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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Pres. Trump Arrives in Hawaii, Russia Cloud Hangs Over Trip; Pres. Trump "Disappointed" Justice Department Isn't Investigating Dems; NY Times: Trump Campaign Adviser Met with Russian Officials In 2016; DNC, Clinton Memo Comes to Light, Raises Questions on Primary; Clinton Campaign Manager Breaks Silence on DNC Rigging Allegations. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired November 3, 2017 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: -- with Russians and some hints at least that the strategy that Special Counsel Mueller may be following for the investigation.
The president has just landed in Hawaii on the way to Japan, the first stop in a marathon toward East Asia. Before he left, he again called for the Justice Department, his Justice Department, to investigate the rival he defeated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm really not involved with the Justice Department. I'd like to let it run itself, but, honestly, they should be looking at the Democrats, they should be looking at Podesta and all that dishonesty. They should be looking at a lot of things. And a lot of people are disappointed in the Justice Department, including me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: He also said he had no memory of the meeting in March last year with his foreign policy advisory panel at which George Padopoulos pitched a meeting with Vladimir Putin.
Joining us now is a Congressman Jim Himes of Connecticut and member of the House Intelligence Committee.
In terms of where we are tonight, I mean the end of this pretty incredible week, is there any more clarity on where this investigation is going in your mind?
REP. JIM HIMES, (D) INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Well, the main thing there is, is that there's new energy in the investigation, right? So if you think back to just 10 days ago, my Republican colleagues were already talking about trying to shut down the investigation because there wasn't enough there. Now, this is despite Don, Jr.'s meeting, you know, to the firing of Michael Flynn, all that we know. Then of course the bombshell ends about George Padopoulos.
And here's a guy who is pleading guilty, admitting to lying about contacts he had with the Russians for the purpose of helping Donald Trump. So that of course raises all kinds of questions about exactly what happened there, what the follow-up was, but it certainly gives new energy to all of the investigations in terms of finding out what happened.
COOPER: In terms of the investigation, though, I mean, we're really only seeing a tiny -- I mean the little tip of the iceberg here?
HIMS: Well, that's right. I mean -- and, you know, give Bob Mueller his due. He's kept very much under wraps. We didn't know until the -- until Paul Manafort walked into the courthouse and until the FBI released the George Padopoulos plea what was happening.
COOPER: Was Papadopoulos somebody who was on your radar?
HIMES: Well, interestingly enough, he was on our radar and in fact we had wanted to interview him and we ended up not interviewing him. And that may have been very deliberate on the part of the Department of Justice saying, hey, don't --
COOPER: Because he may be already been cooperating in that point?
HIMES: He was certainly cooperating at that point because he had been cooperating for months, which, of course points us to Chapter 2 here, that along with the fact that there are sealed indictments still at DOJ. The fact that, you know, presumably now, Paul Manafort, now that he knows what he had been charged with, has an incentive to come totally clean, something that the administration has not done today to come totally clean about his contact with the Russians if any.
And of course, you know, the president wasn't wrong when he said, you know, Paul Manafort's commercial dealings don't necessarily point to the campaign, but this guy has a long track record of working with pro-Russian entities and people in Ukraine. So we're going to want to know whether there was any follow on.
COOPER: We'd learned yesterday Carter Page, who gave hours of testimony, apparently had said -- told the committee that he had mentioned to Jeff Sessions at a meeting that -- or in passing that he was going to go to Russia. Are you willing to cut Jeff Sessions slack that this might have been just something said in passing and not something he should have remembered in his multiple testimonies?
HIMES: Well having been in a room when Carter Page said that -- I'll tell you, being in a room with Carter Page is really something. When the transcript comes out, because usually for these depositions, the transcript will be out --
COOPER: I've interviewed him. It's among the more unusual --
HIMES: Yes. And the fact that he would come before a congressional inquiry without a lawyer and to speak as freely as he did was really --
COOPER: It went on, from my understanding, is for almost six hours. HIMES: Or more. Yes, I know, he was there pretty much all day.
COOPER: And he didn't have an attorney?
HIMES: He did not have an attorney. He sort of tried to play one on TV and I would not having sat through that for seven hours. I would not recommend that anybody do that. The transcript will be interesting in that regard.
But to answer your question, just given the nature of Carter Page and given the nature of these kinds of receptions where you meet people is quite possible, that there was a quick exchange. Still somebody who is United States senator, who is a senior guy on a campaign, when they are sort of speaking about any sort of contacts, it probably pays to be a good deal more careful than Jeff Sessions ever was on this stuff.
COOPER: The -- as far as Jared Kushner and Donald Trump, Jr. are concern, do you think you're getting close to figuring out how they fit into all of this if it all?
HIMES: Well, I think so. And one of the other witnesses that we interviewed this week was one of the Russian individuals who is in that room and again respecting this process as we try to do, I don't want to get into the details of what was said, but, yes, this was the first time that at least on the House side, we got a first-person account of what occurred in Trump Tower when Don Jr. had that infamous meeting to try to get dirt on the Clinton administration.
