Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

President Trump and his job performance; White House' ever changing explanation for Donald Trump Jr; They married some of the most barbaric criminals; Repealing and replacing Obamacare is on hold for now; President Trump is defending his eldest son on Twitter Aired 5-6p ET

Aired July 16, 2017 - 17:00   ET

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


(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

[17:00:00] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Here in the CNN Newsroom, thanks so much for being with me. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. We begin this hour with President Trump and his job performance. Approaching six months in office, the president now has the worst job approval rating since modern polling began.

I want to show you this ABC News-Washington Post poll, thirty-six percent approve of the way Mr. Trump is handling his job as president. Fifty-eight percent disapproved. The president tweeting this response, quote, the ABC-Washington Post poll, even though almost forty percent is not bad at this time was just about the most inaccurate poll around election time.

That's not true. The final ABC News-Washington Post President- election poll was pretty darn close within three and a half percentage points to Trump's final margin and just outside the polls margin of air.

Now, the president also tweeting today about his former opponent, Hillary Clinton and her e-mails, perhaps an attempt to draw attention away from another batch of e-mails, those sent by his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr. about that meeting with at least two Russian nationals.

I want to go to CNN's Boris Sanchez standing by in New Jersey where the president is spending the weekend. Boris, some fresh reaction now to this meeting.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Anna, we've heard the president and some of his surrogates say that this was a meeting that anyone would take, in the heat of a campaign, trying to gain opposition research, negative information about your opponent.

And it seems now like the majority of the American people would not take that meeting. According to that ABC-Washington Post poll that you cited, people were asked if they thought that meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian attorney, and Russian lobbyist were appropriate.

Sixty-three percent say they disapprove that that meeting was inappropriate. While twenty-three percent actually approve of that meeting. It is a story that is not likely to go away any time soon. It is casting a large shadow over the White House and just about anything that the administration tries to do or accomplish on its agenda.

And part of the reason it's not going away any time soon is because of these three investigations. Robert Mueller special counsel, the House Senate and Senate Intelligence Committee's all looking into allege ties between the Russians and the Trump campaign.

And you had two lawmakers from both parties this morning on State of the Union, calling for Donald Trump Jr. and others in that meeting to testify under oath. Here's Senator Mark Warner and Susan Collins.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MARK WARNER (D), VIRGINIA: I would like to hear from all of these individuals whether we'll be able to get the Russian nationals to come over and testify is an open question. Those people that ultimately has jurisdiction over, the Americans I assure, I want to talk to all of them.

SEN. SUSAN COLLINS, MEMBER, SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: We need to get to the bottom of this, but the only way that we're going to do it is to talk not just to Donald Trump Jr., who is to offer to cooperate for which I give him credit but to everyone who was at that meeting.

And who is involved in setting up that meeting. That may be difficult in the case of the Russian nationals, but we certainly ought to try.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: Now, the president is enjoying the rest of his weekend here in Bedminster, New Jersey before heading back to Washington, D.C., later tonight. This week is supposed to be made in America week and president has said to take part in several events to try to highlight products made here in the United States in companies that in the administration's words invest in the American worker.

Despite that though, you can bet that the majority of the attention will stay on this slow trickle of information about the Russia investigations. Ana.

CABRERA: Boris Sanchez in New Jersey with the president. Thank you. Let's go straight to Washington now for more reaction. Democratic Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal of Washington joining us now, she serves on the House Judiciary Committee.

And Congresswoman, we just showed the latest poll of president Trump's approval rating, it's thirty-six percent. Obviously, that's not good news for the president or for Republicans, but I want to show you another part of this same poll.

When asked whether Democrats stood for something or just stand against President Trump. Fifty-two percent say your party just stands against the president. Have the Democrats become the party of opposition? REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D), WASHINGTON: Well, I've said for some time

now that we can't just be an opposition party, we have to be a proposition party. And many of us have put forward a number of bills that are about our Democratic agenda.

Everything from actually fixing the pieces of health care that we need to fix to providing affordable college, to investing jobs and infrastructure.

But what we have right now, Ana, is a situation where it was good to see Senator Collins and Senator Warner talk about the need for both parties to recognize the severity of the situation we're in. Unfortunately, Chairman Goodlatte on the Judiciary Committee where I serve, has refused to have a single hearing on any of these issues.

And that's why I introduced along with my colleague David Cicilline a resolution of inquiry to force the Judiciary Committee...

