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Officials Warn of Laze Hazard as Lava Reaches Ocean; Duke and Duchess of Sussex to Begin Royal Duties; Mueller Probe Hits One-Year Mark; Georgia Governor Candidate Wheels Out Deportation Bus. Aired 6- 7p ET
Aired May 20, 2018 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
[18:00:43] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: It's 6:00 Eastern, 3:00 in the afternoon out West. I'm Ana Cabrera and you are in the CNN NEWSROOM. Thank you for being with us.
President Trump today unleashing on Twitter, slamming the investigation he calls a $20 million witch hunt, raging on the media, the fake news, calling a "New York Times" story long and boring and then this from the president.
"I hereby demand and will do so officially tomorrow that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI, DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump campaign for political purposes, and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama administration."
He's referring to recent reports that the bureau sent someone into the campaign in 2016 looking for potential ties to Russia. President Trump equates that to FBI spying on his campaign.
CNN correspondent Ryan Nobles is at the White House right now.
Ryan, that demand from the president, it's his words, is he talking about investigation separate from the IG report already underway?
RYAN NOBLES, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, if he is, Ana, the Department of Justice is already responding because we've received a statement from the Department of Justice, the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein where they say that they're going to ask the inspector general who's already investigating whether the acquisition of surveillance of some members of the Trump campaign was appropriate, that they're going to expand that investigation to determine whether or not there was any political motivation behind the acquisition of these statements.
And this is the statement from Rod Rosenstein, it says, "If anyone did infiltrate or surveil participants in a presidential campaign for inappropriate purposes we need to know about it and take appropriate actions." So already the Department of Justice responding to the president's call for someone to look into this particular issue. Now we don't know, Ana, if that specifically what the president was
looking for, because the White House has not explained it all what he was talking about in his tweet. We do know that yesterday he tweeted about the House Intelligence Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee being able to obtain documents related to this surveillance program and this informant hoping to find out more information in that regard.
So the president may want more than just this, but at the very least he is getting some results as the Department of Justice saying that the inspector general will expand their investigation to find out if there were any political motivation behind this investigation -- Ana.
CABRERA: Ryan, another new development this hour. Our Dana Bash just spoke with the president's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who is now talking about a possible date for when the special counsel obstruction investigation of the White House might be concluded?
NOBLES: Yes, that's right. And Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City, serving as the president's attorney, telling our Dana Bash that Robert Mueller told him about a month ago that the investigation could wrap up as early as the 1st of September. But it was in the context of Giuliani and Mueller talking about the possibility of the president sitting down with the special counsel for an interview. And Giuliani speculating that perhaps that was what the special counsel was attempting to get out of this conversation. Essentially insinuating that if the -- if the interview took place then the investigation could wrap up a big quicker.
You know, Ana, we should point out that to a certain extent you do have to take anything that Rudy Giuliani says with a degree of skepticism, not everything he's said has turned out to be and even sometimes it's in conflict with his own client. But in this case, the mayor telling our Dana Bash that the special counsel is telling him they could wrap everything up by September 1st. We'll have to see if that actually happens.
CABRERA: We will see.
Ryan Nobles, at the White House, thank you.
Let's get straight to our all-star panel, joining us, CNN law enforcement contributor and retired FBI supervisory agent, Steve Moore, CNN Politics reporters, Jeremy Herb, and CNN chief legal analyst and former federal prosecutor, Jeffrey Toobin, joining us on the phone.
Jeffrey, what do you make of this statement from Rod Rosenstein, the deputy AG, who is now overseeing the Mueller probe, saying if anyone infiltrated a campaign and surveilled participants for inappropriate reasons, the DOJ needs to know?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I mean, this is just another example of the president using his power to manipulate the judicial system. I mean, we have a tradition in this country of an independent investigation, tradition by the Justice Department, even though it is part of the executive branch.
[18:05:05] But the president is now browbeating his subordinates into doing what he says in an investigation of him. And I don't think there is anything particularly wrong with expanding the inspector general's investigation, but I mean, you know, this constant harassment of the Justice Department is something we have never seen before by a president.
CABRERA: And looking at Nancy Pelosi's response right now, she says, "His conspiratorial fantasies must not be allowed to undermine the proper function of our justice system."
