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New Action from Congress to Punish Moscow for Meddling in the 2016 Election; President Trump Reveals Major Disappointment with Sessions; Bill Browder Says the Conversation about Russian Adoptions is Really About Sanctions; Carrier Agreed to Keep About 800 Mexico- Bound Jobs at the Plant; Florida Police Recommending Charges for Five Teenagers. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired July 22, 2017 - 16:00   ET


[16:00:10] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Top of the hour now. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. Great to have you with me. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Thanks for spending part of your weekend with us.

I want to get right to the new action from Congress to punish Moscow for meddling in the 2016 election. House and Senate negotiators say they reached a deal just today that if passed would give Congress unprecedented ability to block the Trump administration from easing any sanctions on Russia. This as we get a stunning report on attorney general Jeff Sessions' pre-election meeting with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

According to the "Washington Post," Kislyak told his Moscow bosses that he and Sessions did in fact talk about campaign related matters including Trump's position on policy issues important to Russia. This directly contradicts how Sessions described the conversation. And it's the latest in what has been a rough week for Sessions, the highest law enforcement official in the land.

Just days ago, President Trump revealed his major disappointment with Sessions. Take a listen.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Zero. So Jeff Sessions takes the job, gets into the job, recuses himself. I then have -- which frankly, I think is very unfair to the President. How do you take a job and then recuse yourself? If he would have recused himself before the job, I would have said, thanks, Jeff I'm not going to take you. It's extremely unfair. And that's a mild word to the President.


CABRERA: I want to bring in Kaitlin Collins.

Kaitlin, talk to me now about how the President is reacting to this new report on Sessions.

KAITLIN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, good afternoon, Ana. Unsurprisingly the President is tweeting about Jeff Sessions in this report that came out yesterday from "the Washington Post." Let's take a look what the President said this morning about Jeff

Sessions. He said, a new intelligence leak from the amazon "Washington Post." This time against attorney general Jeff Sessions. These illegal leaks like Comey's must stop.

Now, as you will see, Ana, the President is not denying the substance of the report through his tweet. Instead he is saying that the problem here is the leaks that are coming out all of this and the leaks from this.

"The Washington Post" is reporting that the Russian ambassador told his superiors back in Russia that he did discuss the Trump campaign when he met with Jeff Sessions last year. And that was picked up from U.S. Intel. That completely contradicts what Jeff Sessions has been saying all along which is that he discussed nothing related to the Trump campaign when he met with him. And that that was only - that meeting was only because he was a U.S. senator.

Now, all of this comes as the President like you said publicly trashed Jeff Sessions during that interview with "the New York Times" where he said that if he had known he was going to recuse himself, he would not have selected him as his attorney general.

Now, these comments are having a chilling effect on some staffers in the west wing. They are questioning the President's loyalty to them. And they say that the thinking goes if the President can do this to Jeff Sessions, he can do it to anybody.

CABRERA: And we know that Sessions is standing by his original testimony there in front of the Senate committee.

Kaitlin, the White House also pushing back on reports that aides are researching the ins and outs of Presidential pardons. What more are you learning?

COLLINS: Yes, so "the Washington Post" also reported this week that Trump lawyers and aides have been discussing his ability to pardon people with the President this week. They say it's from more of a curious standpoint and he wants to know just how far he can pardon someone and what his -- what his limits are with this. And not that he's considering using it. But the President seemed to back that reporting up today when he tweeted again about pardons. Let's look at that.

He said while I will agree that the U.S. President has the complete power to pardon why think of that when only crime so far is leaks against us? Fake news. Now, this is the most notable of all of the President's tweets this morning. It shows that he knows that he has this power and he is willing to assert it and he's leaving that option on the table. But Trump lawyer in Jay Sekulow say that pardons are not being considered at this time - Ana.

CABRERA: All right. Kaitlin Collins, reporting for us at the White House. Thank you.

Let's get reaction from Russia now. CNN international correspondent Phil Black is joining us live from Moscow.

Phil, let's start with this new sanctions bill that we hear is going to pass -- expected to pass the full Congress, that would tie the White House administration's hands when it comes to rolling back sanctions or giving Moscow back those compounds they have been after here. What is the Kremlin saying about this?

PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, when we reached out to the Kremlin's spokesperson about what the Russian view of the possibility of new sanctions is, he responded with two words -- quite negatively. That's the Russian view. And that is really a powerful understatement at this stage. It is no secret that Russia really doesn't like sanctions. It resents them. It's talked about this in the past when there have been applied. They see this as a real attack on their own sovereignty, on the stability of the government here.

The foreign policy in many ways in recent years has been about trying to get sanctions lifted. Taken away like the sanctions that were put in place by the United States, by the European Union in response to Russia's actions in Ukraine. Now, it's looking at the possibility of further sanctions.

It is likely that Russia would retaliate in some way. The key question is how, because Russia's ability to hurt the United States financially is pretty limited. And so that's why in these sort of circumstances before, Russian officials have talked about an asymmetrical response. They talk about taking an unexpected angle, going after the U.S. in some other way that's still designed to inflict pain or inconvenience upon America or its businesses or its citizens. If you remember the ban on Russian adoptions by American families, that was such a response. An extraordinary response to a piece of legislation passed by the American Congress which punished Russian human rights abuses.

That's what they mean by asymmetrical. And so it gives a real sense that Russia can respond in almost any way in response to any further sanctions that are applied.

[16:06:20] CABRERA: Real quick with you, Phil. Any response from Russia or comment regarding this report by "the Washington Post" and the conversation that was apparently intercepted with Kislyak and his superiors back in Russia talking about what he discussed with the attorney general Jeff Sessions?

BLACK: Nothing specific to this particular news story from "the Washington Post," no. But of course Kislyak's name has been mentioned in previous stories involving Jeff Sessions and other members of the Trump campaign team and so forth. And in those circumstances, Russia has always pushed back very strongly against the suggestion that Kislyak was doing anything other than being a professional diplomat and ambassador for Russia. They have always insisted that he has played no role in anything that was any way contrary to that, Ana.

CABRERA: All right. Phil Black, thank you. I want to bring in the panel now. Joining us CNN crime and justice

reporter Shimon Prokupecz, "Time" magazine contributor Jay Newton- Small and CNN national security analyst and former homeland security assistant secretary, Juliette Kayyem.

Juliette, the suggestion that Sessions had talked about a possible future Trump administration and Russian policy issues with the Russian ambassador, this is all according to the intercepted conversation the ambassador had with the superiors back in Moscow. So how much prudence and we really give this? I mean, is it possible Kislyak was over exaggerating to impress his bosses or perhaps he knew that the calls were being recorded and wanted to sow discord?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: That's exactly right. I think it's sort of healthy to be skeptical about this kind of intercept. But I do have to just say for the record, whoever disclose this, a signal intercept of a conversation in a foreign country really did violate some of the crown jewels of surveillance and intelligence gathering that we have.

Nonetheless, what Kislyak is saying about what happened is his interpretation about what happened. And so I am not sort of breathless about these disclosures at this stage. At most, they show that Sessions, you know, either forgot or possibly said something about the campaign. They don't show the kind of collusion that I think people were hoping for. If anything, they show that Sessions as a lead in the campaign was making overtures to Kislyak on behalf of Trump and so in this way I actually think it hurts Trump and the White House more than it hurts Sessions.

CABRERA: And whether Kislyak is telling the truth or not in the intercept, Jay, it can't be good for Sessions politically.

JAY NEWTON-SMALL, CONTRIBUTOR, TIME MAGAZINE: Absolutely not. And this comes right on the heels of the President really harshly criticizing Jeff Sessions this week saying he would not have kept him or in fact wouldn't have offered him the job of AG if he had known that he was going to recuse himself from the Russia investigation. And yet, these intercepts if true actually do show that he should have actually definitely should have recused himself from the Russia investigation because he was so intimately tied to it and because he is so involved in ti and is one of the central figures of it. And so it really is yet another sort of nail in Jeff Sessions' coffin to some degree in his relationship with Donald Trump. And yet again this week Jeff Sessions said he would not step down. He is was going to stay on as long as the President saw fit as attorney general.