COOPER: Congressman Himes, appreciate your time. Thanks very much.
HIMES: Thanks so much.
COOPER: Joining us now is Ryan Nobles who's covering the president in Hawaii.
Ryan, the president arrived short time ago. What did the have to say?
RYAN NOBLES, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, he spoke briefly with reporters on Air Force One, Anderson, and he described this trip to the Asia Pacific region as very important. He talked about the fact that they've altered his schedule a little bit. He's going to stay an extra day in the Philippines for the East Asia Summit, originally planning on only spending one day there. He described the second day as the more important day to reporters and that's part of why he decided he was going to stay a little bit longer.
[21:05:07] He also told reporters that he will represent the citizens of the United States well and he also reminded reporters that he's going to be spending quite a bit of time with them over the next couple of weeks. But this is a very important trip for the president.
He currently meeting with the Pacific command right now, getting a briefing from them about what's happening in the region then he will tour the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor and meet with veterans there. He will head to Tokyo tomorrow to begin this Asia trip. Anderson? COOPER: The White House in the past has, you know, seems to have been pleased by the president's past foreign trips. They feel he's benefited from those trips. In that sense, in some ways, it could possibly distract from a domestic news cycle. Is there expectation that will happen this time? I mean obviously, this is a very important trip for this president.
NOBLES: You would think, Anderson. And the president has performed pretty well on these foreign trips in the past, but leading up to this particular trip, he hasn't spent a whole lot of time talking about it, instead talking about the Democrats, talking about Hillary Clinton, talking about an election that's already taken place and spent very little time talking about this particular trip. That could change now that he's actually on the trip and he's going to be meeting with some of these very important foreign leaders, particularly when it comes to this issue of North Korea. This is something that the administration ranks as one of his top priorities.
He's going to be meeting with a number of the leaders in this region that are key to this particular issue, leaders from China, South Korea, and Japan. So the White House is hopeful that the president will walk away from this trip with some success, some measurable goals that they can point to, to show that this trip was worth it for the American people.
COOPER: Ryan Nobles, thanks very much. Appreciate that.
I want to bring in the panel. Abby Phillips, Alice Stewart, Congressman Hakeem Jefferies, Bryan Lanza, Jeffrey Toobin, and Michael Zeldin.
Jeff, we've learned Keith Schiller is going to be testifying. This is somebody who obviously has been with, not only President Trump since the beginning but with Donald Trump when he was a citizen for a very, very long period of time.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: He's what's known as the body person. I mean he is the person who was with a candidate, real estate developer, Donald Trump, and then President Trump for the first several months of his presidency.
So to the extent that the investigators want to know who was in the room, he's going to be an excellent source for that. And he will also testify about what he overheard because there's nothing privileged about anything he heard, so he is going to be very serious.
COOPER: But I mean this is somebody who's obviously very close to President Trump. I mean he has to tell the truth or else, if anything he says that contradict it there's problems.
COOPER: But it's got to be difficult for somebody who's been so close to somebody to then testify.
TOOBIN: Absolutely, but this week of all weeks, the week of George Papadopoulos is a week that you are reminded that lying to the FBI is a crime, and one that Robert Mueller is highly willing to prosecute. So, you know, if you're inclined to say things to -- in one direction or the other, I think the Papadopoulos example is probably going to -- it should steer you straight.
COOPER: Michael, as somebody who knows Robert Mueller, used to work with him, do you expect Mueller would want to talk to Keith Schiller?
MICHAEL ZELDIN, ROBERT MUELLER'S FORMER SPECIAL ASSISTANT AT DOJ: Yes, and Hope Hicks and Josh Raffel, who was the communications director for Jared Kushner. He's going to want to talk to everybody in that inner circle. We're moving in. We started with people who are no longer in the White House. Now we're going to people sort of in the White House. Now we're going to get to the key players like Trump eventually and Kushner, and they'll be under oath and they'll have to tell the truth.
TOOBIN: And what all these people will certainly be asked about is the talking points, the setup for the response when Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting in June of last year was disclosed because Mueller is obviously interested in whether a false story was played out.
COOPER: The Air Force One discussion?
TOOBIN: Correct. And all those people that we were just talking about, as I believe, were on Air Force One and participants in those conversations.
COOPER: We've got to take a quick break. We'll continue with the rest of the panel. Also later, how someone at Twitter pulled the plug on the president's Twitter account and exactly what happened with that? We'll explain ahead.
[21:13:04] COOPER: Talking about a landmark week in the Russia investigation as well as the president's wish to have some kind of Clinton uranium DNC investigation instead, now agree or disagree with the basis for it, it certainly speaks to White House Strategy for getting through the week and perhaps the weeks to come.
Back now with the panel. Congressman Jeffries, obviously, you're on the Intel Committee, you're on the Judiciary Committee. At this point, what are the kind of the major outstanding issues that you would like answers to that most interests you?