[17:05:00] ... to actually hold a hearing and find out the facts around Comey's firing, around Jeff Sessions so called recusal from anything that has to do with Russia.

And we're going to be amending that resolution of inquiry to actually include Donald Trump Jr. as well because I think these are -- this is far above party. This is about our constitution, and it's about our democracy about whether or not there was foreign influence in our elections. And we need to get to the bottom of this.

CABRERA: Hold your thought on that, because I want you to take a look at another poll question, when you talk about this not being a partisan issue, this poll found Democrats, eighty-percent believe Russia tried to influence last year's election. But look at that.

JAYAPAL: Yes.

CABRERA: Just thirty-three percent of Republicans who were polled think so. Why is this becoming a partisan issue?

JAYAPAL: This is the thing I think is most troubling. You know, we need the president to put the affairs of the country before his own personal issues, and we need the president actually in this position to be saying.

We need to get to the bottom of this. I am going to be doing everything I can and my administration is going to do everything I can to make sure we get the facts. And unfortunately...

CABRERA: Are you surprised one in five Democrats...

(CROSSTALK)

CABRERA: Are you surprised one in five Democrats still don't believe it's a big deal?

JAYAPAL: No, I don't think so because I think everybody is really trying to absorb these -- you know, what's going on. And I got to tell you, it's -- it's difficult to keep up with it, but I think the reality is, there is a need for information. That's what we're trying to get to is the facts.

And we need Democrats and Republicans to stand up, and those Republicans in the House and the Senate who don't stand up and say, we at least need to get this information, they are enabling our democracy and our constitution to be undermined.

And that's really what our resolutions of inquiry are designed to get a -- you know, the House Judiciary Committee, Ana, is the only committee of jurisdiction that has not held a single hearing. The Senate Judiciary Committee hearing has the House Intelligence and Senate Intelligence have.

But the House Judiciary Committee has yet to do that and I swore an oath to protect and defend the constitution, and I'm going to continue to try to push our chairman -- Chairman Goodlatte to actually address this issue.

Let's have people in, let's get to the bottom of this, let's make sure we don't actually, you know, say we don't have any jurisdiction over it, we do, and it's our responsibility to the American people.

CABRERA: But as you point out, there are multiple congressional investigations underway already, you don't think those are sufficient?

JAYAPAL: No, it's always been written that numerous committees have jurisdiction in these situations. Judiciary in particular is one of the most important because we have jurisdiction over the constitution and these are constitutional issues.

The emoluments clause was put there because our founders were so concerned with influence of foreign governments on our president, on our administration. And so, you need to have multiple committees that have jurisdiction actually exercise that jurisdiction.

And conservatives and Democrats -- you know, both sides of the aisle have said that we really need to be pursuing this investigation to its fullest.

CABRERA: Now obviously, these other intelligence committees, both the Senate and the House Intel Committees have discussed calling everybody who was involved in that latest meeting, that was revealed between Donald Trump Jr. and a couple of the other campaign aids as well as these Russians who we learned were at the meeting, caught all those people before the committees to testify.

Of the different characters who were a part of that meeting, we now know there were up to eight people in that room. Who do you think may provide the most crucial testimony?

JAYAPAL: That's a difficult question because I'll tell you, Jared Kushner obviously is going to be important. Donald Trump Jr. is probably -- has already given us a lot of information that's very disturbing. His reaction and response to the initial inquiry should have been to

call the FBI, but instead he said, I love it. You know I -- give me that information, I love it, but I think really we're looking at every single one of these people that you have up on the screen is going to provide critical information.

Certainly Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner -- Jared Kushner and Manafort are going to be critical in there. But the Russian side of the equation and what they do or don't say is going to be very important as well.

CABRERA: There's a new line of defense just this morning from the president's lawyer on this Don Jr. meeting with the Russians. Jay Sekulow says, the Secret Service shouldn't have allowed these people in if they were so nefarious. What's your reaction to that?

JAYAPAL: You know my reaction is, that I wish that the president and his attorneys would just put the country first. Instead of thinking about their own personal protection, and how they protect themselves against whatever might be coming forward, we need them to actually start...

[17:10:00] ... to talk about what's right for democracy and what's right for the American people.

So it's troubling to me that they continue to put up lines of defense. I mean, the idea that anybody would take this meeting, I thought David French said it best, conservative columnist in the National Review, when he said, no, it's not OK to take that meeting.

