Return to Transcripts main page


Eight People Attended Trump Tower Meeting; Trump Attends U.S. Women's Open at Golf Club; Four Victims Shot and Buried on Remote Property; Venus Williams Seeks Sixth Singles Title; Apps Help Students with Dyslexia Perform Better; Aired 7-8a ET

Aired July 15, 2017 - 07:00   ET


[07:00:00] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Los Angeles art gallery triggers a pretty disastrous domino effect.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, it causes $200,000 in damage to the exhibit. At least 11 sculptures were damaged when a woman posing in front of an array of display columns accidently knocked one over. That started a domino effect. The toppling columns that damaged several sculpted crowns and other ornate head pieces. I'm calling shenanigans on this.

PAUL: He doesn't believe it. He's saying somebody is behind. Jimmy Kimmel, come on, is it you?

BLACKWELL: You know, a few years ago when there's video of the girl dancing and she knocked a candle over and her shirt caught fire.

PAUL: Right.

BLACKWELL: He came on a few days later.

PAUL: Yes. Everybody went nuts.

BLACKWELL: I'm calling shenanigans on this, we'll see.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The explosive revelation there was another Russian in that meeting.

DONALD TRUMP JUNIOR, PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP'S SON: I'm more than happy to be transparent about it and I'm more than happy to cooperate with everyone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I never even spoke to anybody about Russia. I never heard the word Russia. And we did not use Russian dressing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This meeting is a very damaging revelation. I can see why they might want to cover it up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Makes for a fascinating novel. It may be a fascinating movie one day but none of it violates the law.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Neighbors of Sean Kratz couldn't picture the sweet kid next door entangled in killing three young men out of Bucks County farm last week.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't believe it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stop the train.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The train started to move. It dragged the vehicle and the injured couple about 100 yards.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: It was expanding up to 10 feet per hour swallowing nearly everything in its path.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: At 37 Venus Williams is back on top. She is poised to become the oldest women's grand slam champion in the open era.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY WEEKEND with Victor Blackwell and Christie Paul.

PAUL: You know the nice thing about Saturday, you can stay in your PJs while you're watching the news. So we hope you're comfortable this morning. Thank you for being with us.

First it was four.


PAUL: Now this morning it's eight. The story about Donald Trump Jr.'s secret meeting at Trump Tower during the campaign changing yet again.

BLACKWELL: So now we're learning there were more people with ties to Russia in that room and it comes just days after the president's son said that he revealed everything.

The controversy follows President Trump this weekend to his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, where he is there for the U.S. Women's Open. This also comes on a pivotal weekend for the Senate GOP and their revised health care bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. It could hinge on one more senator, just one more saying no. Also next week's CBO score could be a tipping point.

But this morning a new push coming from the White House. Officials there say the president will be reaching out, making calls throughout the weekend.

PAUL: But first we now know at least eight people attended that June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with the president's son. Take a look at your screen there. That's several more than Donald Trump Jr. had initially disclosed.

BLACKWELL: And one of the new attendees, we're learning about, a Russian American lobbyist accused of being a Soviet counter intelligence at one point.

CNN's Jessica Schneider has more.


JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Another player has emerged in that June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, despite Donald Trump Jr.'s insistence he disclosed everything there was to know about the meeting with the release of several e-mails Tuesday.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS CHANNEL HOST: So, as far as you know, as far as this incident is concerned, this is all of it?

DONALD TRUMP JR.: This is everything. This is everything.

SCHNEIDER: Now news that the Russian-American lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin was also in attendance. Akhmetshin told the Associated Press he was in the room for the 20 to 30 minute meeting with Trump's eldest son and Veselnitskaya that also included publicist Rob Goldstone, campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Donald Trump's son-in- law, Jared Kushner, who is now a top adviser to the president.

CNN has also learned at least two others were in the room, a translator and a representative for the Agalarov family.

Akhmetshin is a registered lobbyist for Veselnitskaya's organization that is focused on overturning the American sanctions against human rights abusers in Russia, according to lobbying records. Akhmetshin's lobbying caught the attention of Senator Chuck Grassley, who described him as a Russian immigrant acting as an unregistered agent for Russian interests, apparently with ties to Russian intelligence.

