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At Least Eight People in Trump Jr.'s Russia Meeting; White House Names Ty Cobb as Special Counsel; GOP Rep. Bill Flores: Remove Trump Kids & Kushner From White House; Krauthammer: Trump Jr's E-mails Proof of Collusion; Trump's Legal Fight over Golf Course Taxes; Sexual Harassment Scandal Rocks Silicon Valley. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired July 15, 2017 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[16:59:53] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: The earlier reports it was the President's son, his campaign manager, one of the closest advisers and now we know at least eight people were in that room. Here's a look. Everybody who was in that maybe for different reasons, we're still not exactly clear why they were invited and what was discussed.
So, I want to bring in our global affairs correspondent Elise Labott in Washington and CNN's Boris Sanchez in New Jersey where President Trump is spending his weekend.
Boris, to you first. Another wrinkle in the story just today. The White House has now brought on an additional lawyer with a specific role to play in this investigation. Tell us more.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Ana. His name is Ty Cobb and he's just been confirmed to have been hired by the White House to provide guidance and to oversee the White House response into the Russia investigation. Not just legally, but also in the press. The most interesting thing about this is the timing of his hiring, this comes during a week where there were reports of frustration and tension between White House officials and the President's private Attorney Marc Kasowitz, who had a very rough week after the release of some private e-mails between him and a critic, explicit laden eventually Kasowitz apologized for that.
But it is a signal now from the White House though Kasowitz will stay on as the President's private attorney, that they need to do more when it comes to Russia. Again, not just legally, but also in the press -- Ana.
CABRERA: Elise, back to that meeting at Trump Tower last June. That meeting was pitched as an opportunity for Trump insiders to learn something that would hurt the Clinton campaign. So what about this man who was there, the Washington lobbyist, former soviet officer, Rinat Akhmetshin. What do we know about him and what interest would he have in a meeting like this?
ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, we know that he was well known, Ana, in Washington circles. He was a Russian lobbyist, working for this Russian lawyer who was also in the meeting. Natalia Veselnitskaya. And he was lobbying on behalf of trying to get rid of this legislation, this Magnitsky Act that was attacking many of the Russian officials that were involved in human rights.
Now, what's also very interesting about him is his former military career. He was in the soviet army. He had told some of his friends and colleagues that he had served in military intelligence. Now, since then he has been denying those reports but he does seem to have some ties to Russian military intelligence. And also in fact earlier this year the Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley had been looking into this man who actually is born in Russia, a U.S. citizen.
He has been looking into his immigration records because he thinks that perhaps he had not registered properly as -- in his lobbying work and noticing his ties to intelligence. So obviously a lot of this meeting was talking about that Magnitsky Act and certainly he's a lobbyist in those endeavors, but his military career, those ties to military intelligence and all the rest of it certainly a lot of interest right now surrounding this meeting.
CABRERA: Boris, any response from the White House or the administration team yet after these new revelations? It's been more than 24 hours.
SANCHEZ: That's right, Ana. None yet. No official White House statement. The most that we have gotten so far is the tweet sent earlier today by the President where he references the Russian hoax but he doesn't get into the specifics, the details of who was in this meeting specifically Mr. Akhmetshin who released just discussed.
Despite that though we have heard from the President's Attorney Jay Sekulow who was on Anderson Cooper last night saying that the President didn't know anything about this meeting when it took place. Also going as far as to say that no crime was committed. That no chargeable offense comes from this meeting. Listen to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY SEKULOW, MEMBER, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S LEGAL TEAM: What statute has been violated here? Because at the end of the day I keep saying this, this is interesting. And I understand that why you're covering it but the fact is, no legal violation for the meeting.
ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, ANDERSON COOPER 360: Right.
SEKULOW: The meeting itself is not a violation of the law.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS: Now, legal experts tell us, Ana, it's not so cut and dry. Referencing the fact that a creative prosecutor could potentially look at campaign finance laws that may have been violated because of this meeting -- Ana.
