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Mueller Charges 13 Russians with Interfering in 2016 Election; Kislyak: Indictment of 13 Russians a "Hunting Spree Designed to Harm U.S.-Russian Relations; New Details on Florida Shooting Suspect; State Rep. Moskowitz Talks School Shooting, Anti-Gun Rallies; Florida Shooting Compared to Columbine; Trump Denies Affair with former Playboy Playmate. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired February 17, 2018 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[15:00:00] UNIDENTIFIED HOST: For Steve Smith and Andre Iguodola (ph), enjoy the weekend. And we will see you next time.
ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: You're in the CNN NEWSROOM. Hello, on a Saturday. I'm Ana Cabrera, in New York. I appreciate your being with me.
We begin with President Trump's national security adviser declaring proof that the Russian involvement in the 2016 election is so great that it cannot be denied.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEN. H.R. MCMASTER, WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: As you see with the FBI indictment, the evidence is now really incontrovertible and available in the public domain.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: But this admission only confirms what the intelligence agencies have been saying for more than a year now, but now the special counsel has indicted 13 Russians and three Russian entities for meddling in the election. This indictment details how they did it. An unprecedented scheme to influence the presidential race, one that is thoroughly research and plotted and executed over the course of years.
CNN crime and justice reporter, Shimon Prokupecz, has read through the 37-page indictment.
Shimon, this reveals that the Russians were running a shadow campaign without the voters realizing it, because it was so incredibly sophisticated and research. They Russians actually came here to the U.S. for recon, right?
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME & JUSTICE REPORTER: Yes, and the traveling and the trip occurred back in June of 2014. So this is going to tell you how long this operation was ongoing, and how much time they had spent. And it was about 10 states or so. The indictment says they traveled to California, Illinois, Texas and even traveling to New York. All in an effort to the gain intelligence and meet with people, start organizations to make contacts with people all in the end because they were trying, beginning the operation to meddle in the election.
CABRERA: Once they got all of the intel, they went back to Russia and then they basically set up their scheme like one would a business.
PROKUPECZ: Yes, and that is what is so amazing about this. The level of detail that we have learned in the indictment s is certainly stunning. Because what with have learned is that this group built an entire operation like a business and they had graphics department and data analysis department which basically researched the political system, and how we can influence, and the hot button issues that would with any candidate talk about, like immigration, border security and all of those things that they had spent time researching. It is truly stunning how much work went into this operation.
CABRERA: And I'm looking through the indictment. I mean, they are even capture some of the messaging that they put out. These online posts, and how they paid for the political ads and orchestrated the rallies here in the U.S. as the election got close closer. And it seemed to all be with one goal in mind to sow discord and stop the Hillary Clinton.
PROKUPECZ: Yes, and this is the goal in the end. And the intelligence officers have said so much. And according to the indictment, and let me read you this one part where it says that, "The specialists" -- the folks in the organization -- "The specialists were instructed to post content that focused on," quote, "politics in the USA and to use any opportunity to criticize Hillary and the rest." And then in parentheses, as you see there, "except Sanders and Trump. We support them."
In the end, Ana, and this is what it became, an anti-Hillary campaign and then it became a pro-Trump move by the Russians here.
CABRERA: Shimon Prokupecz, thank you for your investigation.
President Trump, before leaving for Florida yesterday, said the timeline of the investigation mentioned in the Mueller indictment is prove that he did nothing wrong. In his exact words, in a tweet, he says, "Russia started their anti-U.S. campaign in 2014, long before I announced I would run for president. The results of the election were not impacted. The Trump campaign did nothing wrong. No collusion."
CNN correspondent, Boris Sanchez, is in West Palm Beach, Florida, near where the president is spending his weekend.
So, Boris, the president took to Twitter again, applauding a "New York Post" article that said he, quote, "closes the case." How does he come to the conclusion that it is a case closed?
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the president is listening to favorable interpretation of what Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, said. But if you recall, he said in this indictment there are no Americans named that wittingly complied with the Russian attempts to interfere in the election. Rosenstein said that the counsel investigation is still ongoing, and he did not rule out any potential indictments in the future. So this, by no means, rules out that Trump campaign officials colluded with the Russians. And it brings up a number of questions especially what George Papadopoulos or Michael Flynn told Robert Mueller and how they ultimately came to plea deals and information they provided to the special counsel.
