Return to Transcripts main page
WORLD RIGHT NOW WITH HALA GORANI
Trump Jr. Releases Bombshell E-mails On Russia Info; CNN Reports From Inside The ISIS "Capital" Raqqa; Parts Of Mosul Left In Ruins After Fighting; May: Brexit Vote Calls For Profound Change; May Calls For Cross- Party Support. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired July 11, 2017 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello. I'm Isa Soares in for Hala Gorani.
We start tonight with more on our breaking news, a stunning bombshell that comes from Donald Trump's son himself. The U.S. president just released a
statement praising Donald Trump Jr. for releasing a 2016 e-mail chain. He called him a transparent and high quality person.
Well, the e-mails show Trump Jr. was promised information from the Russian government mean to help his father's presidential campaign. At one point,
he wrote back, "I love it." Trump Jr. released the e-mails after the "New York Times" told him was about to publish them.
They detail his correspondence with publicist Rob Goldstone, who told from Trump Jr., and I'm quoting him here, "The crown prosecutor of Russia
offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary Clinton and had dealings with
Russia and would be very useful to your father.
This is obviously very high level and sensitive information, but it is part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump." A top
Senate investigator told CNN the following.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Do you think your Virginia colleague, Tim Kaine, said this could be potentially treasonous?
SENATOR MARK WARNER (D), VIRGINIA: I'm not going to weigh in on anybody, and anyone individual colleagues characterization of what is going on.
RAJU: Do you think it's treasonous?
WARNER: My job is to keep this bipartisan investigation on track and reserve judgment until I see all the facts. But as I said yesterday, now
the public is for the first time seeing some of these facts and these facts that have shown in the last 24 hours that there clearly was a Russian
government effort to discredit Clinton and to help Trump.
And that Trump officials at the most senior level were aware of that. How high that goes? We still have questions to ask.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Meanwhile, Trump Jr. is casting himself as the victim in all of this. He just retweeted this post, "The media is attacking Donald Trump
Jr. because he is one of the most effective voices defending the president. They see him as a threat."
Well, there's been no public response yet from the others copied on the e- mail chain. That's President Trump, son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and the former campaign manager, Paul Manafort.
Well, CNN is covering all the angles. Joining me now is U.S. justice correspondent, Evan Perez, who is in our Washington bureau and CNN
political analyst, Josh Rogin, joins us from "Washington Post."
Gentlemen, thank you both for being with us this hour. Evan, I want to start with you, if I may. Donald Trump Jr. initially said he was releasing
these e-mail exchanges in order to be totally transparent. Now you've seen the content of these e-mails. How damning are they?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: I think it's very troubling. It's a very troubling set of emails simply because it goes against every denial
and every story that they have concocted in the past year frankly.
To say that there was never any contact with Russians that there was never any effort to try to get the help of the Russian government that there was
never -- they even denied -- the Trump campaign did -- that they've brushed inside any preference for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton.
And here in this e-mail chain that you see in plain sight that Donald Trump Jr. was being told that the Russian government wanted to assist, wanted to
help the Trump campaign, and one of the most troubling parts of this e-mail chain is really the one where the -- Rob Goldstone, the publicist describes
and says, you know, essentially this is part of the Russian government's effort to help Donald Trump.
And so that is part of this -- that is going to be something that the FBI and the special counsel, Robert Mueller, are going to have to take a look
at to see whether or not this is what constitutes improper collusion, illegal coordination with a foreign government.
Josh, what do you make of this? Is this e-mail chain be the hard evidence of coordination between the Russian government and the Trump campaign? Is
this the smoking gun?
JOSH ROGIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I don't think we are quite there yet. What we see here is evidence of attempted collusion, perhaps evidence of a
failed attempted collusion, but no evidence that the collision actually took place.
It adds the smoke surrounding all of these various interactions between Trump campaign members and family members and Russian nationals,
but it does not actually provide the fire.
It provides a lot of fodder for investigators both in the Senate, the House and also in the FBI and Special Counsel Mueller's investigation to pick at.
It will be a thread that they just cannot resist.
[15:05:00]And you know, but what we have got here is just amounting amount of misdirection, misrepresentations and sometimes flat out lies from Trump
campaign official and family members about their interactions with Russians, which is super suspicious, but not necessarily criminal yet.
SOARES: Yes, but doesn't this go to the very heart of what the investigation was about?
ROGIN: Well, again, the investigation is to determine if there was actually collusion in the Russian interference with the election, now that
investigation is still ongoing. This points to the fact that they were open to that.
And in fact solicited that and try to get it, but it does not actually show that they actually did it. It is not good, but it does not get you all the
And because the Trump -- this fits a long pattern of Trump campaign officials and family members misrepresenting their interactions with
Russian nationals, you know, that feeds the theory that this is part of a scheme, although that has not yet been proven.
And you know, one of the big parts of this is going to be to determine whether this lawyer is actually acting as an agent of the Russian
government as the e-mails claimed.
And that's a complicated story because she was a lawyer for Russian oligarchs who was involved in litigation in the United States, and she
acted on behalf of Russian interests and her ex-husband was a Russian official and all of this stuff. But you know, again, that that's a lot of
circumstantial evidence, not proof.
