Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

New Footage Shows Black Man Shoot in Baton Rouge. Trump Blasts Amazon. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired March 31, 2018 - 13:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


RYAN NOBLES, CNN ANCHOR: And the next hour of the "Newsroom" starts right now. Hello, thank you so much for joining me. I'm Ryan Nobles, in today for Fredricka Whitfield. We're following stunning new developments in the shooting death of Alton Sterling.

Newly released body camera footage reveals the 37-year-old black man's final moments before being fatally gunned down by a white officer in the summer of 2016. It took baton rouge police officer Blane Salamoni just 90 seconds to shoot sterling after he arrived on the scene.

But it took the police department more than a year and a half to fire the officer and release his body camera footage. CNN's Kaylee Hartung joins us live from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. And Kaylee, what more can you tell us about this video?

KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN ANCHOR: Well Ryan, with the help of body cam from both officers as well as surveillance video from the convenience store, we now have a more complete picture of what happened on the night of July 5th, 2016. This video released by the Baton Rouge police department last night, I have to remind you, it is graphic.

(VIDEO CLIP BEGINS)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Graphic and disturbing new video.

(VIDEO CLIP ENDS)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Showing the controversial shoot death of Alton Sterling in July 2016. The Baton Rouge chief of police announcing Blane Salamoni, who shot sterling six times during a struggle with him will be fired over his actions.

(VIDEO CLIP BEGINS)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The violation of command of temper has been sustained. Officer Blane Salamoni has been terminated from the Baton Rouge police department effective today.

(VIDEO CLIP ENDS)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: this week, Salamoni refused to answer any questions during a disciplinary hearing, the chief said, while Howie Lake, the other officer involved, answered them all. Lake who the chief said made mistakes, but controlled his temper during the encounter was given a three-day unpaid suspension.

(VIDEO CLIP BEGINS)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two different perspectives. And one officer did not follow the training, professionalismand organization of standards.

(VIDEO CLIP ENDS)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The police chief making it clear their administrative investigation was separate from the federal criminal charges both officers were already cleared of. The police department released four videos from the night of the shooting including this surveillance footage from the SSS surveillance store.

That's Sterling at the front of the store sitting at a table where he's selling CDs. Minutes into the tape, he's seen conducting a transaction with an unidentified man. Here he removes what appear to be a gun from his front pocket followed by money from the same pocket.

Within seconds, Sterling is seen jokingly making a shooting motion towards the man. That night, police were initially called to the SSS convenience store responding to a 911 call from a witness who saw a man with a gun. Watch closely as things escalate quickly. From Salamoni's perspective, you can see a brief struggle. Then his gun is trained on sterling's head.

(VIDEO CLIP BEGINS)

(VIDEO CLIP ENDS)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sterling was pinned to the ground and tazed twice.

(VIDEO CLIP BEGINS)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get on the ground. Get on the ground. Pop him again, Howie.

(VIDEO CLIP ENDS)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Before being fatally shot.

(VIDEO CLIP BEGINS)

(VIDEO CLIP ENDS)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Previously released cell phone videos recorded by bystanders show at this point in the encounter Salamoni believed Sterling was armed. A gun was recovered from Sterling's body. But the federal and state investigations determined that the officer's actions were reasonable and couldn't prove that Sterling wasn't reaching for a gun.

HARTUNG: Blane Salamoni's attorney tells me they will appeal the police chief's decision to fire Salamoni. As a matter of principle, more than anything, even if he is reinstated to this job, he knows he will never be a Baton Rouge police officer again.

But he believes that he did what he was trained to do that night. As this new video circulates, Ryan, Alton Sterling's family is trying to keep his five children from seeing it. The family's attorney says what's most disturbing and most disrespectful about this new video is you can hear the way the officers cuss at Alton Sterling, the way they call him names as he laid on the ground, bleeding and dying.

NOBLES: Kaylee Hartung, live in Baton Rouge. Thank you Kaylee. Outrage also growing in Sacramento after a newly released independence autopsy contradicts the account of how Stephon Clark died. The results revealed the unarmed black man was shot eight times by officers primarily in his back.