CABRERA: Jay, I also want to ask you about this new development, this Russia sanctions bill. The House and Senate agreeing on a bill that was slap new sanctions on Russia and more importantly perhaps make it harder for President Trump to lift the sanctions. Interesting it's so bipartisan here. The White House took issue with this bill limiting their negotiating powers. Are Republicans sending a message now to this administration on the issue of Russia?

[16:10:06] NEWTON-SMALL: Absolutely. This is such a slap in the face to the administration. The President had been pushing, basically since sworn as in taking office to have much more flexibility in the imposition of these sanctions to be allowed to have a lot less oversight from Congress on these sanctions. The fact that Congress is passing them with these very strict conditions that really monitors very closely how much -- what the President is doing and how the President is enforcing the sanctions on Russia is -- it makes it really hard for the President to have any wiggle room. He basically has to do what Congress is telling him to do. And by the fact that they are marrying the Russian sanctions to sanctions on Iran which the President has sought. And sanctions on North Korea makes it very hard for the President to veto these sanctions. And then tripling that is the idea that it is being passed in the house this week under special rules that will require a two-thirds majority which means that it will pass in the veto proof majority telling the President even if you veto this bill we are still going to be able to override you.

CABRERA: Shimon, joining us from Aspen. And he is at national security conference. We learned special counsel Robert Mueller has instructed White House staff now to preserve all documents related to the Don Jr. meeting that happened last summer. So does this now confirm Mueller is indeed looking into this meeting as part of his investigation into collusion?

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE PRODUCER: Yes, that's right, Ana. It certainly does. I mean, why else would he send that letter? It seems this has become part of his investigation, whether or not he is actually investigating Don Jr. or if this is more focused on what the Russians were trying to do.

You know, I don't think we're at place that we can say that. Clearly, this meeting is now part of anything that bob Mueller the special counsel and the FBI is now is looking into, as well as, you know, the intercepts that supposedly captured Kislyak. That is all part of the so-called Russia meddling investigation and what the Russians here were trying to do with folks attached to the Trump organization, to the Trump world.

And, you know, the meetings that just came to light last week with don Jr. and Paul Manafort and Kushner are certainly now part of this investigation. Certainly they want to know, you know, was this something set up by someone up high in Russia, someone in the Kremlin, who said, hey, you know, go there and see if they would be willing to accept it. You know, at the Security Council here yesterday, Clapper, the former head of the DNI sort of talked about this. How sometimes in these situations what Russians do is they sort of use soft tactics to see if someone will be receptive to their help and, you know, it is his belief that's what this meeting was about.

CABRERA: They were just testing the waters a little bit.

Juliette, there are some reports that the President had asked his attorneys about pardoning powers. You saw this coming. We were talking about this offline last week. And President Trump though appeared to confirm that they have talked about pardoning, tweeting today while I will agree that the U.S. President has the complete power to pardon why think of that when only crime so far is leaks against us? Fake news.

So here we are six months into the presidency, two months into the special counsel investigation. Is it concerning to you that the President is already talking even just talking about pardons?

KAYYEM: Well, of course it is because it means that obviously he feels the heat from these various investigations not just Mueller but of course the Senate and House investigations. They are at the door of the oval office so to speak with. We know Kushner going in this week. Donald Trump Jr. We don't know the theory of the case yet. Does this actually have to do with the financial dealings or with direct collusion, which you know, the meeting that we learned about last week may have -- may shed some light on it.

I will say just as a legal matter how sort of -- I think you are going to hear a lot of lawyers debating this issue. Can the President have unconditional power to pardon including pardoning himself? I'm a lawyer, but I'm doing to add some common sense into this.

Basically Trump's tweet today suggests that, you know, he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue or the he, you know, he could, you know, he likes to talk about, you know, the groping woman scenario that he could do all of those things and then just pardon himself. No rational person would think not only is that the appropriate use of the presidency, but certainly the legal meaning of the pardoning power. And so, you are going to hear lots of lawyers debating this.