CABRERA: Elise, talk to me about the broader U.S./Russian relationship now and how these new twists and turns might have an impact. LABOTT: Well, certainly, you know, President Trump has been trying to
get things back on track with President Putin but these investigations and this continued drip drip is only continuing to thwart those efforts and in fact the Russians have been very upset about these compounds that President Obama during his term had seized in the United States in Long Island saying that they were used for intelligence purposes. The Russians are now threatening retaliation, if that doesn't -- if those aren't returned.
There's going to be a meeting next week between a very top level State Department official, Tom Shannon and his Russian counterpart to try and talk about how they can move passed some of these what Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had called irritants in the relationship. But the more these allegations about Russian efforts, Russian perhaps ties to people with Russian intelligence continued to dog the efforts by the U.S. and Russia to kind of get their relationship back on track, it can't help but make more things complicated -- Ana.
[17:05:33] CABRERA: Elise Labott, Boris Sanchez, thank you both. I want to talk more about this shifting stories and the many responses.
Joining us, CNN senior political analyst and senior editor at The Atlantic Ron Brownstein. And CNN political analyst and White House correspondent for Politico, Tara Palmeri. Guys, Donald Trump, Jr. says he released his e-mails to be completely transparent. Now, the White House has praised his move, but I want to play for you part of the interview Donald Trump Jr. gave to FOX News on Tuesday as part of this decision to be transparent.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: Did you ever meet with any other person from Russia that you know?
DONALD TRUMP JR., SON OF DONALD TRUMP: I don't even know. I probably met with other people from Russia. Not in the context of a formalized meeting.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, as far as you know, as far as this incident is concerned this is all of it?
TRUMP JR.: This is everything. This is everything.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Ron, four days later we now know that wasn't completely transparent. That wasn't everything. What we don't know is why he didn't say something more. If nothing happened, if this is a big nothing burger, why so much misinformation?
RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, first, I think you picked the exact right clip to highlight because Donald Trump Jr. facing these questions went on the single friendliest venue that the Trump administration has had. Went to the staunchest defender that the Trump administration has had in media and lied directly to him and I think it ought to be a sobering moment for everyone else who is putting their reputation on the line to defend the Trump administration as their stories shift on this.
I mean, I think that's a very important moment. To me, it's also a reminder of what I have been saying all week. It is very hard to process these kinds of investigations in the 24 hour media cycle. There is so much we don't know about these meetings but, you know, to borrow from Donald Rumsfeld the known unknowns are that the stories, the portrayal of this meeting almost certainly is going to look different, what led up to it.
What came out of it, what was discussed in it after everyone involved has testified under oath. After the special counsel has done all of the investigation. I do not think by any means we have heard the last word on this and the fact that the story kept shifting over the last week I think is indicative that this White House is going to release, you know, information grudgingly, step by step, only when forced -- when their hand is forced. So, no one should take I think any of the stories that come out as the last word because, you know, there's always been another turn of the screw.
CABRERA: You just never know. Tara, I know you have been in touch with some of your sources there in the West Wing. What is been the White House is thinking behind the scenes about how this is being covered?
TARA PALMERI, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, POLITICO: Well, first of all, a lot of the White House staffers that I had spoken to had spoken about a sense of kind of low morale. You know, there was a feeling for a long time that this was as one person put it conspiracy bs and that there was nothing to it but once they could actually see the e- mails from Don Jr., a lot of the staffers felt a bit disillusioned.
And you know, what I have been hearing from my sources is that Jared Kushner who was in the meeting with Don Jr., he's really been asking the communications team in the rest shop to be more aggressive in their defense of the Russian investigation, of this meeting, of the firing of Comey and the other things because he sees them as factors that affect the presidency and he thinks that they should be -- you know, very forceful in defending them like changing cable news Chyrons.
Calling and trying to place stories in major newspapers and making sure statements are inserted into stories from the White House whereas they have sort of taken a back seat approach. Mostly out of fear of becoming too implicated in it. Not wanting to have to retain their own attorneys. A lot of them are younger staffers that work in the press office, don't necessarily have this same sort of income that he has -- that he has. And, you know, they have -- they're very reserved about this. But he says, you know, you know, we should be in full combat mode. You don't have to get into the nitty-gritty but you have to protect the White House.