Jeffrey, do you think that's what's happening here?
TOOBIN: Well, I -- that's a highly politicized way of saying it, but I do think the president is, you know, using his power over the Justice Department to exonerate himself from an investigation of the -- by the Justice Department. And that is something that Richard Nixon didn't do during Watergate, except during the Saturday night massacre, which he paid a heavy price for. It is not something that other presidents have done during their times in office. And we're just in a new era in terms of presidential control of investigations of presidents themselves.
CABRERA: Steve, as a former FBI agent what's your response to this DOJ statement, saying if anyone did infiltrate or surveil participants in a presidential campaign for inappropriate purposes, we need to know about it and take appropriate action?
STEVE MOORE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CONTRIBUTOR: Well, that's like them saying murder is bad and if anybody has killed anybody, we'll certainly deal with it. They're not accepting anything as true. They're not saying that anything went wrong. They're simply saying, hey, we'll look at it and if there's anything here we'll -- I mean, what else can say they at this point?
You can't ignore it. You can't ignore what the president said, because that -- if they don't look at it, it will really hurt the public trust in some areas. I don't think they're going to find anything. But I will say that using an informant in a political campaign is an aggressive maneuver. And I'm not disagreeing with the need for it. I'm just saying that if -- if I was looking at a case and saw that they had used an informant in the opposition's political campaign, I would want to see a lot of smoke.
CABRERA: Jeremy, will this statement from Rosenstein placate the president?
JEREMY HERB, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Well, that remains to be seen. And so far anything the Justice Department has done has really not been able to placate the president or his critics on Capitol Hill. I do remember previously when there was talk about an inspector general report from Attorney General Jeff Sessions it prompted Trump to tweet that inspector generals are too slow and not the right tactic. So I'm not totally sure that this is the end of this by any stretch. We also have Rod Rosenstein I under fire from Republicans over these
documents related to this confidential source. You have House Intelligence chairman Devin Nunes and others threatening contempt or even possibly impeachment if they don't get the documents they're looking for. So you're seeing kind of this two-pronged offensive against the Justice Department both from the president and then his allies in Congress.
CABRERA: Jeffrey, I want to turn to these claims by Rudy Giuliani that Mueller assured him the probe could be wrapped up by September. He says it was made in the context of Trump sitting for a possible interview. Does an assurance like this from Mueller make sense to you?
TOOBIN: Well, I think we need to be clear about what even Rudy Giuliani said, which was that this would only be the obstruction of justice investigation that would wrap up by September. Not the investigation of Russian involvement in the election and the broader mandate. So actually I do think it is plausible that that part of the investigation could wrap up.
Through my own reporting, I have heard other people say that Mueller has indicated he wants to wrap up the obstruction of justice portion before the other part of the investigation. So, you know, as we've noted, it's important to take what Giuliani says with a grain of salt, but I don't think it's out of the question that this report is more or less correct.
CABRERA: And does it make sense as a negotiating tactic, I guess?
TOOBIN: I don't not sure it's a negotiating tactic. I think it's just being honest. You know, Mueller does not want to be investigating this case forever. The obstruction of justice portion is a somewhat more straightforward investigation than the whole Russian part of it and the Manafort part and the money laundering part. So I don't think it's out of the question that it will -- that he will wrap that up at an earlier stage and just be honest about it with the president.
CABRERA: Jeremy, Giuliani told the "New York Times" it'd be good to wrap up the probe before the midterm elections.
[18:10:04] Giuliani said this, quote, "You don't want another repeat of the 2016 election where you get contrary reports at the end and you don't know how it affected the election."
Interesting that he'd argue the Comey letter may have hurt Clinton and helped his client considering Trump wants an investigation into whether the FBI was trying to hurt him during the campaign, no?
HERB: That's right. And we should remember when we take about -- look back at Trump's calls for an investigation is that the FBI was quiet about what it was doing with regard to Trump and his campaign, whereas Comey made this -- you know, made a show with his letter and reopening the investigation. In this case I think it's fair to say that the midterms may be on the
special counsel's mind. We don't know that for sure. This is -- the special counsel has been quiet, hasn't been talking about it, but obviously this is going to play out in the context of a midterm election that is heating up and we're going to -- you know, we're going to see how the president himself gets involved in the midterms and he may not want to have this whole Russia cloud as he has called it over and over again, hanging over him as he's out campaigning in swing districts and in districts where people I think will be a little concerned about the president and his approval rating.