And I think what you are seeing from Trump and his team is what we call, you know, they are greasing the runway, right. They are criticizing Mueller. They are raising the pardon power because they are going go after this investigation because they don't want it to go forward. Their options are getting limited at this stage. Someone may be talking. Someone that the investigators may have turned someone and so this is - we are in a very, very compressed time frame right now.

[16:15:02] CABRERA: And just quickly, Juliette, you wrote an op-ed regarding pardoning and while politically, it could be totally disastrous you said, the bigger concern really is national security if he were to pardon somebody related to this Russia investigation.

KAYYEM: Right. So the solution is, I mean, imagine if he pardoned people who were at least being investigated for collusion of Russia, so what is that going to say to Russia? Of course, we know it is going to say to Russia. We should -- it's essentially come hither, right, for 2018 or 2020. He is also going to say that to China and to Iran, and maybe even to our allies that they can try to influence our elections either through direct contact with a campaign or even as we saw with Russia through the cyber manipulation of information without any recourse.

I mean, if you are Russia, there has been nothing. Nothing that this President has done to make them feel that 2018 is going to be any different. And I think any pardon will make them feel not only that they are forgiven, but they are emboldened at this stage. CABRERA: All right. Juliette Kayyem, Jay Newton-Small, and Shimon

Prokupecz, I had more questions, but not enough time. We will have you all back. Thanks again.

A programming note, Anthony Scaramucci, the President's new communications director will be joining Jake Tapper tomorrow as a guest on CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION." So stay tune for that. That's at 9:00 a.m. eastern and pacific.

Coming up, initially Donald Trump Jr. said that meeting in Trump tower with the Russian lawyer was just about adoptions. Although we now know the conversation moved to politics. We will hear why one U.S. business man says when Russians want to talk adoptions they really mean sanctions. This is a big deal.

You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.


[16:20:45] CABRERA: Turning now to the Trump family and the Russia investigation. Why do we keep hearing so much about Russian adoptions? Remember initially Donald Trump Jr. said he met with the Russian lawyer mainly to talk about Russian adoptions? And then even President Trump said he discussed adoptions with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G-20 summit.

My next guest American businessman Bill Browder says the conversation about Russian adoptions is really about sanctions.

Now, years ago Browder made a lot of money as a hedge fund manager and he was one of the top foreign investor in Russia. Browder is a tax lawyer. What this meant?

Take a look. Sergei Magnitsky who uncovered a massive corruption scheme involving Russian official. Magnitsky was arrested. He died under mysterious circumstances in a Moscow prison. Browder pushed Congress then here in the U.S. to pass the Magnitsky act in 2012 which punishes Russians involved with human rights abuses and which led to Russian banning -- Russia adoptions by people in the U.S.

Now, here is where it all comes together at meeting. That Russian lawyer, Natalie Veselnitskaya who met with Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort last year, she wants the Magnitsky act repealed and sanctions lifted.

Well, Bill Browder is joining us now. He has personally (INAUDIBLE) with that Russian lawyer.

Bill, thanks for being here. You say the Magnitsky act as a topic of conversation isn't so innocent in fact as people may seem to believe. You believe it's Putin's number one priority to get the U.S. to lift those sanctions under the act. Explain.

BILL BROWDER, FORMER TOP FOREIGN INVESTOR IN RUSSIA: So Sergei Magnitsky as you mentioned was my lawyer. He uncovered a massive government corruption scheme of $230 million stolen from the Russian government. Vladimir Putin was one of the beneficiaries of that theft. When Sergei Magnitsky exposed the crime, he was subsequently arrested, put in pretrial detention, tortured for 358 days and murdered in prison by Russian guards at the age of 37, seven-and-a- half years ago. I have made it my life's mission since then to go after the people who killed him to make sure they face justice.

And that's where we ended up with the Magnitsky act which is an act of Congress that was passed in 2012 which imposes visa sanctions and asset freezes on the people who killed Sergei and the people who do similar types of things in Russia. Putin is very afraid that his money and he has got lots of it will be eventually seized under the Magnitsky act which is why he is so interested in having it repealed.