CABRERA: So interesting because a lot of the legal experts we have been talking to say, their best course would be no comment, stop talking. Do less, not more. But Ron, sources are telling CNN as we're learning what's been happening behind the scenes that Jared Kushner's attorneys found out about these e-mails back in mid-June and ever since they have been strategizing on how to disclose them. The fact that this is how they're being disclosed, what does that tell you?
[17:10:06] BROWNSTEIN: Well, look, I mean it goes to my point from before. You know, which is that we are at the furthest of the opposite end of transparency from this administration. I mean, if nothing else, you know, Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort and Donald Trump Jr. knew this meeting occurred. They took part in it last summer and they allowed their colleagues and even the vice president to go on television and in other venues for months and say, there was no contact when obviously there had been.
And I think, you know, the way this in particular has played out I think also kind of points to this question that Tara was getting at which is, you know, not everyone's interests are entirely aligned here even within the administration and, you know, whether Jared Kushner is pushing them to be more aggressive in defending the President, he's put the President in a very difficult position by failing to report so many of his foreign contacts on the security clearance.
So, you know, exactly who is pushing against who and whether their interesting all look the same once they are testifying under oath and historically in these kind of investigations and scandal, whether it's Iran/contra or Watergate or any of them, that is the moment I think at which you see kind of more of the strand unraveling and people pursuing different courses.
CABRERA: Tara, earlier we played that clip with Jay Sekulow who was on Anderson Cooper show last night saying there's still no there there even though there was this meeting. But I want to play for you now what Republican Congressman Leonard Lance was asked about possible collusion.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you definitively say, can you look into my eyes, and say I'm 100 percent sure the President and his campaign did not engage in a criminal conspiracy with a foreign intelligence apparatus?
REP. LEONARD LANCE (R), NEW JERSEY: No, I cannot and that's why I want to get to the bottom of it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Tara, how do you read that answer? Does it show just how much the discovery of this meeting has changed things?
PALMERI: I think he was playing it safe to say that. He's a Republican, but at the end of the day we really don't know -- no one knows. I'm sure only a handful of people in the campaign actually know about the context and the fact that they haven't been as transparent as they claim to be. At the end of the day, you know, maybe this is a shift that you're starting to see a Republican perhaps stepping away from Trump in support, in his support because of the Russia investigation. But I think he was playing it safe. The last thing you want to say is
there's absolutely no collusion and then a week later we see more e- mails, more meetings. Who knows, it's been a drip drip drip and the more that this investigation moves forward, the Senate Intel Committee, all the committees once they start really digging into this I think you'll going to see a lot more details and a lot -- and we'll really be able to see if there was more than just an intention to collude or if there is actual collusion.
CABRERA: Ron, some of the intelligence experts I've talked to say, they believe that this was a test by Russia to see just how open the Trump campaign was to receiving help. We don't know if this was the only meeting Senator John McCain has said in the past that he expects more shoes to drop.
CABRERA: What are Republicans having to weigh right now?
BROWNSTEIN: Well, look, I mean, that is the point. Right? I think that, you know, we don't know what's out there, but I think after the last several months the assumption is that there is more out there than you know today. And that's why again it's so hard for anyone to process this in real-time. I want to go just back to what Tara has said. Because I think there's one interesting point here.
Historically when you had this kind of controversy swirling around the White House, it really has a diminished their ability to push their agenda. What's kind of odd about this scandal is that it is consuming so much of the oxygen that it -- in some ways it's providing a cloak or a cover for the Republicans in the Senate on this giant health care struggle. I mean, just today, you know, just today you had the Republican governors of Arizona, Arkansas, Nevada and Ohio, the Republican governors reaffirming their opposition to the revised Senate health care bill.
Six Republican senators in those states obviously any one addition of them would sink the bill. And it's very hard for the media or the public to kind of keep the central focus that you would see. And in some ways, it's played into this Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's hands of, you know, ignoring public hearings, ignoring markup, trying to do as quietly and as surreptitiously really as possible.
