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Trump Jr Lawyer: We Were Ready to Tell Full Story Before; Trump Considered Not Recertifying Iran Nuke Compliance; Trump Considers Return Russian Compounds; Trump's Promise on Obamacare Crumbling; New Questions About Shooting of Bride-to-Be. Aired 11:30-12p ET
Aired July 18, 2017 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:30:00] KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: While Donald Trump Jr's lawyer says they were prepared to issue a statement detailing the full nature of the meeting, they didn't. He did not respond to requests for comments on why they did not initially prepare a full statement about the meeting.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Fascinating. Much more to come on that.
Kaitlan, great to see you. Thank you.
COLLINS: Thank you.
BOLDUAN: I want to bring in now a member of the House Intelligence Committee, Democratic Congressman Denny Heck, of Washington.
Congressman, thank you for your time.
REP. DENNY HECK, (D), WASHINGTON, D.C.: You're welcome, Kate.
BOLDUAN: A lot of moving parts. What do you make of Trump Jr's attorney's statement saying they were ready to give a full account of what happened? Do you have any indication of what stopped them?
HECK: Anytime you are talking through your lawyers, it's not a good thing for you. My advice is come clean. If there's anything we have learned in the last six months, it's that the truth will be out. The truth is, there is an awful lot about this circumstance that reminds me of the Watergate era, which I lived through. And in particular, this week, I thought what resonated with me was a quote by President Nixon's counselor, his chief attorney who said, "Mr. President, there is a cancer growing on your presidency." That's the case here. No constructive purpose can be served by denying and changing stories. The truth of the matter is that Jared Kushner's story has changed more often than the Republican health care bill. And we know every time it changes, it gets worse. For Donald Trump Jr and Jared Kushner, and the president, himself, I would suggest, it's far past time to come clean.
BOLDUAN: Congressman --
HECK: It would be political equivalent of chemotherapy if they did.
BOLDUAN: That's one way to put it. If it turned out it was someone in the White House that stopped Donald
Trump Jr from coming forth and giving a full account, because, clearly, that's not what happened at first, but if someone in the White House stopped them, what would that mean?
HECK: I think, frankly, Kate, we are far past collusion. That's a charge from the Intel Committee to seek whether or not there was collusion with the Russian government with respect to the efforts to interfere in our 2016 presidential election. We are far past that, at this stage.
BOLDUAN: Where are we?
HECK: We are at the point where, as I said earlier, it's far past time for this administration to come clean.
This is getting very serious, Kate. Look, I do not believe that articles of impeachment should come before investigation is complete. And we are at the beginning or near the middle of ours. We are knee deep into it. I think it is ominous and should be to the president of the United States that the percentage of Americans calling for impeachment is almost double what it was at this stage of the Watergate era. He has to take it more seriously than their repeated denial and repeated attempts to change the subject.
BOLDUAN: That coming out yesterday. We definitely are taking a look at that as well.
As you know, Congressman, the United States, as required, announced yesterday that Iran is in compliance with the nuclear deal that was agreed to in the Obama administration. That deal was recertified. We are learning that President Trump threw a wrench in that plan, kind of at the 11th hour yesterday, putting that announcement on hold because he wanted to consider his options. We are told there were voices inside the White House making the argument that Iran wasn't in compliance without offering concrete examples. He was clearly talked out of that. What is your reaction?
HECK: Here we go again, Kate. If the facts don't meet what it is, your particular objective, you change the facts to adapt to the circumstance. Look, there is no scenario under which this world is better off if Iran develops nuclear power and a nuclear weapon. The fact of the matter is, this agreement has been effective in preventing them from doing that. The president should acknowledge that and move forward accordingly.
BOLDUAN: On another issue of sanctions, in light of your Russia investigation, Russian officials are saying they are almost near a deal with the Trump administration to get back the Russian compounds in the U.S. that were seized back in the Obama years. What would you need to get comfortable giving back the compounds to Russia?
