Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Trump in England; Russia Dismisses Indictments as Plan to Spoil Summit; Interview with Rep. Dan Kildee; Plan to Reunite 2,500 Kids with Parents. Aired 11a-12n ET

Aired July 14, 2018 - 11:00   ET

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


[10:59:53] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: All right. We hope you make some great memories today.

There is so much more in the next hour of CNN's NEWSROOM.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: And we'll turn it over now to our colleague Jim Sciutto -- Jim.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: Well, Christi and Victor -- listen, it's a big news day with a lot of news coming in the coming days, particularly that summit in Russia -- Trump and Putin.

Welcome to everyone on the East Coast. I'm Jim Sciutto in for Fredricka Whitfield today. And NEWSROOM starts right now.

Welcome to folks in the Midwest and the West Coast as well.

Up first the Trump-Putin summit still moving forward; this despite new charges in Mueller's Russia probe against 12 Russian intelligence officers, as well as growing calls from lawmakers to cancel the sit down between the two leaders.

And not only does the White House say the summit is still on, but we are just learning the two leaders will even speak to the press together after their sit-down meeting. All of this as President Trump weighs in on those latest indictments by blaming former President Obama instead of condemning Russia.

This political show down, this intelligence showdown unfolding as anti-Trump protesters gather in Scotland -- you could see them there and that famous balloon as well -- while the President spends the weekend at his own golf club in Scotland ahead of that summit with Putin.

CNN's Phil Black is in Edinburgh at the scene of those protests. But I want to start first with CNN White House correspondent Abby Philip. She is live from Glasgow, Scotland.

So Abby -- the President as he often does, taking to Twitter on a Saturday morning, weighing in on a whole host of things, and throwing some jabs at everyone it seems except Russia. Who has he been targeting today?

ABBY PHILIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right -- Jim. The President -- it should come to no surprise that the President is still not yet willing to make this about Russia, to make this about Vladimir Putin. Instead he is making it about his predecessor, Barack Obama, saying in this tweet this morning that the stories you heard about the 12 Russians yesterday took place during the Obama administration, not the Trump administration.

Why didn't they do something about it, especially when it was reported that President Obama was informed by the FBI in September before the election.

Now, it is interesting that this should happen because he is referring to those indictments that came yesterday. And the White House issued a statement, did not even acknowledge that this was essentially an attack on the United States. And now President Trump is saying Obama should have done more.

But Jim -- as you know, President Obama tried to do some things, although even his staff criticized him for perhaps not doing more, but the counterintelligence investigation into this was launched under the Obama administration, Obama CIA director warned his counterparts in Russia and President Obama warned Putin directly in a meeting about this Russian meddling.

So there is plenty of evidence that there were some attempts to do some things before the election. But President Trump is not even willing to sort of address now what is a crucial issue which is what happens now. What happens when there's an election three months from now in November, a midterm election that most in the intelligence community expect Russia to try to do some of the very same things again?

Right now we expect that the White House isn't going to back down from this summit despite a lot of folks suggesting that unless President Trump is willing to really forcefully address this issue with Vladimir Putin, it shouldn't go forward.

The President is going to go into that meeting with Putin and he expects to try to address a slew of issues and do so with the objective that maybe they could have some kind of personal rapport. But obviously there are some deep issues here, some escalating issues here, and a lot of evidence now piling up that this was an attack directed by the highest levels of the Russian government -- Jim.

SCIUTTO: In fact, no one in intelligence can contest that, only the President has expressed doubts about it. And you make a good point there Abby -- that the risk is to the upcoming elections, the midterms and the presidential election and Trump's own intelligence chiefs have testified that the President has not directed them to repel those attacks. I mean it's certainly a remarkable situation.

Thanks very much -- Abby Philip, traveling with the President.

I want to check in now with Phil Black. He's been covering protests, another day of protests, chasing this president around the U.K. What is the scene like there today? PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jim -- here in Edinburgh, the Scottish

capitol, we have seen thousands of people initially rallying, then marching, then rallying some more here in the center of the city. It's been a festival-like atmosphere, I think very similar to what we saw in Glasgow and London yesterday -- pretty happy, although some very blunt messages, chants, banners, placards -- that sort of thing. The overall message is that Donald Trump is not welcome in Scotland.

These are people that disagree very strongly with many of his policies. And on top of that, they were joined by what is now that famous Trump baby balloon. The one that was flying over London yesterday, well it was deflated at the end of that process, packed on an overnight train, sent up to Scotland, and has been flying up here as well.