That was in a letter to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly requesting Akhmetshin's immigration history earlier this year. Akhmetshin denied to "The Washington Post" that he served as a Russian intelligence agent, saying, "I never worked for the Russian government. I served as a soldier for two years. At no time have I ever worked for Russian government or any of its agencies. I was not an intelligence officer, never."

The e-mail chain released Tuesday indicated there was another person at the meeting. The British publicist who arranged it, Rob Goldstone, wrote this to Donald Trump Jr. two days before. "I will send the names of the two people meeting with you for security when I have them later today." No e-mails producing those names was ever released by Don Jr.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As far as my son is concerned, my son is a wonderful young man.

[07:05:04] He took a meeting with a Russian lawyer, not a government lawyer, but a Russian lawyer. It was a short meeting.

SCHNEIDER: President Trump defended his son while speaking in Paris, but continues to insist he didn't know anything about the meeting until several days before Don Jr.'s e-mails were released. Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway seemed to suggest that more evidence was needed to prove collusion.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP SENIOR ADVISER: Well, even the goalposts had been moved. I mean, we were promised systemic -- hard evidence of systemic, sustained, furtive collusion.

SCHNEIDER: The scramble to respond to the details trickling out may have exposed some White House aides to special counsel scrutiny. They could be called by Robert Mueller and his team to explain what they learned about this June 2016 Trump Tower meeting.

Sources close to Jared Kushner's legal team say White House aides and Kushner's lawyers began strategizing in late June how to manage any later disclosures of the e-mails Kushner's team discovered from Don Jr.

Top Democrat Pelosi have now joined the growing chorus of lawmakers pushing for Jared Kushner's security clearance to be revoked.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), MINORITY LEADER: It's ridiculous that he should have that clearance. It's not justified in any way. The president could revoke it in a moment and he should.

SCHNEIDER (on camera): No official response from the White House, but we do know that top aides are well aware of this changing story of Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting in June 2016 and of course they are not happy with the shifting details.

Jessica Schneider, CNN, the White House.


PAUL: So CNN political commentator and columnist for the "Washington Post" Josh Rogin with us now as well as CNN political analyst and White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Network, April Ryan.

Good morning to both of you and thanks for being here. Yesterday David Axelrod said the key to crisis communication, figure out where the story is going and get there first. Clearly it seems that Donald Trump Jr. was trying to do that by releasing these e-mails but if they had come forward, April, with all of the people that were in this meeting, would it be really that much less damning?

APRIL RYAN, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, AMERICAN URBAN RADIO NETWORK: I don't know, but I say this. This is a really bad situation because the information continues to trickle out and who knows, more could still be coming from this meeting. You know, you hear about Paul Manafort who was in the meeting, who the president says has a limited role on his campaign but he was in this meeting.

Jared Kushner, and I'm talking about on the president's side right now. Jared Kushner, first, you didn't hear about Jared Kushner. Now Jared Kushner is there and then you hear from people like Congressmen Elijah Cummings who's calling for Jared Kushner to give up his security clearance because it's a matter of trust. We can't trust the things that he's offered. That's what Elijah Cummings is saying. And then also I heard from someone in the intelligence community who

said, look, at some point how far would this go? Because he has compromised himself so much and he may have to step down.

And then you have the other issues, someone from Russia who used to be in counterintelligence. This is just tumbling down poorly. You've got issues of omission which some people belief is perjury. This is really, really bad.

PAUL: Some people believe it's perjury, you're right. Josh, but correct me if I'm wrong. I have yet to hear any legal analyst say there are criminal -- there's something criminal here.

JOSH ROGIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, I don't see where the actual criminality is yet except for the fact that Jared Kushner totally misrepresented his meetings on his initial disclosure forms but he's fixing those. No one ever really gets prosecuted for that anyway. You know, I think it's way too early to sort of assign any criminality here.

What we can just say is that, you know, that the -- that Donald Trump Jr.'s full disclosure has been less than full and it keeps coming out and that creating the perception of a cover-up without there ever having to actually have been a crime proven. I mean, again, meeting with a Russian lawyer connected to the government is not a crime.