CABRERA: So this is all about Putin's personal finances is what you are saying. Trump we know and Putin talked for about an hour or so at that G-20 dinner. This was a previously undisclosed conversation they had. The Trump administration has said it was just small talk, it was at a dinner, but we have learned it was an hour long and President Trump admits they discussed adoptions. He said that in a sense that it was no big deal. Do you think that Putin was working him on the Magnitsky act in that conversation?

BROWDER: Well, so the deal that they are trying to do here is Putin -- so after the Magnitsky act was passed, Putin tried to come up with the most vicious thing he could do. And so what he did was he banned the adoption of Russian orphans by American families. And these were not healthy orphans. The Russians didn't allow healthy ones to be adopted just the sick ones with HIV, down syndrome, et cetera. And so he basically - and these kids were being brought to America and nursed back to health. He was basically effectively taking these children hostage. This discussion about adoptions is not a discussion about adoptions. This is a hostage situation in which Putin has taken his own orphans hostage in order to try to get America to back off the sanctioning of torturers and murders out of Russia.

CABRERA: So again, adoption conversation equals conversation specifically about sanctions.

BROWDER: It's a conversation about easing up on crooks coming out of Russia so that they can spend their money freely and not worry about it being frozen. Nobody -- the Russians do not care about the orphans or adoptions. We do, but they don't. They care about their ill- gotten gains, their corruption, the money that they killed people for.

[16:25:10] CABRERA: How risky was it do you think for President Trump to have that conversation with Putin without anyone, not even a translator to witness the discussion?

BROWDER: Well, I think it's very risky for anybody to have a conversation with Vladimir Putin. This guy is a spy, a KGB spy. He is trained his whole life for all of these types of situations. He spends hours and hours studying his targets. And I'm afraid whether it's Trump or Obama or Bush, all of these people are no match for Vladimir Putin standing by themselves. And they all need the expertise of people who know Vladimir Putin and have spent as much time studying him as he spends studying his targets like Trump and others.

CABRERA: I want to ask you about your one-time foe Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya. We learned that she once represented Russia's spy agency as one of her clients in fact on a land rights issue. She is the lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr. after his father's nomination back in June of 2016 when she says she doesn't work for the Kremlin. She isn't connected to Putin. What's your reaction though?

BROWDER: Well, it's a complete and utter lie. She works for -- her main client, the person who is paying the bills in America for all of the lobbyists that got her to Trump tower and other places is a senior Russian government official. He is one of the top guys in the Putin regime. And all you have to do is connect those dots and then you start connecting more dots. And it becomes obvious that her activities in America were to repeal the Magnitsky act which is something that is on the top of Putin's agenda. It's a complete and utter nonsense to say that she is a private lawyer just meeting on her own volition. It's just not true.

CABRERA: Bill, given how connected and how much knowledge you have of the inner workings in Russia what's your assessment of how President Trump has handled Russia so far? What has he done right perhaps? What has he done wrong in terms of U.S./Russian relations?

BROWDER: Well, what he has done right is he is assembled one of the strongest national security teams in his government to deal with Russia. The defense secretary Mattis knows exactly what's going on in Russia. The head of the CIA knows exactly that Nikki Haley from the ambassador to the U.N. knows exactly.

So the team that he has put together I was absolutely checking the boxes and applauding each one as they were appointed. And in terms of what's happening now, the answer is that as of now, as of this minute, there has not been any ease up on Russia in terms of sanctions. And just this afternoon "The New York Times" published a story saying that Congress has now approved the sanctions -- the Russian sanctions law which is absolutely foolproof and devastating.

And so, I'm obviously worried when I hear Donald Trump talking about Putin as a good guy. And I find that offensive knowing what I know about Vladimir Putin. But so far the U.S. policy towards Russia has not changed. And I hope it remains that way.

CABRERA: All right. Bill Browder, we really appreciate your insight. Thanks for joining us.

BROWDER: Thank you.

CABRERA: Coming up, it was a seemingly early victory for then President-elect Trump. He cut a deal to stop hundreds of jobs at a Carrier plant from going to Mexico, but 600 of those employees are still headed out the door. We hear from former workers next.

