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President Donald Trump's Personal Attorney Rudy Giuliani gave an Interview; Gina Haspel Nomination as CIA Director; U.S. Congressman Devin Nunes; CNN Heroes; United Shades of America New Episode; President Trump's Health Record. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired May 6, 2018 - 16:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

[16:00:26] FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: Happening now in the NEWSROOM, President Trump's newest attorney, Rudy Giuliani out this Sunday to clear the area.

RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S LAWYER: I never thought $130,000 was a real payment. It was a nuisance agreement. As far as I know it is a long standing agreement and Michael Cohen takes care situations like this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So did Michael Cohen make payments to other women for the President?

GIULIANI: I would have no knowledge of that, but I would think if it were necessary, yes. The Mueller part of the case -- that one's gone. I think if you ask the prosecutors off the record, they would say that one is gone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If the President has doing nothing wrong, as you say again and again and he tells the truth as you would advise him to do, what is the danger in answering Robert Mueller's questions?

GIULIANI: Because they are trying to trap -- you couldn't put a lawyer on this show who wants to keep his law license to tell you he should testify.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you confident the President will not take the fifth in this case?

GIULIANI: How can I be confident at that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does that interview just happened?

WHITFIELD: Trump's counsellor trying to offer clarity and perhaps some distance, too.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, WHITE HOUSE COUNSELOR: I have limited victim into what mayor Giuliani's talking about, because politely, is he's the President's counsel. I the President's counselor.

WHITFIELD: All this hours after Storm Daniels made her own forecast on SNL last night.

STORMY DANIELS, ADULT FILM STAR: I know you don't believe in climate change, but a storm's is coming, baby.

WHITFIELD: CNN NEWSROOM starts now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: All right. Hello, again, everyone. Thanks so much for joining me this Sunday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

If the President's new attorney's intent for going on the Sunday talk shows was to try to straighten things out, well, it may have backfired. There are even more questions now about what Giuliani called a nuisance payment to Stormy Daniels and possibly to others if necessary. And him saying Trump might refuse to comply with a possible Mueller subpoena. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So the President does deny any sexual relationship with Stormy Daniels?

GIULIANI: He has. I have not -- as I said, I'm not involved in that, but the reality is he denies it, she denies it. Then when it was opportunistic, right before the election, she came forward. And then of course, the whole thing happened with Michael Cohen. And it is history now because it wasn't a campaign or anything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But wait. Let me just -- you say it is history. When did the President first learn that Stormy Daniels wanted money to keep quiet about the relationship?

GIULIANI: Don't know. It doesn't matter to me. What matters to me are two things here. Too relevant legal things, which is what my job is. Number one, it was not a campaign contribution that would have been done anything. This is the kind of thing I have settled through celebrities and famous people. Every lawyer that does that kind of work has. And number two, even if it was considered a campaign contribution, it was entirely reimbursed out of personal funds. Which I don't even think we will get to because the first one is enough. So case closed for Donald Trump. And I think for Michael Cohen who I think got a big boost with Judge Ellis's comments the other day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the other day you also told Buzz Feed though that at some point after the 2016 election, Michael Cohen had complained to some people that he hadn't been paid by Donald Trump. And that so then you said that Cohen met with Donald Trump and told him, and Giuliani said that we will cover your expenses. They will worked out this $35,000 a month retainer after that. So the President did know about this after the campaign.

GIULIANI: Can't say that. I mean, at some point, yes but it could have been recently. It could have been a while back. Those are the facts that we are still working on and that, you know, may be a little bit of dispute. This is more rumored than there is anything else. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You said to Buzz Feed.

GIULIANI: Yes, I mean, that's one of the possibilities and one of the rumors. The reality is--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You stated it as fact.

GIULIANI: Well, maybe I did. But right now, I'm at the point where I'm learning, and I can only -- I can't prove that. I can just say it's rumor. I can prove its rumor, but I can't prove its fact.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You said the President worked out a retainer agreement with Michael Cohen after the election or repay him on the settlement to Stormy Daniels.