It is not OK to take that meeting, that is a clear indication of foreign influence, and I think that what we're trying to do is really get to the bottom of the facts, if there's nothing to hide, then let us get the information.

There may -- may be nothing here, but at least let us understand and investigate that, so that we can put this issue to bed and we can make sure that we're preserving our constitution and our democracy.

CABRERA: Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, thank you very much for joining us.

JAYAPAL: Thank you.

CABRERA: Coming up, a Republican congressman weighs in on the White House' ever changing explanation for Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with the Russian lawyer last June. And Mitch McConnell delays a crucial vote on his health bill just as new poll numbers show the new bill is very unpopular. Can the Republican leader get this through? We'll discuss.

Plus, they married some of the most barbaric criminals. But as ISIS find itself on the road. Many of these brides of ISIS are speaking up about love inside the group. Thanks for being with us. You're live in the CNN Newsroom.

[17:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CABRERA: The White House is once again shifting its story on meetings between campaign officials in Russia. As a reminder, here is where it all began.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN DICKERSON, CBS CORRESPONDENT: Are there any ties between Mr. Trump, you or your campaign and Putin in his regime?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, absolutely not, it's absurd.

DICKERSON: Did any advisor or anybody in the Trump campaign have contact with the Russians who are trying to meddle in the relation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course not.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't know of any -- any contacts with Russian agents.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These conversations never happened.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why would there be any contacts between the campaigns.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't think of bigger lie.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Before then, no one had contact with Russia, and by no means did anyone try to collude. Now, listen to where we are today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAY SEKULOW, PREISDENT TRUMP'S LAWYER: I deal with the laws that's what I'm the lawyer for the president, and campaigns involve opposition research. Was the meeting and what took place, legal or not, we, of course, as almost every legal expert says it's not illegal.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Well, let's talk about the shifting defense, Republican Congressman Scott Taylor who represents Virginia's second district is with us now. He's also a former navy SEAL and Iraq war veteran. Congressman, first of all, thanks for your service.

REP. SCOTT TAYLOR (R), MEMBER, APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE: Pleasure for having me.

CABRERA: I want to ask you, how do you explain to the American people, a White House going from we never had meetings with Russians, to sure we had meetings with Russians, sure we were willing to accept their help, but it's not illegal?

TAYLOR: Well, I watched a couple of your clip that you just put out. Thanks for having me first and foremost. I watched the clip that you are playing and most of them, of course, the questions they were asking -- they were asking them very specifically if they're colluding with Russia and all those things.

Look, I think that there's no question that there has been a shift in the stories, and people should be -- if there's something that's illegal here, then people should be held accountable. Yes, there are political ramifications for shifting your story, no question about that. But also...

(CROSSTALK)

CABRERA: What are those political ramifications?

TAYLOR: Yes, there are -- I'm sorry.

CABRERA: What are the political ramifications?

TAYLOR: Well, like what we're talking about right now, right? So the president has a bold agenda that he was elected on, and as were we -- and this is what we're talking about every single day. So there are political ramifications for it, but like I said, I think if someone did something wrong, then they should be held accountable for it.

But I also believe that Democrats -- I think they are overplaying their hand on this. I've watched my senator all day, talking to day. You know, I have to disagree with my -- my colleague Congresswoman Jayapal that was just here calling yet another investigation.

When there have been tons of investigations, there's ongoing ones now, that are going on. And I think the polls that you actually were talking to her about reflect exactly what most American -- Americans think right now.

So all they're doing is obstructing. All they're doing is overplaying their hand on this Russia deal and they're not doing the work of the American people. So I think the polls rightfully the ones that you referenced clearly speak to what's happening in Washington right now.

CABRERA: We're going to talk more about the polls in just a moment.

TAYLOR: Sure.

CABRERA: But you also talked about accountability and taking responsibility.

TAYLOR: Sure.

CABRERA: I want to take a moment to play another line of defense from the president's lawyer on this Don Jr. meeting. Let's listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEKULOW: Well, I wonder why the Secret Service at this was nefarious -- why the Secret Service allowed these people in. The president had Secret Service protection at that point. That raised a question with me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Do you think the Secret Service is to blame for allowing that meeting to happen?

TAYLOR: No, I don't. You know, that's the president's lawyer. He is there to defend him, you know, through and through. I'm not on the program here to defend anyone, you're just asking for my thoughts.

