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Trump Knew Of Hush Money Long Before He Denied It; Giuliani Causes More Confusion Over Stormy Hush Money; NASA Launches First Mission To Study Interior Of Mars; Hawaii Volcano Sparks 350 Earthquakes In 24 Hours; Trump Embraces NRA Despite Vow To Take Action On Guns; Miami Cop Suspended After Kicking Handcuffed Man In Head; Pence's Doctor Resigns Abruptly Leaves W.H. Medical Unit. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired May 5, 2018 - 07:00   ET


[07:00:00] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- to NBA games.


VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: My grandfather always said on a sloppy track, dead on the long shot.

PAUL: Right. And nobody's going to be putting those hats in the rain. I can tell you that now. That's costing way too much money.


PAUL: Thanks, Cristina.

BLACKWELL: Thank you.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: President Trump knew about the hush money payment to Stormy Daniels months before he told the American people.

RUDY GIULIANI, ATTORNEY TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: He didn't know the details of this until we knew of it, which is a couple of weeks ago.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're not changing any stories.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Michael Cohen, Trump's personal lawyer took out lines of credit giving him access to up to $774,000.

TRUMP: The judge in Manafort case says Mueller's aim is to hurt Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Robert Mueller has impeccable credentials. He's a Republican. Comey was a Republican; Rosenstein's a Republican. Is this a Republican conspiracy to remove the president?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: More than 1700 people and 700 structures are under threat of volcanic eruptions here on the big island of Hawaii.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY WEEKEND, with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: Good Saturday morning to you. Serious question plaguing the White House -- how is the public, the press, anyone, expected to take what they say as fact when the story changes based on who's asked and when that person is asked?

PAUL: So, here's one of the reasons the White House is facing a credibility crisis this morning. The New York Times, in a new report, says that despite his strong denials, President Trump did know about a hush-money deal his lawyer made with a porn star several months ago, after, of course, several months after or before, rather, he said he did not know. And now we've learned this: investigators are looking into how that lawyer, Michael Cohen, built up a $700,000-plus war chest during the campaign as he worked to fix problems for the Trump team.

BLACKWELL: Let's go now to CNN's Jeremy Diamond who's live at the White House. It seems the administration is struggling to, I guess, come up with the story everybody can agree on, whether it is the actual truth or not, at least everybody get on the same page.

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, that's exactly right, Victor. You know, we're entering the third day now since Rudy Giuliani made those comments on Fox News, confirming for the first time that the president had, in fact, repaid Stormy Daniels. And yet, we seem to be stuck still in this web of confusion. Let's go back to that Wednesday night. Rudy Giuliani confirming for the first time that the president had repaid Michael Cohen for the $130,000 payment. He even said later, that it was a $35,000-a-month monthly retainer. And he wasn't just speaking for himself. He said, later, that he had, in fact, spoken with the president about this whole matter before going on Fox News. But yesterday the president adding more confusion to the matter saying that Rudy Giuliani needed to get his facts straight.


TRUMP: Excuse me, excuse me. No, but you have to -- excuse me, you take a look at what I said. You go back and take a look. You'll see what I said.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You said, no, when I asked you did you know about the payment.

TRUMP: Excuse me, excuse me, you go take a look at what we said.


DIAMON: Well, we did take a look at what he said, and you can, too. Check it out.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you know about the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels?

TRUMP: No, no. What else?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you know where he got the money to make that payment?

TRUMP: No, I don't know.


DIAMOND: Well, the New York Times is now reporting that the president did, in fact, know about that payment when he made that very denial. In fact, he knew about it months before, according to two people familiar with the account who spoke to the New York Times. Rudy Giuliani sought to clear some of this up yesterday. He put out a statement saying that he was describing his understanding of the president's knowledge. But again, this is the president's own attorney newly hired attorney who came in to take care of this whole situation. And yet, even he seems to be muddling things or, perhaps, it's the president.

PAUL: All right. Jeremy, talk to us about the Wall Street Journal reporting this morning regarding Michael Cohen's finances.

