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Senator: Trump Family "Not Coming Clean" On Russia Meeting; Trump And Putin Had Second, Undisclosed Talk. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired July 18, 2017 - 19:00   ET


[19:00:07] ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OutFront next, not coming clean. A top senator calling out the Trump family for lack of transparency this as CNN learns the identity of the eighth person in Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with the Russian lawyer. That person's attorney is out front.

Trump and Putin had a second previously undisclosed conversation at the G20. What happened between the two men?

And Trump vows to let Obamacare fail. Is the law here to stay? Let's go out front.

Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OutFront tonight, the breaking news, the top Democrat of the Senate Intelligence Committee calling out the Trump family calling out the Trump family for "not coming clean." Senator Mark Warner reacting to the news that an eighth person has been identified in the Trump Tower Russian meeting.

That meeting set up with the promise of course of incriminating information on Hillary Clinton, information that was said to be from the Russian government. We now know that the name of that eighth person in the room is disclosed. He is Ike Kaveladze.

This exclusive video shows him with Donald Trump. You see him right there in the background, in Las Vegas, that's in 2013.

Now, Kaveladze, he is a senior vice president at the real estate development company run by Aras Agalarov. That of course is the Russian billionaire whose family help set up the meeting at Trump Tower. Senator Warner tonight mincing no word clearly outraged from the lack of transparency from the Trump administration and the Trump family.


SEN. MARK WARNER (D), INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: It is very strange to me that this meeting that was supposed to be originally was related as three or four people about Russian adoptions. I doubt if this individual who had a history of setting up thousands of fake accounts in Delaware was really there to talk about Russian adoptions.

So what we see here is, again, senior levels of the Trump Administration and now the Trump family not coming clean with information.


BURNETT: Not coming clean are some extremely strong words from the senator. Warner referring to a congressional investigation in 2000 in which Kaveladze was linked to American bank accounts under scrutiny for possible money laundering tied to Russian brokers.

Now, Kaveladze denies any wrongdoing and he was never changed in that matter.

The question is what was an eight person, Kaveladze, doing in the meeting and how well does he know Donald Trump? And what are his ties to the Russian government. We're going to ask his lawyer in just a moment.

First, Pamela Brown is out front. And Pamela, what are you learning about this eighth person in the room?

PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, CNN has learned as you point out the identity of this mystery eighth person in the room at Trump Tower, as Ike Kaveladze, and he is a close associate of the Russian oligarch, Aras Agalarov, going back decades and someone who is previously had interactions with Donald Trump.


BROWN (voice-over): This exclusive video obtained by CNN appears to show Ike Kaveladze in the background right next to Donald Trump in Las Vegas in June of 2013. Kaveladze has now been thrust into the spotlight as the mystery eighth person at the Trump Tower meeting with Donald Trump Jr., former campaign manager Paul Manafort and top adviser, Jared Kushner.

His attorney says he was there acting as a representative of Aras and Emin Agalarov, along with their publicist, Rob Goldstone, who had promised an e-mail to Don Jr. before the meeting, "some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father."

In an interview for a Russian web portal in 2016, Kaveladze said he has a long history of working for the Agalarov family and their real estate company, Crocus International.

IKE KAVELADZE, ATTENDED TRUMP TOWER MEETING (through translator): I have been working with this company since 1989. When I was just a little boy doing my fifth year at Moscow Finance Institute, I arrived and since then I have worked there.

BROWN: Kaveladze's personal website says he, "Holds responsibility for multiple elements of company's Russian development project, "including a Russian 24-hour super store. In 2000, he was linked to U.S. bank accounts that came under congressional investigation for possible money laundering tied to Russian brokers.

At the time he denied any wrongdoing, calling it a witch hunt. His Facebook page says he was born in the Soviet Union, studied in Moscow before receiving an MBA from the University of New Haven. His attorney says he is now a U.S. citizen and works in the United States.

KAVELADZE (through translator): We activity represent the caucuses (ph) interests in the USA. A lot of goods, construction equipment was purchased in the U.S.

BROWN: Kaveladze attended the meeting with Russian-American lobbyist, Rinat Akhmetshi, translator Anatoli Samochornov, along with Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya. That meeting now under scrutiny by special council Robert Mueller.

Kaveladze's attorney says his client is fully cooperating with investigators who have already reached out and he said his client has never had anything to do with the Russian government.


[19:05: 13] BROWN: And his attorney, Scott Balber, also says that his client had very little to do with this meeting. In fact, he says, he didn't really know what to expect before and he says the initial thought he would be coming as a translator for the Russian attorney who didn't speak English and didn't realize until he arrived to the meeting that she'd already brought her own translator. Erin?

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much. I appreciate it, Pamela. Scott Balber, you just heard his name, of course, represent eighth person in the room, Ike Kaveladze, also the Agalarov family. Let's start with the eighth in the room, your client, Ike Kaveladze.

We have been reporting now for five days there was an eighth person in the room and obviously now we know that it's your client. Why didn't he come forward immediately? Why it took five days for everyone to find out who was?

SCOTT BALBER, ATTORNEY FOR RUSSIAN FAMILY & 8TH MAN AT TRUMP TOWER: Well, everyone else in the room knew who he was. Others have known who he was. He's a private individual who had a very tangential role in this meeting and didn't want to thrust himself into the media spotlight which of course was ultimately inevitable.