It's a strange dynamic where they are pulling away from the administration perhaps in some of the unequivocal defense, but on the agenda side what -- you know, that is kind of still moving forward and in some ways I said being cloaked by what's happening on this kind of all-consuming story.
CABRERA: Well, the agenda is still moving forward, but still the accomplishments few to speak of.
Ron Brownstein and Tara Palmeri, thank you both for being with us.
Coming up, the President's lawyer apologizes, yes, Marc Kasowitz is apologizing. What led to this apology and his use of some nasty, threatening language to a complete stranger in an e-mail. Also, look at this.
[17:15:01] Started a timer on this presidential hand shake that went on and on and on. It's okay, we'll keep the clock running. See how long it lasted a little bit later. You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[17:19:22] CABRERA: The White House is adding a brand new face to its legal team. Veteran Washington Lawyer Ty Cobb will be White House special counsel coordinating between the various Russia investigations and the many lawyers now involved. Cobb is rumored to be a relative of the famous baseball hall of fame with the same name, although he will neither confirms or deny it. It all comes amid a flurry of dramatic reports centered on the President's personal lawyer Marc Kasowitz.
Let's talk it over with CNN legal analyst and former New York City homicide prosecutor Paul Callan. Paul, according to "The Washington Post," Kasowitz is struggling to manage his client who won't follow instructions, won't discipline himself. They write this quote after one meeting in which they his legal team urged Trump to steer clear of a certain topic, he sent a tweet about that very theme before they arrived back at their office. So, Paul, what would you do if you were President Trump's personal lawyer right now?
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: You know, he's got a horrible situation on his hands. He has got a president who is being investigated by a special prosecutor. And what lawyers tell their clients is essentially, don't say anything or talk about anything related to the case unless you clear it with me. And the President's, you know, sending these tweets out 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning. Believe me it's enough to give a lawyer a heart attack or at least a stress attack which apparently is what happened with Kasowitz.
CABRERA: Do you think that's what happened with these e-mails?
CALLAN: Pardon me?
CABRERA: Do you think that's what happened with these e-mails? I want to read in fact what happened here. And just to bring our viewers up to speed in case they missed this. It's easy with everything moving fast and furious. Kasowitz sent this expletive laced e-mail to a stranger, a man who had apparently been watching a cable news segment on the Russia investigation and sent him an e-mail and some of what he wrote -- Kasowitz back to this viewer, this cable news viewer he says watch your back, bleep. Don't be afraid you piece of bleep. Paul, what do you think is behind that kind of reaction? Do you think it might be stress related or is this just his style?
CALLAN: Well, he's known to be a very aggressive lawyer in court and one of the reasons Trump has used him through the years is because that's the style that Trump likes. But let me tell you something, Ana. That letter -- you know, you're not talking about what's really in it, because you have to bleep out half of it is a disgraceful example of a lawyer who's totally lost its in terms of what's proper and improper.
I mean, he's representing the President of the United States. You can't be sending letters to people who, you know, complain about you. I mean, social media is a part of life these days and you always get criticism. So, I think he's under a lot of stress because Trump won't listen to him.
There's also been -- there's a lawsuit that was filed against his law firm since he was named as counsel to the President relating to billing improprieties. Has nothing to do with the President but it's put the firm under stress. And then there was an article in pro- publica, very harshly critical of Kasowitz. And I think that combination of things probably caused him to just lose it at 10:00 at night and send that letter out.
CABRERA: Yes. I want to read some of his response. This viewer reportedly told Kasowitz he should resign from representing President Trump. Paul, we know the President himself considers himself a fighter and he likes having fighters on his team. But is hiring a tough talking lawyer something that could backfire?
CALLAN: It usually does in my experience when you hire lawyers who, you know, are totally uncooperative and exists only to fight with the other side, it causes lawsuits to go on far longer than they normally would. But if you look at the history of the way Donald Trump ran his real estate empire, he used lawsuits really as a weapon and because he had so much money and so much power, he was able to win many cases just because the other side couldn't afford to continue the fight.