CABRERA: But again it doesn't sound necessarily like this could be the end of the entire investigation, that cloud could still be hanging over regardless of this portion is wrapped up prior to the midterms.
Steve, if Mueller did in fact make this assurance, what does that say about where his investigation is at?
MOORE: Well, you've got to be careful what you ask for. Because what that could mean is we're going to wrap up this part of it right here because we need our resources on this thing. And it could be that Mueller -- it's really surprising to me that Mueller would tell anybody the date of -- the end of an investigation. I mean, you just -- that's kind of like saying when are you going to finish, you know, remodeling the house, it's always going to go longer than you think. So for him to say that makes me want to believe that he's not ending things, he's shifting resources.
CABRERA: All right. Got to leave it there, guys. Steve Moore, Jeremy Herb, and Jeffrey Toobin, thank you all for joining us.
Up next in the NEWSROOM, live pictures our of Pahoa, Hawaii, where dangerous lava is on the move. We'll take you to the foot of a volcano.
Plus, just two days after horror at their schools. Seniors at Santa Fe High in Texas hold their baccalaureates service this hour. We'll take you there.
[18:16:40] ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Erica Hill live in Santa Fe, Texas. And there's new information this hour about the suspect who is now charged with capital murder following the deaths of 10 people at the high school behind me on Friday.
The grandmother of one of the suspect's best friends telling CNN her grandson was questioned by investigators on Friday night. Bertha Bland describes Dimitrios Pagourtzis as a respectful and very intelligent young man who she says lived under the thumb of a strict Greek father. She says her grandson told investigators Pagourtzis had told him he kept journals about his thoughts. She also said both boys showed an interest in guns and also played a lot of violent video games. She describes Dimitrios' mother as being very sweet.
I want to bring in now Polo Sandoval who has more on how the survivors are holding up. You've also spent some time both at church service and following the memorials as well, as folks here work up to that baccalaureate service today -- Polo.
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And that's happening right now, Erica, here at Arcadia First Baptist Church. We're only about a mile from where you are, just a mile away from where those shots rang out two days ago, and tonight many of the members of the 2018 graduating class of Santa Fe High School are inside right now. The first speaker receiving a standing ovation just a little while ago.
Tonight it's the first time that many of these students may be seeing their friends since that shooting. This is obviously a very difficult time for these young men and women who woke up that Friday morning excited at the start of the graduation process, the ceremonies and the parties. There is still that celebratory mood but I will tell you obviously this time it's extremely different as you're about to hear from Todd Penick, a graduating senior.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TODD PENICK, SENIOR, SANTA FE HIGH SCHOOL: I will speak for all of us, it's kind of difficult to celebrate a graduation when so many people's lives are lost. It kind of makes what we're going through, like these families they lost family. I was lucky enough I didn't lose family that day. But there were people that lost family and thinking about my circumstances, it's so small compared to what these people actually lost.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANDOVAL: Todd, one of many students who we've been speaking to today here in the city that is still trying to come to terms with what happened. But you know, that word, celebration, many of these students say that is actually part of the mourning, that is part of the healing, part of that long road to recovery that is ahead for this small Texas city.
In the meantime, though, the first funeral was held for one of those victims, Sabika Sheikh, she's the foreign exchange student from Pakistan who is in the United States continuing her high school studies, before her body was sent back to Pakistan to be laid to rest, a small good-bye ceremony that was held in Houston this morning -- Erica.
HILL: All right. Polo, thank you.
Of course one of the questions that linger is what would drive someone to do this. Earlier today I sat down with the attorneys representing the 17-year-old suspect who is currently being held in solitary confinement.
HILL: You met with your client yesterday.
NICHOLAS POEHL, ATTORNEY FOR DIMITRIOS PAGOURTZIS: Correct. HILL: How is he?
POEHL: He's having a difficult time right now. I think he's in some kind of shock. It's going to be a while before I can tell you more. It is going to -- there are some professionals that are going to have to be brought into these evaluations, but it's obviously difficult circumstances.
