, I would say these other questions about the meeting with Russia, about the divisions in the summit are probably much more important to discuss at this point.

WHITFIELD: Alice, do you have a point of view on that?

STEWART: I think, overall, with regard to the points being made about climate change as well as the trade agreements, I think the president made it clear we knew where he stood on climate throughout the entire campaign. We knew where he was going to stand on the Paris Accord. That's no surprise.

But the overall takeaway I see and many others see from this is that he's living up to his campaign promise that it's America First. At the same time, it doesn't mean America alone. Whether we're talking about the Paris deal or about free trade, the trade issues are going to be fair, they're going to be across the board, but they're also going to be reciprocal where the United States isn't the only one paying more than their fair share in these trade deals and getting equal trade representation. That's the biggest takeaway I see from these meetings.

WHITFIELD: All right. Basil, real quick?

SMIKLE: Just to say that, yeah, I actually don't doubt that Trump has talked a lot about America First. But I think a lot of his supporters and, indeed, a lot of world leaders see it as America alone. Angela Merkel has actually say that very specifically. So those are the mixed messages that I think have come out of the G-20 summit and Donald Trump's language specifically that he needs to clear up at home.

WHITFIELD: Basil Smikle, Julian Zelizer, Alice Stewart, good to see all of you. Thanks so much.

(CROSSTALK) WHITFIELD: Coming up, President Trump may have left Germany but

protests remain. They're spilling out across Hamburg. We'll take you there live, next.


[13:17:58] WHITFIELD: Welcome back. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

Massive crowd are gathering outside the G-20 summit today and German police have called in reinforcements from across the country as more than 100 demonstrators have already been arrested.

CNN senior international correspondent, Frederik Pleitgen, is live for us now in Hamburg.

What's the tenor and tone today, Fred?

FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's a lot more laid back, Fredricka. You can see behind me that the cops that are here have their helmets off. The protest that we are at is small at the moment. But they did have some large crowds earlier today. I'd say it was about 50,000 people in total that came out. Among all the protests that have been going on the last couple days, the organizers were saying they were expecting 100,000 people in total to turn up.

By and large it has been mostly peaceful at those protests. However, last night, we did have an area in Hamburg that literally descended into violence. Fredricka, I've been covering this country for a long time and it's been a long time since I've seen that kind of violence on the streets in Germany. They were burning barricades. There were police officers getting pelted with rocks and bottles. The police officers responding with water cannon trucks and tear gas. Those were raging street battles that went on for a very, very long time and fell into the night.

The scene is different here today. There's political messages, instead. There are people against the G-20 summit as a whole. There are people who are criticizing some of the leaders. Also criticizing President Trump and especially his stance on climate change. So much different atmosphere today. Still very large protests, very large crowds starting out -- Fredricka?

[13:19:33] WHITFIELD: Frederik Pleitgen, thank you so much, in Hamburg.

Up next, a stunning twist in the U.S. health care debate as Republican leaders consider a compromise to fix Obamacare, now that it is becoming clear the GOP does not have the votes to repeal or replace. Stay with us.


WHITFIELD: Welcome back. A new twist in Republican efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare. Facing crumbling support from within their own party, Republican leaders are now considering a huge and unexpected compromise.

Here's CNN's Tom Foreman.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From the Republican-controlled Senate, a stunning change of direction. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell saying he will work with Democrats to prop up Obamacare if his own party can't pass an alternative plan.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, (R-KY), SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: Premiums are going up, co-payments going up, deductibles going up, so we have to the solve the current crisis. And I think repealing it and delaying the replacement doesn't work.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Tonight, I am also calling on this Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare.


FOREMAN: CNN has learned the White House was caught off guard by McConnell's comments, coming less than a week after the president's own surprise move, when he tweeted, "the Republican Senators are unable to pass what they are working on now, they should immediately repeal and then replace at a later date."

But that has gained no traction, even as the Republican bill has continued spinning its wheels.

Some Senators, in their home districts for the July 4th recess, face tough questions from constituents.

[13:25:21] SEN. SUSAN COLLINS, (R), MAINE: I still am a "no" unless the bill is dramatically changed.

FOREMAN: So bipartisan support, limited as it may be, is swirling around McConnell's ideal.

SEN. BEN CARDIN, (D), MARYLAND: Senator McConnell is correct that -- in that we need to make sure that the individual market is a stronger market than it is today.

REP. DAN DONOVAN, (R), NEW YORK: I believe what Mitch McConnell says is the right path to take.