He started out by the way his first lawyer was a guy named Roy Cohn who was counsel to the McCarthy committee in the 1950s. Considered to be one of the nastiest, most vicious lawyers in New York and he has since passed away. Trump used to take a picture of Roy Cohn out of a drawer, they kept it at his office, and show it to people and say I'm going to send this guy after you if you don't agree with me. So this is Trump's style and Kasowitz just reflects that style. But it worked for Trump, it doesn't usually work for other people unless they have a billion dollars to spend on legal expenses.
CABRERA: Paul Callan, thanks so much. And by the way, you can read Paul Callan's op-ed on CNN.com in which he discusses whether Kasowitz could now be in legal trouble himself after this fiery e-mail exchange.
Again, thanks, Paul. Good to see you.
Coming up, the long good-bye. The epic hands shake between Trump and the President of France that set the internet on fire.
[17:28:44] CABRERA: As turmoil was brewing back at the White House this week, the President's senior advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner was rubbing shoulders with the super wealthy in Sun Valley, Idaho. The images of Kushner at this posh resort were a stark contrast to the numerous unflattering headlines about his involvement in a meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and the Russian lawyer. Well, now one Republican has some pointed advice for the President.
Congressman Bill Flores of Texas saying this, quote, "I'm going out on a limb here. But I would say that I think it would be in the President's best interest if he removed all of his children from the White House. Not only Donald Trump Jr., but Ivanka and Jared Kushner."
Joining me now, CNN political commentator and former Reagan White House Director Jeffrey Lord and Democratic strategist Robert Zimmerman. Gentlemen, this is a lightning round. So, here are the rules. You each have 30 seconds to respond to the questions and each get a chance for each question. We have a buzzer when your time is up. So our first question, are you ready?
JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Ready!
CABRERA: All right. Is it in Trump's best interest to get his kid, his children out of the White House? Robert, you first?
[17:30:00] ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I think the Kardashian family would be a better job serving Donald Trump than his own children, with the exception of Barron. All the adult children are involved in conflicts of interest. In some cases, like Jared Kushner, he's left off over a hundred names, and had to change the disclosure forms three different times. Seriously, he should have his national security clearance pulled, because it's a risk to our country.
CABRERA: Nice one.
Jeffrey -- nice one because you stayed within those 30 seconds.
Jeffrey, I want to get what your thoughts are.
LORD: Yes. Not even close. I definitely think he should keep them. He depends on them. They're great for him. And other presidents, Andrew Jackson, Martin van Buren, Franklin Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, and particularly John F. Kennedy, have had family members in the White House, in the cabinet, or highly placed, and they depended on them, and so should Trump.
CABRERA: All right. Guys, moving on, conservative columnist, FOX News contributor, Charles Krauthammer, he made headlines this week for saying Donald Trump Jr's e-mails are proof of attempted collusion. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I don't think it's illegal. I don't think anybody is claiming it's illegal. But what it does, the one thing that it does, it totally undermines a six-month story from the White House, to which I was empathetic, that there wasn't any collusion. This was a bungled collusion. This is amateurish collusion. This is Keystone Kops collusion. But it doesn't change the fact that it was attempted collusion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Jeffrey, he says collusion over and over again. Even if there's nothing illegal about what happened here, the e-mails, they're black and white. Do you agree with his assessment that this is now evidence of collusion?
LORD: No. No. I don't. I think it's silly. I think this is way over done. Former Speaker Gingrich called this "fevered insanity." I think that an apt description. I would like someone to come here to the lower precinct of Pennsylvania and show me what votes were changed by the meeting. The answer is none.
ZIMMERMAN: Well, we have gone in this discussion from first saying there were no meetings with Russians, to saying there was no collusion, now to argue that the collusion was not illegal. The point here is we clearly know by the e-mails. Not only was it an attempted collusion, but the Trump family was embracing. They were truly embracing the idea of an enemy state working with them to interfere in the presidential election. So the question is not whether it's illegal. The question is, what's next. But we know one fact: It's certainly not patriotic.