HILL: Is he remorseful?
[18:20:02] POEHL: We're not even there yet.
HILL: Is he aware that 10 people are dead?
POEHL: I don't -- I'm not sure.
ROBERT BARFIELD, ATTORNEY FOR DIMITRIOS PAGOURTZIS: We can't answer that.
POEHL: Yes. I don't think we know the answer to that yet.
BARFIELD: We've had brief, brief visitations with our client. I mean, two 30-minute visitations, and he really hasn't been able to answer the questions. We're going to have a sit-down for hours and ask him.
HILL: You said he hasn't been able to answer the questions. Has he been responsive, though? Is he actually -- I mean, are you engaging in conversation with him?
BARFIELD: We have had conversations but we're telling him what he needs to do right now to get through the next few days. We're not asking him pertinent questions at this point.
POEHL: Well, at this point we don't have the information with which to even start asking those questions. I mean, the timing, this happening on a Friday and then a weekend where the information flow is really just what's in the media, nothing from the state. Once we start to begin that discovery process, we can start asking more intelligent questions.
HILL: Have you spoken with investigators at all?
BARFIELD: We've spoken to the DA.
POEHL: We've spoken with the DA's office.
BARFIELD: The first assistant.
HILL: And so everything at this point has to wait until Monday.
POEHL: It's going to wait until Monday.
HILL: In terms of what we do know, and a lot of this obviously is based on the affidavit, in that affidavit, your client reportedly confessed to shooting, and I'm quoting here, multiple people with the intent to kill. Did he confirm that with you?
POEHL: He has not confirmed that, and we do -- at this point we don't have the information to be able to confirm what's in the PC affidavit.
HILL: So also in that affidavit is that he intentionally spared people he, quote, "liked," so they could tell his story.
POEHL: Same answer. We just don't -- we don't know at this point if that is accurate or not.
HILL: The mother of one of the victims, 16-year-old Shana Fisher, told us at CNN that she believes her daughter was specifically targeted because she rebuffed his advances. Were people targeted?
POEHL: We have spoken to the DA's office to try to get a little bit of information on that when that story broke yesterday. Right now we don't have anything and the DA doesn't have anything to either confirm or deny that.
HILL: There were also reports of bullying that were put out. And the school district came out pretty strongly against those reports saying, we've investigated, this didn't happen. Has any of that come up in conversations from either your client or his family?
BARFIELD: Well, there has been some conversations on that. We need to delve into it more. But the other problem is the school district doesn't say how they investigated it when they investigated it. If they investigated it after the shooting happened, that's a really short investigation.
HILL: Do you believe that it may have been reported prior to the shooting?
BARFIELD: We're not sure. We don't have that information yet.
POEHL: What's interesting about that Santa Fe statement is again it was released just a little bit more than 24 hours after. At this point there are no indications I actually spoke to the student survivors that were reporting this bullying and reporting it to the media in the last couple of days. Without talking to them, I'm not sure how Santa Fe could be in a position to strongly deny, or I think they used the words confirm the untruth of it.
I don't know how they could be saying that at this point. It will be interesting to learn as we go forward what exactly that investigation consisted of.
HILL: They -- they actually referenced coaches. So they referenced baseball coaches.
POEHL: Correct. Correct.
HILL: Not just students. So do you believe that they have not done due diligence in terms of speaking with those coaches?
BARFIELD: We don't know. We don't know what they did. That was a very short statement.
HILL: So that more from the attorneys there. There have been a lot of questions about the investigation and the lack of information. That is all changing right now. Our colleague Rosa Flores has some new reporting in from the county sheriff here.
What are you learning?
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Erica, we finally have more information regarding what happened inside Santa Fe High School. Now this is from the Galveston County Sheriff. He says that this shooting lasted about 30 minutes. Now four minutes into the shooting, that's when officers arrived and they engaged the shooter. Then hear this, there was a 25-minute gun battle. And when I say gun battle, we clarified this. There was crossfire.