SOARES: And Evan, we have had from President Trump saying my son is a high quality person. He's normally pretty fast in terms of defending his
children on Twitter, in particular with Ivanka Trump we saw last week. Has there been any reaction from the White House to this bombshell what relates
to the e-mail chain?
PEREZ: Right. They have not been reacting, in general, with regard to the Russian investigation simply because they've hired an outside lawyer for
the president and now it is the responsibility of that outside lawyers to speak for the president with regard to the Russian investigation.
But you are pointing reporting exactly right to the fact that normally the president is very effusive in being able to defend his family and come out
and say that there is nothing here and accuse the media certainly a fake news. We've heard that repeatedly. It is remarkable.
We were told by our White House reporters, Jeff Zeleny and the team at the White House that the advice from the president's own lawyers and from his
team, his communications team inside the White House was to stay off Twitter to just essentially let this go because it would only make things
worse. It looks, it looks, said that so far the president is heeding that advice.
SOARES: And Josh, I want to play this sound just for our viewers because this is a sound from one of the senators. Let's take a listen and I'll get
your feedback after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SENATOR TIM KAINE (D), VIRGINIA: This question of collusion which essentially starts to transition this into potentially a treason
investigation. When he was approached with this idea, he should have turn it over to law enforcement immediately. That is what anybody should have
done. So very serious, but I think the Senate Intel Committees and special prosecutor now have a lot more work to do.
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Do you think this is treason?
KAINE: The investigation, it is not -- nothing is proven yet, but we are now beyond obstruction of justice and what is being investigated. This is
moving into perjury, false statements, and even into potentially treason.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: So Josh, you heard it there potentially treason. Is it too fast, too soon?
ROGIN: Yes, I think that is stretching the facts a little bit too much frankly. You know, treason is a crime with very legal -- with very clear
legal definitions. I mean, it's not clear that these allegations even if there (inaudible) those definitions for one thing were not actually at war
with Russia, although they are adversary bent on undermining our democracy.
You know, overall, there is a risk here that critics of the president and especially Democrats in Congress can extrapolate too much from these facts,
and then leave themselves vulnerable if it does not turn out to be as bad as they say it. It might be.
You know, so what we all have to do I think is just follow the facts where they lead and let the investigations do their work, and then I confront the
administration when their official story does not match those facts and wait to see what can be proven and what is simply a conjecture.
SOARES: Evan, of course, the two men that we haven't mentioned that were part of that meeting, one of them is Jared Kushner and of course, the other
is Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner, of course, he works in the White House. So what does this mean for him?
PEREZ: Well, you know, one of the things that is remarkable about this story is that what happened here is that Jared Kushner had to adjust or
correct a form that he has submitted to the FBI in order to get his security clearance. It's known as SF-86.
And he had not disclosed this meeting and so in the last couple of weeks, what happened was he filed an additional paperwork to disclose that this
meeting had occurred and nobody's talking about that because it's again part of a pattern that we have seen with Kushner.
[15:10:13]He keeps not being completely upfront about his connections with Russia, about meetings that he has had. This is now the second time that
he has had to amend his legal forms that he provided to the FBI.
So the -- what has happened now is all this attention on Donald Trump and this e-mail chain is certainly taking all of the attention away from Jared
Kushner and he is no longer really front and center here.
But I got to tell you, part of the story here now is, who are these characters that the Trump campaign people were associating with? Rob
Goldstone, who is he? What exactly is the story here and why does he think he can speak in the manner that he does?
Claiming that she knows of the Russian government is in favor of Donald Trump's campaign, it's a very remarkable set of facts. I think the FBI is
going to be very interested to know why he seemed to know so much.
SOARES: Evan Perez there for us as well as CNN political analyst, Josh Rogin, thank you to you both.
Now we want to go now to Capitol Hill to get the Democratic perspective on all these revelations. Congressman Brad Schneider is joining us live.
Congressman, thank you very much for joining us here on the WORLD RIGHT NOW.
I want to get your thoughts to this bombshell, these e-mail exchange that we've seen from Donald Trump Jr. How worried are you, if you're worried at
all, about what you've seen today?
REPRESENTATIVE BRAD SCHNEIDER (D), ILLINOIS: I think these e-mail chains, the news coming out is a real concern. I think the fact that it is clear
that the Russians tried to interfere in our elections. That all of our intelligence agencies have confirmed that.
The president continues to question that and now we are seeing evidence of e-mails between the president's son and people reporting to have
connections with the Russian government is something we should be very concerned about and why it is important to have these investigations follow
on to their conclusion.
SOARES: We heard from Senator Tim Kaine say it was potentially treason. Would you go that far?
SCHNEIDER: Well, I think we have to let the investigations go to their extent and see where it leads us. Those are questions of law. I think we
can all agree regardless of your party that what we are seeing is wrong.
And the fact that the president's son, Donald Trump Jr., believed it was the right thing to do to meet with someone who is purportedly representing
the Russian government, bringing evidence against his opponent, as we have seen in previous campaigns that would be reasons to call the FBI.
In this case, it was reasons to set up a meeting and that's really concerning.
SOARES: We heard from Donald Trump Jr. basically saying that nothing came out of that meeting. We had similar statements from Kellyanne Conway. She
said yesterday in an interview here on CNN with our Chris Cuomo that nothing came out of that meeting. Does this change anything?