REP HAKEEM JEFFRIES, (D) NEW YORK: Well what's clear is we've got 17 different intelligence agencies that have concluded that Russia interfered with the election for the purpose of electing Donald Trump. We also now that at the same time that Russia was attacking our democracy, several high-level associates of Donald Trump seem to be in regular communication with these Russian spies. We also know that these Donald Trump allies and associates, folks like Paul Manafort, or Donald Trump Jr., or Jared Kushner, or Jeff Sessions, or Michael Flynn, all were untruthful about their contacts with Russia. And so the real question is, it's just one big coincidence or is this something more insidious that was involved? And the American peopled deserve answers to those questions. I'm confident that Bobt Mueller will get to the bottom of it, but you have to wonder, Anderson, why were so many folks closely associated with Donald Trump disingenuous less than forthcoming about their communications with Russian individuals when Russia was attacking our democracy.
COOPER: Bryan, do you think it's fair to say that?
BRYAN LANZA, FORMER DEPUTY COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, TRUMP CAMPAIGN: Let me first correct one statement. You have 17 agencies that said that Russia attempted to influence our election, they didn't actually say they influence the single votes. I think it's very important that we're clear with that.
JEFFRIES: I did say they interfered with our democracy --
JEFFRIES: -- to alter the result and to elect Donald Trump. That was the premise of the interference.
LANZA: They certainly attempted and I think it's up to debate if that attempt was effective.
[21:15:00] Now what we know is, you know, as this investigation goes forward. You know, I'm of a different opinion. I think it's actually coming close to an end. You're now getting towards the president's inner circle. You start on the outside and you go in. You now have Hope, you now have Keith, who are going to be interviewed when they come back.
There's not that many more people for Mueller to interview going forward. There's not 20 years of documents for Mueller to review. You're talking about a year and a half span of -- or six-month span of documents from the campaign, a year and a half span of documents between --
COOPER: You think he's only focused on campaign?
LANZA: No. I think he's probably focused on obstruction of justice as well, but I think, you know, if nothing took place in the campaign, obstruction of justice is irrelevant. And there's no injustice that took place, if there's no collusion that took place. And we're under -- you know, we still look at the facts and we can say there's only been one campaign that hired a foreign national, that actually colluded with the Russians, and that's been documented, that was the Clinton campaign.
You have a lot of conjecture with what we've done and what people try to muddy the waters, but we're getting close to the end. And we feel confident as the end approaches that there's going to be no demonstration of any inclusion took place.
COOPER: Michael, do you -- is this the beginning of the end? ZELDIN: No, I don't think so. Maybe the end of the beginning. But I think that there are three broad areas that Mueller's got. One is financial crime generally. And Manafort represented the first step in that.
COOPER: And that's -- not campaign related even going back, I mean --
ZELDIN: Correct. You've got Manafort representing step one of that. Probably Flynn in step two of that. Then they're going to look at the Trump business empire and the Kushner business empire and Cohen. So I think that there are a lots of pure financial crime stuff, maybe connected, maybe disconnected. Then you've got obstruction of justice, that's it's own sort of work stream, that's what, I think, Hope Hicks and these guys are relevant to.
And then you've got the broader conspiracy to interfere with the federal election and conspiracy to acquire and disseminate stolen computer-based information. That's the analytica stuff and the Roger Stone stuff and the Peter Smith stuff and all that stuff that still hasn't been clearly analyzed in Mueller's sort of determination about whether a crime has been committed. So I think that's wishful thinking and maybe on the pure simple collusion point, maybe they're closer. But --
COOPER: Alice, do you see it toward anything else?
ALICE STEWART, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I think we're just beginning to scratch the surface. I think -- I agree with Jeffery. What Muller did intentionally with the charge against George Papadopoulos was, look, you can't lie to me. You're not going to get away with providing false statements.
And as the inner circle gets closer and they start to be questioned, they understand Mueller's serious when he's asking these questions and they want them to be truthful. I think it's important we're following the money trail now. Things that happened before the campaign, but the real crux of what a lot of people are focused on is Russian collusion, and that's where we need to find out in that meeting back in March, what did George P. have the authorities to do -- did the president go along with it?
But here's what we do know happened. I talked with JD Gordon, he was in that meeting and has said, look, this young kid who was on the foreign policy team, he brought this up, tried to suggest a meeting between the president and Vladimir Putin. Jeff sessions says, absolutely not, that was shut down, it never came up again, but he took it upon himself to go around their backs and go to other people within the campaign and try to get this going.
So right now what we're seeing is younger people, they were not volunteers. These were unpaid people that were advisers on the foreign policy team between George P. and Carter Page. But who gave them the authority to move forward with these conversations? That's the question, that's the crux of whether or not there was any kind of Russian collusion. Right now, I just don't see it.