There was a section of crossfire there. So the big question, of course, and I'm sure this is what you're thinking as well, so all of those victims, were they shot by the shooter or were they caught in the crossfire? When we asked the sheriff to clarify, he said that we were going to have to wait for the autopsies, for the medical examiner to conduct these autopsies before we'd learn that specific answer, which, of course, is extremely concerning to you, the viewer, to everyone, to us as journalists, trying to learn more and answer those questions for the public and, of course, for the families of the victims.
HILL: All right. Rosa, important reporting there. Thank you. I know they also told you they have a number of cameras in that school and they are trying to place together that video as well.
Ana, we'll send it back to you in New York.
CABRERA: All right. Erica, Rosa, thank you both.
Up next, geysers of lava spewing from the ground in Hawaii. We'll tell you where the dangerous molten rock is heading next.
But first this week's "Before the Bell," here's CNN chief business correspondent Christine Romans -- Christine.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Ana. Fear of rising interest rates has sent jitters through Wall Street.
[18:25:03] This week investors could get more insight into the Federal Reserve's roadmap. For now the Central Bank has penciled in three rate hikes this year and three more in 2019.
On Wednesday the Feds released these minutes from its May meeting and investors will be looking for any signs the Fed might speed up those plans. Bank stocks are also in focus this week as the House votes to roll back some Dodd-Frank provisions. The measure which has already passed the Senate cuts regulations for thousands of community banks and regional lenders. That will help smaller banks like State Street, BB&T and SunTrust.
Supporters including some Democrats argue smaller institutions shouldn't face the same rules as the big ones. But critics like Senator Elizabeth Warren insists the rollback makes the financial system more vulnerable to another crisis.
In New York, I'm Christine Romans.
[18:30:32] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: People on the big island of Hawaii have yet another reason to be concerned as the Kilauea Volcano poses a new threat. If volcanic bombs, a fast moving hot lava, and sulfur dioxide weren't enough, residents are now being warned of a laze hazard near the coast.
Laze happens when lava reaches the ocean, sending hydrochloric acid and volcanic glass particles high into the air. And this is what happened when lava surged over a highway last night into the Pacific Ocean.
Laze can cause lung damage and skin and eye irritation. Officials also warn that laze can be deadly. Two people died from exposure to it back in 2000.
Our Stephanie Elam joins us now from Pahoa.
Stephanie, with laze sending this volcanic glass into the air, what are people being told to do to stay safe?
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I can tell you, Ana, that the U.S. Coast Guard has set up a perimeter of 360-degree radius, really, of keeping people away from where that lava is flowing into the ocean, of about a thousand feet.
They want people to stay away for just that reason. They don't want people getting too close to it, getting that hydrochloric acid or those glass particulars. And that's just one of the concerns.
The other thing that everyone is concerned about is the fact that some of these fissures that have seemed to die down have now reactivated. And let me show you what's happening here because it is somewhat mesmerizing when you watch lava spurting out of the Earth in real time.
And this is what it looks like. This is what's really happening here. You can see how it's kind of created a cone around it, building up. And then below that, it just oozes out into a sea of black here, part of this eastern rift zone that is flowing down towards the ocean as you were talking about.
We know that two of the structures were burned down here from this lava flow. And, you know, I need to address what you probably are hearing behind me, Ana, those loud explosions.
That's another fissure that's about a mile away. And that is volcanic gas erupting from the Earth. And at times, it is throwing rocks, it is throwing volcanic lava coming up out of those holes.
And when it does so, those really loud explosions -- I saw one -- it is sending things into the sky, some several hundred feet. And that is why they're asking people to be careful.
We already know one man was hit by a lava bomb. And from what we understand, his leg has been shattered. And that is why they're asking people to be vigilant and to stay away because those loud concussive explosions, which actually broke some windows in one of the houses facing that direction. Just far away, not even like right up against it.
Just how strong that power is and then how far it is launching those rocks, they're asking people to be careful, Ana.
CABRERA: Stephanie, you're saying that image behind you, the lava that we can see bubbling out even in this live shot, is a mile away?
ELAM: It's probably about a mile, maybe a little bit less at this point.
ELAM: I obviously have not gone and totally tracked it, but I do know --
ELAM: I do know that it looks closer than it is, and we're a safe distance away. But this just shows you, it's been pouring here, it doesn't matter.