SCHNEIDER: Well, I think we've seen from the administration's spokespeople for the administration, family members of the president, that what they
said today could be easily contradicted tomorrow.
And so the reason we have an independent investigator in Robert Mueller, the reason we need to have the investigations on the Senate and the House
sides is to understand everything that the Russians tried to do so it can't happen again.
It's a threat to our democracy, the very foundations of our government. But we also need to understand what involvement, if any, the
administration, the campaign and the president may have had and let these investigations go with their conclusions.
SOARES: What does this mean for the president of the United States?
SCHNEIDER: Well, that's where the investigation will lead us. This is obviously a very concerning moment and again, it's not a -- shouldn't be a
partisan issue. Every American should be worried about the integrity of our elections and any country trying to undermine that.
The Russians certainly have done so. The president have refused to say whether he believes that or not in definitive terms and now we are seeing
at least evidence of the president's son reaching out to people saying they have connections with the Russian government to try to bolster the Trump
This brings a lot of things into question. I think the investigation ultimately I hope so (inaudible).
SOARES: Congressman, is it possible that President Trump would not know about this meeting?
SCHNEIDER: Well, that's what they are saying, and again, we are going to let the investigation prove that. It is hard to believe that a then-
candidate, who was his own press secretary was so involved with every aspect of his campaign, would not have been away aware of the meeting that
included his son, his son-in-law, and his then campaign manager.
But that's what they are saying, again, I am concerned about the willingness of the Trump campaign, Donald Trump Jr. to sit down and meet
with people, who were saying they represented the Russian government. He should have called the FBI, not called the meeting room.
SOARES: Well, in the last few hours, we've seen the government basically delay August recess. How damaging are these e-mails and the impact it may
have on the White House, and indeed, its ability to govern, is anything being done?
[15:15:07]SCHNEIDER: Well, I think, you know, there are so many things we need to address. We do not have a jobs bill. We don't have an
infrastructure plan. We are not getting to the important issues of fixing the Affordable Care Act, for addressing conference of tax reform,
conference of immigration reform.
And the news swirling around the president is unfortunately consuming all of the air, not just on TV but in Washington. We need to really do the
people's work and get down to business to address the issues we face to grow our economy, to help working families, to make sure that we are
protecting America's leadership role in the world.
And unfortunately, with the news we are seeing in the response of the administration, that's getting put to back burner.
SOARES: Congressman Brad Schneider, thank you very much for joining us here. It was great to get your perspective.
SCHNEIDER: Isa, thank you. It's good talking with you.
SOARES: Likewise. Well, that was a Democratic perspective and President Trump's biggest supporters have always hit back hard at reports of
questionable meetings that actions regarding Russia.
But this is no report, it's directly from Trump Jr. himself. So how are Trump supporters responding now? We'll get the reaction from Jeffrey Lord
later in the show right here.
Still to come, Theresa May is relaunching her leadership with a Brexit speech. We'll analyze her standing after poor election performance. Phil
Black is live for us.
SOARES: You are watching the WORLD RIGHT NOW. Now in the past few days, CNN did something no other western news organization was able to do and
that report from the epicenter of the battle against ISIS.
We gained exclusive access into the old city of Raqqa in Syria. The place ISIS think of it as its capital and that U.S.-backed forces now think as
job number one. Our Nick Paton Walsh has more on what he saw.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is where it ends. ISIS' twisted idea was built on claiming their own
state. Well, now, ahead of us is just a few square miles of old city streets and urban school left of that capital of Raqqa.
(on camera): A major threat on the street we are being told is from snipers although this Syrian urban Kurdish forces have pushed further
inside the old city and now have positions passed this historic (inaudible).
(voice-over): A few days earlier, surgical coalition air strikes punched holes through these 1,300-year-old defenses.
(on camera): They say they don't move forward in daylight because of ISIS snipers, but here they are literally 20 meters away from the historic old
city wall of Raqqa, a milestone in the war to rid the Middle East of ISIS.
(voice-over): American Special Forces providing precision fire power from two miles down the road marked here where civilians are trapped perhaps as
[15:20:04]Some days ISIS has cut off water and everything, (inaudible) says, I told them to stay inside, if they go out, (inaudible). We are the
first journalists they take in.
(on camera): Over this side, they say they are safe from sniper cover and there is the old city wall right there. It's something we just hear
regularly throughout the time we are here. Targeting ISIS positions deeper inside Raqqa.
(voice-over): (Inaudible) the foot soldiers in a global fight against ISIS, fueled by hope of U.S. support for a Kurdish homeland nearby
afterwards. He didn't vote Trump here, but the White House has left this (inaudible) whisking through 3 miles of Raqqa's outskirts in as many weeks
It is eerily empty. One civilian we do see further out unable to speak. The story is in her blood shot eyes. At least 50,000 of stories of loss
and horror are now encircled inside Raqqa. A stitch to the question when does ISIS' words result to die finally break.
SOARES: (Inaudible) from Raqqa. Raqqa is now the primary target for U.S.- backed forces following the fall of the other main ISIS stronghold that's Mosul in Iraq. Nick Paton Walsh joins us now from Erbil, east of Mosul.
Nick, 24 hours or so since we heard the prime minister, Haider al-Abadi basically declared victory in Mosul, has the reality set in of what exactly
needs to be done and the work ahead? Give me a sense of how that victory is playing out on the ground.