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I think one of the most fascinating questions about George Papadopoulos is why he was kept in the campaign circle even while he was freelancing and doing all of this stuff. I think that's a really important unanswered question, the fact that he was working with federal investigators for three months after his arrest. He's also an important data point.
And I think we should remember the May 5ht -- or the May 7th trial date is pretty far from now. It's about seven months into the future. A lot is going to happen in that time. And I think that, you know, contrary to Bryan's hope, I don't think -- and I think Alice is right. This is not the end. This is just the beginning because we have a lot of investigation that's left.
And frankly, I don't think that the Mueller team has been leaking profusely about what's going on. We didn't know who was being indicted until Monday morning. And there's -- and so there's likely a lot of investigation happening. We don't know how cooperative Papadopoulos was with the investigators. And there are others, people like Carter Page who seem very eager to talk to any and everybody.
COOPER: That's an understatement. But, Michael, you don't think it's actually possible that Flynn has been flipped?
ZELDIN: He has been quiet for a long time, and he has, I think, and Jeffrey can tell me if I got it right or wrong. He's got very similar problems to Manafort except the source of his funds is from Turkey.
[21:20:09] And I think that if he looks at the Manafort indictment and he says I didn't do right by my federal registration. I have the additional failure to do my SF 86 financial disclosure form correctly. I have income that I probably didn't declare on my taxes and I may have FBAR issues for accounts held overseas more than $10,000.
COOPER: And he has a son who's also not ---
ZELDIN: And the reason that he has the imperative to cooperate is he's got a son.
COOPER: All right, we're going to take a quite break. Much more to talk about. We're actually getting some breaking news right now, new information about what Carter Page told the House Intelligence Committee behind closed doors. That is next.
COOPER: Breaking news and what Carter Page told the House Intelligence Committee. "The New York Times" has it. Joining us now by phone is "Time" correspondent Mark Mazzetti who shares the byline.
Mark, this is significant because Carter Page has always denied in public interviews that he met with government officials in Russia. What's your reporting?
MARK MAZZETTI, THE NEW YORK TIMES: We're reporting that he told the House Intelligence Committee yesterday that he indeed did meet with Russian government officials. This was after repeated questions that were posed to him by the committee.
[21:25:10] And that he met them during his July 2016 trip to Moscow. As you pointed out, he's done numerous interviews including with your show, with "The New York Times", but he's never admitted to having any direct contact with Russian government officials.
COOPER: Right. He always says basically he was flown there I think by -- on economy seats by this university in order to give the commencement or I think it's a commencement address at this Russian university and that he really only met with scholars. So that -- this would be a pretty significant change in his story if he's now saying, oh yes -- I mean the -- there was always questions like, well, you know, a scholar in Russia, is that somebody who may be somebody who has connections with the Kremlin or intelligence services, but he now has said to the committee that he did in fact meet with -- was it more than one government official, do you know?
MAZZETTI: It's unclear. We -- when I spoke to him earlier today he did indicate that there was more than one official and including one who was, he said, senior. But identities are still unknown. The -- some of this emerged during the committee hearing yesterday when he was presented with an e-mail. He has given -- sent to the campaign after the trip sort of saying that he had meetings with officials and government, you know, business executives and legislators, and these were sort of his insights from the trip. So this came in partly because of production in e-mail in the course of the investigation.
COOPER: Is it -- do you know who he had sent the e-mail to in the Trump campaign after the trip?
MAZZETTI: We don't know that yet.
COOPER: OK. Because that -- in my memory, and this is just from my memory of my last strange interview with him, was he had said -- I think he had said that Corey Lewandowski or somebody on the campaign had -- he had asked for permission if it was OK to go and he'd been given permission as long as he wasn't representing himself as part of the campaign.
MAZZETTI: Right. And there's been a lot of scrutiny of this trip and a lot of different stories about the trip. And it's been really unclear -- you know, it's been hard to pin down exactly what happened and who he met and what became of it. And so I think this was significant because it is the first time that he's acknowledging that he did meet with Russian officials. And -- but there's obviously still more to learn.
COOPER: Mark Mazzetti, appreciate the reporting. Fascinating. Anoher detail.
Back now with the panel. Jeff?
TOOBIN: You know, can we just step back and ask how many members of the Trump campaign met with representatives of the Russian government? George Papadopoulos, Carter Page, Donald Trump, Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, Jeff Sessions. What's going on?
And as Congressman Jeffries just pointed out, when asked about it, virtually all of them, let's charitably say dissembled. Why were they all meeting with Russians? What did they all not tell the truth when asked about it?
COOPER: Congressman Jeffries?
JEFFRIES: Yes, so the legal -- Jeffrey is exactly right. I mean the legal process will run its course, but the average American can reasonably ask the question, why was so many high-level members and associates of the Trump campaign meeting with Russian governmental officials at the same time they were attacking our democracy and then lied about it?
