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CNN NEWSROOM

At Least Eight People in Trump Tower Meeting; How Conservative Media Covering White House Handling of Trump Junior E-Mails; Louisiana Deputy Investigated Over Shooting Death; The Politics of Hate; How to Win a Friend and Influence a President; Police Pull Ford SUVs Over Carbon Monoxide Fears; Aired 8-9p ET

Aired July 15, 2017 - 20:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[20:00:27] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Hello on this Saturday. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Glad to have you with me.

New details today that are important to staying on top of. This White House-Russia investigation. We have to revisit the number of people thought to be at that Donald Trump Jr. meeting with a Russian lawyer because that number has changed again.

Now eight people at least confirmed by CNN were in this room when the president's son expected to receive information that would hurt the Hillary Clinton campaign. That was last year in June. And we now know one of the people there was a man whose role and history in Washington is somewhat of a puzzle.

Rinat Akhmetshin, a former officer in the Soviet military, now an American citizen and a lobbyist who now pushes issues of interest to the Russian government.

The president has not yet responded to these new revelations. But the issue is on his mind, he tweeted this this afternoon.

"Stock market hit another all-time high yesterday despite the Russian hoax story."

The president is in New Jersey this weekend, so is CNN correspondent Boris Sanchez.

Boris, tell us what anyone in the administration is saying about these developments today.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, the White House response to these latest revelations -- there hasn't really been a White House response to these latest revelations aside from a brief mention of the Russia hoax in that tweet from the president earlier today. There was no official statement.

The president also didn't hold any public events today where reporters could at least shout questions to him about the specifics of who was in that meeting with his son, Donald Trump Jr. Despite all of that we are hearing privately from sources within the White House who tell CNN that they are frustrated, that, quote, "It's not a good thing that Donald Trump Jr.'s story has changed so many times."

If you go back, you remember at one point Trump administration officials were telling us that there was no contact with anyone Russians at all during the campaign. Obviously that has changed quite a bit since then.

I should tell you, though, one of Donald Trump's attorneys, Jay Sekulow, was on CNN last night with Anderson Cooper, and he maintains that the president knew nothing about this meeting. He actually went on to say that there was no criminal act that took place during this meeting. In other words, there was no chargeable offense that could come of a meeting between Donald Trump Jr. in which he was trying to gain harmful information about Hillary Clinton from the Russian government. Here's more of 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 why you're covering it, but the fact is no legal violation for the meeting. The meeting itself is not a violation of the law.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: Now there are several legal experts that have told CNN that it's not that cut and dry. Some of them have said that a creative prosecutor could look at campaign finance law and find a way to place a charge, perhaps on Donald Trump Jr. or Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner who were also in that meeting. Whether or not that eventually does happen, Ana, we have yet to see.

CABRERA: All right. Boris Sanchez reporting from New Jersey for us. Thank you.

I want to bring in CNN political analyst and historian and professor at Princeton University, Julian Zelizer, CNN contributor and former CNN Moscow bureau chief, Jill Dougherty, and CNN political commentator and former special assistant to President George W. Bush, Scott Jennings.

Julian, I'll start with you. The president and the vice president, they told the American people that they had no contact, the campaign had no contacts with Russia. Now we keep getting this drip, drip, drip. Drip, drip, drip. What do you make of this in terms of the White House's credibility at this point?

JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, it undermines the credibility. This is a story that keeps eating away at the credibility of the president and many of his closest advisers. This more dramatic than any other story because here you have continued news from the White House, there are no contacts, there are no contacts, and then we see it, we visually see there are contacts.

And even since that news, the credibility keeps weakening because everything we hear turns out to be a little different than what actually happened. So if there's nothing to hide, they shouldn't hide things, and that weakens him politically.

CABRERA: Scott, sources tell CNN Jared Kushner's attorneys have been strategizing in fact since mid-June over how to publicly disclose these e-mails they uncovered as they were preparing for his upcoming testimony.

You worked in the George W. Bush administration in the White House there. Is it reasonable to believe that President Trump would have only learned about this meeting last weekend?

[20:05:08] SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, it's very reasonable to believe that because it is imperative, I think, in certain instances particularly when you have investigations going on to keep the president from knowing about things.