GIULIANI: The second part of it, the last part of it, the retainer agreement was to repay expenses, which turns out to have included this one to the woman who was on "Saturday Night Live" last night, trying to make more money. And now our NDA with her, seems to be irrelevant because she wan wants to break it up because she wants to make a lot more money than $130,000. I never thought $130,000. I know this sounds funny for people there at home. I never thought $130,000 was a real payment. When I settle this for what is real or a real possibility is a couple of million dollars not $130,000.

[16:05:06] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But did call it a settlement payment. The President did make these payments into Michael Cohen, over the course of 2017, according to you. Then why did on April 5th, why did the President deny any knowledge of the payments when in fact --?

GIULIANI: I don't know when the President learned about it. He could have learned about it after or not connected he whole thing at that time. The reality is those are not facts that worry me as a lawyer. Those don't amount to anything, but what is said to the press.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you confident that Michael Cohen never told President Trump he made this payment in order (INAUDIBLE)?

GIULIANI: Number one, why would I be? And why would I be concerned when it was not a campaign contribution? It was done for other purposes in addition to possible campaign purposes, end of case.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: Or is it? Stormy Daniels' lawyer, Michael Avenatti is responding to Giuliani's whirlwind interview this morning. Listen to what he told CNN.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: I want to ask you right away about the latest this morning from Rudy Giuliani on ABC News. Take a listen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You said he -- this was regular arrangement he had to Michael Cohen. So, did Michael Cohen make payments to other women for the President?

GIULIANI: I have no knowledge of that. But I would think if I was necessary, yes.

TAPPER: What's your reaction to that? Do you have any indication that there might be other women that we don't know about?

MICHAEL AVENATTI, STORMY DANIELS' LAWYER: Well, Jake, I think that when all the facts and evidence comes out, there's going to be evidence of payments to other women. I think that's going to be laid bare for the American people.

But I have to tell you. This interview that Rudy Giuliani gave this morning is just the latest in a series of train wrecks for Rudy Giuliani and the President. They can't get their facts straight. They keep changing every interview they give. He facts take on a new life of their own. And this is what happens when you lie and try to cover up and this is exactly what happens.

TAPPER: Giuliani also said this morning that he expects that Trump fixer Michael Cohen will cooperate in the investigations. But investigators might be disappointed because Cohen doesn't have any incriminating information about President Trump? I imagine that you think you shouldn't be so sure about that.

AVENATTI: Well, no. I think he should be absolutely unsure about that. I don't think there's any question. I have been saying this for a while, that Michael Cohen is going to turn states evidence on the President. And I'm confident that theirs is going to be a lot of evidence and a lot of conduct that's going to come to light.

I mean, the story, Jake, between this concentrating this $130,000 payment. And I don't want to say story because now it stories. The stories that they are trying to peddle to the American people are forever changing over the last few months and even over the last 72 hours. Now Rudy Giuliani is trying to claim that he really doesn't know the facts. He isn't really up to speed. And so the most basic facts. I mean, these are facts that you would find out as an attorney in the first 30 minutes of a meeting with a client. This is not that complicated of a situation. Did the President know about the $130,000 payment? When did he know about it? Did he know about the agreement? Did he reimburse it? And how did he reimbursed it?

I mean, I don't understand what is so complicated about this unless you tried to hide things.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: All right. The White House has been all over the place on this Stormy payment. First, the President didn't know about it, then he knew, but then claimed Michael Cohen paid for it himself. But then last week, Rudy Giuliani said that the President reimbursed Cohen. Catch all that?

Well, today, a new wrinkle from the White House. Here to explain, CNN White House correspondent Boris Sanchez -- Boris. BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, there, Fred.

Yes. Kellyanne Conway was on the "STATE OF THE UNION" this morning with Jake Tapper. And she was trying to clarify an apparent denial from President Trump when he was asked on air force one if he knew about a $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels. He was asked last month, and he said no.

Today Kellyanne Conway, senior advisor to the President said that he was saying that he didn't know about the payment when it took place. Something that he wasn't exactly asked, Conway was also asked about statements made by Rudy Giuliani, the President's newly minted attorney. She didn't really get in to those saying that she is not (INAUDIBLE) to some of the President's legal issues. Here's more of what Kellyanne Conway said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CONWAY: I would also tell you that I'm happy to answer these questions, but I have limited visibility into what mayor Giuliani is talking about, because politely he is the President's counsel. I am the President's counselor.