And let's take a step back and catalog the individuals who were involved. Paul Manafort, the campaign chairman, Michael Flynn, the national security adviser, Jeff Sessions, the attorney general, Donald Trump Jr., the son, Jared Kushner, the son-in-law, Carter Page a foreign policy adviser, and, of course, there's the ever lovable Roger Stone who was involved in a variety of different ways in telegraphing that something was coming at the Clinton campaign. These are all extremely close Trump associates who've been disingenuous about their communications when Donald Trump continues to maintain nothing happened. It's all a hoax.
So why can't they just come clean?
COOPER: Michael -- I mean is it possible -- I mean you're not talking about this forward that there is another explanation to this? again, this is all just that -- I think you and I have talked about this, the idea that Trump didn't expect to win and was looking for possible future business dealings and Jared Kushner and Manafort also had financial interests in maintaining contacts with Russia, that a lot of these people had -- I mean Carter Page, you could argue as well, I guess, George Papadopoulos as well would have had some sort of -- even if he wasn't going to become it wouldn't have hurt to continue business in Russia?
ZELDIN: I think actually at the outset, a lot of the outreach to Russia was business driven. Trump wanting his hotel and Trump getting money from Russians when no one else would lend money to him. Donald Jr. gave a speech saying in their high-end priorities, New York, Russians were their source of funding. They have a lot of Russian oligarchs living in Trump Tower.
[21:30:04] I think there was a financial motive that a lot of these people have. Manafort had a financial motive. Flynn had a financial motive. And I thought then, perhaps, as we moved into March, April, May, June in this key summer period when things are looking a little bit better for them, they're thinking well, maybe we have a chance here, what is our sort of October surprise? What is it that we can do that will put us over the top that can't be responded to?
And I think the dirt slash, Hillary e-mails was that which they latched onto. And I think it was a fevered pace to try to acquire that information in order to take them politically where they didn't think they'd start at the --
TOOBIN: What you just outlined, there's no evidence for that yet.
ZELDIN: No, no. It's a theory.
TOOBIN: I mean, there may yet be but let's just, you know, stick to certain like what the -- I mean, that's a theory.
COOPER: We've got to take a quick break. We're going to continue this discussion when we come back. What Carter Page told me about this very trip when we spoke?
COOPER: Before the break, you heard a "New York Times" correspondent talking about Carter Page's testimony before the House Intelligence Committee and how he's account of who he met with differed from the one that he's been giving publicly on programs like this one. Listen to what he told me back in March.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Let's first start about what you said to Judy Woodruff and then what you said last night in MSNBC. Last month, you said Judy Woodruff, she asked you, did you have meetings last year with the Russian officials in Russia, outside Russia, anywhere. You said no meetings. You repeated it three times. We just played that. Then all of a sudden, last night, you say to Chris Hayes that you "Do not deny talking with Russia's U.S. ambassador over the summer at a conference at the Republican convention." That sounds like you were misleading to Judy Woodruff.
CARTER PAGE, FORMER TRUMP FOREIGN POLICY ADVISER: You know, Anderson, a great analogy is we -- you and I were members of the same health club here in New York previously. And I remember walking by you even though we didn't know each other. And I said, hi, Anderson. And you said, hello, and we, you know, had a nice little exchange for half a second. Now does that to you constitute a meeting?
COOPER: Well, I guess we met, but it's not a meeting.
PAGE: Exactly. Thanks a lot. So, I mean that's -- I will not talk about anything that happened in off-the-record meetings. There's a plenty of people in Washington, I know --
COOPER: Right. But when Judy said, did you have any meetings last year with Russian officials in Russia outside Russia, you could have just said, well, I, you know, I did attend a conference and was in a meeting with the Russian ambassador at the Republican National Convention, because that sounds like more than saying hello to him. [21:35:02] PAGE: It was literally -- you know, the amount of time you and I walk by each other and, you know, greeted each other, it's about -- again, I don't talk about off-the-record confidential information.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TOOBIN: I think the public has a right to know about this health club.
COOPER: I did not -- I was not even aware of this health club meeting. Apparently, he had introduced himself to me. I did not know that. But what the reporting is, that was about a meeting during the summer at the conventions. This is what he's now testified to and what he had denied on that same broadcast was that in his trip to Russia he had only met with scholars, with professors, with -- but not with government people. He's now, according to reporting by "The New York Times", has told that, in fact, he did meet with some government people.
PHILLIP: I mean, one -- this is the kind of thing that makes the White House nervous or at least ought to make some people in the White House nervous. When they see public things happen and it doesn't hit them directly, some of them say oh, it's fine. Like Paul Manafort, you know, that's not related to campaign activity. But then Carter Page goes into, you know, a sworn testimony environment and says something completely different from what he has been saying in the public, and that's where the danger zone is in this situation.
You have people who are going into -- you know, they are being sworn to tell the truth and they don't want to go to jail, so they're going to tell the truth --
COOPER: Well, the key part too also is that he was presented apparently by the House Committee with an e-mail that he had sent back to the campaign describing who he had met with and what's his perception to that.
