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What Scaramucci's Deleted Tweets Said about Trump; Mixed Messages from White House Communications Team on Russia Sanctions; Kushner Makes Post-Hearing Statement; Semi Driver Charged in Migrant Deaths in Texas. Aired 2:30-3p ET
Aired July 24, 2017 - 14:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:30:00] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Anthony Scaramucci even deleting old tweets, some of which were negative comments about his new boss. Scaramucci tweeted, quote, "Full transparency, I'm deleting old tweets. Past views evolve and shouldn't be a distraction. I serve the president's agenda and that's all that matters."
So, for the sake of transparency, we went back and looked at the tweets that no longer exist. And that's where Eugene Scott comes in, our CNN politics reporter.
You know, you read that, it's like lack of transparency, deleting tweets, but it seems almost oxymoronic. Is it?
EUGENE SCOTT, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Sure. Sure. Certainly. The reality is that it would be in his best interests to explain why he said some of the things he said, than to pretend he didn't say it. Even to Jake he said, if I said some things. It's not if. You did say them. We have quite a few of them here, just to give you an idea of what he said. There are about four to five years old, some of them.
Right here. "If Hillary keeps this up, she might be back in play for 2016."
And these are his own words here. "I hope she runs. She is incredibly competent."
We have a few others one, where he said, here, "I like Hillary. Have to go with the best athlete. We need to turn this around." That was from 2012.
He also has "Trump endorsement Gingrich. Donald Trump, please say it ain't so."
There are quite a few. "You can take steps to combat climate change without tripping the economy. The fact that many people still believe climate changes is a hoax is disheartening."
It's quite different from what we saw from Trump himself on the campaign. Yes.
BALDWIN: Right. Right. And even referenced -- even when he came out on Friday, he called him a hack, he being his now boss. And he's apologized over and over for that. So that's his history with President Trump.
What about President Obama? Did they go to Harvard together?
SCOTT: They did. They were at Harvard Law together. They played a bit of basketball together. But after graduation, they went in two very different directions. Scaramucci went to work in investment banking at Goldman. And we know Obama became a civil rights attorney.
And we have a clip of an exchange they had talking about Wall Street and some of the things President Obama said about them.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Listen, I represent the Wall Street community. We have felt like a pinata. Maybe you don't feel like you're whacking us with a stick, but we certainly feel that we've been whacked with a stick. When are we going to stop whacking at the Wall Street pinata, and how are we going to fix that arbitrage so that we can create jobs in our society.
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have been amused over the last couple years, the sense of somehow me beating up on Wall Street. I think most folks a main street feel like they got beat up on. And they -
OBAMA: And I'll be honest with you, there's probably a big chunk of the country --
OBAMA: Hold on a second. There's a big chunk of the country that thinks that I have been too soft on Wall Street.
OBAMA: That's probably the majority. Now -- not the minority. Now, what I try to do is just try to be practical.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT: So, yes, right there, we have him defending Wall Street. But that probably is easier than what he has to do now, defending a president with a 36 percent approval rating.
BALDWIN: Eugene, thank you very much.
SCOTT: Thank you.
BALDWIN: The president facing a massive decision as the House and Senate announce an agreement on a new Russia sanctions bill. The White House, again, doesn't appear to be on the same page.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPODNENT & CNN HOST, STATE OF THE UNION: Is President Trump going to sign the Russian sanctions bill?
SCARAMUCCI: We've got to ask President Trump that. It's my second or third day on the job. My guess is that he's going to make that decision shortly.
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The administration is supportive of being tough on Russia, particularly in putting these sanctions in place. And we support where the legislation is now, and will continue working with the House and Senate to put those tough sanctions in place on Russia.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: So two different messages. You heard the whole, I don't know, from Scaramucci, and support from Huckabee Sanders.
Let's talk to Tara Palmeri, CNN political analyst and White House correspondent for "Politico."
Tara, if you look at this both ways, both options not so great from the president's perspective. Walk me through what happens if he decides to veto this legislation?
TARA PALMERI, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: There's a possibility that President Trump could add a signing note to the bill. He can sign it and then say he doesn't actually agree with the sanctions. President Obama has used that in the past. I think what you saw on the Sunday shows is there wasn't a coordination of the messaging, likely because Scaramucci is still new on the job. That's a lesson learned that when you represent the White House, you have to know affirmatively every single position the president has. But at the end of the day, a lot of times Donald Trump isn't quite sure what his position is yet. Some White House aides tell me there's a sort of a method to the confusion, and he doesn't want to show his cards, he may sign the bill, may not. By keeping it ambiguous --
PALMERI: Exactly -- he's still maintaining some sort of relationship with Russia, and in a way, able to do what he promised, which is reset the relationship between the two countries.