I will tell you, though, and speaking with the President just yesterday, when the President said no on air force one, he was talking about he didn't know when the payment occurred. It was a very fast moving exchange between him and (INAUDIBLE) the "AP" I believe. And so, he is saying he didn't know about it when it occurred, he found out about it after the fact.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: And Kellyanne was also asked that if the White House had an issue with credibility after all of these denials and contradictions, she says no.

One final note, Fred. The President actually met with Rudy Giuliani earlier today. They were both at his golf club where the President spent much of the day. He returned a short while ago. And reporters from "the Washington Post" were able to note some comments that Giuliani made notably. He said that he had struck a deal with President Trump. That he would allow President Trump to focus on serious issues like a denuclearization deal with North Korea and trade with China and that he would focus on the legal issues. Of course, we know that the President has had a difficult time staying disciplined when it comes to not chiming in about the special counsel and the investigation confronting this White House, Fred.

[16:10:0037] WHITFIELD: All right. Boris Sanchez at the White House. Thank you so much.

All right. Still a lot to break down. Joining me right now to discuss, CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney Joey Jackson and CNN legal analyst and defense attorney Mark Geragos.

Good to see you both. OK. So Joey, let me begin with you. Giuliani joining Trump's legal

team with the main goal, at least his expressed goal is to help put an end to the Russia probe. But now, we have him creating all this confusion around the Stormy Daniels payment. So what does this say to you about Trump's legal strategy if at all, so what do you see happening from here now that all that's out there?

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It's perplexing, it's confusing, it's disorienting, and it's chaotic. I mean, that is the essence of it.

Listen. We, as lawyers, ultimately, what we do is we serve as advocates for our client. So let's rewind and talk about how this happens. We have the rollout of Giuliani and he comes out on TV talking about, you know, three cardinal sins he commits.

Number one, he contradicts the President with regard to his knowledge of the payment. Number two, he contradicts Cohen with regards to reimbursement issues. And number three actually is one and two, he contradicts everybody. But more importantly though, Fredricka, he lays a connection between

the campaign and in essence the payment, so how do you do that?

And then you have the President coming out there after saying, he was on the campaign a day. He has been here a day, but he has been out there two weeks. And then you have the President covering for the lawyer. It's supposed to be the other way around. And then you have Giuliani then walked it back and then you have him roll it out anew. So this entirely ridiculous.

And you know, it is interesting Fredericka, because in a court of law, we attorneys love what are called prior inconsistent statements? Why? Because there's a jury instruction given to the jury, we are not there yet, but this is a jury in court of public opinion, and it says, you know, if the witness testified on an earlier time and it is different from what they testified here, you could use that to evaluate truthfulness.

So I leave it to you, Fredricka. I leave it to everyone listening. What does it say about the multiple stories in terms of voracity, credibility and truthfulness? It is not a good look, for sure.

WHITFIELD: It is not a good look.

And so Mark, you know, if we could just extrapolate a little bit of what Giuliani did say today, because while he talked about the Stormy Daniels payoff, he also called a kind of a nuisance payment, you know, that the $130,000 is not even a lot, you know, for a situation like this, because, you know, Trump is worth a lot more money. And this does contradict the whole there was no payment, justified payment. And you know, I guess it brings to the issue of does this help investigators zone in on whether this was campaign money? This was money paid to withhold information from the voting public, as opposed what Giuliani said, it protecting his family?

MARK GERAGOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, you know, I think that the best defense that they have got and actually there's kernels of it in what Giuliani was saying, is that Michael Cohen is on retainer. Michael Cohen is supposed to take care of, you know, what we famously called it in the '90s bimbo eruptions when it has to do with the president then. And that he didn't know at the time in real time but he learned afterwards.

You could make that argument with the straight face. You could say look, it was 15 days before the election. He didn't need to be bothered with this -- blah, blah, blah.