Soon protesters will gather for a fifth day demanding justice for Clark's death and answers from law enforcement. That's where we find Ryan Young. He joins us live from Sacramento. And Ryan, describe the atmosphere in the city there right now.

RYAN YOUNG: Well, Ryan, we were at the protests last night as protesters took to streets once again. And I can tell you they were energized, especially saying all the names of victims across the country who they believe have been wrongfully killed by police.

What we see right now though, behind us, there's a stage, and they're starting to put that stage together because they believe this may be one of the largest protests over the last few days. I can tem you these protesters have definitely had their voices heard because they did something kind of interesting. They blocked the front of the NBA arena here.

And that stopped several people from being able to get inside. There's been conversations between the mayor's office, the community and the protesters. And it seems like they've been sort of staying out of the streets for the last few days until police can coordinate the shutdown of the streets as they've been walking forward. But let's talk about the autopsy that came out.

The family definitely got a lawyer. They definitely put this together and then they had that pathologist say what they believe should be the new narrative. They're directly going against what police are saying. They believe that Stephon Clark was shot on his side, his body turned, and then he was shot six times in the back, once in the leg.

Remember, there were 20 shots fired in total, eight of those shots hitting him. The pathologist say any of those shots could have been fatal. That father of two, Stephon Clark, then died after not receiving medical care for several minutes as he lay on the ground.

We could hear people in the crowd ground saying murder, murder, murder, as that news conference was going on. A lot of emotions because people obviously want their voices to be heard when it comes to this case.

NOBLES: All right, a lot of tension still there in Sacramento, California. Ryan young, thank you for sharing. Earlier today I spoke with California congressman John Geremendi about the protests in Sacramento and this is what he had to say about the situation.

JOHN GEREMENDI: This is a tragic death and, frankly, an unnecessary situation. What I'm looking for is what will come of all of this. How will this be dealt with in the future? The protests, understandable. But what needs to be done here, and I know the city council, I know the mayor so very well, more than 30 years. They're good people.

I think what's going to happen here is something similar to what took place 20 miles to the west in the city of Backerville where a new police chief came in and established a very serious training program for his police officers in the community policing organization set up.

Crime rates went down. Deaths have not happened. And I think Sacramento's going to change its procedures and its community policing procedures as a result of this tragedy. So perhaps -- perhaps something will come of this that will be better for the community.

Obviously, a tragic situation. I can understand why people are in the street. I can understand why the family are so terribly, terribly upset by this.

NOBLES: You mentioned the local response. The White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders, this week called the Stephon Clark case a local issue. Do you believe this is just a local issue?

GEREMENDI: No. No, it's not. This is a national issue. We've seen too much of this across the nation. And what we've seen has resulted in protests and in many places appropriate changes are taking place. And we need to understand from the point of view of the police officers, a confrontation, the adrenaline, the challenge that they're faced with, and all too often police officers are also killed in the line of duty.

And so what we need to do is to go into these communities where these situations have occurred and communities where they could occur in the future, make sure that the police are very, very well trained. That they understand the confrontation that they will have in their line of duty, and that the best way to handle it. And there are certainly, certainly better ways to handle it than what we saw in Baton Rouge and unfortunately here in Sacramento.

NOBLES: A rally supporting Stephon Clark is scheduled to start in the next few hours. And up next, battle of the billionaires. The president is taking on the world's richest man, Jeff Besos, and launching fresh attacks on the company he founded, Amazon. Why Trump says the retail giant is scamming the U.S. Postal Service.

(COMMERICAL BREAK)

NOBLES: Diplomatic relations between Russia and the United States just took another turn. Russia, showing off a new intercontinental ballistic missile, it's called the Sarmat, but NATO has nicknamed it Satan 2.

And as Barbara Starr reports, Moscow says it can carry multiple warheads and can strike targets around the world.

BARBARA STARR, PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Russia claims this is a test of their new state of the art intercontinental ballistic missile, nicknamed Satan 2. According to the Russian state news agency, it's the second successful test.