CABRERA: While we're dealing with timers, let's take a look at this, this epic handshake between President Trump and President Macron of France. It lasted a whopping 29 seconds. It involved so many things.
You can't help but laugh.
Robert, what does the body language say to you?
ZIMMERMAN: Think about it this way. The president refused to shake Chancellor Angela Merkel's hand. And then he tried to push a world leader away from his spot so he could get a better photo-option. Tried to push a world leader out of the way. Now he seems to be engaging in these handshake embraces like with the president of France. And either he's hold on -- either President Trump's holding on for dear life or his small hand may have gotten caught in the sleeve of the jacket. I'm not sure which.
CABRERA: Jeffrey, what's your take?
LORD: Well, haven shaken the president's hand a fair number of times, he's a good shaker. He's a really nice guy. He can be very engaging. And I think that's what you were seeing there and nothing more.
CABRERA: You don't -- well, we have a few extra seconds. You don't think there was more going on there? I mean, he was holding on, hugging --
LORD: No, I think he - (CROSSTALK)
CABRERA: -- not letting go.
LORD: I think he's building alliances with the allies.
CABRERA: All right.
ZIMMERMAN: That's -- I mean, we never have been more unpopular with our allies and held in more disrespect. He has a lot of work to do.
ZIMMERMAN: When he's not insulting the allies.
CABRERA: Let's move on. Singer Kid Rock created buzz this week. He said he's planning to run for the Senate in Michigan. Even Elizabeth Warren is taking note of this, saying in a fundraising e-mail, quote, "Well, maybe this is all a joke, but we thought that Donald Trump was joking when he rode down that escalator at Trump Tower and announced his campaign, too."
Jeffrey, are we entering a new era of celebrity politicians?
LORD: I think it's accelerating. As someone who worked for the famous B-movie actor who became a television star, who became president after becoming governor of California, we have seen this movie before, as it were, Governor Schwarzenegger, et cetera. It might be accelerating a bit, but it's still the same thing.
CABRERA: Robert, final thought?
ZIMMERMAN: First, I want to say to Jeffrey, you served our country very well during your service to the Reagan administration and we should acknowledge that.
LORD: Thank you.
ZIMMERMAN: But I also want to point out that while we're seeing an acceleration of celebrity politicians, if you will, let's remember, after Arnold Schwarzenegger, California went back to its former governor, Jerry Brown, who is a previous governor and a state attorney general. After Donald Trump, we may want to go back -- it may sound boring -- but we may want to go back to people who have been proven leaders in business and government, and not reality TV show stars.
[17:35:25] CABRERA: All right. Gentlemen, thanks.
Jeffrey, a quick bonus question for you. I can't help but ask. What happened to that picture of Ronald Reagan behind you that you used to always be so prominent?
LORD: I know. The hard truth is I had cataract surgery on my right eye. And I am strictly forbidden by the doctor from lifting this printer behind me and putting it on the floor and putting President Reagan there.
So until next week, we've got to leave the printer where it is.
CABRERA: Reagan got upstaged by a printer. Well, we wish you a fast recovery.
ZIMMERMAN: Fast recovery.
CABRERA: Thank you, both.
LORD: Thank you.
CABRERA: Robert Zimmerman, Jeffrey Lord, thanks again, guys.
Coming up, taxing Trump. The legal fight over how much the president's business has to pay in taxes on his U.S. golf resorts. Plus, what a group of goats has to do with all of it.
You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[17:40:21] CABRERA: Welcome back. President Trump's spending the weekend in Bedminster, New Jersey, the location of one of 12 golf resorts he owns here in the U.S. And right now, his business is waging a war in the courts over the taxes on those resorts.
CNN's Kyung Lah reports.
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Trump National Golf Club, Jupiter, a 285-acre luxury state-of-the-art property, good enough for the president to host Japan's prime minister, later, golfing on the lush course. In federal election filings just last month, the Trump Organization claims the value is more than $50 million. But in the lawsuit filed Thursday against Palm Beach County, Trump's attorneys argue it's worth far less that what the country assess it, $18.4 million. In 2014, Trump's lawyers claimed it's worth no more than $5 million. Why?