All of the other stuff that Joey just outlined, is, you know, arguably is going to be a problem if Rudy Giuliani actually gets in a courtroom. My guess is that he is out there more as a PR voice right now and he is not doing the greatest job, but ultimately, you don't want to put him in a courtroom to try to make these arguments because some judge or some prosecutor is going to have a field day with all of the conflicting adoptive admissions or anything else.

That's why o don't think the President shouldn't been saying the word. They should leave this to the new lawyer that they brought in to take over. And well, I know, the problem is, you are not going to be able to use Rudy's statements unless he is in the courtroom. So I don't think they have done real damage to themselves. And frankly, when it comes to the base -- everybody I talked to --

WHITFIELD: Isn't it up to the investigators?

[16:15:00] GERAGOS: The investigators at this point I think are going to focus on Cohen. And Cohen is going to have whatever he is going to have. I don't believe that Cohen is going to stand tall. I think he is going to flip, I agree with Michael Avenatti. Then it is a matter of what does he have? Does he have something to do with the Russian investigation? Does he have something to do with the Ukrainian taxing medallions in New York? I don't know. Who knows if he has something to do with financing and how Trump got his financing.

But at the end of the day, Cohen is going to flip no matter what Rudy Giuliani or the President says, because he is nothing going to leave himself expose and take a bullet for the President. It is just not going to happen.

WHITFIELD: And then Joey, if Michael Cohen flips or perhaps if Giuliani gave investigators look at more materials to find out how money may or may not have been inappropriately used prior to his election because Giuliani did say, you know, if there were other payments, you know, if necessary, you know, he left the door open that there could be more money payouts not just Stormy Daniels, is that problematic?

JACKSON: You know, Fredricka, everything is problematic. So just take a step back for one minute and think about what we are dealing with here. We are dealing with a President who could potentially be served with the subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury.

Now, he could take the fifth amendment, absolutely. That is his right, right? President is not above the law but he is not beneath the law. Maybe he has a political problem in taking it, he can do that.

But in the event the President speaks, right, you have a problem, because we know, did you see victor Blackwell's jelly bean jar, with the 3,000 and whatever lies. I mean, it is insane. You have that.

And then you have the Stormy Daniels issue, Fredricka, where we are in, right. He may in fact be deposed. So you have now a deposition that may potentially happen. Now you have the southern district, honing in on Michael Cohen which he may flip and give information adverse to the President's interest. So either you cross this out, it is problematic for the President.

And you know, Mark raises a very good issue which is he shouldn't be talking. But the problem Mark is that he has been talking and you have these issues out there and every time he talks he creates more issues and problems and disasters for himself. And that is just -- it is insanity at this point. He is in a lot of (INAUDIBLE).

GERAGOS: Well, he is certainly not the first client who talks when their lawyer tells them to shut up.

JACKSON: This is true.

GERAGOS: But it is what it is.

WHITFIELD: But now potentially, you have got the lawyer who is talking a lot. Even after saying the facts we were working on. I mean that's coming from the attorney.

GERAGOS: It is stunning. But you know, let me take a shot at former prosecutors, there's a tendency amongst former prosecutors to believe that they can just throw anything up there because that's what defense lawyers do. And it really isn't what defense lawyers do. If you're a defense lawyer, you try to stay out. And he has try to tell the truth and that is unfortunately kind of an (INAUDIBLE) with former prosecutors.

WHITFIELD: All right.

(INAUDIBLE)

WHITFIELD: All right. Mark Geragos and Joey Jackson, we will leave it there. Thank you so much, gentlemen.

JACKSON: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: All right. President Trump says he wants to talk to Bob Mueller's team, but Rudy Giuliani, well, he describes that would be a perjury trap, so what one of the President's close friends had to say about his interview with the special counsel and the warning that he has for the President, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:22:39] WHITFIELD: President Trump's new personal attorney Rudy Giuliani repeatedly attacked special counsel Robert Mueller's probe today. Giuliani also was asked if he would allow the President to sit for an interview with Mueller.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If the President's done nothing wrong as you say again and again.

GIULIANI: He hasn't done anything wrong.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And he tells the truth as you would advise him to do, what is the danger in answering Robert Mueller's questions.