You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [16:32:45] CABRERA: The Carrier plant in Indianapolis that became a focal point of then Presidential candidate Donald Trump's rallying cry to save American jobs is back in the news again. Publicly, Carrier agreed to keep about 800 Mexico bound jobs at the plant. But what was not touted some 600 other jobs that would be on the chopping block.

As CNN's Martin Savidge shows us that those layoffs began this week.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At the Indianapolis factory once the center of Donald Trump's campaign pledge to save American jobs, they have begun laying off hundreds of employees.

JERY ROBINSON, FORMER CARRIER EMPLOYEE: Everybody cried. It was depressing. And it's still depressing. It's still depressing because a lot of people can't figure out what they are going to do next.

SAVIDGE: Last December, just a month after winning office, Trump seemed to score an early victory, negotiating a deal with heating and cooling giant Carrier to keep this plant open and stop 1,400 jobs from moving to Mexico as Carrier had already announced.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I will tell you that United Technologies and Carrier stepped it up and now they are keeping -- actually the number is over 1,100 people which is so great. Which is so great.

SAVIDGE: For its part, Carrier got $7 million worth of incentives from the state of Indiana. It was a win-win for workers and the negotiator in-chief. So what went wrong? In a word, nothing.

Is this plan the layoffs, is it all working out the way it was supposed to work out?


SAVIDGE: Robert James is President of the union representing Carrier workers. He says Trump's deal did save about 800 manufacturing jobs but it also had some painful fine print allowing Carrier to lay off more than 600 workers. Something the President didn't mention in December. But that goes into effect this week. It's just now the painful part starts.

JAMES: This is where the reality of it sets in for the employees that are leaving.

SAVIDGE: This was Jery Robinson's last day after 15 years. She's among the first 300 workers to go.

ROBINSON: This came at a bad time. And I -- I wish love to everybody who's -- who lost their job.

[16:35:05] SAVIDGE: Carrier will lay off another 300 in December. Susie Wallins has a very different outlook, leaving after 39 years. SUSIE WALLINS, FORMER CARRIER EMPLOYEE: We are all excited.

SAVIDGE: She credits Trump with saving the plant and volunteered to leave.

Did you accept the deal in part with the hopes that it would save a younger person's job?

WALLINS: Yes. Yes.

SAVIDGE: Candidate Trump won blue collar support by bashing companies for moving jobs overseas. When Carrier announced it was moving to Mexico Trump turned the company into a rallying cry.


TRUMP: Carrier. Carrier.

SAVIDGE: Blue collar votes in swing states like Ohio and Michigan helped Trump win. Overall for the working man, do you think the President has lived up to the promises he made?

CHUCK JONES, FORMER PRESIDENT, UNITED STEELWORKERS, LOCAL 1999: No, not at all. Not at all. You know, we are working class people. We are no longer middle class. And I don't see anything that he is advocating or done that benefits the working class people.

SAVIDGE: Former union leader Chuck Jones says Trump's promises to blue collar workers now seem like the carrier deal. Both sounded a lot better six months ago.

As part of the deal, Carrier says it's committed to spending millions and millions of dollars for improvements at its factory here which is a good thing. However, the company has also implied that a lot of the money will go to automation which in the long run tends to replace jobs, not create them.

Martin Savidge, CNN, Indianapolis.


CABRERA: Thanks, Martin.

Coming up, one Florida police chief said he is now going to recommend charges against teenagers who taunted and laughed at drowning man who died. Details next.


[16:40:54] CABRERA: Now to Florida where police are recommending charges for five teenagers who videotaped a man drowning and then stood there, laughing and joking. They never intervened. They didn't call 911. Nobody was able to help this man.

CNN's Nick Valencia has the story. We want to warn you, it contains disturbing video - Nick. NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ana, this week detectives with the

coco police department interviewed the teens. During questioning not only did they show no remorse, but police say at least one of them smirked when talking about the video. They say they were in the area smoking weed when they saw Dunn get into the pond. We have to warn you that the video that you are about to watch is disturbing.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get out of the water. You are going to die.