DIAMOND: Yes, that's right. Well, the Wall Street Journal has a new report -- you know, there's a question about where Michael Cohen got a lot of this money. And there's a potential lead which is that in 2016, Michael Cohen gained access to as much as $774,000 in lines of credit. It was tied to two financial transactions linked to apartments that he either owned or had co-signed. And now, it appears that federal investigators as part of their investigation into him, are also looking into that source of the funds.

PAUL: All right. Jeremy Diamond, appreciate the reporting. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right. Joining me now is CNN Contributor Adam Entous, and CNN Legal Analyst Joey Jackson. Gentlemen, good morning.


BLACKWELL: Joey, let me start with you, and put aside just for a moment potentially lying to the American people there on Air Force One, and claiming that he didn't know where the money came from for Michael Cohen. Is there any legal exposure here for the president, potentially, when he we learn about the money that Michael Cohen took out? Does it matter when he took that money out?

[07:05:22] JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: You know, a lot of things matter, Victor, and let's start from the very beginning. You know, what you find fascinating is you have these Rudy Giuliani comments where he contradicts the president in terms of now the president does know, and he also contradicts Michael Cohen because now Michael Cohen is reimbursed. And that he makes a connection to the campaign by saying, what if it would've come out just days before the campaign, how damning would that be? Thereafter, you have the president going out. And now, the president, Victor, is covering for his attorney, right?

Generally, what we attorneys do is we speak for our clients. So now, you have that. And on the backdrop of that, you have some indication that there's this money that was taken out by Michael Cohen and these credit lines. So, there are a number of ways to look at it. In the one way, you know what, it's fine. People take out credit lines all the time. People do, they borrow money. Now, the critical issue is: what for? And then, the critical issue becomes if Trump knew about it, that's not enough, but it's pretty significant. Now, the purpose becomes: what's the intent, what's the knowledge, was it directly intended to aid or assist the campaign? Or in the alternative, was it personal in nature? So, these are the issues that need to be sorted out by prosecutors in the event that it goes that way?

BLACKWELL: Adam, we find ourselves trying to reconcile all of these desperate pieces of stories from different players here. The journal reports that Cohen took out lines of credit, as Jeremy said there, as much as $774,000. We know that Cohen used his home equity loan to pay Stormy Daniels -- he says, that 130. Now, Rudy Giuliani says that President Trump reimbursed Cohen for more than $400,000, at $35,000 a month for more than a year, that would come up to 420. That's a lot of money for what the president described that the tiny, tiny fraction of legal work that he says that Cohen did for him.

ENTOUS: Yes, I know. We don't really know the details yet about the discrepancy. You know, I don't know exactly how much Cohen gets paid by Trump for his work. I mean, in the scheme of things, it seems like a lot of money, but maybe it isn't. We don't really have the full picture yet of what exactly that difference is about. And it's going to take a while, I think, for us to kind of filter through and try to make sense of, because obviously we're getting a lot of conflicting information from all the sides.

BLACKWELL: Let me get, Joey, your response to what we saw in that statement from Rudy Giuliani yesterday -- trying to clarify things but really not clarifying anything. He wrote here first: "There's no campaign violation. The payment was made to resolve a personal and false allegation in order to protect the president's family. It would've been done in any event whether he was a candidate or not." I asked our political analyst, Errol Lewis, this at the top of the last hour. But from your legal perspective, does it matter whether this would have been made, whether he was running for office or not?

JACKSON: Of course, it matters. It matters to the extent that, look, in the event you're doing that, is it designed to aid you in the campaign in any way? In that case, certainly, then it would be. You could draw -- connect the dots and make the nexus between an illegal campaign contribution which would become problematic. But what I find fascinating about it, as much the president said, oh, Rudy came on yesterday, what does he know? Look, as lawyers, at a minimum, we do spin facts; that's our job. We're advocates; that's our job. But at a minimum, you know what those facts are. So, I find it incredulous that now he's -- the lawyer's putting out a statement to clarify what the lawyer said.

Now to be clear, what a lawyer says is not evidence. It's what the client says is evidence. But we already know the client denied it, but then the client didn't deny it, and so which one is it? And briefly, Victor, this is troubling to me in the broader sense. What are we facing now? We're facing a president who could potentially testify in an investigation of Mueller -- will he tell the truth or not? We're facing a president who could be deposed in Stormy Daniels -- will he tell the truth or not? It's one thing to lie to the American people. It's quite another when you're being deposed in front of a grand jury. So, this is significant in terms of the whole credibility that you and Christi were talking about at the outset of our discussion.