[14:35:09] BALDWIN: Generally, you have the comms director, would report to the chief of staff, who would be Reince Priebus, and then his boss, the president. And that doesn't seem entirely clear when he was speaking to those White House reporters Friday. You have all this great reporting on how now Reince Priebus is feeling now with Scaramucci coming in, and how he may feel pretty sidelined.
PALMERI: Reince Priebus vehemently opposed bringing on Anthony Scaramucci. Anthony was actually up for the job of director of public liaison, and was it pulled from him because of some issues with the sale of his business. But it was in circles in the White House, it's understood that Priebus didn't want him in the White House. He has a great relationship with the Trump children. And Trump really likes him and admires him. And one thing about Trump, he really admires men who had success in business. He's not as enamored by political operatives or establishment types.
BALDWIN: Even the head of the RNC, as Reince was?
PALMERI: Well, from what I've been told, Trump values monetary success over things like that. So he's creating a possible other cook in the kitchen by bringing in Scaramucci. Trump gets along with him. They're both New Yorkers. But Reince was sidelined, because as one close adviser to the president told me, he doesn't have personal clout inside the White House but he has organizational clout. He has an entire team he brought in from the RNC. But he's already lost his deputy chief of staff, Katie Walsh, who was fired after the first health care bill did not make it to the floor. He lost Mike Dubke, who he brought on as communications director. And most recently, he lost one of the his most high-profile aides underneath him, Sean Spicer, the press secretary. So there's a lot of other RNC aides in the press shop, and their fate is to be determined. They've been sort of known more for defending Priebus more than other members of the administration or even sometimes the president. So their fate is still questionable at this point. And this is going to be, you know, a real loss for Priebus, because he needed that silo to really keep his strength in the White House. And all the other members of the senior staff have their own people underneath them that prop them up.
BALDWIN: Right. It's a big deal. Your reporting is significant. Just keep your ear to the ground for us, will you, on the Reince Priebus, Anthony Scaramucci, their futures within this close circle in the White House.
Tara, thank you so much.
PALMERI: Thank you.
BALDWIN: Tara Palmeri for me in Virginia.
We do have more on our breaking news today. Jared Kushner speaking out after his meeting with Senate investigators today. Someone we rarely hear from publicly. The president's son-in-law not under oath during the questions. So we're asking, why not? What does that mean for him legally? Those details are ahead.
[14:42:24] BALDWIN: More on our breaking news today. Jared Kushner speaking out after his closed-door meeting with Senate investigators on his role involving Russia and the Trump campaign. Here's the thing, though. We were told he did not testify under oath. But oath or not, it is still a federal crime if anyone knowingly or willfully lies to Congress.
So let's talk to former White House attorney, Andy Wright, now a professor at Savannah Law School. Any Wright, welcome.
ANDY WRIGHT, PROFESSOR, SAVANNAH LAW SCHOOL: Thanks for having me, Brooke.
BALDWIN: Why wasn't Jared Kushner under oath when he was on Capitol Hill. Can you tell me why?
WRIGHT: Typically, the congressional investigators would prefer to get a transcribed interview ahead of any public hearings, because they can do a much deeper dive. They can ask series of questions that go much deeper than a typically hearing, five-minute rounds or 10n-minute rounds. And they can also do so without the distraction of the cameras in the room. If you want to get to the bottom of documents and lock in a witness, it's probably best, from an investigation standpoint, to interview these folks ahead of time.
BALDWIN: So whoever you're talking about sitting in front of Congress and answering questions, if you don't tell the truth, and that comes out later, and you're under oath versus not, is the penalty different?
WRIGHT: The perjury statutes and the false statements statutes carry the same penalty, a five-year potential jail term. So in the popular imagination, for all of us who watched court dramas for all these years, we see people raise their hand and put their hand on a Bible, and we think about perjury in public's imagination. But false statements are just as good of a legal incentive to tell the truth as perjury is.
BALDWIN: OK. And Jared Kushner, as we've learned, he's changed his clearance form multiple times, adding names and disclosures, but what strikes me is now that he's sat in front of Congress today, it's harder, from this point forward, to ever claim ignorance. Do you agree?
WRIGHT: That is accurate. He's locked himself into a bunch of statements he made this morning, both in his publicly released statement and whatever he said to the committee behind closed doors. So he's declared he did not engage in collusion with Russia. He's declared he did not read the e-mails that indicated the purpose of the June 9, 2016 meeting that Donald Trump Jr set up was for the purpose of obtaining dirt from Russian officials on Hillary Clinton, and several other at the same time that he'll have to live now, starting tomorrow when he goes in front of the House. If there's any daylight between what he says to the House and what he says to the Senate, that will be of interest both to the Russia investigators and the special counsel, Robert Mueller.
[14:45:07] BALDWIN: Right. Bob Mueller. Right, exactly.
Andy Wright, thank you very much for me, in Savannah today.