VALENCIA (voice-over): A blatant disregard for human life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are not going to help your (bleep). Shouldn't have got in.

VALENCIA: A group of Florida teens taunt a drowning man while filming his final moments from afar.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Isn't nobody going to help you.

VALENCIA: In the two minute long video clip the five boys between ages of 14 and 16 could be heard laughing as the man struggles to stay afloat in a pond in Coco, Florida. Rather than call for help, the teens recorded the incident on cell phone, chuckling while they watched the man die. They say this when the man goes under water and doesn't resurface.


VALENCIA: The state of Florida currently does not have a law where a citizen is obligated to render aid for anyone in distress or call for help. Both Coco police and the state attorney office say they are frustrated that no one can be held accountable in this incident.

We are deeply saddened and shocked at both the manner in which Mr. Dunn lost his life and the actions of the witnesses to this tragedy. We can find no moral justification for either the behavior of the persons heard On the Recording or the deliberate decision not to render aid to Mr. Dunn.

Police say the victim, 31-year-old Jamel Dunn got into an argument with his mom and possibly his fiancee the afternoon of July 9th. Ten minutes after the fight was over, police say Dunn scaled a fence surrounding a pond near his family's home and walked into the water. His family reported him missing three days later. The teens stayed quiet about what they saw so police didn't know where to look. Dunn's body wasn't discovered until five days after his death.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel like something should be done.

VALENCIA: The victim's sister posted the video of the drowning on Facebook and a Facebook live post, she questioned teens' humanity.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They sit there and watch somebody die in front of their eye. Well, imagine what they are going to do when they get older, you know. It is going to be a hot issue. Well, imagine how they are going to be where they get older.


VALENCIA: Now, according to police, the teens waited a few days before they posted the video online. In fact, the sister of the victim first saw the video posted last Saturday on Facebook. She told me that she is disgusted and angry that nothing is being done. We did reach out to the state's attorney's office and though they tell us there's no law on the books that requires a citizen to call if someone else is in distress they're reviewing this specific case to see if any charges can be brought forward -- Ana.

CABRERA: So disturbing. Nick Valencia, thank you.

Coming up, I travelled to a town just 20 miles from the nation's capital that is fighting back over a proposed fifth power plant within just 15 miles. Why the community there is so divided, next.


[16:48:42] CABRERA: It was made in America week and President Trump has made it no secret he wants that to apply to the nation's energy creation as well. He says bring back jobs to coal country, roll back regulations affecting the oil and gas companies. The goal, unleash America's energy independence, but at what cost? That question is now at the heart of debate in one town not far from the White House. Take a look.


CABRERA (voice-over): Twenty miles southeast of the nation's capital, Brandywine, Maryland. Once a rural farming community quickly becoming an energy hub for the region. Soon to have five power plants within just 15 miles.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm very concerned, very, very concerned. He has asthma. He has had it since birth.

CABRERA: Randy Banskwell (ph) has grew up here. She says her 10- year-old Clint Dallas has been to the hospital eight times this year alone for asthma attacks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It feels like I can't breathe and it felt like my heart stops.

CABRERA: Her son's health has Brandy questioning her family's future in Brandywine. She is worried about their surroundings.

PPV (ph) St. Charles just opened in March. Across the county line keys energy is under construction and a about a mile-and-a-half from there, the plot for the newest approved plant, the Panda Wattawoman.

The state put out a call for these companies citing a need for more energy. The natural gas fire plant picked the Brandywine area because of zoning and existing infrastructure.

[16:50:18] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We think it is unfair because it is inevitable.

CABRERA: Brad is the (INAUDIBLE) river keeper. He too is concerned about pollution.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Airways, waterways, land ways.

CABRERA: Two other facilities have already been operating in the area for decades. Another natural gas plant and the chock point generating station that includes gas, oil and coal. It was fined $1 million last year for failure to meet federal and environmental standards. Eight of the last 12 quarters.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think this community has lacked power by power I don't mean electricity. I mean political power.