BLACKWELL: Let's talk about that, too, Adam. What does this mean? I mean, as we talked about the president will at some point in his administration have to go to a reserve of goodwill and trust that he's made with the American people, every president does. This episode we're seeing here, polls show that people aren't really giving him or making him pay for the affair. But what will be the impact of this element? This part of the story?

ENTOUS: Yes. You know, I think the American public is so divided anyways. I'm not sure what impact it's going to have. People on one side that don't like the president are going to see this as proof that they couldn't trust them on anything, and others are going to say that the media's ganging up on him. I had a meeting at the White House a week ago with a staffer who was starting to ask pointed questions, whether or not I believed that any information I got from the White House from senior officials was credible. And so, you can see it filtering through in the morale of the White House, people who are working for the president are asking themselves whether their own credibility is really at stake here because they are asking principals for information, they're getting that information, they're providing it to the press, and then they're learning themselves -- at least according to the people I spoke to, they're learning themselves that they themselves had been misled.

[07:10:50] BLACKWELL: And the question, of course, is the president, yes, is 2.5 years out from reelection. What does it mean, Adam, for Republicans who are up in November?

ENTOUS: Yes, I don't know. I mean, this is -- it's hard to tell what impact this is going to have on the way the electorate is going to vote. Obviously, we've seen some examples of recent gains by Democrats. And certainly, the Democrats are increasingly confident that they'll succeed in retaking the house and maybe retaking the senate, but it's too soon to say. As you know, things change incredibly fast here.

BLACKWELL: Yes, they do. Adam Entous and Joey Jackson, thank you both.

ENTOUS: Thank you.

JACKSON: Thank you, Victor.

PAUL: Well, President Trump is keeping the suspense going, it seems, as to where he will be meeting Kim Jong-un and when. The possible release of the American detainees in North Korea also in question. Listen to this --


TRUMP: We're doing very well with the hostages. We're in constant contact with the leadership. We are in constant contact with North Korea. We've actually worked out a time and a place which will be announced shortly.



TRUMP: Very soon.


PAUL: So, ahead of that historic summit with the North Korea leader, president, we know, will be meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the White House on May 22nd. In the meantime, the status of three Americans detained in North Korea, well, that's still unclear. President Trump had hinted earlier that they'd be released very soon. Rudy Giuliani had said they would be released this week. It is now Saturday at 7:12, and we still have no idea --


PAUL: -- when they will be released.

BLACKWELL: No clear indication. All right. Let's take you to Hawaii now and these 350 earthquakes in 24 hours. And a neighborhood is surrounded by fountains of lava. But the worst is still to come.

PAUL: Also, President Trump gave a resounding thumbs' up to the second amendment, of course, at the NRA convention yesterday after promising changes to gun laws after the Parkland school massacre. We're talking to a survivor of that shooting just ahead. Stay close.



[07:17:02] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Five, four, three, two, one, zero. Liftoff --


BLACKWELL: All right. Just moments ago, NASA launched a rocket as part of its first mission to study the interior of mars.

PAUL: NASA says, it's hoping to learn how the rocky planet was formed which could help it learn how the Earth and moon were formed, as well. The launch also makes history here. The first time, the West Coast was launching the -- was the launching point, I should say, for an interplanetary mission.

You heart that? You hear the fire? This is the result of 350 earthquakes in 24 hours in Hawaii. And these roads you see, completely blocked off by just a river of lava. People on Hawaii's big island are trying to stay out of the way at this point as lava from the volcano Kilauea Volcano seems to be destroying everything it comes near. Two families already have lost their homes.

BLACKWELL: And earthquakes are only making things worse. They're opening up more cracks in the roads for the lava to fill. And Friday's 6.9-magnitude earthquake could be felt on another island more than 200 miles away. One woman says that she could -- when it was happening, she just really couldn't believe it and how this was sinking in. So, still traumatic for the people in Hawaii. The big island, under a state of emergency, and thousands of people have had to leave their homes. But many say they are not receiving any updates on their homes or when it will be safe to return. CNN spoke to a man who lives on the farm in that Leilani area. Watch.