Look, I think that there was -- I think that it was a mistake, the meeting, of course. I think that it was handled incorrectly, but you also have to understand -- you know, we're talking about Donald Jr. right now who is not, you know, a member of this administration whatsoever.

(CROSSTALK)

CABRERA: Jared Kushner was at the meeting, who was a member...

TAYLOR: Sorry.

CABRERA: He is a member of the administration. Jared Kushner was at the meeting. He is a member of the administration. He did fill out security clearance forms...

TAYLOR: That's correct and so from what I understand, he actually...

CABRERA: ... and do not disclose these meetings at least three times.

TAYLOR: From what I understand, he actually -- before this reporting has had happened, he amended that, to report this meeting. Now what I will say is again same thing, if someone did something wrong, if there was something here that was illegal, OK, hold them accountable.

And the proper authorities will do that, the proper authorities aren't -- you the Democrat, congressman come and when they come along here, just talking about treason and all this crazy ridiculousness.

That is -- you know, the issue with what's going on right here, and I think the -- what's bad for the American people and how politicized this is.

[17:20:00] Again, someone does something wrong, hold them accountable. But what the real issue is here if...

(CROSSTALK)

CABRERA: Does this White House taking enough responsibility because the...

TAYLOR: Sorry.

CABRERA: ... the evidence is black and white on the paper that Don Jr. went into this meeting thinking he was going to get dirt on Hillary Clinton. And it says, it was a meeting with a Russian government lawyer, and that it was an effort on behalf...

TAYLOR: OK.

CABRERA: ... of the Russian government to help his father during the election.

TAYLOR: Again -- again, I don't know of any illegalities at the moment over that. I just don't but what I...

CABRERA: I'm not asking about...

TAYLOR: Let me finish please. Let me...

CABRERA: Excuse me.

TAYLOR: You asked me a question, let me finish. You know, when you look at...

CABRERA: You know, let me just make sure that you answer my question, though.

TAYLOR: I understand your question perfectly clear.

CABRERA: But I'm not asking whether it was illegal, I'm asking about whether there is some sense of responsibility in owning that that's what was believed to be going into this meeting.

TAYLOR: As I said earlier on your program already, I don't think the meeting was appropriate. That being said, a lot of things happen and I'm not -- this is not an excuse because I said it was inappropriate.

But there are a lot of things that happen on campaigns, you know, the DNC of course sought Ukrainian information on the president. They kept that fire between the campaign, right? You're not talking about that, you should be. But if there's something -- if something needs to happen, they should be accountable.

I need to finish my sentence in the previous thing in that, what's bad for the American people right now, when you have folks coming on here and saying it's treason, treason, treason, and when you have folks in the administration who aren't coming clean with everything.

No question, what you're missing here, what the American people are missing here is a policy that says to other nations around the world, that they will not interfere with our election. No one's talking about that and they should be because there should be repercussions and consequences for any country that tries to deal...

CABRERA: Sure.

TAYLOR: ... with the integrity of our elections. And I see here...

CABRERA: What's going on?

TAYLOR: ... that that's not what's happening out of this. There's no policy coming out of this or even talk about it. CABRERA: So I'm glad you went there because I wanted to ask you about

this Russian sanctions bill that is currently in the House. What's going on with that? It passed very quickly in the Senate, 98-2 is very by partisan, almost -- almost unanimous, but it stalled in the House now.

TAYLOR: Well, very clearly on any kind of legislation, any kind of resolution in sanctions of like that, they -- the Senate has an idea, the House has an idea. So what's -- the way that I understand right now is, they're looking at it, there are a couple things that the -- that they don't like from the Senate.

CABRERA: Who's they?

TAYLOR: But I do believe...

CABRERA: Who's they because you're -- you're a member of the House.

TAYLOR: Let me finish what I'm saying, please. So I do think ultimately, there will be sanctions against Russia for trying to attempt to meddle in our election that are passed now the House. I just think they're working on the actual verbiage of the sanctions themselves.

CABRERA: Why do you think the Russia investigation has become a bipartisan issue? We talked about polls. I want to put that one up but show eighty percent of Democrats say that this is a big deal, the Russia investigation. While only thirty-three percent of Republicans believe so. Congressman, are you still with me?

TAYLOR: Oh, I'm sorry, I'm sorry. So yes the -- I think exactly what we just talked about earlier, I think, you know, you've had the folks who are against Donald Trump, partisans, Democrats who have overplayed this issue, they made it almost ridiculous, when you're talking about treason.