GIULIANI: Because they are trying to trap -- you couldn't put a lawyer on the show who wants to keep his law license to tell you he should testify.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- If he doesn't tell the truth.

GIULIANI: No it isn't. It is only prosecutable if they have some builds up manipulated evidence to prove the President didn't tell the truth. Now, how often does that happen?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you held evidence to prove he doesn't tell the truth. And the President didn't tell the truth.

GIULIANI: No. People do things like lie. People lie. Could Comey be lying? You are damned right he could be lying, George, and we are going to walk ourselves into a trap like that?

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The special counsel then he is the one who is vulnerable to perjury. The President tell truth -- he is not.

GIULIANI: And the special counsel has to be open to believing them. The special counsel so far seems to think that Comey is Moses. And I happen to think Comey is Judas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But you believe the President is telling the truth. If you believe that, if you have that conviction, you are his attorney, why don't you say go in, talk to Robert Mueller and tell the truth?

GIULIANI: Because I would be an attorney if I did that, George. I would be living in some kind of unreal fantasy world that everybody tells the truth.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[16:24:14] WHITFIELD: All right. Let's talk more. Mark Geragos is back with me. I'm also joined by Ron Brownstein, CNN senior political analyst and senior editor for the "Atlantic" and CNN political analyst and Princeton University historian and professor Julian Zelizer.

All right. Good that you all are back, OK, so Giuliani, you know, he said built up and a manipulated evidence that something that he and his client fear.

So Mark, you know, how does Trump avoid talking, being interviewed?

GERAGOS: Trump -- look. There's a reason why John Dowd. There is a reason why no lawyer would like him talk in this instance. And having been through this a zillion times with this client. There is no way you are going to put this client in front of this investigation and let him talk. I don't care what he says, you are not going to be lawyer that does that.

You can say well, he is innocent. You can say well, he doesn't do this or that. But there's no way in front of a grand jury where you don't have a lawyer present that you are going to let your client go in there and talk. It is just not going to happen.

[16:25:16] WHITFIELD: So Ron, political suicide for the President to not to talk?

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. It's the hydraulics. So you reduce your legal risk and increase your political risk. I mean, with Bill Clinton, we have the President talking to the special counsel, you know, and the prosecutor at that point. The issue did not -- was not adjudicated in the end on whether they could compel the testimony. But they negotiated testimony. And we have the President of the president sitting to answer these questions.

Now, if President Trump and Rudy Giuliani and everyone else involve decide that he is not going to talk, that is a huge political roll of the dice because it pushes to the edge, the idea that they believe they have discredited the investigation and off with their base that there would not be for refusing to answer questions.

The problem they had is they is consistently in polls, a majority of Americans still say they believe this is a legitimate inquiry and it will raises serious national security questions. And if they choose to go against that and not answer questions, and further, if the house and Senate Republicans basically throw up their hands and say fine, they kind of force all of these issues to a head in November, about whether Republicans are providing sufficient constraint and oversight of the press (ph).

WHITFIELD: So then, Julian, so you know, other presidents have been subpoenaed. Clinton, Nixon. So what can President Trump learn from that?

JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think President Clinton is obviously a warning for President Trump. Meaning that in the middle of the testimony, it's very easy, even if there's a sense of what the President wants to convey, and what kinds of information wants to be shared, that he can put himself to a problematic situation, both legally and politically, that's what happened with President Clinton and of course, Monica Lewinsky.

So these things are fraught. And I think that's part of why Giuliani is continuing with the campaign of de-legitimization, meaning arguing this is a trap. And so, if this is forced to happen, if the President can't find a way out, he is already planting seeds of doubt that this wasn't a set up. And I think Ron is right. I don't know if that will work but that is the gamble. That's the bet.

WHITFIELD: And Mark, not testifying, not being interviewed, does not mean -- does not cement cases go away?

GERAGOS: No, not at all?

WHITFIELD: So what's the goal?