[11:05:01] All of that has been going on here in Edinburgh. Meanwhile at Turnberry, the Trump golf resort where the President has been staying, we have seen a very daring aerial protest. This is a paraglider, piloted by a Greenpeace activist who flew in very close to the hotel where the President is staying, streaming an anti-Trump message behind him. And he managed to get away.

And that's something that seems to have annoyed both the local police here and indeed the Secret Service as well because there are air space restrictions in place over that hotel in order to ensure the President's security.

And so they're now trying to find out who was responsible for that breach of those restrictions because as the police here say, that is a breach of the law.

Meanwhile, on the ground today there were smaller protest groups around the security perimeter at the Trump golf resort there, screaming out, trying to be heard as President Trump was making his way around the course -- Jim.

SCIUTTO: Phil -- just to be clear in that picture, the person who are circled -- the people circle the right of the screen, and perhaps we can show it again as the paraglider was coming in -- was that the President? Is that how close he got physically to the President himself?

BLACK: So that's what Greenpeace, the organization behind this protest, believes. They believe that Trump was actually outside, inspecting the grounds of his resort, if you like, at the time that all of this was taking place. And yes, the proximity was as close as that, as they say. That's the Greenpeace claim.

We haven't been able to confirm that more specifically through the White House or the Secret Service or local police yet, but clearly there is concern about just how close this airborne protester was able to get.

SCIUTTO: Well, it does look like the President there in that little circle. And that from a security standpoint, I'm sure the Secret Service is, you know, extremely alarmed about the proximity of that. Phil Black -- thanks very much. Abby Philip, as well. >

Well, Russia is responding to these new indictments from the Justice Department, saying that they are an attempt to spoil the upcoming summit.

CNN's international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson, he is in Helsinki -- that's going to be the site of that summit between Trump and Putin. Despite those indictments however, despite some Democrats and even some Republicans saying the meeting should be cancelled, it is going on -- Nic.

I'm just curious -- I know you liaise with Russian diplomats as well. Do they -- are they concerned about these indictments right before this meeting or do they take the President's expression of confidence as enough for them? Is that what they focus on?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: You know, I think they're doing what they normally do in these circumstances, Jim, which is basically push back, fire back, deny. So they're saying right now that there's no evidence being presented here, even though there are these indictments against 12 Russian military intelligence officers. They're saying that there's no evidence.

They're actually saying this is recycled, if you will, fake news or reanimated, as they like to call it, fake news. They are saying that this is criminal cases being pulled for political reasons. They're saying that this is all being done, designed to spoil the atmosphere ahead of the summit.

It's just typical of Russia to sort of come up with multiple things to say about it. But this is what they're saying. And of course it is critical to the summit because if we go back to when President Trump first face to face with President Putin in the G-20, when they had a pull-aside last summer in July last summer. When President Putin (SIC) put the allegations of meddling to President Putin, he quickly moved on -- President Putin denied and he quickly moved to other issues.

But we had a readout about meeting afterwards from Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister who was in there. And this is how he described President Trump putting those allegations and their response.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SERGEY LAVROV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): President Trump said, and I'm sure either he or Rex Tillerson himself will say, that this campaign of alleged Russian interference in U.S. elections is of a strange nature because there hasn't been a single fact in all these months of allegations, which was recognized by those in Congress who are leading this movement at a certain point and brought various administration members on the carpet.

President Trump said he's heard Putin's very clear statements that this is not true and that the Russian government didn't interfere in the elections and that he accepts these statements. That's all.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTSON: So there's two things there, Jim, obviously. One is that the Russians denied it then. They're denying it again now.

But perhaps central to a lot of people's concerns is the way the Russians here say that President Trump presented this issue, not sort of taking ownership and saying we've got the evidence, we've got the information. Just saying there are these claims out there. So now he has that evidence in the form of these 12 indictments of these Russian military intelligence officers.

[11:10:00] Will he then present this evidence in some form to President Putin, because President Putin is denying that it exists? Will he take that tough line and say here it is -- Jim.

SCIUTTO: Well, to this point the President has undermined his intelligence services multiple times. So it would be a change if he does.

Nic Robertson -- thanks very much.