You know, even if he thought it was a government lawyer it's not necessarily a crime. It's just the fact that he can't seem to keep his story straight that the White House has put out four or five versions of this and yet the information still keeps coming out. So it just raises the prospect that eventually when we get the full story there might be a crime here somewhere, but I would say we're not quite there yet.

PAUL: So let's talk about the timeline real quickly. This is what Donald Trump said back on June 7th in 2016.


TRUMP: I am going to give a major speech on probably Monday of next week and we're going to be discussing all of the things that have taken place with the Clintons. I think you're going to find it very informative and very, very interesting.



[07:10:03] PAUL: Now then we had Jay Sekulow, one of the president's attorneys, saying that the president was not aware of this. He didn't attend the meeting. He was only made aware of the e-mail chain yesterday, meaning a couple of days ago.

April, your take on that and the discrepancies we're seeing.

RYAN: Unfortunately there's a credibility issue here, and the timing is just so interesting, I would say that. There is a credibility issue here and now the problem is, is that once you put the pieces together we have to see what falls into place and the president said it was opposition research and anyone would have taken that meeting.

So, you know, this president really went after Hillary Clinton. He looked for all information on her. I mean, he even brought the women who accused Bill Clinton of different things to an event. He really wanted to let the world know that he did not think fondly of her at the very least. But I mean, so the issue is, you know, do you really believe what this president is saying when he said he did not know? And that is a real issue. It's about credibility now.

PAUL: Josh, real quickly, I want to switch even though it's connected to what April is talking about with Hillary Clinton. The White House now asserting that this Ukrainian American activist and Democrat consultant was working with Ukrainian officials to dig up dirt on then candidate Trump. Has there been any evidence to support that allegation that you've seen thus far?

ROGIN: There was a little bit of reporting earlier this year that there had been some connections between a DNC operative and a Ukrainian government representative and this is the sort of distraction that the White House is pointing at in order to deflect attention from the Donald Trump Jr.'s Russia meeting.

I mean, the bottom line here is that these two things are not the same. One on the Russian side is a coordinated top down effort led and authorized by the president of the Russian federation himself, Vladimir Putin, which involves a massive campaign of hacking, releasing information, propaganda, fake news, intelligence operations, information operations, you name it.

Then on the other side you have one meeting or maybe one or two meetings with one person in the Ukrainian embassy and one person who worked with the DNC. It's not equal. It's a distraction. It doesn't mean that that meeting was above board. It just means that, you know, we shouldn't let that divert our attention from what the story here is, which is a massive, unprecedented, state-sponsored, state- coordinated and highly effective campaign to interfere with our democracy.

PAUL: All right. April Ryan, Josh Rogin, so grateful that you could both be with us and hear your input today. Thank you.

ROGIN: Thank you.

RYAN: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: President Trump spending the weekend at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

CNN's Dan Merica is following the president's actions this weekend from Washington. So what's on tap for the president?

DAN MERICA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Well, the president is actually making a habit out of this. This is the 21st weekend out of 26 weekends he's been in office that he'll be at one of a golf club that bears his name. And this will actually be the 39th visit in general to a golf club that bears his name.

Now he tweeted after coming home from France after that whirlwind 30- hour trip in France. He tweeted that he'll be visiting an LPGA tour event that's being hosted at this Bedminster, New Jersey, club. Now that's raised some question. I mean, the president of the United States is tweeting from -- as you see, from his account. He's tweeting that he's going to this even, that certainly boosts maybe some desired attendance and a lot of critics are saying that this is the president of the United States, basically tweeting a commercial for this event for his club.

And this is what we've seen a couple times in the past few months about President Trump using the office -- being accused of using the office to benefit some of his clubs. Now while he is there, we're being told, he will make calls on health care. He is trying to take an active role in passing health care reform. It will be a critical week next week to do just that but Senate aides and even some Senate Republicans are trying to keep the president at arm's length to this fight, but White House aides are ensuring us that he is making calls on health care while he's at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club.

BLACKWELL: All right. We'll watch it. Dan Merica, for us there in Washington.

PAUL: So two cousins have been charged now with killing four men in Pennsylvania. What one of them told police about what happened.