Look, the president wasn't at this meeting. He didn't have knowledge of it when it occurred. And so it would be in his best interest and I'm sure his lawyers have advised him of this to not necessarily have all the details.

I think the way forward here for Donald Trump Jr. and for Mr. Kushner is to do what they said they want to do which is to testify publicly. And I think stop answering questions about these things on a daily basis because as the historian said, the tales are changing.

Just go to Congress, go to the Senate Intelligence Committee, go under oath, tell your story in full, in public and under oath and answer all the questions. That would be a much better strategy at this point I think than engaging on this on a day-to-day basis.

CABRERA: If this were the Bush White House, would Jared Kushner still be working there?

JENNINGS: Well, this is a position without analog. I mean, Jared Kushner is a relative of the president. We didn't really have an analogous situation like that in the Bush White House. Ultimately White House advisers serve at the pleasure of the president. And that's really all that it is. The pleasure of the president. When the president wants you there, you're there. When the president doesn't, you're not there.

So right now Jared Kushner has a big portfolio that President Trump has given him to work on. He's been tasked to some of the biggest agenda items and I see that President Trump has confidence in him and as long as that's the case, he'll still be in the White House.

CABRERA: Jill, Putin has denied over and over again interfering in the election. Is the discovery of this meeting where we all see it, black and white in the e-mails, what was promised to Donald Trump Jr. for this meeting? Is that likely to worry the Kremlin?

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: You know there's very little at this point, Ana, coverage of the specifics of that meeting. I mean, it's out there in the Russian media, but basically, in fact I was just looking this afternoon, they now are using the word "nothing burger." It translates as a burger with nothing. So it's already into this kind of counter narrative which is it's not a big deal. This is all just kind of a hoax.

And there's really -- you know, there's another word that was used back in the Soviet days, what aboutism. So I think the way the Russians seek -- controlled media are covering it is saying, yes, maybe there was a little bit of collusion, interference, but what about when the United States interfered in Russian elections, and they go back even the Soviet days, but certainly to, like, 1994, and Boris Yeltsin. So there's a lot of kind of shifting the explanation and saying it's no big deal, you do it, too. It's become very murky, but I can definitely tell you there's not a lot of coverage of this issue.

CABRERA: I can't believe they're using the term nothing burger there because that sounds exactly like what we're hearing coming from the president's supporters here. They're calling it using that nothing burger term as well.

The White House has said that despite this meeting that if it happened, it happened, OK. But there's still no there, there. I want to play for you, however, what Republican Congressman Leonard Lance of New Jersey said when he was asked about possible collusion.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Can you definitively say? Can you look into my eyes, camera, your constituents, and say, I am 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: So, Julian, we are starting to see a shift amongst some Republicans who are not necessarily defending the president and his team. Is this the story that changes everything?

ZELIZER: This could be really important. I mean, a big part of the story so far is if you have a Republican Congress that has not been particularly eager to go after a Republican president. But once this story broker we heard a few members of Congress, including Congressman Lance, be more vocal at least in raising the questions, if not making accusations.

You've seen more conservative media figures in several outlets, including FOX News, openly also criticize the president. So there are some cracks. We don't know how far this will go. Ultimately this is as much a political investigation as a legal one because Congress has to handle the matter, but these kinds of statements, this kind of unrest among conservatives, can certainly hurt the administration.

CABRERA: How would you expect the White House's responding to all of this, Scott? Because today, silence.

JENNINGS: Well, you have to remember, there's a couple of different response channels here. As it relates to Donald Trump Jr., I was concerned this week when I read that some White House staffers may have been involved in crafting his response. That's unfortunate for them because they may have not been in that meeting and had no knowledge of it but now they're probably in the investigatory loop of the special counsel. And so they may have to answer questions.

[20:10:05] If I were the president, I would order internally at the White House no White House staff can work on any responses for anyone other than the office of the president, and I would ask my chief of staff, Reince Priebus, to strictly enforce that. You want to protect your staff. You don't want to put them in harm's way when you have investigations going on. And so I hope they are looking into that moving forward because I think that would give a lot of relief and relieve some anxiety that might be on the minds of some staffers.

CABRERA: Let me ask you a follow-up question here. Earlier this week President Trump told reporters who were aboard Air Force One that he would invited Putin to the White House, not right now, though. It's not the right time. Your thoughts?