GERAGOS: He just brought on the lawyer who handled Bill Clinton's impeachment. So he is going to have somebody who is going to tell him firsthand -- yes. And it did not work out well for Clinton and there was no upside to Clinton. Clinton should have just let that Paula Jones case go by the way of default. In this case, all he should do is say this is an illegitimate investigation from the get-go. I'm not cooperating. Tell them to go panned sand (ph). They can do what they want to do but it is still legitimate.

WHITFIELD: Sure. He is listening.

GERAGOS: No other logical --.

WHITFIELD: All right. Mark Geragos, Julian Zelizer, and Ron Brownstein, thanks so much to all of you. I appreciate it.

We will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:30:01] WHITFIELD: Gina Haspel, President Trump' nominee to run the CIA, tried to withdraw her nomination on Friday, according to the Washington Post. Haskel's nomination has been controversial because of her role in the interrogation of terror suspects, that some have labeled torture. And she's facing the prospect of a difficult confirmation hearing. CNN's Senior Diplomatic Correspondent, Michelle Kosinski joining me now from Washington, so Michelle, it appears now that Haspel will continue to her confirmation hearing on Wednesday, right?

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN, SENIOR DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. But this is in an interesting back and forth. It was laid out by the Washington Post. So as you put out there, we knew that her confirmation was going to be very difficult. The Democrats have major questions about her time in the CIA, and she's very qualified. She spent more than 30 years in the CIA, but she did oversee a U.S. secret detention camp in Thailand.

She supported enhanced interrogation techniques. Somebody was water boarded at that Thailand camp while she was in charge of it. There are many questions surrounding this, and how much she supported the use of torture, what were her feelings on that. However, this apparently reached ahead of sorts on Friday when not based on any real new information, according to the Washington Post, but based on a lot of the questions that were coming from Congress. The White House decided to summon her there on Friday. They wanted to

hear what her responses were going to be to some of these very tough questions. And as a result of that, she walked away, saying that she would withdraw her nomination because she was worried about this process but also worried about the reputation of the CIA would come out of this.

According to the Washington Post story, members of the White House team then talked to her after this questioning at the White House for several hours, finally reaching the conclusion that she would retain her nomination, and she would go through this hearing on Wednesday. But obviously, there's worry there. There's real worry about what's going to come out of these questions.

[16:34:52] So the White House has put out a statement, saying that she's qualified, that this nomination is not going to derailed by partisan critics, who would rather side with the ACLU than the CIA on keeping America safe, which is kind of an interesting thing to say, given how the President himself has at times failed the U.S. intelligence community.

But the CIA did put out a statement on this as well, saying there has been a fascinating phenomenon over the last few weeks. There was who know the true Gina Haspel, who worked with her, who served with her, who helped confront terrorism, Russia and countless other threats to our nation. They almost uniformly support her.

That is true for people who disagree nearly about anything else. There is a reason for that. When the American people finally have a chance to see the true Gina Haspel on Wednesday, they will understand why is so admired and why is and will be a great leader for this agency. So come Wednesday, we will see. We'll see what these questions are and how she -- you would assume now is very prepared to answer them.

WHITFIELD: All right. Michelle Kosinski thanks so much. All right, still ahead, Republican Congressman Devin Nunes lashing out at U.S. Justice Department, why the Chairman of the House Intel Committee is threatening to hold the attorney general in contempt, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAL)

[16:40:00] WHITFIELD: All right, welcome back. U.S. Congressman Devin Nunes is making a big threat against Jeff Sessions, the Republican Chairman of the House Intel Committee, says he's moving to hold Sessions in contempt of Congress for withholding classified documents. Joining us right now is CNN Justice Reporter Laura Jarrett. So Laura, do we know why the DOJ withheld these documents?

LAURA JARRETT, CNN, JUSTICE REPORTER: Yes, Fred. I obtained the letter that shows the Justice Department made it quite clear to Chairman Nunes that they were not going to able to turn over specific materials on a certain individual who was unnamed, because it could pose a risk to national security, could endanger the lives of sources, could jeopardize an ongoing investigation. Now, Nunes says that he continues to need these documents as he

continues his own expedition on the Russia investigation. But it will be interesting to see what happens here. We have seen how these fights play out, where he demands documents. The Justice Department eventually relents and turns them over. But it appears that DOJ has really dug its heels here in, Fred. It will be interesting to see who blinks first.