It comes after this recent Russia test firing of what it says is an airborne high speed ICBM. Just weeks ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin offered a flashy display of weaponry, including the Satan 2.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT, RUSSIA (through translator): This new system has virtually no limitations on distance, and as you can see from the video, it's capable of attacking targets via both the North and South Pole.

STARR: One Russian video animation even showing airborne weapons attacking Florida, nobody missing the implication that Russia could reach President Trump's Mar-a-Lago home.

The top U.S. commander in charge of America's nuclear arsenal is watching closely.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well nothing he said surprised me. Once again, you know, we have very good intelligence capabilities, and we watch very closely, so nothing he said surprised me.

STARR: But the new missile launch comes less than 24 hours after U.S. diplomats were expelled from Russia in retaliation for the U.S. kicking Russians out as part of a global response to the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter.

Even if there is no link in timing, a former top U.S. diplomat says it's time for everyone to be careful.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any link (inaudible) nuclear deterrents with the current spat is an upgrade that I think one needs to be careful about. I -- I -- I worry about accident in miscommunication, it's hard to know whether we're close or far away from that.

But the mere notion that there's a minor chance of something going awry on the nuclear side should disturb us all.

STARR: President Trump says he's prepared to discuss all of this with President Putin face to face, even though he didn't bring up the poisoning or election meddling in their last phone call.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES: We could discuss the arms race, as you know, he made a statement that being in an arms race is not a great thing, and that was right after the election, one of the first statements he made.

And we are spending $700 billion this year on our military and a lot of it is that we are going to remain stronger than any other nation in the world by far.

STARR: Most of these Russian weapons are years away from being operational, but when they are, what happens then? Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.

NOBLES: Barbara, thank you. The city of Sacramento bracing for another day of protests, as residents demand answers in the deadly police shooting of an unarmed black man. Coming up, how a former NBA player is trying to rally support for Stefan Clarke's family and encouraging his former teammates to get involved.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

RYAN NOBLES, CNN ANCHOR: In the next few hours Sacramento will see its fifth straight day of rallies supporting Stephon Clark. The 22- year-old was shot and killed by police while standing in his grandmothers back yard. Newly released independent autopsy results show that Clark was shot by police eight times, six times in the back. And joining me now lives, is Sacramento native and retired NBA player, Matt Barnes. Matt, you've been supporting Stephon Clarks' family since the shooting took place. Tell me why it was so important for you to get involved.

MATT BARNES, RETIRED NBA PLAYER: I grew up in these same streets, you know, not living in Oak Park but always traveling to Oak Park to play basketball growing up. I mean, these Oak Park streets are who - you know what taught me toughness. And what got me through my 15 years on NBA. And then on top of that, being a father of two, I'm a father of two African-American boys, and we saw it come across the news for the first time, on of my twin boy's at 9-years-old asked me, "Daddy, they shot him 20 times because he had a cell phone." And that really gave me chills. So I knew I had to step up and do something for my home town.

NOBLES: And you called on your former teammates to take a stand and support Stephon Clark and his family. I mean, obviously some NBA athletes have been criticized for dipping their toe into politics. I mean what role do you feel athletes should play in situations where their communities are hurting?

BARNES: I feel athletes should play, you know, whatever role they feel comfortable doing. You know, this is not for everybody. I'm someone that has always spoke up on matters, whether they pertained to myself, my family, my teammates, or guys across the league. I just, you know, there's something's that aren't right. So it isn't about color to me, it's about wrong versus right. Like I said I have called on some of my teammates. They've supported, they've donated money. My former teammates, yesterday with the King's held something. The Warriors and King's will both be in town today and they may show up for a little bit. So, we just realized that we have a tremendous platform and if this something that's passionate and touches your heart you should use it in a positive manner.

NOBLES: And you mentioned the fact that there's a King's game tonight, we've seen protests close the doors on two recent King's games since the shooting. But, you know, the ownership group there, they've been actively involved in working with the community instead of worrying about the financial losses that could come because of these protests. I mean, how would you like to see other professional sport organizations take on more active roles when it comes to social issues like these?