BURNETT: OK. So that's your reason there. I want to play more with Senator Warner. You heard clip of what he had to say about your client. Let me just play a little bit more of the detail. Here's Senator Warner.


WARNER: This individual who at least had a colorful past, if not a potentially criminal, it is very strange to me that this meeting that was supposed to be originally was related as three or four people about Russian adoptions. I doubt if this individual who had a history of setting up thousands of fake accounts in Delaware was really there to talk about Russian adoptions.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BALBER: Pretty irresponsible comment by Senator Warner. First of all, what Mr. Kaveladze did back 20 years ago was absolutely unequivocally legal. There was never any allegation of him engaged in any criminal activity.

BURNETT: He was not charged.

BALBER: Was certainly not charge of anything criminal or regulatory. And did absolutely nothing wrong. The focal point of that GAO report was about the banks onboarding of client accounts, can (ph) opening documents and that kind of issue, a compliance issue. He has never been implicated in any wrongdoing whatsoever. To say he has a colorful past is quite unfair and quite frankly dishonest.

BURNETT: So, there's a couple of points from this. First of all the exclusive video we've showed. Show it again so everyone can see. Your client, Ike Kaveladze, in the background next to Donald Trump. Your other client, Emin, of course, Emin Agalarov speaking there with Donald Trump. This is in Las Vegas 2013 at a Miss USA pageant. How well Ike Kaveladze know the Trumps?

BALBER: I don't believe he knows them at all. He did certainly attend that dinner in Las Vegas with lots of other people. He certainly attended the meeting that we've been all been talking about. I don't believe he had any other contact with any Trump other than those two occasions.

BURNETT: OK. So when Senator Warner raises a question about whether he'd be there to talk about adoptions, you know, among the eight people, right, your client, Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, you have said that your client went in thinking that perhaps he was going to be translating for the Russian attorney who was there. OK, it turns out there was another translator so he wasn't needed to do that.

But let me just get an understanding from you. You heard him there in Pamela's piece. He is an incredibly accomplished guy. He is the senior vice president of the company. He has a lot on his plate. Why would he be in that meeting as a translator to begin with?

BALBER: He was there as an Agalarov focus group staffer who was there to make sure the meeting happened and facilitate logistics and, yes, he believes serve as a translator. He did not know --

BURNETT: OK. But he was not in there as a translator translator. He was there as a representative of the family --

BALBER: Well, he was in there --


BALBER: Well, he was intended to be there, his understanding to be actually a translator, interpreter for the Russian lawyer who speaks no English. Before that day, he had not met any of the other people in that room. Prior to one hour before the meeting, he had no idea what the meeting was going to be about. He was asked by his boss, go to the meeting, make sure it happens, facilitate logistics and that's all he knew.

BURNETT: So one hour before. What did he think the meeting is going to be about.

BALBER: Then he learned Magnitsky Act. He had a one hour conversation with Natalia on the way over to the Trump Tower, and he learned it's about the Magnitsky Act.

BURNETT: So he wasn't aware of the conversations in the e-mail with Rob Goldstone and Donald Trump Jr. about the Russian government highly sensitive information Russian government support for Donald Trump?

BALBER: Either he nor the Agalarovs saw that e-mail until it was tweeted publicly a couple days ago.

BURNETT: OK. So, why did the family, you know, you said the Agalarov family only set up the meeting, right, that they didn't have any role in the content of the meeting was going to be about. Why then did they have two representatives inside that meeting?

BALBER: They had one representative that was Ike Kaveladze, Mr. Goldstone was also there --

BURNETT: I mean he's a public relations representative. I mean Agalarov there is no question but I know he's your client.

BALBER: Correct.

BURNETT: There is no question that he is --


BURNETT: -- a representative of family.

[19:10:05] BALBER: He was also facilitating the meeting. He was there for that purpose. The meeting was between the Russian lawyer and the Trump campaign folks and everybody else there was just as far as we knew there to facilitate the meeting, make sure it happened and serve in that capacity.

BURNETT: And so your client at no time had any idea that this is anything other than Magnitsky Act?

BALBER: That's correct.

BURNETT: Does he have any e-mail trails to that effect that you're going to be able to produce to show that or did he have really no other contact other than phone conversations before that hour before?

BALBER: He literally got a call saying go to this meeting. He showed up at the meeting an hour early. He met with Natalia. Heard about Magnitsky Act. Accompanied her to the meeting. Was at the meeting for 30 minutes in which occur. Does not recall saying a single word other than his name.

BURNETT: OK. BALBER: And quite frankly, scratches head when he left and he asked why I was here.

BURNETT: Did he know there was going to be another translator before the meeting?

BALBER: He had no idea.

BURNETT: Right. So he couldn't back out before, there's no question there, OK. So when you said that the Agalarov family didn't know about this Rob Goldstone e-mails, right? These crucial e-mails, right. We know. Let me just quote again for people, "Highly sensitive information from the Russian government that could incriminate Hillary Clinton," right. That's all in e-mail. No one is going to dispute that.