BLACKWELL: Plus, police body cam video released after a car crushed under a train, then begins to be dragged down the tracks. You'll want to see this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stop moving. They're dragging the car.



[07:19:03] BLACKWELL: Two cousins have been charged in the murders of four men in Pennsylvania. Cosmo DiNardo and Sean Kratz are both 20 years old. They're facing murder, robbery and several other charges.

PAUL: Joining us live from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, CNN national correspondent Brynn Gingras, and Brynn, this is a tough one to follow. It's very grim details coming out of this.

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, it is. Christi and Victor, this morning, those two cousins, Cosmo DiNardo and Sean Kratz are now sitting in jail this morning and now no bond first after they confessed to killing four men who went missing from this area in Bucks County last week and then admitted to killing them. And a number of other charges they're facing as well in addition to murder. But, Christi, as you mentioned, after those charges were filed we got

a look at the criminal complaint, the court documents that really detail what happened. Those confessions, and what we've learned is that DiNardo first lured one of these men to a family property which isn't really far from where we're standing with the intent to sell him drugs. Instead he shot and killed that man and then buried his body.

[07:20:09] Two days later we're told by those court documents that the two men joined up together and again tried to lure now three of those men again to the family property with the intent to rob them this time and instead shot and killed them and then buried those three men in a different grave. First though trying to conceal their bodies.

We know authorities have been able to recover all four bodies and at this point while they are charged with a crime, Cosmo DiNardo was able to strike a deal with the district attorney to take the death penalty off the table in exchange for his confession. However we're told by the district attorney that it's possible Sean Kratz might still face the death penalty -- Christi and Victor.

PAUL: All right. Brynn Gingras, appreciate the update. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: You've got to see this body cam video out of Texas. An SUV and two people inside this vehicle caught on the video here. This video crashed into a stopped train and then the train started to move.

Police say the engineer did not realize the SUV was stuck underneath. An officer driving next to the tracks saw what happened, flagged the train to stop. Police dispatchers rushed to call Union Pacific. Police investigating now whether the driver of the SUV was driving under the influence.

We're told he's in serious condition. The passenger, though, those injuries, we're told, are not life threatening.

PAUL: A giant sink hole in Florida. Look at this thing. Swallowed two homes, but we're told this morning it appears to have stopped expanding which was the good news. But there's a news conference last night and officials there said the sink does appear to be dormant. Nine other homes in that area were evacuated, though. Their power has been shut down to nearly 100 residents in the neighborhood.

That hole is estimated to be about 50 feet deep and full of water as you can see. And it's not draining because of all, obviously, the debris from the homes. Recovery and repair operations we do understand are set to begin soon, though.

BLACKWELL: At least three people were killed when a large fire engulfed a high rise in Honolulu. 12 people were hurt. Five of those victims are in serious condition. This fire started yesterday on the 26th floor of the Marco Polo Apartments, 538 unites in the building, roughly 100 firefighters worked to put out the flames and get everyone out.

It's unclear what may have started the fire, but authorities say the building did not have sprinklers. PAUL: Well, full names, addresses, phone numbers, critics who blasted

the White House's voter integrity commission over privacy concerns now have their personal sensitive information on the White House's Web site.

BLACKWELL: Also in a couple of hours, Venus Williams will try to become the oldest grand slam champion in modern history. We'll take a look at the challenges she's facing off the court, too.


[07:27:10] PAUL: Twenty-seven minutes past the hour right now and the president is spending the day at the Women's Open in New Jersey which is being held at his golf club in Bedminster. As the president attends the tournament the White House is just trying to navigate a public relations crisis centering around his son's meeting with Russians at Trump Tower last year.

BLACKWELL: Well, the administration's story about Donald Trump Jr.'s secret meeting at Trump Tower during the campaign has changed again. Just Tuesday, Trump Jr. told FOX News he had revealed everything he knew.


HANNITY: So as far as you know as far as this incident is concerned this is all of it?

TRUMP JUNIOR: This is everything. This is everything.


BLACKWELL: Well, fast forward to today when we now know at least eight people were in that meeting including a Russian lawyer and Russian American lobbyist.