BARNES: I just think it depends on every situation that's different. You know what I mean? Sacramento's a small town and the King's are the only show in town. So I think it was huge for (Rebeck) and the King's to step up and do what they've done. They have been very ahead of things, speaking on things and doing the right thing. You know I understand that I'm a former athlete and I love basketball still. You know what I mean? But there's stuff that's bigger than basketball and this is definitely it.

NOBLES: And you mentioned already that this is your hometown, you grew up there, you know these streets. You're there on the ground now, what needs to be down to help this community heal.

BARNES: Maybe we just to have some more understanding, we need to bridge the gap. You know people fear what they don't know. So these officer's don't know us and we don't know them. So therefore everyone is always tense. You know, these officers are paid to protect and serve, but at the same time their taking lives. It's a tough situation but I just think there needs to be more understanding, more in the community foot work by these police officers, get to know their community their patrolling and then at the same time, let these people in the streets be perceptive to it. Understand that together, we're much stronger than we are being separate.

NOBLES: All right, Matt Barnes, former NBA player, father of two, and a Sacramento native. We appreciate you being here, thank you Matt. And in Gaza violent confrontation with Israeli troops have left 17 Palestinians dead and more than 1,000 injured. The U.N. now calling it the most violent day in the region in four years.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NOBLES: There were funerals and more protests in Gaza today. Palestinian leader's declaring a day of mourning for at least 17 people who were killed in clashes with Israeli security forces along the border with Gaza. Israeli officials estimated tens of thousands of Palestinian protestors marched toward the Gaza border fence where the protests turned deadly. Israel is blaming militant group Hamas for inciting violence and turning the border fence into a war zone. And with me now to discuss this is David Keys, he's a spokesman for the Israeli government. David, thank you for joining me. These protestants coincide with the annual land day commemorations by the Palestinians. Why are you specifically blaming Hamas for inciting the violence?

KEYES: Well first of all just a quick correction. To call this a protest is inaccurate. What actually happened is that Hamas engineered and event where they wanted 1,000s of people to swarm into Israel, to overrun Israel, to commit acts of terror. And indeed we have on camera, captured on camera people shooting guns, people shooting rockets, people placing bombs. This is the farthest thing from a protest. I've been to protests.

I know what protests are like. This was not a protest these were acts of deliberate violence. And what is Hamas's game in all this? NOBLES: But why do you - how are you specific to know that Hamas is responsible though sir?

KEYES: Well because their leaders where there, because they encouraged everyone to come because they funded it, and because for a long time they've been doing exactly this, trying to wage aggression and war against Israel. What is Hamas's aim in this? That's the real question. And that's what's almost never discussed on news programs. Hamas has openly called for genocide of Jews. Not just Jews, Americans (Ahmed Bukhari) the Deputy Speaker of the Parliament said count every American, kill them all down to the very last one.

Every American, and every Jew. Hamas has stated (Amos) to destroy Israel, to utterly annihilate the state. That's what (Ishmael Hanieasia) that's what (Yehoshua Sennwald) say's, that's what (Mahmoud Sennwald) say's. And unfortunately that element does not really being covered. Instead it's being called a protest. What kind of protest advocates the annihilation of a state? What kind of protest advocates -- you know Hamas sent a seven year old girl right up to the fence.

So that IBF troops would in their perverse - in the perverse mindset of Hamas would shoot her and kill her. Of course the IBF didn't. It returned this innocent and impressionable girl who was wearing a Mini Mouse sweat suit and was petrified. But she was sent by Hamas. Cynically, cynically is there no bottom to Hamas cynicism? It was disgusting. It's an abomination. But this is the essence of Hamas.

NOBLES: Alright, but David in the Palestinians are accusing Israeli forces of firing into this crowd of people. The head of the marriage party is calling for an investigation into the violence. The IBFs accused of using rubber bullets, tear gas, real live rounds into this crowd of protesters. Not all of them were armed. I mean do you think an investigation is warranted here? And why was the response by the Israel defense force necessary in this case?