You're saying that is not what the Agalarov family knew the meeting to be out or intended the meeting to be about. But I wanted to go through a key e-mail exchange if I could with you, Scott. On June 2nd, Don Junior replies to Rob Goldstone to this e-mail about all of this information saying I'm on the road at the moment. Perhaps I speak to Emin first. Emin, of course, your client. Rob Goldstone, "Let me know when you're free to talk with Emin by phone about this Hillary Clinton info." Don replies, "Rob, could we speak now?" Rob, "What number could he call?" Don junior, "Myself. Thanks." Goldstone, "OK, he's on stage in Moscow but should be off within 20 minutes. So I'm sure he can call." Fifty-five minutes elapse Don junior replies, "Rob, thanks for the help."

It implies a conversation took place. I know (INAUDIBLE) but it implies it. One would make a circumstantial argument there, right. The next day, Goldstone writes "Don, Emin asked I schedule a meeting with you and the Russian government attorney who's flying over from Moscow for this Thursday."

It sure seems like your client, Emin Agalarov, had a phone conversation with Don Junior which corroborated the Russian government having incriminating information about Hillary Clinton.

BALBER: Let me answer that in two ways.


BALBER: I have read the e-mails obviously now. My client has no recollection of such a call taking place. We are going back --

BURNETT: Your client Emin Agalarov who doesn't recall.

BALBER: No recollection and I have heard that Donald Trump Jr. has no recollection of a call taking place. We are going back to try to identify what phone it could be, checking phone records and the like.

BURNETT: And you are going to give all those phone records of any phones he may have, all phones Emin Agalarov may have?

BALBER: We are looking at everything he may have, exactly. He was on tour that day. We know that. We don't know that a conversation took place, that's one. Two, the other part of it, the unequivocal about again which is that there is absolutely no conversation between either Agalarov and the Russian prosecutors or the Russian government that Hillary Clinton or the U.S. campaign ever, didn't happen.

BURNETT: You're positive? You have seen those e-mail trails. You have seen those phone records?

BALBER: There is no such conversation that happened, that's right.

BURNETT: That they tell you. Would you agree with me, though, that when you read this e-mail trail and you look at the time stamps and you look at what it refers to, a normal person would look at this and say it would seem there is a phone conversation?

BALBER: I can see why you're drawing that inference. But the e-mails don't say is thanks very much, I spoke to Emin or it was great talking to Emin, thanks for helping. Doesn't say that.

BURNETT: Right. Categorical confirmation simply an implied one.

BALBER: Correct. I understand the suggestion and all I can tell you what my folks say and what those folks say, and they have no recollection of a conversation happened. We're checking. We're going to ask him whether it happened, whether a call was made. But that is not definitive to me and it is inconsistent with what I understand to be the case.

BURNETT: And in terms of phone records, I mean Agalarov and his father, Aras Agalarov, are they going to be giving all phone records over, even ones that maybe furly (ph) in the per view of Russia and Russian authorities.

BALBER: I mean I'm not sure what you mean by giving over or to who. I mean we are -- we are doing our analysis. I have three cellphes. I'm sure you have more than one cellphone. So these people with multiple means of communication, we're trying to find out if there is a record of any call between these two individuals in that time frame. I haven't seen it yet.

BURNETT: To Bob Mueller. That's what you would be giving it to you.

BALBER: Well, I'm not giving anything -- Bob Mueller -- I mean we've talked about that as well. They have asked to talk to Mr. Kaveladze. We're going to cooperate fully in that regard. We're asked for documents for Mr. Kaveladze. We're going to cooperate fully in that regard.

BURNETT: And do you know when that will be? Because I want to make sure our viewers know Ike Kaveladze is an American citizen --


BURNETT: -- so he can be called and he can be called to testify and answer questions and you're saying they want to and do you know when?

BALBER: I don't have a date yet but he is voluntarily willing to go speak to them in person at their convenience.

BURNETT: Did he have any follow up with anyone after this meeting?

BALBER: What do you mean by anyone? Not with any of the people in the room regarding this issue, no. I mean, he certainly has that follow up with Emin Agalarov and Aras Agalarov who were his employers.

[19:15:09] BURNETT: Right, right. But nothing about what went on this meeting and does he know because I know you're probably well aware, someone in the room says that the lawyer, the Russian lawyer left behind a document, told the Associated Press, a document that laid out her case for Russian funding of the Clinton campaign that was so-called incriminating, that this document was left behind. Does your client recall that?

BALBER: He doesn't recall a document being left behind. He does recall seeing a document at some point in time in anticipation of the meeting in the hour before when he met with Natalia. We're obviously looking for that document to see if he has a copy. I have not seen it yet.

BURNETT: But you said in the hour before that all he thought was the Magnitsky Act.

BALBER: Right.

BURNETT: This document, our understanding, was not about the Magnitsky Act. This was about incriminating information about Hillary Clinton.

BALBER: The document I'm talking about is the document that was some kind of PowerPoint about the Magnitsky Act. That's the only document that I've heard anybody talked about. I heard some anecdotal stuff from other people about there being a Hillary Clinton related document.

BURNETT: That's the one that the Associated Press was told.

BALBER: The document he saw before the meeting was about the Magnitsky Act.

BURNETT: And was there any follow up to your client from anyone on the Trump campaign, Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, Donald Trump Jr., or anyone who worked with or for them during this meeting?

BALBER: Absolutely not.

BURNETT: All right. Scott Balber, I appreciate you taking the time very much. Thank you.

BALBER: Thanks for having me.