JENNINGS: I am not somebody who believes that the Russians are our friends. I do believe the intelligence agencies when they say that the Russians tried to meddle in the election. I don't necessarily believe that the Trump campaign had anything to do with it. But that's what the purpose of these investigations is for.

I also think the president right now could ask the Congress to send him the Russia sanctions bill posthaste. And that would send a strong bipartisan message that hey, I get it, the Russians are messing around here. We don't like it and we're going to take some action.

So I actually think there's some definitive actions the president could take that would give the country confidence that he sees the Russians for what they are. I don't think inviting Vladimir Putin to the White House is on that list for me at the moment.

CABRERA: Jill, real quick. We heard from some of the Russian government officials late this week that they are preparing some kind of a response if those compounds, those Russian compounds that were taken away following the election and the meddling as a result of how the Obama administration handled that situation.

If that isn't returned to them soon they're going to retaliate in some way. What would that look like?

DOUGHERTY: Yes. Well, remember at the end of Obama, he kicked out 35 Russian diplomats who were believed to be intelligence agents, send them back to Russia, and took over two compounds that the Russians owned in Maryland and New York. And the Russians had been very angry about that for months now. They have said that if this is not resolved, and I think initially they thought, you know, under Trump it probably would be resolved, they'd get them back, but there's no sign at this point that that is going to happen.

So they're really playing hard ball and they're saying if we don't get those back we're going to be kicking out the number they said is about 30 American diplomats from Moscow. And, you know, retaliation of some type. There is a dacha, you know, a country house that the American embassy owns outside -- or controls outside of Moscow, and that's probably what they would probably go after.

They wouldn't go, we believe, after the residents of the American ambassador. But it would be a very strong sign that they've given up any hope that this is going to happen, and I have to say, Ana, there's a lot of, you know, kind of realism creeping in now that their hopes that the relationship would improve under Donald Trump are coming to nothing at this point. It's worse than ever.

CABRERA: Jill Dougherty, Julian Zelizer, and Scott Jennings, our thanks to all of you.

ZELIZER: Thank you.

CABRERA: Coming up live in the CNN NEWSROOM, watching some conservative news outlaws might lead you to believe the meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer is a Democratic plot to entrap the Trump campaign, but it wasn't. And one FOX News host called it for what it is. How conservative media is handling the Russia investigation now.

Plus, word tonight fired FBI director Jim Comey is writing a book. Our senior media correspondent Brian Stelter will join us next with a look at what we can expect next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:17:56] CABRERA: The White House response over those bombshell e- mails from the president's elder son are giving some criticism or now getting criticisms from journalists affiliated with conservative media outlets. FOX News anchor Shepard Smith unleashing this just over 24 hours ago. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHEPARD SMITH, FOX NEWS CHANNEL ANCHOR: Why is it lie after lie after lie? If you're clean, come out clean. You know. My grandmother used to say when first we practiced -- what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.

The deception, Chris, is mind boggling, and there are still people out there who believe we're making it up. And one day they're going to realize we're not, and look around and go, where are we and why are we getting told all these lies?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Let's talk it over with our senior media correspondent, host of "RELIABLE SOURCES," Brian Stelter.

As we know President Trump often praises FOX News. He's often watching especially "FOX and Friends."

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Right. CABRERA: What do you think it means for the White House when you have

people on FOX News like Shep Smith or commentators, conservative minds like Charles Krauthammer criticizing the president and his family over how they handled this latest Don Junior meeting?

STELTER: And in Krauthammer's case saying this is collusion. But I think Shep Smith is the exception to the rule. Shep Smith, Charles Krauthammer, Chris Wallace in FOX, there are a number of news anchors and commentators in the conservative media universe who have expressed real concern about the misleading statements and the falsehoods that have come out of the White House.

But for the most part, most of the Trump friendly hosts on cable television have stayed firmly behind the president and his family, so firmly that it can be comical at times saying that this could all be a plot set up by the Democrats. That some Democrats then lost the elections. So how effective would that have been?

So we've seen a lot of different conspiratorial theories presented by conservative media hosts, explanations for Don Junior's shifting statements. A lot of blame being cast in various directions. But that moment from Shep Smith was notable because he was breaking with that conservative media narrative and trying to call it out for viewers and asking what a lot of journalists are trying to ask -- other journalists and other networks, why are there so many misleading statements?