Joining me now to discuss, Andre Bauer, CNN political commentator and former lieutenant governor of South Carolina. Also Richard Painter, former White House ethics lawyer.

Good morning to both of you.


BLACKWELL: So, Richard, let me start with you. You said that Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting is not only evidence of collusion but also quid pro quo. Explain.

RICHARD PAINTER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE ETHICS LAWYER: Well, the lobbyist was there who is pushing for lifting of the sanctions. That's the Russian objective here. One of the most important Russian objectives was to lift the sanctions that had been imposed under the Obama administration on Russia for their illegal conduct in several places abroad including the Ukraine and of course what they've been doing in Syria -- BLACKWELL: Specifically the Magnitsky Act against human rights

abusers, just to fill in people who didn't know the specific sanctions.

PAINTER: Well, exactly.


PAINTER: And so they want that lifted and so that lobbyist shows up there and so does this lawyer who's got the dirt on Hillary Clinton or says she does and apparently they brought documents. It's quite clear what the deal is that the Russians want and the Trump people should be calling the FBI in, they shouldn't be going to this meeting.

This is basically a bribe, an offer of this dirt -- this assistance to the campaign, the dirt on Hillary Clinton in return for promise of official action once President Trump is elected if he wins the race and this is a very, very problematic situation. The White House needs to stop lying about it. This is obviously collusion.

BLACKWELL: All right. Let me get Andre in here.

PAINTER: There's no way around that.

BLACKWELL: Andre, your response?

BAUER: I do agree with Richard they shouldn't have taken the meeting. I mean, maybe a distant campaign worker but not these high profile individuals. This shows negativity and they shouldn't have done it. However, I don't see collusion. Most of the folks in the meeting didn't stay long once they realized this information was not really anything usable and it was a waste of time, but it is a continual drip and it doesn't help the president with his message.

[07:30:06] I think the president needs to have a press conference, give everything he's got and then move forward because it is keeping him from delivering so many -- well, the message to the people what he's delivering on and he is getting a lot done. But this is definitely not helping the situation for him to continue to push his message and continue to push Congress to pass things like health care reform.

BLACKWELL: So, Richard, back to you. Beyond the question of ethics and whether it was a smart decision to even take the meeting, do you see that this -- I guess this additional list of attendees at this meeting puts them any closer to possible illegality?

PAINTER: Well, there are a whole range of different legal problems. We don't prosecute treason under the treason statute under the constitutional provision when we're not at a time of declared war, very rarely do, but when you have foreign government assistance of political campaign that violates campaign laws, there's computer hacking laws, with respect to a lot of the information that the Russians obtained, of course the false statements statute.

They lied about their contacts with the Russians, several of these people who are now working for the United States government. And I think -- I've been a Republican for 30 years. This really hurts our party when people say this isn't collusion. This was a full faced lie. And, you know, the only political party that does this type of thing with the Russians in our prior history was the Communist Party.

We cannot accept this. This is collusion. We've got to stop lying about it. The president needs to disclose any and all of the meetings with the Russians so we can move on as a country. But the lies are not helping.

BLACKWELL: So, Andre, does this reach the level of -- as Common Cause, a group that submitted a complaint to the FEC this week alleging a violation of campaign finance, suggesting that this constitutes soliciting from a foreign national something of value? Does this reach that level for you?

BAUER: I don't see that and again they didn't solicit them. These individuals came to the Trump campaign. They didn't go out looking for them and there are other questions as well. How did this individual get clearance to get into the country? How did they get into Trump Tower and the media not even happen to catch them?

You know, there are a lot of things in there and so what was the purpose of her even being in the country? I know she was given some special provision.


BLACKWELL: But they got into Trump Tower because Donald Trump Jr. invited them in. I think that's the easiest question to answer.

BAUER: Well, again, there are a lot of questions for me I still go, why and I don't fully understand it but I think they need to air it. I think they need to get it out there in public and then move on because it is dominating the news cycle and it is dominating their agenda even though they are getting a lot done. Again they're not getting any The public really isn't getting to know what's happening because this has just consumed the news cycle and so I hope they'll address it quickly and swiftly.

BLACKWELL: Now we've got this and more to talk about. So Andrew Bauer, Richard Painter, thanks for being with us and stick around. We've got more questions after this quick break.