BURNET: OK. And OutFront next breaking the news, the president has a second and previously undisclosed meeting with Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit and we are just getting more information about that. A top senator saying at this hour saying it went on for a long period of time. Again, previously undisclosed. We have more details coming up.

Plus three of the Republican senators opposing the push to repeal Obamacare are women. These are the senators who by the way were left out of that working group that was writing a new health care bill. Pay back is a pain. Maybe the 13 men should have thought about that.

And are storm systems named Don and Hillary on a collision course (ph). Jeanne Moos says, you can't make this weather pattern up.


[19:20:45] BURNETT: Breaking news, we are learning right now about a second conversation that President Trump had with Russian President Vladimir Putin while at the G20 summit earlier this month, until this point, obviously completely unexposed by the Trump administration.

The conversation took place at a dinner. Now, you'll remember the first sit-down lasted over two hours. Wait until you hear about this one apparently not just a quick conversation. Jeff Zeleny out front live at the White House.

And Jeff, you were with the president at this time, and you are learning a whole lot more about the second conversation, which does not seem to have been a quick sort of hello, how are you sort of thing?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I mean Erin it was at the end of their -- end of their day last week or actually two weeks ago on a Friday evening after the president of the United States and President Putin of course met for two hours and 15 minutes. That was an extraordinary period of time. But then they went to a dinner and musical concert as often is the situation in these G20 meetings, his meetings of world leaders.

But at the end of this dinner, we are now being told just, you know, almost two weeks later, that there was indeed another meeting between these two leaders here. And the reason it is so interesting, Erin, such a focus on, you know, here at the White House on a Russia, it is one of the reasons that of course this is drawing new attention tonight but the White House is only disclosing it now.

They are saying, look, it was not a huge meeting. It was just a conversation. But I am told by an official that I was nearly an hour long meeting. Now you have to, you know, with translation, dual translation, you have to sort of do the math. It's about 30 minutes of a normal meeting here.

But certainly significant at the end of the long day when they were talking about election meddling, other things. But interestingly, if you remember the pictures from that evening, Melania Trump is sitting next to President Putin. So, I'm told that this came at the end of this dinner, President Trump walked over, had more of a conversation.

But Erin, the U.S. translators were not even prepared for this meeting. The U.S. translator on hand spoke Japanese and actually happened to speak Russian. But the translator from earlier in the day was not there. So this is all happening in real-time here.

No staff was present. No White House staff, no national security aids were present. It was just world leaders. So it is one of the reason these summits actually happen. All of the business is done on the side lines and indeed in the evening. But Erin, we do not know specifically what they talked about, if they continue their conversation on election meddling. But the reason that this is drawing such new attention now is because of the intense focus here at the White House on everything that happened in Russia with that meeting on June 2016 which we only found out about after the fact, Erin.

BURNETT: So let me just ask you this, Jeff. Because I mean this seems to be possible very significant even what the White House is saying tonight, right. As news of this is coming out. The White House is putting out a statement saying --

ZELENY: Right.

BURNETT: -- that the meeting was not merely perfectly normal, but part of a president east duties. They continue to say it was a brief conversation at the end of dinner. There was no second meeting. And, the insinuation that the White House has tried to, "hide a second meeting," and this is in their words, "false, malicious and absurd."

All right. They are coming out aggressively here. But I think everybody would agree whether it's 30 minutes counting (ph) for translator time or one hour without staff, without national security representatives, that's something pretty significant that you would think would have been mentioned before.

ZELENY: It is significant only because again of the focus here so much on what is going on between the U.S. and Moscow and the Kremlin. Erin, I can tell you, I was on Air Force One that next day on Saturday, flying back to the U.S. from the G20 summit in Germany. That was not mentioned at all by three senior U.S. officials who were briefing us about the meeting here. So it's unclear if they knew about it actually or if they had the read-out of it.

The reason it's interesting again because this White House has been reluctant time and time again to talk about, you know, sanctions, other things relating to Russian. It has become the Achilles Hill of this White House, if you will, but now there are -- you know, I'm told that it was stand up meeting, a social gathering, which we can all sort of see at the end of a dinner here, but still another sense for these two presidents adversaries and linked in this unusual way here having more time than we initially thought. Erin?

BURNETT: A lot more time and something you would think the people in both countries would have a lot of interest in the fact of knowing that it actually happened. Thank you very much Jeff Zeleny.

[19:25:05] Let's go to Phil Mudd, former CIA counterterrorism official, April Ryan, White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, and Richard Painter, the former White House ethics lawyer under President George W. Bush. Phil, the breaking news here, President Trump having a second undisclosed conversation with Vladimir Putin. And maybe it was about all personal things if almost this is the point. The point is it was long and it was a real conversation and there was no one president other than themselves other than the Russian translator that worked for Vladimir Putin and we didn't find out about it until tonight. How big of a deal is it?

PHIL MUDD, FORMER CIA COUNTERTERRORISM OFFICIAL: I don't think it's a big deal from the White House perspective. I don't understand why they're so defensive about this, Erin. We have a president who's not known for dealing with detail. If you look at the health care legislation, for example, a lot of criticism about lack of detail.