CABRERA: (INAUDIBLE) calls it environmental injustice. Brandywine is 72 percent African-American. Last year, residents filed a federal civil rights complaint against the state agencies that approved the latest power plant. It hasn't been built yet. They say the plant is disproportionately subjecting the black residents of Brandywine to air pollution and other negative impacts based on their race. When asked about it, the state declined to comment because of the pending federal complaint.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's dumping ground.

CABRERA: Beyond the power plants tucked behind trees and lush foliage, Brandywine also has a super fund site. Meaning land here is contaminate and designated for clean-up. There are also several mining operations and a coal ash landfill next to this playground.

Doctor (INAUDIBLE), a public and environmental health associate professor at the University of Maryland, warns of the combined effect of contaminants from ozone emissions to particulate matter.

FREDERICK TULMAN, RIVERKEEPER: Those are small particles that get in your lungs and basically into your circulatory system. It can cause the blood brain barrier and these risks are really -- when you think of children, when you look at pregnant women, when you look at someone who is elderly or you look at some who made has (inaudible) health condition. These communities are vulnerable.

CABRERA: Respiratory symptoms are the number one cause of frequent emergency visits in the county. The EPA says air quality for the region has been improving in the past couple of years. And the two power plants that responded to CNN's request for comment insist that their plants are far cleaner than the old oil and coal plants.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There goes another dumper. But I mean, they are flying up and down all the time.

CABRERA: Paul Antonio's window screen business will soon have a power plant just across the road.

So you are not worried about the health impact? PAUL ANTONIO, SMALL BUSINESS OWNER: No, it's natural gas which is the

least offensive of the fossil fuels. Its burns clean. And there's an overabundance in America of that.

CABRERA: Having grown up in the shadow of the chock point facility = --

ANTONIO: From my mom's house up in the hill, that's to the back of you.

CABRERA: Antonio, he hopes the new plant leads to cheaper electricity with just one of them generating enough energy to power more than 650,000 homes all infusing millions of dollars into county coffers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The power plants that are coming in to Brandywine, they are going to probably going to be in top five largest taxpayers of prince Georges County. They will add to our commercial tax base which helps us fund education, public safety, transportation.

CABRERA: The plants are also creating jobs. CPV for example hired 400 construction workers. But those jobs are temporary. It now has 22 full-time employees.

For John Rousseau who owns a New York style deli that means more customers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Brought a lot of business to the neighborhood.

CABRERA: It brings more foot traffic in here. More people who want to eat here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At least five percent extra.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mostly from the power plant?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mostly from power plant. The amount of business there, parties that they have. They buy, you know, food from us, other places around here.

CABRERA: And Rousseau hopes that's just the beginning. For now, the fate of at least one plant remains uncertain. With the federal continue blame in mediation that could take weeks or even months to resolve. The ultimate impact on the region may not be determined for years forcing some in the community to make tough choices.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know, I just feel for the health of my child. That's all I care about at this point.

CABRERA: Is it enough to make you want to move?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely. For the health of my child I will.

CABRERA: Even after living here most of your life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I will pick up and move for my kid. It's just not worth it. (END VIDEOTAPE)

CABRERA: Important to note here, the plans for these new power plants came long before the current administration. They have been in the works for years really and yet a lot of the residents we talked to there at Brandywine, they told us they had no idea these plants had even been proposed let alone approved.

What happens when deep cover Russian spies infiltrate the U.S. and began living what appear to be normal lives every day American lives? The FBI responds by launching operation ghost stories. That effort to uncover so-called spies next door is featured in tonight's season two premiere of declassified with Mike Rogers.


[16:55:11] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For a country that wants to be a superpower again intelligence can be the most important kind of power.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So that's why it is important for the United States to be aware of what they are up to so that we can anticipate their actions and take steps to protect our country. There are various ways the Russians develop effective spies. They deploy people to this country under a diplomatic passport. A Russian diplomat or diplomats for that matter come into our country and are located at the various embassies. Some of them are spies.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Aren't all diplomats spies?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. The diplomatic service of any country including the diplomatic service of the United States serves an important function. It's for countries to be able to communicate and interact with each other. However, some of them are spying.


CABRERA: Again, the season two premiere of declassified tonight right here on CNN.

We are back after this.