The president went further in another tweet just a short while ago, writing, quote, "Funny how the fake news media does not want to say the Russian group was formed in 2014, long before my run for president. Maybe they knew that I was going to the run even though I didn't know."
There are number of things in Trump's past casts doubt of him not knowing that he would run for president, and especially since he applied for a trademark of his key phrase "Make America Great Again" in November of 2012. And in September of 2014, he tweeted, "I wonder if I run for president, will the haters and the losers vote for me knowing that I will Make America Great Again. I say they will."
But aside from that, Donald Trump has been hinting that he will run for president at different stages going back to before 1992. Aside from that, we should not that nowhere in the president's tweets or the statement from the White House yesterday do they acknowledge that the indictment specifically says that the Russians favored Donald Trump to win the election and tried to disparage Hillary Clinton, something that the White House has yet to say. Also, we get to see if the White House specifically acknowledged any effort to deter Russia from meddling in the elections. Again, and one coming up in a few months, the midterms in November -- Ana?
[15:06:48] CABRERA: And that is focusing forward. We know they are working on it.
Thank you, Boris Sanchez, in West Palm Beach, Florida.
And now let's get in our senior political writer, Juana Summers, also a CNN contributor who wrote a book about the FBI under Robert Mueller, Garrett Graff, and CNN national security analyst and former CIA operations chief, Steve Hall.
Juana, as Boris is pointing out, the White House is taking essentially a victory lap when the indictments came down, and should they?
JUANA SUMMERS, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL WRITER: It is incredibly premature for the White House, and this is why. If you listened to what the deputy general attorney Rod Rosenstein repeatedly said in this indictment, and this investigation is ongoing and not a done deal and potentially more indictments that come out and the special counsel is speaking to a number of people. He spoke recently to Steve Bannon we know. We don't know what is going on behind the scenes at the White House, and if there any collusion we don't know because the investigation is not finished.
CABRERA: And, Garrett, it is what is left out that makes you wonder what else has him cooking, because it does not touch on the aspects of the Mueller investigation, and people like Flynn and Papadopoulos have already pleaded guilty and are cooperating with Mueller.
GARRETT GRAFF, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Right. And we have not seen any public sign that Michael Papadopoulos or Michael Flynn traded as far of the plea deal and we haven't seen any steps in the investigation publicly about the active cyber intrusions into the DNC and the DCCC state-level voter Web sites, John Podesta's e-mail, and all of these things that the Russian intelligent services were separately involved in. This is an indictment solely focus canned effectively on the Internet research agency run by a top Kremlin oligarch.
CABRERA: Steve, what we have learned, in the indictment, as Shimon laid out, is this new or how they have always operated, and we just didn't know about it?
STEVE HALL, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Ana, I think it is much more of the latter. There are standard tools that the Russian intelligence services -- and to be clear, though this does go back to Internet organization founded in St. Petersburg by an oligarch, there's no doubt that the Russian intelligence services were involved in this. It's more likely this was a cover to provide them additional deniability. But the basic craft they were using is common to what we are referring to as illegal support officers. These are the types of the skills that you need to teach people like the agents who came over here to the United States so that they don't get caught, false personalities, and getting valid Social Security numbers, that sort of thing, which enables you to accomplish --
CABRERA: Steeling peoples' identity essentially.
GRAFF: Yes, those are all thing. Recall in 2010, we had the illegals. Remember that group of the Russian spies rounded up. And they were using the -- the guys that support that type of operation, how you live here and work here in the United States as a Russian, but as essentially a secret spy to do so, they are support officers. The Russians know how to do that very well. And importantly, none of the tools will change as we go into the 2018 elections or the future elections, and all of the tool the box is available to them for future operations in the tool box if they choose to use them.
[15:10:20] CABRERA: Garrett, you have written a book on Mueller and how he has conducted himself on top of the FBI and what do the indictments tell you about his operation in this investigation?