CABRERA: Are you seeing a difference in how these different right- wing blogs or conservative media outlets are handling this meeting with Don Junior especially because his e-mails are so black and white?

STELTER: There's definitely been a number of theories that cast blame on others and cast Don Junior as the victim. Sometimes expressively. I was e-mailing with a radio news director in Iowa who said, look, the folks here, the conservatives here in Ohio, they are ticked off. They're angry. But they're angry at the media.

They believe that you are trying to oust this duly elected president. I noticed that Breitbart, one of the big kind of conservative news out there, picked up his comments to me and wrote a whole story about them. So anything that supports that narrative that this is about the media, this is a fake news narrative, that's certainly popular. We're seeing that all over conservative news sites.

I think that's important to recognize because it shows up in the polling. It shows up in the polling. We're going to see another poll tomorrow from ABC and "The Washington Post." I suspect that will show the same thing we've seen up until now. Dramatic even extreme partisan divides in how this Russia issue is viewed, whether it is a real issue or whether, as the president says, a hoax depends so much on what media you're consuming.

CABRERA: And his narrative, calling it a hoax, calling it a witch- hunt, what you're telling me is still resenting even after this latest shoe have dropped.

STELTER: Yes.

CABRERA: I want to switch gears now because we're learning fired FBI director James Comey just got a book deal.

STELTER: Yes. He is out there selling a book. This is according to "The New York Times" and just confirmed by CNN. He's going out actually pitching the book and he's probably going to have the deal in the next few days.

This is going to get interest from all the big publishing houses. You think about James Comey and the story he may be able to tell according to the "Times" is not just going to be a tell-all. This is going to a bigger book about his entire life's work, his career, and the big moments he has faced decisions in his career.

But all it takes is a few pages or a few chapters about what happened with President Trump to get publishing houses very interested. So it's sort of a no-brainer move by him, but up until now we haven't heard anything about a book deal. He'll be out shopping this now.

CABRERA: All right. Brian Stelter, thanks.

STELTER: Thanks.

CABRERA: And don't forget, Brian has his show, "RELIABLE SOURCES," tune in 11:00 a.m. here on a CNN.

Up next a controversial police shooting has left a small Louisiana community in turmoil. More on the conflicting account about how the deadly night unfolded.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:26:44] CABRERA: A man shot and killed by a sheriff's deputy in Louisiana was laid to rest today, but the circumstances that led up to this shooting, this was on July 6th, are still far from settled.

This much is known. A deputy stopped an African-American man and his girlfriend who were riding an ATV in Cajun Country, a very rural area, and at some point a struggle broke out. The deputy shot and killed the man. From there the deputy's account conflicts in a big way with the girlfriend's version.

CNN's Kaylee Hartung has been following this case for us -- Kaylee.

KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, I spent time this past week in Mamou, Louisiana. It's a one stoplight town surrounded by rice fields, gravel roads, the only way to navigate between them.

Now the texture of this story and this community is complex. And as Dejuan Guillory was laid to rest today, so many questions remain unanswered. It was in the early morning hours of July 6th that Dejuan and his girlfriend Dequince Brown were riding a four-wheeler down one of those gravel roads frog hunting. Not an unusual activity in this part of Louisiana.

Well, they encountered Sheriff Deputy Holden LaFleur and a struggle broke out. Now what led to that struggle accounts differ. The deputy says that it was Guillory who threw the first punch. Brown says it was the deputy who started the fight with her boyfriend.

Nevertheless, Guillory ended up on the ground with the deputy attempting to arrest him, and that's when Brown got involved. She jumped on his back and the deputy says that she then tried to grab his gun.

The arrest warrant affidavit states that Brown told authorities she, quote, "approached him from behind, began to choke him and bite him." But Brown's attorney says that his client never said that. He says that authorities are misrepresenting his client's version of events he says.

Dequince Brown is now charged with attempted first-degree murder of the officer and Dejuan Guillory was laid to rest today.

Ana, a lot of questions remain, but one big key here could be video. Louisiana state police are investigating this case and say they are reviewing dash cam video from the officer's patrol car.

CABRERA: Kaylee Hartung, thanks very much.

We should also note the deputy in this case has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the state's investigation.