And just a reminder, a short time from now, we will be seeing the president deliver a statement on health care. This is 24 hours before that vote is expected in the Senate, although, some Republicans say they actually don't know much about. Plus, a shocking, awful discovery in the back of this 100-degree
truck. Dozens of undocumented immigrants found. Ten of them now dead. And the driver is charged. We have those details for you, ahead.
[14:49:55] BALDWIN: Another person has died in the horrific case of what's being called ruthless smuggling. In Texas, 10 undocumented immigrants have died after authorities say they were packed inside of this stifling hot tractor trailer found in a Walmart parking lot. The temperature outside had reached 100 degrees. The driver of that 18- wheater is James Bradley Jr. Federal prosecutors charged him today with knowingly transporting illegal aliens. 39 people in total were pulled from the back of that truck. But officials say more than 100 people, 100, may have been inside at one point, including two 15-year- olds. Responding officers describe the victims as being extremely hot to the touch.
With me, the newly elected mayor of San Antonio, Texas, Mr. Ron Nirenberg.
Mr. Mayor, thank you for joining me.
RON NIRENBERG, (D), SAN ANTONIO MAYOR: Good to be with you, Brooke.
BALDWIN: Can you just help me understand. From what I've read, the police chief in San Antonio says this happens all the time. They were just fortunate enough to actually catch this one. How often does this happen, bodies in the back of the truck?
NIRENBERG: Well, the magnitude of human trafficking is growing every single day. We know it's one of the fastest-growing crimes, not just in Texas, but across the country. We are trying our best as local communities to stop it, because it has, as you've seen, consequences that are just incredible and very unfortunate. And it's A sad situation for the families that are involved. So we're trying to offer them the compassionate care they deserve.
BALDWIN: It's my understanding 10 dead, but dozens are injured. I was reading -- and you tell me -- reports of injuries, of brain damage because of the heat.
NIRENBERG: Yes. Well, you know, our first response in a situation like this -- and I do want to thank our first responders, EMS personnel, fire personnel, police personnel, private citizens for saying something so we can prevent more loss of life than already occurred. But the conditions you described are inhumane. We already lost several of the people that were in there. And as others were being airlifted in critical condition to local hospitals, we knew the casualties would only continue to climb. Again, our first response, as any local community should, is to offer and render aid. That's what we did.
BALDWIN: Mayor Nirenberg, what about the driver who was charged today? Who is he? What more do we know about him? NIRENBERG: They have released his name. At this point, it's a
federal investigation. We understand through the U.S. attorney's office that, thus far. he's being charged with smuggling. That level of crime may increase. We do know that what happened here, and the victims that were involved -- and I use that word deliberately -- these people that lost their lives and were in that truck are victims of human smuggling. We hope the full weight of the law falls on the driver and those involved. Again, because of the growing nature of human smuggling and human trafficking of all kinds in our country, I think we need to make sure that we fully investigate the magnitude of this particular crime.
BALDWIN: Mayor Ron Nirenberg, thank you so much for your time.
NIRENBERG: Thank you, Brooke.
BALDWIN: An awful story.
Any moment now, President Trump will be delivering a statement from the White House after he takes swipes at Republicans over health care. Will he change minds on this one ahead of the vote tomorrow?
And on a day where President Trump hits his own attorney general on Twitter, referring to Jeff Sessions as "beleaguered," what could this mean for Sessions' future and the Russian investigation. That's next.
[14:58:19] BALDWIN: In today's "Staying Well," companies are bringing local food options directly to customers' doors.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are you doing? Good.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you want to help me empty these out?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In today's basket, we have corn, tomatoes. And finally, peppers are finally coming through.
Maybe I should get them delivered.
I'm a local company that delivers locally grown fruits and vegetables.
You go online and you pick which basket option you want, when it's been picked two days before and they're eating it. And it's in season.
The nuances in taste is something you could drive to someone until they put it in their mouth.
Nobody needs to teach a kid to like cookies, but you might need to teach your kids to like green vegetables.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you ever noticed a tomato in a grocery store, it doesn't have a ton of flavor and it's hard as a rock. Not very juicy when you cut it open. That's because it was harvested way before it was at its peak ripeness. It is was, at the very least, shipped from another side of the country and sat on a truck for five days, and sat in a distribution center for an additional couple of days.
We work directly with local farmers. The food comes from just down the road. It's harvested the same morning that we receive it, and then delivered the next day to a consumer's home, when the nutrient content has built to its fullest.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think Americans, we don't get enough fruits and vegetables. The vegetables, they don't know how good they can taste.
BALDWIN: Thanks for being with me on this Monday. I'm Brooke Baldwin. This is CNN. Let's get going.
We are minutes away from President Trump making a statement on health care there from the White House, of course. We'll take it live and talk about that.
But listen, he's not the only one from the White House speaking out today. It was his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Just giving his comments on this Russia investigation. Yes, Jared Kushner talking. And not just --