STEWART: Right. And who that person was still remains to be seen. But he did, as you know, and you said ask permission to go and they said you can't go as someone from the campaign but feel free to go.
And the concern for him, and the I think the overall Trump team should be in this "New York Times" article, they say he has spoken with the FBI, he has appeared before the grand jury, has his story changed, and he tell them the same thing he told this House Committee this week. If his story has changed that significantly, we're going to have a George P. number two and that's just not a good situation to be in. And if a story has changed, then, I don't see any other outcome for him.
COOPER: Does it matter if, I mean, Carter Page by his own -- or I'm not even sure enough if this is what he has said in the multiple interviews, including in me, is that he's never met President Trump. He claimed in a press conference why he had a press conference in Moscow, I mean we're not clear, but apparently, there were reporters asking him questions, clearly as -- because he was a campaign adviser that he had been in meetings with Donald Trump.
He then now claims that he's -- he was using the term meetings in the Russian definition of the term meeting, meaning he went to, I think, a rally that the president spoke at. So he was in a auditorium with tens of thousands of other people and he was calling that being in a meeting with the candidate.
TOOBIN: Well that's what I call a meeting too. I went to a meeting with the New York Mets this summer, that was like during the game but I was like in the --
COOPER: I mean it is equivalent.
TOOBIN: Yes, that's right.
STEWART: Well, evidently, I had a meeting at the gym, so I think that --
LANZA: I think what's important is, you know, we're going to speculate, you know, who he communicated with, but what we do know from this testimony is that it appears he's telling the truth. And I think that's an example to everybody else who's going to go before any investigation that they be as transparent and truthful as possible.
TOOBIN: That's the -- you've got the impression from Carter Page that he was telling the truth?
LANZA: In this article.
TOOBIN: And you think this is the final version?
LANZA: Well, this is under oath.
TOBBIN: Oh, you mean Judy Woodruff is not under oath and Anderson is not under oath?
LANZA: Well, he's fully responsible for what he said to the congressional committee.
TOOBIN: If anyone actually believes that we have heard the last and final version of Carter Page, I think you are not paying full attention.
ZELDIN: Right. He's the meaning of is-is person in this campaign. He keeps changing what meeting is and who he's met with.
ZELDIN: He could have, could have.
COOPER: We're going to take a quick break. Much more ahead when we come back. New details tonight on the former DNC's -- DNC chairs claim that the Democratic primary election was rigged. We're going to hear from the Clinton campaign manager, Robby Mook, next.
[21:42:20] COOPER: Tonight, we're learning new details on claims that the Democratic primary was rigged in Hillary Clinton's favor. Now, this all stems from former DNC Chair Donna Brazile's new book. In an (INAUDIBLE) yesterday, she accuses the DNC and Clinton's campaign of entering to an unethical fundraising agreement that benefited Clinton. Tonight, CNN obtained a copy of that fundraising agreement. The document does not give the Clinton campaign outright authority to make staffing decisions for the DNC but does gives her some say in positions.
As all this news was breaking tonight, I spoke to Clinton's former campaign manager, Robby Mook. We spoke out for the first time since the allegations came to light. Here's part of what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: The memo said your campaign got to weigh in on who the communications director was before the general election. Was that fair?
ROBBY MOOK, FORMER CLINTON CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Well, first of all, Anderson, I just want to underscore some things Brianna (ph) said. First of all, when the DNC approached both campaigns about a joint fundraising agreement, they were broke. They weren't going to make payroll. They were not going to be able to transfer down money to the state parties to keep them operational. They were in a really bad place.
Both the Sanders campaign and the Clinton campaign signed joint fundraising agreement. So we both thought it was a good thing to sign up for. The only difference was Sanders didn't raise any money and then we did.
COOPER: From my understanding is that communications position actually had to be filled even before the primary races?
MOOK: Well, that's correct. I mean, this is a perfect example --
COOPER: So, that was just about the general election, right?
MOOK: Well, no, but -- it absolutely is. The purpose of the DNC while a primary is going on is to hold Republican candidates accountable and there was nobody filling that post. It was a big problem. It was something that any Democrat should have been worried about. That's why if you look in that memo, we explicitly set a date where they have to hire someone because we were distressed that there was no lead voice out there speaking out against Donald Trump and Ted Cruz and everybody else.
COOPER: Clearly, Jeff Weaver and the Sanders campaign believes that things were rigged against them.
MOOK: Well, here's what I'll say about this. You know, politics is politics. People have to go there, you know, go out there and say what they need to say. I think it is -- I think it's dangerous to say that this contest was rigged for the following reasons --
COOPER: Because Elizabeth Warren, by the way, is also saying that now.
MOOK: Well, I -- and Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are important members of our party. They're an important part of our politics. We can't make the case to working people in this country that we're going to be -- that we're going to stand up for them and we're going to fight for them if we're fighting each other. We can't do that.