Coming up here in the NEWSROOM, a military parade gushing and a lot of handshaking. An extraordinary display of friendship between French President Emmanuel Macron and President Trump. How flattery may be the key to winning over the leader of the free world.

We're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:33:21] CABRERA: Is it fair to label certain behavior as political bigotry? Comedian Dean Obeidallah, a CNN.com opinion writer, penned a scathing "Daily Beast" editorial this week which referred to Trump supporting bigots in the headline.

I want to talk it over with Dean along with CNN political commentator and former lieutenant governor of South Carolina, Andre Bauer.

So, Dean, this is a narrative that has really dogged President Trump since early in his campaign and frankly before that, back to when he said President Obama wasn't born here in the United States.

I'm wondering what do you want to see? Is there something specifically that you want to see out of this administration to help calm that angst that clearly is personal to you and others?

DEAN OBEIDALLAH, CNN OPINION CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I mean, what I wrote about for the "Daily Beast" was actually protest by self-professed Trump supporters who had also been labeled by the Southern Poverty Law Center as involved in hate groups, you know, white supremacist groups, neo-confederate groups. I don't think they have a problem being called bigots. I don't think they want me to be politically correct about people who hate global correctness.

In the case of President Trump, what can he do? The same thing I said from the day he won when I came on other shows, saying, go meet with the communities you demonize, the Muslim community, the Mexican community, with women, people you've mocked, apologize to our communities, speak to us, have a conversation and let us be a part of your administration on a certain level.

I said that in December during the transition time. It's never happened. I don't expect him to apologize to Muslims for saying things like Islam hate us or a thousand Muslims cheered on 9/11, a lie so big that, you know, Rudy Giuliani went and denied -- even denied it.

So I don't think anything is going to change with President Trump, and unfortunately the world we live in now, you see a spike in anti-Muslim hate, spike in anti-Semitic hate is going on.

[20:35:07] And I'm not sure it going to get better or worse over the next few years, but it will be great leadership if President Trump were to talk about these issues specifically and say passionately, passionately no place for anti-Muslim bigotry, no place for anti- Semitism in this country. And if you were my supporters, and you do that, I don't want your back, I don't want your help at all and that would send a great message.

CABRERA: And you talked about this place in Tennessee that was vandalized this week, the mosque, and there was bacon hung on a door. And so you do have these examples, Andre, to that -- to what Dean is speaking of.

But, Dean, just real quick, sticking with you. You talk about these protests that you wrote about, "Washington Post" says last year there were only five anti-Islam demonstrators who showed up and they were greeted by 400 peace protesters.

OBEIDALLAH: Yes.

CABRERA: Do you risk creating a mountain out of a mole hill?

OBEIDALLAH: Well, that's a good point. Last year there was about five. I was just in contact with the community spokespeople up in Islamasberg (ph) before the show. This year 22 cars and seven motorcycles showed up. It's growing, and they attribute it, in their own words, to Donald Trump, to his demonization of Muslims being part of this campaign.

So these groups come out, from the Proud Boys to the Alt Knights. Groups we've never heard of before who are all self-professed Trump supporters. I'm not saying they're Trump supporters and guessing. They identify as Trump supporters. That's why his words maybe can have an impact with them. CABRERA: Andre, as a Trump supporter yourself, as a Republican, does

it bother you that Dean and others feel this way?

ANDRE BAUER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, sure it does. You know, I come from right down the road where one of my fellow senators was killed by someone who was filled with hate. I mean just down the street from my house, Senator Clementa Pinckney. And so the fact that these folks try to say they're affiliated with Donald Trump I think is unfair to Donald Trump. I mean, they may support his policy, he clearly doesn't support them.

But the one thing I would say is, we've seen Donald Trump go into Muslim countries and say, hey, I want to work with you to eliminate terrorism, which victimizes many Muslims in those countries. And so we've seen the president reached and say, hey, I want to work with you. He was very well received I would say in those countries like Saudi Arabia.

And so I don't think you've seen anything but positive outreach from Donald Trump. Of course, it's always great for him to do all he can to walk away from that and say look, we believe in free speech but not hate speech and there is a big difference.

CABRERA: This is a man, though, who proposed a Muslim ban.