WALSH: Well, we've seen 24, 48 hours of celebration in the streets capped by that final victory announcement, but remember, there are still pockets
of ISIS resisting in the old city down by the river there.
In fact, we've seen some startling drone images from yesterday afternoon showing pockets of civilians perhaps and there are dozens down there. The
broader question really is, of course, when that final violence is passed what happens to the old city?
Well, frankly, I think it has to be a job where you start from scratch, even when you drive 2 miles away, though, from that last pocket of
conflicts, you see a city trying to get back to normal.
You see people selling their wares on the streets. Yes, there is -- somewhere within the Iraqi government, tens of billions of dollars --
available for that, but as a broader social challenge of messaging really that now follows.
This is being really a conflict brought by the sectarians divides here in Iraq between the Sunni and Shia. The Shia predominantly run the government
and military now. The Sunni used to under Saddam Hussein, but now the disfranchisement minority.
That huge (inaudible) has to be bridged. They have to trust each other off to often being on opposite sides of the battle against ISIS. Remember,
many of the extremist in the same population gave ISIS (inaudible) initially.
So there is a huge amount of work that needs to be done on rebuilding trust before you can then perhaps think of the idea of spending billions on
reconstruction can be done fruitfully if the population simply (inaudible) talk to each other -- Isa.
SOARES: Let me ask you this, Amnesty International has basically said that Iraq and coalition forces didn't do enough to basically protect civilians
caught in a crossfire. From your reports on the ground, is that a fair assessment, Nick?
WALSH: Well, how can you really do enough? I mean, yes, in warfare civilians sadly are often caught in the exchanges of fire. It's hard to
know quite what the benchmark for enough being done would be.
Yes, we know the coalition did the very best they possibly can, but they are using heavy weapons in other time, and ISIS are using human shields
putting deliberately civilians in harm's way so they cannot be attacked.
So effectively, if you want to cause no loss of human life at all, civilian life of innocent, you can't do any military operations at all. And really
I think the problem we saw in the old city as according to a coalition spokesperson, there were two clocks ticking really.
The first one was we have to get these civilians out before they starve or run out of water. That was a very urgent challenge at the same time to the
military (inaudible) was we have to agitate the operation against the ISIS fighters in there.
The two were incompatible and I think we've seen that across the battle field here. ISIS have purposely used civilian populations or perhaps being
in them because some of these people supported them.
And so that's made the task of Iraqi forces are often a blunt instrument, made no mistake. This is not often precision warfare or made them cost
more, what we call in the United States, collateral damage moving forward.
None of this is remotely going to assuage those who lost family members in the violence here, but it is a sad, an awful tragic, vulgar, fact of
warfare here, but it is not always fair -- Isa.
[15:25:10]SOARES: Yes, one vital one that so many still to fight there in Mosul. Nick Paton Walsh there. Thanks very much, Nick.
Now one year on becoming the Conservative Party leader, and after a jittery performance in an election she called, British Prime Minister Theresa May
has attempted to sort of a relaunch in a speech she said she recognizes voter's frustration. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: A clear understanding that the E.U. referendum result was not a vote to leave the European Union, but a deeper
and more profound call for change across our country.
I believe that at the heart of that change must lie a commitment to greater fairness in our country as we tackle the injustices and vested interests
that threatened to hold us back and make Britain the country that works for everyone, not just a privileged few.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Well, Phil Black is joining us from Downing Street. He heard that speech there from Theresa May. And Phil, until now there has been a
perception, and correct me if I am wrong, here in U.K. that Theresa May is like a dead woman walking. (Inaudible) from that speech, has Theresa May
being able to invigorate her image and more importantly strengthen her mandate?
PHIL BLACK, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's that her mandate is still weak. She was -- her return to power just with a minority
government. Crucially, she lost that majority when she brought this country to a general election that she did not have to call.
And yet it is despite that, for all the talk of her being a dead woman walking or perhaps more kindly a caretaker prime minister, who would be
replaced by her party before the next election.
Today, we heard her talking once again like a leader, like someone who has a vision for her country. Crucially, it is the same vision, the same
description, the same defining characteristics, as she calls them, which he talked about when she first stood in this spot in front of Downing Street
one year ago, just after she became prime minister and spoke to the British people the first time.
So as you heard there, it's that talk of fairness and justice, building a country that works for everyone and not just a privileged few. She is
trying to entirely turn around that perception that she is just keeping the seat warm.
It is perhaps an indication that she feels she has riveted the initial storm that followed that very embarrassing election results. And now once
again she is trying to rebuild her authority, not just over the country or over parliament, but crucially over her party as well.
SOARES: But also as I was listening to it, Phil, it did sound like she was trying to appeal certainly those words to the very base that voted against
here, more importantly for Labour, how is that being interpreted here? Is that being seen as a weakness you think?
BLACK: Well, indeed when she first made those social comments a year ago, it was observed that she had. It was thought at the time very cleverly
eaten into the political space, the political, ideological, space occupied by the main opposition Labour Party and for time that worked very well for
She was initially hugely popular. It was why she was tempted to call that election. So it is a message that has worked for her before. It does not
mean however that it will work for her again. That -- well, it remains to be seen because so much has changed.