PAUL: And the White House just revealed some personal voter information and they did so online. We'll tell you what's happening with that. Also new video released of firefighters driving into flames to save children at a summer camp.


[07:35:26] PAUL: Mortgage rates dropped just a bit this week. Here's your look.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BLACKWELL: And back with me now to discuss the latest on the Trump campaign's meeting with Russians over the 2016 election, Andre Bauer, CNN political commentator and former lieutenant governor of South Carolina, and Richard Painter, former White House ethics lawyer.

And let me start with you, Richard, on something that Michael Isikoff at Yahoo News is reporting is that the president's lawyers knew about this meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner with these five other people. At least five others. They knew about it three weeks ago. The president said that he learned in just the last few days.

Is it plausible that his attorneys would not have looped him in on this potentially protect the president?

PAINTER: I think any competent attorney would have informed their client about this type of thing. It's very important for the client here, President Trump, to know the facts before he starts talking or tweeting, and while he hasn't been tweeting recently, he certainly has in the past and we do not want to have the president of the United States out there not knowing the essential facts.

This meeting, though, I think the Trump campaign lawyers probably knew about last June when it happened because there are serious legal implications when outside groups proposed meetings with campaign staff. You probably violate campaign finance laws and coordination laws if this had been a group run by Karl Rove or some other American that was or any guy with the campaign to coordinate with the campaign much, much more of a problem if it's the Russians, of course.

So I think the lawyers of the campaign were well aware of this and probably Donald Trump back in last June when this meeting happened.

BLACKWELL: Well, there's no evidence yet or -- at all that the president knew about the meeting before he says he knew about it or then during the campaign what happened in June of 2016.

Andre, to you, there have been this increasing number of calls from Democrats on the Hill to revoke Jared Kushner's security clearance. We know that his SF-86 form has been amended several times, now adding 100 contacts with people from at least 20 countries?

[07:40:02] If that clearance was at least given based on that information and the information changes, is that revocation something that should be considered?

BAUER: Well, everything should be considered. I think the Democrats are putting a lot of eggs in one basket. I think they may be missing the boat. There's no question they ought to ask for an investigation. But they keep beating on this and not look at other things that they ought to be leading their own party with.

I think if you look back at the Clinton investigation and look back at Nixon, you know, there are missed opportunities where they are not moving their party forward, and I think they may look back at this and go, you know, we should have come up with something like the Contract with America, which Gingrich did, and try to have a message because right now the only message is Russia and again this so far is the only thing I have seen that gives the Russia investigation any --


BAUER: I'm sorry. Go ahead.

BLACKWELL: But that doesn't invalidate the question if whether or not the revocation of his security clearance should be considered.

To you, Richard, do you think it should be revoked?

PAINTER: Well, obviously, and of course we should focus on issues. You know, I'm a Republican. I'd like to see the Republicans focus on health care and a wide range of different issues but I remember what happened with Nixon and the Republicans who stood by Nixon to the bitter end and it was an electoral blood bath for the Republican Party.

This is a disaster. If we continue to accept lies from this White House, it's going to destroy the Republican Party. The problem isn't the Democrats. The problem is, do we have integrity in our political system and is a Republican Party going to stand by and ignore collusion with the Russians and continue to defend this and continue to defend the lies?

And we can move forward on health care and a wide range of other issues without lying about collusion with the Russians.

BLACKWELL: Andre, let me get to one of the issues. The president as a candidate, you remember the chant, build that wall, build that wall. We heard from the president on Air Force One this week and I want to read for you what he said, because I'm confused by it. Maybe you can help me understand it. He says here about the wall that it needs to be transparent. He says, "As horrible as it sounds when they throw the large sacks of drugs over and if you have people on the other side of the wall you don't see them. They hit you on the head with 60 pounds of stuff, it's over." What does that -- what does that mean?

BAUER: You know, I didn't hear his --

BLACKWELL: That's a quote. That's what he said.