BAUER: Well, and again, I interpret that as public safety, the same countries that our president -- our former President Obama said were countries that needed to be on a watch list. And our president has done the same. And I think it's more about safety in this country and making sure we have checks and balances to make sure the safety of the American public is first and foremost at the top of the president's agenda.

CABRERA: Why hasn't he done what Dean has suggested that could help the situation?

OBEIDALLAH: It would be great if he came and met with American Muslims. He says America first. He meets with Muslims in Saudi Arabia, not American Muslim leaders here. Why don't you do it? America first. That's his policy. Come out -- I'm not sure he'll meet with us -- meet with him actually but this is the first president since the '90s not to have a Ramadan event at the White House.

That was deliberate, specific action not to have a Ramadan event. Every president through Bush, through the 1990s on, he's the first one. That sends a message that in his -- to us that we're not part of the fabric of this nation, that we don't belong, we're not as American because of our faith. That's wrong. No community should feel like that. Jewish, Muslim, atheist, Buddhist, whatever you are. All presidents should make us all feel included in this beautiful mosaic known as the United States of America.

CABRERA: Is he doing enough?

BAUER: Well, from his perspective, probably not, from my perspective, I think he is. And I think it's -- who's glasses you're looking through. I haven't had an outcry of a lot of people, but, again, this is not a good thing for America to have a group of folks go --

(CROSSTALK)

CABRERA: So Dean uses the words Trump-supporting bigots. Do you think Dean gets it wrong when he characterizes the anti-Muslim sentiment among some of Trump supporters?

BAUER: I think it's how Dean feels. I don't think it's how the vast majority of Americans feel. But again I'm not looking it through -- I'm trying to be as fair as I can. I don't think most Trump supporters feel that way. Not the one -- I've never run into one that felt that way. And so to see him branded that way, it bothers me. It not only bothers me because he's my president, I don't think he feels that way, but it bothers me that there's a perception out there that people think he's that way.

OBEIDALLAH: You think maybe him saying Islam hates us contributes to that? The idea of demonizing the Muslim community? The Muslim ban, when he announced that during the campaign, a total shutdown on Muslims, was the most stung thing I've ever heard from an American politician, saying an entire faith should not be allowed to this country because we're so inherently dangerous.

The message that sends to our fellow Americans were that we are a risk, we are not as Americans, we might even kill you. That's a stunning, scary comment. And Donald Trump has done nothing, nothing to make up for that comment. He's done nothing to even reach out to our community. And plus the Latino community. Just women who was demonized. The list goes on. We're not alone.

We're just part of this stew of history of hate of Donald Trump. It's stunning that he's the president of the United States. He sits in the Oval Office and he traffics in bigotry and racism.

[20:40:05] And I'm telling you, I'm not the only one. Many communities feel that. Maybe you don't. I get it. But I'm telling you what we feel.

CABRERA: Dean, does anything that you're hearing, though, from Andre, give you I guess pause to think, hey, like, we're having a productive discussion, we're getting somewhere here?

OBEIDALLAH: Andre's a nice guy.

BAUER: Thank you. Thank you.

OBEIDALLAH: And Andre, I don't think -- I don't think, to my knowledge, he's never trafficked in any of that stuff. And because you just announce them does not mean you (INAUDIBLE) in any way. I would like the president of the United States, the man in the Oval Office to say the say same things that Andre's, and say I want to reach out to these communities.

We are not -- even forgiveness. The idea that he got sworn in and all these communities woke up and it's a new day and he didn't demonize women who came forward, he shamed victims of sexual assault calling them liars at a rally. You think women can forgive that?

His demonization of Muslims and Latinos. Judge Curiel, the Latino judge. You think we're going to forget that because he puts his hand on the bible and gets sworn in as the 45th presidency? No, we're not. He's made zero effort to reach out or to heal this country. Does double down with Steve Bannon in there who gave a platform to hate on Breitbart. There's so much more a president can do to be our president. He is still your president right now.

CABRERA: Guys, we got to go. I owe you another question and more time next time, Andre Bauer and Dean Obeidallah.

BAUER: Thank you.

OBEIDALLAH: Thank you.

CABRERA: Thank you both for coming on.

OBEIDALLAH: Thanks.

CABRERA: And I appreciate the thoughtful discussion. People with different opinions can have these discussions and that's important.

Now during President Trump's visit to Paris, he and French president Emmanuel Macron seemed to have a budding friendship. But was it chemistry between the two men or shrewd diplomacy by Mr. Macron?