CABRERA: Is the president to blame by calling it a hoax, by calling it a witch hunt, by not taking it seriously and not -- and not believing his Intelligence Community who concluded that Russia was behind the election meddling?

TAYLOR: Let me say what I believe. I believe that they were attempting to mess with our election, I do. I think that other countries were as well. And I think that it's going to be sophisticated moving forward, which is why we have to have a policy.

But it doesn't help of course if you have folks simply using that as a political baseball bat to hit the president and the president of course not taking it super seriously, because he has got the Democrats saying treason and these stuff like that.

That doesn't help the folks who -- who it needs to help out, and that is the American people. So we do have to have a policy moving forward, so that we can protect the integrity of our elections.

CABRERA: Congressman Scott Taylor, thanks your time. We appreciate you coming on.

TAYLOR: Thanks for having me.

CABRERA: Coming up, a critical week for the new health care bill is running into some delays as Senator John McCain is now recovering from surgery. Can the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell get the votes for his bill? We'll discuss live in the CNN Newsroom.

[17:25:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CABRERA: Welcome back, the Senate showdown over repealing and replacing Obamacare is on hold for now. Republican Leader Mitch McConnell abruptly put off this key vote after learning Senator John McCain will spend this week in Arizona.

He's recovering from surgery to remove a blood clot. We're told he's OK. After seven years of promises, McConnell can't afford to lose even one more vote as he tries to wrangle the fifty votes needed to pass this plan.

Now President Trump acknowledge this challenge earlier this week telling reporters, quote, the only thing more difficult than peace between Israel and the Palestinians is health care. He also issued this warning to Republicans.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They have to do it. They have to get together and get it done.

PAT ROBERTSON, CEO, REGENT UNIVERSITY: What will happen if they don't?

TRUMP: Well, I don't even want to talk about it because I think it would be very bad. I will be very angry about it. And a lot of people will be very upset. But I'm sitting, waiting for that bill to come to my desk. I hope that they do it, they've been promising it for years.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Joining me now, CNN political commentator and former Republican lieutenant governor of South Carolina, Andre Bauer, and also with us, the host of the Bill Press Show, Bill Press. Andre, does this new delay...

ANDRE BAUER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Ana.

CABRERA: ... of the health care vote help or hurt Republicans chances of getting to fifty?

BAUER: Well, I think it hurts it. I think every -- every day is a set back, you know, I'm glad that Speaker Ryan has said they will stay, and I appreciate that the president has used his bully pulpit to talk about this. Quite frankly, I'm not the biggest fan of them getting involved, Democrats own this bill, it's a bad bill, it's continued to get worse and worse, but I believe...

[17:30:00] CABRERA: You're talking about this bill? This is all done by Republicans. Remember, this is the -- the GOP Senate group that put this...

BAUER: I know.

CABRERA: ... this bill together.

BAUER: Yes, I know that and Obamacare is failing, unbelievable right and the Democrats own it currently. So if the Republicans to then take it over and own it from the Democrats, they need to show three more principles. They need to show the difference in Republicans and Democrats.

And I think they're missing the boat here. They're not talking about it to reform. They're not talking about reducing drug care -- prescription drug prices. They're not talking about, you know, purchase across state lines.

They ought to talk about how you can find out what the cash cost is versus the insurance cost, how you can find out what it cost to have a procedure done before you do it and none of that is in there, and so I want competition.

I want a totally different bill than this. But I do like the -- Senator Graham proposed at least sending it back to the states. So I'm not excited for them to pass this bill but I admire them for at least taking it on and discussing it.

And I would think the Democrats ought to get in there and try push what they think is important to get something hammered out. This is their one opportunity to actually have some input.

BILL PRESS, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Wow.

CABRERA: Bill, hold your thought -- hold your thought for just a second, though because...

(CROSSTALK)

CABRERA: He says he doesn't like this bill, and a lot of Americans agree with him. In fact, let's take a look at the latest polling. An ABC News-Washington Post poll found more people prefer the Affordable Care Act to the proposed Republican plan by a margin of two to one.

PRESS: That would not...

CABRERA: The bill Senate Majority went John Cornyn -- hold on, he -- let me play what he had to say in terms of the rationale for these numbers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R), TEXAS: It's mainly because all they hear is the critics, but the fact is, we know millions of people are seeing sky high premiums, unaffordable deductibles and fleeing insurance markets because insurance companies keep losing money.