She still has many challenges to deal with, not least the fact that she now commands a minority government, as we've said, which basically means she
can't get anything done without the support of members of other political parties in parliament.
SOARES: And one of those challenges, of course, Phil, is Brexit. We have had Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson hitting out at some E.U. demands. What
does he had to say?
BLACK: Well, he has been talking about and was asked about in parliament today the key negotiating sticking point, the first big challenge really,
and that is the divorce settlement.
Essentially, Britain and the E.U. deciding how much money Britain should pay to the European Union to honor its existing financial commitments.
There's been a lot of talk about this. It was always going to be one of those difficult points.
And the E.U. has insisted that this has got to be settled first before they can begin talking about the future relationship like the future trade
relationship, for example.
The estimates have always been tens of billions of euros. How many, we do not know, but Boris Johnson said, it seems that what the EU was asking for
and today, in parliament, he suggested that it was not entirely reasonable. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: The sums that I have seen, that they proposed to (inaudible) to this country seemed to me to be
extortionate and I think the go whistle is an entirely appropriate expression.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACK: So, he's told them they can go whistle that's the British expression. There are far less polite British expressions that basically
mean they are pretty much the same thing which is in his view, the E.U. is not going to get what it wants in this case.
But keep in mind, these negotiations are in their very early stages. So it is perhaps understandable if the negotiating positions of both parties are
somewhat at the extreme, and the hope, of course, is that they will close over time, Isa.
ISA SOARES, CNN ANCHOR: I will Google Translate how to translate "Go whistle" into French. Phil Black there for us in Downing Street, a very
wet July. Thanks very much, Phil.
And still ahead right here on THE WORLD RIGHT NOW, perspectives on Donald Trump, Jr.'s shifting story. We'll get the view from Moscow and from a
Trump supporter. That's coming up next.
SOARES: You are watching THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. It is 8:30 here in London.
We want to return now to our top story, the stunning revelation that U.S. President Donald Trump's son met with a Russian government attorney last
summer during the campaign. Now, Donald Trump, Jr. was apparently enticed into going to the meeting by an e-mail offering him information that would
incriminate Hillary Clinton.
Ivan Watson has been digging into this story. He joins me now live from Moscow.
And, Ivan, I believe there is a Russian attorney, there's a pop star, and there's a businessman involved, but what have you been learning?
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I mean, well, it reveals something about the strange intersection that the Trump family
has between kind of real estate, international business, entertainment, and now, politics. And this latest political drama, this controversy, has
quite an unlikely cast of characters.
WATSON (voice-over): Believe it or not, this pop music is at the center of a political controversy that's riling Washington. A Russian pop star, Miss
Universe contestants, and a celebrity cameo.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What's wrong with you, Emin? You're fired.
WATSON (voice-over): The Russian pop star, Emin, is now one of a colorful collection of Trump associates linked to a controversial meeting between
Donald Trump, Jr. and a Russian lawyer.
Trump, Jr. says he met the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, for the first time on June 9, 2016 in New York. She spent years lobbying against the
Magnitsky Act, U.S. legislation that punishes Russians implicated in human rights abuses and corruption. She promoted this documentary film aimed at
undermining the law.
The Veselnitskaya meeting with Trump, Jr. organized by Rob Goldstone, a British P.R. agent in the music industry and once a judge on the Trump-
owned Miss USA beauty pageant. Goldstone told CNN Veselnitskaya stated she, quote, had some information regarding illegal campaign contributions
to the DNC which she believed Mr. Trump, Jr. might find important.
[15:35:14] In an interview, Tuesday, Veselnitskaya denied working for the Russian government. Goldstone says he set up the meeting at the request of
his client, the singer named Emin.
Emin partnered in hosting the Miss Universe beauty pageant in Moscow in 2013. A year later, Trump sent Emin a video message on his birthday.
TRUMP: You're a winner, you're a champ! You've weathered real estate. And, boy, can you also sing.
WATSON (voice-over): Emin boasted of his close ties to the Trumps last year on Russia's state T.V.
EMIN AGALAROV, RUSSIAN SINGER (through translator): His daughter, Ivanka, was in this office two years ago when we discussed the Trump Tower project.
I met many times with the sons, Eric and Donald. We message each other constantly.
WATSON (voice-over): In addition to music, Emin is an executive at Crocus Group, a real estate company run by his billionaire father, Aras Agalarov.
The patriarch is an associate of Trump. This Trump tweet in 2013 suggests they had plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.
The billionaire Russian businessman also has ties to the Kremlin. In 2013, he received a medal of honor from Vladimir Putin.
In e-mails published by Trump, Jr., Goldstone wrote that the father met with a Russian prosecutor and wanted to share sensitive information to help
Trump's campaign. Now, these alleged attempts to meddle in U.S. politics may have landed these Russian businessmen in hot water.
TRUMP: What's wrong with you, Emin?
WATSON: Isa, the Agalarov family has retained an outside counsel. I spoke with him. He denies that the family was trying to get Russian secrets into
Donald Trump, Jr.'s hands that would help the Trump campaign, though they do confirm that they did help set up the meeting.
When asked about these e-mails, the lawyer suggested that Rob Goldstone was out of his element. He's somebody who works in the entertainment industry
and just wasn't really familiar with what he was writing about, which was saying that he was delivering information from the Russian government to
help the Trump campaign against the Democrats -- Isa.