GRAFF: Well, I think that it is more evidence of one of what has been consistent mantra since this investigation began, which is that Bob Mueller knows a lot more than we think that he does, and that he is running a leak-free ship. I mean, this indictment yesterday literally came out of nowhere. And again, we saw really an instant unsealed guilty plea. Ad sort of lost are amidst of this indictment yesterday was news that a California man, who had been running an operation involved in providing the fake identities for some of the Russian agencies, had pleaded guilty and was cooperating with Mueller. Then there was also another sort of the minor note yesterday that was among the bombshells that the Mueller special counsel team objected, the latest Paul Manafort bank fraud that he may have been involved in. So this is an investigation that is very much ongoing. And Mueller is going the follow wherever it leads. And he knows a lot more and further along than we think that he is.
CABRERA: And, Steve, were you surprised with the detail in this indictment and what it may reveal of the U.S. intelligence operations?
HALL: Not really. Because what it shows is what these Russian agents did, and what they were attempting to do, which is essentially as somebody else was mentioning it, essentially setting up the independent entity to become involved politically in the United States. So it laid out how those things were done. What it is careful not to lay out, which is what the FBI and the CIA and any good intelligence or law enforcement agency will do is how they obtained it, collection via intercepted e-mails or their own agents telling them. All of that remains, as it should be, classified and secret because, of course, we want to try to catch them again if they try it in 2018 or in the future.
CABRERA: Juana, with respect to the indictment and what it may prove as far as the Mueller probe, how will it impact society, because clearly the Russians exploited the culture wars in the U.S. as the documents reveal.
SUMMERS: That is incredibly clear and striking to me. What we are seeing is an extended campaign to exploit the political divisions of the country. For example, aiming to discourage African-American voters from going to the polls. Look, we saw, according to the very detailed indictment, that the goal was to elect Donald Trump president and damage the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton. In order to do so, they seized on the biggest riffs of the country. And this is something that could get lost in the conversation, but it should be incredibly troubling to people on both sides of the aisle.
CABRERA: And, Steve, you are talking about the upcoming elections and not only just for the U.S., but other democratic societies, looking at Germany's elections and France and the Russian meddling. And are they suddenly soft targets on the international warfare?
HALL: Well, Ana, this is the new age of the Russian active measures operations. They have strived to take advantage of the open societies, newspapers, that sort of thing. But now in the age of the social media and cyber operations, they have amazing capabilities, which they themselves are now referring to as hybrid warfare. They know that you can't win they nuclear war, and they can't win the conventional war against the United States or the West, but what you can do is to do significant damage in the non-traditional ways, like we have seen in the attacking our election, and in the other European elections that you have mentioned. So I believe that we will see not only here in the United States, but in Europe a lot more of this in the future -- Ana?
CABRERA: How do you combat it without censoring or restricting some of the liberties? HALL: That is the really tough thing. I only hope that we have a lot
of people in the government taking a look at it, although the signs are not necessarily positive that it is happening. You know, you can look to shore up and defend in your electoral system the parts of the system that touch the Internet and try to educate people as to what fake Russian propaganda news things sort of look like, and do all of those thing, but it is an uphill battle and a new part of the culture of the society that we will have to develop these defenses really internally and each individual citizen is going to have to work to understand what is going on and where the information is coming from.
[15:15:11] CABRERA: Steve Hall, Juana Summers, Garrett Graff, thank you all for the conversation. I appreciate it.
Still to come, this meme, it is one of many used to inflame U.S. discontent leading up to the 2016 election, brought to you by Russia. We will take you inside of the troll farm that created this.
You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM. Don't go anywhere.
CABRERA: So think back to the contentious campaign that led up to the presidential election in 2016, and Facebook and Twitter became toxic with the displays of physical poison never seen before in modern U.S. elections. The Mueller indictment says this is by Russian's designs and some of the most divisive means were designed and delivered through the fake social media accounts by a Russian troll farm.
Today, the Russian ambassador to the U.S. is calling the indictment of 13 individuals and three Russian entities is a hunting spree that is designed to harm Russian relations.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[15:20:16] SERGEY KISLYAK, FORMER RUSSIA AMBASSADOR TO THE U.S.: I have seen so many allegations and indictments in the recent years towards the Russians. Our American colleagues are launching a kind of the hunting spree throughout the world of Russian computer wizards.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Matthew Chance is going to join us from Moscow.