You go to the earlier meeting. Two plus hours, two translators, you are dealing with Ukraine, Crimea, NATO action, Iran, North Korea and then (INAUDIBLE) Syria and then they talk later on through translators for an hour. If I were the White House, I don't understand why they weren't out weeks ago saying they got along well. The conversations were so serious. So serious the president decided to continue those conversations that evening. What's the secret, Erin? I think it's good news for the White House.

BURNETT: So Richard let me ask you about this. I mean, obviously they are being defensive. They're certainly not acting like it's good news. They're saying (INAUDIBLE) they try to hid the second meeting as false, malicious and absurd. Look, they should just come out and said they had it.

The Delaware Senator, Chris Coons, said he heard it also went on for quite some time. You heard our Jeff Zeleny saying it was an hour, but obviously you have to account for translation time. But here's what Senator Coons is saying.


SEN. CHRIS COONS (D), DELAWARE: I just heard about it this morning from a source that suggested not only did he get up and go all the way over the dinner to sit down and talk to Putin, but he did so for a very long period of time, didn't do so with other heads of state and didn't bring an American translator. He relied on Putin's translator for the understanding of what the conversation was, a basic failure in terms of national security protocol so there was someone who could help him understand from an American perspective what was being said.


BURNETT: Right. Obviously the translator issue significant and you heard the reason apparently for that was that Donald Trump's translator spoke Japanese, the American translator and not Russian.

Richard, why would the White House, if this is something that is just showing they could get along and Trump will be able to have some influence over Putin, which would not be a bad thing, why wouldn't they disclose this conversation at the time? RICHARD PAINTER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE ETHICS LAWYER FOR PRESIDENT G.W.

BUSH: Any normal White House would have disclosed it upfront because it is a good thing to have the United States and Russia talking and having our presidents talk, even though we have some sharp differences between these two countries. It's important for world peace and any normal White House would have disclosed it.

The problem with this administration is that the administration, multiple people in the administration and now the Trump family have for months been persistently dishonest about their contacts with the Russians. They've been lying about contacts with the Russians.

Some of the meetings were illegal like the meeting (INAUDIBLE) and then the Trump Tower before the election. Other meetings are suspicious, for example, Jared Kushner meeting with Russian bankers. Others are perfectly legal and appropriate. But why lie about it? It makes the situation much worse when they lie --


PAINTER: -- over and over again to the American people and in some instances lie to Congress and lie on their security clearance forms.

BURNETT: April, you obviously covered this White House. What do you think the reason is for their error of omission in this case on a meeting with the world leader that frankly is a very significant conversation, whether you think it's a good or bad thing, it's a significant thing that they had an hour long conversation at this dinner with the Russian translator.

APRIL RYAN, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, AMERICAN URBAN RADIO NETWORKS: It is very significant, Erin. This administration has thumbed its noise at the press. This administration has thumbed its nose at protocol. This really is causing many of the critics of this Russia investigation, this Russia conversation to once again raise an eyebrow saying here we go again.

For this president not to have his staff around or somewhere near, we have seen this president talk to a Russian ambassador before and say things that other presidents would not dare say. He's still very new. We don't know what the conversation was about as of yet. But it was omitted. That raises an eyebrow now the question is what was the conversation about and why was it so long?

BURNETT: And so, Phil --

RYAN: And indeed it does -- I'm sorry.

BURNETT: I'm sorry. I'm just going to say, Phil, are we going to find out what it was about? I mean obviously we don't know anybody who intentionally (ph) may have heard or something, and that obviously we could find out. But we do know that in terms of the key participants, the president and President Putin, it was a Russian translator. So in that case we have to rely on the Russians to know what came out of the meeting. MUDD: That's right. I don't expect to find out what's coming out. You're right. Recollect when we had an American translator there and were talking about the discussions from the last meeting, there were fundamentally different answers from the Russian side and the American side.

We're expecting that President Trump will come out here and declare what he said in detail during a conversation weeks ago. I mean, Erin, give me a break. That ain't going to happen. I don't think we're going to find out what happened here.

BURNETT: Which, of course, is deeply unfortunate. I think we could all agree on that. Pretty important thing to know what happened for the American people. Thank you all.

In the meantime, Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare are dead on arrival, at least at this hour, after four lawmakers said they would not vote to repeal it without an immediate replacing. And President Trump has now said, fine, just let Obamacare fail.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We'll just let Obamacare fail. We're not going to own it. I'm not going to own it. I can tell you the Republicans are not going to own it.


BURNETT: And breaking news just moments ago, CNN confirming that all GOP senators have been invited to the White House tomorrow to talk about health care.

Jason Carroll is OUTFRONT.

And, Jason, obviously, this is a sign the White House is not giving up yet.

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Oh, yes. It's definitely a sign, you know, that the president has been criticized for not getting actively involved in the legislative process up until this point. So, clearly, this lunch is a sign that this administration is not giving up. What is also clear, the blame game is not over, not yet.


TRUMP: I don't think it's dead. No, but it's -- I'm certainly disappointed.

CARROLL (voice-over): One of President Trump's signature campaign promises to repeal and replaced Obamacare sidelined. But the president defiant, saying, let Obamacare collapse and not to blame him or his party.

TRUMP: We'll just let Obamacare fail. We're not going to own it. I'm not going to own it. I can tell you, the Republicans are not going to own it. We'll let Obamacare fail and then the Democrats are going to come to us and they're going to say, how do we fix it, how do we fix it, or how do we come up with a new plan.