SOARES: Ivan Watson there for us in Moscow. Thanks very much, Ivan. Good to see you.
Now, Hillary Clinton's former running mate, Senator Tim Kaine says Donald Trump, Jr. may have committed treason by meeting with the lawyer. Kaine
says his actions go way beyond obstruction of justice.
Let's take from CNN Legal Analyst Paul Callan. He's a former homicide prosecutor in New York.
Paul, very good to see you. You've seen the e-mails. I've heard you talking about it, about them in great detail. Have any laws been broken
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, the law of common sense and avoiding scandal has been broken, I will tell you that. I mean, this thing has
blown up and is a major media story throughout the United States, but I don't see evidence of criminality in what we know now.
You would have to show that this meeting led to an exchange of information that had been obtained illegally in the United States possibly by hacking
computer networks. That's the sort of information you would have to have to show a criminal conspiracy.
Now, there have been some American lawyers who have said this may be a violation of campaign finance laws if the information was something of
value, but I think that's pretty much a stretch. And I suspect that in the end, this thing is going to look like a political scandal more than a
SOARES: So what we heard from Senator Tim Kaine basically saying potentially treason, from the legal perspective, is that just a stretch too
CALLAN: Yes, that's a stretch way too far. I mean, treason is potentially punishable by death, and it essentially involves American citizens offering
aid and comfort to an enemy, this would be the Russians. But I don't see it on this particular fact pattern.
I think there's a danger here, Isa, for the Trump administration, though. They have told so -- they've made so many statements denying contact with
the Russians, denying collusion with the Russians, saying it's a myth created by the fake news. And now, we have definitive evidence that they
went to a meeting thinking they were meeting with a representative of the Russian government.
And that suggests that, in the long run, a lot of people have been telling a lot of lies. And if they told those lies under oath, that, in fact,
could be a crime under American law. But that remains to be seen as the investigation continues.
SOARES: Yes. And it's also, of course, I'm guessing, a question of credibility. But we know from the e-mails being exchanged that was --
described this meeting as part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump. So does that point, in any way, to the investigation that's
currently ongoing? Does that shed any light? Is that slightly more crystal clear, do you think?
[15:40:07] CALLAN: Oh, I think it does. I mean, if it's true, it sheds a lot of light, and it shows, for the first time, evidence of a link between
direct support by the Russian government to the Trump campaign. Now, this is, of course, always has been denied by the Trump campaign. But what we
don't know, Isa, at this point, is, was that allegation as reflected in the e-mails true?
Now, already, I see the Trump administration saying this is not true. This is just a nutty person. This lawyer wasn't connected, in any way, to the
Russian government, and so this would not have genuinely reflected government support from Russia.
So we really need more information to find out if we're dealing with something that's true here, or something that just doesn't pan out.
SOARES: Paul Callan there for us. Thanks very much, Paul.
CALLAN: Thank you, Isa.
SOARES: Now, Donald Trump, Jr. has changed his story a number of times since "The New York Times" first reported on this meeting with the Russian
attorney. At first, he offered no indication he was meeting -- the meeting was, in any way, tied to Hillary Clinton. In fact, Trump, Jr. said his
rendezvous with the lawyer was related to adoptions.
By Sunday, after more reporting by "The Times," Trump, Jr. changed his story again. He claimed the lawyer statements were vague and made no
sense, and that she provided no meaningful information.
Well, today, Trump, Jr. released the e-mail chain relating to this meeting.
So let's get perspective from a Trump supporter, CNN Political Commentator Jeffrey Lord. He joins me now via Skype from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Jeffrey, always great to have you here on the show. I've heard --
JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Hello there, Isa. How are you?
SOARES: Very well, thank you. I've heard words so far today, Jeffrey, that includes bombshell, potentially treason. What's your interpretation
of these e-mails?
LORD: Yes, I've read this. I mean, I just don't see any -- as the old American saying goes, I don't see any there there.
Look, Isa, the allegations there was collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians that the election -- I can tell you, I live here in the
middle of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania went for Donald Trump for the first time, for the Republican nominee for the first time, since 1988.
I went to numerous rallies here in Pennsylvania. I can assure you that nobody was talking about Russia. They were talking about Hillary Clinton.
There were talking about jobs, trade, health care, those kind of things.
There is absolutely no evidence -- and as somebody who's had a lot of experience right here in Pennsylvania in Pennsylvania politics, there is
absolutely nothing, no evidence, that shows that anybody did anything in terms of Russia that carried Pennsylvania for Donald Trump. It just simply
SOARES: But, Jeffrey, when you look at these e-mails, isn't it troubling when you see the words, this is part of Russia and its government support
for Mr. Trump? Isn't it clear, right there, in those e-mail exchanges, in black and white, that he met with a Russian attorney to benefit his
father's campaign and therefore hurt Hillary Clinton?
SOARES: Isn't that troubling?
LORD: Sure. Isa, again, I've been in presidential campaigns, successful presidential campaigns. You get asked to meet with all kinds of people,
foreign folks as well as Americans of dubious reputation. This goes on all of the time.