Sergey Kislyak is scoffing at those claims in the indictment, but you have more revelations. So tell us more about this so-called Russian troll factory.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Kislyak is there repeating the official line, that whenever confronted with the allegations, deny, deny and deny again. But you are right, one of the really interesting things about the indictment is the way it sets out in black and white and very clear terms, detailed terms exactly the process by which it is alleged that Russia meddled in the U.S. presidential race and in the U.S. political system, by, you know, having individuals pose as American citizens, insert themselves into the blogs and the chat rooms to try to skewer and divert the debate there. Even organizing contentious protests about hot political issues that are already dividing the United States. So it is an organization that, according to the indictment, which was essentially set up in order to sow division in the U.S. and other countries. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHANCE (voice-over): In May 2016, a small group of anti-Islamic protestors gathered outside of a Muslim community center in the U.S. city of Houston.
CHANCE: Across the street, a county rally formed, and the two sides hurled abuse in a stark illustration of American division and discord.
The organizers were thousands of miles away in St. Petersburg, Russia, working for secretive organization which, according to a recent U.S. indictment, had a strategic goal to sow discord in the American political system.
Its name, the Internet Research Agency, dubbed the Kremlin Troll Factory by former employees who smuggled out these rare photos.
In 2016, CNN spoke to a Russian journalist who went undercover as a troll there.
UNIDENTIFIED RUSSIAN JOURNALIST (through translation): The elections are a key aspect of the Russian Kremlin and that is why the troll factories are working, I have no doubt.
CHANCE: It was during the Russian-backed rebellion in Ukraine in 2014 that evidence first appeared of pro-Kremlin troll factories fill with bloggers paid to spread false information online about the conflict.
This is the Russian oligarch who, according to the indictment, bankrolled the operation, known as Yevgeny Prigoshin, known as Putin's chef, because one of his companies provides catering services to the Kremlin, and he has denied any guilt.
"Americans are very impressionable people," he told Russia state media. "They see what they want to see. I have great respect for them. I'm not at all upset that I'm on this list. If they want to see the devil, let them see one."
But it is the devilish work of the Kremlin's Internet trolls and the social divisions they have incited that the U.S. has now moved firmly against.
(END VIDEOTAPE) CHANCE: And, Ana, one more denial from the Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, who was speaking at a security conference at Munich, Germany, today. He says quite simply, "Until we see the facts, everything else is just blather."
So a firm rejection there by Russian officials -- Ana?
[15:24:24] CABRERA: It is all fascinating.
Matthew Chance, in Moscow, thank you very much.
Up next, more on our other story of the day, the mass shooting in that Florida high school, including what we are learning about the gunman, the disturb thing online post, and the hints that he gave that one day he would be a killer.
You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
CABRERA: Now, this is chilling. A 19-year-old who slaughtered 17 people at the Florida high school this week used to introduce himself as, "Hi, I'm a school shooter." That is what someone who knows him tells CNN. His social media accounts are full of pictures of him posing with guns and knives as hints of a future violent act are beginning to emerge.
CNN senior investigative correspondent, Drew Griffin, is in Parkland, Florida.
Drew, you have been talking to people who live near him or knew him. What are you learning about this disturbed person?
[15:29:48] DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Ana, beyond the mass shootings that we have done, we have found so many warning signs in this one. The police called to the Cruz home many, many time, talking with the Cruz family about Nikolas and his mental illness, the fact that he was under behavioral treatment, seeing a therapist. All the warning signs were there. The school knew it. The kids knew it.
And one of his neighbors told us that it was so very, very obvious that if you just spent a few seconds talking with him, you would have been able to determine that this guy had no business owning a gun. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL GOLD, NEIGHBOR OF FLORIDA SHOOTING SUSPECT: Why was he ever allowed the buy a gun? That is crazy. I mean, if I would have known that he had a gun -- I would have taken it. I would have personally taken action, and I would have, you know, I would have taken the gun from him. He had too much of a temper. He would break thing, and he'd be the last person who should ever have a weapon.
(END VIDEO CLIP) GRIFFIN: There have been many, many warning signs, but what may have been a breaking point occurred last November when Cruz lost his mother in a somewhat very quick illness. She died, and Nikolas had to call Paul Gold and ask for a ride to the funeral. And there were four people attending the funeral. We have a picture of Cruz there at the funeral. And those are his brothers' hands putting the urn of their mother into the resting place. But just four people. It was Cruz, and younger brother, Zachary, and two former neighbors. That, Paul Gold said, that hit Nikolas Cruz hard.