CNN's Randi Kaye has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At the Bastille Day parade in France this week, U.S. President Donald Trump was the guest of honor. Marching band, jet flyovers, and an American flag rolled out before him.

Earlier the French president accompanied Mr. Trump on a tour of Napoleon's private tomb and arranged for a lavish dinner at the Eiffel Tower's Jules Verne restaurant where they dined on filet of beef and potato souffle with truffle sauce.

PRES. EMMANUEL MACRON, FRANCE (through translator): It will be a dinner between friends.

KAYE: Flattering, for sure. It's the pomp and circumstance showered upon all presidents, and all part of a larger plan it seems to woo the leader of the free world.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you for the tour of some of the most incredible buildings anywhere in the world. That was very, very -- a very beautiful thing to see.

KAYE: No question Donald Trump enjoys being the center of attention. His biographer say the more adulation people heap on him, the more likely they are to get a better response. When President Trump arrived in Saudi Arabia in May for his first

foreign trip, he was treated to a sword dance, his image even projected on the wall of his hotel where he walked a red carpet. He left with a gold chain necklace from the kingdom.

TRUMP: Words do not do justice to the grandeur of this remarkable place and the incredible hospitality you have shown us from the moment we arrived.

KAYE: Poland did its best to curry favor with Trump as well, bussing in a crowd of people to cheer in support of President Trump as he delivered his foreign policy speech.

TRUMP: It's a majestic nation, it really is. It's a spectacular place. Some of the most beautiful sights.

KAYE (on camera): Perhaps it was the Japanese prime minister who led the way on how best to ingratiate himself with President Trump. Even before Inauguration Day, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe showed up at Trump Tower with a golf driver that was plated in gold. Ever since his relationship with President Trump has been on solid ground.

(Voice-over): And while Germany's Angela Merkel was once caught striking a cool stance in an awkward photo with President Trump, she is showering him with flattery in other ways. The "New York Times" reporting she called him for advice before her trip to Saudi Arabia, despite the fact he's a newcomer to diplomacy.

And if world leaders can't get the president himself, they'll work relations with his family. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu played up his relationship with Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took Ivanka Trump to a Broadway show. Germany's Angela Merkel welcomed Ivanka Trump to Germany for a women's entrepreneurial panel.

Dealing with a president who demands loyalty, all this flattery may just pay off. After France's Macron went out of his way to woo him, President Trump is already patting Macron on the back saying publicly the two men have a good friendship.

Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CABRERA: Coming up, police officers in Austin are battling more than just violence on the streets. Details on possible carbon monoxide leaks in their vehicles.

You're live in the NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:49:09] CABRERA: Federal safety investigators are looking into complaints about certain vehicles designed for police. Some say the SUVs are leaking exhaust fumes and officers are suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning. Several police stations have already pulled these vehicles.

Our Polo Sandoval takes a closer look.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So, Ana, the vehicles in question here are the police version of the 2011 through 2015 Ford Explorers. The vehicle manufacturer has actually issued several bulletins to some other dealers advising them if there are several openings in the vehicle. Unsealed openings that would allow outside air and its content inside the vehicle.

One lawyer who is suing Ford Motor Company saying those contents can include toxic carbon monoxide.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SANDOVAL (voice-over): This police dash cam captured the seconds before Newport Beach, California, officer lost consciousness behind the wheel.

[20:50:04] He drifts into another lane, over a grassy median and crashes into a tree line. Look again. The SUV narrowly missed an oncoming vehicle.

The officer behind the wheel is currently suing Ford, the maker of its Patrol vehicle blaming his black out on carbon monoxide poisoning. A similar case is making its way through a Texas court. Documents show Austin Police Sergeant Zachary LaHood was on patrol in March when he became nauseous, light-headed and began experiencing cognitive difficulties.

SGT. ZACHARY LAHOOD, AUSTIN POLICE: I have a headache. I feel like I'm going to throw up.

SANDOVAL: Before pulling into this parking lot, LaHood nearly collided with an oncoming bus. His medical diagnosis, according to the lawsuit, carbon monoxide poisoning.

The National Transportation Safety Administration has investigated more than 150 complaints from Ford Explorers owners about the smell of exhaust fumes in their SUVs. Ford has settled the class action lawsuit related to those complaints.