ELAM: Everything -- that strength, that power, is still very much there. And you can see it there in that image.
CABRERA: Unbelievable. Stephanie Elam, thank you very much for that reporting.
Still ahead, it's the event the world is talking about. The question a day later, where are the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex going on their honeymoon? You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[18:33:54] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CABRERA: Harry and Meghan are now officially the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Their fairytale wedding this weekend drew more than 40 million television viewers between the U.S. and Britain and generated millions of tweets.
The royal newlyweds have their first official event as a married couple on Tuesday. Today, a tea party was on their calendar.
Let's bring in CNN's Nick Watt who joins us live from Windsor in England. Nick, we've learned the honeymoon has been postponed. What do you
know about their immediate plans?
NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we know that the first time we will see them officially out in public at an official royal engagement -- yes, royals up here officially -- will be at Buckingham Palace, Tuesday, for a garden party with Prince Charles who is turning 70 this year. And he is having a little party for his charities.
So we assume that they will go on honeymoon sometime after that. They're still breaking down here at Windsor Castle. By the way, a massive truck is about to come behind me.
So we don't know where they're going to go, and I'm sure they won't tell us in advance where they're going to go.
They have been under the spotlight of the world this weekend, and I can only imagine that they are very much looking forward to entirely disappearing, Ana.
CABRERA: I know. Some of the rumors are Botswana, Namibia, getting out of the spotlight as you just pointed out. Even though the cameras weren't rolling last night, I understand we are learning a few details about what happened at that last reception party they had.
WATT: That's right. Remember, the last time we saw them was dressed to the nines in that E-type Jag, driving out of the castle towards Frogmore House for this intimate party, 200 people, hosted by Prince Charles.
[18:40:06] In this, you know, social media age, they've done a remarkably good job at keeping the lid on what happened. But "The Daily Mail" newspaper here claims to have some details from inside.
They claim that the first dance was to Whitney Houston, that they drank cocktails called When Harry Met Meghan, that they ate hamburgers from a place called Dirty Burger, that they ate candy floss, and Meghan did give a speech.
And that, I think, is the most interesting part of this. Just as she walked most the way down this aisle, she gave a speech, which is against protocol, which is against tradition.
And to me, that's a sign that, yes, she is now the Duchess of Sussex on the outside, but she is still that determined, that feisty, that intelligent, that driven woman, Meghan Markle, on the inside, Ana.
CABRERA: Nick Watt, thank you so much.
A brand new "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA" airs tonight at 10:00, and here is a sneak peek.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In my own life, I know the impact sports made on me. I got injured when I was 22 years old, didn't make the right choices, and the choices I made ended up taking a friend's life and cost me the use of my legs.
While I was in ICU, I made a promise to my friend that had passed that something good was going to come good of that day. I got involved in adaptive sports. I got involved in helping coach wheelchair basketball. And just being around kids with disabilities gave me something to look for every day.
W. KAMAU BELL, CNN HOST: What do you think people who aren't disabled get wrong about people who are disabled?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're surprised that we can live independently and that we can do things. They're like, oh, good to see you out here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Or you're inspiring me today. And I'm like, well, I got to get groceries.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel like they think we're delicate or fragile.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And it's like, no, we're not.
BELL: No, no, no.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And we're steel reinforced, actually.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[18:46:18] CABRERA: It's been one long year since Robert Mueller was appointed Special Counsel in the Russia investigation, running a complex investigation into potential conspiracy, collusion, obstruction, money laundering, hacking, social media meddling. Our Gloria Borger has more.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Ana, so far the Special Counsel's investigation has yielded 75 criminal charges, 22 defendants, and dozens and dozens of witness interviews.
BORGER (voice-over): Experiencing Team Mueller up close is no walk in the park.
MICHAEL CAPUTO, REPUBLICAN POLITICAL STRATEGIST: It's intense. You know, first of all, they ask to pick you up at a nearby hotel because they want to sneak you in the back door. And that's the way they want to drop you off as well when you're done.
It's also not a friendly environment. They're professional. I wouldn't call them impolite.
BORGER (voice-over): But they are well informed.
CAPUTO: They know more about the Trump campaign than any single person who has worked there. That's because they have everybody's documents.