While everyone is trying to deal with all of this mess, the latest from the sheriff's department is that, Ana, they are looking through the electronic devices, and the phone, but as we reported, we knew what this kid was thinking based on his social media postings.
ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Drew, this this is so sad and troubling on so many levels. Thank you for the reporting.
I want to talk about the victims and the lives impacted the most. Students who went to the school, and the families who lost loved ones.
Powerful emotions on display today near Ft. Lauderdale, and anguished voices calling for change.
This is Parkland's Vice Mayor Stacy Kagan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STACY KAGAN, PARKLAND VICE MAYOR: We have had too many national tragedies across our country. And it is time for this to stop.
KAGAN: February 14th, 2018, at 2:35 p.m. has changed our city and our community and our country forever. This city of Parkland and this city of Coral Spring, we are going to be united as one, because our children come from both of those communities forever.
Talk to your kids. Spread the word, this can never happen again. We need safety in our schools. We need unity. We need to fight together and make this stop.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Joining us now is Florida State Representative Jared Moskowitz, a Parkland native who graduated from Stoneman Douglas High School in 1989.
Sir, thank you for joining us.
You said that nothing will change after this massacre, and do you still feel that way because of the rally?
STATE REP. JARED MOSKOWITZ, (D), FLORIDA: Thank you, Ana. And I am becoming more hopeful each day. We have three weeks left of session in Tallahassee. My conversations with the governor and the speaker and the folks in the Senate, we are currently looking at putting together what I think is going to be a bold proposal. But obviously, until that happens, and until it passes committee, and until it gets on the floor of the House on the floor of the Senate and passes, I'm still pessimistic. I am pessimistic because we have seen in this country children, babies, die at Sandy Hook and nothing changed after that. And maybe it is different for Parkland and maybe it will be different. Maybe the fact that it happened in the safest town in the state of Florida brings it home for many people. Maybe it is because these students are so well spoken and know exactly what is wrong with the system. And they want to come to talk to their elected leaders. Maybe it is going to be different. And maybe it is different, because we are seeing more images than we have seen before because of the technology. I am hopeful that it is going to be different, but until it is different, it is the same.
CABRERA: I want to ask you more about what the possibilities are moving forward in a moment.
But first, take a moment and think about these victims. And I know that you have attended some of the vigils and the funerals. How has this experience changed you?
MOSKOWITZ: These funerals are things they have never seen before. I was with the victims' families in a room for six hours while they waited for law are enforcement to come in and let them know that their son or daughter was not at the hospital, but that they were in the building still. And I thought that it was a hallowing experience but being at a funeral where parents are putting their teenaged son or daughter in a pine box to be put into the ground and seeing how angry they are, and their frustration and knowing in the back of my mind that this system completely failed them and their children. All systems on this failed. The fact that we had warning signs, the fact that he could go buy a weapon, the fact that the school board knew about it, the sheriff's office, the FBI. And to hear parents say, that the only thing that they did wrong was send their kid to school -- I mean, what does that say to parents across the country that we can't send our children to school. We live in the most powerful country in the world and the most powerful military, we talk about it in Foreign Relations, but the schools are not safe. It is a complete and utter failure. And what I have seen at the funerals, I hope to never see it again. I hope this never comes to another town in America again.
[15:36:22] CABRERA: Amen to that.
I want you to hear what Florida Governor Rick Scott said here on CNN. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICK SCOTT, (R), FLORIDA GOVERNOR (via telephone): Everything is on the table. All right. I am going to be looking at every way that we can make sure that the kids are safe. It is a lot of things. It is looking at, who should have guns. Should individuals with mental illness have guns? Should, what can we do to create more safety in our schools? What can we to make it easier for our children and make them feel comfortable to report things? It is not one thing. It is all of these things put together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: So, Representative, when pressed on whether he will look at gun laws, he says that everything is on the table. And you just mentioned that there are talks going on at the state capital right now about what "everything on the table" might look like. Can you fill us in on what is being discussed?