BAUER: I got it. But just because I heard the quote, I don't know exactly what he meant. As long as he's coming up with a way to protect our southern border I'm happy about it. I'm not as concerned with specifics as I am actually delivering the American people where there is opportunity for people to cross the border illegally I think we need to stop that. I don't care what the design looks like. If there's way to --

BLACKWELL: But the people who voted for him care because they wanted a wall.

BAUER: I don't think they care --


BLACKWELL: The president was very specific about saying a wall. Let me read this other one because he says that you have to be able to see through this wall. In other words, if you can't see through the wall, you could -- it could be steel with openings but you have to have openings because you have to see what's on the other side of the wall. A wall with openings you can see through that is a fence.

I mean, the president promised a wall. Now he's calling for a wall you can see through because people can throw 60 pounds of sacks of drugs over it.

BAUER: He may have some information that says this is a better way to build a wall. I don't think that most Americans that wanted to see the wall are as -- especially concerned with how the wall is built. They just want the wall. They want something that stops people from coming over illegally and we have a correct screening process.

What it looks like, you know, what it's able to deliver, I think that the most important thing is does it stop people that are a threat to our safety. And --

BLACKWELL: All right. I was going to let you finish there. Andre Bauer, thanks so much. Richard Painter.

I'll just remind people that the chant at the rallies was build that wall, not build that barrier. He was very specific. Reinforced concrete and rebars is what he said on the campaign.

All right. Thank you both.

BAUER: Thank you.


PAUL: Well, the Trump administration's Election Integrity Commission is attempting to respond to concerns over potentially releasing sensitive personal information of likely voters. Here's the thing. They just released some sensitive personal information of likely voters. Last month the commission asked every state for a complete list of voter information including name, party affiliations, addresses. The last four digits of Social Security numbers.

While some outraged voters e-mailed the commission expressing concern that their information would inadvertently be made public, the commission then posted these e-mails or those e-mails online and several did contain sensitive information including physical addresses and other obscene material. As of this morning that personal information is still active online. Still intact there.

Well, in a few hours Venus Williams is going to try to win a sixth Wimbledon singles title. This of course as she's facing some challenges off the court as well.

[07:45:03] BLACKWELL: All right. Here in the U.S., a drug ban kissed off. Yes. Andy Scholes explains for us. ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Victor. Olympic gold

medalist Gil Roberts was suspended in May for failing a drug test but it's since been overturned and you're never going to guess why. We'll have the answer coming up in this morning's "Bleacher Report."


PAUL: Just a few hours away now 37-year-old Venus Williams is going to try to make history and win her sixth Wimbledon singles title.

BLACKWELL: And you know she will be overcoming personal challenges to do it. We're joined now by CNN tennis contributor, Pat Cash, a man who knows a little something about winning at Wimbledon having won the championship himself.

Pat, good morning to you. And just one big match today, Women's Final. What are Venus' chances today? I know she's got a lot of support there.

PAT CASH, CNN TENNIS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, she's got a great chance. I mean, it's hard to believe that it's 12 years after my -- what I believe was the greatest women's final of all-time and she defeated fellow American Lindsey Davenport in an outrageously good match.

[07:50:15] And here she is 12 years later and I think she's probably favorite. I mean, she's got a vast experience over her Spanish opponent Garbine Muguruza, who's been a French Open final winner and had been a finalist here. But I think it's a great chance. It's going to be nip and tuck. It really is. It's very hard to pick who's going to win this title. The big difference of course is experience.

I also think net play where Venus and her sister Serena certainly the most competent singles players of the modern era around the net and Garbine struggles a little bit. And they'll have to be some net play today. But Garbine is hitting the ball very, very hard, very, very flat. She's full of confidence. She's got a big serve which is all the sort of same stuff we know about Venus. But I think there's a few unknowns and that is how Muguruza will play under the pressure.

But she's experienced and also, you know, how Venus' forehand is going to hold up. And I think it will be -- it's very, very tough to pick, but I think certainly Venus is really the crowd favorite.

PAUL: All right. And going through a lot. I can't even begin to understand the pressure they're under.

Pat Cash, good to have you with us. Thank you so much.

BLACKWELL: OK. So remember Lochte-gate? Well, an appeals court in Brazil has cleared the swimmer Ryan Lochte of all charges after last summer's incident at the Rio Olympics.