TIMOTHY TRUN, LEILANI RESIDENT: We're holding up good. I'm with 11 people that have been displaced and are homeless and workless right now, that were also working on my farm, and it's been a real shocker. You know, the last day we were there, you know, just Thursday, we were making a good-bye dinner for one of our friends. We're making the dinner, we're about to enjoy the dinner, and the cops told us we have to go. And everything changed in an instant. We have, you know, five minutes to pack your bags with what you think you're going to need and you're off, you know. And I was in a supermarket when the 6.9 hit -- which is one of the scariest places you can be, as you can imagine the glass falling, bottles falling, things falling off the shelves. There's a ton of people in the store; everybody is, you know, going crazy. And it lasted about 10-15 seconds, and I didn't know what to do. I just became hyper aware of the situation.


PAUL: Now, where he lives, the Leilani Subdivision, is really at the center of most of this destruction. The large fissures or cracks have opened up there -- at least six of them -- and they're releasing more of this lava. But there's an even bigger threat on the horizon, we should point out.

BLACKWELL: Meteorologist Allison Chinchar is in the CNN Weather Center with more. So, what is this bigger threat?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It's the stuff you can't see. It's that sulfur dioxide gas that's coming out through those same fissures where you see the lava coming out -- the gas is also present. The thing is, even in low doses, sulfur dioxide can cause breathing problems, even in people who have never had a history of breathing problems at all. The big concern is there are fire-fighting crews around those areas that have registered toxic levels of that. So, we're not even talking just a little bit of it, there's a lot of that gas there, and that's a big concern.

So, other than that, we also have the concern for the ongoing earthquakes. We are averaging one about every 10 to 15 minutes right now. Most of them small, but again, you've had a couple of the large ones mixed in. We've also been talking about additional fissures opening up. We're now up to six. Again, more can be expected as we go through the coming days because you have that build-up. So, the question is why is this happening, OK?

So, to get that understanding, you take a look at the volcano itself. Underneath this volcano, magma is building up and it's creating a lot of pressure underneath that. Well, that pressure needs to be released somehow, OK? But here's the thing -- even far away from this center point, which is where the Leilani Estates is -- it's about 25 miles away from the main crater of the volcano, you get the fissures that develop or cracks because that pressure that builds up, that magma has to go somewhere.

So, those cracks, fissures open up, the lava comes out. But also, the steam and the toxic gas comes along with it. And that is also a concern. We also want to point out, too, that the steam and the gas can be picked up by the wind and taken even farther away than perhaps the lava can. So, it can in turn end up affecting more people than the lava. But we've also talked about the earthquakes, and that's another thing that we need to talk about, too.

We had the magnitude 6.9 on Friday. It was only five kilometers or about three miles deep. That's incredibly shallow. That's very likely why we had people from so far away that could end up feeling it. Also, because it was shallow, we ended up having at least a small tsunami, about 40 centimeters or about 15-inch rise and change of the sea level there. But Victor and Christ, the other thing is how many of those little earthquakes that we've been seeing, and those are very much likely to continue for at least the next couple of days.

[07:22:15] PAUL: Feel for those people there. All right. Thank you so much, Allison.

BLACKWELL: President Trump embraced the second amendment at the NRA convention yesterday after promising change to gun laws after the Parkland massacre. We'll talk to a survivor of that shooting ahead.

PAUL: Also, a federal judge has a strong warning for the Mueller team. Coming up, what this could mean for the special prosecutor's case against, specifically, Paul Manafort.


[07:27:27] PAUL: 7:27, it might seem a little early on a Saturday --


PAUL: But we're glad you're awake. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: We're happy to be with you. I'm Victor Blackwell. President Trump gave a resounding thumbs' up to the second amendment at the National Rifles Association, that annual meeting yesterday. It is the first NRA convention since the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.


TRUMP: Your second amendment rights are under siege. But they will never, ever be under siege as long as I am your president.