The Mueller investigation knows more than any one person does, and anybody who sits with them needs to be mindful of that.
BORGER (voice-over): Especially the President, as he and his revolving team of lawyers are well aware.
BORGER (on camera): What would Trump risk if he were to testify in front of Bob Mueller?
MICHAEL ZELDIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Untruthfulness and the possible charge of lying to a federal investigator.
CAPUTO: At the end of the day, is it a perjury trap or is it not? You know, from my perspective, the President shouldn't go anywhere near this group.
BORGER (voice-over): The tangled tale of Russian interference may have started in a London bar in the spring of 2016 when George Papadopoulos, a young self-promoter named to the Trump foreign policy team, told an Australian diplomat that Moscow had dirt on Hillary Clinton.
CAPUTO: Papadopoulos is the coffee boy. He always was and he always will be.
BORGER (voice-over): Now serving up information to Mueller after pleading guilty to lying to the FBI, as are at least three others.
PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: When the FBI walks in the room, they're not asking you questions half the time because they want to know the answer. They're asking questions because they want to see what you're going to say.
Did you meet with John Doe last week? No. Well, they got your e-mail and you did.
Now, they know, A, that you're not telling the truth and, B, they know they got a hammer on you. You just lied to a federal officer.
BORGER (voice-over): Another person under the hammer for lying, deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates who did business with the Russians and worked with campaign chairman Paul Manafort both before and during the election.
Manafort could still be under investigation for colluding with Russians and has pled not guilty to charges of money laundering and conspiracy.
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Today's announcement has nothing to do with the President, has nothing to do with the President's campaign or campaign activity.
BORGER (voice-over): The White House also separated itself from its former national security adviser, Michael Flynn.
MICHAEL FLYNN, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER TO PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: The next President of the United States right here.
BORGER (voice-over): Now cooperating with Mueller after lying to the FBI and the Vice President about his Russian contacts.
And yet, the President intervened on Flynn's behalf.
JAMES COMEY, FORMER DIRECTOR, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION: He said he hopes I can let it go.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS HOST: And when he said that, you thought?
COMEY: He's asking me to drop the criminal investigation of his now former national security adviser.
ZELDIN: I think that the first sign of obstruction was the President asking for loyalty, followed, on the heels of that, by clearing the Oval Office and asking Comey to let the Flynn investigation go.
BORGER (voice-over): The most startling twist in the Russia saga came last summer when Donald Trump, Jr. confirmed a 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russians peddling dirt on Hillary Clinton.
[18:50:07] His e-mail? I love it. But he claimed the focus of the meeting, which also included Manafort and presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner, was not about Russian coordination but about Russian adoption. A bust he denies telling his father about.
DONALD TRUMP, JR., SON OF PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: It was literally just a waste of 20 minutes, which was a shame.
BORGER (voice-over): Just as head-scratching is the President's personal involvement aboard Air Force One in composing a misleading statement about the purpose of the Trump Tower meeting.
BORGER (on camera): Could that potentially be obstruction as well?
ZELDIN: As an act in and of itself, I don't think it's obstruction of justice. But I think that obstruction of justice, from Mueller's standpoint, is going to be a mosaic of activity.
BORGER (on camera): So it's just a piece of a puzzle.
ZELDIN: It's a piece of a puzzle. BORGER (voice-over): A very big jigsaw with a trove of characters.
The Russians, 13 indicted for trolling Americans on social media.
Political trickster Roger Stone, a longtime friend of the President who denies coordinating with WikiLeaks.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange who distributed the Democratic National Committee's e-mails hacked by the Russians.
Campaign aide Carter Page, his frequent trips to Moscow raising eyebrows.
And Trump lawyer Michael Cohen who pushed a never built Trump Tower Moscow during the election and who was recently raided by the FBI.
The Trump family is not immune either. Son-in-law Jared Kushner who sought a back channel with Russians and then omitted those contacts on disclosure forms.
And yet after one year, while the president runs on and on --
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's a total witch- hunt. I've been saying it for a long time.
BORGER (voice-over): -- Mueller runs silent and runs deep.
ZELDIN: We are piloting the Titanic. We have seen the tip of an iceberg, and we have no idea what lies beneath the surface.