PAUL: Andy Scholes has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report" with just a slight chuckle.

SCHOLES: Just a slight only because we talked about this so much at the end of the Olympics last summer.

PAUL: I know.

SCHOLES: You know, and Lochte of course he started this whole firestorm when he said he was robbed at gunpoint in Rio. Lochte later admitted greatly exaggerated that story. It turned out that Lochte and some of his teammates vandalized a bathroom at a gas station, were stopped by a security guard to pay for those damages.

Now according to a report the judges in Brazil they dropped the charges because Lochte's interview with NBC News where he originally said that he had been robbed, it did not constitute a false police report.

Lochte was set to return to USA swimming competition this week for the first time since his 10-month suspension, but he reportedly withdrew from this weekend's L.A. invitational saying he hadn't trained enough due to the birth of his new son.

Olympic gold medalist Gil Roberts was suspended in May for a failed drug test, but get this. His suspension has been overturned because he proved that he failed the test because he had been frequently and passionately kissing his girlfriend. Apparently that can cause a failed test because according to the evidence in the case Roberts' girlfriend was taking medication for a sinus infection. After taking the meds, she kissed Roberts. Shortly after that he was tested and failed the test. So lesson learned here, if you're in the Olympics, don't kiss anyone on any kind of medication.

All right. Finally trending number one on this morning, most baseball fans, you know, they throw opposing homerun balls back on the field. Well, not in Pittsburgh. Check out this guy. He catches a ball, immediately turns around and chucks it into the Allegheny River. What an arm, first of all. Second of all, he must have had this planned all along that he was going to turn around and then junk it.

PAUL: He looks like he's sitting there going don't bother me. Don't bother me.

SCHOLES: I know. No one sitting right next to him so maybe this guy was just in a bad mood the whole day. Look at this. Instantly gone.

BLACKWELL: He'd been planning that since he was a boy.

SCHOLES: Probably. For years.

BLACKWELL: And I kissed someone who was taking medication, so that's why I tested positive?

SCHOLES: Hey, it worked. The arbitrators overturned it.

PAUL: Thank you so much, Andy.

SCHOLES: All right. PAUL: So listen, there was this woman trying to take the perfect

selfie. Oh, what a big and expensive problem now for a Los Angeles art gallery.


[07:56:07] PAUL: I don't know if you know this, but even with years of intervention and tutoring, people with dyslexia can still struggle so much with reading and writing. But a growing list of smartphone apps and off-the-shelf technology are really helping to level the field.

CNN health writer Jacqueline Howard looks at how in this "Teching Care of Your Life."


JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH WRITER (voice-over): Cole Harvey and his brother Steven have dyslexia, a learning disability that makes reading and writing very hard.

COLE HARVEY, 9TH GRADER, SAINT FRANCIS SCHOOLS: I felt like everybody was smarter than me. And when technology came in I was able to compensate.

MARTHA RUST, ADAPTIVE TECHNOLOGY SPECIALIST, AMAC ACCESSIBILITY: The school systems are having students bring their own technology to the classroom so students can put apps on it that really works for them.

HOWARD: Apps like Book Share and Darwin Reader let students hear words as they're highlighted on a screen. Grammarly can help young writers pick the right words and also catch spelling mistakes.

The smart pen can help with note taking. A recorder on the pen captures what you hear and syncs it to what you write. The pen can be tricky to use and may be better for older students.

Educators do stress that no technology can replace good face-to-face instruction.



BLACKWELL: Mandatory evacuations issued Friday near the Whittier Fire in Santa Barbara, California, now forcing people out of their homes. This fire started July 8th. It's burned 13,000 acres, 52 percent contained.

PAUL: In a news conference this week the U.S. Forest Service released a video. Look at this. This as first responders driving into flames to rescue kids at a summer camp. Now all camp counselors, staff and children were indeed rescued and they are now back with their families. So happy to be able to tell you that.

BLACKWELL: Oh, selfie, always gets you into trouble. This one especially. A woman trying to take a picture of herself at a Los Angeles art gallery, look at that, triggered this domino effect costing nearly $200,000 in damage.

PAUL: At least 11 sculptures were damaged when she accidentally toppled a row of those display columns and --