MOSKOWITZ: Well, Ana, everything is on the table. They are looking at everything. They are looking at mental illness, and they are looking at school hardening, and they are looking at what to do here at Marjory Stoneman Douglas with the building, with the memorial, and how law enforcement communicates.
One thing after 9/11, departments started to communicate with one another, and the fact that the BSO and the school board and the FBI were not communicating about the same person. They each had pieces of the puzzle, but they could not put it together because they were not talking. That's being looked at, but most importantly, they are look at gun control and things to do to make sure that A.R.-15s don't wind up in the hands of teenagers. If you can't drink in the country and you can't rent-a-car, maybe you should not have a A.R.-15. So while the talks are going on, I don't want to talk about specific proposals, but what I will say is that those discussions are ongoing. We have three weeks three weeks of session to get it done, and then we won't talk about policy in Tallahassee until after the 2018 election. And I can't look these parents in the face and tell them that we did nothing. I refuse to do so. So I will try my best to work with people, and people on my side of the aisle, and people on the other side of the aisle. Because at the end of the day, whether you are a Republican or Democrat, we are parents. Parents must try and triumph over the party. That is the only way to keep our kids safe in school.
CABRERA: Thank you so much Florida State Representative Jared Moskowitz. And we will check back with you to see where things go. Thank you so much.
MOSKOWITZ: Thank you very much.
[15:39:11] CABRERA: Our condolences to you and everybody in the state.
Coming up next, a Columbine shooting survivor reacts to the Florida shooting incident. I will ask Sean Graves about his message for the students of Parkland High as they get ready to return to the site of the nightmare beyond comprehension.
CABRERA: Lunchtime, shots ring out and students dive for cover cowering under tables and rushing into classrooms and praying for their lives to be spared. That was the scene nearly 20 years ago at Columbine high school. Sadly, as we learned again this week, the scenes, the images have become all too familiar. My next guest has been through it himself. He was shot six times at
Columbine High School and spent years in a wheelchair and endured numerous surgeries. He is a survivor and a fighter, and now a father himself.
Sean Graves is joining us now.
Sean, thank you for taking the time this weekend.
When you learned of this shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in south Florida, what went through your mind?
SEAN GRAVES, SURVIVED SCHOOL SHOOTING AT COLUMBINE HIGH SCHOOL: I would like to say it was shock, but unfortunately that wasn't the emotions that I had. I kind of felt like in this case, this one rang differently for me personally in at least I know a few other people that it did the same. This one hit close to home for some reason.
[15:45:00] CABRERA: What do you mean by that? How does something like this affect you personally? Do you have flashbacks, or what struck you? GRAVES: Well, this one, and the reason it struck differently I think
is because a lot of the scenes in the media or the way even the media is carrying this one, and we are all seeing it through the televisions and through the media outlets on the social and it does not matter, and the views and the scenes that they are showing are similar to what we saw and experienced at Columbine.
CABRERA: Isn't that the truth. We have some video even to put up to show the similarities to speak of and even what we saw at home when Columbine was unfolding, and so similar the pictures when you look there and side-by-side and that struck me, too, Sean. Because I am from Littleton and I remember Columbine. And now too many kids are having to cope right now with what you personally also experienced. Help me to understand what they might be going through.
GRAVES: A lot of it is going to be fear. They are going to be going through anger, and they are going to want to know why it happened. That is the biggest question that they will be running through their mind over and over is why? Why me? Why was I the one who survived or whatever the case may be. And they just, they have to understand that they can't keep asking themselves the why part. They have to start looking towards the future. And in order to move on in the future, you can't live in fear. You can't let the fear control you.
CABRERA: How did you get through it?
GRAVES: Trial and error. A lot of what I went through. We were as I always like to joke, we were the originals, and for me, we didn't really have the resources available, because this wasn't one of those ongoing occurrences, so, for us, we had to just learn and adapt on our own, and luckily, through trial and error and a lot of frustration, I was able to come to the conclusion that in order for me to move forward I had to first forgive, and once I was able to forgive, start looking to the positives and start looking to the future. And then in order the do so, I had to start looking forward to the fear. I won't say it is gone, but I don't focus on it, and it is not the -- you are looking towards the positives and look towards what you can do to help others if that is what you want to do.