PAUL: It was just a little more than two months ago that he said this, though, about gun control --


TRUMP: I would like to take the firearms first and then go to court, because that's another system. Because a lot of times by the time you go to court, it takes so long to go to court to get the due process procedures. I like taking the guns early. Like, in this crazy man's case, that just took place in Florida. He had a lot (INAUDIBLE) everything to go through court when they've taken (INAUDIBLE). So, you could do exactly what you're saying, but take the guns first, go through due process second.


PAUL: Cameron Kasky is with us now, survivor of the massacre at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Thank you so much, Cameron, for being with us. We so appreciate your time. President Trump there seems to make a complete pivot to his promise on gun laws in terms of saying, yes, take guns first, go through due process second. But then, yesterday, essentially promising his loyalty to the NRA. If you could sit down with the president this morning, what would you say to him?

CAMERON KASKY, STUDENT, MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL: I don't necessarily know. You see, he's a professional liar who will say anything to appease whatever crowd he's at. If he's in front of families, he might say something in support of common sense gun reform. But then, when he's at the NRA, he's say something to get a big cheer. The NRA convention is like comic-con -- you really only get the die-hard fans: the average Americans who are NRA members, the ones who perhaps got their membership free with the purchase of a handgun.

They're not showing up there, and they're not holding Trump accountable for what he needs to actually talk about. They aren't going to this dog and pony show that Trump and Pence are going to. It's a celebration really. And I -- I hope they're having fun this year. But the average members of the NRA, they don't agree with Trump's stance on guns. They don't agree with board member Ted Nugent saying, that Democrats and liberals need to be shot in the street like dogs. This is all a spectacle. This is all Trump just trying to appeal to a crowd of people who really, really, really like weapons that shoot bullets fast.

[07:30:03] PAUL: Well, you said in a tweet, I want to get this out there, you call the NRA a hilarious parody of itself. Explain to us what you mean by that? KASKY: Well, in that one, I was looking at the fact that the secret service issued something saying that there were no firearms to be allowed at Vice President Pence's speech at the NRA, which is funny because you'd think that if someone's supported the NRA, they'd want as many good guys with guns in the room as possible, right? The hypocrisy is so blatant here and they're just embracing it at this point.

PAUL: Well, and you said you made the point, the majority of people who are possible members of the NRA don't feel the same way that the diehard suit perhaps, who go to these meetings.

Now, I want to look at some of the things that the president has said. He has said -- he has called bump stocks a bad idea. He has said that -- you know, on, March 14th, there was a tweet today, the House took major steps towards securing our schools by passing the Stop School Violence Act. He has supported or said that he would support raising the age to purchase certain firearms. That he would support expanding background checks. Do you believe that the president will do any of these things he has mentioned?

KASKY: Well, first of all, President Trump, he follows the money. And as long as he's getting money from the NRA who in turn is getting money from the gun manufacturers, I wouldn't expect anything common sense any time soon from him. And in regards to the Stop School Violence Act, if you read it, it doesn't say the word "gun" once. The Stop School Violence Act was something that lawmakers who are taking money from the NRA are able to hide behind so they can say they took action after the tragedy at my school. But at the end of the day, the Stop School Violence Act is just a full -- it's a bag of hot air, really.

PAUL: Cameron, help people understand your perspective here. There are some people who might think you want to take the Second Amendment right away. Is that your intention?

KASKY: No, I'm in full support of the Second Amendment. My father has firearms inside our house. The only thing is, my father is trained. He has firearms that cannot mow down 17 people in six minutes. There are certain weapons that do not belong in the hands of citizens, and there are certain weapons that need to be regulated.

When people put speed limits on the street, and when people made you register cars, nobody said they're trying to take all our cars away. There are certain things that need to be done to make the dangerous things in our country safe. And if we need it to put regulations on weapons and make sure they are harder to get, easily trackable, and that the CDC could actually, research gun violence, these are all things that should be no-brainers.

PAUL: All right, I want to listen to something else that President Trump, said yesterday.


TRUMP: We are going to have to outlaw immediately, all vans and all trucks which are now the new form of death for the maniac terrorists, right? They take a truck and they run over eight people and wound 16 like what happened in New York and what just to happen. It's happening all over. So, let's ban immediately all trucks, all vans, maybe all cars -- how about cars? Let's not sell any more cars.