I'm afraid if we don't come to the rescue of those people, that we will be left with our democratic colleagues wanting to bail out through billions of dollars to insurance companies without any reforms.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Bill, your response.

PRESS: Wow! Where do I start? At least let me start first of all, I want to say, I'm glad to agree with Andre, that the Republican health care bill in the Senate is a piece of junk, it stinks and they should not pass it. Thank you, Andre, for point -- for pointing that out.

The other thing -- and I have to agree, the ultimate irony I think in this thing is that the Senate is delaying, so that Senator McCain who has the gold standard in health care coverage can come back to Washington and perhaps vote against the -- vote for a bill, rather, that would deprive twenty-two million Americans of their health insurance.

No wonder people hate Washington when you see that happening. And look, as do -- whether the bill passes or not, I don't know. If I were a Republican, honest it is, I would hope the bill would not pass, because, Andre, is right. They will own it.

They will own the bill that allows people to buy crappy plans for low money that provides them no coverage, doesn't do anything as, Andre, said about prescription drug cost costs. It will got -- cut Medicaid and then no future expansion of Medicaid.

Seventy-two million Americans on Medicaid will start to lose their benefits. And Seventy-two million lose in their insurance, is this what Republicans really want to go into 2018 with? I would hope not.

CABRERA: Andre?

BAUER: I think -- I think, Bill's, right. I think the play for Republicans is to continue to let it get worse before Democrats have to come to the table because people are going to become more and more outraged when they're losing their insurance.

When these insurance companies continue to shut the door, you're going to have the public ready to hammer anybody that's not going to come to the table and at least have a discussion. And I haven't seen the Democrats.

This is their opportunity when the vote's this close, they can some and say, we want X, Y and Z included in this bill. We want more people look -- you know, we want to expand the roles of Medicaid. They have the opportunity to negotiate right now because it's not close.

Look, I served in the legislature, I know what it's like, and right now, they could be working together, and they're not doing that.

PRESS: Ana, let me pick up there, all right? Democrats are ready to work together. It's Mitch McConnell who has locked the door. Mitch McConnell has said, you've been reporting this, you know this, this is not fake news.

Mitch McConnell says, we only want Republican votes. The answer is, if Democrats -- Republicans would just say stop, drop, repeal and say replace or maybe mend it, don't end it, they could get eighty-five votes for this thing.

Democrats to fix what's wrong with Obamacare, but don't throw the baby out with the bath water as a good conservative friend of mine told me about it this weekend.

CABRERA: Well, maybe that's where this we'll eventually have. Bill Press, Andre Bauer, we got to leave it there. Thanks, gentlemen for coming on.

BAUER: Thank you.

CABRERA: Happy weekend.

PRESS: Thank you.

CABRERA: Coming up, at one time these women flocked to join ISIS fighters, lured by the romance and adventure, but now the terror group, it's empire is crumbling, and the brides are trapped. They're telling CNN about what life was really like inside ISIS. You're live in the CNN Newsroom.

[17:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CABRERA: When ISIS started building, it's now crumbling empire in the Middle East, many foreign women were lured into Jihad by false promises of romance. Some even married ISIS fighters. Now the caliphate is falling apart, and the ISIS brides are trapped by their own mistakes.

They haven't been charged with anything in what is essentially a lawless area. But these women have been branded as ISIS' sympathizers until the authorities can figure out what to do with them. Nick Paton Walsh has our stories.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: (Inaudible) self, they saw all the videos, girls, mothers, some who married into ISIS, who knew what they were about, but still came.

Now, jailed in a refugee camp, stuck in limbo as ISIS collapses, trying to go home they want your pity. And that you believe in when they say, it was all -- all of it, a huge mistake. They use women for sex?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah. It's very disgusting.

WALSH: Three Indonesian sisters say they paid thousands of dollars to get here lured by the false promise of free health care and schools.

[17:40:00] But learned about living of selling their jewelry and paying thousands to get smuggled out. It just wasn't this due to Caliphate mistakes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They say they want to (Inaudible), they want jihad for the sake of Allah but what -- what they seem to want -- what they want is only about women and sex. It's disgusting.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I heard that if they marry a widow, they will get thousands of dollars.

WALSH: Single women arrivals like them, kept in a commune while they look for husbands.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The manner of the woman inside the dorm is very different. It's very far from Islam. Harsh manner, gossiping, shout at each other, back fighting, and fighting between the woman and -- oh, I was very surprised when I see that.