FOREMAN: Even amid furious pushback from conservative quarters. Heritage Action for America saying such a deal with Democrats would be catastrophic for the Republican Party.

And on it goes. Various Republicans offering their open solutions about how to end the impasse, unite the party, and somehow turn the turmoil into triumph.

SEN. TED CRUZ, (R), TEXAS: I think we've got to get the job done, but we have to do it right. That results matter. It's not just passing a bill whose title is Obamacare repeal. We've actually have to do something that fixes the problem.

FOREMAN (on camera): Watching Republican twist themselves into knots trying to sort out the health care reform riddle was a wonderful break for congressional Democrats. Only it wasn't so much like Independence Day as Christmas in July.

Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.


WHITFIELD: Let's discuss now this surprising turn events with my panel. Joining me again, CNN political commentator, Alice Stewart, who is also a Republican strategist. Also back, Basil Smikle, who is the director of the New York Democratic Party.

Good to see you again.

Alice, let me begin with you.

McConnell gives up this repealing Obamacare y, that would be a stunning reversal for the party as a whole, especially since Trump campaigned on that as well as. So some conservative groups, go as far as calling the idea catastrophic to the entire Republican Party. Would it be?

STEWART: It would be if they didn't repeal and replace Obamacare. I think working across the aisle with Democrats is a positive step in the right direction and also working with moderate Republicans and more conservative Republicans to get the job done.

Look, not only would this be harmful to President Trump but other members of the Senate who are up for re-election. And members of Congress, for that matter, who campaigned and won on the promise to their people that they would repeal and replace Obamacare, which promised lower costs and greater access to health care, and has done none of that.

WHITFIELD: But, Alice, it sounds like this is a response to, if the support is not there as the GOP bill has been carved out, the House bill that, you know, swept through as well, what other recourse do Republicans have if they can't get support to repeal and replace? Is it reasonable that some would now be suggesting, OK, fix instead?

STEWART: There are options on the table. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee have a freedom option, allowing people to buy and sell health insurance outside of the burdensome Obamacare regulations. That is on the table. Leadership is not supporting that, which is, in my view, damaging to more conservatives who have options on the table. I think there are still ways to get to "yes." All the Senators, especially those in the GOP, want to get to "yes." It's just a matter of how they go about getting there. And the best way to do that is bringing everyone back to the table and having these tough conversations.

WHITFIELD: The Senate will be back in session on Monday. And as GOP Senators are coming to this realization they may not have the support, does this mean that there is an opening for Democrats to come on board and say, all right, let's work on something?

SMIKLE: I think it's an opening that Democrats do have. And I think it's happening in part because this is not Mitch McConnell's sort of wheelhouse. This is not his strength sort of bringing in diverse voices. Just think about the fact that during the negotiations over the Affordable Care Act there were 79 public hearings. This bill has had zero. When you don't bring in those kinds of diverse voices to help craft a meaningful piece of legislation, then you're going to have the fear and worry and concern that a lot of the constituents around the country of these Republican members have been experiencing. So I do think that for Mitch McConnell for -- to basically be able to give his Republican colleagues some kind of lifeline, he has to reach out to Democrats.

For us, for Democrats, this is a great opportunity to, I think, hammer home some of the important principles of the Affordable Care Act to make sure that people stay covered and not risk the 22 million people losing their health care.


[13:30:00] WHITFIELD: There have been a lot of town halls this holiday week. One taking place right now -- that's what you're looking at -- with Ted Cruz in Houston, Texas. Some of the town halls have been a little fiery. People have been confronting their lawmakers about their thoughts on health care. We'll continue to monitor what's being said there.

But, you know, Alice, apparently, a senior White House official says the White House was caught off guard when it heard that Mitch McConnell says that here's a potential compromise. It may be fixed as opposed to repeal and replace. What kind of position does this put the White House in?

STEWART: Well, in my view, it puts them in a situation where there needs to be a greater communication with the White House officials and McConnell, who are trying to get this done. Look, I agree 100 percent with Basil on his point that it's good to have conversation with constituents. It's good to get their feedback. And I think this false deadline is harmful to the process. I think we need to slow down. I think we need to get input from constituents across the country, let our elected officials hear from them, and have this dialogue back and forth and get this done right. It doesn't have to be done right now. It needs to be done right. And more than anything, it's important for Republicans who campaigned and won on this issue to keep their promises of lower cost health care, greater access, and more choices to be able to do that. And the best way to do it is to slow things down and get it done right.