PAUL: Cameron, I don't know if you could understand that because I know that the audio was a little funny there. That he was basically saying, it would being sufficient, let's ban cars and trucks because they are the weapon of choice for terrorist. What do you made of him making light of -- it seems like he was making light of the situation there.

KASKY: Well, you know, that's an argument that I very often see from 12 year olds in my comments section. There's a very clear difference, President Trump, and I think you know what that difference and you're just kind of trying to have a little bit of a laugh at our expense.

Trucks are made to transport things. Trucks are made to bring one thing from point A to point B and so on. Guns are made for one very specific thing and that is to put bullets in people like what happened at my school.

So while trucks could indeed have accidents that harm a lot of people, trucks are also not made to harm people. But I don't even -- I shouldn't even need to say that. That's just the childish garbage you normally get from that guy while he's trying to get a laugh from a bunch people at the NRA convention, who are celebrating the weapons that killed my classmates.

PAUL: But, Cameron, I only have a couple of seconds left. But, what are you doing that you say your votes are what will -- what President Trump will end up listening to. What are you doing to make sure that happens? That he hears you and the people that believe your same -- you know, that have your same edict?


KASKY: We are going -- we are work -- of course, we are working on making voting more accessible, and we are making sure that the resources for voter education and voter registration are as readily available to the people in this country as they should be.

[07:35:04] PAUL: All right, Cameron Kasky, appreciate you being here, and thank you so much for sharing your perspective. Take good care.

KASKY: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right, a federal judge in one of the Paul Manafort case has says, the Mueller team does not care about Manafort, they're only using him to get to President Trump. Did this judge cross a line?


PAUL: Well, mortgage rates dipped slightly lower this week. Here's a look.


[07:40:01] BLACKWELL: A Miami police officer has been suspended after he was caught kicking a suspect in the head. But the suspect was in handcuffs on the ground. CNN's Rosa Flores has the story and a warning here, the video is disturbing.

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This cell phone video is difficult to watch. A black man is on his stomach getting handcuffed by Miami police when Officer Mario Figueroa run into frame. The video appears to show the officer kicking 31 year old David Suazo in the head.



FLORES: Then, drops to the ground and puts him in a headlock.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was unnecessary because he wasn't resisting on them.

FLORES: You'd never know, Suazo was apparently kicked and headlock from reading the police report which says, Suazo was driving an alleged stolen vehicle, then crashed it when he tried to evade police before fleeing on foot.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You didn't have to do all that, buddy.

FLORES: It was the shocked woman behind the camera who messaged police about the police.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That man should get fired. He was not a football for you to just kick him the way you did.


FLORES: The Miami police chief, swift to take action tweeting, "The video depicts a clear violation of policy. The officer has been relieved of duty. And the state attorney saying she was shocked, appalled, and opening an investigation." Suazo has been charged with grand theft auto, fleeing police, and other charges.

Figueroa is suspended with pay pending the investigation. Our phone calls to him and to the police union were not returned. The public defender's office who represents, Swazo, returned our phone calls but said that they do not comment on pending litigation. Rosa Flores, CNN, Miami.

PAUL: Well, a federal judge in Virginia is questioning the motives of the Mueller team. He's presiding over the bank fraud case of Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort. That case was brought to this judge, Judge Elliott by Mueller's team. But Judge Elliott says Mueller isn't really targeting Paul Manafort, he is after Donald Trump. Joey Jackson, CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney, with us now. So, Joey, the argument here is that the only reason Mueller is going after Manafort is to getting essentially to whistle. He wants to make him talk or flip. Do you believe there's truth to that?

JACKSON: Christi, good morning. You know, I believe that there's two separate issues here. One is what we might believe as people evaluating and looking at this, and perhaps, the general consensus is that Manafort is just a piece of the puzzle. That the real issue is Donald Trump, and certainly, to the extent that he served as campaign chairman for five months, his knowledge of Donald Trump, and you do want to get him to flip. That's issue number one.

The second issue though, and more important to me is a federal judge weighing in and opining as to that and perhaps, poaching prosecutors as to that, and questioning their motivations which I don't know to be appropriate. I mean, at the end of the day, Christi, federal judges do what they want to do. They serve for life, they are very powerful, you know, and they'll tell you what time it is in their courtroom. There's no question about it, I've been told a time or two.