Hillary Clinton won this primary with almost four million votes, that's a bigger lead than Barack Obama had over her when she lost and conceded in 2008. The idea that the DNC can rig a contest, frankly, is laughable.
And here's the last thing I'll say, you know, the caucus contests within the larger primary are the contests that are run by the party. You know, the primary elections are run by secretaries of state. Those contests, the caucuses that were run by the party, Bernie Sanders won overwhelmingly.
[21:45:12] So, if we look at what the party actually managed in this process, Bernie Sanders won those contests. I think we only won three of them and we barely won Iowa. So there's just no evidence to back this up. I understand though it's convenient, some people like, you know, they want to be angry at what's going on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Back now with the panel. Abby, what do you make of --
PHILLIP: I think this - I covered Hillary in the campaign and this is an issue that has dogged her for a long time. I think that you kind of have to separate a couple things here. There is this document that Donna Brazile referenced, which is not exactly as she characterized it. And it does give the Clinton campaign certain abilities to make certain demands.
But I actually think the more important thing is the money. The reason that document exists is because the Clinton campaign said, yes, we are going to fund the DNC through these joint committees, and Bernie had a joint committee but didn't use it. The Clinton campaign did and that gave them a lot of power over the institution. I don't think the document itself really tells us much about how that power was wielded. It might have been explicitly, it might have been because they said, oh, we have to hire a communications director.
But I think the underlying question that a lot of Bernie Democrats have is what were the implicit ways in which the Clinton campaign controlled the DNC? Were there efforts of people within the DNC to help bolster her standing in the primary?
(CROSSTALK) COOPER: But let me also just point Donna Brazile. I mean she's the one who threw somebody who doesn't work at CNN, got access to one town hall question and sent an e-mail which we know from WikiLeaks to someone in the Clinton campaign to give them a town hall question, which is completely unethical. She wasn't doing that for Bernie Sanders.
LANZA: Are we surprised that the Clinton campaign, you know, operated without ethics? They've been doing this their entire life.
LANZA: Let's see, how about a debate, you know, trying to do debates when nobody's paying attention. You know, I mean these are things that they purposely put their thumb on the scale to help Hillary --
PHILLIP: Well Bryan, this is exactly why it's important.
COOPER: Let him finish.
LANZA: They wanted the votes of the progressives but they didn't want their voices. And I think that's a problem with the Democratic Party.
TOOBIN: It's really wonderful to hear Trump campaign officials talk about the voice of progressives needing to be heard.
LANZA: We won Michigan, Wisconsin because we appealed to working class people. We were appealing to those votes and we were appealing --
COOPER: Congressman Jeffries, how do you see --
JEFFRIES: I mean I think -- well first of all, I got great respect for Donna Brazile and she's done a lot for the Democratic Party and for progressive politics over several decades. It's obviously a messy situation in terms of what happened or may have happened in 2016. And we need to figure out what occurred, why it occurred, and how we prevent it from ever happening again.
I think that will be important to try to bring about closure because we've got too many important issues to tackle on behalf of everyday Americans here in Washington D.C. and throughout the nation. And we cannot be successful in the midterm elections if we're fighting amongst each other when we have a president, Donald Trump, that many of us believe, is an existential threat to our values --
COOPER: Does anybody really believe the DNC did now want Hillary Clinton to be a candidate?
STEWART: No, that's clear. And look, what we takeaway from what Donna has written is that this was an unethical joint fund raising agreement. There were certain stipulations put in that would help Hillary Clinton that weren't there for Bernie Sanders. But at the end of the day, the reason this was done, the DNC was in bad financial straits. They needed influx of cash, and Hillary was in a position to do that and that was how the JFA benefited her.
The key is, the takeaway from Donna was that this JFA, the joint fundraising agreement was unethical but in no way did the DNC tip their hands on the scales for her. I find that hard to believe. If they're coordinating with fundraising, that is a finger on a the scale --
TOOBIN: This is actually the document. It gives Hillary Clinton the right to participate in the naming of the director of communications for the DNC. Can anyone here at this table name anyone in history who has been the director of communications for the DNC? This is a minor job, an unimportant person. And the fact that she got a voice, not even the chance to name them, but -- I mean it was -- it's so minor. What advantage did she get from this --
PHILLIP: ... we should just make it clear. The JFA is not in and off itself an unethical agreement. Bernie signed an identical JFA with the DNC. They just didn't use it. So they had no financial leverage over the institution. But I also think there are a lot of Democrats who throughout the campaign believed that at the very top people like Debby Wasserman Schultz were actually Clinton supporters, wanted her to win. That's incompletely separate issue.
[21:50:00] I think you can litigate that separately. The JFA itself -- I think that agreement is in and off itself pretty boilerplate. They've been doing it and they did it in 2012. Bernie did it in 2016.