CABRERA: You are a strong man and now you are a father, yourself, and do you worry are about your children's safety when they are going to be going back to school?
GRAVES: Very. Very much so. In fact, for us, we like are I said, we are the originals, and so we weren't looking for anything, and there weren't any threats, and we didn't know that is something to be concerned about. In fact, I walked up to the shooter, and we were walking towards them, because we assumed it was a joke. But my daughter be raised a little bit differently, and she going to have to be looking towards how to identify a threat and what to do once the threat has been established.
CABRERA: Is there anything that you want to say to the students who will have be heading back to school on Monday?
GRAVES: Don't take advantage of the situation, because this is a very serious situation. And what I mean by that, if you are going to have people who are going to, to want to make you think -- I'm sorry, this is --
CABRERA: It is OK. Take your time.
GRAVES: Don't -- yes, just, ugh. I'm sorry.
CABRERA: It is OK.
GRAVES: It is difficult especially with everything on television today. Just remember your classmates. And remember those who have fallen, because they're going to hold -- you're going to carry them around for the rest of your life.
CABRERA: We all will. We'll lift them up. And I know it's difficult to talk about, especially after what you personally have been through, knowing how some of these kids must be feeling right now.
Thank you for sharing your story, for lending your voice, your experience, and some words of wisdom to the situation.
Good to see you. Glad you're doing OK.
GRAVES: Thank you. I appreciate it.
[15:49:52] CABRERA: Thank you.
We want to remember the victims of this mass shooting during our shows this afternoon. I want to show you the faces and names of each of them.
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CABRERA: The White House denying fresh claims of an affair early in the president's marriage to first lady, Melania Trump. A report in the "New Yorker" claims Trump was intimate with former playmate model, Karen McDougal, in 2006. The former playmate claims, in a letter, Trump had an elaborate system for covering up indiscretions.
CNN's Tom Foreman is here to explain hoar.
Tom, tell us about it.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Ana, this has been a rough week at the White House for the first lady. Full of new allegations of affairs involving her husband, a secret payoff, and details about how he supposedly kept it all hidden from her.
FOREMAN (voice-over): Heading to Florida, the president walked alone to Marine One. His wife, Melania, traveling separately amid humiliating headlines. Including word that the billionaire businessman's lawyer paid off an adult film star following an alleged affair. And a new claim about another extramarital merger.
[15:54:57] FOREMAN: That story dates to 2006, when "The Apprentice" was shooting and having a party at the Playboy mansion in Los Angeles. Married star of the show, Donald Trump, was there. And according to the "New Yorker," so was former Playmate of the Year, Karen McDougal.
The magazine says it was the start of a nine-month whirlwind of hotel room romps, fancy trips, a visit to Trump Tower where he pointed out his wife's bedroom, even high-profile events like the launch of Trump Vodka and the Miss Universe pageant.
McDougal told a magazine she paid for everything and was reimbursed to prevent a paper trail leading to Trump.
The White House says this is an old story that is just more fake news. The president says he never had a relationship with McDougal.
So how did the "New Yorker" come up with the sordid tale? A friend of McDougal supposedly gave the magazine eight handwritten pages.
RONAN FARROW, COMMENTATOR, THE NEW YORKER: She wrote a detailed chronicle of this affair in the course of selling this story.
FOREMAN: The story did sell to the company that owns the "National Enquirer" for $150,000 days before the election, according to the "Wall Street Journal" and the "New Yorker." So why didn't you read it? Because the "Enquirer," which is run by a friend of Trump's, did not publish McDougal's story. But by paying for it, legally blocked anyone else, including her, from coming out with details. The "Enquirer" has made no comment on that part of the story.
FOREMAN: We reached out to Karen McDougal for more, and we had no response yet. Although the story contained other allegations against Trump of other affairs, sexually aggressive behavior, disrespectful comments, including a racist comment.
Is all of this getting to the first lady? We don't know. While she appears to be keeping some distance from the president, she's also keeping quiet -- Ana?
CABRERA: Tom Foreman, thank you for that report.
A Russian shadow campaign to influence the 2016 election. A slew of indictments in the Mueller probe. And the president's own national security adviser now saying Russia meddled and it is undeniable. Next hour, how the election interference was pulled off and details on Mueller's new indictment against 13 Russians.
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