After Sergeant LaHood's incident, Austin PD pulled 37 of their police interceptors out of service. The police association president there now calling on the city to find a long-term solution.

KEN CASADAY, PRESIDENT, AUSTIN POLICE ASSOCIATION: Well, Our big fear now is that we have officers in the city driving around everyday being poisoned and they don't even know about it.

SANDOVAL: Ford Motor Company responding to allegations said their Explorers are flawed, saying, "We have investigated and not found any carbon monoxide issue resulting from the design of our police interceptor utility vehicles. We know police modify these vehicles which can contribute to exhaust related issues. We have provided instructions to help seal these modifications and are ready to inspect any vehicles with this concern."

Those instructions were sent to Austin PD. They identify openings on some 2013 police interceptors that could allow external air into the SUV. The maintenance bulletins date back to 2012 says Brian Chase, attorney for three officers suing Ford.

BRIAN CHASE, ATTORNEY FOR ZACHARY LAHOOD: Most of the police fleets and people I talk to now are putting carbon monoxide detectors in the vehicles so they can catch it ahead of time. It would have been nice if they had a warning about this sooner.

SANDOVAL: That's something Chase is hoping will change.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SANDOVAL: And Brian Chase also adding that his firm has been in contact with at least six other civilian families who have reported carbon monoxide with their Ford Explorers as well.

I took that to Ford. A spokesperson for the auto, they're saying that they are following up on those reports but at this point really a bulk of these incidents that they have heard of have been really more with the law enforcement community, but obviously, Ana, this would be concerning as this vehicle is extremely popular for law enforcement agencies and for families across the country as well.

CABRERA: Fluid situation. Polo Sandoval, thanks.

Breaking news right now on CNN this Saturday evening. This is from the office of Arizona Senator John McCain. The senator underwent surgery near his eye yesterday and on advice of his doctors, he will take all of next week off to recover.

Now this is significant because if there is a Senate vote on the Republican version of this new health care bill, Senator McCain, a Republican, will miss that vote. And the Republicans already have a math problem on their hands. As it stands now, before this, they couldn't afford to even have one more Republican no vote.

But again Republican Senator John McCain recovering from eye surgery will not perform any official duties all next week according to the official statement from his office. And if McCain isn't there, they are now officially below that 50 vote threshold needed to proceed to the bill and the procedural vote would just fail giving Senators Paul and Collins have already said they will vote no.

Much more on this of course as the days unfold. Stay with us. We'll be right back.

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[20:58:05] CABRERA: A heartbreaker for Venus Williams today at Wimbledon. She came up just short of becoming the oldest women's grand slam champion of the open area. Williams lost to Garbine Muguruza in Spain in the finals but she had an absolutely incredible run before today. Williams, who is 37, beat three players who were born the same year

she made her debut at Wimbledon. She's also been battling a debilitating autoimmune disease for the past several years. So good for her.

Just often this situation, you stop by an ATM to get some money, and out of the receipt slot comes a note, saying, "Please help. I'm stuck in here and I don't have my phone." You'd probably think you were being punked, right?

Well, that's exactly what happened in Corpus Christi, Texas, on Wednesday. A repairman changing out the lock of the ATM apparently got stuck inside the room that houses it. Several passersby thought it was simply a joke. Finally somebody called the police.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sure enough, we can hear a little voice coming from the machine. You'll never see this again in your life that somebody was stuck in the ATM machine. It was just crazy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(LAUGHTER)

CABRERA: Police eventually kicked down the door to rescue that man. Can you imagine?

Well, they say a picture is worth a thousand words, but a selfie can be worth $200,000 in damaged art. Take a look at this. This is an exhibit by Simon Birch. It's not supposed to be a dominos exhibit but as you can see, that's pretty much what it turned into earlier this month at the 14th Factory in Los Angeles.

You see how that woman is taking a selfie? She knocks over one piece of art which topples another and another and another. By the time this was all over, three sculptures were permanently damaged. Oops.

Coming up next here on CNN, the OJ Simpson case was the most infamous trial of the 1990s. Reexamine the case and the key player. "THE OJ TRIAL, DRAMA OF THE CENTURY."

For now I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. I'll be back tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. Eastern. Thanks for being here. Good night.