CARROLL: The administration defending the president's position to essentially allow the health care system to fail, which could leave countless number of people struggling to find insurance.

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Democrats have refused to join in fixing the health care problems that have plagued our health care systems and hopefully with the collapse of the program that they put in place, they will be more willing to come to the table and help clean up the mess.

CARROLL: The vice president who took the leading role to work with GOP leaders on Capitol Hill said lawmakers need to do more.

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Congress needs to step up. Congress needs to do their job. And Congress needs to do their job now.

CARROLL: The president is blasting Democrats for the collapse of this Senate bill which they had no part in crafting.

TRUMP: It would be nice to have Democrat support, but really they're obstructionists. They have no ideas. They have thought process. All they want to do is obstruct.

So, the way I look at it is in '18, we're going to have to get some more people elected. We have to go out and we have to get more people elected that are Republican.

CARROLL: Even with Republican majorities in both the House and Senate, Republican efforts to replace Obamacare have stalled. The health care failure is a stunning blow to the president's agenda, who just two months ago celebrated the passage of the House bill in what could only be described as a victory lap.

TRUMP: We're going to get this passed through the Senate. I feel so confident.


CARROLL: So, again, Erin, in one breath, you have the president saying that he's basically washing his hands of it, that he does not own it, not responsible for it. But then you have now this lunch that's going to take place tomorrow with GOP senators here at the White House where the topics of discussion will be health care and other issues -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Jason, thank you.

And OUTFRONT now, the chair of the House Budget Committee, Representative Diane Black of Tennessee, who is also a registered nurse.

And, Representative, I appreciate your time. You know, you heard the president earlier saying just let Obamacare

fail. If Obamacare fails, obviously, that means many Americans will see a surge in health care costs. Some will be able to afford crucial care. Is it right to have that attitude, to just let Obamacare fail?

REP. DIANE BLACK (R-TN), CHAIRWOMAN, BUDGET COMMITTEE: I think you're seeing that right now. I can tell you throughout my state, there are pockets of our communities where they have no insurance providers on the exchanges. So, Obamacare is failing. It's not let it fail. It is failing.

You take some place like Iowa that has no providers in the market. And so, we see the system is failing and that's why I think we have to do something. We passed our bill here in the House of Representatives and the Senate has it and I don't think they can give up. I think you cannot give up when the American people need help. I think it's up to us to come up with a program where we can rescue them from a failing health care system.

BURNETT: So, the president is going to have that lunch tomorrow with GOP senators. The first three senators, though, who said they would not vote to repeal Obamacare without an immediate replacement were Republican women -- Shelley Moore Capito, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski. None of them, of course, Representative, were part of the initial Senate group working on a full repeal and replace.

[19:35:00] That group, of course, was made up of 13 men.

Did Senate leadership make a mistake by leaving women out?

BLACK: Well, I think everybody should be included in the conversation, whether they're a female or they're a male, everybody should be at the table. And that's the problem, is that when you don't have everybody in the room where you can actually all talk together about where you have differences and be able to find a sweet spot, this is what you get.

And so, I think they all have to be thrown in a room together frankly, pretty much the kind of thing we had to do over here in the House where we had to get our members in the room and let members talk to one another and figure out a solution. The American people need this. It's not a fact of whether this one gets their way or that one gets their way. We have got to find a way or they have to find a way to get together to find a solution for the American people.

BURNETT: So, the GOP health care bill as it was and obviously it is no longer, but as it was, would have meant about a trillion dollars in tax cuts, which is now off the table or in limbo obviously because the bill is DOA for now. If a trillion dollars in health care taxes is now unknown, it's a complete question mark, how are you able to go ahead with a budget resolution on tax reform, which I know you're putting forth today if you have that big question mark?

BLACK: Well, what we put forth is a budget. And in the budget resolution, we make some assumptions. And our assumption is that there will be a health care reform. Obviously, we passed the health care reform in our body, and so we do assume that in our budget. Now, if that doesn't occur after we pass our budget, we will have to adjust things, but we make those assumptions.

We also were concerned because taxes are in there (ph) and it will make a difference in the tax reform. Of course, again, the budget doesn't actually do the tax reform. It sets up a mechanism whereby tax reform can be done through what they call reconciliation.

BURNETT: And I just want to jump in there quickly. Reconciliation obviously would mean, you know, you work together and you can win with 51 votes in the Senate.

BLACK: That's right.

BURNETT: That obviously is very significant. You can't get a filibuster then. Do you have the votes to get this done?

BLACK: I have the votes to get it out of my committee tomorrow. I'll take one step at a time. It's been a product that we have worked on for four and a half months now.

I'm very proud of this. This is a committee product and we worked together. We worked all the way from the Freedom Caucus over to the Tuesday Group, and we were able to get a product that we're really happy with and we're proud of.

BURNETT: All right. Representative Black, thank you very much. I appreciate your time.

And you heard her saying she got the votes to get it out of committee.

OUTFRONT next, what happens when your Republican that senator Trump really doesn't like? Arizona's Jeff Flake is up for reelection. He's finding out. We have a special report.

An American nightmare. An Australian bride to be shot by Minneapolis police after calling 911. Tonight, we will hear that dispatch audio for the first time.