BORGER (voice-over): So what's ahead, a Mueller firing or a Supreme Court battle over presidential testimony?
One thing not on the table, according to Rudy Giuliani, a presidential indictment, which could leave it all with a report from Mueller for the Justice Department and Congress to consider. And then they decide just what to do with it.
MUDD: I think the American people will be frustrated in the end because they're going to expect that he's going to sit in front of the cameras or issue a hundred pages that give them like a story.
ZELDIN: He has to submit a confidential report. My expectation is that Mueller would like to submit that report in confidence, turn out the lights and go home, and leave it to others to figure out what to do with his findings.
BORGER: But with the overwhelming public interest in his work, who knows if that's even possible -- Ana.
CABRERA: Thank you so much, Gloria Borger.
Coming up, just days ahead of the Georgia primary, one of the state's candidates for governor, using a controversial campaign tactic.
Next, we'll show you the deportation bus. You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[18:53:09] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CABRERA: The brewing immigration battle taking center stage in many state primaries. Some candidates even wheeling out special vehicles to make their point.
CNN's Gary Tuchman takes a look at two Georgia gubernatorial candidates just days ahead of the vote.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Spotted on Interstate 85 in Georgia, a vehicle that a candidate for governor calls his deportation bus.
SEN. MICHAEL WILLIAMS (R), GEORGIA STATE SENATE: We're not just going to track them and watch them roam around our state. We're going to them on this bus and send them home.
Republican State Senator Michael Williams trailing in GOP primary polling with a bus that says, "Danger: Murderers, Rapists, Kidnappers, Child Molesters, and Other Criminals on Board."
Echoing these words --
TRUMP: They're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.
TUCHMAN (on camera): Are you putting people on the deportation bus?
WILLIAMS: No, we're not putting people on --
TUCHMAN (on camera): Are you trying to find people to deport?
WILLIAMS: No, no.
TUCHMAN (on camera): So why are you doing that?
WILLIAMS: Again, this is to bring awareness to the issue of illegal immigration in our state and in our country.
TUCHMAN (on camera): But isn't it a mean-spirited gimmick to have a bus that says deportation and --
WILLIAMS: No, what is --
TUCHMAN (on camera): -- and murderers and rapists are on this bus?
WILLIAMS: What is mean about holding people accountable for breaking the law?
TUCHMAN (on camera): But do you think --
WILLIAMS: When did that become mean, to hold somebody accountable?
TUCHMAN (on camera): Do you think all illegal immigrants are murderers and rapists and kidnappers?
WILLIAMS: That's not what we're saying. That's not what the bus says.
TUCHMAN (on camera): What does the bus say?
WILLIAMS: The bus says that it has kidnappers, illegal aliens on there. And that's who we're going to go after, those that are in our country illegally and breaking yet another law.
TUCHMAN (on camera): So is this a gimmick though?
WILLIAMS: Absolutely not.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): The candidate and his staff take the bus and an R.V. to Georgia cities that have many immigrants.
CROWD: No hate. No fear. Immigrants --
TUCHMAN (voice-over): And get a mostly negative reaction from people who have gathered waiting for the bus. But Michael Williams isn't the only candidate running for Georgia governor who is going to extremes.
BRIAN KEMP (R), SECRETARY OF STATE OF GEORGIA: And two things if you're going to date one of my daughters.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Respect.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A healthy appreciation for the Second Amendment, sir.
KEMP: We're going to get along just fine.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Georgia's Secretary of State Brian Kemp is also running and also talks about hauling away immigrants.
KEMP: I've got a big truck just in case I need to round up criminal illegals and take them home myself.
Yes, I just said that.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): One has a big truck, another a big bus.
TUCHMAN (on camera): You're a Sunday school teacher?
WILLIAMS: I am.
TUCHMAN (on camera): Does this violate the tenets of your religious moral life, not to be kind to a fellow human being?
WILLIAMS: Again, what I am doing is being kind to the citizens of this country, the citizens that have built this country and have something that the world covets and wants. We have to protect that. [19:00:04] TUCHMAN (voice-over): And before the deportation bus
drives away for the day, someone places this on the front of it, words from the poem on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.