(on camera): If you lower the value --
UNIDENTIFIED LAW PROFESSOR: If you lower the value, you pay less taxes.
LAH: So it's about how much you pay the town?
UNIDENTIFIED LAW PROFESSOR: Yes, the state of Florida and the city of Palm Beach.
LAH (voice-over): It's a years-long pattern repeated practically every year. Public records show Trump has fought the tax assessments on all 12 of his U.S. golf courses, except the one in Bedminster, New Jersey, where he gets a farmland tax break for having goats on the property.
LAH: The Trump Organization is also suing the small town of Ossining, New York, population 40,000, to lower his taxes on his Westchester golf course.
LAH: Touting a 101-foot water fall at the 13th hole, Trump National claims it's the most expensive golf hole ever constructed. In campaign filings, Trump says the course is worth more than $50 billion. But in 2015, his attorneys argued the course was worth far less, only $1.35 million. The tax difference between those two values is about $427,000 a year.
DANA LEVERNBERG (ph), TOWN SUPERVISOR, OSSINING, NEW YORK: It's so unfair. Who is paying the difference, except for the people of Ossining?
LAH: Trump's lawyers are fighting the people of Rancho Palace Verde, south of Los Angeles, home to another luxury golf resort. Public tax documents obtained by CNN show, in 2007, the course was worth $67 million. But year after year, Trump filed hundreds of appeals to drop the value of the golf course by tens of millions of dollars. All those appeals have dropped the value to $27.7 million, down $40 million in nine years.
Multiple tax experts tell CNN that Trump is not alone in what he's doing. Many wealthy people have attorneys fighting to lower their tax burden.
But there's an important difference with Donald Trump now.
(on camera): Do you find anything overall problematic, since this is the president of the United States?
UNIDENTIFIED LAW PROFESSOR: If you think the system is easily manipulated, why should the average person have to pay taxes or value property properly or pay their fair share?
LAH: CNN did reach out to the Trump Organization for comment on the Jupiter property, as well as the other Trump golf properties. We did not receive a response.
Kyung Lah, CNN, Los Angeles.
CABRERA: Coming up, scandal in Silicon Valley. In a rare sit-down interview, six women come forward with shocking stories from one of the most powerful places on earth.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You don't want to tell people you were in a business meeting and somebody shamed you and made you feel less than. Who wants that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was about ego and power.
UFA: It was the moment that I felt my leg being grabbed under the table that I thought, holy moly, this is real.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[17:48:30] CABRERA: It's a scandal rocking Silicon Valley. Women coming forward talking with CNN, revealing shocking stories of sexual harassment. Stories about an investor exposing himself to a female entrepreneur. Another woman says she was groped during a business dinner.
It is rare for women in tech to come forward and to talk about this. But they sat down with CNN's senior tech correspondent, Laurie Segall. She's joining us ow.
Laurie, it is amazing you were able to get so many women to come forward to share their stories. Does it speak to you about what's happening in Silicon Valley on a much larger scale right now?
LAURIE SEGALL, CNN MONEY SENIOR TECH CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I think it's a watershed moment. We have heard about these stories happening behind closed doors in the tech community. This is where the money is. This is where the power is. But we haven't seen people come forward and talk about it like this.
I sat down with six women, they have different stories. They're sharing the stories in the hopes it will bring about change. Take a listen.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You don't want to tell people that you were in a business meeting and somebody shamed you and feel less than. Who wants that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was the moment that I felt my leg being grabbed under the table that I thought, holy moly, this is real.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are sitting at a Starbucks and he grabs my face and he tries to make out with me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I hate to say this, it's the norm. And I hope that we can change that.