But generally, what I've been told is about the quality of my arguments or a lack thereof, the quality of cases I cite or a lack thereof. You know, those are fair game, but when you start questioning the motivations, I think it fuels into a political narrative that really should not be in a federal courtroom.

PAUL: The judge questioned why Michael Cohen's investigation was handed over to federal prosecutors in New York. Manafort's case, however, was kept with the special counsel. Do you have that same question? Is that -- is that a valid question?

JACKSON: You know, it's a valid question, Christi, but at the end of the day, remember what the context this here, right? What Manafort's doing is trying to say that because of this power of the special counsel, he's indicted improperly, dismiss my charges.

I don't think at the end of the day, the remedy if the special counsel did exceed his powers -- I want to believe he did not, is not to dismiss over the charges. Perhaps, it is getting it in front of another U.S. attorney's office or in another district or what have you.

But, be that as it may, you know, prosecutors speak to each other. And so, if your real intent is to get the president or to get information behind the president, you make a phone call and say, "Hey, what are you doing with this case, maybe we could work collaboratively."

And so, you know, the other thing I should say, Christi, briefly, is that when prosecutors are investigating a case and they are going in one direction, oftentimes, other information about criminality surfaces. You could make the argument that, that happened -- that happened with Manafort.

Now, they didn't like the New York case make a referral to the southern district, they kept it -- you know, as a matter, of course. But I don't see anything wrong with that particularly, when Rod Rosenstein, said that what they are doing was within their power --

PAUL: In their power.

JACKSON: -- and he really controls the shots. And so, I just think the federal -- you know, judge again -- they had very powerful, they do what they want, it's they're feat them when you comes to their courtroom.

PAUL: OK, but then, though, here's my question as you say that. Based on what you saw from this judge, how likely do you think it is that he could dismiss the case against Manafort?

[07:45:08] JACKSON: Zero, quite frankly. I think that they're apples and oranges, Christi. I think that there's one thing in terms of the merits of an indictment. You have a grand jury, 23 people, not voting guilt or innocence, but 12, a majority saying that there's enough to indict. And it doesn't make your charges go away. Perhaps, the judge feels it might be more appropriately placed in another, you know, U.S. attorney's office or in another district. But just to dismiss charges and say, thank you, have a nice day. I don't see that happening at all.

Crimes are crimes no matter where committed. And you know, it's the U.S. attorney's job to get to the essence of those crimes and to get accountability. And I think that's what we'll see here. Whether the judge allows the special prosecutor to do it -- that is the special counsel or refers it elsewhere.

PAUL: All right. Joey Jackson, always appreciate your input. Thank you so much for being here.

JACKSON: Thank you, Christi. Have a great day.

PAUL: Yes. You, too.

BLACKWELL: Well, if you thought your phone conversations were perfectly private, first, you shouldn't. And then, the National Security Agency has now tripled its collection of phone records and text messages since 2016, this is according to a new report. Despite coincides with reports that there is been an increase in other surveillance methods, as well. Raising concerns of potential government overreach into the lives of ordinary citizens.

PAUL: More turmoil in the White House medical unit. This time Vice President Mike Pence's doctor has resigned. There was a "strained" relationship there that may have led to her departure. We'll going to talk about that. Stay close.


[07:50:47] PAUL: Well, Vice President Mike Pence's doctor has now resigned from the White House medical unit. She left a few days after CNN's reported that she had raised concerns about Ronny Jackson, President Trump's now former doctor, and his failed pick to run the V.A. CNN Senior Congressional Reporter Manu Raju, has details.

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A sudden resignation decision of Jennifer Pena, the vice president's doctor to suddenly to step aside on Thursday. This is just a couple of days after we reported at CNN about concerns that she had raised privately about Dr. Ronny Jackson, the president's former lead physician. The person he nominated to lead the Senate -- the Department of Veterans Affairs, the second largest department within the federal government.

He -- Jackson, had to withdraw amid all these allegations of misconduct. Well, roughly two dozen or so people came forward and talked to (INAUDIBLE) Senator Jon Tester of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee about their allegations, and Pena was one of them. She actually wrote three memos last fall, a detailing significant concerns about Ronny Jackson. Alleging that he -- one point, disclosed a private patient information of Karen Pence. That is Mike Pence's wife, during an incident that occurred last fall at Camp David, and she was treated at Walter Reed Hospital.