KEYES: Well it was necessary because we wanted to stop thousands of people from swarming into Israel. And it was necessary to defend our citizens. You know just to address one element of what you said. Hamas - the interior of Hamas was very prideful when he said, his name is (Fatehamid), and he said our children, our elderly, our women excel in being human shields.

So when we talk about the deaths, the unfortunate violence that we saw yesterday and a little bit today. It is a direct result of Hamas's policy to hide behind children, to hide behind women. And that said Israel only targeted people who were actively engaged in violence. People who shot rockets at Israel, people who shot guns at Israel, and people who placed bombed specifically designed to create violence. That's incredible restraint.

NOBLES: So would you welcome a United Nations investigation into this then, if you're willing to make that claim? Would you welcome that transparency to get to the bottom of exactly what happened?

KEYES: Well the UN is hardly the place to figure all this out given it's decades long obsession with Israel while it lets mass murdering tyrants like Bashar al-Assad. What the UN should be investigating is Iran's daily calls for genocide against Jews. Its daily calls to destroy Israel. It's cynical use of human shields, and putting children - sending children into war. If anything should be investigated it is that, that despicable - those despicable actions and not the defensive actions of a Democratic and Liberal state.

NOBLES: Well you've said you welcome the US decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem, the US also working on a peace plan. I mean how does what we've seen over the past couple of day's impact that, and where does that plan stand right now?

KEYES: Well the first thing to say is that this violence that we see could stop immediately. It could stop as soon as Hamas says don't approach the border fence. Don't try to infiltrate Israel. That is the only thing that would need to be said in order for all this violence to be stopped.

No one needs to be killed, no on needs to be injured in this. The issue of the embassy has actually pushed peace forward. Because it's recognized a basic and simple fact, that Jerusalem is the Capital of the state of Israel. It has been for 70 years. It's been the Capital of the Jewish people for 3,000 years. And it's high time that we dispel some of the fantasies. The Palestinian leadership is saying no there's no place for a Jewish State in the Middle East.

The Palestinian leadership is saying from the river to the sea all of this is ours. The Palestinian leadership is paying $100's of millions of dollars to people who murder Israelis. Almost $400 million dollars is paid as salaries to terrorists. So unfortunately the Palestinian leadership is not accepted Israel's outstretched hand for peace, but that will not deter us from continuing again and again to try and forge peace because this is what all peoples in this region deserve.

NOBLES: All right. David Keyes, spokesperson for the Israeli government. David, we appreciate you being here. Thank you. And up next, President Trump launching fresh attacks on Amazon today claiming one of the world's most valuable companies is scamming the U.S. Postal Service. Those details are next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

President Trump lashing out at Amazon again today, criticizing the companies business practices and tax payments and accruing the retail giant of scamming the U.S. Postal Service. These tweets come on the heels of the President's ongoing attacks earlier this week, which weighed in on the shares of one of the world's most valuable companies and rattled markets.

Brad Stone is the author of "The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon" and Stephen Moore is the CNN Senior Economics Analyst and a former Trump Economic Advisor.

Brad, let's start with you. Does the President have a point here? Does Amazon hurt the economy and the postal service?

BRAD STONE, AUTHOR: Well Ryan, it's really difficult to find the facts that supports the President's assertions. The post office is, obviously, having a difficult time, but there are three things that really weight on it.

One, as we all know, first class mail and marketing mail is declining. It has been for a decade. The Postal Service has a significant healthcare obligation for it's employees, but also has universal service obligation, right? It has to cover the whole country, lots of areas where the infrastructure and the delivery trucks are just going to be unprofitable.

Now, package delivery is actually the bright spot. Those trucks are going to those neighborhoods everyday, six days a week, sometimes seven. Package delivery is actually up 11 percent and the post office itself and the Postal Regulatory Commission, which sets the rates, says the relationship with Amazon is profitable. So, it's a little difficult to find out -- to find the facts here that support the President.

NOBLES: Now, well Stephen, the President's tweet caused Amazon's value to drop by billions and it rattled the markets. This President ran on being a business man, why would he risk harming one of America's biggest companies?