HECK: Nothing. I think it's time the House of Representatives enact the increased sanctions the Senate passed a few weeks ago on a vote of 98-2. The fact of the matter is, Russia interfered and hacked the 2016 presidential elections, as well as the elections in France and the upcoming elections in Germany. Unless we want them to do more, we have to hold them accountable. So I think it's --
BOLDUAN: What do you think is behind the delay in the House?
HECK: Everybody knows. The oil industry weighed in.
BOLDUAN: You think -- oh, you think it's the oil industry? You don't think it's the White House?
HECK: For sure, the White House. In this case, I think oil industry, White House -- I won't say they are synonymous but the fact of the matter is they are serving one another's interest.
[11:35:01] BOLDUAN: You don't think it's the White House saying this interferes with their ability to conduct foreign policy?
BOLDUAN: Other presidents in the past had issues with similar sanctions and restrictions put on them as well.
HECK: Sure, they are saying that. It does not change the fact Russia interfered in our elections. They will do it again unless we hold them accountable. I'm not aware of any other proposal that would hold them accountable. The House and Senate passed increased sanctions on Russia so they do not do it again. Period. Full stop.
BOLDUAN: Congressman, Denny Heck, great to get your perspective. I appreciate it.
HECK: Thank you, Kate.
BOLDUAN: Thank you so much.
It's no secret that governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, and the president have been close friends. It may be interesting to note what President Trump thinks of Chris Christie saying what Don Jr did could have been illegal. His comments, ahead.
Plus, the family of the bride-to-be shot to death by police. They are demanding answers as we learn more about the tragic moments that took place.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DON DAMOND, FIANCE OF JUSTINE: The death of Justine is a loss to everyone who knew her. She touched so many people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[11:40:38] BOLDUAN: Is the White House now changing its tag line from repeal and replace to THE slightly less catchy, wither and die, when it comes to Obamacare? Is this repeal now, replace later efforts that are just getting ignited in the Senate already dead before there's discussion of it?
Let's discuss with Republican Congressman Dave Brat, of Virginia. He's a member of the House Freedom Caucus. He voted "yes" on the House version of the health care bill that passed.
It feels like eons ago, Congressman. That's so much for coming in.
REP. DAVE BRAT, (R), VIRGINIA: Hey, Kate. Anytime. Thank you.
BOLDUAN: Thank you.
Your reaction to the Senate GOP bill overnight?
BRAT: It's a surprising turn of events we ran on. People sometimes forget the basics. The repeal part is part of the Republican platform. It was in the Better Way agenda of the House. And I think it just got too big and too bulky. They were trying to move too much. Now, it looks like it's back to basics. It's let's repeal. There won't be a problem and shortage of people in this city trying to load up the health care bill like a Christmas tree. I don't think anybody at home needs to get worried. We are going to make sure everyone is taken care of. But that's the big concern going forward. There will probably be a year or two gap.
BRAT: We'll repeal it and then have a delay where it stays status quo, so then --
BOLDUAN: You like the idea that they are considering now, repeal only and figure out the replace later?
BRAT: Well, I would have ultimately liked to have a rational more free market replacement early on, but we didn't go that route. That's what we promised the American voters. I would like to have that, some HSAs that people can bank and grow tax free and serve as a retirement vehicle as well. That will solve the cost problem.
BRAT: As soon as you are paying out of your pocket, the costs go down.
BOLDUAN: 535 members have great ideas on how to fix health care.
BOLDUAN: In the option that is presented to the Senate, repeal now, replace later, do you support that?
BRAT: Yes. I mean, in terms of where we are, right? I don't see much of an alternative. We voted on the 2015 repeal bill. All the Senators voted for it. All the House members, maybe one or two exceptions --
(CROSSTALK) BRAT: -- and it passed. We are going back to basics. That's what we promised. That's what we voted on. And that's what we said we were going to do. The Senate bill was nowhere near a repeal. That's part of the problem, to have a federally run program with huge subsidies run out of here. Everything the federal government touches is upside down. Social Security, Medicare are insolvent in 2034.
BRAT: And we have $130 trillion in liabilities. So we need to fix that.