SMIKLE: Well, the president really just wants a -- and to use a sports terminology -- he doesn't, I think, really care that much about the details of the plan. What he cares about is being able to go back to his constituents and say I got rid of the Affordable Care Act that we did something different, whatever the details of that are remains to be seen, I think. But he wants to be able to just go back to his constituents and supporters and say we changed it. And so I don't think the details -- in negotiating the details with Democrats is as important to him as perhaps the loyalty of Mitch McConnell. So I think that's the relationship that they're going to have to find a way to bridge if the White House does indeed feel that Mitch McConnell has gone in a different direction from where they expected him to go.

But again, I go back to the other point, for the sort of -- for the Republicans in the Senate, they're looking at their re-election. They're looking at engaging their constituents. So they're going to have to hunker down and sort of do the right thing, engage Democrats on this bill, and sort of create a bit of a wall between themselves and the White House to actually get this done.

WHITFIELD: All right. We'll leave it right there.

Basil Smikle, Alice Stewart, good to see you both.

SMIKLE: Thank you.

STEWART: Thanks. Thanks, Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right. We'll be right back.


[13:37:03] WHITFIELD: All right. President Trump's Voter Fraud Commission continues to face pushback and criticism from a majority of states. The president formed the group after making unsubstantiated claims of massive illegal voting in the 2016 election. The commission has requested sensitive personal information, including names, addresses, and last four digits of Social Security numbers.

Earlier, I spoke with Kentucky's secretary of state on why her state and so many others are opposed to turning over voter data.


ALISON LUNDERGAN GRIMES, KENTUCKY SECRETARY OF STATE: I think my champions leagues across the aisle and I agree that there is no massive widespread voter fraud that occurred in the 2016 election, especially none that exist to the limits that the president has repeatedly suggested whether it's 140 characters at a time or on on- camera appearance. Three million to five million folks did not vote illegally in this 2016 election. We have secretaries of state that stand up for the results of their respective states that they were free of voter fraud. We don't need a commission that was set up to try to create and find evidence that simply doesn't exist that study after study shows is just simply not there.

We do need to have a discussion about how we move our elections forward. We did that in 2014 when we had Bob Bauer and Ben Ginsburg create a presidential commission on behalf of President Obama. We want and should do that again. But the overreach by the federal government and trying to create a

national voter registration file is not something that not only Democrats are against but Republicans a well. President Trump has succeeded in actually uniting Democrats and Republicans on this effort.

The sense I get is my colleagues are standing strong and reiterating they believe this is a process, a function left to the states and we don't need the federal government overreaching. More importantly, we don't need to tell the world, especially Putin, who we're giving a pass to meddle in our elections, exactly where we're going to keep every registered voter in America's information in the White House.


WHITFIELD: CNN politics reporter, Tal Kopan, is at the National Secretaries of State Conference in Indianapolis for us.

Tal, this voter fraud commission and election security, all big topics as we heard from the secretary at this conference. What are you hearing?

TAL KOPAN, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Yeah, absolutely. It's interesting, thee topics are separate and yet at the same time they are connected. And as you heard from the secretary just now, there actually is sort of a bipartisan consensus emerging on both of them, and that is there's a bit of a tension between these local state officials and the federal government. You know, elections absolutely have national consequences, but secretaries of state and, you know, local governments really take pride and, in fact, draw strength from the fact that our voting system is decentralized. And so whether you're talking about, you know, the cyber security and integrity of election infrastructure or you're talking about this request from the federal government for massive amounts of private information, there's a reticence on the part of these secretaries of state to immediately cooperate with some of those requests because they really want to know what the federal government is after in that request.

[13:40:04] WHITFIELD: All right. Tal Kopan, thank you so much, in Indianapolis.

Still ahead, for the second time in a row, a federal appeals court has denied Hawaii's request to rein in President Trump's travel ban. What this signals to families living in the seven countries on the banned list, after this.


WHITFIELD: All right. For the second time, a federal appeals court denies Hawaii's request for clarity over part of the Trump administration's travel ban. At the end of June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to allow part of the order to go into effect.

But a sticking point for Hawaii and other states was this section of the order: Foreign nationals seeking to enter the U.S. Must provide proof of a, quote, "bona fide relationship with any person or entity in the United States. Must be a U.S. citizen, have a green card, be an employee or have a family member."