WHITFIELD: And then CNN has reported that Nunes has demanded Justice Department records before and then doesn't even read them. So why more documents?

JARRETT: That's the big question. It's so curious, you know. He demands documents like one that officially kicked off the Russia investigation, or he'll be looking for documents on the dossier, on Trump and Russia, or even the surveillance warrants on former Trump campaign aide, Carter Page. He pressed for those for months, eventually get them, but then he doesn't read them.

Now, he says that he has turned to another Congressman in his place Congressman Trey Gowdy, who is a former prosecutor. He says that Gowdy is well equipped to review these documents, and Nunes' own staff has also reviewed them. But Nunes' critics say that look, he's demanding all these highly sensitive materials, which he says he needs to further understand the entire situation. So why isn't he reading them, Fred?

WHITFIELD: All right. Laura Jarrett, thank you so much.

JARRETT: Thanks.

WHITFIELD: Still so much more straight ahead in the Newsroom. But first, last year, we shared the story of Coach Khali Sweeney, a top 10 CNN Hero who uses boxing to lead kids on a path to success. His story of perseverance and sacrifice has inspired many, including one student who reached out personally.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) for a second. Remember when he said that he wanted to Skype with us? Well, you decided to do a little more than that. Can I introduce Mr. Khali Sweeney from Downtown Boxing Gym (Inaudible) Detroit, Michigan?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was so honored to meet him, meet somebody like Khali Sweeney who changes lives every single day.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: The full story of Khali's surprise or perhaps you want to nominate someone you think should be a CNN Hero. Go to CNN.heroes.com.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:45:00] WHITFIELD: Tonight on CNN, W. Kamau Bell is back with an all episode of United Shades of America. This week, he takes us to the heart of the American Sikh community to get a better understanding of one of the country's most misunderstood religions.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Knowledge of most of the religions in America is somewhere between kind of understood to gleefully misunderstood. And then there are Sikh's, also known as Sikhs, but more and more wanted to be called Sikhs. Yeah, even their name is misunderstood. So let's see what happens when I show people on the street a picture of a Sikh. Do you have any idea what religion this guy might be? MALE: Muslim? That's a good guess. A lot of people say Muslim.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Satan.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did he just say Satan? Is that even a religion? So little is understood about the Sikh religion, that many people assume that they are members of other religions, and if they look this, guess which religion is most popular for people to associate them with.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sikhs have been targeted now repeatedly (Inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- responsible for shooting a Sikh man in his driveway is still on the run.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This month's attack on two Sikh men, shot while walking along the street in Oak Grove.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The gunman allegedly told the victim to go back to your country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A crime of hate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Since 9/11, anti Muslim hate crimes, which shouldn't happen in the first place, have more and more been committed against Sikh's. Yup, in America, we can't even get our hate straight.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[16:49:53] WHITFIELD: All right. Joining me now to talk about tonight's episode, W. Kamau Bell, the Host of CNN's United Shades of America. And right off the bat, I learned something too. I've been saying Sikh all this time. So now I got to you know, I have got to know. It's Sikh, so.

W. KAMAU BELL, CNN'S UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA, HOST: Yes.

(CROSSTALK)

BELL: That's just one of many words I've mispronounced in the episode.

WHITFIELD: OK. Well -- but you're setting us all straight now. So why is it that this Sikh religion is so misunderstood in America? BELL: Well, because we sort of only have room in our brains

apparently for so many religions. And I think this episode is about opening that up. I think we associate every religion from like the Middle East and Asia, that's not Buddhism, you know what I mean? So I think that because we associate turbans with Muslim and we associate beards with Muslims, whereas (Inaudible) is cultural.

An in this country, as hate crimes (Inaudible) after 9/11 and after President Trump's election, it's pretty dangerous when people mistake people for Muslims who are Sikhs.

WHITFIELD: And so where did this idea come about? I understand you were approached with this idea?