Well, the Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, a former Republican senator appointed by this President, raised the alarm on growing current cyber attacks against the United States, including from Russia, saying that the situation is at a critical point. He came out forcefully against Russia.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAN COATES, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: Russia has been the most aggressive foreign actor, no question. And they continue their efforts to undermine our democracy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCIUTTO: They continue those efforts -- that's the point and in fact, what was notable about his comments there as he compared them to the warnings pre-9/11.

Joining me now CNN political analyst Julian Zelizer and Amie Parnes.

Julian -- if I can begin with you here. So you have the Department of Justice led by appointees of this president, so he cannot claim as he often does about the Mueller probe being a sort of Democratic, you know, deep state operation, releases these, and it takes a lot to get an indictment. You can't just do an indictment -- multiple indictments willy-nilly.

Russian intelligence agents who would be acting on the direction of this president that Trump is about to meet with, is it a victory for Putin for the President to then sit across from him and claim that he wants friendlier relations?

JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, it depends what the President does. If the President goes in, and says a few words about it and moves on to the demands of Putin, it's a victory. He gets the international stage, he gets to put pressure on the President and the issue goes away, as it continues it seems like into future elections.

If President Trump said something, if he confronted him, if he issued demands for the United States, that wouldn't be a victory for Putin. But again, if you're betting, you would bet that he is probably not going to do that.

SCIUTTO: Well, based on everything he said, in fact just two weeks ago, the President expressed doubts about Russian meddling.

Amy, the President did something else he's frequently done which is point the finger at the Obama administration for this, tweeting if I can repeat here, the stories you heard about the 12 Russians, yesterday -- again he calls them the stories you heard as opposed to federal indictments -- took place during the Obama administration, not the Trump administration. Why didn't they do something about it?"

The fact is though that his own intelligence chiefs, Dan Coats among them, testified before Congress a number of weeks ago that they received no direction from this President to repel ongoing cyber attacks. Whose responsibility is it now? the Obama administration or the Trump administration today?

AMY PARNES, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, today I think obviously the Trump administration. But I think Julian is right. I mean we heard him in the Montana rally recently say Putin is fine, he is fine, when he is attacking, you know, his own Justice Department. He is essentially choosing Putin over his own Justice Department right now.

Even yesterday at a press conference with the prime minister, he was doing that as well. He was bringing up every other issue that he was going to talk to him about, Putin about, and then threw in meddling at very the end like as it that was an aside. When he knows that the focus and the optics are all going to be centered around Russian meddling especially now with the indictment.

SCIUTTO: What about the substance though, Julian -- Trump will often claim to kind of, you know, increase his credibility, saying no one is tougher on Russia than Trump, speaking about himself in the third person there. It is true that the Trump administration has taken some tough steps, one being providing lethal weapons to Ukrainians' fighting Russians in Eastern Ukraine -- a step that the Obama administration did not take.

Bigger picture though, does the President have a case that he is taking on Russia aggressively?

ZELIZER: No, I think that's a weak case to make. I think he has resisted the sanctions legislation that a Republican congress gave him. He's resisted --

SCIUTTO: 98 to 2 -- with that vote.

ZELIZER: Yes. And rhetorically, he keeps coming back to these statements where he is casting doubt on something that most people in the intelligence community and in both parties agree happened and is happening. So that's not being tough.

He doesn't have to launch a war, he does not have to be hawkish, but he does have to acknowledge a very serious problem that happened and might happen again to have credibility to say he is being tough with Russia.

SCIUTTO: Amie -- the timing of these indictments, now we know Robert Mueller the way he operates, he indicts when he's got the goods.

PARNES: Right.

SCIUTTO: Right. And to this point has not followed a political, in fact, you can argue he's followed a very apolitical schedule because he's gotten a lot of pressure to wrap it up and he's just kind of like -- you can't see him going forward.

That said, these indictments released what 72 hours before the summit meeting, do you see any message in that timing?

PARNES: Well, no. I mean I think that it is clearly going to be the focus of this summit. And is going to -- and for a president who cares about optics so much, this can't be good for him.

[11:15:05] Can't be good that the indictment is so closely tied to when he was talking about Russia and he was sending messages to Russia saying please, you know, go after those missing e-mails of Hillary Clinton's that are somehow missing. So I think all of this kind of falls on him.

And now if there are further charges you know, looming, I think that isn't going to sit well. But the big question is how tough is he going to be with Putin? Is he going to address this? Is he going to make him feel like the pressure is on while he is sitting down with him?