COOPER: Why does Donna Brazile say that it was --
PHILLIP: I think this is exactly why there are a lot of people raising questions about the conclusion that Donna came to. I think the facts out there, you know, it's sort of weird that they would agree to do this -- to do the separate agreement which is not the JFA by the way, the separate agreement. It's weird that they would agree to do that but I don't see any clear evidence that that separate agreement led to tipping the election. It's just not --
JEFFRIES: And I think we have to separate things. So you had the process and what was taking place underneath the roof of the DNC, and that's one thing. But you've got primaries and caucuses in 50 states. And our election rules provide that those primaries and caucuses are largely run on a state by state by state basis. And there's no evidence that the DNC reached in artificially shaped the results.
Bernie Sanders won some states. Hillary Clinton won more. Bernie Sanders won some caucuses. Hillary Clinton won some caucuses. There's no evidence that there was any outside interference in the actual electoral results.
LANZA: I just find it funny. I mean, you know, half an hour ago you were saying that the Russians change the votes to help it for President Trump.
JEFFRIES: That's not what I said.
LANZA: You implied it.
JEFFRIES: There's an ongoing criminal investigation by someone who is well respected by Democrats, Republicans --
LANZA: I just think it's funny they're talking about, you know, there was no votes changed because of this agreement in the Democratic Party. Here's what happened is the Democratic Party shut out Bernie Sander voters. you know, the reason Bernie Sanders didn't participate --
JEFFRIES: How did they do that?
LANZA: They didn't encourage the debates. They limited the debates --
TOOBIN: That doesn't stop anyone from voting.
TOOBIN: Because they had a debate on Saturday.
LANZA: You want -- don't you want access? Don't you want a debate? Don't you want winning of the policies of ideas or do you want to have nothing?
LANZA: They absolutely shut down the process for Bernie Sanders voters. They absolutely did.
TOOBIN: By having a debate on Saturday is shutting down the process.
LANZA: They are limiting who can participate by whose paying attention to the race. We both know that the activities driven from debates, people are watching debates, they realize there's an election around the corner.
TOOBIN: I find your sympathy for Bernie Sanders voters so touching.
PHILLIP: You got to be fair. Bernie --
PHILLIP: Bernie supporters were always more enthusiastic than Clinton supporters for a vast majority of the campaign. It's hard for me to believe that there were some efforts to suppress their support for Bernie. I think they were pretty enthusiastic.
STEWART: And they're also -- as the polls went on, the more time she spent away from camera and out of the limelight, her poll numbers went up. The more she was in front of people, her poll numbers went down. So from the DNC standpoint, the less they could put her and him in the spotlight because he did well than more people saw him, more people warmed up to him, more people wanted to vote for him, they wanted to keep her down.
COOPER: We've got to leave there.
Coming up, the 11 minutes on Twitter silence heard around the world. The Ridiculist just next.
[21:57:03] COOPER: Time now for the Ridiculist. And tonight, we've got to talk about the 11 minutes last night when people saw this when they tried to check the president's Twitter. Now Twitter says, "Through our investigation, we have learned that this was done by a Twitter customer support employee who did this on the employee's last day. We are conducting a full internal review."
Now, we don't know much about this employee, anything really except that he or she kind of went out in a blaze of glory or shame, depending on your political perspective. A lot of people on Twitter drew a parallel to Peggy Olson striding out of the office smoking a cigarette on mad men. But we all know the goal standard of quitting with flare is from the movie "Office Space".
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought I remembered you saying that you wanted to express yourself.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. You know what? Yes, I do. I do want to express myself. OK? Now, I don't need 37 pieces of flare to do it. All right? There's my flare, OK? And this is me expressing myself. OK? There it is. I hate this job.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: For a spectacular quits in real life there was, of course, the flight attendant who had finally had it with rude passengers, grabbed a few beers from the beverage cart, deployed the evacuation slide and slid right on out of there.
Then there was the shift manager, one of those KFC Taco Bell hybrids who quit after being denied the 4th of July off after working 22 straight days. Smiley face I think is kind of a nice touch.
And who can forget the reporter in Alaska who quit live on the air to pursue her passion of medical marijuana advocacy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And as for this job, well not that I have a choice but I [ Beep ] it I quit.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right, we apologize for that. We'll be right back. Pardon for us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Wow. That's painful. You can put it bluntly or you can strike a different note like this guy who quit his job at a hotel.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Guys, all of you out, right now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jared, I'm here to tell you that I'm quitting.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: The live band, that was pretty unique. But it is a long held truth that music makes everything better including dancing your way to freedom.
(START VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I quit, I quit, I quit, I quit, I quit, I quit, I quit, I quit, I quit. Oh, yes, you can take this job and, you know, you can take this job and you know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Was he in the middle of the country? Was he -- what job was he quitting out in the middle of the forest?
So to the Twitter employee who on your last day did what many thought was impossible, whoever you are, you've earned a spot on the list of the all time quit stories and on the Ridiculist.
[22:00:00] That does it for us. Time to turn things over to Don Lemon. CNN TONIGHT starts right now.