BOLDUAN: Who deserves the blame for where things are now? We have great reporting from Dana Bash who says that a senior administration official said there's blame to go around, but also the White House deserves some blame for not doing enough to sell this effort in the Senate. Does the White House deserve some blame for this?
BRAT: They were applying plenty of pressure, from what I have seen. You have the moderates voting for repeal. We loaded this up. It's a federal top-down thing that should make them plenty happy. Yet, they are not willing to go along with a quasi-repeal. I mean --
BOLDUAN: What constitutes pressure in your mind? A tweet from the president?
BRAT: No. No.
BOLDUAN: I mean, it's not like he was -- it's not like he was out in Virginia, out in Indiana making the case this is where it should go.
BRAT: I read "Politico" and "The Hill." He's been going one on one, pressure, making phone calls to everybody. You have Senators over the weekend saying, I wish we had a more in-depth committee hearing on Medicaid, et cetera. We had seven years to do that. Susan Collins of Maine, et cetera. I'm sure she got a phone call. She said she talked to the president. He was going down the list. There's plenty of blame to go around. You should basically keep your word. When you say you are going to repeal, just repeal, and then let's do a rational health care policy that makes everybody better off.
BRAT: And the price has to go down.
BOLDUAN: Congressman, you say you need to keep your word, I can play you soundbyte after soundbyte of President Trump saying we have to do repeal and replace simultaneously. It needs to be immediate. He was no fan of doing repeal now, replace later. If you are talking about keeping your word, the president is not keeping his word when he supports this effort.
[11:45:08] BRAT: Yes, I don't have so much that in mind. The term repeal, I wish CNN would look it up in Webster's dictionaries in case anyone is confused. Repeal doesn't mean let's keep all of Obamacare regulations, which is Obamacare. Repeal means you get rid of the regulations and the architecture of Obamacare. And even the architect who built Obamacare says we are not repealing anything. The term repeal and replace, that doesn't change the logic at all. Repeal means you have to get rid of the piece where a young kid cannot go out and buy a cheap insurance policy. That's just a fact. It's loaded up with every goody so everyone has this gold-plated --
BOLDUAN: Congressman --
BRAT: This is an important point.
BRAT: Everyone has a nice insurance policy, but no access to health care because they can't afford the deductible, et cetera.
BOLDUAN: One final thought from you.
BOLDUAN: What is your message to Republicans in the Senate as they are trying to figure out what to do?
BRAT: Think Adam Smith and James Madison. Follow the Constitution. Most of this power belongs to the states. We should not run it out of the fed when everything is upside down and we're already $100 trillion in liabilities and $20 trillion in debt. I don't think you want the government building your house for you and building your car. They shouldn't be running the health policy for one-fifth of the economy. That is a fatal conceit, to think, in this mind, in the human mind, we can structure one-fifth of the economy in a week or two. That is just a fatal conceit. Keep it simple. Let the market do the job. Right? When Tiger Woods had Lasik surgery, it was six grand. Now it's down to $450 bucks. That's what the market can do for you. So let's let that logic run. It helped the Chinese and Indians go from making 1,000 bucks to 10,000 bucks.
BOLDUAN: -- you won a bet with another Republican, bringing Tiger Woods into the health care conservation. I think you just somehow won a bet.
BRAT: You guys know I'm not scripted.
BOLDUAN: Congressman, thank you for coming on. I appreciate it.
BRAT: You bet. Anytime.
BOLDUAN: You can see the wide range of opinions in the Republican Party and where they are right now, right there, with the Dave Brat interview.
Thanks so much, Congressman.
He was preparing -- this is coming up for us. He was preparing to marry the love of his life, he says. Now, he's preparing for her funeral. The family of a woman shot and killed by a police officer in Minneapolis are now demanding answers. Details ahead.
[11:51:08] BOLDUAN: News just in involving the Iran nuclear deal, one day after the U.S. said Iran is complying with the deal.
CNN's senior diplomatic correspondent, Michelle Kosinski, has details from the State Department.
Michelle, what are you hearing now?