SCIUTTO: Yes. Or will he be like the Republican senators who were there just a couple weeks ago who asked Russia not to interfere again. You might expect something more, you know, stronger. We'll see.

Amie, Julian -- thanks very much for helping walk us through it all.

Still ahead, many Democratic leaders want that Trump-Putin summit scrapped and a handful of Republicans. We're going to ask a Democratic lawmaker for his opinion on it.

And the government has a plan to reunify some 2,500 immigrant children with their parents within the next two weeks. Is that really going to happen?

[11:16:10] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCIUTTO: Welcome back.

President Trump facing mounting pressure to confront Vladimir Putin or cancel their planned Monday summit which, of course, lawmakers are saying should be cancelled.

Joining me now is Democratic Congressman Dan Kildee from the great state of Michigan. Congressman -- thanks very much. Nice to speak to you again -- Jim.

REP. DAN KILDEE (D), MICHIGAN: Thank you -- Jim.

First question, do you believe the President will confront Vladimir Putin strongly on Russian interference in the election?

KILDEE: Well, I seriously doubt it. I mean, Donald Trump seems to think that Vladimir Putin is his friend, that Russia is our friend when that is simply not the case.

We know -- and all we have to do is read the very specific information in the most recent set of indictments exactly how far Russia has gone to attack our democracy. And this president has shown no inclination whatsoever to address this in any meaningful way.

My hope is that he would go into the meeting, say look, we know what happened, this is what we're going to do, impose really strict economic sanctions, engage our allies which unfortunately the President has decided to insult our allies but still attempt to engage our allies to enforce really strict sanctions against Russia, and tell Putin we're not going to stand for this.

I don't know if he'll do that. There's no evidence that shows that he would be willing to do that.

SCIUTTO: Congress, as you know earlier this year, passed a resolution virtually unanimously -- Democrats and Republicans -- requiring new sanctions on Russia, even before these indictments. Has the White House followed through on those sanctions as required by Congress?

KILDEE: The White House has reluctantly imposed some of the sanctions that we have authorized. And that's part of the --

SCIUTTO: Do you believe that Congress should, in light of these indictments and further evidence of just how far this interference went, pass another resolution pressing the President to impose further sanctions?

KILDEE: I think it is something that we ought to consider. And I think in particular taking a look at the extent of activity that we now know is alleged through the most recent set of indictments. My sense is that we ought to take very strong action against those individuals.

Those are Russian agents. This is not a question of having a bunch of oligarchs acting on their own. This last set of indictments were Russian intelligence agents who that clearly were given direction to do this. So I think very strong actions against those individuals and against the Russian government is in order.

And I actually do think this is something that we should be looking at. The President feels like he can just go in and give Vladimir Putin a big hug and everything is going to be fine. That is not the way it works.

SCIUTTO: You heard Dan Coats, the Director of National Intelligence, issue a warning about current, not looking back to 2016, but current threats of cyber attacks including to the upcoming midterm and presidential elections. To our viewers, are those elections in danger of Russian interference?

KILDEE: Well, they are. They are for two reasons. One, the President fails to address Putin in any kind of way at all aggressively as he should. He ought to be defending the United States of America.

Secondly, I think as one of my colleagues pointed out in an earlier interview, the Republicans in Congress are actually reducing and in fact want to zero out the support for state and local governments to be able to defend our electoral systems from these sorts of attack. I can't understand that. It makes no sense whatsoever.

SCIUTTO: It's a real concern. Congressman Dan Kildee -- thanks very much for joining us this weekend.

KILDEE: Thank you very much -- Jim.

SCIUTTO: Well, coming up, the founder of Papa John's pizza now speaking out; this, after the company removed his image entirely from the nationwide chain after he used really just a horrible racial slur.

We're going to take a closer look at how the Russian agents hacked DNC e-mails as well as how they were finally caught.

[11:24:13] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCIUTTO: A very good morning to you. Thanks so much for joining us. I'm Jim Sciutto here in New York.

The Trump administration now says it has a plan to reunite 2,500 migrant children separated from their parents at the southern border. Over the next two weeks, the administration says, those families eligible to be reunited will be brought together at about half a dozen government facilities.

Health and Human Services officials say the streamlined vetting process will help speed up those reunions. This after the administration struggled to meet the first deadline of reuniting the children under five years old. In fact, they were a couple of days late on that deadline.