And if somebody walks through the door or over the transmits, as the saying were, and said, I've got, you know, secret info on your opponent, there
isn't a Republican or a Democratic politician in America that's not going to say, well, let me see what you got. I mean, that --
SOARES: Even with a foreign government, Jeffrey?
LORD: -- that is just basic politics.
SOARES: Even with a foreign --
LORD: What, I'm sorry?
SOARES: Even with a foreign government?
LORD: Sure, of course. Of course. I mean, this is -- this is just -- this is just, you know, naive nonsense to pretend that this kind of thing
doesn't happen. I'll give you an example.
Political magazine -- an American political magazine here in January of this year ran a story about someone who was a Democratic Party --
consultant for the Democratic National Committee working with folks at the Ukrainian embassy to defeat Donald Trump. Well, where's the outrage?
There isn't any. They don't care. This kind of thing happens.
When I was in college, George McGovern was the Democratic presidential nominee, and he has secretly sent one of his emissaries to Paris to meet
with a north Vietnamese to try and get in on the Vietnam peace negotiations that Richard Nixon had set up. He had no business doing that, but he did
it. This kind of thing happens. There is nothing unusual about it.
SOARES: But it's interesting that Donald Trump, Jr. clearly felt this, Jeffrey, was an important meeting to have because he had Paul Manafort
SOARES: -- and he had Jared Kushner join too.
SOARES: But it's the fact that we're learning about this now but also the potential -- the dirt that we are learning, though we don't know what came
out of it, but what could come out of this meeting in order to incriminate Hillary. Do you understand why there is so much -- what so many people are
up in arms about this?
[15:45:08] LORD: Well, nothing came out of it. Nothing came out of it. But --
SOARES: Well, that's what --
LORD: But as I say --
SOARES: That's what he is saying but we do not know that.
LORD: Well, there's nothing that I can see that affected the election here in Pennsylvania or in Ohio or Wisconsin or Michigan or Florida or North
Carolina, the states that switched and voted for Donald Trump. I mean, nothing. So, you know, at some point, they've got to produce the evidence,
and they've produced nothing here. Nothing.
SOARES: OK. Let me ask you this then, Jeffrey. Is this damaging, would you say, to President Trump? Is this the unraveling of President Trump?
LORD: Oh heavens, no! Oh heavens, no, but it is intended to be damaging. And in that respect, one of the things I think we need to be cautious about
is whether or not this meeting with Donald Trump, Jr. was a set up.
In other words, were people trying to inveigle him to do something deliberately so that they could then hit Donald Trump with it? I mean, I
don't know the answer, but I think that we need to take -- look into all the possibilities here.
SOARES: Jeffrey, it's always great to get your perspective. Thank you very much.
LORD: Thank you, Isa.
SOARES: Appreciate it. Now, you are watching THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. It is spend, spend, spend on Amazon Prime Day, but what exactly is it and who
does it benefit? Clare Sebastian explains for us.
SOARES: You are watching THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. I am Isa Soares.
Now, if you've ever needed another reason to spend more money, you have a few hours left to grab some deals on Amazon Prime Day. CNN Money's Clare
Sebastian is following this big, busy, and buying day in New York.
Clare, explain to our international viewers what's exactly so special about today's Amazon Prime Day. How does that differentiate from any other day,
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, essentially, Isa, this is a made-up retail holiday just like Cyber Monday or Alibaba Singles Day,
but what makes it special is the sheer scale of it.
Last year, Amazon made a billion dollars -- an estimated billion dollars on Prime Day. They say they're already breaking records this year. You know,
the numbers are staggering.
Last year, they sold around a million pairs of shoes, 2 million toys. And this year, it's not so much about selling a lot of stuff on Amazon. They
really are trying to sell Amazon, and it's working. So far, the biggest selling product is the Amazon Echo, that smart speaker that uses the Alexa
And this is not just about luring people in with these deals. It's about keeping the customers they already have because people can also use Alexa
to shop. Take a look.
SEBASTIAN (on camera): Alexa, what are your deals?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here are my deals.
SEBASTIAN (voice-over): There was a time when one click was the pinnacle of consumer convenience on Amazon. This year on Prime Day, it's all about
the voice. Right, Alexa?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Voice shoppers get early access to Prime Day deals starting at 7:00 p.m. Eastern time on Monday, July 10th.
[15:50:01] MAX WOLFF, MARKET STRATEGIST, 55 INTERNATIONAL: I think Alexa's going to become front and center for the whole Prime Day experience. What
they're saying is, the true network prime, in all senses of the term. Amazon Client uses this device. Use it to be there first, get the best of
SEBASTIAN (voice-over): While Alexa is yet to rival mobile or online shopping, it's growing. Obviously, capital markets predict Alexa could
increase spending by up to 15 percent per Amazon customer by 2020. That's an extra $5 billion in revenue.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Five billion's number of zeroes is nine.
SEBASTIAN (voice-over): And zests competition. Google launched voice activated shopping through its Google Home and Google Assistant in
This month, Chinese e-commerce giant, Alibaba, launched its own Mandarin- only virtual assistant, Tmall Genie.
And Apple has the HomePod, which goes on sale in December.
WOLFF: I think everyone thinks the next two major areas for the Internet to eat are the car experience and the house experience. And Alexa's in
pole position for the house experience.
For them, it really isn't about selling the device. It's about walling the garden with a higher wall, or making the walls of the garden a more
pleasant place to live.