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN SENIOR DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT: We know this was recertified. Every 90 days, the White House, the administration has to certify to Congress Iran is living up to their end of the deal. 90 days ago, they did that. Yesterday, they did that, but it was so delayed, there was, you know, nothing coming out of the State Department that we all wondered what was up. Now we know from an administration source that the president seriously considered not recertifying the Iran nuclear deal. Meaning we would not be living up to our end of the bargain if we didn't certify it, because of what we saw Iran doing, and the whole thing would fall apart. We know the president, according to the source, was listening to other voices within the White House saying that Iran was not living up to their end of the deal, but there didn't seem to be hard evidence of that. What the administration finally did at the 11th hour was certify that, yes, Iran was living up to their end of the deal, but they imposed more sanctions. They said Iran was not living up to the spirit of the deal, because it does do other destabilizing behavior, but that was always kept separate from the nuclear deal so they could have a deal in the first place -- Kate?
Michelle, great to see you. Thank you for the update.
Much more to come from the State Department.
Also this for us on CNN, special counsel investigators working with Robert Mueller are now wanting to speak with this mysterious eighth person in that meeting with Donald Trump Jr, Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort. Hear what they're looking for now.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [11:56:38] BOLDUAN: "We are desperate for information" -- that is the plea today from one family devastated after the sudden shooting death of Justine Rusczcyk by Minneapolis police. The 40-year-old yoga teacher called 911 over the weekend and reported a possible sexual assault in an alley near her home. Two police officers responded. What happened next is something of a mystery at this point. Amazingly, still at this point. Rusczcyk was shot by one of the officers and she died of her wounds.
Her fiance spoke out yesterday
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAMOND: We've lost the dearest of people and we are desperate for information. Piecing together Justine's last moments before the homicide would be a small comfort as we grieve this tragedy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: Joining me CNN national correspondent, Scott McLean, with much more on this from Minneapolis.
Scott, any idea when the family or public or anyone will get some answers?
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. There's not really a good timeline on that, Kate. And that is part of the frustration in this community from the family and from people who knew Justine Rusczcyk.
The other big question is, why did those two officers, Matthew Harrity and Mohamed Noor, not have their body cameras turned on when Justine Rusczcyk was shot just down this alley.
The local ACLU chapter are slamming police in this case saying they violated the policy by not turning on their cameras. We asked the Minnesota Police Department about their policy. They pointed us to it, which says that, "Officers should turn them on prior to using force. And if they can't turn them on prior to, they should turn them on immediately afterwards." In this case, they did neither.
This case could drag on for quite a while. It could be a while until we get answers. The investigation, according to the county attorney, it could take two to four months. That county attorney will decide whether charges should be laid in this case, not a grand jury.
Kate, if we have time, I'm take you over here as well. Tributes are pouring in for Justine Rusczcyk in this neighborhood. People are leaving cards and flowers. One sign reads, "Why did you shoot and kill our neighbor and friend?" You know -- there are a lot of questions still in this case and a lot of frustration. I spoke to one woman earlier here who came to pay her respects, and she said, it's hard to even know what to make of this case because we have so little information. It's hard to know whether you should be upset with the police, because don't have many answers. Really, just an outpouring of sadness both here and in Justine Rusczcyk's native home of Australia.
BOLDUAN: Quick, Scott, what do we know about the officers?
SCOTT: Yes. We know that Mohamed Noor is a two-year veteran of the force, actually a Somali-American who, according to his lawyer, came here at a very early age. He was actually the first Somali-American to patrol this particular part of town. His lawyer, he put out a statement yesterday basically saying he has more to say and he will say it at some point, but this is just not the right time. He's asking for privacy at this time. Him and the other officer who was driving, they've been put on administrative leave -- Kate?
BOLDUAN: Right now, remains, still, so many questions. Not very many answers. Even the mayor says she has so many answers they have not been able to get so far.
Scott, thank you so much. Really appreciate it.
Thank you for joining us AT THIS HOUR.
"Inside Politics" with John King starts right now.