WALSH: (Inaudible), explains the dorm is a bit like tinder.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): When the woman arrives in this dormitory she makes a sort of CV, puts down her age, her name, what her personality is like, what she looks for in a man. And men also post their CV's.

WALSH (through translator): This is like tinder of the caliphate.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Yes, it's dating, so you meet, you talk for fifteen, twenty minutes, and then it's a yes or a no. If they both agree, then they get married. It's very quick.

WALSH: She says, she came for charity work but her husband was killed the second time they tried to flee. She's either pulled by the Paris terror attacks as she was by the coalition boarding of Raqqa, just wants to go back to France.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I love life, I love to work, I love my jeans. I love my make-up. I love my parents. The only thing I want is to go back. I'm not far from the beach. I used to go to the beach every weekend in a bikini.

WALSH: In a bikini?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Yes, in a bikini.

WALSH: As a Syrian English teacher whose first husband was killed by a sniper in Holmes and says she was traveling to Turkey, when she was relieved in Raqqa, where she met and married a Moroccan. They loved. Were you looking for a man when you went to Morocco? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.

WALSH: So how come you found one just like...

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that's a no to me.

WALSH: She says, ISIS Spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani knew (Inaudible) and allowed him not to fight. He's now in jail. She is disapproving of less pure love stories. Did you hear other stories of women come looking for husband?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They look to the European men, that's -- they are here and ISIS, they are strong men, you know, with guns. And they can protect them. It's an idea, just like movies.

Many of them were shocked because like, when they get married, you know, three, four days, one month and they divorced. I know a woman, she was married six times. And after three days, she go to court and ask the judge to divorce her from him.

And when the judge ask her why you want divorce, and that man say that she prevent him from making any -- you know, sexual -- you know, and she say I can't accept him. I all the time thinking of my husband.

And the judge ask her, so why you get marry him if you don't want him. And he will say, I will send you to the prison, I'll -- she was crying, no, no, it's the last time, I promise.

WALSH: Her husband was once arrested for smoking by the religious police, and because they won't talk to women, she had to literally enter a man's world to get him out of jail.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you know, it was a crazy idea. I just took my husband's clothes, and shoes, and really got to view, I covered my eyes with black glasses. I blend on and gone from -- I take it from there and I take my boy, and let's go to the police.

WALSH: Can you do a man voice now?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Inaudible).

WALSH: That's how men sounds. These stories decide their fate here. Whether they stay in limbo or go home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can go to limit. You know, ISIS speaks a language more than mouth.

WALSH: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don't you feel there's a truth in my eyes?

WALSH: Yes, your husband, what if you never see him again?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I still want to go, but I can't do it myself, it's suicide and I can't commit suicide. I just don't.

WALSH: Nick Paton Walsh, CNN in militia, Northern Syria.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Coming up, the White House keeps changing its story about Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with a Russian lawyer but one of the president's lawyers says there was nothing illegal about it. We'll discuss it with our legal panel next.

[17:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CABRERA: President Trump is defending his eldest son on Twitter today, as the questions are mounting about Donald Trump Jr.'s controversial pre-election meeting with a Russian lawyer. At least eight people attended that meeting, including in June of 2016 at Trump Tower including Ivanka Trump's husband Jared Kushner, now a senior White House adviser.

Let's talk it all over with our legal analyst, former Federal Prosecutor Mark Geragos is joining us, as well as former special assistant to Robert Mueller, at the Justice Department, Michael Zeldin. Gentlemen, thanks for being here. Trump's lawyer Jay Sekulow was on the Sunday morning shows today, and here's what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEKULOW: I know this, even the president was not aware about this meeting, did not participate in this meeting. As far as other meetings go, the president has said that he was not aware of it. He wasn't involved in it.

[17:50:00] And that there's no indication otherwise. So when you say, other meetings that took place, I'm sure they had conversations during the course of the campaign about meetings that were relevant to some kind of determination but this one was not.

Not every -- most meetings were never discussed with the president. I mean, that's -- that's normally how these go. So the president was campaigning. He's staff was having meetings and the president was not may aware of this nor participated in this meeting.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Michael, what do you make of Sekulow's response there?

MICHAEL ZELDIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, we'll see whether the facts bear that out. I'm not so convinced. This is an interesting sort of timeline here. You know the June third e-mail, soliciting the possibility of a meeting.