STEPHEN MOORE, CNN SENIOR ECONOMICS ANALYST: Well, I don't like it. I will say this, that there's no company probably in the United States that has benefited more from Donald Trump's policies than Amazon.

I mean, you put all this money into consumer's hands, they're sending it, they're using Amazon to buy these products and so, I think he's a little frustrated that Jeff Bezos uses "The Washington Post" as a -- I get "The Washington Post" every morning and it's a sounding board of anti-Trump propaganda.

But I think the bigger point here is, look, I don't see how the administration can say that Amazon is hurting the Postal Service. I mean without Amazon, who uses the Postal Service anymore.

I mean, I sort of agree that there really isn't a need for a postal monopoly any longer and we have seen dramatic declines in people using, obviously, the Postal Service because of e-mail and so on.

And maybe it's time to just open it to competition, but I don't -- I agree that -- I don't see where the administration is coming up with this number that somehow Amazon is costing the Postal Service money. If anything, it's keeping the Postal Service afloat.

NOBLES: Yes, well to Stephen's point about "The Washington Post" Brad ...

STONE: Yes.

NOBLES: Is this more personal for the President? Stephen's calling it propaganda. I'm not sure if that's necessarily a fair assessment, but Jeff Bezos also does own "The Washington Post" and he happens to be the richest man on the planet. His wealth dwarfs that of the President. Could these be factors fueling the reason that the President has decided to target ...

STONE: Yes, I wouldn't call propaganda either, but I don't think we have to guess here. I mean every time the President tweets about this, he talks about the Amazon's "Washington Post" as if it was just one organization.

And I would just add to Stephen's point, the Federal Government had a perfect opportunity last year to place a limit on Amazon's growth and that was when Amazon went and acquired Whole Foods for over $13 billion. And the FDC approved it without even a secondary review, sending shutters into the grocery industry.

So, there have been opportunities for the government to do something to this rapidly growing and very successful company. It hasn't done anything. The tax breaks have given Amazon more capital to expand and yes, customers are choosing to stay home and buy on the internet.

MOORE: But that a -- Brad, I mean you making the sort of point that this is a kind of witch hunt against Amazon. If Trump hated Amazon, he would have told the FDC that Amazon should not be able to buy Whole Foods.

Look, I was in favor of that merger. I think Amazon is one of our great companies. It's made -- it's worth hundreds of billions of dollars, it is delivering low cost products to American's, that's why they use it. So, I think it's a great story. And my only point was that Amazon really has benefitted a lot from the tax cuts.

NOBLES: But Stephen, isn't that the problem though? That it seems as though the President, on every other point, would support Amazon's growth, but only for the fact that they own "The Washington Post" that he appears to be calling them out. I mean, doesn't that concern you at all that he's attacking a media organization and using it, masking it at somewhat with his concerns about Amazon?

MOORE: Yes, it does. But my point is, that he did allow the merger to go forward with Whole Foods and I think that's a positive thing. And look, I think Donald Trump is pro-business, he wants businesses to succeed. I think he would love to see Jeff Bezos maybe be more praise worthy to the policies because most of the policies that Trump has put forward that have helped Amazon, Jeff Bezos has then - his outlets like the Washington Post are criticizing him.

NOBLES: So should only CEOs that praise the president (inaudible)?

MOORE: No, that's not what I'm saying. That's not what I'm saying. I'm just saying that in Washington I think Trump is feeling like no good deed goes unpunished, and he's promoting these policies that are pro-business, that have helped Amazon, and then Amazon's CEO goes around and knifes him in the back, and I think that's something that frustrates the president.

NOBLES: Brad, I'll give you that last word on this.

STONE: There are some ways in which the Trump administration can't hurt Amazon. Amazon has bid for a very large Department of Defense contract that's going to be awarded this summer. The VA will choose a new supplier for its hospitals next year. Amazon could locate its second headquarters in the D.C. area, so it'll be interesting to watch this. Trump can hurt Jeff Bezos. I just don't think that postal rates are the way he's going to do it if he tries.

MOORE: Yes, and just to be clear, I don't want the government to use its power to bully American companies. I'm against that. I just wanted to make that very clear.

NOBLES: OK.