Defining family is where it gets tricky. An applicant must have parents, spouse, fiance, child, adult son or daughter, a son or daughter-in-law, or a sibling living in the U.S.

So what about grandparents, uncle, aunts, nieces, nephews? According to the new order, extended family is not legally family. So how do you legally define family?

Our legal experts are here. Avery Friedman is a civil rights attorney and Richard Herman is a New York criminal defense attorney.

Good to see both of you.

[13:45:40] RICHARD HERMAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Good to see, Fredricka.


WHITFIELD: Richard, you first.

This definition of family, it's a narrower scope than I guess what universally might be accepted. So how does Hawaii or anyone want to challenge the definition of family?

HERMAN: I think, Fred, realistically, at this point, the Supreme Court has spoken on this issue. It e's going to be a 90-day hole period. I don't think any district court is going to get relief from a decision that's laid out right now. 90 days, October. That's when this temporary relief afforded the administration I think -- and it's tough to predict with the court. But I don't think Roberts will let this go. I think this whole ban will get thrown out. I don't think it will be held constitutional. You know, the president has tremendous plenary power to enact a law like this, Fred.

But when you look at the nations involved here, those six nations, and you look at, like Saudi Arabia, where terrorists have come from, and you look at these six nations on the ban where no terrorists have ever come from --


FRIEDMAN: That's the issue.

HERMAN: But it is kind of ridiculous and disingenuous. When the administration says they need 90 days to check the vetting process and they filed this thing six months ago and do nothing about those 90 days --


HERMAN: -- it's really disingenuous. And it's really transparent what's going on here.



WHITFIELD: Avery, why are you in such great disagreement here?

FRIEDMAN: Yeah. That's not -- the issue here -- and the case has been on a rocket -- I actually love this case. The question is does Donald Trump have unbridled discretion to bar American-based grandparents as bona fide members of a family. That was the only issue the federal district court had to consider on Thursday. And it said, you know what, let the Supreme Court decide it. Yesterday, a three-judge federal appeals panel said that's right, these are the same judges that held the ban unconstitutional. So the question is, is there any empirical evidence that would support President Trump in saying grandparents that are based here in America should not be included a bona fide member of a family? Frankly, constitutionally, there's no basis for it. And, secondly, I don't care if it's blue state or red state, Fredricka, no one's going to agree with that. I think the Supreme Court will get involved in this. And I think at least that part of the ban, if not all of it, will be held unconstitutional.

WHITFIELD: But the Supreme Court would be involved in this only if Hawaii or other states would decide to take this challenge to the Supreme Court.

FRIEDMAN: They will.

WHITFIELD: Do you see them doing that? You do think that, Avery?

FRIEDMAN: Oh, sure.



HERMAN: Fred, the timing is everything right now. You know, august is coming, they take breaks. By the time the Supreme Court would even look at these papers it's probably October. So ultimately --



HERMAN: They're not going to get an emergency stay now. The Supreme Court has spoken on this issue.

And, again, the bigger picture here, Fred, the bigger picture, the administration said they need -- they need this ban to protect the citizens of our country because they need to examine the vetting process. That's why they need this ban.


HERMAN: They need 90 days to look at this process, which, by the way, under President Obama took two years. That was the vetting process.

(CROSSTALK) WHITFIELD: So that argument is still yet to be resolved.


WHITFIELD: And the White House would have to have examples, would it not, to help establish that any number of these states, there are some track record or there has been some link to threats in the U.S., right, Avery?

FRIEDMAN: Well, there has to be something there.


FRIEDMAN: Again, the president has very broad power. The question is on the short term, the grandparents that are American based get knocked out. I think it warrants an emergency stay by the Supreme Court. But on the constitutional issue on the validity of the ban, that will be coming up in October. I think the court will intervene on whether grandparents are bona fide members of families.

[13:50:06] WHITFIELD: OK, last word, Richard?

HERMAN: Fiances too, they are included. They can come, fiances.

FRIEDMAN: OK. All right.


WHITFIELD: All right. We'll leave it right there, gentlemen. Always good to see you, Richard and Avery. Thank you so much. Have a great weekend.

FRIEDMAN: Good to see you, too.

HERMAN: Take care.

WHITFIELD: All right. More NEWSROOM in a moment.

But first, this week's "Turning Points."


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRSEPONDENT (voice-over): Each day in St. Helen's, England, registered nurse, John McElroy, wakes up to dream job.

His path into medicine was unusual.