You have June seventh acceptance. A June ninth meeting at the same time, that this is going on, the president just talking about in his campaign speeches the rave to receive something important about Hillary. He has Manafort, Kushner, his son there. He's got people from Russia

there, who he has a prior business relationship with from the Miss Universe conference. The meetings that take place -- take place in Trump Tower, where the people have to be cleared in through the Secret Service.

Trump is reported to be there in the offices at the time of this meeting. So I'm not so sure when it comes to proving Sekulow's assertions, the facts will bear him out. So I'm not yet ready to accept him at his word.

CABRERA: So, Mark, President Trump fired off several tweets this morning, including this one. He says, quote, thank you to former Campaign Advisor, Michael Caputo for saying so powerfully that there was no Russian collusion in our winning campaign. So here he is tweeting about the Russia investigation again. Mark, you think his lawyers are happy about this?

MARK GERAGOS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: No. They aren't. I can tell you having been there, done that in these kinds of situations. Number one, he doesn't know everything that was in that closed session that he's tweeting about. He knows what the statement was when somebody came out.

So I wouldn't be -- if I'm the lawyer I'm going to tell him you never know what goes on in closed session whether it's in front of a congressional investigator, whether it's somebody who's cooperating with the FBI or whether it's somebody who is in front of grand jury.

So don't think what somebody says on the courthouse steps or the in steps of Congress is necessarily what they are testifying to. You also never know and this is one of things that just drives lawyers crazy, you never know whose cooperating and who is saying what in order to get their head out of the noose, so to speak or the mouse trap.

So don't -- you know, I understand that this is -- the technique has always worked in business. This is one of great frustrations when you're defending businessmen because they always are the alpha dog, the alpha male. They are the ones who are controlling the situation.

What they don't understand is that ultimately at the end of the day, when you're facing a -- the gauntlet of federal investigators and federal attorneys coming at you and investigating you that the best thing you can ever do is just sit down and shut up because it doesn't help you. This isn't helping anyone's cause.

CABRERA: And I wonder how risky it is for him to just fire off a tweet. It seems like some of these could be, call that a knee jerk reaction. If anything in those tweets turn out to be inaccurate, could that come back to haunt him, Mark?

GERAGOS: Yes, because absolutely, they've already made the statement several times that the tweets are official statements. Now, could that be the basis for false statement? No. That's never going to be the basis for a one thousand and one false statement. But you can -- if you're ever in situation where first of all pre-

filing if you're trying to convince somebody , a prosecutor, not to file a series of tweets that seems to undermine what your then narrative is or what the facts get developed are, is going to be real problem.

A reminder -- if you take him at his word and ten days ago, he didn't know anything about this meeting and now all of this drip, drip, drip is coming out and he's learning all of this stuff. Who knows whether -- you know, it's the old Ronald Reagan.

They told him about Iran contra and he forgot. I mean, you know, this is a situation where at a certain point you don't want to box yourself in and eliminate an exit strategy.

CABRERA: Michael, President Trump's re-election campaign, we learned he's paid $50,000 to the law firm now representing his son Donald Trump Jr. On June twenty-seventh is when the payment was made.

That was several days after the president son-in-law Jared Kushner, amended his security clearance form to reflect this previously undisclosed meeting at the Trump Tower. Is that appropriate, that money going from the re-election campaign to a lawyer for his son?

ZELDIN: If the expenditure from the campaign is on behalf of stuff that Don Jr. did on behalf of the campaign, then, yes, it is appropriate.

[17:55:00] If not, it's not appropriate. And as I looked at the filings, there were two filings. There was one that was about two weeks before the second one, which is on June twenty seventh. So you had filed -- payments to this same lawyer, Donald Trump Jr.'s lawyer as I read it, before the revelations and then after the revelation revelations.

So if it was before the revelations and it related to these meetings in the anticipation of it, then that might imply knowledge on behalf of the campaign that something was ongoing. So yes, it's OK if it's related to the campaign. No, if it's not related to the campaign.

And again, like all of the things that, Mark and I are talking about, these are very fact specific determinations. They are hard to talk about in terms of a prosecution or an impeachment article, or anything like that in the abstract.

CABRERA: Right.

ZELDIN: But there are red flags that are being raised here that will require Mueller's close attention.

CABRERA: Let the investigation go where it will go. Michael Zeldin and Mark Geragos, thank you both.

GERAGOS: Thank you.

ZELDIN: Thank you. CABRERA: We'll be right back.

[18:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)