Our Rosa Flores, she is in McAllen, Texas for us. So Rosa -- you're down there, you're watching this process. Do you see evidence that they're going to be able to get this done within the time frame ordered by the courts?

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, that is what the government has agreed to. Now, the government in this case out of California, Jim, said that they don't quite agree with this expedited process because they don't think that it's in the best interest of the safety and security of the child. But the federal agency says we'll go ahead and do the streamlined process.

And here's what we know about the process. The government has selected six to eight facilities around the country for these reunifications to happen.

[11:30:03] The parents who are eligible, who are fit parents, will be transported to these facilities and then there will be a 15 minute interview where officials will determine if the parent is actually the parent of a child.

If the parent is willing to reunite with their child after that, the child will then be transferred to the custody of ICE. The reunification will happen, and that's how they hope to reunite about 2,500 children in the next two weeks.

Now Jim, I just got off the phone with a woman just released out of the Port Isabel detention center, and now says she's in a church here in McAllen where the city where I'm at. Here's how she described to me how the process worked.

In essence, she was in her detention room. She and other women were called. There were about nine of them. She said officials told her we need to do an interview with you now or you will get deported.

So, she gave what is known as this interview. We don't know a lot of details about it, but according to what we learned from this agreement that the government made with the ACLU is that they were going to make sure that the parent was the rightful parent and that they wanted to reunite with their child.

So, Jim, will all of the 2,500 children be reunited? We don't know. However, if we learn anything from the reunion of those toddlers, the children under five, we know that all of them were not reunited because some of those parents were not deemed fit to be reunited. Some of them had criminal backgrounds.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: There were also questions about the records, couldn't keep track of whose parents they were. Rosa Flores at the border. I know you're going to keep watching this closely.

Just ahead here, some of the details in the Russia indictments announced Friday really are chilling. What those Russian agents are accused of and what will happen now that they've been charged.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:36:37]

SCIUTTO: Welcome back. I am Jim Sciutto in New York. Those indictments handed down by the Department of Justice paint a picture of an aggressive and sophisticated operation by Russia against a U.S. election. All 12 charged are Russian intelligence agents who work within the Russian military.

Most are charged with identity theft as well as conspiracy to launder money. They are accused of using what's called a "spearfishing" to install software to track the key strokes and screen shots to then steal data from targeted computers. And they targeted not just the Clinton campaign, but also, of course, the Democratic National Committee.

I want to bring in CNN politics reporter, Jeremy Herb. Like me he's been following this Russia interference investigation for some time. Jeremy, immediately following that president and his allies latched onto the fact, and it is a fact, that no U.S. persons were charged in these indictments Friday.

Did the deputy Attorney General Rosenstein tip his hand at all to whether that's possible, did he close the door to at a later date indicting American U.S. persons?

JEREMY HERB, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: No, Jim, I don't think he closed the door on that. In fact, he made sure to say that the special counsel investigation is ongoing. He did also say that no Americans were implicated in yesterday's indictment. There were several Americans who were cited in it.

One of them appears to be Roger Stone, who acknowledged himself that he likely is the official that was cited having communicated with Russian hacker Guccifer during the 2016 election.

Stone says those conversations were benign, but we do know from witnesses who have spoken to the special counsel's team that Stone appears to be someone who is a focus of the Mueller investigation still.

Another interesting part of the indictment yesterday was there's an unnamed congressional candidate who received, asked for and received information from Guccifer during the 2016 campaign. We don't know who that candidate is, although there's lots of speculation going on about just what happened there.

SCIUTTO: So, now the president is going to sit down with Putin on Monday. We, of course, heard from Democrats saying he should cancel that summit, and John McCain, at least, has been tweeting about it, although he has often been a solitary voice in the Republican Party, critical of the president's stance towards Russia.

You spent a lot of time up on the Hill. You talked to Democrats and Republicans. Do you hear privately from Republican lawmakers that this is just not a good time to be having a warm and fuzzy meeting with the Russian leader?

HERB: You know, I think it will be interesting to see how Republicans do react to this especially I think in the Senate, we hear, you know, the Republicans say that the president does have to be tough on Putin. None of them went as far as you said with Senator McCain yesterday.

What I'm going to be watching for next week is how Republicans tackle Rod Rosenstein. They have been tossing around the idea of holding him in contempt or even trying to impeach him over this fight they are having with subpoenas and over documents. That was sort of put on ice after this indictment came out Friday, but it is something that's lingering now that they may or may not take up. I think what happens with Putin on Monday may affect their hand next week.