The vice president's doctor wrote a memo saying that Jackson, may have breached the HIPAA law and told that to Mrs. Pence, who later expressed concerns and asked that the chief of staff of the White House, John Kelly, be made aware of this situation.

Now, Pena wrote a memo detailing this to send it up the food chain. Now, when Jackson found out about this, he allegedly intimidated Jennifer Pena. He acted in aggressive manner according to Pena's memos, and its one point that got so bad at Pena wanted to resign. Of these concerns also were brought up the food chain, sent to the president -- vice president's chief of staff as well as John Kelly, the White House chief of staff.

Now, those were reported up the food chain in a different -- in the military and medical food chain, but John Kelly, the president, certainly did not act on that. Nevertheless, Jackson was nominated, his nomination withdrawn. And the president has railed against all these allegations.

This came all -- after all of that, Jennifer Pena, decided to step aside, will no longer be the vice president's physician, and no doubt a lot of questions now asking whether or not to do was any retaliation internally for her speaking out against the president's doctor. Manu Raju, CNN, Washington.

BLACKWELL: All right, speaking of doctors, Dr. Oz is getting a presidential appointment, the White House announced Friday. It intends to appoint Mehmet Oz to the president's council on sport, fitness, and nutrition. His -- this are the appearances, of course, you know, Dr. Oz from Oprah Winfrey Show, his own show addressing health and medical issues. And some feel he offers what they describe is unscientific and nonscientific advice on his show. But Oz has drawing criticism, as well, from other medical professionals and appeared before Congress about promotion of what he called miracle weight loss drugs.

PAUL: All right, aren't about you, I say tomato. My executive producer says tomato. But for the U.S. deputy attorney general, is his last name pronounced -- is he Rosenstein, is he Rosensteen? You know who broke this down for us? One Miss Jeanne Moos.

BLACKWELL: Of course, of course.


[07:58:30] PAUL: So, you think with a hefty title under your belt like deputy attorney general we'd know how to say his name.

BLACKWELL: Yes, you would think, but it's not the case for Rod Rosenstein. Here's Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Caught between a steen and a stine is Rod Rosen, whatever.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Remember Rosenstein?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you Mr. Rosensteen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosensteen -- stein.

MOOS: No wonder someone finally popped the question.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you pronounce your last name?

ROD ROSENSTEIN, UNITED STATES DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL: There is no right answer to that question.

MOOS: No right answer?


MOOS: Take it from this guy's creator.


ROSENSTEIN: My father pronounces its stein. That's so, I pronounce it --

Good morning, I'm Rod Rosenstein.

But I actually have relatives who pronounce steen, so, I'll answer to either one.

MOOS: But will he answer to this guy?

TRUMP: Rod Rosenstein?

REP. JERROLD NADLER (D-NY), HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: Welcome to the House Judiciary Committee, Mr. Rosensteen -- Mr. Rod Rosenstein.

MOOS: Please, I don't have much sympathy for all those steens and steins out there, if not with the last name like Moos.


MOOS: In German, the second vowel, usually takes precedence. So, the E.I. in Rosenstein is pronounced stein. But then, this guy's name should be Weiner.


MOOS: Weiner is an exception to the rule. Sometimes, neither choice is great, you want to be a winner or a Weiner? There was some winding on Reddit about the special prosecutor, does anyone else read the name Robert Mueller, and pronounce it like Ferris Bueller?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bueller, Ferris Bueller.

[08:00:00] MOOS: But this is Mueller -- Robert Mueller that we sometimes gets the Ferris Bueller treatment.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you talk with Sir Robert Mueller about his investigation?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To consult with Mr. Mueller.

MOOS: Sometimes it takes a stein to know one, Diane Feinstein.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Rosensteen, welcome.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, Mr. Rosenstein. Thank you, I remember --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's like Feinstein.

MOOS: Feinstein, it's creating a monster.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Took the Frankenstein.

MOOSE: Jeanne Moos, CNN.


MOOS: New York.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You putting me on.