JOHN MCELROY, REGISTERED NURSE: I worked in a local brick factory for 25 years, just remembered I have like a mild headache, the world was spinning. It was as if something had just exploded.

GUPTA: John was rushed to the hospital, his diagnosis, a stroke.

MCELROY: I was speaking, but it was just gibberish. And I lost sight in the right eye. GUPTA: He had trouble with both balance and coordination. McElroy

soon lost his job. The stroke, it seemed, took everything.

MCELROY: I was thinking, right, what can I do? I'm too young.

GUPTA: A chance conversation with a nurse rekindled his childhood dream.

MCELROY: And then she said, you'd make a fantastic nurse. I wanted to be a nurse when I was younger.

GUPTA: After 25 years in a brick factory and a stroke, nursing school was tough.

MCELROY: I can't tell you how many times I've sort of -- I wanted to stop.

GUPTA: But he didn't. He earned his degree and he became a nurse.

MCELROY: You've done really well.

GUPTA: Today, the majority of his patients have brain or spinal issues.

MCELROY: When I'm walking into the ward, it is actually a dream for me. I know exactly how they feel.

GUPTA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.



[13:56:17] WHITFIELD: Ah, the '90s. Boy, it unleashed a wide range of television, from animated hits from "South Park" and "Beavis and Butthead" to sitcoms like "Seinfeld" and "Friends" to dramas like "My So-Called Life" and "The Sopranos." Take a look.


ALAN SEPINWALL, TELEVISION REVIEW & WRITER: Some of my favorite shows of all time aired in that decade. And everybody was watching them.


There was still the communal sense from the earlier decades of TV but it was being applied to shows reaching higher and farther. And they were great.


CHRIS CONNELLY, SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT WRITER: Because there were so many channels and because so much story telling was going on, you started to get more variety of stories being told.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Get the film, schedule a CAT scan and call the neurosurgery resident.


AMANDA LOTZ, TELEVISION & MEDIA SCHOLAR & PROFESSOR: Television showed us women in their depth. It began to show us much more of a range of the African-American community.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: I'm always here for you.

SARAH BODMAN, SENIOR RESEARCH FELLOW, ARTIST'S BOOKS: We started focusing on teenagers in a more realistic way.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: Things change, Dawson, evolve.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: What are you talking about?

BODMAN: Thinking a little more outside the box in terms of what people might want to watch.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: You're out of order. He's out of order. This whole trial is sexy.

WALTER PODRAZIK, TELEVISION CURATOR, MUSEUM OF BROADCAST COMMUNICATIONS: After 10 years of the '90s, we had a whole new television world that could take us any place we wanted and even places we had never imagined.


WHITFIELD: Wow. A variety, indeed. The CNN series "The Nineties," kicks off Sunday, 9:00 p.m. Eastern time.

We have so much more straight ahead in NEWSROOM and it all starts right now.

Hello, again, everyone. This is the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. Thanks for being with me.

The president has left the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, concluding three days of international diplomacy. But one major dispute will likely follow him back to Washington. Vladimir Putin is now giving a different firsthand account of his face-to-face meeting with President Trump.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the president confronted Putin about interference in the U.S. election. But Putin says he and Trump are in agreement that Russia was not involved.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER (through translation): Did Trump agree with your position that Russia had not intervene in the U.S. elections?

VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translation): Well, he -- let me repeat -- he answered all the questions. And I think that he noted it and he agreed with it. But I think it's better to ask him exactly what you've asked, rather than me.


WHITFIELD: All right. Let's go to CNN White House correspondent, Sara Murray, who remains there in Hamburg, Germany.

So, Sara, will the White House in some capacity try to clarify this mixed messaging?

SARA MURRAY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, we're waiting for their response to Vladimir Putin's comments today. We're hoping to hear from them soon. It has been interesting. Both sides do agree that Trump brought up election meddling. Both sides agree that Putin denied that Russia was involved. But there's this question of then did Trump buy into Putin's narrative.

Here's hour Rex Tillerson, the secretary of state, summed up the meeting yesterday.


REX TILLERSON, SECRETARY OF STATE: The president pressed President Putin on more than one occasion regarding Russian involvement. President Putin denied such involvement, as I think he has in the past. The two leaders agreed, though, that this is a substantial hindrance in the ability of us to move the Russian-U.S. relationship forward and agreed to exchange further work regarding commitments of noninterference in the affairs of the United States and our democratic process as well as those of other countries.