[19:41:15] BURNETT: The White House and President Trump himself talking with potential challengers to Republican Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona. Let's just repeat here, Republican Senator Jeff Flake, Republican.

Today, Trump vowed to be heavily involved in 2018 midterm elections in order to push his agenda forward.


TRUMP: The way I look at it is in '18, we're going to have to get some more people elected and I'll be working very hard for that to happen.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Seth and Chris Show is on now.

SETH LEIBSOHN, AUTHOR, AMERICAN GREATNESS: Is Jeff Flake in trouble? If so, why?

KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The answers lighting up conservative talk in the red state of Arizona.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If he's in our party, I would expect him to vote along with the majority of our party.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Early on, he was very, very much against Trump.

LAH (on camera): Do you have to support Trump in this state right now to win?

LEIBSOHN: That's the question we're going to test with the Jeff Flake candidacy.

LAH (voice-over): Arizona Senator Jeff Flake's 2018 reelection already been challenged as a White House hunts for more loyal Republicans. Senator Flake never endorsed Trump's candidacy. Instead of going to the convention, telling a reporter, I've got to mow my lawn.

In September, still lukewarm.

SEN. JEFF FLAKE (R), ARIZONA: I would still not vote for Donald Trump.

LAH: Trump then calling Flake very weak and ineffective. Their relationship since --

FLAKE: It was a bit tense.


FLAKE: He started out saying that I've been critical of him, and I have been frankly.

LAH: A perilous path under a president who has a public penchant for revenge.

TRUMP: I think it is really important if somebody screws you, screw them back in spades.

LAH: Sensing vulnerability in play, Kelli Ward has already announced her candidacy.

(on camera): You have the Trump sign.


WARD: I do.

LAH: Why is that Trump sign there?

WARD: You know, because I want to make America great again.

LAH (voice-over): She lost in the primary to Senator John McCain last year, but thinks it's different this time.

(on camera): Has someone from the White House specifically called you to encourage you to run against Senator Flake?

WARD: Well, you know, I've met with people at the White House. I was there a couple of weeks ago.

LAH: How real is this effort to oust Senator Flake?

ROBERT GRAHAM, FORMER ARIZONA GOP CHAIRMAN: I would say it is extremely real and I would be concerned if I was the incumbent right now.

LAH (voice-over): Robert Graham, former Arizona GOP chairman and advisor to the Trump campaign, another Trump loyalist being courted to run for his seat, meeting with team Trump half a dozen times. Graham says Arizona State Treasurer Jeff DeWit is also in conversations with the White House for a Senate run.

(on camera): Is this a battle worth having when we talk about Senator Flake and the future of the Trump agenda?

GRAHAM: You start saying, OK, are we going to lose that seat as Republicans? But even right now, we're feeling the buffeting that happens just with two votes, right, on the health care. So if you lose another seat, what happens?

LAH (voice-over): Flake's re-election campaign says the senator is closely aligned with the president, voting with him 95 percent of the time this year. Whether that resonates with the Arizona Republican base --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my God. I would never vote for this guy.


LAH: The interest in Senator Flake's seat isn't just coming from the White House, from external forces. It is much more intense internally within the state, says Graham, when you consider the amount of calls he's had from donors and the interest he's had from activists within the state. That he says is where the real action is when it comes to trying to put someone more conservative into Senator Flake's seat -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Kyung, thank you very much.

And a fascinating report when you think about it, right? Republicans challenges Republicans. Never mind fighting Democrats.

And next, how did a woman who called 911 to report a crime end up being killed by police? It's an international mystery gripping people across this country, from Minneapolis, all the way to Australia.

[19:45:03] And Don and Hilary about to confront each other, this time as giants storms. Jeanne Moos asks, what are the odds?


BURNETT: Developing tonight, outrage across the world after an Australian woman who was engaged to be married was shot and killed by a Minneapolis police officer. Exactly how this happened, though, is still unknown. What we do know is that Justine Ruszczyk called 911. Moments after police arrived, she was shot dead and now the victim's family is demanding answers.

Ryan Young is OUTFRONT.


MINNESOTA POLICE SHOOTING DISPATCH: Female screaming behind the building.

At 5:30 shots fired. Can we get EMS code 3, Washburn and 51s Streets. We got one down.

RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The mystery surrounding the shooting death of Justine Ruszczyk now the focus of international outrage. It began Saturday night just before midnight when the 40-year-old Australian born woman called 911 to report a possible sexual assault in an alley near her Minneapolis.


EMS is coming. Rescue is coming.

YOUNG: But what happened after police arrived remains a mystery. Officials have given new given few details. But "The Minneapolis Star Tribune" reports that Ruszczyk was unarmed wearing only her pajamas when she went to the driver side door of the police car.

[19:50:02] Multiple sources tell "The Star Tribune" that Ruszczyk was talking to the driver when the officer in the passenger seat shot across his partner, striking Ruszczyk in the abdomen killing her.

Adding to the mystery, there is no video. Neither officer activated dashcam or their body cams. Ruszczyk who had dual U.S. and Australian citizenship was engaged to be married next month, a life coach and yoga instructor.

JUSTINE RUSZCZYK, LIFE COACH: What I wanted to do was make miracles as a norm.

YOUNG: Don Damond was her fiance. DON DAMOND, FIANCE: She touched so many people with her loving, and

general heart. She was a teacher to so many, and living a life of openness, love and kindness.