STONE: All right.

NOBLES: Duly noted, Stephen. Thank you.

MOORE: OK, thank you.

NOBELS: Stephen Moore and Brand Stone, thank you so much for joining us. And still ahead, porn star Stormy Daniels's attorney says he has a mountain of evidence. Is he ready to show it to a judge?

(COMMERICIAL BREAK)

NOBLES: A prominent lawyer leaving the case of one of President Trump's accusers, former Apprentice contestant, Summer Zervos. This as Stormy Daniels's lawyer is digging in, telling CNN that he has a mountain of evidence against the president and his attorney. CNN's Athena Jones has the details.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Stormy Daniels set for a weekend of stripping in Nashville, performing as the porn star the trumps them all.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're expecting a really good show.

JONES: As her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, faces questions about when he'll reveal proof of the affair Daniels says she had with President Donald Trump in 2006 and why he is yet to explain this tweet with a picture of a DVD and the caption, "if a picture is worth a thousand words, how many words is this worth?"

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tell us right now what's on that DVD.

MICHAEL AVENATTI: Well, I'm not going to do that. I mean, I know that everyone wants that. We're in a society where everybody wants immediate gratification. We've got a lawsuit to track back.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I guess the point is what's your evidence? What's your evidence that there was an affair?

AVENATTI: We've got a mountain of evidence -

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Such as?

AVENATTI: - that the American people - I'm not going to lay out all of our evidence.

JONES: Daniels is suing to be released from what she argues is an invalid hush agreed, invalid because Trump did not sign it. Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, says he paid Daniels $130,000 as part of that deal. Avenatti was asked today how much money it would take for Daniels to settle the lawsuit.

AVENATTI: I don't think there's a number. I really don't. I mean, that's not what this is about.

JONES: Avenatti maintains the Federal judge's ruling Thursday denying his motion to question Trump and Cohen under oath isn't a setback.

AVENATTI: Well, I don't really classify it as a set back. I mean, it's a temporary denial. We're going to re-file the motion. It's a procedural ruling.

JONES: David Schwartz, Cohen's spokesman and attorney in another matter, is praising the judge's decision.

DAVID SCHWARTZ: I'm surprised in the least bit. I said from the moment that the motion was filed that it was frivolous, it was untimely, and the judge made the proper decision.

JONES: Schwartz called the hush agreement "rock solid" and continued to argue that it is valid even though Trump didn't sign it.

SCHWARTZ: The president is a third party beneficiary to this agreement. It's be said all along -

JONES: Meanwhile, a legal shakeup in the case of former Apprentice contestant, Summer Zervos, who was accusing Trump of defamation for denying her claims he sexually assaulted her in 2007, Zervos losing her high-profile attorney, Gloria Allred. Allred, who frequently represents women in similar cases, saying in a statement, "Our withdrawal has nothing to do with the merits of her case against President Trump. We will have no comment regarding the reasons for our firm's withdrawal. We continue to wish Summer the very best in her pursuit of justice."

Zervos says she's parting ways with Allred for personal reasons. "I decided to part ways with Gloria Allred purely for personal reasons having nothing to do with her work as my attorney. I look forward to having my day in court with my current legal team."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

NOBELS: And I want to bring in Avery Freedman right now, a civil rights attorney, and Richard Herman, a criminal defense attorney, to talk about all of this. Richard, let's start with the deposition. I mean, do you agree with Mr. Avenatti? Is the judge's rejection of his deposition because being too premature is actually a good thing? Can he make that claim?

RICHARD HERMAN: I don't know that it's a good thing. I don't think the motion was timely, and so the judge made a procedural decision. But the bottom line here is this. It's always the cover up that causes the problem. And if I represented Trump and this came out early on, I would've had him go on Twitter or TV and say, "yes, I was with Stormy and the playmate and others and it's none of your business," and the thing is over with. But they didn't do that, and supposedly Michael Cohen out of his love and devotion for the president concocted this ridiculous web and scheme to shut up Stormy Daniels, and with Michael Cohen and his new spokesperson, David Schwartz, they have republished and stated unequivocally Trump knew nothing about this agreement. Well, if Trump knew nothing about this agreement, how could Trump be a party to the agreement if he knew nothing about it, number one -

AVERY FREEDMAN: That's easy. That's easy.