BELL: Yeah, I was approached on Twitter, so an internet approach. (Inaudible) Singh, who is one of the co-founders in the Sikh coalition, saw me live tweeting another episode, which I'll be live tweeting this one tonight, and he reached out to me and said you should come to Boston and talk with me about the Sikh community. And I said yes, which leads me open to that happening a lot now on Twitter.

WHITFIELD: That's good. Well, that's a great idea because people are talking to you, reaching out to you about what it is they want to know more of, or they're hoping you can help re-educate people about things?

BELL: I mean let's be clear, I am actually re-educating myself. So I mean I didn't know much about their religion either. So the great thing about this show is that you're seeing me learn in real time, and hopefully you at home are learning too.

WHITFIELD: Yeah. It's been very enlightening on many topics. Now about the Sikh religion, what have people been conveying to you about you know among the lessons they really want conveyed.

BELL: Well, I mean I think we always see people with turbans and beards as foreign. But we talked to a lot people in this episode from (Inaudible) California, whose families have been in this country since the 1900s. And a lot of (Inaudible) of the Sikh faith actually perfectly aligns perfectly with what we call American values.

WHITFIELD: And so do you feel like people are going to walk away after having watched an hour of your episode as being more compassionate, being more empathetic, understanding, and enlightened?

BELL: This is just the beginning of a larger conversation. This isn't really about representation. Apparently, our program about the Sikhs is the first hour-long thing on the Sikhs in this country. So this has to be the beginning of the conversation, and actually I hope it opens the door for Sikhs to represent themselves on TV so they don't have six foot four black guy with an afro every time.

WHITFIELD: And so your expectation especially after the airing this evening, when everyone will get a chance to see it, you know that this will illicit a bigger conversation at least. (CROSSTALK)

BELL: Yes -- start a conversation and talk about representation on film and on TV because they need to be able to tell their own stories. I shouldn't have to go everywhere to tell the story. So hopefully, it will help them get access to the media on their own.

WHITFIELD: All right. We're glad you are among the story tellers helping to share these stories with people.

BELL: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: W. Kamau Bell, always good to see you. Thanks so much. And of course, be sure to tune in tonight, an all new episode of United Shades of America at 10:00 p.m., only here on CNN, right here. And we'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:55:01] WHITFIELD: You could say President Trump seems to have an issue with his doctors, and that's this week's state of the (Inaudible) with Jake Tapper.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This week, President Trump's former personal doctor said his office had been robbed by a White House aid and others looking for the President's medical files.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All of these medical records, his pictures, anything they could find. They must have been here for 25 to 30 minutes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The White House claims this was all standard procedure, but it got us wondering, what exactly does the President look for when choosing a medical professional? Is it a physician with a loose understanding of doctor-patient confidentiality?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) it's not a breach of medical trust. (Inaudible) What's the matter with that?

DONALD TRUMP, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: Well, a beautiful head of hair on that guy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Or an M.D. who is skilled at taking dictation perhaps, "the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency."

TRUMP: My health has been very good and very strong.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Or maybe the President's top medical criteria is just a doctor who shares the billionaire's superlative opinion of his own physical specimen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's called genetics. I don't know. Some people have you know just great genes (Inaudible). I don't know. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After all, when it comes to medical opinions,

President Trump certainly had no problem playing doctor for his political opponent, Hillary Clinton.

TRUMP: Hillary Clinton does not have the stamina, doesn't have the energy, doesn't have it, and doesn't have the strength to be President.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: All right. Thanks, Jake. And thanks so much for joining me this afternoon. I am Fredericka Whitfield. The next hour of the CNN Newsroom starts right now. Have a great week.

ANA CABRERA, CNN, HOST: It is five o'clock Eastern, two in the afternoon out West. I am Ana Cabrera in New York. You are live in the CNN Newsroom, great to have you with us. Our breaking news this hour, President Trump meeting face-to-face this afternoon with Rudy Giuliani, the newest member of his outside legal team. Today's meeting comes just hours after Giuliani made more controversial comments in new interviews this weekend.

The two New Yorkers apparently talking things over at Trump's golf club in Virginia and when asked today if Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen may have paid off other women besides porn star Stormy Daniels, here is how Giuliani responded.