YOUNG: The deadly shooting splashed across newspapers overseas. One headline calling it an American nightmare.

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back. We now know the identity of the U.S. police officer who shot and killed an Australian woman.

YOUNG: Second year Officer Mohamed Noor shot Ruszczyk. Just last year, the mayor praised Noor writing on Facebook that his arrival had been highly celebrated, particularly by the Somali community.

Noor's attorney released a statement extending his condolences to Ruszczyk's family and saying in part: Officer Noor is a caring person with a family he loves and he empathizes with the loss others are experiencing.

A makeshift memorial has sprung up at the sight of Ruszczyk's shooting. One card asked what so many want to know. Why did you shoot and kill our neighbor and friend?


YOUNG: And, Erin, just tonight, we're getting new information from the investigators who are involved in this case. And we're learning the driver of that car, the officer, Officer Harrity, talked to investigators.

He says when they went up the alley behind me, that they were startled. We startled by a large -- a loud sound near the car. They reacted and apparently he says his partner, Noor, fired across him, hitting Ruszczyk once in the abdomen. They both got out and they started applying first aid to her immediately.

But at this point, this is the first time we're getting that kind of information from officers and from these investigators about this case. The fact the officer who was driving said they heard a large noise and the shot was fired and they immediately got out. But, unfortunately, it was too late. She was pronounced dead here on the scene -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Ryan, thank you very much.

OUTFRONT now, former NYPD Lieutenant Darrin Porcher.

Lieutenant, let me just ask you. Look, she was calling in to report a sexual assault. You know, she thought was happening to someone else. I mean, it's hugely tragic that happened.

Explain what could have possibly happened here, especially given that you would have had one police officer shooting across another which would seem to be completely not what you're supposed to do.

DARRIN PORCHER, FORMER NYPD LIEUTENANT: Highly reckless act. One of the first things that happened, whenever police officers respond on a call for assistance, one of the first things the officer does is he radios into the 911 dispatcher. A confirmation as to who the caller is and the parties involved. It doesn't appear that that was the case, because if that was the case her, then the officer would have understood that this was the lady standing outside of the vehicle was in fact the caller.

And so, it created a very dangerous situation to say the least, where we have an officer sitting in a passenger seat firing across the officer in the drivers seat, shooting and killing the lady.

BURNETT: As you call it reckless. I mean, we don't have body cam. They haven't activated dash cam video. So, are we going to know exactly what happened or how this horrible terrible happened?

PORCHER: It's interesting you bring out the body cam because as a result of the shooting that happened with Philando Castile, this department elected to use body cams for all officers. However, unfortunately, the body cams weren't on. Now, one of the things about body cam the officer had the ability to turn it on and off. The reason being is if the officer uses the bathroom or if the officer is in conversation with a confidential informant, things to that effect. Therefore, it allows that officer that discretion.

However, unfortunately, the officer never turned on his body cam. In addition to that dash cam footage would not have showed us a true vision on what was taking place, because the dash cam footage would have focused on what was in front of the auto, not on the side.

BURNETT: You might have only gotten audio, which I guess is better than nothing, but not the full story.

All right. Darrin Porcher, thank you very much.

And OUTFRONT next, Jeanne Moos on when tropical storms meet. Don with Hilary lurking.


[19:57:40] BURNETT: So, this is real. The weather report. There's a tropical storm brewing named Hilary. And there's a tropical storm named Don which is fizzling.

Here's Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hold onto your hat.

UNIDENTIFEID MALE: It's Tropical Storm Don.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here's Tropical Storm Don.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is Tropical Storm Don. Pretty small.

MOOS: Small. Small and not organized? Forecast to degenerate. Is that anyway to talk about Don?

People have been reading a lot into the Caribbean storm that shares the president's name. The actual storm has unleashed a tweet storm. National Weather Service releases first picture of Tropical Storm Don, warning Tropical Storm Don just turned into a category 1 covfefe.

(on camera): Of course, Don the storm has no connection to Donald the president. It's all coincidental.

JENNIFER GRAY, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, the World Meteorological Organization comes up with the names and these are decided years and years before these storms actually happen.

MOOS (voice-over): But when this Don coincided with this Donald, Trump critics flip their wigs. Tropical Storm Don is expected to be the first storm in U.S. history to cause widespread damage in every state of the union.

Actually the storm prognosis is poor. Will dissipate within 72 hours. Low energy. Sad.

But there's an even freakier coincidence -- in the forecast.

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Tropical Storm Hilary. Hilary and Don.

MOOS: We kid you not. While Tropical Storm Don is weakening in the Atlantic.

GRAY: Hilary is actually gaining a little bit of momentum in the Pacific.

The name is officially bestowed once the tropical depression becomes a tropical storm. Hilary was simply next on the official list of Pacific storms.

Tweeted one critic, well, the good news is the Tropical Storm Hilary has no chance of hitting the White House.

Who could have imagined these two would coincide, two forces of nature in a forecast of cloudy with a chance of collusion?

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


BURNETT: Jeanne, I know you are excited about that one. Cloudy with a chance of collusion. Anyway. Pretty amazing right to come up with the names years in advance. Gives us some humor.

Thanks for joining us. And don't forget, you can watch OUTFRONT anytime, anywhere. Just go to CNN Go.

"AC360" is next.