HERMAN: - and number two - wait, number two - it's not easy. It's a fact.

FREEDMAN: Sure it is.

HERMAN: And number two, there are warranties and representations made in the agreement by Trump to Stormy Daniels. He couldn't possibly make those if he was not a party and didn't know about the agreement. So Michael Avenatti has to stop being cute and seeking publicity for himself now. The case is ripe for a summary judgment dismissal, he will get it (ph), this case is over.

FRIEDMAN: Let's see.

NOBLES: Well Avery, let -- to that point, I mean Avenatti is certainly using all of this drama to get him on television as much as possible and he keeps claiming that he's got this evidence to prove his case and the president should be deposed.

But he -- he still hasn't revealed any of it. Is it likely the president will be deposed?

FRIEDMAN: That was -- (inaudible) was terrific with him, because she was asking the right questions, he was ducking and weaving. I mean he thought it was a prize fight.

The bottom line on it is if you read Judge James Otero's opinion, he actually was very kind to Mr. Avenatti. He said, you know, you better start being a little bit more careful. This is federal court, everybody here thinks that they're Rambo.

But at the end of the day, I'm not quite sure I have an understanding why the Trump private legal team needs to be Rambo. There's something to be said about playing it down, not bullying it out, but that's what's going on right now.

It is true that Avenatti got shot down on his effort to do a two hour deposition with Mr. Trump, but ultimately, the federal rules of civil procedure, and the Supreme Court has said so, it will give him an opportunity to take the deposition.

So instead of ramping it up, frankly, there has been no effort to unwind it, to diffuse it, and this is going to turn into a total -- it's going to get worse than it is right now, Ryan. And the bottom line is there is going to be a deposition, there is no way Donald Trump can escape that, no way on earth.

NOBLES: All right, well Richard, let's go back to a point that you made earlier on (ph) Cohen spokesman, David Shwartz that the president never even knew about the non-disclosure agreement with Stormy Daniels and thus had no idea about the $130,000 payment to silence Stormy.

Listen to what he told CNN.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID SHWARTZ, ATTORNEY: The president was not aware of the agreement, at least Michael Cohen never told him about the agreement. I can tell you that. And you asked a whole bunch of questions so let me -- let me cover that.

So you asked about 12 days before --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not aware about the agreement, what about the money?

SHWARTZ: He was not aware about any of it, he was not aware, he wasn't told about it. Michael Cohen left the option open, that's why he left that signature line, the option --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Inaudible).

SHWARTZ: -- the option open to go to him, he chose not to.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NOBLES: So Richard, if you can quickly, how likely is that and if it's true, does it undermine the entire agreement?

HERMAN: It -- he just laid the foundation for a summary judgement motion to dismiss this case and have the judge declare the agreement null and void, because Trump could not possibly have been a participant to agreement he knew nothing about.

In the real world, though, it's beyond ludacris and absurd. Everyone knows Trump had to have known, they're saying this because of the campaign finance violation because if Trump new about the agreement and then made the $130,00 payment, they've got a major problem.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I guess the department's (ph) going to look into it, right?

HERMAN: Yes, well it's his Justice Department now. But it -- it's really --

MALE: Well, we'll see.

HERMAN: -- it's preposterous, this case -- this case will be dismissed if Avenatti makes that motion. If he doesn't make the motion, he's just a publicity seeker, and he's not doing the right thing for the client.

They moved -- they moved to get rid of this case -- this -- this document, this agreement, they should make that motion now and they'll win.

NOBLES: All right, sorry guys, we're up against a break here so I'm going to have to let you go. Thank you so much Avery Freedman and Richard Herman, we appreciate it. And a quick reminder, don't miss an all new episode of Christiane Amanpour: Sex and Love Around the World.

Tonight, Christiane takes us to Beirut to explore the influence at Lebanon's recent wars as well as its very religious sects have on life and love.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)