[17:49:54] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So this is my story. In 2001, the environment was a lot different because of the dotcom crash. I was faced with raising more money or letting go of employees. So one time, he had ordered a 5,000-dollar bottle of wine, and I couldn't even remember how many times the glass got filled. All of sudden, he was conveying to me how attracted he was to me, tried to lean over to kiss me, and I pulled away. I'll never forget when he touched me under the table, and, like, looked into my eyes and grabbed my leg and squeezed it, and said, you know, I'm going to help you, I'm going to do this for you. I said -- like, he was my savior or something, and at the same time, he's violating me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was lucky enough to have a mentor who had never expressed any romantic or sexual interest in me, and we were literally working on spread sheets, the least sexy thing in the world. I remember we were side by side in front of the computer, and in the end, he stood up and pulled out his erect genitalia, pulled out the erect penis, right in eyesight, it was uncomfortable, unfair, but it happened, and it was not the last time something like that would happen.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When he did that, I felt disgusted.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Demoralized and disrespected, like I didn't have worth as a woman in business.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Like all my accomplishments, I already raised $5 million in venture funding. That didn't matter.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If I was sitting across from the investor who harassed me, I'd say to him, I'm here to talk business and nothing else. It's strange to me when you look at your pipeline and deal flow as opportunities for your romantic life.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What else do you have to prove? You have the money. You have the power. You have the decision-making ability. You have it all. Like, why do you do this?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You preyed on a group of women that you thought were too afraid or not in a position to speak up, and, clearly, you were very, very wrong.
CABRERA: Good for these women sharing these stories.
Laurie, now that they have come forward, what can be done?
SEGALL: You know, I think part of it, when you talk to the women, like, we just want to get back to work, right, but we have a responsibility to share these stories for change to happen. What brings about change is a different structure, a way for these women to be able to tell these stories and actually report people who are misbehaving. And right now, the structure, you don't necessarily have that in a venture capitalist community where, you know, if people misbehave, there's no one to go to. So Reid Hoffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn, recently talked about an industry wide standard for H.R. to give people the ability to report bad behavior and give people that power back.
CABRERA: I can only imagine there's that risk or a feeling of a risk of retaliation --
SEGALL: Of course.
CABRERA: -- by coming out and sharing the story.
CABRERA: But thank you for bringing that to us.
SEGALL: Thank you.
CABRERA: We appreciate it.
Reminder, you can find Laurie's series, "Mostly Humans," streaming right now on CNN/go.
We'll be right back.
[17:57:35] CABRERA: This week's "CNN Hero" had a rough time growing up. Harry grammar, arrested at 16, sentenced to five years juvenile probation. But he has since turned his life around. And now he's created this nonprofit group in Los Angeles helping young people stay out of trouble. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARRY GRAMMER, CNN HERO: Bottom line is, everyone in the room, including myself, has a story to tell. You have to tell the world about who you are. I want to see what you have inside of you that wants to come out.
GRAMMER: We need to listen to our young people. We need to find out what it is that they are longing for, what they want.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: To nominate your hero, log on to CNNheros.com.
CNN's new original series, "The History of Comedy" explores comedy's influence on social and political culture. We have a preview of tomorrow's brand-new episode.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED COMEDIAN: The beautiful thing about ethnic humor, while you're making observations of us, hey, we're making observations of you.
We are. We are looking in the rearview mirror going, look at those Caucasians. (LAUGHTER)
What a waste of space. Only two people in that big car.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you are fighting a power that you cannot defeat, you will tend to find other outlets so that you can survive. One of those natural outlets is humor.
ANNOUNCER: It is a huge resort hotel, which is the best bet for the city dweller who is looking in the country for the same amusements he has in town.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This began after World War II. You had a lot of middle class Jewish families living in the city. They were looking for a place to go. There were hotels, and people could go up there and have a relatively economical vacation.
UNIDENTIFIED COMEDIAN: I have a system. I go to Las Vegas. Soon as you're off the airplane, you walk into a propeller.
UNIDENTIFIED COMEDIAN: You people come here for the reading of the will or what?
UNIDENTIFIED COMEDIAN: Come on. These are jokes. This is it.
UNIDDENTIFIED FEMALE: The root of a lot of Jewish humor is it's attacking back with our minds.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Tune in to CNN's "History of Comedy," airing tomorrow night at 10:00 eastern.
I'm Ana Cabrera, in New York. Thank so much for spending time with me this week. I'll be back in one hour from now, live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
"SMERCONISH" is next.