SCIUTTO: Interesting. You're saying just to be clear that if it is a soft meeting between Trump and Putin that there will be less of a political push to target Rosenstein?

HERB: So, they're not connected, but I think politically they are connected. And I think we heard Republicans saying that this indictment that came out, Republicans who have been critical of Mueller saying this indictment was good. It shows that the Russians were the bad guy. We're also saying shows no collusion between Trump and the Trump campaign and Russians.

[11:40:08] So, yes, I think it is a political dynamic. They're going to have to vote on this on the House floor to move it forward. So, I think that meeting will in fact affect that.

SCIUTTO: Jeremy Herb on the Hill, thanks very much.

This new indictment describes an unnamed person that communicated with the self-proclaimed hacker known as "Guccifer 2.0" back in 2016 as Jeremy was just saying there. Roger Stone was on our broadcast last night saying that he believes he could very well be that person.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROGER STONE, POLITICAL CONSULTANT: I have testified under oath to the House Intelligence Committee that I certainly had a 24-word exchange with the persona, "Guccifer 2.0," over Twitter direct messages. Anyone, any objective person that will read that exchange, which is included in the indictment will see that based on content, context and timing it is benign. It is innocuous.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Also you?

STONE: I think I probably am the person referred to.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCIUTTO: CNN legal analyst, Paul Callan, joins me now. Paul, should Roger Stone be concerned about his legal status in light of some of the tea leaves about his involvement?

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Whenever you are mentioned even as an unnamed person in an indictment, yes, you should be very worried because Mueller obviously will be looking at him very carefully, looking at his connections to the Trump campaign. If something develops that can be used to proceed, you can be sure that Mueller will do so.

SCIUTTO: So, Roger Stone, he even admitted on air that he was communicating with "Guccifer 2.0," which U.S. intelligence knows, established is a front for Russian intelligence. Roger Stone can claim he didn't know that or that he did that that it was a benign conversation.

But what kind of charges could be on the table if Mueller unearths that this is willing communication, advance notice was discussed of what materials the Russians have stolen, what would you be facing there?

CALLAN: Well, you know, Jim, we always get back to this subject that we've kind of dropped recently. In the early, the lawyers would always say there's no crime such as collusion. We always talk about collusion. Looking for collusion with the Trump campaign between the Russians.

So, how do you establish criminal collusion? You would have to show that Stone was providing information that was helpful in the hacking operation that would be aiding, abetting, or being part of a conspiracy, or awareness that "Guccifer 2.0" was a Russian operative who was hacking into the system, helped to distribute this stolen material. Then again, he could be indicted for conspiracy.

SCIUTTO: Conspiracy is the crime. What would he need to have done to be guilty of conspiracy? For instance, foreknowledge, say he got a tipoff that Guccifer 2.0 is working for the Russian government, said hey, by the way, we got goods on Hillary, found some of the stolen e- mails, whatever, and we're going to be putting this stuff out. Would foreknowledge be enough, or would he have to help get it out, or provide some information back to the Russians for where and when to put it out?

CALLAN: Well, foreknowledge alone would not be enough. Foreknowledge combined with assistance distributing stolen e-mails. I guess, you could analogize it to stolen property. Somebody else steals property, they pass it on to you, you know it is stolen property and you sell it to somebody else or give it to somebody else. You're part of the crime.

Now, if they can put together those kinds of links, they would have a case against Stone. I don't think they have a case against Stone because I think he would have been named, he would have been indicted if they had the information, and if he was secretly cooperating with them, which is what happens in a lot of these situations, I don't know if he would be appearing on your show.

SCIUTTO: They haven't interviewed him yet. Roger Stone has told us that. Is it possible that the special counsel is waiting until he interviews him?

CALLAN: Well, that would be an indication that they're looking at criminal conduct because they generally don't interview people who are going to be indicted. But we're reading tea leaves here, and it is really hard to say.

SCIUTTO: Paul Callan, thanks very much.

CALLAN: Thank you, Jim.

SCIUTTO: Coming up, the troubled founder of Papa John's Pizza is now speaking out after he resigned for using a racial slur on a phone call. He is trying to clarify why he used that horrible word, making claims he was extorted after using it. We're going to hear from him when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:49:08]

SCIUTTO: Welcome back. The founder and face of Papa John's Pizza is now speaking out after resigning for using the slur that begins with an "n" on a conference call. The pizza chain is now removing John Schnatter's face entirely from its ads as well as marketing materials.