SEBASTIAN (voice-over): In other words, along with Prime, Alexa is another way for Amazon to lock in customers. Food is a key part of that.
Especially now, it's buying Whole Foods.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Alexa, I need milk.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I added milk to your shopping list.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Alexa, take a video.
SEBASTIAN (voice-over): And Alexa can even provide fashion tips with the new Echo Look.
WOLFF: What Amazon is really trying to do is prove that they can do what you need to do better, easier, simpler, faster, and more fun than anybody
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Would you like to shop?
SEBASTIAN (voice-over): And Alexa experts say it may be a reliable assistant, even if she is not yet willing to admit it.
SEBASTIAN (on camera): Alexa, what is the future of retail?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sorry, I'm not sure about that.
SEBASTIAN: And there, Isa, Alexa perhaps being a little coy there because, clearly, this is just another way that Amazon is trying to be the place
that people go to buy, frankly, everything.
Speaking of buying everything, we're in the last 12 hours of Prime Day. It ends at 3:00 a.m. in the morning here on the East Coast, so still some time
to get those deals.
SOARES: Yes, I'll go out there and try and some nappies. Not for myself, clearly. Thanks very much, Clare Sebastian. Thanks very much.
Now, coming up, a tale of two cities. Paris and Los Angeles will each host the Olympic Games, so the question is which city will go first? Don
Riddell has that story.
SOARES: Now, Paris and Los Angeles are hoarding the bubbies for September. The two cities are all but certain to be chosen to host the Summer Olympic
Games in 2024 and 2028.
In a break from tradition, the International Olympic Committee voted today to award two games at the same time. French President Emmanuel Macron was
on hand for the vote in Switzerland.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE (through translator): The values that Olympics represents, which these games precisely allows to develop, are our
values. They're threatened, challenged by many today, so this is the best time to defend them. These values of openness, tolerance, justice, this
respect for the environment. We have had many questions on this subject. This is what the Paris bid defense.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Well, meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump says he is working hard, as you can see there, to get the Olympics for Los Angeles. But still
unclear which city, Paris or L.A., will go first.
"WORLD SPORT's" Don Riddell joins me now from CNN center. Don, are they fighting it out to see which one gets the year? Is there a particular year
that one prefers over the other?
DON RIDDELL, CNN WORLD SPORT CORRESPONDENT: Well, I guess, they'd probably both want to go first. I mean, that's what they were bidding for. The
mayors of the two respective cities are close, and I think that the IOC, frankly, is hoping that they can, frankly, work it out between themselves.
If not, the IOC will have to make a decision.
But, I mean, I think this is a good decision by the IOC. Just bidding for the Olympics has become so expensive in recent times. Of course, hosting
them can be extraordinarily expensive. The budget for Tokyo in 2020 has already doubled to $12 billion.
[15:55:00] And so this is a recognition by the IOC that it is very, very expensive. They've made a decision which guarantees them for the next
decade to have the Olympics in the summer hosted by three relatively stable cities, in Tokyo, L.A., and Paris. But they are going to have to work out
how this bidding process works and how the funds raised by the Olympics are redistributed because there is no doubt, for the bidding cities, this is
very, very expensive.
SOARES: Yes. And, Don, on that point, I mean, I remember a time when we used to have, I think, three or four, if not more, cities basically vying
for this. Why are we seeing less of an interest? Is that because of costs?
RIDDELL: Oh, absolutely. I mean, if you go back to 1968, the period between '68 and 2012, on average, the cost of hosting the Olympics was a
150 percent over what people thought it was going to be. You look at, now, the cities that just aren't interested, they're dropping out of it.
We had five cities who were bidding for this next Olympics. But Hamburg, Rome, and Budapest all dropped out the 2022 summer. So the winter games
only had two cities bidding for it, in the end, so this is a real problem. And the IOC, hopefully, is starting to recognize that this is an issue.
The games are expensive, of course. Post 9/11, the security for the Olympics has just put the price tag way out of reach for some people. And
particularly in Western Europe where governments have to listen to the electorate, it's very, very hard to justify the cost of hosting these
And it's not just hosting them. I mean, Chicago bid for 2016 and they lost, and it cost them $70 million just to bid for it. So, you know, this
is what it all comes down to, money and how it works with the Olympics and how, perhaps, it can be better spent in the future.
SOARES: How are these two cities, Don Riddell, very quickly, how are they trying to differentiate themselves when it comes to these games? What's
kind of the image each one is trying to portray?
RIDDELL: Well, I mean, that's very interesting. I think when you look at the cost and the one thing that they both have, is that they're sort of
already modern sporty cities, and they've not necessarily had to spend so much on new stadiums. It's more kind of renovating and tweaking what they
already have. But, of course, they would both be very modern Olympics and very exciting Olympics.
I think it's going to be interesting to see who does go first. But in the grand scheme of things, I'm not sure it really matters. I think they'll
both be celebrating today, knowing that they're going to be hosting them within the next decade or so.
SOARES: Yes. And I'm sure renovating and tweaking is probably something that Parisians like the sound of instead of cost.
SOARES: Don Riddell, thanks very much. Very good to see you.
And this has been THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. Thanks very much for joining us. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next. Do stay right here with CNN. We are,
of course, the world's news leader.