He has appeared on Papa John's pizza boxes, tv ads, store interiors for years. I'm sure you've seen them yourself and the fallout for the company continues as several professional sports teams have cut ties with the pizza chain.

Polo Sandoval has been covering these developments for us and joins me now. For more on what he is saying -- let's start what he is saying now to explain the use of this racial slur.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. He's certainly being very apologetic right now, Jim. This one-time face of the Papa John's pizza brand speaking to several news agencies, several affiliates there in Louisville, basically saying and admitting that yes, he did use the "n" word.

[11:50:06] However, it was on a certain context saying that this was, apparently, according to him, during a telephone training session between various Papa John's executives and a certain marketing agency.

I want you to hear directly from him how he explains it in one of his first interviews since using the racial slur.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN SCHNATTER, FORMER CEO OF PAPA JOHN'S: It wasn't a slur. It was a strategy and media planning and training, and I repeated something that somebody else said, and said we're not going to say that, we don't use that kind of language and vocabulary.

And sure, it got taken out of context. Sure, it got twisted, but that doesn't matter. I hurt people's feelings. That's what matters here and for that I'm sorry and I'm disappointed in myself that something like that could happen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANDOVAL: A wave of corporate fallout has followed what we have seen here. There have been several teams that have chosen to part ways with Papa John's, the New York Yankees, for example, the Atlanta Falcons, another professional team in Atlanta as well.

United, the professional soccer team there in Atlanta, also severing ties. There's also plenty of internal fallout that's happening here within the company. For example, I can tell you that there was an open letter that was written by the CEO of the company that basically said that they are re-strategizing here.

Taking a completely different marketing approach and no longer going to be using him on their advertisements, even on those pizza boxes themselves. So, Papa John's at this point is certainly facing a massive challenge trying to rebrand itself as they said, trying to regain the confidence of the public, of their customers.

SCIUTTO: Clearly concerned about the bottom line on this, financial fallout. Polo Sandoval, thanks very much.

Coming up, we're learning more about what happened inside that Thai cave where those 12 boys and their soccer coach were trapped for weeks before that miraculous rescue. The boys are speaking out for the first time since the rescue and we're going to get to hear from them.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:57:18]

SCIUTTO: Welcome back. Those Thai boys who were trapped inside a cave are speaking out now for the first time since their remarkable rescue. Doctors say that all the boys and their coach are now healthy enough to be discharged from the hospital next week. The boys were sitting up in their beds. They were sending thank you messages as well to their rescuers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ADUN SAM-ON, RESCUED FROM THAI CAVE: Hello. Now I'm very fine. I thank you, thank you so much.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCIUTTO: That's remarkable collection of little boys there. That boy was being hailed as a hero for his role in the rescue. He acted as a translator, helping the British divers who first found the group. David McKenzie has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're very strong.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For days, they had no food, were in total darkness. When the British rescue diver finally discovered the boys --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many of you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thirteen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thirteen?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Brilliant.

MCKENZIE: A clear confident voice acting as a translator from Thai to English.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know. I understand.

MCKENZIE: That young voice is from a 14-year-old migrant, Adun Sam- on, a star player of the Wild Boars soccer team. Adun's teacher believes he played a key role. He helped save though boys, he says. At the school, they put up his soccer trophies and image as a kind of shrine, praying he would return.

When he is at school, he's a good kid, he says, such a happy kid. But Adun didn't come from a happy place. He was born in Myanmar's border regions, infamous for militant insurgencies and drug trafficking rings.

(on camera): The border to Myanmar is right over there, right in the center of town. And like many people here, Adun had to flee as a child to seek refuge in Thailand.

(voice-over): His parents brought Adun to a church mission when he wasn't much older than these migrant children. In a country where migrants are sometimes shunned, Adun thrived with a near perfect GPA. His Thai teachers call him a champion.

His Thai best friend says he can't wait to play football again with Adun and give him a hug. I think Adun is a hero, he says. He helped get everyone out of that cave. The extraordinary international effort to rescue the boys brought together military specialists and dive experts from across the world. And putting their prejudices aside, helped unify a country. David McKenzie, CNN, Northern Thailand.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCIUTTO: Well, one more hero in that cave. We have more.